The City of Kingston will be facilitating a public conversation this fall on Sir John A. Macdonald’s historic connections to the city, exploring his ‘role and actions as a political figure and the legacy of those actions today’.
A panel discussion with three historians will be held on September 17 where the panelists will discuss how Kingston can ‘share a more complete, inclusive and diverse history of Sir John A. Macdonald’. This will be a free event and members of the community are invited to attend.
September 11 Update: The original location has now been changed to The Grand Theatre (218 Princess St.)
“This is an important conversation for the community to have and it aligns with the overarching goals of the City’s ongoing Your Stories, Our Histories project, which aims to identify and share a broader understanding of our local history,” says Colin Wiginton, cultural director with the City of Kingston.
Jennifer Campbell, manager, cultural heritage, added: “It is healthy to re-examine our relationships to historic figures and events. It helps us better understand history and how the past impacts the present.”
The discussion panelists include author Charlotte Gray, who advocated for Sir John A. Macdonald on the CBC program “Who is the Greatest Canadian?”. Gray is also a Member of the Order of Canada and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.
Writer, journalist, and blogger Christopher Moore will also be on the panel. A contributing editor to Canada’s History magazine, Moore has won two Governor-General’s Literary Awards and authored several books, including 1867: How the Fathers Made a Deal and Three Weeks in Quebec City: The Meeting that Made Canada.
The third panelist is Lee Maracle, a University of Toronto instructor in Indigenous Studies and First Nation’s house. She served as a Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the Universities of Toronto, Waterloo, Western Washington and Guelph University and also received an Honorary Doctor of Letters from St. Thomas University, and an Honourary Doctor of Laws from the University of Waterloo. Maracle is a Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal and Officer of the Order of Canada recipient.
Kingston residents will be able to contribute their own opinions about Sir John A. in person at two community workshops on Oct. 16 and 17 as well as online at the City’s Get Involved engagement page, which will be open for public comment between September 3 and October 31.