Winnipeg Mayor Scott Gillingham has handed out his first Key to the City. 

On Friday evening, during an Open Door Gala in support of the Homes for Heroes Foundation, Mayor Gillingham presented the prestigious honour to Colonel Chris Hadfield, the first Canadian Commander of the International Space Station.

“As an astronaut, musician, author and educator, Colonel Hadfield has engaged millions of Canadians in the concept of exploration and inspired countless children to dream as big as the universe,” said Gillingham. “From walking in space to talking live to students from the International Space Station, he has truly been awe-inspiring, and I’m proud to recognize his extraordinary accomplishments and leadership with the Key to the City.”

Hadfield, the first Canadian to walk in space and the first person to record a full-length music video on the International Space Station, was honoured to receive the award.

"I am amazed and thrilled to be given the key to the city of Winnipeg,” said Colonel Hadfield. “Never as I floated weightless overhead, crossing our country thousands of times, did I ever look down at the distinctive nighttime maple leaf shape of the city and imagine I could receive such an honour. I humbly thank Mayor Gillingham and all Winnipeggers, from the very first peoples to the newest arrivals today."

The Key to the City recognizes the significant contributions of dignitaries visiting the city. This is the first Key to the City awarded by Mayor Gillingham.