The late legendary “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek was a proud Canadian.
On Thursday, The Canadian Academy shared a never-before-seen video of Trebek accepting the Academy Icon Award as part of the cancelled 2020 Canadian Screen Awards.
In honour of the January 8th episode of #Jeopardy!, the final new episode hosted by #AlexTrebek, we are humbled to share this special video of him accepting his Academy Icon Award from the 2020 #CdnScreenAwards.
Today we honour his legacy. pic.twitter.com/lhLyVW4fx1
— The Canadian Academy (@TheCdnAcademy) January 7, 2021
“You host a popular show for 36 years, you get to be known, you get to be liked. Maybe people think you’re a nice guy. They know you’re Canadian — ergo Canadians are nice people and the country must be a special place,” Trebek said in his speech. “Well, it is! And not just because we’re nice.”
He continued, adding, “we are a country of accomplishments,” and that “we do it bilingually in two languages.”
Switching to French, Trebek said, “For more than 50 years, I have tried to convey the message that francophone culture is something very important, very special — not only for the province of Quebec but for our entire country,” as translated by the CBC.
“This culture has won us great success on the international stage. Think of Xavier Dolan, Félix Leclerc, Jean-Paul Riopelle, Louis Hémon and the Montreal Canadiens with 24 Stanley Cup championships,” he added.
“Canada has now acquired great stature in the world,” Trebek extolled, for being “a welcoming society.”
He said, “[Canada] has expanded that welcome to go beyond the level of tolerance to one that I believe is even better. I think the essence of Canada now is acceptance. And long may it continue.”
Concluding his speech, Trebek took pride in Canada and “the work all of you folks are doing on a daily basis to help maintain Canada’s stature in the world.”
Finally, he bid everyone farewell, saying, “Du fond de mon cœur, je vous remercie. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you all.”
Trebek passed away in November 2020 at age 80 after a battle with pancreatic cancer.