Celebrating the Nation’s Table


OTTAWA — Canadian authors and poets have long enjoyed the recognition of the Governor General at the annual literary awards, while those in the culinary arts were relegated to preparing the meal at Rideau Hall. All of that changed yesterday, June 23, when Michaëlle Jean, Governor General of Canada and Jean-Daniel Lafond presented the first-ever Governor General’s Awards in Celebration of the Nation’s Table.

The award celebration, which was proposed by Lafond in 2006, “recognizes and celebrates outstanding efforts in improving the quality, variety and sustainability of all elements and ingredients of our nation’s table,” a government press release reads.

An advisory committee of Canadian experts oversees the nomination process that is broken down into six categories: creativity and innovation; education and awareness; leadership; mentorship and inspiration; stewardship and sustainability; and a youth category, for a young person with potential to inspire their peers through their work.

The inaugural award recipients are:

Creativity and Innovation
Christian Barthomeuf, Frelighsburg, Quebec
Alfred E. Slinkard, Saskatoon

Education and Awareness
John Bishop, Vancouver
Robert J. McLaughlin, Guelph, Ont.

James and Linda Gourlay, Bedford, N.S.
Jamie Kennedy, Toronto
Michael Stadtländer, Singhampton, Ont.

Mentorship and Inspiration
Jean-Luc Boulay, Quebec City
Sinclair and Frédérique Philip, Sooke, B.C.

Stewardship and Sustainability
Avataq Cultural Institute, Nunavik, Que.
David Cohlmeyer, Thorton, Ont.

Ricky Sze Ho Lam, Saskatoon

For the complete story on all of the winners, click here.

Photo by Sgt Serge Gouin, Rideau Hall.

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