Johnston challenges Canadians to build bigger, better country

Governor General marks 150th anniversary of Charlottetown Conference in P.E.I.

Teresa Wright twright@theguardian.pe.ca
Published on June 16, 2014

Governor General David Johnston is challenging Canadians to build a smarter, more caring Canada as they celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Charlottetown Conference and the formation of Canada in 2017.

Johnston is in Prince Edward Island for a three-day tour to mark the anniversary of the meetings held by the Fathers of Confederation in Charlottetown in 1864 and its importance in Canadian history.

In a speech at the Confederation Centre this afternoon, Johnston reflected on the ambitious plan embarked upon by the Fathers of Confederation when they travelled to P.E.I. 150 years ago with the aim of building a nation.

Looking ahead to 2017, when Canada will celebrate its 150th birthday, Johnston said Canadians must continue to build a bigger and better country.

“Can we exceed ourselves in embracing change and reinventing Canada, while holding onto and strengthening the values and ideals that are most dear to us?” Johnston said.

“Let us exceed ourselves because we can and because we must. And let us start here in Charlottetown where this experiment called Canada began.”

Johnston also participated in a ribbon cutting for the reopening of the Homburg Theatre in the Confederation Centre.

Speaking in the newly renovated theatre, which still smells of fresh paint, Johnston drew comparisons between the founding of Canada and theatrical productions.

“The arts and particularly the performing arts are by nature collaborative, drawn on diverse talents in pursuit of a common goal,” he said.

“When the Fathers of Confederation gathered at Province House, they too created something that is more than the sum of its parts.”

Premier Robert Ghiz spoke of the importance of the Confederation Centre in fostering and cultivating the talents of a whole generation of artists and performers from across the country.

He said this was what the Homburg Theatre is all about.

He also encouraged all Islanders and Canadians to come and see Anne of Green Gables The Musical, which will begin its 50th consecutive season at the Confederation Centre next month.

But don’t just come this year, come year after year, Ghiz said.

“Because it is a show, to me and I think to many Canadians, that never grows old.”

The event this afternoon also saw the Confederation Centre presented with the Gilbert Buote Award for its production last year of Ted Dykstra’s musical Evangeline. 

 

twright@theguardian.pe.ca

Twitter.com/GuardianTeresa

GOVERNOR GENERAL

Published on 16 June 2014

Governor General David Johnston gestures as he speaks to an audience in the Homburg Theatre Monday after he officially opened it after extensive renovations.

Photos by Guardian photo by Brian McInnis

GOVERNOR GENERAL

Published on 16 June 2014

Governor General David Johnston, left, Lt. Gov. Frank Lewis, Jessie Inman, CEO of the Confederation Centre of the Arts and Wayne Hambly, chair of the centre's board of directors, pose for a photo with the audience trying out the new seats after the official opening of the Homburg Theatre after its extensive renovation Monday.

Photos by Guardian photo by Brian McInnis

GOVERNOR GENERAL

Published on 16 June 2014

Governor General David Johnston interacts with some children when he attended the official opening of the Homburg Theatre after its renovations. The children are from the Zion Junior Kindergarten and Play School in Zion Presbyterian Church in Charlottetown. FroM left are Sophie Galant, Donna MacLean, teacher; Sadie Hansen and Sam Ledwell McInnis.

Photos by Guardian photo by Brian McInnis

GOVERNOR GENERAL

Published on 16 June 2014

Governor General David Johnston interacts with some children when he attended the official opening of the Homburg Theatre after its renovations Monday. The children are from the Zion Junior Kindergarten and Play School in Zion Presbyterian Church in Charlottetown. The Governor General is visiting Charlottetown until Tuesday. 

Photos by Guardian photo by Brian McInnis

GOVERNOR GENERAL

Published on 16 June 2014

Governor General David Johnston, left, Lt. Gov. Frank Lewis and Premier Robert Ghiz chat Monday before the ceremony that officially opened the Homburg Theatre after its extensive renovations.

Photos by Guardian photo by Brian McInnis

GOVERNOR GENERAL

Published on 16 June 2014

Cutting the red ribbon to officially open the Homburg Theatre.

Photos by Guardian photo by Brian McInnis