Tag Archives: Louise Arbour

Up On the Law

2021 Symons Medal Lecture to Focus on Immigration, the Pandemic and the Law 

-The Honourable Louise Arbour to deliver the lecture on October 29- 

One of Canada’s most experienced international law experts will give her take on the state of Canadian Confederation on October 29 as the recipient of the 2021 Symons Medal.  

The Honourable Louise Arbour, CC, GOQ, is a former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, a former Supreme Court Justice, Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda, and is currently leading an external review of sexual misconduct in the Canadian military. 

“Madame Arbour is one of Canada’s most respected and sought-after national and international law experts, and a most deserving recipient of the Symons Medal,” says Robert Sear, Chair of the Fathers of Confederation Buildings Trust. “We look forward to hearing her views on how our country has changed, and what may lie ahead as we navigate our rapidly changing world.” 

The Symons Medal 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 is held each fall on the Mainstage of Confederation Centre of the Arts in Charlottetown. 

The title of Madame Arbour’s lecture is DESIDERANTES MELIOREM PATRIAM, or “They Desire a Better Country” which is the motto of the Order of Canada. It will focus on the transformation of Canadian society through immigration, the pandemic, and the law. 

She follows a formidable line of Symons Medallists, including the Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin, The Honourable Murray Sinclair, and the Honourable Bob Rae. 

The 2021 Symons Medal Lecture takes place on the Mainstage of Confederation Centre of the Arts on Friday, October 29, at 7pm. The event will also be live-streamed on Confederation Centre’s Facebook page.  

Tickets will be available for Confederation Centre Members on Saturday, October 9. To become a member and take advantage of priority ticket booking, please visit confederationcentre.com/membership . Tickets will open to the general public on Wednesday, October 13. To book your seats visit confederationcentre.com, or call the Box Office at 1-800-565-0278. 

There is no cost to attend the ceremony, but patrons must have a ticket to enter, and quantities are limited.   

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2021 Symons Medallist Announced

Confederation Centre of the Arts Announces 2021 Symons Medallist

-The Honourable Louise Arbour to receive the 21st Symons Medal for exceptional contribution to Canadian life-

Confederation Centre of the Arts announced today that the 2021 Symons Medal will be awarded to the Honourable Louise Arbour, CC, GOQ on Friday, October 29 in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island.

The Symons Medal—one of Canada’s most prestigious honours—recognizes an individual who has made an exceptional contribution to Canadian life. The award and its associated lecture are presented annually at Confederation Centre of the Arts—Canada’s living monument to Canadian Confederation—in honour of the meetings of the Fathers of Confederation, who first gathered in Charlottetown in the fall of 1864.

Each year since 2004, the Symons Committee, co-chaired by Robert Sear and George Kitching, selects a recipient from a list of outstanding nominees. “On behalf of Confederation Centre of the Arts and CEO Steve Bellamy, I am pleased to announce the Honourable Louise Arbour as the 21st Recipient of the Symons Medal,” states Sear, chair of the Fathers of Confederation Buildings Trust.

“We look forward to welcoming Madame Arbour to Charlottetown this fall to share her perspective and reflect on a life spent in pursuit of civil justice for all, including her important work with the United Nations, the Supreme Court of Canada, and beyond.”

The Symons Medal Lecture offers an eminent Canadian a national platform to discuss the state of Confederation from their vantage point and through their professional lens.

In 1996, the Security Council of the United Nations appointed Madame Arbour Chief Prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda. In this role, she secured the first conviction for genocide (Rwanda) since the 1948 Genocide Convention and the first indictment for war crimes by a sitting European head of state (Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic).

Madame Arbour was appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada in 1999 and in 2004 she was appointed High Commissioner for Human Rights at the United Nations, and later the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on International Migration. 

Madame Arbour, Senior Counsel at Borden Ladner Gervais LLP, was recently appointed to lead an independent review into sexual misconduct in the Canadian Armed Forces.

Madame Arbour has received numerous honorary doctorates and awards. She is a Companion of the Order of Canada and a Grand Officer of the Ordre national du Québec. She follows a formidable line of Symons Medallists, including the Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin, Dr. David Suzuki, and the Honourable Bob Rae. 

The medal and events are named for Professor Thomas H.B. Symons, CC, O.Ont—the founder of Trent University and a long-time board member and supporter of Confederation Centre. Professor Symons passed away in January at the age of 91.

The 2021 Ceremony will take place in the Mainstage Theatre at Confederation Centre and will also be live-streamed on the Centre’s Facebook and YouTube. Ticket information and access for this important ceremony will be made available through the box office in early fall.

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