As part of this year’s innovative Riverkeeper Gala: Deconstructed, presented by the Insurance Bureau of Canada, the newest Honorary Riverkeepers were recognized at an outdoor ceremony on the banks of the Tenagadino Zibi (Gatineau River) in mid-July. The Chair of Ottawa Riverkeeper’s Board of Directors Geoff Green presented Mr. and Mrs. Johnston with a unique canoe paddle that was handcrafted from wood and composite materials by Echo Paddles of Wakefield, Que. Watch the announcement video from that event below.
As Honorary Riverkeepers, Mr. and Mrs. Johnston will contribute to the conservation of the Ottawa River watershed for future generations. Though their role is symbolic, the Johnstons take it seriously. “We want to be active as Riverkeepers,” says Mrs. Johnston. “To learn about our waterways and to use them recreationally. We want to know everything about the watershed, the Ottawa River and what is being done to preserve fish life. Our grandchildren and our grandchildren’s grandchildren will grow up here.”
Every year, Ottawa Riverkeeper recognizes outstanding citizens with the distinctions of Honorary Riverkeeper or Ottawa Riverkeeper Ambassador. Mr. and Mrs. Johnston join an eminent group: the Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin, the former Chief Justice of Canada; Senator Murray Sinclair, who was Chief Commissioner of Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission; children’s and women’s rights advocate Sophie Gregoire Trudeau; two former Bank of Canada Governors, Mark Carney and Stephen Poloz; former Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers; and former Canadian Football League star Henry Burris; as well as Ottawa Riverkeeper Ambassadors Kathleen Edwards and Claudette Commanda.
To find out more about the Riverkeeper Gala: Deconstructed, visit the website. Tickets will still be available for one more day, with sales ending at 5pm on Wednesday August 19th.