Exceptional Ontarians Celebrated at First Lieutenant Governors’ Legacy Award Ceremony

15 Ontarians receive awards honouring the work of four former Lieutenant Governors

September 15, 2023

Citizenship and Multiculturalism


Seniors and Accessibility

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TORONTO – The Ontario government is recognizing 15 exceptional Ontarians with awards at the inaugural Lieutenant Governors’ Legacy Day event for the work they have done to build a stronger, more inclusive and welcoming Ontario.

These awards, named after four previous Lieutenant Governors, the Honourable Lincoln M. Alexander, the Honourable James Bartleman, the Honourable David C. Onley and the Honourable Hilary M. Weston, honour their legacies in their work on anti-racism, the arts, accessibility and mental health research. This is the first time they have been presented on the same day.

“As writers, researchers, inventors, advocates, activists, and community organizers, this year’s recipients have all demonstrated hard work and exceptional dedication. They have fostered empathy and inclusion, and they have led by example and by working hands-on with others,” said the Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario. “I am delighted that through this ceremony, recipients, their loved ones, and supporters will be able to meet one another and share their fascinating stories.”

The recipients of these awards have demonstrated leadership by supporting and empowering Indigenous and underrepresented communities, following in the footsteps of the previous Lieutenant Governors. This is the first time the James Bartleman Indigenous Youth Creative Writing Award and David C. Onley Award for Leadership in Accessibility have been presented since Mr. Bartleman and Mr. Onley’s passing earlier this year.

The 15 recipients recognized at the Lieutenant Governors’ Legacy Day ceremony are:

  • Lincoln M. Alexander Award: Established in 1993, the 2023 award recognizes young people who have demonstrated exemplary leadership in eliminating racial discrimination and promoting equity and inclusion.
    • Jeremiah Bowers-Van Dusen
    • Vaishnave Raina
    • Aishah Salim
  • James Bartleman Indigenous Youth Creative Writing Award: Established in 2008, the 2023 award recognizes Indigenous youth for their creative writing talent.
    • Justine Bannon
    • Charlotte Bolduc
    • Scarlett Chaloux
    • Amara Deman
  • David C. Onley Award for Leadership in Accessibility: Established in 2014, the award recognizes Ontarians who have gone above and beyond to improve accessibility and the quality of life of people with disabilities.
    • Carol-Ann Chafe
    • Mark Adrian Ewer
    • Lorin MacDonald
    • Andrew Nielsen
    • Kimberley Paradis
    • Nik Provenzano
  • Hilary M. Weston Scholarships: Established in 2002, the 2023 award recognizes graduate-level social work students for their contributions to mental health research.
    • Yomna Fadel
    • Julia Falzarano

The recipients were recognized in a ceremony at the Royal Ontario Museum presided over by the Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario. She was joined by Michael Ford, Minister of Citizenship and Multiculturalism, Raymond Cho, Minister for Seniors and Accessibility, and Patrice Barnes, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Education.


““It is an honour to recognize these 15 outstanding Ontarians with awards that honour and celebrate the legacies of former Lieutenant Governors of Ontario and their contributions. I want to express my sincere congratulations to these leaders being recognized. Their kindness, compassion and unwavering dedication to help others is an inspiring example to all Ontarians. We are grateful for everything they do to build a stronger Ontario and create better and more vibrant communities.””

– Michael Ford
Minister of Citizenship and Multiculturalism

““I am proud to recognize the latest recipients of the David C. Onley Award for Leadership in Accessibility. Their endless determination to improve accessibility is exceptional, and their determination to make life better for their fellow Ontarians is unwavering. We applaud their invaluable contributions.””

– Raymond Cho
Minister for Seniors and Accessibility

““Lincoln M. Alexander’s life continues to inspire young people to drive change, inspire excellence and create the next generation of bold leaders in our country. I continue to encourage recipients and all students to be inspired by Lincoln M. Alexander in advancing opportunity and hope in the lives of others.””

– Stephen Lecce
Minister of Education

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