Sudbury

Alex Trebek to be memorialized in mural on late Jeopardy! host's Sudbury high school

Alex Trebek, host of the iconic television game show Jeopardy for 37 years before his death last year, will be immortalized in a mural by renowned Montreal artist Kevin Ledo that's being painted on the side of his old high school in Sudbury, Ont.

Trebek, diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2019, died in November at 80

Alex Trebek, the longtime Jeopardy! host who started his career with the CBC, will be memorialized in a giant outdoor mural on his old high school in Sudbury, Ont. (Colin Rowe/Canadian Geographic)

Alex Trebek's Sudbury roots will be celebrated at his high school alma mater — in the form of a giant mural being painted by a renowned Montreal artist on an outside wall of the building.

The late, longtime Jeopardy! host attended Sudbury Secondary School (then called Sudbury High) in northern Ontario in the 1950s before embarking on a broadcasting career, starting with the CBC.  

Kevin Ledo — known for his murals of Leonard Cohen in Montreal, Rosa Parks in Detroit and David Suzuki in Toronto — is expected to have the 10m x 18m (35x60 ft) Trebek mural completed Aug. 20.
Trebek graduated from Sudbury Secondary School (then called Sudbury High) in the 1950s. The school will now be home to a mural memorializing the television icon. (Sam Juric/CBC)

It'll be one of the highlights of Up Here!, an urban art festival known for featuring large, outdoor murals by international artists.  

Trebek died Nov. 8, 2020, in Los Angeles after he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2019. His passing prompted a string of tributes. Jeopardy! has continued with a series of guest hosts, with his replacements announced earlier this week.

In 2019, Sudbury Secondary School sent Trebek an honorary graduation diploma, to which he jokingly replied, "I plan to use it to lobby for a raise in salary." 

Ledo said his mural's location is a fitting tribute to the Canadian-born celebrity.

Artist Kevin Ledo, who has also completed artistic creations of of David Suzuki and Leonard Cohen, among others, expects to finish his portrait of Trebek later this month. (Sam Juric/CBC)

"This is going to be a really special piece on a really special wall, and to have it go up facing the Sudbury Public Library— a place of knowledge, curiosity and everything Trebek stood for."

Trebek wrote a letter to Sudbury Secondary School after receiving a copy of his graduation diploma in 2019. (Supplied by Christian Pelletier)

Christian Pelletier, the festival's co-founder, said Trebek has always held a special place in Sudbury's arts scene. 

"He's kind of been the unofficial mascot of all our projects."

Pelletier said the group even considered, jokingly, to change the name of the Up Here! to Trebek Fest in 2016. 

Ledo begins work on the mural, in conjunction with a Sudbury arts festival. (Supplied by Chris Thériault)

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