"The YMCA offers us an extraordinary example of that which has long been right and good about our country-that is, the tendency of Canadians to be concerned
for others, and to want to help."
- His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston
On November 26th, 2010, His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, C.C., C.M.M, C.O.M., C.D., Governor General of Canada, became Patron of YMCA Canada. Sworn in on October 1, 2010, His Excellency is the 28th governor general since Confederation.
In his installation speech, the Governor General declared that, in order to fully achieve his vision of a 'smart and caring Nation', it is essential to support families and children, reinforce learning and innovation and encourage philanthropy and volunteerism. YMCAs in Canada have been actively pursuing the same vision for 160 years.
"We are very honoured that His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston has agreed to become Patron of YMCA Canada. Our missions are very much aligned; committed to building a healthy, confident, secure and connected Canada." - Marty Reynolds, Chair of the National Board of YMCA Canada (May 2008 - May 2011)
As a Patron of YMCA Canada, the Governor General of Canada shall, by virtue of that office, become Patron of the Canadian YMCA Fellowship of Honour.
"This award recognizes the remarkable YMCA volunteers and staff who have given tremendous leadership while strengthening and expanding the capacity to build strong kids, strong families and strong communities in Canada." - Laura Palmer Korn, President and CEO (Acting) of YMCA Canada.
A special event to honour these remarkable individuals is held every 3-5 years in Ottawa at Rideau Hall.
YMCA Canada enjoys a history of vice-regal patronage dating back to 1944 when the Earl of Athlone became Patron of YMCA Canada.