McGill’s prize-winning researchers and scholars shine at Bravo Gala

Annual event celebrates research excellence at McGill
Photo of the 111 award-winning researchers and scholars at McGill
Bravo 2024 Gala celebrates 111 award-winning researchers and scholars at McGill. (Credit: Owen Egan / Joni Dufour)

On March 21, McGill celebrated 111 laureates at the 19th edition of Bravo, a gala event honouring researchers who won major provincial, national, and international research prizes and awards in 2023. Guests, including researchers, their families and friends, faculty, students, and members of McGill’s academic administration, gathered to celebrate their accomplishments.

In his opening remarks, McGill President and Vice-Chancellor, Deep Saini, recognized the achievements of the honourees who cumulatively received over 120 prizes and awards, saying, “The award-winning researchers we are celebrating tonight are among the absolute top-tier talent in our community and beyond, and I am so inspired and impressed by what they have accomplished.”

Bravo EMCEE Martha Crago, Vice-President, Research and Innovation, highlighted the contributions of the dedicated individuals who supported them – the “loyal team” of “fellow researchers, colleagues, students and trainees, loved ones, and mentors.”

JUNO winner, Elinor Frey, performs at Bravo

2023 JUNO Award winner Elinor Frey performs on the baroque cello
2023 JUNO Award winner Elinor Frey performs on the baroque cello. (Credit: Owen Egan / Joni Dufour)

For the first time in Bravo history, the event featured a JUNO-award winning performer. Cellist Elinor Frey, McGill alumna and instructor of Baroque cello and performance practice in the Schulich School of Music, captivated the audience with her performances on the baroque cello, of “Capriccio primo” by Giuseppe Clemente Dall’Abaco, and “Suite no. 3 in C Major for solo cello – Prélude”, by Johann Sebastian Bach.

A leading Canadian-American cellist and gambist, Frey won the 2023 JUNO Award for Classical Album of the Year, Small Ensemble, for her album, Early Italian Cello Concertos.

Inspiration from an award-winning panel

The festivities continued with an inspiring panel discussion on the challenges, opportunities, and responsibilities that come with being at the forefront of knowledge creation and dissemination, moderated by Martha Crago, Vice-President, Research and Innovation.

Crago was joined by panelists Samira Abbasgholizadeh-Rahimi (Department of Family Medicine and the Faculty of Dental Medicine and Oral Health), winner of the AI Researcher of the Year Award from Women in AI, Nicolas Cowan (Departments of Physics and Earth & Planetary Sciences), recipient of the Arthur B. McDonald Fellowship from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, Myriam Denov (School of Social Work), Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, and Jennifer Ronholm (Departments of Food Science and Agricultural Chemistry and Animal Science), winner of the McGill President’s Prize for Outstanding Emerging Researchers. 

A tribute to Vice-President Crago, champion of research excellence

Also among those celebrated was Martha Crago, who has served in the role of Vice-President, Research and Innovation, since 2017, and who will conclude her mandate at the end of June.

President Saini extended his well wishes to Vice-President Crago, acknowledging her as “one of McGill’s greatest champions for research and innovation,” who has “made it her life’s work to develop a healthy ecosystem for research in Canada and at McGill.” He also highlighted some of her exceptional achievements, including securing the largest research grants in McGill’s history through the Canada First Research Excellence Fund.

In her closing remarks, Vice-President Crago bid the Bravo audience a fond adieu, stating: “I can’t be prouder of what you’ve all achieved. It’s been with great pride that I have tried to serve you in the role of Vice-President, Research and Innovation. It has been a real honour.”

Click here to view the full list of the Bravo laureates

Watch the Bravo ceremony below

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