Anyone who knows me knows that public speaking is not my forte. For me, it ranks right along side root canal – without an anesthetic. So, it was not without trepidation that I agreed to present today at Rideau Hall, in front of His Excellency
the Right Honourable David Johnston. I was especially nervous because, among his many other credentials, our Governor General is one of the most engaging and inspiring speakers I have heard.
I was invited to Rideau Hall along with some 20+ other representatives from community foundations across the country, to consider how we can help His Excellency fulfill the vision of a smart and caring nation, leading up to Canada’s 150th birthday in 2017. In essence, it is a call to service to Canadians to become engaged in volunteerism and philanthropy. The Governor General’s vision is that “smart and caring” will become synonymous with who we are as a nation, as he says “like hockey and health care”. Given community foundations’ own focus on philanthropy and citizen engagement, as well as our national network, it’s a perfect partnership, and I am one of many who are extremely proud that our movement has been chosen to assist.
And, given the warmth and graciousness both of His Excellency and his whole team, along with their genuine enthusiasm about community foundations and our role in building social capital, making my presentation today was both an honour and a pleasure. I can’t wait to talk about it more.