The Centre for All Canadians



Held annually, The Symons Medal Lecture on the State of Canadian Confederation 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 in Charlottetown to mark the meetings of the Fathers of Confederation in September 1864.

The lecture honours Professor Thomas H.B. Symons, a long-time 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 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. Confederation Centre fulfills this mandate in part by presenting Canadian leaders through public policy initiatives such as the Symons Medal and Lecture series.





Shelagh Rogers

One of Canada’s most esteemed broadcast-journalists will be awarded the 2022 Symons Medal in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island this fall. Shelagh Rogers, OC will be the twenty-second recipient of the prestigious honour.

The Symons Medal recognizes an individual who has made an exceptional contribution to Canadian life. Held annually, the medal ceremony and its associated lecture offer a national platform for an eminent Canadian to discuss the nation’s current state, shared histories, and prospects using themes related to their professional pursuits.

Shelagh Rogers is a veteran broadcast-journalist at CBC, most recently as the host and producer of The Next Chapter, an award-winning program devoted to writing in Canada. Over her illustrious career, she has hosted other national radio programs such as This Morning, The Arts Tonight, and Sounds Like Canada.

Rogers is a vocal advocate for mental healthcare, adult literacy, and for a reckoning with the truth of Canada’s relationship with Indigenous peoples. In 2011, she was inducted as an Honorary Witness for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, a life-changing honour. In the same year, she was named an Officer of the Order of Canada for elevating the cause of adult literacy, fighting against the stigma of mental illness by sharing the story of her own depression, and for promoting Canadian culture. In 2016, she received the inaugural Margaret Trudeau Award for Mental Health Advocacy.

She co-edited three books in the Aboriginal Healing Foundation’s Speaking My Truth series and, in 2019, was named an inaugural Library and Archives Canada Scholar in recognition of her dedication to the promotion of the country’s literary and historical heritage. She holds eight honorary doctorates from Canadian universities and is Chancellor Emeritus of the University of Victoria. Rogers is a member of the Métis Nation of Greater Victoria.


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2021 Lecture The Honourable Louise Arbour, CC, GOQ
2020 Lecture The Honourable Bob Rae, Canada’s Ambassador to the UN
2019 Lecture The Honourable Senator Murray Sinclair
2018 Lecture Dr. Margaret MacMillan, historian
2017 Lecture The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada
2016 Lecture Antonine Maillet, novelist and playwright
2015 Lecture Paul Gross, actor, writer, and director
2014 Lectures Stephen Lewis, human rights activist; and,

His Royal Highness Charles, Prince of Wales

2013 Lecture The Right Honourable Paul Martin
2012 Lecture Dr. David Suzuki
2011 Lecture Dr. Ivan Fellegi, former Chief Statistician of Canada
2010 Lecture The Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada
2009 Lecture Mary Simon, President of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, national Inuit organization
2008 Lecture The Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin, Chief Justice of Canada and Dr. Ian E. Wilson, Librarian and Archivist of Canada
2007 Lecture The Honourable John Crosbie and The Honourable Peter Lougheed
2006 Lecture Mark Starowicz, producer and journalist
2005 Lecture The Honorable Roy McMurtry, Chief Justice of Ontario
2004 Lecture The Honourable Jean Charest, Premier of Quebec



Professor Thomas H. B. Symons,

C., OOnt, LLD, DU, DLitt, DCnL, FRSC, FRGS


Professor Symons passed away in January at the age of 91. “Tom” is widely recognized for his contributions in the areas of public policy, heritage, and education—dedicating his life to community and nation-building. This video is a celebration of Tom Symons and his long-standing relationship with the Island, including the Centre and Shaw’s Hotel in Brackley, which he visited annually for more than 70 years.

Produced by Confederation Centre of the Arts, 2021, featured interviews include the Honourable H. Frank Lewis, Catherine Hennessey, H. Wayne Hambly, Robert Sear, Robbie Shaw, and Steve Bellamy; as well as music from Charlene and Gordon Belsher and Atlantic String Machine.




The Symons Trust Endowment Fund


The Symons Trust Endowment Fund was created in 1994 to help finance heritage programming, specifically The Symons Medal Lecture. All donations to this fund are eligible for up to dollar for dollar matching through the Endowment Incentives component of the Department of Canadian Heritage’s Canada Cultural Investment Fund. For more on our Foundation and to donate online please click here.



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Sometimes referred to as sensory-friendly experiences, Relaxed Performances give the opportunity for those with various sensitivities towards sensory stimuli to experience and enjoy live theatre.

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