REGINA -- CTV Regina’s 2019 Citizen of the Year is John Hopkins, the CEO of the Regina Chamber of Commerce.

“I’m deeply honoured,” Hopkins said. “This isn’t something I was expecting obviously and I really believe in this community and it’s really important that all of us do our part to make this the best community it could possibly be.”

Born in Toronto, Hopkins originally moved to Regina in 1981. He found his calling when he started working for Regina Downtown, eventually becoming the executive director. He then moved into the role of CEO with the Regina District Chamber of Commerce.

Hopkins was active in the establishment in the Paul Martin Aboriginal Education Entrepreneurship Initiative and the All Nations Job Expo. He is also a supporter of Regina trades and skills, ensuring that today’s youth gain insight into leading our future business community.

A friend and colleague wrote a letter supporting Hopkins’ nomination for Citizen of the Year.

“Even when faced with adversity, John will continue to pursue his objectives.”

Hopkins was diagnosed with stage four prostate cancer in 2018, which he continues to battle.

“I thought it was stage two or stage three, turned out it was stage four, it was pretty devastating because it’s not curable,” Hopkins said. “I’ve done chemotherapy and this year, I did 28 rounds of radiation therapy and I’m on hormone therapy for the rest of my life.”

Hopkins used his diagnosis as inspiration for the Rock Cancer fundraising concert that his band, The Garage Band – which features Regina Mayor Michael Fougere – and the event was able to raise over $1.4-million to purchase a 4D CT Simulator for the Allan Blair Cancer Centre in Regina.

“It was something that was needed in our community and we were very happy to do it,” Hopkins said.

“It was just unbelievable the support from this community to have some state-of-the-art infrastructure for the Allan Blair Cancer Centre, it was really something that was important, and for me personally, I got to actually use that particular piece of equipment with my cancer journey.”

Hopkins encourages men over 40 to use the equipment and get checked out for prostate cancer, “That became the theme for a lot of what we did with Rock Cancer was to talk about raising money for the simulator, as well as to tell men to go get checked,” he said.

Citizen of the Year recognizes an individual who has demonstrated exceptional dedication to the community. This is the 16th year CTV Regina has honoured a citizen with the award.