The Golden Quill: An initiative of the Our Languages blog

By Translation Bureau

Each year, the Golden Quill is handed off to a member of senior management as part of Official Languages Day celebrations. Learn more about this initiative, and read blog posts written by past recipients of the Golden Quill.

An Official Languages Day tradition

The Golden Quill was introduced in 2018 to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the Our Languages blog. It is a symbol of creativity and skill in writing and gives senior management within the federal public service the opportunity to write about an aspect of official languages that is important to them or to share their own personal experiences with language.

Every September, as part of the annual Official Languages Day celebrations, the Golden Quill is passed on from one member of senior management to another, who will then write a post for the Our Languages blog within the next year. This person then recruits a colleague to become the next recipient of the Golden Quill and to write a post the following year.

The Golden Quill hand-off

Image of the Golden Quill

Last year, Yvette-Monique Gray, Regional Director General, Pacific Region, Public Services and Procurement Canada, handed off the Golden Quill to Gina Wilson, Deputy Minister, Indigenous Services Canada.

Ms. Wilson rose to the 2023 Golden Quill challenge. Head over to the Our Languages blog to read her post Indigenous languages: The road ahead, in which she discusses how official languages are protected in Canada and how the public service can go beyond its official languages obligations to preserve Indigenous languages.

The post can also be read in Ms. Wilson’s mother tongue of Algonquin—a first for the Our Languages blog! Read the Algonquin version of her blog post.

The next recipient of the Golden Quill is Isabelle Mondou, Deputy Minister, Canadian Heritage, and Champion of the Official Languages Community. We’re already looking forward to reading her post in September 2024!

Past recipients of the Golden Quill

The Golden Quill has been making its way through Canada’s public service since 2018. Check out the posts written by past honoured recipients.

2022: Yvette-Monique Gray

In her post, Yvette-Monique Gray, Regional Director General, Pacific Region, Public Services and Procurement Canada, shared how her love for languages shaped her life and told us about her language journey.

2021: Michael Vandergrift

In 2021, Michael Vandergrift, then Deputy Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Privy Council Office, shared his experiences of learning French as a second language, which began when he was a student in his dad’s French class.

2020: Charles Slowey

Charles Slowey, Assistant Deputy Minister, Community and Identity, Canadian Heritage, showed us how experiences or events, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, change the way we communicate.

2019: Jean-Pierre Blais

Being bilingual is an asset in the public service of Canada. Jean-Pierre Blais, then Assistant Deputy Minister, Receiver General and Pension Branch, Public Services and Procurement Canada, provided some tips to help public servants maintain and improve their second language skills.

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