Exceptional Ontarians and conservation projects recognized at the 2021 Lieutenant Governor’s Ontario Heritage Awards

TORONTO – The Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, and John Ecker, Chair of the Ontario Heritage Trust, presented projects and individuals who made exceptional contributions to heritage conservation with the 2021 Lieutenant Governor’s Ontario Heritage Awards during a virtual ceremony on February 24, 2022.

Created in 2006, the Lieutenant Governor’s Ontario Heritage Awards are annual juried awards administered by the Ontario Heritage Trust to recognize remarkable achievements in heritage conservation across the province. These inspirational achievements signal the important role that heritage conservation plays in Ontario’s communities.

Recipients for the 2021 Lieutenant Governor’s Ontario Heritage Awards include:

  • Four individuals received Lifetime Achievement Awards for volunteer contributions to the conservation of community heritage over a period of 25 years or more.
  • Seven conservation projects received Excellence in Conservation Awards.
  • 126 young people received Youth Achievement Awards for exceptional voluntary contributions to heritage conservation by youth aged 24 and under.
  • Three communities received the Community Leadership Award for exemplary leadership, commitment, creativity, positive impact and demonstrations of best practices in conservation.

Each recipient and project has helped Ontarians experience heritage in an innovative or engaging way, demonstrating how heritage enriches our communities. Examples include:

  • Awakenings: A virtual and in-person series of exhibitions by the City of Toronto, centring new art projects by Black, Indigenous and artists of colour, exploring untold stories and awakening new historical and contemporary perspectives at Toronto museum sites.
  • The Adaptive Reuse of the Niagara Parks Power Station: A 1905 hydroelectric generating station at the edge of Niagara Falls, the only intact station of its kind in the world, was transformed by the Niagara Parks Commission into a new museum and visitor attraction.
  • The Revitalization of the Oculus Pavilion: This initiative restored a unique space-age park pavilion in Toronto, creating excitement about modernist heritage in Ontario and establishing a new space for community programming and cultural performances.

Shannon Prince (Buxton National Historic Site & Museum) received the Thomas Symons Award for Commitment to Conservation for her leadership and profound commitment to preserving Ontario’s Black heritage and history.

Four young people received the Young Heritage Leaders Scholarship worth $3,500 towards their post-secondary education. Brianna Zhong, Natalie Wowk, Jusleen Mehta and Ranya Oumar Issa have shown outstanding leadership in their pursuits to conserve Ontario’s cultural and natural heritage. The Young Heritage Leaders Scholarship is sponsored by Canada Life and the Ontario Heritage Trust.


“I am delighted to join the Ontario Heritage Trust in celebrating individuals and organizations that have made exceptional contributions to preserving Ontario’s heritage. As the future of our province, it’s essential for young people to appreciate and understand our collective history – both the good and the bad. That is why I am particularly moved by the curiosity of the more than 120 young people receiving awards this year who have sought out marginalized stories and experiences and have helped make them part of the fabric of our province.” – The Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario

“The Government of Ontario is proud to recognize and congratulate the 2021 recipients of the Lieutenant Governor’s Ontario Heritage Awards. Recognizing, protecting and preserving our heritage is important to people in communities across Ontario. It contributes to our pride of place. The work these individuals, communities and groups do to preserve the cultural and natural legacy of this province deserves to be recognized.” – Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries.

“At Canada Life, community is at the heart of everything we do. That’s why we’re proud to support the Ontario Heritage Trust as they recognize the outstanding young Ontarians who work to make our communities a better place and inspire others to do the same. Congratulations to all the recipients for promoting, celebrating and preserving the places and culture we share.” – Debbie Down, Director, Community Relations, Canada Life

“The Trust is pleased to join the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario in recognizing these remarkable individuals, organizations and communities for their achievements in conservation. Their contributions showcase the diversity of the province and foster a better understanding of our shared heritage. Congratulations and a heartfelt thank you to all the recipients for their dedication to preserving the irreplaceable heritage of our province.” – John Ecker, Chair of the Ontario Heritage Trust

Learn more

  • Read the full list of recipients and more information on each project.
  • Submit a nomination for the Lieutenant Governor’s Ontario Heritage Awards, nominations open in summer 2022.
  • Download the media kit.


Patricia Njovu, Senior Marketing and Communications Specialist, Ontario Heritage Trust. or 416-325-5074.

Liz Kulyk, Director, Media and Public Affairs, Canada Life. or 204-926-5012.

Alex Tichinoff, Senior Advisor, Communications and Events, Office of the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, or 416-325-7793.

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About the Ontario Heritage Trust

The Ontario Heritage Trust (the Trust) is an agency of the Ontario Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries. The Trust conserves, interprets and shares Ontario’s heritage. We conserve provincially significant cultural and natural, tangible and intangible heritage, interpret Ontario’s history, celebrate its diversity and educate Ontarians of its importance in our society. The Trust envisions an Ontario where we conserve, value and share the places and landscapes, histories, traditions and stories that embody our heritage, now and for future generations.

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