The Confederation Centre of the Arts has announced the 2020 Symons Medal will be awarded to the Honourable Bob Rae, PC, CC, OO, QC through an online broadcast on Friday, October 30.
The Symons Medal and Lecture Series is named in honour of Professor Thomas H.B. Symons, a long-time supporter of Confederation Centre and a Board Governor. The Symons Medal recognizes an individual who has made an exceptional contribution to Canadian life and is presented annually at the Centre.
The Symons Medal Ceremony and Lecture will be streamed online via the Centre’s Facebook and YouTube channels on October 30 at 8 p.m. AT.
Remarks of welcome will be made by the Honourable Premier Dennis King and official response will be delivered by the Honourable Roy Romanow, PC, OC, SOM, QC, former premier of Saskatchewan and current chancellor of the University of Saskatchewan. The Medal Lecture will be followed by a live question and answer component with viewers.
Hon. Rae’s lecture is entitled: Learning from The Past, Imagining the Future: Reflections from a Political Life. “I am delighted to be following so many distinguished Canadians as this year’s Symons Medal recipient,” states Hon. Rae. “I have long admired Tom Symons’ vision and leadership and it is also wonderful to be associated with Confederation Centre of the Arts and my many friends in Charlottetown and Prince Edward Island.”
Throughout the video address, Hon. Rae will explore themes around: Canada’s improbable origins as a nation; post-war emergence onto the global stage; active membership within the United Nations (U.N.); and the significance of the ever-evolving Canadian constitution—a “living tree document”.
Hon. Rae is the 2020 recipient in part for his many years of work on humanitarian issues, most recently the Rohingya Refugee crisis, as well as his time focusing on indigenous issues with Olthuis Kleer Townshend LLP, and his decades of public service and teaching. He has always been deeply involved in the political life of Canada including as MP, former premier of Ontario, and interim leader of the federal Liberal Party. While premier, he was involved in many of the initiatives for constitutional reform.
In July, Hon. Rae was appointed Canada’s ambassador to the U.N. by the Right Honourable Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Prior to this appointment, he served as the Prime Minister’s Special Envoy on Humanitarian and Refugee Issues.
Stay tuned to the Confederation Centre’s news page for further updates, including further potential distribution or screenings of the lecture.
About the Medal: The Symons Medal was designed by Dora de Pedery-Hunt, CM, OOnt (1913 – 2008). The famed Canadian sculptor was inspired by the Jean Paul Lemieux 1964 painting Charlottetown Revisited (submitted).
Since 2004, the Centre has honoured 19 distinguished Symons Medallists:
· 2019 Senator Murray Sinclair, Chairman of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission
- 2018 Dr. Margaret MacMillan, historian
- 2017 The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada
- 2016 Antonine Maillet, novelist and playwright
- 2015 Paul Gross, actor, writer, director
- 2014 Stephen Lewis, politician, human rights activist, UN Special Envoy
- 2014 His Royal Highness Prince Charles, Prince of Wales
- 2013 The Right Honourable Paul Martin
- 2012 Dr. David Suzuki
- 2011 Dr. Ivan Fellegi, former Chief Statistician of Canada
- 2010 The Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada
- 2009 Mary Simon, President of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, national Inuit organization
- 2008 The Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin, Chief Justice of Canada
- 2008 Dr. Ian E. Wilson, Librarian and Archivist of Canada
- 2007 The Honourable John Crosbie
- 2007 The Honourable Peter Lougheed
- 2006 Mark Starowicz, producer and journalist
- 2005 The Honourable Roy McMurtry, Chief Justice of Ontario
- 2004 The Honourable Jean Charest, Premier of Quebec
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