Now in its ninth year, The Guelph Lecture – On Being Canadian has come to be known as a unique event, inspiring a community conversation on what it means to be Canadian through an evening of ideas, perspectives and cultural offerings.
This year, Madeleine Redfern, Mayor of Iqaluit, as the keynote speaker. An accomplished activist, intellectual, and politician, Redfern has devoted much of her 20-year career to the pursuit of social justice in Northern aboriginal and Inuit communities. Before her election as Mayor in December 2010, Redfern presided over a number of organisations dedicated to improving Inuit access to health and educational resources. Redfern most recently served as executive director with the Qikitani Truth Commission, an Inuit-led initiative focused on documenting the impact of Northern events in the mid-20th century through oral history. Mayor Redfern’s presentation will ask the listener to set aside preconceived notions of Arctic life in order to understand the North as a dynamic hotbed of Canadian activism and leadership.
The musical portion of the evening will feature Jane Bunnett, doubtlessly one of Canada’s most intriguing and respected jazz performers. Classically trained on flute and soprano saxophone, Bunnett rapidly developed an international fan base following her artistic awakening to Afro-Cuban music in the early 1980s. Her adventurous style and technical skill have earned her numerous Juno and Grammy nominations.
Author Michael Helm as the literary guest for this year’s event. A master of finely crafted and deliberate prose, Helm saw instant recognition with his first novel The Projectionist, following its Giller Prize Nomination in 1997. The nomination placed Helm in the company of literary superstars such as Mordecai Richler and Carol Shields- a likening he would prove to live up to with 2004’s Rogers Writers’ Trust- and Commonwealth Prize-nominated In The Place of Last Things, and 2010’s Cities of Refuge.
The evening’s emcee is Guelph-based Canadian producer, composer, remixer and multi-instrumentalist, Andrew McPherson has worked with a plethora of artists over his 20 year career. He is the brains behind world fusion project Eccodek (2009 Juno nominees and 2 time Canadian Music Award winners). Andrew also maintains a busy life as a professional voice actor, having been the network announcer for Discovery Channel and voicing countless ad campaigns throughout Canada and the U.S. He is proud to be the M.C. for Guelph’s celebrated Lecture on Being Canadian.
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