Just a short walk through Montreal’s downtown core reveals the enduring role the Scots have played in the growth and evolution of Montreal, Quebec and Canada. From national institutions like the Hudson’s Bay Company, the Canadian Pacific Railway, the Royal Bank of Canada, the Bank of Montreal and the Black Watch, to Montreal landmarks such as the Royal Montreal Golf Club and the Royal Montreal Curling Club, our history, culture and identity are inextricably linked to the vibrant and diverse contributions of our Scottish countrymen.
Founded by a philanthropic gift from Scottish fur trader James McGill 190 years ago, McGill embodies the venerable past and thriving present of the Scottish-Canadian influence. Which is why the Faculty of Arts has partnered with the St. Andrew’s Society of Montreal and the McEuen Scholarship Foundation to raise funds for a new Chair in Canadian-Scottish Studies.
The new Chair, which will be housed within the world-renowned McGill Institute for the Study of Canada and jointly appointed with the Department of History, will advance the Society and Foundation’s missions of celebrating and promoting Canadian-Scottish history and culture, while making an invaluable contribution to Canadian-Scottish studies at McGill.
“It is timely that a Canadian-Scottish chair be created on the 190th anniversary of the founding of McGill, this most Scottish of institutions founded when Montreal was a small Scottish bastion and the beaver was king,” says Peter McAuslan, President & CEO of McAuslan Brewing and past president of the St. Andrew’s Society of Montreal. “Scotland itself was entering an intellectual renaissance that changed the world. To understand the impact of the Scots on Canada is to give insight into the nature of our past and perspective on our future.”
This exciting initiative will adopt a uniquely broad and interdisciplinary approach to Canadian-Scottish studies, bringing to bear expertise from a wide range of faculties, departments and scholarly disciplines to illuminate the unique impact of the Scottish antecedent on Quebec and Canada from multiple perspectives. It will also be a unique opportunity for outreach, and one of the goals of the Chair will be to reach beyond small academic circles and engage the community by hosting visiting speakers and organizing events and conferences that will be open to the public.
Help us build the future of Canadian-Scottish Studies
As Canadians, Quebecers and Montrealers, we enjoy a unique and enduring bond with Scotland, encompassing both our rich history and our dynamic present. Your gift in support of the Chair in Canadian-Scottish Studies will help us ensure that this bond is nurtured in perpetuity and that Scottish-Canadian studies take their rightful place at the heart of McGill, a University recognized for its world-class teaching, research and community engagement.
McGill already enjoys a strong network of collaborative ties with Scottish universities, including bilateral exchange, research and internship agreements with the University of Glasgow, the University of Edinburgh, and the University of St. Andrew’s. The Chair will allow us to expand and enrich those partnerships, while creating new ties with institutions across Canada and around the world in a variety of complementary disciplines.