Governor General of Canada

Governor General of Canada

February 09, 2015 10:00 ET

Governor General to Present Caring Canadian Awards and to Take Part in the 25th Anniversary of Canada's Outstanding CEO of the Year Gala in Toronto

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Feb. 9, 2015) - His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, will be in Toronto on Wednesday, February 11, 2015, to present the Governor General's Caring Canadian Award to 19 volunteers who have made a difference within their communities, and to take part in the 25th Anniversary of Canada's Outstanding CEO of the Year Gala.

2:30 p.m.
Presentation of the Governor General's Caring Canadian Award
The Governor General will present the Caring Canadian Award to volunteers from the Toronto region. He will deliver remarks on this occasion. The names of the recipients and their citations are listed below.
Created in 1995, the Governor General's Caring Canadian Award recognizes living Canadians and permanent residents who have made a significant, sustained, unpaid contribution to their community, in Canada or abroad. Often working behind the scenes, these individuals volunteer their time and efforts to help their fellow citizens. The award also brings to light the example set by volunteers, whose compassion and engagement are a part of our Canadian character. For more information or to nominate a deserving individual, visit
The John and Myrna Daniels Hollywood Theatre, The Hospital for Sick Children
6 p.m.
25th Anniversary of Canada's Outstanding CEO of the Year Gala
His Excellency will deliver an address to highlight the 25th Anniversary of Canada's Outstanding CEO of the Year Gala. The Gala will honour 2014 recipient Don Walker of Magna International Inc., and 10 university students from across Canada will receive scholarships to further their education, which are funded by proceeds from the gala.
Canada's Outstanding CEO of the Year award program was founded to identify and recognize outstanding leadership and achievement by a Canadian Chief Executive Officer. This highly respected award honours an executive in Canadian business who exemplifies integrity, insists upon excellence, earns the trust of others and has built a globally competitive organization. For more information, visit (website available in English only).
Royal Ontario Museum
Syed Ghazanfar Ali
Mississauga, Ontario
Syed Ghanzafar Ali is passionate about environmental sustainability. He has been involved in hands-on projects aimed at improving biodiversity, wildlife habitat and water quality in his community, and works closely with Evergreen and with Credit Valley Conservation to enhance local ecological areas.
Daniel Christopher Andreae
Toronto, Ontario
Daniel Andreae is dedicated to helping those living with Alzheimer's disease. As a social worker and as an associate faculty professor at Waterloo's Renison University College, Daniel has worked with many organizations, notably the Patron's Council of the Alzheimer Society of Toronto and the Ontario Association of Social Workers. While volunteering with the latter, he contributed to the development of the province's Social Work and Social Services Act, which represents the largest group of professional social workers in Canada.
Shereen Annis
Barrie, Ontario
Shereen Annis has been volunteering since the age of six when she began raising funds to help earthquake victims in Pakistan and Haiti. She went on to launch an anti-bullying movement at age 10. Today, she is the founder of a non-profit organization called tWEam that promotes youth empowerment and engagement in volunteer initiatives. Additionally, she serves as a motivational speaker at high schools.
Erane Bocking
Toronto, Ontario
Erane Bocking is Humber River Hospital's longest-serving volunteer, with more than 40 years of service to her credit. In addition to participating in numerous fundraisers for the hospital, she has been involved at all levels, from president of the volunteer auxiliary association to knitting items for newborns. A true model of community service, she shows one-of-a-kind dedication, engagement and empathy, as well as remarkable compassion towards others.
Sherry Darvish
Toronto, Ontario
For many years, Sherry Darvish has been deeply involved with the Iranian Women's Organization of Ontario to improve access to justice for the Iranian-Canadian community and to engage her fellow legal professionals in the process. In 2012, with the help of Pro Bono Law Ontario (PBLO), she proactively managed to create programs to assist marginalized members of the Iranian-Canadian community in overcoming linguistic and cultural barriers in the justice system.
Alia Dharamsi
Vancouver, British Columbia
Alia Dharamsi is a medical resident who is committed to empowering vulnerable and marginalized populations and to enhancing their quality of life. In 2009, she led a team of student volunteers to rural Guatemala where they taught oral hygiene, English and math to children, and worked on construction projects in collaboration with local communities. She volunteered for a number of years at Canuck Place Children's Hospice, where she assisted children in palliative care unit and their families. She is the creator of We Are 2015, an educational initiative geared at a new generation of global citizens committed to achieving the 2015 Millennium Development Goals.
Damindra Dias
Woodbridge, Ontario
Since 2003, Damindra Dias has been a volunteer at the Progress Career Planning Institute, providing career coaching to individuals seeking meaningful employment. She develops presentations and workshops that equip job seekers with the necessary tools to find work in their respective fields. She also helps individuals with résumé development and interview preparation. Damindra's ability to help others reach their full potential has been appreciated by many.
Mike Duhacek
Milton, Ontario
Mike Duhacek is the creator of Help Me Bury Cancer, an awareness initiative launched in 2012. Mike raised over $43,000 for the Canadian Cancer Society by walking 900 km in the middle of winter from Windsor to Ottawa while pulling a 125-pound sled with the word 'cancer' on it. Since then Mike has given freely of his time to share his story and raise awareness at various Cancer Society events.
David Thompson Ferguson
Thornhill, Ontario
Ninety-year-old David Thompson Ferguson is an inspiring, dedicated and caring individual whose energy knows no bounds. His most notable volunteer experience has been at the Mackenzie Health Hospital, where he has devoted his time for over 25 years. David spends his free time helping staff in the Surgery Department, and provides comfort to patients' families and to those in distress.
Myer Gordon
Toronto, Ontario
Myer Gordon grew up in one of Montréal's two Jewish orphanages. For more than 17 years, he has dedicated his time to organizing alumni reunions for the two homes as a way to keep in touch with his 'brothers and sisters' across Canada and the U.S. He has also been involved with the B'nai Brith Canada Lodge since 1969, and has volunteered with a number of community events, notably as the coordinator of the North York Winter Carnival for the first seven years of its existence.
Helen Hatzis
Toronto, Ontario
A mentor with the Big Brothers Big Sisters program and a volunteer with Youth Bocce, Helen Hatzis is probably best known for founding Aloha Toronto. The program provides autistic children with therapeutic surfing lessons to help them build their confidence. The Toronto SickKids Foundation and Surfers Healing, among other organizations, have greatly benefited from Aloha Toronto's services.
Vivian Carole Hould
Aurora, Ontario
For over 19 years, and with 35 000 hours of volunteer work to her credit, Vivian Hould has contributed to the St. John Ambulance Therapy Dog program by coordinating units, raising funds and mentoring other volunteers. Through the program, she has assisted thousands of residents including Alzheimer's disease.
Bonnie Alice Jackson
Oakville, Ontario
Bonnie Jackson has spent most of her adult life in the service of others. Her volunteer work includes fundraising for a number of groups, particularly the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, the Canadian Diabetes Association and the Oakville YMCA. Bonnie has also done considerable work as a cabinet member of the Oakville Hospital Foundation, including organizing its annual charitable golf tournament.
Victoria Merrick
Toronto, Ontario
For more than 20 years, Victoria Merrick has contributed to community-building endeavours while promoting Canadian ideals and values abroad. While living in Barbados, she established recycling programs and helped open regional recycling centres through the Future Centre Trust. She has also served as the president of the Canadian Women's Club, which has helped raise funds for local charities in Barbados.
Yolanda Palumbo
Etobicoke, Ontario
Yolanda Palumbo refuses to be defined by her total vision loss. In addition to raising her son and caring for her aging parents, Yolanda devotes her time to her favourite charity, the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB). She fundraises for events like Vision of Hope, which provides community-based services to help blind and partially-sighted Canadians have the confidence, skills and opportunities to fully participate in life.
Cindy Ross Pederson
Toronto, Ontario
Cindy Ross Pederson has demonstrated her commitment to volunteering through her work as a mentor and consultant. She organizes events for various groups; she was the entrepreneur-in-residence at Wilfred Laurier University from 2008 to 2009; she has contributed to a cross-faculty celebration for International Women's Day; and she also worked with Habitat for Humanity to develop a Métis settlement in Cold Lake, Alberta.
Saloma Smith
Georgetown, Ontario
Driven by her passion for languages, Ontario school teacher Saloma Smith initially set out to teach English to inner-city children and adults in Toronto. She successfully went on to teach English in Nepal, India and Pakistan. For a period of 30 years, using her own resources, she taught in the tribal villages of these countries, and helped build regional schools and training centres for those in need.
Ivan Stinson
Guelph, Ontario
Working alongside his wife, Margaret, Ivan Stinson has dedicated much of his time and energy to volunteer work and environmental causes. He has served as a member of the environmental assessment advisory committee of the Grand River Conservation Authority, and is past-president of the Elora Lions Club, through which he has coached minors in local sports leagues. Upon retiring to Nova Scotia in 1989, Ivan and Margaret helped coordinate the development of the Burncoat Head Park, which subsequently received heritage designation.
Margaret Stinson
Guelph, Ontario
Working alongside her husband, Ivan, Margaret Stinson has volunteered for numerous events, predominately ones involving gardening and the environment. In 1995, Margaret joined Communities in Bloom, which allowed her to reconcile her love of tourism, horticulture and community. Margaret and Ivan have both served as board members and judges for national- and international-level competitions with Communities in Bloom.

Follow GGDavidJohnston and RideauHall on Facebook and Twitter.

Contact Information