Confederation Centre of the Arts (CCOA) recently announced that the 2021 Symons Medal will be awarded to the Honourable Louise Arbour, CC, GOQ on October 29 in Charlottetown.
The Symons Medal recognizes an individual who has made an exceptional contribution to Canadian life. The award and its associated lecture are presented annually at CCOA.
A high-profile Canadian lawyer, prosecutor, and jurist, Madame Arbour was appointed to the Supreme Court of Ontario in 1987 and the Court of Appeal for Ontario in 1990.
In 1996, the Security Council of the United Nations appointed Madame Arbour Chief Prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda. In this role, she secured the first conviction for genocide (Rwanda) since the 1948 Genocide Convention and the first indictment for war crimes by a sitting European head of state (Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic).
Madame Arbour was appointed to the Supreme Court of Canada in 1999. In 2004 she was appointed High Commissioner for Human Rights at the United Nations, and later the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on International Migration.
As Senior Counsel at Borden Ladner Gervais LLP, she was recently appointed to lead an independent review into sexual misconduct in the Canadian Armed Forces.
Madame Arbour has received numerous honorary doctorates and awards. She is a Companion of the Order of Canada and a Grand Officer of the Ordre national du Québec.
The medal and events are named for Professor Thomas H.B. Symons, CC, O.Ont—the founder of Trent University and a long-time board member and supporter of CCOA. Professor Symons passed away in January at the age of 91.