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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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 everyone who joined today's event. #ICYMI you can watch it on-demand at💻

#ThankYou to our Supporting Sponsors, @EdelmanPR & @TIAOtweets👏 Without them, today's event, "The Role of the Aviation Sector on Toronto’s Economic Recovery," wouldn't be possible.

We've lived through similar doubts of returning to #BusinessTravel after 9/11. While #VideoConferencing is a helpful tool, people want to get back to in-person meetings. We will get back to business travel, it’s just a matter of when.
🗣️John Thomas


Having both a large airport and a city airport allows for growth in our city and also gives options for those coming in and out of #Toronto.
🗣️ @FarahMohomed

#TorontoCityAirport #PearsonAirport #CanadianAviation

There is no #EconomicRecovery in #Toronto without business travel recovery. #BillyBishop is the poster child to support that recovery. Our #TorontoCityAirport is key in recovery.
🗣️Scott Beck

Get in Touch

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