2023 Lieutenant Governor’s Ontario Heritage Awards recognize exceptional Ontarians

TORONTO — Today, the Honourable Edith Dumont, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, and John Ecker, Chair, Board of Directors, Ontario Heritage Trust, presented the Lieutenant Governor’s Ontario Heritage Awards for 2023. These are annual juried awards administered by the Ontario Heritage Trust to recognize remarkable achievements in heritage conservation. The awards ceremony is the centrepiece of the Trust’s annual celebration of Heritage Week in Ontario, a time to be inspired by the positive impact that heritage conservation adds to Ontario’s communities.

The 2023 recipients of the Lieutenant Governor’s Ontario Heritage Awards embody a spirit of commitment to conservation. This year, four individuals and four projects received awards:

  • Jane Watt (Oakville) received a Lifetime Achievement Award, recognizing her tireless volunteer spirit, her expert knowledge of history and her commitment to researching the heritage of Halton Region.
  • Maude Craig (Millbrook) and Adam Selalmatzidis (Sudbury) received Youth Achievement Awards. Both are innovative and exemplary young people who show the breadth of what is possible in the next generation of heritage — Craig integrates theatre and performance into her exploration of history, and Selalmatzidis is a passionate advocate for Sudbury’s biodiversity. For their dedication, they each will receive the Young Heritage Leaders Scholarship, worth $3,500 toward their post-secondary education. The Young Heritage Leaders Scholarship is sponsored by Canada Life and the Ontario Heritage Trust.
  • Dr. Ron Williamson (Toronto) received the Thomas Symons Award for Commitment to Conservation in recognition of his trailblazing impact on the practice and development of archaeology in Ontario and his leadership of countless projects across the province for over 40 years.

In addition, the following projects received Excellence in Conservation awards:

  • The Restoration of the Metropolitan United Church, London for the adaptive reuse of this iconic historical place of worship, now transformed into a multipurpose performance space.
  • The Fugitive Slave Chapel Preservation Project, London for the successful preservation of the oldest building representing London’s Black history, which was accomplished with extensive stakeholder engagement.
  • Shadowpath Theatre Productions in York Region for its commitment to integrating heritage, the performing arts and deep community engagement.
  • Buxton's 100th anniversary of Homecoming, North Buxton for demonstrating community leadership by driving heritage tourism in 2023 to one of the province’s most significant historical Black communities, and for their commitment to doing so over the previous 100 years.


“I am so glad to join the Ontario Heritage Trust in celebrating this year’s exceptional award recipients. It is more important than ever that we take the time to recognize the people who are working to preserve our heritage, build connections, and unite Ontarians.” — the Honourable Edith Dumont, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario

"I am delighted to recognize and congratulate all the well-deserving recipients of the 2023 Lieutenant Governor’s Ontario Heritage Awards. Through their hard-work and dedication, these outstanding individuals and local organizations have contributed significantly to conserving and showcasing Ontario’s rich cultural, natural and built heritage. Providing Ontarians from across the province with the opportunity to learn about our shared history and helping foster a deeper sense of connection with our past." — Michael Ford, Minister of Citizenship and Multiculturalism

"The Ontario Heritage Trust Awards helps enable young people step into their power and shape the future. We’re honoured to be a partner and recognize Ontarians making an impact,” says David Simmonds, SVP & Chief Communications & Sustainability Officer, Canada Life. “Congratulations to all the nominees and recipients.”

“These individuals and organizations have made outstanding contributions to heritage conservation. They also serve as role models to inspire others who will follow in their footsteps. It is through their active and vigilant efforts that Ontario’s built, natural and cultural heritage will be preserved, protected and promoted for future generations.” — John Ecker, Chair, Board of Directors, Ontario Heritage Trust

Learn more

  • Read more about each recipient and project.
  • Download the media kit for photos


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About the Ontario Heritage Trust

The Ontario Heritage Trust (the Trust) is an agency of the Government of Ontario. 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 about 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.

About The Canada Life Assurance Company

Canada Life is a leading insurance, wealth management and benefits provider focused on improving the financial, physical and mental well-being of Canadians. For more than 170 years, individuals, families and business owners across Canada have trusted us to provide sound guidance and deliver on the promises we have made. On January 1, 2020, Great-West Life, London Life and Canada Life became one company — Canada Life — and today, we proudly serve more than 12 million customer relationships from coast to coast to coast.

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