The following is an overview of activities and programs undertaken by Her Honour, the Honourable Lois E. Mitchell from June to September 2018. This is the first in what will be an ongoing series of online reports from the office. The next issue, covering October to December 2018, will be published in early 2019.
Lieutenant Governor Mitchell launched the SPIRIT of Peace contest on June 12, 2018, as part of ongoing programming to promote history education for Albertans of all ages. Created to mark the 100th anniversary of the Armistice that brought the First World War to an end, SPIRIT of Peace encourages young Albertans in Grades 10-12 to explore the stories of the front line heroes and home front leaders who served throughout the conflict that forever changed Alberta and Canada. The contest is being offered in conjunction with Lieutenant Governor Mitchell's History and Heroes Foundation. The deadline for contest entries is October 26, 2018. Other history education and awareness activities from this quarter include presenting the Lieutenant Governor's Social Studies Education Student Awards, taking part in a ceremony to christen Highway 19 the Alberta Trail in honour of the province's 113th birthday and recognizing museum community leaders at the Alberta Museums Association's annual awards ceremony.
Her Honour enjoyed many opportunities to recognize men and women in uniform who serve their fellow Canadians. Events included:
• The annual Breakfast on the Bridge in support of Calgary Military Family Resource Centres;
• A tour of CFB Gagetown during a visit to New Brunswick for the annual conference of vice-regal representatives;
• Military Family Day at Spruce Meadows;
• A Change of Command ceremony in Ottawa for Commander of the Canadian Army, Lt General Paul Wynnyk;
• A tour of the Rocky Mountain Cadet Training Centre;
• The PPCLI French Gray Ball;
• 1 Service Battalion Freedom of the City Parade in Edmonton;
• The International Association of Women Police Conference in Calgary;
• A First Responders Suicide Awareness event in Calgary;
• A visit with Royal Canadian Sea Cadets in Edmonton, and
• The annual ceremony to honour Alberta's Fallen Police and Peace Officers.
The agriculture-themed GROWS initiative for 2018 has encouraged young Albertans to learn about caring for the land from the perspectives of Globalization, Responsibility, Opportunity, Well-Being and Sustainability. Elements have included a poetry contest for youth in Grades 4-6, an essay contest for Grades 7-9, and a virtual classroom pilot program that brought together urban and rural students in Grades 10-12. The virtual classroom, delivered through Edmonton's Centre for Global Education, was a success and plans are underway to continue building on the program. GROWS activities wrapped with celebrations for the contest winners and runners up. Students from across the province were treated to excursions aboard the historic Aspen Crossing and Alberta Prairie Railways. View excursion photos.
The Lieutenant Governor is strongly committed to the principles of truth and reconciliation. That includes learning from and working with First Nations and Mètis communities and organizations across the province. In June, she took part in a KAIROS Blanket Exercise through the Braided Journeys program of Edmonton Catholic Schools. She also took part in a special celebration to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Awo Taan Healing Lodge in Calgary. August activities included congratulating indigenous youth on their accomplishments at the Bold Eagle Army Cadet program graduation at CFB Wainwright and the RCMP Soaring Eagles graduation program at K Division in Edmonton. In August, Their Honour's also welcomed the opportunity to take part in the annual Samson Cree Nation Pow Wow in Maskwacis, which will also be home to the upcoming 2019 Lieutenant Governor's Distinguished Artist Awards ceremony.
Lieutenant Governor Mitchell is Honourary Patron of approximately 40 not-for-profit organizations that work to enhance Albertans' quality of life. In August, she hosted two working luncheons in Edmonton and Calgary for leaders from these organizations to share strategies for strengthening the programs they offer. This was the first time such a gathering has been held. Her Honour also attends a wide range of events to celebrate community initiatives across Alberta. Recent examples include the Edmonton Eskimos Tackle Hunger day for the Food Bank and opening ceremonies for the Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival as well as Love Your Library Day, the Honens Honours gala and an Art of Living Reception with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar in Calgary.
The Lieutenant Governor took part in a Canadian Citizenship Ceremony and other July 1st events in Edmonton and Calgary to mark Canada Day. In her role as vice-regal representative, she also regularly meets with visiting dignitaries and consular officials and participates in events that strengthen Alberta's ties with friends and allies around the world. Recent examples include the opening of the new Consulate General of Ukraine in Edmonton, a Breakfast with the Pandas event hosted by the Chinese Consulate in Calgary and events to mark U.S. Independence Day and French Bastille Day.
Throughout the year, Her Honour presides over many ceremonies to celebrate excellence and thank Albertans for their service to their communities, our province and country. Recent examples include:
• The Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Emerging Artist Awards,
• The Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Citizenship Medals and Arts Medals,
• The Order of St. John Investiture,
• The RCMP Long Service Medals,
• Investitures into the Alberta and Canada Sports Halls of Fame,
• The City of Edmonton Salute to Excellence,
• The Emerald Awards, and
• The Distinguished Business Leader Award in Calgary.