2020 Lieutenant Governor’s Ontario Heritage Awards celebrate heritage excellence in Ontario

TORONTO – The 2020 recipients of the Lieutenant Governor’s Ontario Heritage Awards were recognized at a virtual ceremony on February 18, 2021 by the Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, and the Ontario Heritage Trust. The awards celebrate projects and individuals who made exceptional contributions to heritage conservation in Ontario in 2020.

Recipients of the 2020 Lieutenant Governor’s Ontario Heritage Awards include:

  • Carolyn King (Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation) received the Thomas Symons Award for Commitment to Conservation for her leadership and profound commitment to cross-cultural understanding of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation.
  • William Terry (Norfolk) received a Lifetime Achievement Award for his volunteer contributions to the conservation of Norfolk’s community heritage over 28 years.
  • Eight projects received Excellence in Conservation Awards, representing the diversity of approaches to heritage conservation in Ontario that have enriched the province’s places and stories.
  • Eighteen young people (two individuals and one group) received Youth Achievement awards, recognizing their exceptional volunteer contributions to Ontario’s heritage.

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

  • The Performance of The Ward Cabaret, a history-based musical play about Toronto’s first immigrant neighbourhood.
  • A restored Second World War-era aircraft repaired by the Edenvale Classic Aircraft Foundation. The Tiger Moth Conservation Project took dedicated volunteers two years to complete.
  • The adaptive reuse of the Walker Power Building in Windsor, where owners and architects converted a 20th-century industrial building for commercial use that honoured the building’s 19th-century history and protected an archaeological site uncovered during renovations.

Charlene Rocha and Paula Umeh, the two individual recipients of the Youth Achievement Award, will also receive the Young Heritage Leaders Scholarship worth $3,500 towards their post-secondary education. This scholarship is jointly sponsored by Canada Life and the Ontario Heritage Trust.

Established 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. These inspirational achievements signal the important role that heritage conservation plays in Ontario’s communities, especially during this challenging time. In response to COVID-19, this year the award ceremony took place virtually as part of the Trust’s annual Heritage Week celebrations.


“This past year has led more Ontarians than ever to re-discover their own backyards. The diversity of physical and cultural heritage, and the sheer size of this province offer so much to be grateful for. It is a delight to celebrate the 2020 Ontario Heritage Trust Awards recipients for their efforts in conservation and care for our future,” said the Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell. “I am particularly pleased to recognize the youth, who are already taking seriously their role in protecting their communities and landscapes. My dear friend, Thomas Symons, whose recent loss we all feel keenly, would be very proud of the achievements of all individuals and organizations recognized this year.”

“At Canada Life, we believe that with the right support, potential can become reality,” said Debbie Down, Director, Community Relations, Canada Life. “That’s why we’re delighted to join the Ontario Heritage Trust as they celebrate young Ontarians who are working to improve the well-being of our communities, and to support the inspiring recipients of the Young Heritage Leaders Scholarship.”

“The Ontario government is proud to recognize and congratulate the 2020 recipients of the Lieutenant Governor’s Ontario Heritage Awards,” said Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries. “These exceptional individuals and organizations have shown incredible dedication to the preservation of Ontario’s rich history, connecting us to a storied past that makes our great province so special. I ask all Ontarians to join me in thanking them for their efforts and celebrating their accomplishments.”

“The Ontario Heritage Trust is proud to join the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario in recognizing these remarkable individuals and organizations for their outstanding achievements,” said John Ecker, Chair of the Ontario Heritage Trust. “Their leadership, commitment, and innovations in heritage conservation will in turn inspire others to make their own important contributions to our province.”

Learn more


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.

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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