What is the Premier's Awards ceremony? 

The Premier’s Awards for outstanding college graduates honour the important social and economic contribution that graduates make to Ontario and throughout the world. The awards were launched in 1992 and are administered by Colleges Ontario, the advocacy voice for the province’s 24 colleges.

Many of Ontario’s greatest contributors have a solid foundation in post-secondary education. The awards highlight some of these great builders, thinkers and leaders who have graduated from Ontario’s colleges and contributed in significant ways to the country’s economic prosperity and success.

Presented annually, the Premier’s Awards recognize graduates in the following seven categories – Apprenticeship, Business, Community Services, Creative Arts and Design, Health Sciences, Recent Graduate and Technology.


Award categories


Tradespersons take great satisfaction in their hands-on creation and maintenance of much of what is used on a daily basis – from infrastructure and energy projects to industrial maintenance to automotive servicing to attractive hairstyles.

The nominees in the Apprenticeship category are experienced professionals and/or entrepreneurs well-respected in their communities and their profession for their contributions.


Businesses deliver products and services to consumers and create countless job opportunities for the marketing, selling, creation and managing of them. Business careers exist in both the private and public sectors, in areas such as accounting, finance, human resources, marketing, real estate and sales, to name a few.

The nominees in the Business category are devoted entrepreneurs and innovators. They are leaders who are strategic and creative. Previous winners have held executive positions in companies such as a global courier and a leading financial processing service provider.

Community Services

People who work in community services share a passion for helping others and making a difference in the world around them. Their careers are devoted to providing services and support to people from many walks of life, including individuals with disabilities, addiction or mental health issues, newcomers to Canada, refugees, low-income families, Indigenous People, members of the LGBTQ community and many others.

Nominees in this category have studied in areas such as counselling, child and youth services, education, firefighter training, police foundations and social services. Winners in this category have included passionate authors, community activists and social advocates.

Creative Arts and Design

Creative Arts and Design is a broad field that includes such areas as broadcasting, fashion design, filmmaking, photography, interior design, as well as many culinary arts, fine arts and commercial graphic art programs.

This group of graduates’ work requires imagination and dedication. Past winners have included an internationally acclaimed TV director, top chefs, leading playwrights and an Academy Award-winning animator.

Health Sciences

Health Sciences covers a range of professions, from those directly involved with patients to those who support, manufacture and produce medical and health-related products and innovations. These experts combine their skills with a strong desire to help others.

Nursing, nutrition and food services, dental services, and personal support worker programs are among the fields covered in this category. Winners have included a hospital CEO, a world-recognized paramedic, a dental hygienist who helps children in developing countries and a decorated military medical officer.

Recent Graduate

This is a diverse group from across the playing field. Entrepreneurs and leaders who use their skills and training to jump-start their careers are eligible to be nominated in this category. Previous winners have included a senior writer and editor at CBC Toronto, a general manager at a winery and the president of a million-dollar travel bag startup company.


Individuals in the Technology category seek to improve people’s quality of life through innovations in technology and/or information and communications systems. These trailblazers advance the culture by creating cutting-edge initiatives.

Think of professionals working in physical sciences, as well as design, production and the engineering of man-made structures and technologies. Recipients of this award have included an award-winning railcar design expert, an inventor of high-altitude wind turbines and the principal of a construction firm who has hosted a TV show.