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.

Just Posted

In photos: Uptown Askew’s Family Day

The Uptown Askew’s Family Day event was filled with classic cars, face… Continue reading

Word on the street: Has the wet July weather put a damper on your summer any?

Due to the wetter-than-usual July weather, the Observer asked: Has the wet… Continue reading

CSRD to support cannabis growth in agricultural zones

Regional district revision brings policy in line with Agricultural Land Commission

Okanagan-Shuswap weather: Showers to start weekend, sun returning soon

Environment Canada forecasts rain on Saturday and the heat returning next week

South Shuswap residents kick waste collection concept to the curb

Area C residents prefer existing depot system, suggest more enforcement

July showers wash out half of the Okanagan’s cherry crop

Cherry growers say this is the worst season they’ve seen in decades

Donkeys await your hugs and scritches at anniversary event

Turtle Valley Donkey Refuge invites public to help celebrate 20 years of care.

Canadian high school science courses behind on climate change, says UBC study

Researchers found performance on key areas varies by province and territory

Six inducted into BC Hockey Hall of Fame

The 26th ceremony in Penticton welcomed powerful figures both from on and off the ice

COLUMN: Looking back to a time of optimism

The first lunar landing 50 years ago was a time to celebrate dreams and accomplishments

Highway 1 closed near Revelstoke

No estimated time for opening

RCMP investigate two shootings in the Lower Mainland

Incidents happened in Surrey, with a victim being treated at Langley Memorial Hospital

CRA program to help poor file taxes yields noticeable bump in people helped

Extra money allows volunteer-driven clinics to operate year-round

Most Read