Founded in 2000 by ICC Co-Chair John Ralston Saul, the LaFontaine-Baldwin Symposium is a signature event hosted across the country, showcasing leading thinkers. This intellectual platform allows us to talk about the themes that underlie the work we do on a daily basis through Building Citizenship, CAP and ICC Insights.

Unlike most speaker series, the Symposium encourages two-way communication between the audience and our lecturers. The event consists of a keynote address followed by roundtable discussions to create an inspiring space for new perspectives and idea sharing.

Each year, we use a different lens to explore the new Canadian voice. Although our speakers may not have a direct immigrant narrative, their work and life experiences allow them to express themes and perspectives that offer different views on this topic. To ensure the new citizen voice is present, we invite 15 Cultural Access Pass members to attend as our ambassadors and offer discounted tickets to all CAP members.

LaFontaine-Baldwin Symposium Advisory Board

The following people serve on the LaFontaine-Baldwin Symposium Advisory Board, lending their time and expertise to this influential event: Alain Dubuc (advisor and 2001 lecturer); Dr. Margaret Conrad; Dr. Gerald Friesen; Dr. Anne Golden; Le Prof. Jocelyn Létourneau; Bernie Lucht; Émile Martel; and, John Ralston Saul (Advisory Board Chair, ICC Co-Chair and former lecturer).

Who were LaFontaine and Baldwin?

Louis-Hippolyte LaFontaine and Robert Baldwin are best known in Canadian history as the architects of responsible government. From Montreal and Toronto respectively, they were both influential in early Canadian politics as lawyers and as members of their respective Assemblies. In the wake of the chaotic Rebellions of 1837-1838, LaFontaine and Baldwin came together to oppose the British administration's attempts to assimilate French Canadians and maintain power in the hands of the colonial elite. Their victory in the elections of 1848 brought responsible government to the United Province of Canada. They also had a revolutionary effect on Canada's public administration, the legal system, the creation of municipalities, and the education system.

LaFontaine-Baldwin Speakers

2015: Naheed Nenshi

2014: Robert Lepage

2013: Shawn A-in-chut Atleo

2010: His Highness the Aga Khan

2009: Siila Watt-Cloutier

2007: The Rt. Hon. Adrienne Clarkson

2006: George Elliott Clarke

2005: The Hon. Louise Arbour

2004: David Malouf

2003: The Rt. Hon. Beverley McLachlin

2002: Georges Erasmus

2001: Alain Dubuc

2000: John Ralston Saul