Home Heritage Symons Medal Presentation & Lecture

Symons Medal Presentation and Lecture

The 2024 Symons Medal Presentation and Lecture will be held on Tuesday, October 15

Confederation Centre of the Arts will award four former premiers with the prestigious Symons Medal this October to mark the 20th anniversary of the annual medal presentation and lecture. The Symons Medal recognizes individuals who have made an exceptional contribution to Canadian life. Held annually, the medal presentation and its associated lecture offer a national platform for eminent Canadians to discuss the nation’s current state and prospects using themes related to their professional pursuits.

2024 Symons Medallists

Christy Clark

35th premier of British Columbia 

The Honourable Dr. Philippe Couillard PC

31st premier of Quebec

Joseph Handley

10th premier of the Northwest Territories

The Honourable Frank McKenna PC OC ONB KC F.ICD

27th premier of New Brunswick, 20th Canadian Ambassador to the United States of America  

“Confederation Centre of the Arts is thrilled to present this award to four honourees from four distinct regions of Canada,” says Centre CEO Steve Bellamy. “Their time as premiers covers four decades of Canadian politics, from the 1980s through the 2010s, and their wealth of experiences from different sides of the political spectrum will make this a riveting event.”

The Symons Medal Lecture is typically delivered by one person, but this year’s event will feature a new format. Each medallist will give a short lecture and then join a panel discussion.

“It has been 160 years since the 1864 Charlottetown Conference, and with Confederation Centre of the Arts celebrating its 60th anniversary and the Symons Medal marking 20 years, we want to commemorate these milestones with a historic edition of the event,” adds Robert Sear, Centre board chair of and co-chair of the Symons Medal Committee. “Honouring four Symons medallists will be a first and adds extra excitement to what will be an engaging day.

Tickets will become available at a later date

2023 Symons Medal Presentation Lecture (Eng)

2023 Symons Medal Presentation Lecture (Fr)

The Symons Trust Endowment Fund

The Symons Trust Endowment Fund was created in 1994 to help finance heritage programming, specifically The Symons Medal Presentation And 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.

Past Symons Medal Recipients

Michael Ignatieff


Writer, historian, and former politician

Shelagh Rogers


Veteran broadcast-journalist

The Honourable Louise Arbour

Former UN High Commissioner of Human Rights

The Honourable Bob Rae

Canadian Ambassador to the United Nations (UN)

Senator Murray Sinclair

Chairman of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission

Dr. Margaret MacMillan

Historian and Author

The Right Honourable Justin Trudeau

Prime Minister of Canada

Antonine Maillet

Novelist and Playwright

Paul Gross

Actor, Writer, Director

His Royal Highness Prince Charles

Prince of Wales

Stephen Lewis

Politician, Human Rights Activist

The Right Honourable Paul Martin

Former Prime Minister

Dr. David Suzuki


Dr. Ivan Fellegi

Former Chief Statistician of Canada

The Right Honourable David Johnston

Governor General of Canada

Mary Simon

President of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, National Inuit Organization

The Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin

Chief Justice of Canada

Ian E. Wilson

Librarian and Archivist of Canada

The Honourable John Crosbie

Chancellor, Memorial University

The Honourable Peter Lougheed

Former Premier of Alberta

Mark Starowicz

Producer and Journalist

The Honourable Roy McMurtry

Chief Justice of Ontario

The Honourable Jean Charest

Premier of Quebec

“Confederation Centre for the Arts has always been a place of inspiration and connection. A lively venue for the sharing of our stories, historical, and contemporary, and imagined. A place where we can come together to talk about who we are, where we’re at, and how we will create a brilliant future. Where we rejoice in the arts and in dialogue that will make us think, talk with each other, listen to each other and celebrate culture in all its forms.”

Shelagh Rogers | Journalist and Symons Medal Recipient

Professor Thomas H. B. Symons, CC, OONT, LLD, DU, DLITT, DCNL, FRSC, FRGS

Professor Symons passed away in January 2001 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, the video features interviews including 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.

Learn more about Heritage Programming

Contact Francesca Perez, Director of Arts Education and Heritage
902-629-1178 or [email protected]