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PRIME MINISTER ANNOUNCES ADVISORY COMMITTEE FOR THE NEW CANADA HISTORY CENTRE

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ImmediateOTTAWA, November 7, 2003 -- Prime Minister Jean Chrétien and Minister of Canadian Heritage Sheila Copps today announced the appointment of the Chair and members of the Advisory Committee that will oversee the development of the new Canada History Centre.The Committee will be chaired by Ms. Charlotte Gray. Members are Marcel Hamelin, Jacques LacoursiPre, Tina Loo, Robert Pichette, Anna Porter, Rob Pritchard, Chief Roy Whitney, and Frances Wright.Reporting to the Minister of Canadian Heritage, the Advisory Committee will provide direction in the development of the Canada History Centre, including the implementation of the Centre's ambitious national outreach programme."I am pleased that Ms. Charlotte Gray, an acclaimed author and political columnist, has agreed to chair the Ministerial Advisory Committee," said the Prime Minister. "Her experience and great understanding of the importance of Canadian political history will provide leadership and direction to the valuable work of the Committee. I am also pleased that such an esteemed group of Canadians from across the country and representing many sectors important to Canadian history have agreed to serve as members.""The Committee will be instrumental in establishing the vision and structure of the Centre and I look forward to their recommendations," said Minister Copps.The creation of the Canada History Centre was announced on May 26, 2003. The institution will be located in Ottawa's Government Conference Centre, the former Union Train Station. Its role will be to increase accessibility of all Canadians to their history. To this end, the Centre will organize travelling exhibitions across Canada and, through modern technologies, will reach people from coast to coast to coast.Mandate and biographical information attached.- 30 -PMO Press Office: (613) 957-5555This document is also available on our Internet site: http://pm.gc.caMANDATE OF THE ADVISORY COMMITTEEThe Ministerial Advisory Committee, reporting to the Minister of Canadian Heritage, will provide guidance and advice on the development of the Canada History Centre. The Canada History Centre will provide Canadians with access to the important holdings of the newly merged National Library and National Archives.The Centre will interpret and provide diverse perspectives on Canada and its evolution as a modern, democratic country. It will focus on our political processes, institutions, grassroots organizations and people from all walks of life who have shaped Canada's distinct model of democracy and governance. An emphasis will be placed on using new technologies to create an interactive meeting place where the voices of Canadians will be heard.The Committee will also be responsible for overseeing a national outreach programme using the latest technological innovations as well as travelling exhibitions, research groups and forums for discussion. The Committee will provide leadership in bringing together the people and organizations that explore Canada's history.BIOGRAPHIESCharlotte Judith Gray is a biographer and author of four best-selling books of Canadian history. In 1978, she received the Pakenham Award for most promising young woman journalist (UK) and she has been honoured with several Canadian journalism awards, including the Canadian Booksellers Libris Award 2000 for best non-fiction book entitled Sisters in the Wilderness: The lives of Susanna Moodie and Catherine Parr Traill. She also received recognition and praise as author of the book Mrs. King: The Life and Times of Isabel MacKenzie King. In 2002, she was awarded the University of British Columbia Medal for Canadian Biography for the book Flint & Feather: Life and Times E. Pauline Johnson and, in 2003, she authored Canada: A Portrait in letters 1800 - 2000. She is the recipient of the Pierre Burton Medal for Distinguished Achievement in Popularizing Canadian History (National History Society). She holds a B.A. from the Oxford University and a Diploma of Social Administration from the London School of Economics and Political Science. In addition, in 1995, Ms. Gray received an honorary doctorate degree from Mount St. Vincent University. Frances Wright, from Calgary, Alberta is currently President of Famous 5 Foundation. Ms. Wright was the owner/manager of six Ports International clothing stores for ten years. After selling the business, she launched Wright and Associates which specializes in communications, research, and fundraising strategies. Ms. Wright is a founding member of the Calgary and Alberta Status of Women Action Committees and the Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research (Calgary). She also serves as Chair of the Federal Liaison Team for Canada 2005 Exposition Corporation. She holds a B.A. from the University of Calgary and a B. Journalism from Carleton University. Anna Maria Porter, O.C., is Publisher and Chief Executive Officer of Key Porter Books Limited, which she established in 1982. Her previous experience includes Vice-President and Editor in Chief of McClelland & Stewart Limited, Executive Chairman of Doubleday Canada Limited, and President of McClelland-Bantam Inc. She serves on various boards including Key Porter Books, World Wildlife Fund Canada (Executive) and Schulich School of Business. In addition to publishing, Ms. Porter has authored three mystery novels, all set in the publishing world that she knows so well. In recognition of her varied achievements, she was appointed an Officer of the Order of Canada in 1992. Ms. Porter studied at the University of Canterbury where she obtained a B.A. and an M.A. Marcel Hamelin, historian by training, has published numerous books and articles dealing with the political history of Québec and Canada. Dr. Hamelin joined the University of Ottawa in 1966 as a professor in the Department of History and has since held positions of increasing responsibility including Chair of the Department, Vice-Dean of the School of Graduate Studies and Research and later Dean of the Faculty of Arts. In 1990 Dr. Hamelin was appointed Rector and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ottawa. In 1996, he was appointed to the board of directors of the Foundation for Educational Exchange between Canada and the United States of America. He studied at the Laval University (Québec) where he obtained his doctorate Ps lettres in History. Chief Roy Whitney is a member of the Tsuu T'ina Nation in Alberta. He became chief in 1984, and was re-elected in 1988 and currently remains in this position. Chief Whitney has a history of extensive community involvement that includes shouldering heavy committee responsibilities in addition to furthering a larger Aboriginal political and economic agenda through his participation on numerous regional and national boards. In 1996 he was appointed as chairman of the National Aboriginal Economic Development Board. In 1981, he helped establish the Sarcee People's Museum. Chief Whitney is a board member of the First Nations Resource Council and chairman of the National Aboriginal Task Force's communications committee. Tina Loo is currently professor and Canada Research Chair at the Department of History of the University of British Columbia. An historian by training, she is extremely knowledgeable of and experienced in the workings of social history of law, nineteenth century Canadian History and environmental history. Ms. Loo has widely published in some of the world's leading journals covering history, the law and society. She is a Fellow at the Centre of Criminology, University of Toronto, the youngest-ever holder of the Seagram Chair in Canadian Studies at McGill, and the recipient of several prestigious awards. Ms. Loo studied at the University of British Columbia where she obtained a Ph.D. J. Robert S. Prichard is President and Chief Executive Officer of Torstar Corporation since May 2002. His professional experience includes some twenty five years with the University of Toronto, where he held various positions of increasing responsibility including, Professor of law at the Faculty of Law; Dean of the Faculty for six years and President of the University. He has also taught at Harvard and Yale Law Schools. Mr. Prichard serves as a director of the Ontario Innovation Trust and has previously served as a director of Historica and trustee of the Royal Ontario Museum. In 1994, he was appointed Officer of the Order of Canada and in 2000 a Member of the Order of Ontario. Mr. Prichard graduated from the University of Chicago with an MBA (Dean's List) specializing in finance and international business, obtained a LL.B. (with honours) from the University of Toronto where he was Gold medallist and a LL. M. from Yale University where he held the Viscount Bennett Fellowship. Jacques Lacoursière, an author and historian by profession, was born in Shawinigan. After studying education and history, he worked as a history professor and an archivist for a few years before venturing into the demanding fields of freelance and outreach work. Mr. Lacoursière is an enthusiastic member of many committees and boards, working tirelessly to bring history closer to the people and to foster a collective appropriation of the past. Jacques Lacoursière has also hosted regular programs and segments on television and radio. In 2003, he was awarded the Académie des Lettres du Québec, and was made a Chevalier of the Ordre national du Québec in 2002. In 1996, he received the Pierre Berton Award from the National History Society for his remarkable contribution for the popularization of Canadian history.Robert Pichette, New Brunswick historian and author, has written a number of articles and books on the regional history of New Brunswick and Quebec. In 2004, he will be a visiting professor in the University of Moncton's InfoCom program. He worked for a few years as a journalist and host of radio and television programs, mainly for Radio-Canada. He is a member of the Commission for UNESCO and of the Groupe d'études sur la Commission provinciale de la capitale du Nouveau-Brunswick. He served as director of the Cahiers de la Société historique acadienne. In 1995, he was named honorary herald of the Canadian Heraldic Authority by the Governor General of Canada and given the title of Dauphin Herald Extraordinary. He received an honorary degree from the Université Sainte-Anne of Nova Scotia.
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