MISC turns 20 in style with September symposium

Posted on Tuesday, September 2, 2014

By Elisabeth Faure

On Sept. 23, the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada (MISC) will mark its two-decade anniversary with a public symposium, Canada Remix, which will bring together some of Canada’s leading thinkers.

The Remix audience will hear from the likes of Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi, who will give a keynote address live via video, discussing how his community came together in the aftermath of the 2013 Calgary floods. Two panel discussions will follow. The first, on “Individuals, Communities, and Global Civil Society,” will feature ad guru Bertrand Cesvet (chairperson of global powerhouse agency Sid Lee, Inc.), Globe and Mail chief political writer John Ibbitson, renowned artist Ken Lum, and Inuit leader Mary Simon. Ken Whyte, Senior Vice-President of Public Policy for Rogers, will moderate.

The second Remix panel, “The Future for Our Democratic and Public Expression,” will consist of Montréal International CEO Dominique Anglade, La Presse Chief Editorial Writer André Pratte, former Ontario Premier and Liberal Party of Canada interim Leader Bob Rae, and CBC Radio’s Spark host Nora Young. Moderating duties will be handled by former MISC Director Antonia Maioni.

“This outstanding lineup is truly emblematic of what the MISC stands for, which is to serve as a meeting place for those engaged in all aspects of Canadian life, where they can discuss the big issues facing our country,” said current MISC Director Will Straw.

Since its founding in 1994 by Charles R. Bronfman and Alex K. Paterson, the Institute has played host to some of Canada’s biggest names, via its annual conferences and public events. Amongst the Institute’s noted guests are former Premiers (Jean Charest, Bernard Landry, and Bernard Lord), and former Prime Ministers (Joe Clark, Brian Mulroney). The MISC has also played host to leading figures from the cultural centre (Coeur de Pirate, Tantoo Cardinal, Denise Chong, Jian Ghomeshi, Malcolm Gladwell, and Andy Nulman), in addition to athletes (Ken Dryden, Jennifer Heil, Richard Pound).

Beyond the September 23 symposium, other exciting new projects are in store. The Institute, which runs an undergraduate program in Canadian Studies, is launching a second undergraduate program in Indigenous Studies this year, and its new “Canada in the Americas” initiative will continue to explore the place of Canada in the larger context of its fellow countries in the Americas. And its 2015 conference on the topic of “Cities” (date TBA) is sure to have people talking.

To help the MISC continue to fund these public education events, the Institute is in the midst of a fundraising campaign, with a goal of $1 million. “We’re ambitious, but believe we can hit that target,” Straw said.

Space at Remix is limited, and those interested in attending are encouraged to register early. Students can attend free of charge, and tickets for the general public cost only $15.

“I am proud to say this symposium will highlight and continue the MISC’s proud history of public education,” Straw said. “It’s through events like these that we hope to inspire people to keep thinking and talking about Canada for the next 20 years.”

For more information about MISC events and fundraising activities, go here.


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