Governor General of Canada

Governor General of Canada

April 20, 2009 15:06 ET

Media Advisory: Canadian Delegates to Accompany Governor General on State Visits to Ukraine and the Kingdom of Norway

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - April 20, 2009) - On the occasion of the State visits to Ukraine and the Kingdom of Norway, Their Excellencies the Right Honourable Michaelle Jean, Governor General of Canada, and Mr. Jean-Daniel Lafond will be accompanied by nine Canadian delegates who will play an active role in meetings with Ukrainian and Norwegian civil society.

Engaged in the fields of diversity, governance, arts and culture, civic engagement and youth, the delegates will share their experiences and knowledge with their Ukrainian and Norwegian counterparts. They will also contribute blogs to the Governor General's Web site at www.citizenvoices.gg.ca.

Listed below are the delegates and their biographies:

Measha Brueggergosman (Norway only)

Soprano

Critically acclaimed by the international press as much for her innate musicianship and voluptuous voice as for a sovereign stage presence far beyond her years, Measha Brueggergosman has emerged as one of the most magnificent performers and vibrant personalities of the day. During the 2008-09 season, Ms. Brueggergosman appears with the Minnesota Orchestra and Osmo Vanska; l'Orchestre Metropolitain du Grand Montreal and Yannick Nezet-Seguin; Ensemble Intercontemporain and David Robertson; London Symphony Orchestra and Daniel Harding; l'Orchestre symphonique de Montreal and Kent Nagano; and with the Cleveland Orchestra, under Franz Welser-Most, in Cleveland, Miami, and at Carnegie Hall. Deeply committed to the art of recital, last season Ms. Brueggergosman brought a program inspired by her Juno Award-winning Deutsche Grammophon recording, Surprise, to many of North America's major cultural centres, including Boston, Chicago, New York, Toronto, and Washington D.C., as well as to numerous cities in Brazil, Germany, Great Britain and Spain. Beyond the great concert halls of the world, Ms. Brueggergosman lends her voice, passion and energy to social and environmental causes, as a Canadian goodwill ambassador for three international organizations: the African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF); Learning Through the Arts; and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

Hank Bull

Executive Director, Vancouver International Centre for Contemporary Asian Art

Born in Calgary in 1949, Hank Bull took up painting and music at an early age. He studied with Robert Markle and Nobuo Kubota at the New School of Art. In 1973, he moved to Vancouver to join the Western Front, one of Canada's first artist-run centres, where his practice expanded to include performance, video, radio and telecommunications art. His work is represented in the collections on display at the National Gallery of Canada and the New York Museum of Modern Art, and was included in the Venice Biennale, 1986, and in Dokumenta 9, 1987. He is interested in networks of exchange and, to this end, has travelled widely and collaborated with artists from all over the world. In 1999, he co-founded the Vancouver International Centre for Contemporary Asian Art (Centre A), where he continues in the role of executive director.

Sylvia Cloutier

Performing artist

Sylvia Cloutier lives in her hometown of Kuujjuaq, Nunavik, with her 11 year old son. Ms. Cloutier is a performing artist, well known for Inuit throat singing and drum dancing; produces special events; and owns Aqsarniit, a performance company. She has collaborated with artists all over the world including Think of One, a band from Belgium; Tafelmusik, a Toronto based baroque orchestra; and Montreal based DJ Madeskimo. Ms. Cloutier has also been involved in a variety of production work, producing music for documentary films, radio and television as well as her first television series with ICSL (Inuit Communications Systems Limited), "Inuit Piqqusingit", released in 2002. She has helped train youth in video production, and has been involved in a theatre project that encourages creative expression while addressing social issues and promoting Inuit culture. In 2007, she visited schools across Nunavut to promote health care careers to Inuit youth on behalf of Taking Pulse, a National Aboriginal Achievement Foundation program. Ms. Cloutier is presently the artistic director of Qaggiq Theatre and works for the Northern Village in Kuujjuaq. She was recently named "Woman of the Year" by Pauktutiit, a national Inuit women's organization.

Daniel Cross

President of EYESTEELFILM

Daniel Cross is president of EYESTEELFILM in Montreal, recently named by RealScreen Magazine as one of the top 100 non-fiction production companies in the world and a recipient of a Genie award for Up The Yangtze. Mr. Cross has produced and directed a series of documentary projects working with homeless Canadians: Danny Boy, The Street, SPIT: SqueegeePunks in Traffic and www.homelessnation.org. Other credits include Chairman George, Inuuvunga: I am Inuk I am Alive, Punk Le Vote and RIP: A Remix Manifesto, now in theatrical distribution. Antoine is screening at Thessalonika/Tribeca/HotDocs, and both Last Train Home and Taqwacore are in post-production-check out www.eyesteelfilm.com. He is also proud of the groundbreaking new media projects www.homelessnation.org and www.opensourcecinema.org. His service to the arts includes membership on the boards of the Documentary Organization of Canada (DOC), Canadian Film and Television Production Association, L'observatoire du documentaire, and Hot Docs Film Festival. He is an assistant professor at The Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema, Concordia University, and a founding member of The Concordia Documentary Centre. He plays hockey, walks his dog and has two sons, Gabriel and Nathaniel.

Ilona Dougherty

Executive Director and Co-Founder, Apathy is Boring

Ilona Dougherty was an activist and artist from an early age; her diverse experiences range from serving as a Canadian delegate to the United Nations at 17 years old to producing major concerts across Canada. Along the way, she gained extensive and hands-on experience in band and artist management, workshop facilitation and organizational strategic planning. In January 2004, Ms. Dougherty co-founded Apathy is Boring (www.apathyisboring.com), a national, non-partisan organization that uses art and technology to re-engage youth in the democratic process. She is currently the organization's executive director. Ms. Dougherty's interest has always been in fusing art and social change, which she continues to make a primary focus. She has won numerous awards, including the Vince Sirois Prize and the Yukon Women's Award, and was featured in the book, Notes from Canada's Young Activists. Melding her backgrounds in the music industry with social engagement, Ms. Dougherty has worked with many high-profile artists and well-known Canadians on such events as the Grey Cup and the Juno Awards. She continues to speak around the country about innovative ways to reach 18- to 35-year-old Canadians. Ms. Dougherty was raised by socially engaged parents in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, and Whitehorse, Yukon, and currently lives in Montreal, Quebec.

Paul Grod (Ukraine only)

National President, Ukrainian Canadian Congress

Paul Grod is President & CEO of Rodan Energy, a leading Canadian energy solutions company. Prior to founding Rodan, Mr. Grod was a corporate and investment banker with CIBC World Markets, and most recently practiced corporate finance and M&A law with Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP, one of
Canada's largest national law firms. In a volunteer capacity, Paul is national president of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress (UCC) and is the vice president of the Ukrainian World Congress. UCC coordinates and represents the interests of the 1.2-million strong Ukrainian-Canadian community. As the son of immigrant parents from Ukraine, Mr. Grod has a strong connection to his ancestral homeland. He has travelled there on numerous occasions, first as a student organizer, working with the Students Union of Ukraine to encourage young Ukrainians to vote and become involved in the political process, and later as a coordinator of a group of international experts working for the Council of Advisors to the Parliament of Ukraine. Most recently, he organized and led 500-person, and later 150-person, missions to observe the presidential and Parliamentary elections in Ukraine. He is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada and holds a Bachelor of Political Science degree, a Bachelor of Law degree and a Master of Business Administration degree.

Naki Osutei

Project Manager, Toronto City Summit Alliance

Naki Osutei is a sociologist who thrives on bringing research to life. Her academic research has considered a range of issues including youth, multiculturalism and cities. She most recently presented a paper dealing with the paradox of sharing and preserving culture in Canada at Oxford University, and has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the Governor General's Academic Medal. Ms. Osutei's work at the Toronto City Summit Alliance (TCSA) has afforded her opportunities to apply her academic background. She has worked with senior leaders from all sectors on initiatives that address challenges to the Toronto region's social, economic and environmental future. In addition, Ms. Osutei supports the development of rising civic leaders through the TCSA's Emerging Leaders Network (ELN) and DiverseCity: The Greater Toronto Leadership Project. She is an avid supporter of arts and education and serves on councils for the Canadian Stage Company and The Learning Partnership. She is currently a member of the board of directors for St. Christopher House, a multi-service agency that works in partnership with the community to promote personal and social change in order to achieve a safe, healthy and accepting society for all.

Jonathan Verreault (Norway only)

Research scientist

Dr. Jonathan Verreault is a research scientist at the National Wildlife Research Centre at Carleton University in environmental toxicology and chemistry and a sessional lecturer in biology at the University of Ottawa. He received his MSc and PhD degrees from the University of Tromso in Norway, the world's northernmost university. During those years he was also affiliated with the Norwegian Polar Institute, Norway's central institution for research, environmental monitoring and mapping of the Norwegian polar regions. His research interests focus around the fate of environmental pollutants in the Arctic and their biological effects in wildlife species, mainly seabirds and polar bears. Dr. Verreault has demonstrated exceptional scientific research productivity at this early stage of his career. He has published in high-ranking scientific journals, presented at international conferences and workshops and mentored several graduate students. He is a member of the international Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP) Wildlife Effect Experts Group. His past and current research activities involve strong collaboration with Canadian, Norwegian, Danish, Swedish, French and Scottish scientists.

Kathryn White

Executive Director, United Nations Association in Canada

Kathryn White became the executive director of the United Nations Association in Canada in 2003. For the previous 25 years, she was president of Black & White Inc., an Ottawa-based international consultancy specializing in risk management, policy research and development, and citizen engagement on foreign, social and security policy. She has been recognized nationally and internationally for her innovative work on a broad range of issues, including youth engagement, gender equity, human rights, multiculturalism, climate change, disaster and crisis response and mitigation, corporate social responsibility, international peacebuilding, and conflict resolution. Ms. White's mobilizing of civil society, government and the private sector in the peace community in Cyprus was a catalyst for the Annan Accord. She has also published on the role of protests in building democracy, using research on protesters to the Canadian G8 Summit and on Senator George Mitchell's review of the Good Friday Agreement in Northern Ireland. She continues to provide subject matter expertise to the National Strategic Studies Course-the prestigious and senior course for the Canadian Forces. Ms. White has worked as a journalist and news manager for The Globe & Mail, The New York Times and the New Scientist, and as Managing Editor of the Canadian Review magazine. She developed the first Canadian national emergency public information course for first responders and elected officials, as well as programs for journalists on disaster response and on identifying community sources reflecting Canada's diversity. She also created and delivered training programs to media about their integral role in peacekeeping partnership theory. Among her numerous voluntary sector commitments, Ms. White served as the national president of UNIFEM Canada for eight years. She is married to Robert Miller and has two daughters and a son.

The State visit to Ukraine will take place from April 23 to 26. The State visit to the Kingdom of Norway will take place from April 28 to 30.

The public can follow the State visits through the speeches, photos and videos available daily at www.gg.ca.

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