Recognizing extraordinary public service, the prestigious Amethyst Awards celebrate the outstanding achievements, professionalism and passion of Ontario public servants who contribute daily to making Ontario a better place to live.
The Amethyst Awards have become synonymous with the Academy Awards in the Ontario Public Service. Every June over 800 Ontario public servants and their families gather to recognize the province’s finest OPS members. The awards are presented in a special ceremony with OPS top executives in attendance.
For generations, members of the OPS have dedicated their professional lives, and worked with passion to make a better Ontario. The recipients of the Amethyst Awards have gone the extra mile for client service, inspiring colleagues with their leadership skills and their abilities to encourage others. They have extended the boundaries of knowledge using technical and professional expertise. They have worked across ministries. The recipients have extended themselves beyond the call of duty by creating a whole new way of delivering a service, developing time and money-saving technology, or showing extraordinary professionalism and care in performing their daily tasks. They prove that public service is not just a job, but a vocation that inspires excellence every day.
The annual Amethyst Awards are presented by the Secretary of the Cabinet and head of the Ontario Public Service to employees from across the OPS nominated in three categories: individuals, groups and the Sandra D. Lang Lifetime Achievement Award. The award program is the culmination of months of conceptual, creative and logistical planning by the Ontario Honours and Awards Secretariat, Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration. Some 160 nominations are submitted each year accounting for over 1,000 employees who characterize public service.
“This year’s recipients epitomize the very best in public service,” said the Amethyst executive champion, Pam Skinner, Assistant Deputy Minister, Ministry of Education and Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities. “Each ministry has its own award program but the Amethyst Awards bring us all together as an OPS to celebrate the high quality public service that we’ve all helped create.”
The recipients are presented with the Amethyst Award, a unique trophy that encapsulates an amethyst stone, Ontario’s official gemstone.
Sandra D. Lang Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, Trinela Cane, said “The award is the pinnacle of what I consider to have been an amazing and fantastic career in the Ontario government. Where else could you work in so many different business lines, with so many talented people, to deliver such important services?”
This special recognition of lifetime contribution to the OPS and Ontario was introduced to the Amethyst Awards program in 2005 to honour the exemplary public service career of the late Deputy Minister Sandra D. Lang. Today it is an integral part of the award program reserved for individuals who leave their own legacy in the OPS.
The production of the event requires tremendous effort and attention to the smallest of details to ensure an unparalleled experience for the audience and recipients alike. “It felt like being at the Oscars,” one recipient described his experience.
Congratulations to all the Amethyst Award recipients for their service excellence and commitment to the people of Ontario.