‘Ello Gov’nor

Adrienne Clarkson Coming to Con U

Former Governor General Adrienne Clarkson will speak at Concordia on Thursday.

Concordia will be receiving the royal treatment on Thursday, as former Governor General Adrienne Clarkson will be giving a talk as part of the Concordia Student Union Speaker Series.

“When we decided on the speakers, we appreciated what she had to offer Canada in general,” said CSU VP External & Projects Adrien Severyns. “We honestly believe she has a lot to offer and the students have a lot to learn from her, especially in terms of her having enhanced Canada’s relationship with the international community, promoting multiculturalism and diversity.”

Clarkson served as the Queen’s representative to the Canadian government between 1999 and 2005. During this span she garnered widespread praise for her close relationship with members of the military, having presided over the return of Canada’s unknown soldier from France, and visited troops in Afghanistan in 2002, among other trips taken to overseas Canadian Forces bases.

Prior to her appointment by Prime Minister Jean Chretien, Clarkson had been an influential and respected journalist, working for Maclean’s and the CBC, where she hosted Adrienne at Large and The Fifth Estate, winning several Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists awards as well as a Gemini.

“Clarkson was asked to speak because of her numerous travels abroad as a promoter of the Canadian identity in general, what she has done to reach out to different interest groups in civil society in Canada,” said Severyns.  “She is a big promoter of art as well, it has definitely been something that we’d like to see promoted at Concordia.”

Severyns declined to reveal specifically what Clarkson will be speaking about, saying only that it will touch upon many different themes that are important to Canadian students.

“The main theme is diversity, and I wouldn’t like to go too much into details because I’d like to reserve a bit of surprise for the people that will be attending, but it will touch on many themes.”

Severyns also confirmed that during Black History Month, the next speaker will be civil rights activist Martin Luther King III.

This article originally appeared in Volume 31, Issue 18, published January 11, 2011.