Nation Builder of the Year Award

Thursday, December 10, 2020 | 12 p.m. EST

The Nation Builder of the Year award formalizes what The Empire Club of Canada has been doing since 1903 – celebrating and providing a platform for people who are building our country.

Since its founding over a century ago, The Empire Club has played a pivotal role in many of our country’s major milestones. That’s why the focus of this award is on efforts by a Canadian individual or a group of individuals who are making a significant contribution to our country.

This individual or a group of individuals can be from any walk of life – a political official, a business leader, an artist, or a cultural figure – who has made a major contribution to our national identity during their nomination year.

Every spring, The Empire Club will publish a nomination form online accompanied by a selection criteria. A member of The Empire Club, a participant at any Empire Club events, and the general public are welcome to provide a nomination.

An independent panel, the Adjudication Committee, of 11 individuals selected by The Empire Club Board of Directors (six board members and five members of the public) will review the nominees. The choice of winner will be presented to The Empire Club Board of Directors for ratification.

In consultation with the nominated recipient, a date will be selected for the presentation of the award at a special ceremony.

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Use the hashtag #NationBuilderHero to join the conversation.

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Thank You to Our Sponsors

Presented By

Major Sponsors

Supporting Sponsors

In-Kind Donation

Media Partner

Speaker Bios

The award ceremony will feature an impressive roster of speakers thanking and congratulating the men and women who have kept us safe and functioning during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Shamier Anderson

Actor and Activist

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Perry Bellegarde

AFN National Chief

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Adrienne Clarkson

Former Governor General

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Victor Dodig

President and CEO, CIBC

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Laurent Duvernay

Football Legend

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Atom Egoyan

Film Director

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Doug Ford

Ontario Premier

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Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

Director-General, World Health Organization

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Stephan James

Actor and Activist

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Kayla Grey


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Lisa Laflamme

CTV News Anchor

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Michael Medline

CEO, Sobey’s

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Sophie Milman

Juno Award Winner

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John Ralston Saul


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Michele Romanow

Dragon’s Den Star

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The Hon. Anthony Rota

Speaker of the House

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Jean-Jacques Ruest

President and CEO, CN

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Charlotte Siegel

Opera Singer and Songwriter

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Dr. Theresa Tam

Chief Medical Health Officer

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John Tory

Toronto Mayor

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Justin Trudeau

Canadian Prime Minister

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Mike White

IBK Capital President

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Join the Conversation on Twitter

Use the hashtag #NationBuilderHero to join the conversation.

#ThankYou 👏| To our Lead event Partner, @MeridianCU & to our event partner for today's event, @HughsRoomLive 🎵🎶 Empire_Club photo

#ThankYou 👏| To everyone who joined today's event. What did you learn about Black Music and its influence?🎵

My definition of success as a musician is whether you can make a living by making music. Everything else after that is gravy.
🗣️ @danhillmusic

I didn’t get much appreciation until I went to France. The attention I got around Europe led to #success in #Canada. That’s sad. We don’t tend to get recognition in Canada until we’re recognized outside of Canada.
🗣️ @themollyjohnson

#Success is a subjective word. I like to focus on #impact rather than #influence when defining my success. So how are we, as Black artists, using our success to better impact future generations.
🗣️ @JullyBlack

It is such an honour to be part of today's event. As we join these amazing guests, you, the audience can send in questions for these artists.
🗣️ @NewsRudy

You can join the event and send in your questions at🎶🎵

Get in Touch

If you have a question about the Nation Builder of the Year Award, please contact Ashley Gregory at