Updated: May 12

(Vancouver, May 11, 2020) Dr. Jack Taunton, a Founding Director of the National Health and Fitness Institute, announced today that Her Excellency the Governor General of Canada, Madame Julie Payette, has accepted the Institute’s invitation for her to become its Viceregal Patron.

Since the start of her mandate in 2017, Governor General Payette has encouraged Canadians to get moving! Whether at her official residences in Ottawa and Québec or during her visits to communities across the country, she invites Canadians to join her in activities that promote healthy living. The GGactive initiative she created aims to bring people together, whether by going for a stroll through breathtaking Canadian landscapes, taking an exercise class, or participating in a community sports tournament.

The Vision of the National Health and Fitness Institute, to “Make Canada the Fittest Nation on Earth by 2030”, is especially timely during this pandemic. “We want Canadians to Get Out the Door, while ensuring we all heed the guidelines of public health officers” said Institute Founder John Weston, “Just as Her Excellency urged us to do in her New Year’s Message. We promote Active Citizens and Active Citizenship.” In addition to Dr. Taunton, over 30 other leaders from across Canada, spanning a wide array of disciplines, represent the Institute as members of the Board of Directors or Board of Advisors. The Institute’s Inaugural Celebrity Gala will occur on October 1, 2020, at Mahony and Sons, in the Vancouver Convention Centre. Its Healthy Selfie Challenge is a contest which encourages members of the public to offer solutions to make Canadians healthier, physically, mentally, and spiritually.

“We are delighted that Canada’s Governor General is such a great role model for healthy physical activity,” said Henrietta Southam, another Institute Founding Director. “She honours us and all Canadians, helping us look not just at who we are, but who we can become.”

More information is available at or through John Weston, Founding Director (; 604 329 6146).

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