By Karl Oczkowski

They say change starts with just one person, or with just one fantastic, revolutionary idea. And if you’re one of those people who wants to bear witness to positive change, or learn about a new perspective that could change your community, now is your chance.

Piya Chattopadhyay, head judge and host of CBC’s “Out in the Open”

This month, in celebration of Ontario’s 150th anniversary, the Lieutenant Governor’s Visionaries Prize is offering innovative thinkers aged 18 and over a chance to bring their vision for Ontario’s future to life. And on September 13, shortlisted contestants under the Reconciliation category are travelling to Thunder Bay to present their idea in front of head judge Piya Chattopadhyay, host of CBC’s Out in the Open, and Laurie Robinson, founding executive director of the Office of Aboriginal Initiatives at Nipissing University.

The Reconciliation category of the award is focused on inspiring, supporting, and promoting reconciliation with Indigenous peoples while fostering renewed relationships based on mutual understanding and respect. “The award illustrates this province’s commitment to supporting and fostering public-policy ideas,” says Chattopadhyay.

Laurie Robinson, founding executive director of the Office of Aboriginal Initiatives, Nipissing University

Announced in January of 2017 by The Walrus Foundation, the prize awards six winners $2,500 each to help bring their vision for Ontario to life, along

with a rare opportunity to have dinner with Ontario’s Lieutenant Governor and other influential policy makers. At the dinner, winners will have the chance to discuss their award-winning idea and how it could be brought to life. Winners will also be featured in The Walrus magazine and personally honoured by the Lieutenant Governor.

Reconciliation is one of six categories of the Lieutenant Governor’s Visionaries Prize, with the others including Governance, Inclusive Prosperity, Environmental Stewardship, Social Cohesion, and Scientific and Technological Innovation.

The Lieutenant Governor’s Visionaries Prize for Reconciliation will be judged and awarded on September 13 at McGillivray’s Landing, Fort William Historical Park. Don’t miss out on this exciting chance to meet tomorrow’s visionaries, hear their thoughts on improving Ontario, and cast your vote for the best concept!

The event runs from 7-9:30 pm, with tickets available at For more information visit