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

LETTER: Recreational angling has low-impact on Fraser salmon

Jason Tonelli writes about his displeasure at the call to close recreational fishing on the Fraser

Hope’s Wheeled Wild Women hit the road for cancer research

Group of friends ready for the 200-km bike trek that ends in Hope

PHOTOS: Paintings return to Kilby for fifth annual festival

The Plein Air Festival will be taking place at the historic site all weekend

Cougar spotted in Seabird Island

Residents are asked to report all sightings to conservation

VIDEO: Masterpieces begin to take shape at Hope’s chainsaw competition

More than a dozen chainsaw carvers, including one 14-year-old carver, taking part in four-day event

Sts’ailes invites adults to become engaged in Halq’eméylem with new video series

‘Qw’oqwel te Qw’oqwel’ gives language learners an immersive way to learn Halq’eméylem

‘I’m just absolutely disgusted’: Husband furious after B.C. Mountie’s killer gets day parole

Kenneth Fenton was sentenced to prison after he fatally struck Const. Sarah Beckett’s cruiser

Helicopter-riding dog Mr. Bentley now featured on cans of new B.C.-made beer

Partial proceeds from every pack go to Children’s Wish

PHOTOS: Weapons seized at Portland right-wing rally, counterprotests

Not all who gathered Saturday were with right-wing groups or antifa

Sea-to-Sky Gondola in B.C. likely out of commission until 2020

Sea to Sky Gondola carries between 1,500 and 3,000 people every day during the summer season

Maple Ridge’s first retail cannabis store opens Monday

Spiritleaf is just the second private pot shop in the Fraser Valley

It’s snow joke: Up to 30 cm of snow expected to fall in northeastern B.C.

Alaska Highway, Fort Nelson to be hit with August snowstorm, according to Environment Canada

Discussion on grief and loss between Stephen Colbert, Anderson Cooper goes viral

The exchange includes emotional question from Cooper, and outlook on grief as a child

Toronto activist calling on federal parties to nominate more black candidates

Fewer than 20 black Canadians have been nominated so far, including some Liberal MPs seeking re-election

Most Read