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Adrienne Clarkson visits Concordia

Former governor general to visit October 26 and speak about new book
October 18, 2011
By Jennifer Charlebois

Nine months after she spoke at a Concordia Student Union speaker series, former governor general Adrienne Clarkson returns to the university to talk about her new book Room for All of Us: Surprising Stories of Loss and Transformation.

Ken Bissonnette, operations and text manager at the Campus Retail Stores, says he and his team jumped at the opportunity to sponsor the October 26 event, in conjunction with Penguin Group (Canada). “We featured [sold] her books on Norman Bethune in 2009 with great success.”

Bissonnette says the university has been busy planning Clarkson’s visit since August and is excited that all Concordians will have the opportunity to hear her speak. “A lot of other places hosting Ms. Clarkson’s book publication are charging an entrance fee, but we wanted to give everyone the opportunity to hear her tell her story.”

Following an introduction by Concordia President Frederick Lowy, Clarkson will be joined on stage for a conversation with Fred Bild, a Sir George Williams College graduate, Université de Montréal professor, and former Canadian ambassador to six Asian countries, who is profiled in Room for All of Us.

Room for All of Us
explores the immigrant experience through the people who have helped transform Canada. The book features interviews with men and women who share their experiences with being uprooted from their countries of origin, and struggling to adapt, survive, and ultimately thrive in Canada.

Stories from variety of well-known Canadians are featured in the book, including CBC radio host Andy Barrie, newly elected Tamil-Canadian MP Rathika Sitsabaiesan, Serbian-Canadian writer David Albahari, Vietnamese-Canadian videographer John Tran, Chilean-Canadian artist Tamara Toledo, and Ismaili-Canadians Nadir Mohamed (president and CEO of Rogers Communications) and Naheed Nenshi (mayor of Calgary).

Room for All of Us is enriched by Clarkson’s own memories and experiences, from her arrival in Canada as a refugee from Hong Kong to becoming a distinguished Canadian figure. It is a portrait of a changing and adapting country, and the people who live in it.

Clarkson was Canada’s 26th governor general. She also held a career as an accomplished broadcaster, and has received numerous awards and honorary degrees in Canada and abroad. In 2005, Clarkson founded the Institute for Canadian Citizenship. She is also a bestselling author.

Clarkson will participate in question period, which will be open to participants attending the event, followed by a book signing.

Publication of Room for All of Us coincides with Canadian Citizenship Week (October 17 to 23). It will be available for sale at the event, as well as at both the Sir George Williams and Loyola bookstores as of October 18.

When: Wednesday, October 26 at 7:30 p.m.
Where: D.B. Clarke Theatre, Hall Building (1455 De Maisonneuve Blvd. W. )

Related links:
•   “Former Governor General to visit Concordia” – Now, January 11, 2011
•   Concordia Bookstores
•   Official website of Adrienne Clarkson
•   Penguin Canada

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