February 1, 2016 9:47 pm

Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau to lend National Arts Centre a hand

Sophie Gregoire, wife of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, listens to speeches during a dinner at the Corinthia Palace Hotel in Attard during the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) on November 27, 2015 near Valletta, Malta.

Toby Melville -Pool/Getty Images

OTTAWA – Justin Trudeau’s wife Sophie will carry on what has become a tradition of prime minister’s spouses helping to raise money for the arts.

The National Arts Centre says Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau will be honourary chair of the organization’s annual fundraising gala.

Gregoire-Trudeau is the fourth prime minister’s wife to take on the role.

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Before her, Laureen Harper, Sheila Martin and Aline Chretien all lent their names to the fundraiser, which has raised nearly $12 million over the past 19 years.

The money goes to the National Youth and Education Trust, which helps support young Canadian artists.

In a statement, the NAC said Gregoire-Trudeau will champion efforts to bring performing arts to children across Canada through education and outreach programs.

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Gregoire-Trudeau, a former television host who has until now focused her charity work mainly on women’s issues, said she has been impressed by the NAC’s support of performing arts in indigenous communities.

“The NAC’s ‘Music Alive’ programme is doing groundbreaking work in the Arctic, and with children who live in rural and remote regions of Canada,” she said in a statement.

“I’m proud to support those efforts.”

This year’s gala will take place Oct. 22.

© 2016 The Canadian Press

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