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The annual Hurtig Lecture was launched by the Department of Political Science in the Faculty of Arts (University of Alberta) in 2006 by special guest Peter C. Newman CC CD to mark Alberta's Centennial Year and honour Mel Hurtig OC, an outstanding Edmontonian and exemplary Canadian citizen.

The prestigious Hurtig Lecture on the Future of Canada reflects the value educated Albertans place on interdisciplinary research, and, suiting the local demographic, underscores the national importance of having an interdisciplinary 

Canadian Studies Program in every region of the country.

The indomitable Canadian Filmmaker, Anne Wheeler OC, gave the Hurtig Lecture in 2022.



The Annual Hurtig Lecture 

on the Future of Canada 

Female Lecturer

Panel on AI coming to Hurtig Lecture on the Future of Canada, September 19, 2024. Geoffrey Rockwell will moderate. Place and time: TBA

University of Alberta professor, Rockwell holds a joint appointment: Philosophy and Digital Humanities; Specialization: Humanities Computing, Text Analysis and Philosophy of Technology.

Elissa Strome is the "Executive Director of the Pan-Canadian Artificial Intelligence Strategy at CIFAR. She works with leaders at Canada’s three national AI Institutes in Edmonton (Amii), Montreal (Mila), and Toronto (Vector Institute) and across the country to advance Canada’s leadership in AI research, training and innovation." 

Elissa Strome, Keynote

S Minsos Opinion: Much like the internal combustion machine, AI will embed itself into human society to the extent that strictly controlling it, when we are convinced we should (we should), will cause as much or more cultural and social upheaval than the widespread use of AI caused in the first place. 

In 2006 the Department of Political Science, University of Alberta, launched the annual Hurtig Lecture on the Future of Canada. The lecture marked Alberta's Centennial Year (2005), and the first guest lecturer was Peter C. Newman CC CD (1929–2023). Like Newman, Hurtig lecturers are captivating, chronicling, and even at times contentious. Newman had faith in the viability of a prestigious, interdisciplinary, Canadian-focused lectureship hosted in Western Canada: the West wants in. Peter Newman showed us the importance of speaking out. He was not just a contrarian but also a visionary. A man of international renown, Newman has our deepest and most enduring respect and gratitude.  



Photo of Newman by Robert C. Ragsdale FRPS 

An indomitable trailblazer and Canadian filmmaker,

Anne Wheeler OC gave the Hurtig Lecture in 2022

2006  -present

2006 - 2017


It takes a team.

Those interested in Canadian ideas and proud of our outspoken, engaged citizens are likely to agree with founding donors and annual supporters Dr. Susan Minsos, author, former head of the Canadian Studies Program (main campus, University of Alberta), and Ove Minsos KC, and their family, about the vital importance of universities' sponsoring intrepid public lectures. To keep our sometimes controversial lectures free-of-charge and open to the public, please consider donating to the Hurtig Lecture. 


The Hurtig Lecture on the Future of Canada was conceived of and headed by distinguished Professor Emerita Dr. Janine Brodie CM FRSC.


The Hurtig Lecture series is headed by the indefatigable Dr. Yasmeen Abu-Laban, Political Science Professor and Professor and Canada Research Chair in the Politics of Citizenship and Human Rights, University of Alberta. 

Mel Hurtig

1932 - 2016

About Mel Hurtig 

Dr. Mel Hurtig OC, former owner of Hurtig Books and Hurtig Publishers Ltd, published the first print Canadian encyclopedia in 1985. Premier Peter Lougheed and the Government of Alberta underwrote a large part of the cost of production; Lougheed said the encyclopedia was a gift to the Canadian people from Alberta. Find more information about the University of Alberta, past lecturers, and Dr. Hurtig's many contributions to our nation's heritage and culture here.

The Hurtig Lectureship and Canadian Studies are proud of Canada's remarkable Charter, which protects the rights and freedoms of individuals and certain groups

Some Well Known Past Lecturers

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