By Tom Degun

Michaëlle Jean and Jean-Daniel LafondMay 7 - The former Governor General of Canada Michaëlle Jean and her husband Jean-Daniel Lafond have been named Honorary Patrons of the Toronto 2015 Pan and Parapan American Games for Youth Arts and Creativity.

Jean, who served as the 27th Governor General from 2005 to 2010, was previously the Honorary Patron of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Truce and officially opened the Winter Olympic Games.

She also worked with her husband Lafond, a well-known filmmaker and philosopher, to help gather 700 Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal young people at Vancouver 2010 to raise awareness about the power of sport and arts as tools for social change.

In their new role at Toronto 2015, the pair will work to inspire young people and creators across Canada to be directly engaged with the Games through the Michaëlle Jean Foundation.

They will also work with the Toronto 2015 Youth Advisory Council which is composed of 34 ambassadors.

This will lead to a Toronto 2015 Youth Summit which will be an international forum bringing together young people throughout Canada and the Americas.

In addition, the pair will help plan and develop other Games-related opportunities for youth and communities in Toronto and nationwide.

"Young people have an unprecedented opportunity to use the arts, creativity and sport as tools to make the Toronto 2015 Pan Am and Parapan Am Games transformational for themselves and the nation," said Jean and Lafond.

"That is why we look forward to working with young people, emerging creators and the Toronto 2015 Youth Advisory Council as they chart a course for the Games, build bridges with their counterparts across the Americas and leave a lasting legacy of change in their communities."

Michaëlle JeanMichaëlle Jean was Honorary Patron of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Truce and officially opened the Winter Olympic Games

Having stepped down as Governor General in October 2010, Jean is currently the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) Special Envoy for Haiti as well as the Chancellor of the University of Ottawa.

Lafond is a Senior Scholar at the University of Carleton's Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.

"Inspiring and engaging the next generation of leaders is central to the vision of the Toronto 2015 Games which is why we're so pleased to welcome Michaëlle Jean and her husband Jean-Daniel Lafond as Honorary Patrons," said Toronto 2015 chief executive Ian Troop.

"Their leadership and experience will be invaluable in empowering youth and artists to forge a lasting social legacy from these Games and build relationships with their counterparts throughout the Pan American nations."

For more information about the Michaëlle Jean Foundation click here

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