Sep 12, 2018

Matthew Overton, Executive Director, Conference of Defence Associations and Conference of Defence Associations Institute has announced that Lieutenant-General Christine Whitecross has been chosen as this year's Vimy Award recipient.

The award will be bestowed upon LGen Whitecross during the annual Vimy Award Gala on 2 November 2018 at the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa. The award is sponsored by Chiko Nanji in an exclusive arrangement for 2018-2020.

LGen Whitecross has served Canada with honour in progressively more demanding roles. An accomplished Construction Engineer, her service highlights have included commanding the transition from the Canadian Forces Northern Area to the more operationally focused Joint Task Force North; a 10-month deployment with the United Nations Protection Force (Yugoslavia); and 14 months with the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan.

She was appointed as the Commander of the Canadian Forces Strategic Response Team on Sexual Misconduct, and her leadership in developing and implementing the strategic plan set a strong tone of commitment to addressing the systemic issues of sexual harassment within the Canadian Armed Forces. She successfully reinforced Canadian values domestically while setting a strong example internationally.

Later, she served as Commandant of the NATO Defense College, only the third Canadian and first woman to serve in this post.

LGen Whitecross has twice been named as one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women – in 2011 and 2016.

A press release explains that, in addition to her professional service to Canadian security and defence, Lieutenant-General Whitecross has consistently lived her life in the service of other Canadians. Despite her arduous professional duties, she was a member of the Rotary Club for more than 10 years working to improve communities and being an agent for change. She served as local club president three times. Lieutenant-General Whitecross also contributed to projects such as Christmas Hampers, the Snowsuit Fund of Ottawa and city clean-ups. With her husband, Ian, they have been foster parents to more than 30 children while raising their own. Their children, Christopher, Shaynah, Brianne, and Ian’s daughter, Natasha, have all undertaken careers with a focus on service to community, a testament to the example they have set.

Lieutenant-General Whitecross, a highly successful woman in a domain traditionally dominated by men, has served with distinction in key leadership roles for Canada and the Canadian Armed Forces at home and abroad. She has made a strong impact professionally and personally in promoting the security, defence and values of Canada, setting an enduring example of public and personal service for all Canadians.