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Governor General visits TRIUMF to explore frontiers of Canadian discovery and innovation

22 March 2018

On March 22, TRIUMF welcomed Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette, Governor General of Canada, as part of her first official visit to British Columbia. 

A scientist and engineer, Her Excellency seemed right at home among TRIUMF’s community of innovators, who were particularly enthused to welcome the Governor General as they celebrate TRIUMF’s 50th anniversary throughout 2018.  

Her Excellency met with TRIUMF staff and students and as she toured a portion of the 13-acre site, starting with the  Advanced Rare IsotopE Laboratory (ARIEL)a flagship project for Canadian discovery and innovation and one of the great scientific facilities under construction in the world. Once complete, ARIEL will take TRIUMF and Canada far into the future, providing leadingedge capacity that will advance science, medicine, and business. 

Her tour then took her to one of TRIUMF’s experimental halls, known as ISAC (Isotope Separator and Accelerator Complex), where she saw how TRIUMF’s staff and students are using rare isotope beams to make discoveries addressing some of the most fundamental questions in science, including profound mysteries surrounding the origins of matter – mysteries that connect quarks to the cosmos. 

From there, she explored some of the ways TRIUMF bridges science and society as she conversed with members of the laboratory’s Life Sciences and TRIUMF Innovations teams. These groups are leveraging TRIUMF’s strengths in basic research to deliver real-world social and economic benefits for Canadians, such as developing critical medical isotopes for the diagnosis and treatment of life-threatening diseasesto providing on-site radiation testing facilities for the aerospace and telecommunications industries, and much more. 

Her Excellency’s tour concluded in TRIUMF’s iconic Meson Hall, home to the world’s largest cyclotron particle accelerator – an IEEE Engineering Milestone and the heartbeat of TRIUMF’s science program – where she was greeted by hundreds of staff and students. The Governor General joined them for a photo, and then shared some words about her visit and offered congratulations to the TRIUMF community on its accomplishments and anniversary. 

“It matters, what I have just seen in a very few minutes here at TRIUMF,” said Her Excellency Mme. Payette. “I knew about TRIUMF and it still amazes me seeing you today, that you are at the very forefront of the frontier of knowledge and yet you are very practical. You are so important to help people every day and for this I hope you are very proud.” 

The TRIUMF community was thrilled to have the opportunity to host Her Excellency and share with her some of its multidisciplinary science and technology, leading-edge facilities, and passion to continue the quest for discovery and innovation. 

I am so very proud of what the TRIUMF community has accomplished – of what we’ve achieved together and through our network of partners across Canada and around the world,” said Dr. Jonathan Bagger, TRIUMF’s Director. “Together, we are truly more than the sum of our parts. And personally, I couldn’t be more excited for the future. 

You can listen to an audio recording of this morning's remarks here. Additional images from Her Excellency's visit to TRIUMF can be found here