At the recent Annual Conference of the Governor General, Lieutenant Governors and Territorial Commissioners in Ottawa, Her Honour the Honourable Janice C. Filmon, lieutenant-governor of Manitoba, participated in the ceremonial planting of a Regal Celebration Maple tree on the grounds of Rideau Hall. The tree was gifted to the people of Canada by Lt.-Gov. Filmon on behalf of all Manitobans to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Confederation.
“It is so exciting and such an honour to have this beautiful tree stand proudly on the grounds of Rideau Hall, in the very heart of this great country,” said Lt.-Gov. Filmon. “I am proud to have presented this living gift to all Canadians and my wish is that many will have opportunity to sit in the shade of its magnificent foliage for the next 150 years and beyond.”
His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, along with lieutenant-governors and territorial commissioners from across the country each placed soil from their home province or territory at the base of the tree as a symbol of the strength and unity of the nation. Joined by these members of the viceregal community, representatives of the Algonquin nation, led by elder Claudette Commanda, conducted a traditional tobacco ceremony honouring the tree and dedicated it to prosperity, peace and harmony for all Canadians.
The Regal Celebration Maple was developed over 20 years by Jeffries Nurseries in Portage la Prairie. As part of The Lieutenant Governor’s Tree Project, a legacy initiative of Lt.-Gov. Filmon, these trees will be planted throughout Manitoba on an ongoing basis, as a sustainable way of recognizing outstanding contributions to the province by individuals, other than a traditional medal or gift. Funded in part by the Government of Canada, a minimum of 150 of these beautiful red-leafed trees will be planted in 2017 alone, in celebration of Canada 150.