Veterans Affairs Canada

Veterans Affairs Canada

November 13, 2011 13:30 ET

Senator Larry Smith Joins the Canadian Football League in Honouring Veterans

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - Nov. 13, 2011) - The Canadian Football League and football fans across the country paid tribute to Canada's Veterans during the two Grey Cup semi-final playoff games in Montreal and Edmonton today. On behalf of the Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Veterans Affairs, the Honourable Larry Smith, Senator for Saurel, Québec, participated in the coin toss at the Eastern semi-final game in Montreal.

"These Veterans' tributes offer Canadians in the stands and those watching on television from across Canada a unique opportunity to honour our nation's heroes," said Minister Blaney. "Our proud military history is woven into the fabric of Canada, as is the history of the Canadian Football League. This partnership has proven to be extremely effective in promoting remembrance and raising awareness of the sacrifices and achievements of Canada's Veterans."

"My time with the Canadian Football League as a player, league commissioner, and President of the Montreal Alouettes has allowed me to witness first-hand the strong and historical connection between the CFL and Canada's Veterans," said Senator Smith. "Partnerships such as this play a vital role in ensuring the stories and sacrifices of our Veterans live on for generations to come."

"For our league, our teams and our fans, it's an honour to play a role in remembering all of the men and women who have so valiantly served Canada," said Mark Cohon, Commissioner of the Canadian Football League. "Remembrance Day coincides with the time of year when we prepare to present the Grey Cup to the CFL champions. But our players would be the first to agree that Canada's true champions have been the men and women of the Canadian military. We thank them for championing our freedoms, our democracy, our country."

Through the Community Engagement Partnership Fund, Veterans Affairs Canada will provide funding to the Canadian Football League 2011 Veterans' Tribute. The Tribute includes the Jake Gaudaur Veterans Award, national broadcasts of the semi-final games and the in-stadium activities commemorating the achievements and sacrifices of Canadian Veterans during times of war, military conflict and peace.

The semi-final games featured pre-game tributes and the placement of special commemorative markings on both football fields as well as on the helmet of each player. The audience participated in a short ceremony that included a moment of silence in respect for Veterans and those still serving.

The Community Engagement Partnership Fund is administered by Veterans Affairs Canada. Contributions are made throughout the year and encompass both national and community-based projects.

To learn more about the fund and the services and benefits available to Veterans, call 1-866-522-2122 or visit To learn more about the Canadian Football League and its acknowledgement of the contribution of Canada's Veterans, visit

Contact Information

  • Media Inquiries:
    Janice Summerby
    Media Relations Advisor
    Veterans Affairs Canada

    Codie Taylor
    Director of Communications
    Office of the Minister of Veterans Affairs

    Jamie Dykstra
    CFL Manager, Communications