The Cambridges hit the ground running on day two of their tour of western Canada! The royal couple left Government House in Victoria around 10 in the morning to board a seaplane to take them to Vancouver.
The seaplane landed at the Vancouver Harbour Flight Centre and was greeted by hordes of crowds and media. They enjoyed a short walk up to Jack Poole Plaza and the Olympic Cauldron.
The Jack Poole Plaza is named after the late Jack Poole, who was a prominent Canadian businessman and local resident. He was a strong supporter of the 2010 Olympic and Paralympics games, which were a huge success and point of pride for the Vancouver people.
The external cauldron for the 2010 Olympic games lives at the plaza. William and Catherine have always been huge supporters of the Olympic games and Team GB in the past.
After a short tour of the plaza and a brief walkabout, the royal couple departed the area for Sheway. Sheway, which means growth, is a downtown Vancouver program for pregnant women and new mothers.
The Sheway program is located in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, a struggling area with a high Aboriginal population. Sheway provides “health and social-support for women dealing with drug and alcohol issues who are pregnant or parenting. The program is a perfect fit for William and Kate’s causes, as they are ardent supporters of mental health awareness, drug and alcohol prevention and care, and maternity programs.
At Sheway, William and Kate were treated to a First Nations welcome and prayer ceremony. They also attended educational sessions on vest-making and traditional baby welcoming ceremonies, story time for children, nutritional information sessions, and a tea reception with residents who have benefitted from the program. William and Kate were given two bears as gifts for George and Charlotte, and William said George would absolutely love them!
Following the tea reception, the Cambridges traveled from Sheway to the Immigrant Services Society of British Columbia to visit their New Welcome Centre. They were greeted by Prime Minister Trudeau and First Lady Gregoire Trudeau.
The New Welcome Centre is the first center of its kind for immigrants and refugees. The facility provides support, settlement assistance, education and employment services to over 25,000 people entering the region. There are 130+ beds, trauma support and treatment facilities, child care, preschool services, play facilities, and English-language learning facilities.
The Duke and Duchess toured the facility and visited the “Hope” suite, where they met with staff, volunteers, and representatives of local refugee programs. They also visited the “Vancity” room to meet members of TechStart and MY Circle Youth.
Around 1 o’clock, William and Kate departed the facility off to their next event in Vancouver at the Telus Garden. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge attended a reception for “outstanding young Canandians from across the country who are making significant contributions to their communities.”
For the final event of the afternoon, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited the Kitsilano Coast Guard Station to attend a First Responders Showcase.
Kitsilano is a major west coast base for search-and-rescue operations. With William’s passion for his search-and-rescue position in East Anglia, this was a perfect stop to bring attention to an important base. The base was recently reopened in April 2016 with the support of Prime Minister Trudeau.
At the base, William and Kate attended discussions on rescues as well as mental-health issues with representatives from multiple local programs, search and rescue teams, and first responders.
The Duke and Duchess enjoyed a walk along the dock to the cycling path at Kitsilano where they met with representatives of the First Nations and first responders from the local area.
In the evening, William and Kate boarded a hovercraft and flew away as a poignant end to the evening. Tomorrow, they are back and headed to Bella Bella!