Confederation Centre of the Arts announced that the 2017 Symons Medal will be awarded to the Prime Minister of Canada, the Right Honourable Justin P.J. Trudeau. The Symons Medal is one of Canada’s most prestigious honours and recognizes a distinguished person who has made an exceptional contribution to Canadian life. The award will be presented to Mr. Trudeau at Confederation Centre on November 23, 2017.
Previous recipients include His Royal Highness Prince Charles, Prince of Wales; His Excellency Governor General David Johnston; former Prime Minister Paul Martin; the Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin, P.C., Chief Justice of Canada; President of the national Inuit organization, Mary Simon; environmental leader, Dr. David Suzuki; and former Quebec Premier, Jean Charest.
On October 19, 2015, Mr. Trudeau led his party to a majority government winning 184 seats, and ridings in every province and territory. He was sworn in as Prime Minister on November 4, 2015. Two years into his mandate, Mr. Trudeau leads a government that works hard every day to build an economy that works for the middle class and people working hard to join it. His team is focused on creating good, middle class jobs, fostering strength out of Canada’s rich diversity, fighting climate change, and achieving reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples. A proud feminist, Mr. Trudeau also appointed Canada’s first gender-balanced Cabinet in 2015.
“On behalf of CEO Jessie Inman and Professor Tom Symons, for whom this lecture is named, we are elated to announce the Right Honourable Prime Minister as the recipient of the 17th Symons Medal,” says Chair of the Fathers of Confederation Buildings Trust, Wayne Hambly.
“During this significant year commemorating the 150th anniversary of Canadian Confederation, we are proud to be recognizing the Prime Minister of Canada here on Prince Edward Island — the recognized Birthplace of Confederation. We look forward to welcoming Mr. Trudeau to Charlottetown to share his unique perspective on the evolving State of Canada and its nationhood.”
The oldest of three boys, Mr. Trudeau grew up with the profound influence of his father, former Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau, and his mother, Margaret Trudeau. He was raised speaking both French and English and has family roots in both eastern and western Canada.
Mr. Trudeau graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from McGill University in 1994. He went on to complete the University of British Columbia’s education program in 1998, and spent several years teaching French, math, and other subjects in Vancouver. Before entering politics, Mr. Trudeau also served as the National Chair of Katimavik, as a board member for the Canadian Avalanche Foundation, and as an advocate for young people and the environment.
Since 2004, Confederation Centre has honoured 16 distinguished Symons Medalists. Held each fall, the medal ceremony creates a national platform for a prominent Canadian to discuss the nation’s current state and future prospects.
The 2017 Symons Medal Ceremony will take place in the Homburg Theatre at Confederation Centre. For more information, please visit www.confederationcentre.com/symonsmedallecture and follow event updates on social media @confedcentre and via hashtag, #Symons2017.