John Ralston Saul Award
In 2012, two awards were created in celebration of French for the Future’s 15th anniversary: the John Ralston Saul Award and the President’s Award.
Created in honour of John Ralston Saul, French for the Future’s founder, this award is bestowed to a public figure who showed a great perseverance in learning French as a second language, or to a public figure from a French-speaking minority community who contributed to the outreach of French in his or her professional career.
The first laureate of the John Ralston Saul Award is Patrick Chan, Olympic figure skater.
Patrick Chan grew up in a trilingual family, and graduated from a francophone high school in Toronto. He is proud to speak both Canadian official languages and shows a distinct enthusiasm in all media interviews in French. As an international public model of Canadian bilingualism, Patrick Chan embodies the values of French for the Future.
“The Board of Directors was delighted and impressed by Patrick Chan’s leadership and charisma,” explains Helen Coltrinari, president of French for the Future. “He is an unparalleled model for young bilingual Canadians, and we are very proud to recognize him with the first John Ralston Saul Award.”
Patrick Chan’s acceptance speech in video