Established in 1903, as a response to Canadian political unrest, the Empire Club of Canada (ECC) quickly became a leading speakers’ forum. Beginning with speeches to address Canada’s relationships with the British Empire and the United States, the ECC continues to tackle issues that affect the lives of Canadians.
The club invites speakers to present various perspectives—including those that may not be popular but should be heard. Since its inception, the ECC has hosted 3500 prominent Canadian and international leaders, including Prince Edward, the Prince of Wales (later Edward VIII), Winston Churchill, Ronald Reagan, Audrey Hepburn, Margaret Mead, Christopher Plumber, Roberta Bondar, Maureen Forrester, Adrienne Clarkson, Margaret Thatcher, Vladamir Putin and Bill Gates, to name but a few. Topics encompass business, politics, education, trade, labour, culture, international issues, as well as, other relevant topics that emerge.
ECC members and speakers are leaders in various professions, businesses, labour, education, government, and cultural organizations. Luncheon meetings attract audiences of 200 to 1200 people. In order to accommodate a changing population, the ECC now also provides several intimate evening events each season.
For many years, a yearbook containing all the speeches from the season has been created and distributed free of charge by the Empire Club Foundation to universities, consulates and libraries across the country and beyond. This “Red Book” is now being digitized so that many more students, individuals and institutions can easily access these fascinating speeches from over the years.
The Empire Club of Canada continues to honour both its own and Canada’s history while providing imaginative and innovative ideas to lead us into the future. We celebrate the multiple national histories that have evolved into the Canada of today and advance the relationships that will continue Canada’s evolution.