‘ONE GOOD FRIEND’ – FIRST COLONEL COMMANDANT FOR AIR CADETS!
Mr. George Canyon, former Honorary Colonel of 14 Wing Greenwood and well-known Canadian country music singer and songwriter has been appointed as the first-ever Colonel Commandant of the Royal Canadian Air Cadets on December 15, 2011.
Mr. Canyon hails from Pictou, N.S., and joined Air Cadets as a young boy with the full intention of becoming an Air Force pilot. When a diagnosis of type 1 diabetes prevented him from pursuing his dreams of becoming a pilot – he simply switched gears. His big break came in 2003 when he auditioned for the talent contest Nashville Star. Coming in second place, his music career was launched.
He has produced a number of country albums, won Juno awards in 2005 and 2007 for Country Recording of the Year and won numerous awards from the Canadian Country Music Awards. He has toured extensively on behalf of the military in Canada, and on February 21, 2008, he was recognized for all his philanthropic work in support of the Canadian troops and was appointed Honorary Colonel for the Canadian Air Force at 14 Wing Greenwood in Nova Scotia.
Learning to manage his diabetes through diet, lifestyle and the effective use of insulin pump technology, and passing a series of medical tests, he has been able to obtain his pilot’s license. With his own plane, his own personal story of perseverance, and a project he named “The Sky’s Not The Limit,”Canyon organized several speaking engagements and concerts to inspire youngsters afflicted with type 1 diabetes and urged them to take ownership of their disease, pursue their dreams and achieve any goals that they set for themselves.
“Being a kid is hard enough without having a disease that limits your choices. If I can tell my story and change a life or two, that’s the kind of imprint I want to leave” says Canyon.
His personal values, keen interest in aviation, and inspirational messages make him an ideal spokesperson for the Royal Canadian Air Cadets, and their first-ever Colonel Commandant. His personal story complements the mission of the Cadet Program, which is to contribute to the development and preparation of youth for the transition to adulthood and enable them to meet the challenges of modern society, through a dynamic, community-based program.
For the Royal Canadian Air Cadets, he is certainly “One Good Friend.”
Capt Kimberley Banaszkiewicz
National Youth Public Affairs Officer
Chief Reserves and Cadets