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Volunteer aviator receives award

At the opening of The Wings of Johnny May National Film Board documentary at the Canada Aviation and Space Museum in December 2013. L to R: Fern Proulx, Ingenium's Chief Operating Officer; Johnny May; Marc Fafard, Director of the NFB film, The Wings of Johnny May; and Stephen Quick, (at the time) Director General of the Canada Aviation and Space Museum, (currently Vice-President of Business Development). © Ingenium – Canada’s Museums of Science and Innovation

Johnny May received the Sovereign’s Medal Award from Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette, Governor General of Canada, during a ceremony at Rideau Hall in Ottawa, Ontario, on April 25, 2019.

The Sovereign’s Medals recognizes a volunteer’s passion, dedication and commitment to community.

For more than 50 years, Johnny has flown over his hometown of Kuujjuaq, Nunavik, every Christmas Day, dropping candies and small gifts for children and families of Kuujjuaq waiting below.

Transport Canada gives Johnny a special waiver that allows him to fly below a certain altitude and throw things out of an aircraft, the only license of its kind in Canada. Year after year, he inspires a sense of hope and happiness among those in his community, who see him as a hero.