2013 Lecture

The Right Honourable Paul Martin to give 11th Symons Lecture on October 10

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Former Canadian Prime Minister, The Right Honourable Paul Martin, has been chosen to receive Confederation Centre of the Arts' Symons Medal and give the 11th National Symons Lecture on the State of Canadian Confederation. Mr. Martin's lecture is entitled ‘Confederation Today and Aboriginal Canada' and will take place on Thursday, October 10, 2013 in Confederation Centre's Homburg Theatre.

A Companion of the Order of Canada, Mr. Martin was Prime Minister of Canada from 2003 to 2006 and Minister of Finance from 1993 to 2002. Currently, Mr. Martin chairs the British-Norwegian poverty alleviation and sustainable development fund for the Congo Basin Rainforest. He also sits on the Advisory Council of the Coalition for Dialogue on Africa, sponsored by the African Union, the UN Economic Commission for Africa, and the African Development Bank.

Domestically, he leads the Martin Aboriginal Education Initiative, concentrating on improving the elementary and secondary school education of Canada's Indigenous peoples. Before entering politics, Mr. Martin had a distinguished career in the private sector as a business executive at Power Corporation of Canada and as Chairman and CEO of The CSL Group Inc.

"In its reports on Human Development, the United Nations consistently acknowledges Canada as a global leader," said Mr. Martin. "At the same time however, it notes the ongoing struggle of Aboriginal Canadians in their pursuit of achieving equity regarding economic, social, and cultural rights. It is time for Canada to give life to the constitutionally protected inherent right to self-government, ensuring Aboriginal Canada is given a seat at the national table."
"We are extremely pleased to welcome The Right Honourable Paul Martin to present this year's Symons Lecture and share his insights on the topic of Aboriginal Canada in 2013," says Mr. H. Wayne Hambly, Chairman of the Fathers of Confederation Buildings Trust. "Mr. Martin is an internationally renowned Canadian politician and his observations will be of great interest to our lecture audience."

The Symons Medal and Lecture provides a national platform for an eminent Canadian to discuss the current state and future prospects of Confederation. It provides all Canadians an opportunity to reflect upon their country and its future. The Medal Ceremony and Lecture, which is also broadcasted and later published, is held each fall to mark the 1864 meetings of the Fathers of Confederation in Charlottetown.

The lecture honours Professor Thomas H.B. Symons, a supporter and board member of Confederation Centre for many years. Professor Symons, the founding President of Trent University, is widely recognized for his work in the field of Canadian Studies, in particular in the areas of public policy, heritage, and education.
An announcement regarding tickets for the Lecture will be made shortly. Simultaneous translation of the lecture will be provided. Details will be announced in September regarding participation by students in both the Symons Lecture and its affiliated essay contest. For more information on the opportunities for students, please contact Meredith Smith, sales manager at
Please visit for further details.

Photo Credit:
(Kent Kallberg photo) The Right Honourable Paul Martin will receive the Confederation Centre of the Arts' Symons Medal and give the 11th National Symons Lecture on the State of Canadian Confederation on October 10, 2013 in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island.

Past Symons Lecture speakers:
• Dr. David Suzuki, Canadian Scientist, Broadcaster, and Author, 2012;
• Dr. Ivan P. Fellegi, Canada's Chief Statistician Emeritus, 2011;
• His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, 2010;
• Mary Simon, President of the national Inuit organization Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, 2009;
• The Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin, P.C., Chief Justice of Canada, 2008;
• Dr. Ian E. Wilson, Librarian and Archivist of Canada, 2008;
• The Honourable Peter Lougheed, Former Premier of Alberta and The Honourable John Crosbie, P.C., Lieutenant Governor of Newfoundland and Labrador, 2007;
• Mark Starowicz, journalist and broadcaster, 2006;
• The Honourable R. Roy McMurtry, Chief Justice of Ontario, 2005;
• The Honourable Jean Charest, Premier of Quebec, 2004.