2011 Lecture

Canada's Chief Statistician Emeritus, Dr. Ivan P. Fellegi, has been chosen to receive the Confederation Centre of the Arts' Symons Medal and give the 9th national Symons Lecture on the State of Canadian Confederation.

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Dr. Fellegi was the Chief Statistician of Canada from 1985 to 2008, capping a 51 year career with Statistics Canada, widely regarded as one of the best statistical agencies in the world. Prime Minister Harper appointed him Chief Statistician Emeritus in 2008. He has been president of a number of statistical bodies including the International Statistical Institute, the International Association of Survey Statisticians, and the Statistical Society of Canada. He holds the Order of Canada, as well as the Outstanding Achievement Award of the Public Service of Canada.

Dr. Fellegi's lecture is entitled: Statistics, public confidence and lessons from the 2011 Canadian Census.

"It is an honour to have Dr. Fellegi present this year's Symons Lecture to share his over 20 years of experience as Chief Statistician of Canada. His insights on the current year's Census and its importance to our nation will indeed be of great interest to our lecture audience," said Mr. H. Wayne Hambly, Chairman of the Fathers of Confederation Buildings Trust.

The Symons Medal and Lecture provides a national platform for a distinguished 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 intended to be broadcast and published, is held each year to mark the meetings of the Fathers of Confederation in Charlottetown in 1864.

Past speakers have included the Honourable Jean Charest, Premier of Quebec; the Honourable R. Roy McMurtry, Chief Justice of Ontario; Mark Starowicz, journalist and documentarist; the Honourable Peter Lougheed and the Honourable John Crosbie; Dr. Ian E. Wilson, the Librarian and Archivist of Canada; the Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin, P.C., Chief Justice of Canada; Mary Simon, President of the national Inuit organization Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, and His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada.

The lecture honours Professor Thomas H.B. Symons, a supporter and board member of the Confederation Centre for many years. Professor Symons, the founding President of Trent University in Ontario, is widely recognized for his work in the field of Canadian Studies, in particular in the areas of public policy, heritage and education.

It is the mandate of the Confederation Centre of the Arts, Canada's national memorial to the founding of Confederation, to inspire Canadians to celebrate, through heritage and the arts, the founding and evolution of Canadian Confederation. The Confederation Centre brings this mandate to life by celebrating Canadian creativity in the performing and visual arts on its stages and in its galleries, by its arts education, and by public policy initiatives such as the Symons Medal and Lecture.

There is no charge for admission but tickets are required. To reserve tickets, please contact the box office at 566-1267 or 1-800-565-0278.

Background on Dr. Ivan Fellegi

Dr. Ivan P. Fellegi was Chief Statistician of Canada from 1985 to 2008, head of what was ranked by The Economist as the best statistical office in the world. He was chair of the Conference of European Statisticians of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe from 1993 to 1997. He is Past President of the International Statistical Institute, the International Association of Survey Statisticians, and the Statistical Society of Canada; and past chair of the Board of Governors, Carleton University (1995-97).

Dr. Fellegi's many awards and accolades include: Officer, Order of Canada; recipient of the Outstanding Achievement Award of the Public Service of Canada; the Order of Merit of the Hungarian Republic; the Career Achievement Award of the Canadian Policy Research Initiative; La Médaille de la ville de Paris; Member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences; Gold Medal from the Statistical Society of Canada, and the Robert Schuman medal of the European Community.

He holds Honorary Doctorates from Université de Montréal, Université du Québec (Institut national de la recherche scientifique), Simon Fraser University, McMaster University and Carleton University. He is an Honorary Member of the International Statistical Institute, and an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society.

He has published extensively on statistical methods, on the social and economic applications of statistics and on the successful management of statistical agencies.