Confederation Centre of the Arts announced that the 2021 Symons Medal will be awarded to the Honourable Louise Arbour, CC, GOQ on Friday, October 29 in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island.
The Symons Medal, one of Canada’s most prestigious honours, recognizes an individual who has made an exceptional contribution to Canadian life. The award and its associated lecture are presented annually at Confederation Centre of the Arts—Canada’s living monument to Canadian Confederation—in honour of the meetings of the Fathers of Confederation, who first gathered in Charlottetown in the fall of 1864.
The Symons Medal Lecture offers an eminent Canadian a national platform to discuss the state of Confederation from their vantage point and through their professional lens.
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 and 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.
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 Confederation Centre. Professor Symons passed away in January at the age of 91.
The 2021 Ceremony will take place in the Mainstage Theatre at Confederation Centre and will also be live-streamed on the Centre’s Facebook and YouTube.