Governor General of Canada

Governor General of Canada

October 26, 2009 15:40 ET

Media Accreditation: Governor General's State visit to Greece

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 26, 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 undertake 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.

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 Youth Dialogue and will meet with representatives of the Greek cultural community during 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 Greek counterparts as well as play an active role in Their Excellencies' meetings with civil society. Information about members of the Canadian delegation is 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 State visit to 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 State visit to the Hellenic Republic (local time):

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 His Excellency Philippos Petsalnikos, 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.


Media Accreditation for State visit to Greece - Events in Athens and Olympia:

Canadian media wishing to cover the events of the Governor General's State visit to Greece on October 29 and 30, in Athens, and on October 31, in Olympia, are asked to contact Julie Rocheleau at 613-998-7280 or jrocheleau@gg.ca at the Rideau Hall Press Office to arrange for accreditation. Transportation for Canadian media to the various State visit event locations will be arranged by the Public Relations Office of the Greek Ministry of Interior.

Questions regarding the Olympic Flame Handover Ceremony in Athens should be directed to VANOC. Please contact Suzanne Walters, Vancouver 2010 Torch Relay Team, at 778-327-8723 or Suzanne_walters@vancouver2010.com .

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