25 years of the Prime Minister’s Awards

This bilingual video celebrates over 25 years of The Prime Minister's Awards of Teaching Excellence, Teaching Excellence in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, and Excellence in Early Childhood Education. Since the first ceremony in 1994, the Prime Minister's Awards has honoured over 1,900 exceptional educators from across the country.

Transcription – 25 years of the Prime Minister’s Awards

[Black screen changes to white screen with purple and black type reading "Prime Minister's Awards/Prix du premier ministre."]

[Upbeat background music plays while graphic elements move on and off screen.]

[Cut to montage of photographs. Images of several former prime ministers with recipients are highlighted centre screen.]

Voice over, former Prime Minister Jean Chrétien: For all the winners, I want to tell you that you've made a great contribution to your country.

Voice over, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau: I have eagerly awaited this day. I just wanted to become Prime Minister … [Cut to Prime Minister at podium.] … so I could present the Prime Minister's teaching awards for excellence.

[Cut to montage of photos of recipients, prime ministers and students.]

Voice over, narrator: For over 25 years, the Prime Minister's Awards have honoured 1,900 outstanding educators from coast to coast to coast, celebrating the invaluable contributions these Canadians have made in the lives of their students.

Voice over, Cheri Smith, 1994 recipient: It was affirmation that what I was doing already … [Cut to close-up of Cheri in her classroom.] … was right … [Cut to video of Ms. Smith and several students in the classroom.] … looking at teaching as my identity and not my job.

[Cut to video of Nicole Anthony, 2018 recipient, and her students in classroom.]

Voice over, Nicole Anthony: The award itself has been a great honour … [Cut to close-up of Nicole.] … and it's given me a lot of motivation to continue working hard… [Cut back to classroom video.] …and bringing that extra special experience here for our students.

[Cut to Prime Minister Trudeau presenting award to 2016 recipient Erin Pauls.]

[Cut to montage of photographs of Erin with her students.]

Voice over, Erin Pauls: I love how it's exciting. I really like how personal it is and how you can … [Cut to close-up of Erin in front of window overlooking Parliament.] …really connect with your students.

[Cut to close-up of Robert Hammer, 2016 recipient, in front of window overlooking Parliament.]

Robert Hammer: It's just amazing that I'm here right now … [Cut to montage of photos of Robert and his students.] …because of everyone that's been involved in my educational career. … [Cut back to Robert.] It's awesome.

[Cut to medium shot of Prime Minister Trudeau receiving handshake and hug from 2016 recipient Rahim Essabhai.]

Voice over, Rahim Essabhai: Being a part of 25 years of award recipients is forcing me to believe that I'm special to be a part of this really cool family, … [Cut to video of Rahim in the classroom with his students.] … but that we can also utilize this family for far more.

[Cut to video of Prime Minister Trudeau posing with 2018 recipients Félix Arguin and Guillaume Laporte.]

Voice over, Félix Arguin: I think there is no better model for a student … [Cut to close-up of Félix.] … than to see his teacher learning on a daily basis."

[Cut to montage of photos of recipients.]

Voice over, Thomas Doherty, 2016 recipient: The highlight of this trip was being able to meet with my fellow colleagues across the country and discuss best practices… [Cut to close-up of Thomas.] …that take place in the classroom.

[Cut to close-up of 2016 recipient Sabrina Rehman.]

Sabrina Rehman: I think for me that was definitely the highlight … [Cut to montage of photos of recipients.] …just seeing all different approaches and philosophies, and connecting on that level.

Voice over, Rahim Essabhai: Not believing that what I've done is a finish; believing that what I've done is just the beginning. … [Cut to close-up of Rahim.] …That is something that the Prime Minister's Awards actually gave me.

[Cut to medium shot of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, at podium with Canadian flags behind.]

Navdeep Bains: Our educators play a formative role in inspiring our children, and they teach us an important lesson: that the sky is not the limit.

[Cut to montage of photos of recipients and students.]

Voice over, female student: Erica has taught me a lesson of believing in myself … [Cut to medium shot of student in front of display of pencil drawings.] …never giving up and knowing that we can do anything in the world.

[Cut to close-up of male student in a classroom.]

Male student: I hated it. I really didn't understand chemistry, and it was tough, but—working with Miss Smith … [Cut to montage of photos of various recipients and their students in chemistry classes.] … she really promoted this conceptual understanding and really got me interested in chemistry overall. … [Cut back to student.] … And, as a consequence of all of her work, I'm now studying biochemistry and chemistry at UBC.

[Cut to close-up of male student in front of a shelf full of books.]

Male student: She's really inspirational. She's got me into skills, which has been—oh, my—what a ride!

[Cut to close-up of female student at an event.]

Female student: She's the one that pushed me when I thought, 'Oh, no, engineering might not be for me.' She was really the one there to support me through everything. I credit everything to her.

[Cut to medium shot of female student in science classroom.]

Female student: I love Mr. Gauvreau because he encourages us to succeed and give our best.

[Cut to medium shot of two young girls.]

Young girl: She never lets you say, 'I can't do this.'

[Cut to montage of photos of various recipients and their students.]

Voice over, 1994 recipient Lionel Sandner: The interesting thing with the Prime Minister's teaching award … [Cut to close-up of Lionel in his classroom.] …is it gives everyone in your community a chance to celebrate. Everyone is happy.

[Cut to medium shot of three young girls standing in front of a wall.]

Voice over, videographer: She won.

[Girls jump up and down, shouting joyfully.]

Girls: She won!

[Cut to medium shot of very little girl.]

Very little girl: Yvette is the best educator in the world.

[Cut to close-up of student in lab coat in a classroom.]

Student in lab coat: It's the best thing that's happened to the best teacher.

[Cut to close-up of female student at an event.]

Female student: I couldn't ask for a better teacher.

[Cut to shot of male student in classroom.]

Male student: What I like about Mr. Gauvreau is his commitment, his passion.

[Cut to shot of female student.]

Female student: We are very, very proud of you and love you very much.

[Cut to medium shot of boy sitting in armchair.]

Boy: If I were to describe Mr. Martin in three words, it would be great, cool and pretty funny … well, very funny.

[Cut to video of little boy dancing.]

Voice over, videographer: Can you dance for Ms. Karen's award?

Little boy: Congratulations Ms. Karen.

[Cut to shot of group of children sitting on play structure.]

Group of children: Congratulations, Ashwak!

[Cut to group of children in school yard.]

Group of children: Congratulations, Miss Cortese!

[Cut to black and then to Lionel Sandner is his classroom.]

Lionel Sandner: I think if I had someone ask me what it meant to win the Prime Minister's Teaching award 25 years later, … [Cut to montage of photos of various prime ministers with recipients.] … I would say to them it's a great experience and it just opens up so many doors and gives you opportunities that you don't even know exist out there at this particular moment.

[Cut to medium shot of 2016 recipient Manon St-Hilaire in front of window overlooking Parliament.]

Manon St-Hilaire: My dear students, thank you for being in my life. I love you!

[Cut to medium shot of young children sitting on the floor, blowing kisses.]

Young children: We love you, Nadia.

[Cut to black screen with Government of Canada FIP, followed by Canada Wordmark.]

[Music ends.]

[Cut to black.]