Wednesday March 15th / Mary Irwin Theatre / 7– 9pm / Tickets $25


Fresh Dialogues is a series of grass-roots conversations intended to inform, inspire, and innovate solutions to critical community issues. Each event tackles a single issue through an evening keynote and/or a multi-sector workshop.

FOF’s next Fresh Dialogues event features a keynote presentation by Alexandre Trudeau (yes, Justin’s brother) March 15th entitled Canadian History: An Alternative Take on the Past for a New View of the Future. A follow-up workshop in April will explore how we can make more informed decisions locally by revisiting past successes and failures.


Drawing from his experiences as an author, journalist, world traveler, and documentary filmmaker, Trudeau will argue that Canadian history has been told through too a narrow prism.

He believes that, “For too long, our national narrative has been distilled into something neat and friendly, something clean and nice, fitting the highest ideals of Western tradition. It is a story that makes our past seem comfortable and easy to deal with, and glosses over the brutality and severity that faced our forefathers. This gross simplification does no justice, however, to the preceding generations, to the strength and endurance that they showed in the face of adversity, and provides little wisdom or insight for the new generations.”

He goes on to say that, “Canada is an unfinished country, still in need of bold men and women.”

From pre-Columbian times, through the early explorers and into the complicated nation-building of 19th and 20th centuries, Trudeau will tell a tale of a different Canada than the one held up now in our comfortable times. He argues that to meet the challenges of the new age, we must make peace with our true past, no matter how raw and difficult it is, and then draw our strength from it.

Trudeau will then join a panel of local history experts, including Duane Thomson, Wayne Wilson, Sharron Simpson, and Ken Mather, to discuss how we can apply what we’ve learned from the past to future decision making.


Taking what was learned during the keynote session and panel discussion, FOF will organize a workshop with local experts to discuss historical lessons learned regarding three important local issues: water management, food security, and community development.

Workshop outcomes will then be used to develop a presentation for FOF’s Building SustainABLE Communities conference November 21-24, 2017 in Kelowna at the Delta Grand Hotel.

This initiative is made possible by the Community Funds for Canada’s 15oth, a collaboration between the Central Okanagan Foundation, the Government of Canada, and extraordinary leaders from coast to coast.

Tickets sold online and at the Rotary Centre for the Arts Box Office
Monday: 9am-5pm
Tuesday: 9am-6pm
Wednesday-Friday: 9am-8pm
Saturday: 12pm-6pm

“Alexandre’s talk was everything we had hoped. He told us what he thought and pulled no punches. This was what we were looking for. He was gracious with the questions from the audience following his talk. He took time to respectfully answer questions one-on-one with our students at evening’s end. It was a pleasure to work with him and I would recommend him as a speaker for future events. – Testimonial from Speaker Spotlight