Governor General of Canada

Governor General of Canada

October 16, 2009 17:20 ET

Governor General to Undertake Visits to Slovenia, Croatia and Greece

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 16, 2009) - At the request of the Right Honourable Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada, Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaelle Jean, Governor General of Canada, will make an official visit to the Republic of Slovenia, from October 21 to 22, a State visit to the Republic of Croatia, from October 23 to 27, and a State visit to the Hellenic Republic, from October 29 to 31, 2009, during which she will be accompanied by her husband His Excellency Jean-Daniel Lafond.

"Slovenia and Croatia are young democracies whose roots reach back through centuries of history. Canada is young, but it has one of the oldest democratic traditions, and we who call this country home have a duty to encourage their vision of openness, as they try to fully assume their role in the international community," said the Governor General. "I also think it is serendipitous that this trip ends in Greece, considered the cradle of democracy and Olympism. It is there that the Olympic flame, the foremost symbol of solidarity and reconciliation between peoples, will be passed to us, in preparation for the upcoming Winter Games in Vancouver," she added.

The purpose of the official visit to the Republic of Slovenia is to recognize that country's efforts towards democratization and to celebrate its integration into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the European Union. The visit will also underscore the importance of the trade and cultural ties that Canada and Slovenia share. The Governor General will hold discussion forums with young people, women's associations, cultural representatives and citizens, all of whom are concerned about social cohesion and peace in that country. In December 2008, the Governor General had to cut short her visit to Slovenia and return to Canada because of the political situation in Parliament.

During the State visit to the Republic of Croatia, the Governor General will commend the country's recent membership in NATO, as well as the proactive and exemplary role Croat officials are playing in promoting security in the region and elsewhere. Her Excellency will hold a number of discussions with members of civil society on, among other things, cultural diversity, heritage preservation, and reconciliation efforts after years of conflict that divided communities.

While visiting the Hellenic Republic, the Governor General and His Excellency Jean-Daniel Lafond will attend the official ceremony in which the Olympic flame will be passed to the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games, at the Panathenaic Stadium, in Athens. Their Excellencies will listen to young Greeks during a dialogue and to the cultural milieu on the occasion of an Art Matters Forum. The State visit will also highlight Greece's and Canada's commitment to bringing peace and security to Afghanistan.


A delegation of Canadians representing a variety of fields-including diversity, arts and culture, civic engagement and youth-will interact with their Slovenian, Croatian and Greek counterparts as well as play an active role in Their Excellencies' meetings with civil society. Information about members of the Canadian delegation will be available at www.gg.ca.

State visits by a governor general play an important role in Canada's relations with other countries. They are the highest form of diplomatic contact, and they mark further developments in bilateral relations and exchanges among peoples.

The public can follow the official visit to Slovenia and the State visits to Croatia and Greece through the speeches, photos and videos available daily at www.gg.ca. Blogs written by Their Excellencies and the delegates will be posted on www.citizenvoices.gg.ca.

Below is the detailed itinerary for the visits (local time):



OFFICIAL VISIT TO THE REPUBLIC OF SLOVENIA

Wednesday, October 21
Ljubljana, Slovenia
10:30 a.m.
Official welcoming ceremony with military honours
The Governor General will be officially welcomed to the Republic of
Slovenia during a ceremony with military honours.
Brdo Castle, Ljubljana
PHOTO OPPORTUNITY

10:45 a.m.
Meeting with the President of the Republic of Slovenia
Her Excellency will meet with His Excellency Dr. Danilo Turk, President of
the Republic of Slovenia, to discuss relations between Canada and Slovenia.
An expanded meeting with the official delegation will follow.
Brdo Castle, Ljubljana
PHOTO OPPORTUNITY - At the beginning of the meeting.
JOINT MEDIA AVAILABILITY - The Governor General and the President will
deliver statements to the media at noon.

1 p.m.
Meeting with the President of the National Assembly of the Republic of
Slovenia
The Governor General will meet with His Excellency Dr. Pavel Gantar,
President of the National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia.
National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia, Ljubljana
PHOTO OPPORTUNITY - At the beginning of the meeting.

1:30 p.m.
Luncheon hosted by the President of the National Assembly of the Republic
of Slovenia
His Excellency Dr. Pavel Gantar, President of the National Assembly of the
Republic of Slovenia, will host a luncheon in honour of the Governor
General's visit.
Vila Podroznik, Ljubljana
OPEN TO THE MEDIA - Opening remarks only.

3:35 p.m.
Meeting with the Prime Minister of the Republic of Slovenia
Her Excellency will have the opportunity to discuss Canada-Slovenia
relations with His Excellency Borut Pahor, Prime Minister of the Republic
of Slovenia.
Government Palace, Ljubljana
PHOTO OPPORTUNITY - At the beginning of the meeting.

8 p.m.
Official dinner hosted by the President of the Republic of Slovenia
His Excellency Danilo Turk, President of the Republic of Slovenia, will
host an official dinner in honour of Her Excellency's visit.
Brdo Castle, Ljubljana
OPEN TO THE MEDIA - Opening remarks.

Thursday, October 22
Ljubljana, Slovenia
9:15 a.m.
Visit to the Barracks Franc Rozman Stane
Upon arriving at the barracks, the Governor General, in the presence of the
President of Slovenia, will receive military honours. She will deliver an
address to the Brigade and meet with Slovenian soldiers who served
alongside members of the Canadian Forces in the International Security
Assistance Force (ISAF) in Kabul, Afghanistan. In 2006, Canada presented
the General Campaign Star to 53 of these Slovenian soldiers.
Barracks Franc Rozman Stane, Ljubljana
OPEN TO MEDIA

10:30 a.m.
Meeting with the Mayor of Ljubljana
The Governor General will meet with His Worship Zoran Jankovic, Mayor of
Ljubljana, and sign the golden book.
Ljubljana City Hall, Ljubljana
OPEN TO MEDIA

11 a.m.
Walking tour of Ljubljana
Along with the Mayor of Ljubljana, the Governor General will tour the
historical downtown area of the city.
Downtown Ljubljana,Ljubljana
OPEN TO MEDIA

12 p.m.
Luncheon hosted by the Ambassador of Canada to Slovenia
His Excellency Pierre Guimond, Ambassador of Canada to Slovenia, will host
a luncheon in honour of the Governor General's visit to the country. The
discussion during the luncheon will focus on the role of women in art,
culture and civil society.
Restaurant Pri vitezu, Ljubljana
PHOTO OPPORTUNITY - Opening remarks.

5 p.m.
Youth Dialogue on Young people and Peace Building
Her Excellency will host a Youth Dialogue during which she will meet with
young Slovenes to discuss the importance of empowering youth to build peace
and solidarity in their communities.

Having made youth one of the priorities of her mandate, the Governor
General inaugurated the Youth Dialogues series in 2007, providing youth in
Canada and abroad with a space to voice their opinions on social issues and
to pursue their dialogue with other young people on the Citizen Voices Web
site. The Governor General's Youth Dialogues are part of a series of
national and international high-energy discussions that focus on
galvanizing youth across the country and around the world to become
catalysts of positive change. Her Excellency then shares the ideas and
perspectives presented during the dialogues with decision makers. For more
information about the Youth Dialogues,
visit www.gg.ca/active-and-engaged/youth/youth-dialogues.
TR3, Ljubljana
OPEN TO MEDIA

7 p.m.
Reception hosted by the Ambassador of Canada to Slovenia, with cross-
section of Slovene society and members the Canadian community in Slovenia
The Governor General will attend a reception hosted by His Excellency
Pierre Guimond, Ambassador of Canada to Slovenia.
City Museum, Ljubljana
CLOSED TO MEDIA

STATE VISIT TO THE REPUBLIC OF CROATIA

Friday, October 23
Zagreb, Croatia
10 a.m.
Official welcoming ceremony with military honours
The Governor General will be officially welcomed to the Republic of Croatia
during a ceremony with military honours.
Office of the President, Zagreb
PHOTO OPPORTUNITY

10:15 a.m.
Meeting with the President of the Republic of Croatia
The Governor General will meet with His Excellency Stjepan Mesic, President
of the Republic of Croatia, to discuss relations between Canada and
Croatia. An expanded meeting with the official delegation will follow.
Office of the President, Zagreb
PHOTO OPPORTUNITY - At the beginning of the meeting.
JOINT MEDIA AVAILABILITY - The Governor General and the President will
deliver statements to the media at 11:20 a.m.

Noon
Meeting with the Speaker of the Croatian Parliament
Her Excellency will meet with His Excellency Luka Bebic, Speaker of the
Croatian Parliament.
Sabor (Parliament of Croatia), Zagreb
PHOTO OPPORTUNITY - At the beginning of the meeting.

12:50 p.m.
Meeting with the Prime Minister of the Republic of Croatia
The Governor General will have the opportunity to discuss Canada-Croatia
relations with Her Excellency Jadranka Kosor, Prime Minister of the
Republic of Croatia. Upon her arrival, the Governor General will sign the
golden book. The meeting will then be followed by a working luncheon.
Office of the Prime Minister, Government Building, Zagreb
PHOTO OPPORTUNITY - During the signing of the guest book and at the
beginning of the meeting .

2:20 p.m.
Walking tour of Zagreb
The Governor General will discover the beautiful town of Zagreb on foot.
Downtown Zagreb, Zagreb
CLOSED TO MEDIA

8 p.m.
State dinner hosted by the President of the Republic of Croatia
His Excellency Stjepan Mesic, President of the Republic of Croatia, will
host a State dinner in honour of Her Excellency's visit.
Office of the President, Zagreb
CLOSED TO MEDIA

Saturday, October 24
Zagreb, Croatia
9:30 a.m.
Roundtable discussion on the participation of women in society
The Governor General will participate in a roundtable discussion on the
participation of women in society. This discussion will bring together
prominent Croatian women from civil society and members of the Canadian
delegation.
State Residence, Zagreb
OPEN TO MEDIA

Noon
Reception with Croatian Olympic and Paralympic committees
Her Excellency will meet with representatives of the Croatian Olympic and
Paralympic committees, and with Croatian Olympic athletes as well as other
sports figures to discuss and celebrate the upcoming Vancouver 2010 Olympic
and Paralympic Winter Games.
Regent Esplanade Hotel, Zagreb
PHOTO OPPORTUNITY - Opening remarks.

4 p.m.
Public Art Matters Forum
In collaboration with the Zagreb Film Festival, the Governor General with
host an Art Matters forum on the theme of the role of documentaries in our
society. Panellists will include Croatian and Canadian filmmakers. On this
occasion, the Governor General will deliver a speech before participants
and members of the public.
Gallery Building at the Zagreb Film Festival, Zagreb
OPEN TO MEDIA

8 p.m.
Zagreb Film Festival Closing Ceremony
Her Excellency will attend the closing ceremony of the Zagreb Film Festival
during which awards will be presented to the best filmmakers.
SC Studentski Centar, Zagreb
OPEN TO MEDIA
Sunday, October 25
Dubrovnik, Croatia
Noon
Luncheon with the Mayor of Dubrovnik and the Prefect of the County of
Dubrovnik-Neretva
Upon the Governor General's arrival in Dubrovnik, a luncheon will be hosted
by His Worship
Dr. Andro Vlahusic, Mayor of Dubrovnik, and Mr. Nikola Dobroslavic, County
Prefect of Dubrovnik-Neretva. They will be accompanied by representatives
from non-governmental organizations and other groups involved in the
reconstruction of Dubrovnik following the Serbo-Croatian conflict of the
early 1990s.
Nautika Restaurant, Dubrovnik
PHOTO OPPORTUNITY - Upon arrival and during greeting by the Mayor.

2 p.m.
Walking tour of Dubrovnik
The Governor General will conduct a walking tour of the city during which
she will visit a museum, a theatre, and a cathedral.
Old Town, Dubrovnik
CLOSED TO MEDIA

Monday, October 26
Dubrovnik, Croatia
9:30 a.m.
Panel discussion on the preservation of culture and heritage in an open
society
Her Excellency will participate in a panel discussion on the theme of
preserving culture and heritage in an open society. Students and
professors, as well as members of the Canadian delegation, will meet and
exchange ideas on the subject matter during the event being held at the
University of Dubrovnik.

The University of Dubrovnik is the most recently created university in
Croatia. Established in 2003, the University provides degrees from eight
departments, including the Department of Art and Restoration.
University of Dubrovnik, Dubrovnik
OPEN TO MEDIA

Monday, October 26
Split, Croatia
1:30 p.m.
Working luncheon hosted by the Mayor of Split to discuss civic engagement
among youth
Upon Her Excellency's arrival in Split, a luncheon will be hosted by His
Worship Zeljko Kerum, Mayor of Split and will include young civil society
leaders. The Governor General will also sign the golden book.

Split is the largest Dalmatian city and the second-largest urban centre in
Croatia. It is situated on the eastern shores of the Adriatic Sea. The city
is a vital maritime link to the numerous surrounding Adriatic islands and
the Italian peninsula. Split is also one of the oldest cities in the area,
traditionally considered over 1 700 years old.
Vila Dalmacija, Split
PHOTO OPPORTUNITY - Upon arrival and during the signing of the golden book.

3 p.m.
Tour of Diocletian's Palace
Her Excellency will visit the Palace of Diocletian, in Split. It was built
by the Roman emperor Diocletian at the turn of the fourth century AD, in
preparation for his retirement. After the Romans abandoned the site, the
palace remained empty for several centuries. In the seventh century, nearby
residents fled to the walled palace to escape invading barbarians. Since
then, the palace has been occupied by residents, who have made their homes
and businesses within the palace basement and directly into its walls.
Today, many restaurants and shops, and some homes, can still be found
within the palace walls. In November 1979, Diocletian's Palace was
recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Diocletian's Palace, Split
CLOSED TO MEDIA

6:30 p.m.
Cultural event hosted by the Prefect of Split-Dalmatia County
At the invitation of Mr. Ante Sanader, Prefect of Split-Dalmatia, Her
Excellency will attend a cultural event at the Mestrovic Gallery, featuring
Canadian and Croatian artists.

Ivan Mestrovic (1883 -1962) was a Croatian artist known as one of the
greatest sculptors of religious subject matter since the Renaissance, and
the first living person to have a one-man show at New York City's
Metropolitan Museum. The gallery is housed in what used to be Mestrovic's
summer residence.
Mestrovic Gallery, Split
OPEN TO MEDIA

Tuesday, October 27
Vukovar, Croatia
10 a.m.
Wreath-Laying Ceremony
Her Excellency will lay a wreath at the War Memorial Centre.
War Memorial Centre, Vukovar
OPEN TO MEDIA

10:45 a.m.
Visit to Vukovar Gymnasium
Her Excellency will visit a high school in Vukovar and have a discussion
with youth.
Vukovar Gymnasium (High School), Vukovar
OPEN TO MEDIA

STATE VISIT TO THE HELLENIC REPUBLIC

Thursday, October 29
Athens, Greece
11:30 a.m.
Official welcoming ceremony with military honours
The Governor General and His Excellency Jean-Daniel Lafond will be
officially welcomed to the Hellenic Republic during a ceremony with
military honours at the Presidential Palace.

The Presidential Palace is the official residence of the president of the
Hellenic Republic. It previously served as the Royal Palace until the
abolition of the monarchy by referendum in 1974.
Presidential Palace, Athens
PHOTO OPPORTUNITY

11:40 a.m.
Meeting with the President of the Hellenic Republic
Their Excellencies will meet with His Excellency Karolos Papoulias,
President of the Hellenic Republic, and Mrs. May Papoulia to discuss
relations between Canada and Greece. An expanded meeting with the official
delegation will follow.
Presidential Palace, Athens
PHOTO OPPORTUNITY - At the beginning of the meeting.
JOINT MEDIA AVAILABILITY - The Governor General and the President will
deliver statements to the press at 12:45 p.m.

2 p.m.
Luncheon hosted by the Government of the Hellenic Republic
The Government of the Hellenic Republic will host a luncheon in honour of
Their Excellencies' visit to Greece.
Athens
OPEN TO THE MEDIA - Opening remarks.

6 p.m.
Olympic Flame Handover Ceremony
Their Excellencies will attend the Olympic Flame Handover Ceremony at the
Panathenaic Stadium in Athens. During the ceremony, the Governor General
will witness the handover of the Olympic Flame by the Hellenic Olympic
Committee to the Vancouver Organizing Committee for the 2010 Olympic and
Paralympic Winter Games (VANOC).
Panathenaic Stadium, Athens
OPEN TO MEDIA
JOINT MEDIA AVAILABILITY - Media will be able to attend the statements from
the Governor General and Mr. John Furlong, VANOC CEO, following the
ceremony.

9 p.m.
State dinner hosted by the President of the Hellenic Republic
His Excellency Karolos Papoulias, President of the Hellenic Republic, and
Mrs. May Papoulia will host a State dinner in honour of Their Excellencies.
Presidential Palace, Athens
OPEN TO MEDIA - Opening remarks.

Friday, October 30
Athens, Greece
10 a.m.
Wreath-Laying Ceremony
The Governor General will lay a wreath at the Monument of the Unknown
Soldier in Athens.
Constitution Square, Hellenic Parliament, Athens
OPEN TO MEDIA

10:15 a.m.
Meeting with the Speaker of the Hellenic Parliament
Their Excellencies will meet with the Speaker of the Hellenic Parliament.
Hellenic Parliament, Athens
PHOTO OPPORTUNITY - At the beginning of the meeting.

11 a.m.
Youth Dialogue on youth engagement for a better society
Their Excellencies will host a Youth Dialogue, entitled "Building for
Social Change: Youth Engagement for a Better Society". The discussion will
bring together young Greeks from Athens' various neighbourhoods,
universities and performing arts schools, as well as members of the
Canadian delegation. They will then explore the ways in which Canadian and
Greek youth can bring positive change to their communities and to broader
society. The Governor General will deliver a speech on this occasion.
Technopolis, Athens
OPEN TO MEDIA

4 p.m.
Public Art Matters forum by His Excellency Jean-Daniel Lafond
His Excellency Jean-Daniel Lafond will host an Art Matters public forum.
Joining him will be Mr. Chris McDonald, Executive Director of Hot Docs
International Documentary Film Festival, and Mrs. Nelofer Pazira,
filmmaker, author, journalist and human rights activist. On this occasion,
both the Governor General and His Excellency Jean-Daniel Lafond will
deliver speeches.
Ianos Bookstore, Athens
OPEN TO MEDIA

8:30 p.m.
Canadian cultural event hosted by the Ambassador of Canada to Greece
Their Excellencies will attend a cultural event hosted by Her Excellency
Renata E. Wielgosz, Ambassador of Canada to Greece, during which Canadian
pianist and composer Alain Lefevre will perform.
Hotel Grande Bretagne, Athens
CLOSED TO MEDIA

Saturday, October 31
Olympia, Greece
11 a.m.
Visit to Ancient Olympia Archaeological Site
Their Excellencies will visit this historical site, which is the birthplace
of the Olympics.
Olympia Site, Olympia
OPEN TO MEDIA

12:30 p.m.
Visit to Archaeological Museum of Olympia
During a visit, Their Excellencies will discover the impressive remains of
this ancient site.
Olympia Site, Olympia
OPEN TO MEDIA

1:30 p.m.
Tree-planting ceremony
To commemorate the 2007 forest fires that devastated the region of Olympia,
Their Excellencies will plant a tree as a symbolic gesture to regenerate
the area.
Olympia Site, Olympia
PHOTO OPPORTUNITY

2:30 p.m.
Luncheon hosted by the Mayor of Olympia
In honour of their State visit to Greece, Their Excellencies will attend a
luncheon hosted by His Worship Georgios Aidonis, Mayor of Olympia. The
Governor General will deliver a speech on this occasion.
Hotel Antonios, Olympia
OPEN TO MEDIA - Opening remarks.

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