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Eminent visitors come to Encounters with Canada
October 11, 2011 saw a special event held at the Terry Fox Canadian Youth Centre, coinciding with other Thanksgiving festivities. The Board of Directors of the Toronto-based Historica Canada – Canada’s largest independent organization dedicated to history and citizenship – spent the day touring the Centre, mingling with participants, and generally getting to know more about the people and place that hosts their flagship program, Encounters with Canada.
Because many of the board members had never seen the Centre before, Director General Linda Brunet offered a guided tour, while explaining every facet of the organization. The moment also presented itself to introduce Encounters’ staff to the board, with employees explaining a little about their particular roles at the Centre.
Several board members addressed the 125 assembled Sports and Fitness participants – but there is no question that the hit of the event was when Canadian comedian and TV personality, Rick Mercer, took to the stage, accompanied by an explosion of camera flashes. At the end of his speech, participants rushed up to have a photo taken with this noted celebrity.
The day concluded with a cocktail reception, held in honour of volunteers, friends and supporting partners of Encounters with Canada. Some 125 guests gathered under a huge tent at the back of the Centre, specially erected for the occasion. Beautiful decorations and a wonderful repast prepared by the Centre’s chef provided the perfect ambiance, coupled with the Indian-summer-like weather.
Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Historica Canada Stephen Smith spoke, stating that Encounters with Canada owes its continued existence to its numerous generous contributors and volunteers, who donate their time, talent, expertise and money, so that the program can continue its mission. “It is this support that has kept Encounters with Canada on top – attracting the most motivated students – the “crème de la crème” – who go on to do amazing things for themselves and their country.”
The culmination of the evening was a solo guitar performance by 17-year-old participant, Garrett Fache, from Winnipeg, Manitoba. He brought his guitar from home, hoping to have the opportunity to play a song of his own in front of the distinguished guests. And what a perfect conclusion it was to this very successful event!