Michaëlle Jean embraced one of her "favourite cities in Canada" Monday night as she accepted the prestigious Yes She Can award from Winnipeg's Balmoral Hall school.
"I have such warm memories of the exuberant welcome bestowed on me" during her first official visit as Canada's 27th Governor General of Canada in 2005, Jean told the crowd of about 500 at the Fairmont Hotel.
"There's something special here, something unique, something edgy... that resonates deep in my heart," Jean said.
The Yes We Can award recognizes an exceptional woman who has gained international prominence in her career. Former recipients include astronaut Julie Payette and former U.S. secretary of state Madeleine Albright.
Now special envoy to Haiti, Jean spoke to Balmoral Hall students Monday afternoon.
She will visit Winnipeg's Graffitti Gallery Tuesday, where she says she was first inspired by the community's rich culture and citizen engagement. "It's what makes Winnipeg one of the most happening cities in Canada."
Jean also saluted Manitobans' "demonstration of solidarity" during the flood of 2011. "My thoughts are with you," she said.