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Caring Canadian Award

Truska Gorrell

" When I became Governor General, I asked:

What is our heritage? What is different about us?

My answer is rather simple. We have a long history of compassion. And I gave examples of bravery and of helping refugees. But I added a question.

Are there not thousands of others who should also be decorated at Rideau Hall? Not for once-in-a-lifetime courage, but for daily courage. For monthly bravery. And yearly valour. "

The Rt. Hon. Roméo LeBlanc, announcing the name and design for the new award to honour "Unsung Heroes"
   -- April 29, 1996

When the Right Honourable Roméo LeBlanc became Governor General of Canada, he was determined to thank the thousands of caring people who give so much to their fellow citizens. He wanted to focus attention on the "hidden helpers", the volunteers who ask for nothing, but whose compassion and charity are part of the Canadian character.

In April 1996, the Governor General's Caring Canadian Award was created to recognize these special volunteers -- the unsung heroes of our country.

This award honours Canadians for unpaid, voluntary contributions, most often behind-the-scenes at the community level. They have given extraordinary help or care to individuals, families or groups, or supported community service or humanitarian causes. Recipients usually have been involved in these activities for several years and normally have not received a national or provincial honour.

The Governor General's Caring Canadian Award consists of a certificate and a lapel pin, which are presented to recipients by the Governor General during her travels or by a delegate, such as a Lieutenant Governor or a Territorial Commissioner.

If you know a friend, neighbour or member of your community who deserves this unique honour, please complete a nomination form. There is no deadline for nominations and awards are announced in a press release on an ongoing basis.

For further information, please contact the Chancellery at 1-800-465-6890.

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