Janet Austin is British Columbia’s Lieutenant Governor.

Lt. Gov. to present Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers to Campbell Riverite

The Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia, Janet Austin, will present the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers to 40 recipients from British Columbia on Thursday at a ceremony at Government House.

Among the recipients is Campbell River’s Bonnie Blackhall who is being recognized for her 30 years of volunteering with Opportunities Career Services Society and other organizations.

The Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers recognizes the exceptional volunteer achievements of Canadians from across the country in a wide range of fields.

As an official Canadian honour, the Medal for Volunteers incorporates and replaces the Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award, created in 1995, by then-governor general Roméo LeBlanc. The medal builds on the legacy and spirit of the Caring Canadian Award by honouring the dedication and commitment of volunteers.

Through the Community Volunteer Income Tax Program, Blackhall has spent over a decade putting her degree in social work to good use by helping low-income couples receive their tax benefits.

The Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers recognizes the exceptional volunteer achievements of Canadians from across the country in a wide range of fields.

As an official Canadian honour, the Medal for Volunteers incorporates and replaces the Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award, created in 1995, by then-governor general Roméo LeBlanc. The medal builds on the legacy and spirit of the Caring Canadian Award by honouring the dedication and commitment of volunteers.

Eligibility Criteria and Nomination Process

Any person who is a Canadian citizen and who has made significant, sustained and unpaid contributions to their community in Canada or abroad is eligible. Candidates must have demonstrated an exemplary commitment through their dedicated volunteerism. The medal is awarded to individuals only, not to groups or couples. Non-Canadians are eligible if their contributions have brought benefit or honour to Canadians or to Canada.

The Chancellery of Honours, part of the Office of the Secretary to the Governor General, administers the program and receives all nominations. Each one is carefully researched and then reviewed by an advisory committee, which makes recommendations to the governor general. The selection process is non-partisan and merit-based. Presentation ceremonies are held throughout the year, in communities across Canada.

There is no deadline for submissions. Nominations are accepted on an ongoing basis throughout the year.

Description of the Medal

The Medal for Volunteers consists of a silver circular medal that is 36 mm in diameter with a suspension ring. The obverse depicts a contemporary effigy of the Sovereign, circumscribed with the inscription in capital letters of the Canadian Royal Title and the word “CANADA,” separated by two maple leaves.

The reverse indicates the ideas of caring and generosity, represented by two interlaced hearts. The sunburst pattern of the rim symbolizes the time that volunteers are giving and their actions. The ribbon uses the vice-regal colours of blue and gold. The five gold stripes evoke the fingers of a hand, present in the Caring Canadian Award emblem, while the deep red colour is associated with royalty.

The design of medal was created by the Canadian Heraldic Authority, based on a concept by Darcy DeMarsico of the Chancellery of Honours. The medal is manufactured by the Royal Canadian Mint at its Ottawa facility.

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