Late “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek will be forever remembered in his hometown of Sudbury, Ontario, with a mural dedicated to him at the local high school.
Last November, the longtime game show host died of pancreatic cancer at the age of 80. Though he passed away in his Burbank, California, home, Trebek actually grew up in Canada. According to Canadian outlet CBC News, he attended Sudbury Secondary School (Sudbury High School at the time) back in the 1950s.
Now, some 70 years later, a mural honoring the 37-year “Jeopardy!” host will go up on the side of the high school building.
Renowned Montreal artist Kevin Ledo has the honor of creating the giant mural. Ledo’s well-known for his murals of Rosa Parks in Detroit, Leonard Cohen in Montreal, and David Suzuki in Toronto. Now, Trebek will be listed among the great legends Ledo’s painted. It’ll measure 35×60 feet (10m x 18m) and should be completed by Aug. 20.
“This is going to be a really special piece on a really special wall,” Ledo said. “And to have it go up facing the Sudbury Public Library— a place of knowledge, curiosity, and everything Trebek stood for.”
The tribute to the “Jeopardy!” host will be a “highlight” of the Up Here! urban art festival. CBC News said the festival “features large, outdoor murals by international artists.”
Festival co-founder Christian Pelletier said Trebek’s legacy has really influenced the local Sudbury art scene.
“He’s kind of been the unofficial mascot of all our projects,” Pelletier said. He even joked that they considered renaming Up Here! to Trebek Fest a few years ago.
Late ‘Jeopardy!’ Host Alex Trebek Dearly Loved His Canadian Roots
Earlier this year, The Canadian Academy shared Alex Trebek’s pre-recorded acceptance speech for the 2020 Academy Icon Award. Canadian news outlet etalk reported some of the highlights from his never-before-seen speech, including his kind words about Canada.
“You host a popular show for 36 years, you get to be known, you get to be liked,” Trebek said in the video. “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. Well, it is! And not just because we’re nice.”
For Trebek, Canada represented everything the “Jeopardy!” host appreciated about life, as “a country of accomplishment in education, business, science, the arts, and entertainment.”
Trebek also appreciated Canada’s bilingual nature, even switching to French in the middle of his speech. “For more than 50 years, I have tried to convey the message that francophone culture is something that is very important, very special — not only for the province of Quebec but for our entire country,” Trebek said in French.
In English, the “Jeopardy!” host continued by saying, “But more than these accomplishments, Canada has now acquired great stature in the world for something entirely different. It’s a welcoming society, and it 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.”