The Empire Club of Canada is proud to announce the 2020 Nation Builder of the Year Award will be awarded to Canada’s front line workers, the men and women who kept us safe and functioning during the most severe pandemic to hit the world in over a century.


A virtual on-line awards ceremony will be held in December to mark this year’s winner, with testimonies of tenacity and bravery from across the country and performances from some well-loved Canadian performers. This event will be offered free to the public and the exact date of the ceremony will be announced next month. 

Click the button below, to submit the name of the individual, group or organization that you feel deserves special recognition.

Nation Builder of the Year Award 2020 Nominee Gallery

The Nation Builder of the Year Award was founded last year by the Empire Club to recognize an individual, group or organization that has shown outstanding leadership in bringing Canadians together to build a stronger, more unified Canada. The inaugural winner of this award was the Toronto Raptors who were celebrated in early December 2019 in a large ceremony in Toronto.


Front line workers quickly came to the attention of Canadians early in the pandemic as the country realized that without them our country would grind to a halt. Their dedication and at times extreme bravery were a fundamental reason that Canada was able to deal with the COVID-19 crisis as well as we did. They rose to the challenge in ways that deeply moved and impressed citizens in every community from sea to sea to sea. Whether in the area of health, food, security, construction, transportation or technology, the stories that have come to the fore have made everyone proud.


To highlight as many voices as we can, the Empire Club invites you send in your favourite story of a group or individual from the front lines that made a difference. We will carefully review them all. Where possible, we will include them as a part of our “March of Heroes” video that will be an integral part of the virtual ceremony in early December. 

“We are living through extremely challenging times,” said Antoinette Tummillo, the Club’s newly-minted President, “and it is during times such as these that we see the best in people. Often a single act of compassion or bravery can change another life forever, and yet so often these extraordinary acts remain invisible and unrecognized. This is the moment to stop and express our gratitude and to acknowledge as a society that our nation is stronger as a result of this collective resolve and dedication”.


Take a few moments in the coming days to send us details about the hero or heroes that you want to shine a light on. The Empire Club looks forward to continuing its 117-year-old tradition of showcasing the people and ideas that make this country great.



The Nation Builder of the Year award formalizes what The Empire Club of Canada has been doing since 1903 - celebrating and providing a platform for people who are building our country.
Since its founding over a century ago, The Empire Club has played a pivotal role in many of our country’s major milestones. That’s why the focus of this award is on efforts by a Canadian individual or a group of individuals who are making a significant contribution to our country.
This individual or a group of individuals can be from any walk of life - a political official, a business leader, an artist, or a cultural figure - who has made a major contribution to our national identity during their nomination year. 
Every spring, The Empire Club will publish a nomination form online accompanied by a selection criteria. A member of The Empire Club, a participant at any Empire Club events, and the general public are welcome to provide a nomination. 
An independent panel, the Adjudication Committee, of 11 individuals selected by The Empire Club Board of Directors (six board members and five members of the public) will review the nominees. The choice of winner will be presented to The Empire Club Board of Directors for ratification. 
In consultation with the nominated recipient, a date will be selected for the presentation of the award at a special ceremony. 



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