The Viceregal Lion
  1. The Governor General of Canada
  2. Her Excellency the Right Honourable Julie Payette
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National Science and Innovation Gala

Ottawa, Ontario, Wednesday, May 17, 2017


            The Internet of Things.

            Artificial intelligence.


            3D printing. 


             Self-driving cars.

             Virtual reality.

             It’s the stuff of science fiction.

But in fact, science fiction writers are having a hard time writing science fiction these days, because it’s become science fact!

This science and innovation gala is a vivid reminder that our world is complex, diverse, globalized and changing very fast.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is here, and it’s all about science, innovation and emerging technology.

And like the first, second and third industrial revolutions, the fourth is having profound effects on our lives. It’s what revolutions do.

In such times, we must find ways to adapt and keep pace. If change is the new constant, then innovation is the new imperative.

The only question is: to what extent do we shape and lead that change?

Judging by the displays and participants at this dynamic gathering, as well as the calibre of the young recipients of the inaugural STEAM Horizon Awards, Canadians are poised to lead in these exciting times.

In doing so, you’re taking your place in a long tradition of innovation in this country. We sometimes fail to recognize the fact, but Canadians have been behind countless innovations of global impact in our history.

The pacemaker. The BlackBerry. The electric wheelchair. Insulin. The synthesizer. The internet search engine. I could go on.

These are just a few among hundreds of significant Canadian innovations and achievements throughout our history.

As governor general, I’ve travelled across Canada and to more than 35 countries and met with countless Canadians working on the cutting edge of innovation.

But we can’t be complacent. And complacency is the last thing on your minds tonight. You’re here because you’re creative and ambitious, and you’re the next generation who wants to help shape the future of Canada and of our world.

I’m so impressed at the remarkable talent and creativity of these inaugural recipients. This is an occasion to celebrate, and also to network, share ideas and experiences, to imagine possibilities.

Science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics—success in these disciplines will power the innovations that are so important to Canada’s future.

Call it STEAM power!

Congratulations to our young Canadian innovators, and thanks to all you for participating this evening and for helping to build our innovation nation.

Have a wonderful evening!