Thunder Bay has been selected as one of the competition locations for the inaugural Lieutenant Governor’s Visionaries Prize. In celebration of Ontario’s 150th anniversary, the prize offers innovative thinkers aged 18 and over a chance to bring their vision for Ontario’s future to life.

The Lieutenant Governor’s Visionaries Prize is organized into six different categories, and shortlisted contestants under the category Reconciliation will travel to Thunder Bay, all expenses paid, to present their idea in front of head judge Piya Chattopadhyay (host of CBC’s Out in the Open) and human-rights activist and Pan Am Games gold medallist Waneek Horn-Miller. “The award illustrates this province’s commitment to supporting and fostering public-policy ideas,” says head judge Piya Chattopadhyay.

To be considered for the prize, innovative thinkers aged 18 and over must identify a policy challenge Ontario will face over the next half century—and then develop a creative solution. Entrants are asked to submit a two-minute video or an 800-word essay to by Monday, March 6, at 5:00 p.m. EST.

Campaign Categories
Reconciliation: Inspiring, supporting, and promoting reconciliation with Indigenous peoples while fostering renewed relationships based on mutual understanding and respect.

Governance: Evolving our governing process to ensure that the voices of Ontarians are heard and that government is held accountable.

Inclusive Prosperity: Engineering an economy where prosperity is within reach of all citizens.

Environmental Stewardship: Fostering responsible use and protection of the environment through conservation and sustainable practices.

Social Cohesion: Creating a more integrated, inclusive, and caring society

Scientific and Technological Innovation: Contributing to Ontario’s growing leadership in the science and technology fields.

Up to six finalists will be selected in each category; they will then showcase their visions in front of an expert panel of judges and the public at events across Ontario. All of the finalists’ travel and accommodation expenses will be covered.

Judging Panel
Head Judge: Piya Chattopadhyay, host of CBC’s Out in the Open

Reconciliation: Laurie Robinson, special advisor to the deputy minister on Indigenous Issues, Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development

Environmental Stewardship: Edward Burtynsky, OC, photographer, co-director of Watermark

Governance: Steve Paikin, OC, OOnt, anchor of TVO’s The Agenda

Social Cohesion: Sanjay Khanna, futurist, expert in change management, resilience, and innovation

Inclusive Prosperity: Annette Verschuren, OC, former president of Home Depot Canada, CEO of NRStor Inc.

Scientific and Technological Innovation: Ilse Treurnicht, CEO of MaRS Discovery District

Competition Locations
Reconciliation, Thunder Bay – September 13, 2017

Governance, Kingston – September 19, 2017

Inclusive Prosperity, Windsor – September 21, 2017

Environmental Stewardship, Waterloo – September 26, 2017

Social Cohesion, Brampton – September 28, 2017

Scientific and Technological Innovation, Toronto – October 2, 2017

What do the winners receive?
Each winner will receive: (a) a $2,500 award; (b) an all-expenses-paid trip to the corresponding competition location; (c) an all-expenses-paid trip to Toronto with all finalists for a special reception with the Lieutenant Governor at Queen’s Park on October 3; (d) a physical award; (e) press coverage, including a write-up in The Walrus magazine; and (f) a video of the onstage presentation.

About the Walrus Foundation
The Walrus Foundation is a registered charitable non-profit organization with an educational mandate to create forums for conversations on matters vital to Canadians. The foundation is dedicated to supporting writers, artists, ideas, and thought-provoking conversation. We achieve these goals across multiple platforms by publishing The Walrus magazine ten times a year in print, tablet, and mobile editions; curating the national series of Walrus Talks and leadership dinners; posting original, high-quality content daily at; and creating other digital projects. The foundation also trains young professionals in media, publishing, and non-profit development. The foundation is the implementation partner for the Lieutenant Governor’s Visionaries Prize.

About Ontario150
In 2017, Canada will celebrate its 150th anniversary. As a founding province of Confederation, Ontario will be marking the occasion by supporting events and programs across the province that showcase our diversity, encourage Ontarians to get involved, and celebrate and leave a lasting legacy for communities across the province to enjoy. This is a chance to reflect on our history and look ahead toward the next 150 years in Ontario. The Ontario150 program is intended to engage Ontarians of all ages, but especially our youth, who will help lay the groundwork for strong economic, social, and cultural legacies for the next generation.