The Casket. Antigonish. By Corey LeBlanc.
Jimmy and Heather Rankin can sure keep a secret.
“When they approached us, they insisted that we keep it quiet until a certain date,” Heather told the Casket, when talking about their selection as Canada 150 Ambassadors.
“We saw each other a couple times [since we were selected], but he didn’t say anything and I didn’t say anything.”
She said she found out about her brother’s selection online.
“It’s kind of neat,” Heather added, with a laugh.
The brother-sister duo – members of the renowned Rankin Family – are amongst an eclectic group of, as the Ministry of Heritage described, “trendsetters and influencers, who together form an inspiring group of Canadians from across the country and around the globe.”
The group includes musicians, actors, athletes, scientists and educators, who are recognized for accomplishments in their respective fields.
“It is an honour because they have selected people with some sort of public profile; it is, actually, a very clever approach, because they reached out to people who have a public profile and who are very active on social media,” she said.
“So, they are reaching many different communities – all with the same goals in mind.”
The ambassador program, amongst other focuses, is aimed to mark achievements of prominent Canadians, as part of the nation’s historic milestone in 2017.
“They asked me, quite some time ago, if I would be willing to take the role,” she said.
“And, of course, I was honoured and thrilled and would never turn down such an opportunity, but it is also a big responsibility.”
She noted ambassadors will be active on social media and will participate in various activities across Canada and around the world.
“The idea is to promote Canada as a great place to visit – a diverse and inclusive country,” Heather added.
She noted she has not been contacted yet about attending any events.
“But, I am sure that it will get busier, as the year progresses, and we get closer to the anniversary date,” Heather said.
“I will be posting anything I attend – that’s related to it, if people want to follow me on my Facebook fan page, on my website, or any of the other platforms, such as Instagram or Twitter.”
The federal heritage ministry said the Government of Canada’s vision for the 150th anniversary is focused on four themes; diversity and inclusion, reconciliation from nation-to-nation with Indigenous people, the environment and youth.
It added the ambassadors will play key roles to encourage Canadians to get involved in the 150th anniversary celebrations in their own communities and in helping the federal government to realize this vision.
For more information, including a list of ambassadors, visit Canada.ca