They did what every politician in the country dreams of, something that is often noted as being almost impossible to do…they brought Canada together as one, cohesive nation: French and English, rich and poor, urban and rural, members of every cultural and ethnic group in the country. 2019 will be remembered in the history books as the year Canada chanted We the North to the world, united and strong as they became the NBA champions of the world.
The Empire Club has reflected the history of Canada back to itself since 1903 and acknowledges the vitally important role that the Toronto Raptors played in nation building over this past year, in making our country stronger and more united. This accomplishment will long be remembered as a pivotal and very positive moment in Canada’s evolution.
Come out and help celebrate not only excellence in sport, but also excellence in nation building, in making Canada the best place to live, work and pursue your dreams in the world.
This award will be accepted by the Toronto Raptors on Friday, December 13th by Masai Ujiri.
MASAI UJIRI, President of the Toronto Raptors and Alternate NBA Governor
Masai Ujiri is in his seventh season as President of the Toronto Raptors, leading the team to the most successful period in franchise history, including a NBA Championship. In June, the Raptors won the first NBA title in the franchise's 24 year history with a six game victory over Golden State. In his six years leading the team, the club has won five Atlantic Division titles, made its first appearance in the Eastern Conference finals, set a team record for victories in a season with 59, and complied a 321-171 (.652) regular season mark.
Nav Bhatia - Toronto Raptor's Superfan Nav Bhatia
Nav Bhatia is best known as the Superfan. He hasn't missed a Raptor's home game since they first began playing in 1995. His goal is simple; unite people of all ages and backgrounds through the game of basketball. Not just a legend in basketball, Bhatia, who arrived humbly to Canada in 1984, has become a Canadian icon, an inspirational story of immigrant success through his entrepreneurship and philanthropic initiatives. He recently launched the Nav Bhatia Superfan Foundation, a non profit dedicated to raising money to build basketball courts and camps for kids here in Canada and across the globe.
John Tory - Mayor of Toronto
Elected as the 65th Mayor of Toronto in 2014 and re elected in 2018, John Tory is making the city more liveable, affordable and functional. Born and raised in Toronto, Mayor Tory has spent his life giving back to the city he loves, through his tireless work in public, private sector and philanthropic roles. Mayor Tory is the biggest champion of Toronto’s sports team, including the Toronto Raptors. He spent most of the 2019 playoffs in a gold Raptors jacket with Toronto fans in Jurassic park.
Kayla Grey - Anchor and Reporter for TSN’s SPORTSCENTRE
Kayla Grey is an anchor and reporter for TSN’s SPORTSCENTRE. She also makes frequent appearances on TSN Radio 1050 in Toronto and TSN Radio 1150 in Hamilton covering the Toronto Raptors, and contributes regular sports updates to CTV’s YOUR MORNING. In 2019, Grey reported on the Toronto Raptors’ historic NBA championship run for TSN. She also joined CTV’s fan-favourite reality series THE AMAZING RACE CANADA as an official race correspondent for THE AMAZING RACE CANADA: RIDE ALONG. The Toronto native joined TSN in 2015 as an on air update anchor for TSN 1050. A graduate of Toronto’s College of Sports Media, Grey began her broadcasting career in Winnipeg as a Digital Broadcast Journalist for Global News. She then moved to Prince Rupert, BC to become a senior reporter for CFTK TV news. Prior to heading west, Grey found success in roles as a colour commentator for the Canadian Women’s Hockey League and variou