Alex Trebek in Ottawa to open Royal Canadian Geographical Society’s new HQ

Trebek announced in March that he has advanced pancreatic cancer

Canadian “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek recently completed what he hopes will be his last chemotherapy treatment, he told the Royal Canadian Geographical Society Monday afternoon as he helped open the group’s new headquarters in Ottawa.

“That stuff really kicks the slats out of you,” he told his audience.

Trebek is the society’s honorary president. He announced in March that he has advanced pancreatic cancer.

In a TV interview with CBS Sunday Morning that aired on the weekend, Trebek says he’s continued taping Jeopardy! despite dealing with excruciating stomach cramps that have, at times, left him writhing and crying in pain.

From the podium, Trebek talked about how busy he’s been lately, including how he won his seventh Emmy award.

Trebek added that he was disappointed all the Canadian NHL teams had been eliminated from the Stanley Cup playoffs — before noting the country’s pro-sports championship hopes are still very much alive.

“Thank God for the Raptors,” he said.

READ MORE: Jeopardy host Alex Trebek announces he has pancreatic cancer

The Sudbury, Ont., native has a long connection with Canada’s capital city, where he studied philosophy at the University of Ottawa and got his start in broadcasting.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also participated in the event, in a building by the Ottawa River that was first built as a museum but never attracted very many visitors.

The former Canada and the World Pavilion opened 20 years ago. Next to the Rideau Falls and with an address on Sussex Drive near the prime minister’s and governor general’s residences, it was supposed to display artifacts of Canadians’ global accomplishments in sports, culture, science and international peacekeeping.

Built at a cost of more than $5 million, the pavilion was projected to draw 120,000 visitors a year but didn’t, even with free admission. It closed in 2005 and the federal government spent a decade trying to figure out what to do with it. For a while, there were plans to move in some of the national honours organization overseen by the governor general but an engineer discovered water seepage and potentially dangerous mould.

In fall 2016, with Trebek also in attendance then, the government announced plans to turn it over to the Royal Canadian Geographical Society for exhibitions, events and office uses. The building hosted exhibitions beginning in summer 2017 but is only now being fully opened, a year later than planned.

READ MORE: “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek’s Emmy Award comes with ovation

On Monday, Trebek said when he invited Trudeau to attend the opening, he told the prime minister it was going to be an “easy gig” despite his busy schedule.

He said he reminded Trudeau that the prime minister’s residence is “two doors away” from the building and that he would still be able to make it home for dinner with his family — and then they could watch Jeopardy! together.

(In fact, Trudeau had a state dinner at Rideau Hall on his schedule, for the visiting president of Croatia.)

Trebek praised the geographical society for its work as a “cheerleader” for Canada.

The group’s mission is “to make us know about our country and to make us love our country even more,” he said.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Motor trike falls into hole in Ellison area

A man was taken to hospital after crashing his trike on Anderson Road

Playgrounds to reopen across the Okanagan on June 1

After nearly two months closure, playgrounds are set to reopen

OK Corral Cabaret owner permanently closes Langley bar

Nightclub showcased local talent, connected friends, and even hosted a wedding during its 34 years

Kelowna’s Rock the Lake officially postponed until 2021

The new dates have been scheduled for August 6-8, 2021

WATCH: New home for Vernon family

Single mom, two kids new residents of Habitat for Humanity’s first completed project in Vernon

B.C. businesses ‘can’t shoulder burden’ of COVID-19 sick pay

Trudeau’s plan should be tied to federal emergency aid

B.C. teacher reprimanded for sharing homophobic and sexist memes, making racist comments

Klaus Hardy Breslauer was accused of making a laundry list of concerning decisions as a science teacher

Spirit bear possibly spotted in West Kootenay

A local resident spotted the white-coloured bear while on an evening trail run near Castlegar on May 27

Revelstoke resident finds welcoming letter on her Alberta-registered truck

There have been multiple reports online of vandalism to vehicles with Alberta licence plates

Kids raise $10,000 to feed Kamloops wildlife

Bottle drive initially set out to raise $2,000 to feed the animals at the wildlife park

COLUMN: Plate hate has no place in B.C.

B.C. transplant still drives with red plates, but hopes her car will be safe from COVID hate

Driver damages Shuswap playground after alleged pellet gun shooting

RCMP report vehicle drove through Memorial Park before coming to a stop

POLL: Drinks in the park in Vernon?

City councillor wonders if allowing drinks in public places may help local businesses

Most Read