Conversations with Power
Experience lectures from our archive.
Established in 1903, as a response to Canadian political unrest, the Empire Club ofCanada (ECC) quickly became a leading speakers’ forum. Beginning with speeches to address Canada’s relationships with the British Empire and the United States, the ECCcontinues 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 3500prominent Canadian and international leaders, including Prince Edward, the Prince ofWales (later Edward VIII), Winston Churchill, Ronald Reagan, Audrey Hepburn,Margaret Mead, Christopher Plumber, Roberta Bondar, Maureen Forrester, AdrienneClarkson, 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.
Get up close and personal to the most relevant issues of the day and network with other like minded members.
Facts or Fake News: Are you being informed or misled?
From established media outlets to digital upstarts and social platforms – the news is suddenly on trial. Join CTV News’ Chief Anchor and Senior Editor Lisa LaFlamme at the Empire Club of Canada on January 25, 2018 as she dissects the state of media credibility – as well as lies, manipulation, and the extraordinary need for truth-telling – in a discussion with journalist Sally Armstrong.
Lisa LaFlamme, Chief News Anchor and Senior Editor, CTV NATIONAL NEWS
As Chief News Anchor and Senior Editor of CTV NATIONAL NEWS WITH LISA LAFLAMME since 2011, Lisa LaFlamme leads the country’s #1 newscast where she has cemented her role as the face of news in Canada.
Never far from the heart of the story, LaFlamme brings Canadians an up-close look at the biggest stories unfolding around the world. In 2017, she reported from the devastated flood regions of Texas and Florida, and travelled to northern France to lead CTV News’ special coverage of the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Vimy Ridge. Led by LaFlamme, CTV News delivered live coverage of the inauguration of Donald Trump from Washington D.C. in January 2017; reported on the death of Fidel Castro from Havana in November 2016; and broadcast live from Paris in November 2015 in the aftermath of the coordinated terrorist attacks across the city.
LaFlamme is known for landing exclusive interviews with leading global figures, and has interviewed five Canadian Prime Ministers. In 2017, LaFlamme sat down to discuss international aid with Bill Gates at New York’s United Nations General Assembly, and visited Prince Harry at his home in London’s Kensington Palace for a one-hour primetime special. In 2014, LaFlamme conducted an exclusive interview with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon following a three-day international summit on maternal and child health, and also led CTV NATIONAL NEWS to Jerusalem for an exclusive interview with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Prior to assuming the Anchor chair in 2011, LaFlamme spent a decade on the road as National Affairs Correspondent for CTV NATIONAL NEWS, covering everything from wars and elections to natural disasters from some of the world’s most dangerous locations. She was in Rome to report on the death of Pope John Paul II; has reported from Sri Lanka on the devastation from the Tsunami that hit South Asia; was in New Orleans to cover the impact Hurricane Katrina had on New Orleans; and has journeyed to Haiti several times to cover the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake and political turmoil gripping the country.
One of Canada’s top journalists, LaFlamme is a trailblazer for women in Canadian news broadcasting, covering some of the biggest stories of the times. LaFlamme has covered every Canadian federal election since 1997, and anchored CTV’s non-stop coverage of the Royal Wedding of William and Kate, live from Buckingham Palace in 2011. Having covered every Olympics since 2008, she played an integral part of CTV’s national broadcast team at Vancouver 2010 as Co-Host of OLYMPIC DAYTIME, and helmed CTV NATIONAL NEWS from London during the 2012 Olympic Games.
From the heart of the G20 riots that shook Toronto in 2010 to the environmental disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, and from the World Cup in South Africa to the miracle of the Chilean miners, LaFlamme has had a front row seat to some of the most compelling stories of a generation. She has covered every angle of the aftermath of 9/11 – from New York to Afghanistan, Iraq to Guantanamo Bay. Over the years, LaFlamme has reported extensively on the Canadian mission in Afghanistan as well as the humanitarian crisis facing the Afghan people.
A graduate of the University of Ottawa, LaFlamme began her broadcasting career in 1989 at CTV Kitchener (then named CKCO) in her hometown of Kitchener-Waterloo, Ont. She received an honourary Doctorate from her alma mater University of Ottawa in 2014, a Doctor of Laws degree from Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ont., and was awarded the Distinguished Canadian Award from the University of Ottawa, along with Julie Payette, Rick Mercer, and Michael Burgess.
A passionate advocate of democracy in journalism, LaFlamme traveled with Journalists for Human Rights (JHR) to the heart of the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2013 to mentor and train young journalists in Goma, in the heart of the conflict zone. LaFlamme also heads up a program with CTV News to identify eligible and deserving staff journalists to participate in JHR missions around the world, and serves as honorary co-chair of the annual JHR Night for Rights event.
LaFlamme is also an ambassador of PLAN International, traveling to remote areas to promote child rights and to end poverty around the world.
Sally Armstrong: Biography
Human rights activist, journalist and award-winning author Sally Armstrong has covered stories about women and girls in zones of conflict all over the world. From Bosnia and Somalia to the Middle East, Rwanda, Congo and Afghanistan and Iraq, her eye witness reports have earned her awards including the Gold Award from the National Magazine Awards Foundation and the Author’s Award from the Foundation for the Advancement of Canadian Letters. She received the Amnesty International Canada Media Award in 2000, 2002 and again in 2011.
She was a member of the International Women’s Commission a UN body that consists of 20 Palestinian women, 20 Israeli women and 12 internationals whose mandate is assisting with the path to peace in the Middle East.
In 1996, Sally was honoured by the YWCA of Toronto with the prestigious Women
of Distinction Award in Communications. In 1997 she received the Achievement
Award for Human Rights for Women from Jewish Women International; in 1998 Media Watch’s Dodi Robb Award and in 2003, the Foundation Award for Outstanding Achievement from the National Magazine Awards Foundation. In 2005, she received the Athena International Award (Chicago), the World of Difference Award from the International Alliance for Women (Florida) and the Red Cross Humanitarian Award – New Brunswick Region. In 2008 she received the Clarkson Laureate for public service at Massey College, University of Toronto. And in May 2008, she received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Canadian Journalism Foundation. In March 2010, she became the fourth recipient of The Calgary Peace Prize. In 2016 she was part of the team that received honourable mention in the Multi Media category of the News Photographers Association of Canada for the The Real Faces of ISIS. In June 2017 she received the Dave Greber Award for Social Justice Writing. And also in 2017 Sally along with photographer/videographer Peter Bregg won the Gold Award for Investigative Journalism at The Canadian Online Publishing Gala for the work about the Yazidis called Resisting Genocide.
She is the recipient of ten honorary doctorate degrees and is a Member of the Order of Canada.
Her book Veiled Threat: The Hidden Power of the Women of Afghanistan was published by Penguin Books in 2002. The Nine Lives of Charlotte Taylor was published by Random House in 2007. Bitter Roots, Tender Shoots: the Uncertain Fate of Afghanistan’s Women was published by Penguin in 2008. Her new book Ascent of Women was published by Random House in March 2013. A revised version called Uprising: A new age is dawning for every mother’s daughter was published in March 2014 by St. Martins Press in New York.
Come Celebrate Canada’s 150th Birthday at The Empire Club of Canada
Topic: Forging Partnerships to Shape the Future
Vern Brownell’s Biography:
Vern Brownell joined D-Wave as CEO in 2009, leading the company through its transition from research into the leader in the development and delivery of quantum computing systems and software. During his tenure D-Wave secured its first customers including Lockheed Martin, Google and NASA, and Los Alamos National Laboratory, and raised over $170 million in venture funding. Mr. Brownell joined D-Wave from Egenera, a pioneer of infrastructure virtualization, a company he founded and at which he held executive roles including CEO. Prior to Egenera, Mr. Brownell served as the Chief Technology Officer at Goldman Sachs where he and his staff of 1,300 were responsible for worldwide technology infrastructure. He holds an MBA degree from Anna Maria College and a BEng. degree in Electrical Engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology.
James Olson’s Biography:
James Olson, PEng, is Dean of the Faculty of Applied Science and a professor of mechanical engineering at the University of British Columbia. He has spearheaded a number of initiatives aimed at transforming engineering education in the 21st century, including efforts to enrich diversity, student work experience, and business leadership and entrepreneurship programs. A Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering and the recipient of multiple research awards, Dean Olson was previously Associate Dean of Research and Industry Partnerships, Director of the Pulp and Paper Centre, and Interim Director of the Institute for Computing, Information and Cognitive Systems at UBC.