LaFontaine-Baldwin Symposium

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Statue of symposium's namesakes Robert Baldwin and Louis-Hippolyte Lafontaine, on Parliament Hill in Ottawa.

The LaFontaine-Baldwin Symposium is a signature Canadian event hosted by Institute for Canadian Citizenship and its co-founders and co-chairs, John Ralston Saul and the Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson. It showcases leading Canadian and international thinkers, using a keynote address and post-lecture roundtable discussions. The Symposium aims to create an inspiring space for new perspectives and idea-sharing, challenging all Canadians to become part of the national conversation on citizenship, democracy and the public good. It complements the ICC’s grassroots programs by encouraging participants to think about Canada’s big picture, and invites new citizens to lend their voice.

Launched in 2000, the Symposium was created through the joint effort of John Ralston Saul and the Dominion Institute. 2013 saw the return of the LaFontaine-Baldwin Symposium in a new and refreshing way through a partnership with the Stratford Festival. Since its inception, Stratford has been providing audiences the opportunity to engage with creative and often challenging ideas, making it the perfect place to add more voices to Canada’s citizenship conversation.

Canada's existence and democratic foundation owes a great deal to the partnership of two 19th-century political visionaries, Louis-Hippolyte LaFontaine and Robert Baldwin, the first democratically elected Joint Premiers of the Province of Canada. The Symposium's annual venue honours these two great political reformers.

Each Symposium lecture is broadcast on CBC Radio One's Ideas.

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