“The objective of the annual Symons Lecture is to encourage Canadians to think and talk about their country,” says Hambly. “Mr. Starowicz’s contribution to journalism has transformed radio and television journalism in our country, and profoundly enriched the Canadian experience. We are pleased that he has accepted our invitation to give this year’s Symons Lecture.”
Under Starowicz’s leadership, the documentary production unit has produced influential current affairs programs and documentaries, including Hockey: A People’s History, a series about hockey in Canada now being broadcast on CBC-TV, and Canada: A People’s History, which first aired on CBC-TV from October 2000 to November 2001. For his contribution to the performing arts in Canada, Starowicz will receive a Lifetime Artistic Achievement Award during the 2006 Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards on November 3. Spanning radio and television, Starowicz’s career includes the CBC Radio programs As It Happens and Sunday Morning, and CBC TV’s The Journal. Until recently, he was head of CBC Television’s documentary programming unit responsible for the prime-time series Witness, which won a Gemini Award for Best Documentary Series, and Life & Times. His six-hour history of television news, The Dawn of the Eye (1996), co-produced with the BBC, the American History Channel and A&E, was lauded by critics worldwide and is used in many journalism schools. In print media, Starowicz was co-editor of the journalistic magazine The Last Post, and a reporter for The Montreal Gazette and The Toronto Star. He has published articles in The New York Times Magazine, The Globe and Mail, and Time, and he lectures and writes internationally on television and public policy. Educated at McGillUniversity with a bachelor’s degree in history, Starowicz recently received honorary doctorates from YorkUniversity, SirWilfridLaurierUniversity, McGill, University of Victoria, University of Ottawa and King’s College in Halifax. He is on the board of directors of Canada’s National History Society and was appointed the Canadian Club’s Canadian of the Year in 2000. He has received the Canadian Journalism Foundation’s Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to the industry and commitment to the highest journalistic standards. In May of 2004, he was named an Officer of the Order of Canada. Established by the Confederation Centre in 2004, the Symons Lecture provides a national platform for a distinguished Canadian to discuss the current state and future prospects of Confederation. The inaugural speech was given by Premier Jean Charest in November 2004, and last year’s talk by Ontario’s Chief Justice Roy McMurtry. The Symons Lecture honours Professor Thomas H.B. Symons, a long-time supporter and board member of the Confederation Centre.