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Oct. 2, 2017
For Immediate Release

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Waterloo – Wilfrid Laurier University and the University of Waterloo, in partnership with the Waterloo Public Library and the City of Waterloo, are presenting a three-part lecture series in recognition of the 150th anniversary of Canada’s Confederation. The lectures feature a variety of speakers and will explore significant periods of Canadian history and their influence on Canada today.

The first event of the series takes place at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 4 at the Waterloo Public Library. It will focus on the Battle of Vimy Ridge, a defining moment of the First World War for Canada. The second and third lectures, to take place in November and December, will focus on Truth and Reconciliation in Canadian post-secondary education, and Canada’s hidden histories. Vimy Ridge talks are as follows:

  • Vimy Ridge: The Battle and the Myth ­– Mark Humphries, associate professor in Laurier’s Department of History and Dunkley Chair in War and the Canadian Experience, will talk about what happened during the famous battle, how it fit into the larger picture of military operations in 1917, and why Canadians have come to see it as the beginning of our national identity.
  • Why Vimy? And Why Now? – Mary Chaktsiris, assistant professor in Laurier’s Department of History and Cleghorn Fellow in War and Society, will discuss why Canada's First World War memorial was built on Vimy Ridge and share some of the stories behind its development. She will also explore contemporary commemorations of the battle to uncover what they can tell us about the Canada of today.
  • Remembering and Forgetting the Great WarCarol Acton, associate professor in the University of Waterloo’s Department of English Language and Literature, will discuss how the male body is at the centre of war commemoration yet excludes physical and psychological war injury. She will then compare representations of injury in women’s fiction and memoir against public images.
  • Re-inscribing VimyJoan Coutu, associate professor in the University of Waterloo’s Department of Fine Arts and co-ordinator of the Visual Culture program, will explore memory and permanence by looking at how the Vimy memorial has faded and re-entered Canadian consciousness since World War II.

The event is free and open to the public but requires registration. For more information and to register, see

The second and third events in the Canada 150 Lecture Series will be as follows. More information about forthcoming speakers and their talks will be released closer to the event dates.

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Media Contacts:

Kevin Crowley, Director

Communications and Public Affairs, Wilfrid Laurier University

T: 519.884.0710 x3070


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