As the tenth anniversary of Jack Layton’s untimely passing approaches, a project including a new scholarship and awards was launched “to honour and inspire those who are working to build the better world” the former NDP leader dreamed of. A nation-wide celebration will also be held on August 22, the day he passed away.

“The Layton Legacy is as much about remembering who Jack was and what he inspired in people, as it is about recognizing, inspiring and supporting a new generation of people who share his vision for a more loving, hopeful and optimistic future,” said Olivia Chow who was Jack’s partner in life, politics and activism. “Most people across Canada already know Jack as the leader of the NDP. That leadership came from his passion for learning, teaching, and fighting for justice and fairness,” she added.

Applications are now being accepted for awards in two categories and a scholarship.

The Indigenous Leadership Award will recognize and support Indigenous activists who are powerful changemakers in their communities and beyond.

The Layton Activism Award will honour groups that are demonstrating Jack’s belief in our collective strength to organize for transformative change.

The Scholarship For Progressive Change will be established in memory of Jack’s passionate work with students – in and out of the university classroom, – the Layton Legacy has established an academic scholarship for undergraduate, masters, and PHD students.

“Love, Hope, and Optimism – Celebrating The Layton Legacy” will be an event in celebration of Jack’s life and activism that will be broadcast online with opportunities to join in across the country.

The event is being put together with the help of Canadian Music Hall of Fame member Steven Page and will feature an incredible line-up of passionate advocates, special guests, and talented artists who will inspire, motivate and entertain us.

“Now, more than ever, Jack’s message of love, hope and optimism is needed as we face the challenges this next decade will bring – from building a recovery that leaves no one behind to tackling climate change and finally moving toward reconciliation in a meaningful way,” said Mike Layton, Jack’s son and Toronto City Councillor. “This special virtual event will be full of stories, music and calls to action – featuring old and new friends – just as Jack would have wanted.”

Canadians are encouraged to visit LaytonLegacy.ca to learn more about Jack, the scholarship and awards, the celebration on August 22, and how they can be part of the Layton Legacy, spokesperson George Soule said in a media statement.

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