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, “The Red Book” – a yearbook containing all the speeches was distributed free of charge to 4000 university, secondary, and elementary school libraries in Canada, as well as Canadian embassies and consulates worldwide. This record is in the process of being digitized so that all Canadians may have access to it.
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.