Established in 1903, the Empire Club of Canada, is recognized as one of Canada’s oldest, largest, more important speaker’s forum. Our membership and speakers are comprised of some of Canada’s most influential leaders from the professions, business, labour, education, government, and cultural organizations. Over our history, the Speaker’s Podium at the ECC has hosted over 3500 prominent Canadian and international leaders, women and men who have distinguished themselves in many fields of endeavor.
Our luncheon meetings attract audiences of 200 to 1200 people, usually on Thursdays at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel in Toronto, September through June. The speeches area also broadcast across Canada on Rogers Cable and on occasion are also webcast, live.
Virtual Event: Getting to Net Zero: The Role of Canada’s Transportation Sector
With Canada’s plan to reach Net Zero Emissions by 2050, how will we make this happen while continuing to move people and goods from coast to coast to coast and beyond? Join our panelists as they discuss how Canada’s transportation sector will play an important role in the low carbon future. From gasoline and diesel to electric and hydrogen powered vehicles, Canadians have never had more choices when it comes to their mobility. Government policy, both federal and provincial, is also a key factor. Our panel of energy influencers will describe what’s ahead on our road to Net Zero in Canada.
Peter Tertzakian, Deputy Director, ARC Energy Research Institute
A respected public speaker, podcaster, blogger and author, Peter has devoted his career to energy, first as a geophysicist, then as an economist and investment strategist. Peter has written two bestsellers, A Thousand Barrels a Second and The End of Energy Obesity, and recently launched his new project, Energyphile, and book, The Investor Visit and Other Stories: Disruption, Denial and Transition in the Energy Business. Passionate about studying how society evolves its energy use and applying lessons of the past to today’s strategic business issues, Peter created Energyphile to encourage people to think about the energy business in a whole new way.
In 2015 Peter was seconded to the four-person Royalty Review Panel for the province of Alberta, the world’s eighth largest producer of oil and gas, where he led the redesign of the fiscal policy. In 2016 he was inducted into the Alberta Petroleum Hall of Fame. Peter is an adjunct professor at the University of Calgary, and in 2020 became an Executive in Residence at the Ivey Energy Policy and Management Centre at the Ivey Business School, Western University.
To find out more about ERT, Energyphile and The Investor Visit and Other Stories, visit energyphile.org.
Peter and his colleague Jackie Forrest also host the ARC Energy Ideas podcast, exploring trends influencing the energy industry. Subscribe to the podcast.
Kris Smith, Executive VP, Suncor
Kris Smith is the Executive Vice President of Downstream. In this role, Kris is responsible for the operations of Suncor’s refining network in North America, including the distribution and marketing of refined products under the Petro-Canada brand, as well as Suncor’s renewable energy business.
Kris is accountable for the establishment and achievement of all Downstream business objectives of Suncor and is a member of Suncor’s Executive Leadership Team.
Since joining Suncor in 2000, Kris has held a variety of roles, including positions in the General Counsel’s office and leading business services, strategic planning, and business development in Suncor’s US downstream business. In 2007, Kris joined Suncor’s Oil Sands business where he held increasingly senior roles managing business services, strategic planning, production planning and logistics, and the operation of Suncor’s power generation, transmission assets and utility operations. Prior to his current role, Kris was Senior Vice President of Supply, Trading and Corporate Development, accountable for corporate strategic planning, crude supply and marketing, as well as the corporate process and information office.
Kris obtained his bachelor of arts with honours from the University of Alberta in 1992, and his bachelor of laws from Dalhousie University in 1995. Kris has also completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School. Prior to joining Suncor, Kris was a lawyer at a respected law firm in Calgary, Alberta and has also been a member of both the Alberta and Colorado bars.
Kris sits on the board of directors for the Canadian Fuels Association, the association for Canada’s petroleum refining, distribution and marketing sector. Kris a
Virtual Event: Confronting Anti Asian Racism in Canada
Since the beginning of COVID 19, we have seen a rise in anti-Asian racism in Canada. Recent research from the University of Toronto shows that reports of anti Asian discriminatory incidents have more than tripled over the last year.During this Asian Heritage Month, join The Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade and Eileen Park, Founder and Filmmaker at Anecdotia Media as they reflect on their own experiences, share their perspectives, and discuss how all Canadians can come together to fight anti Asian racism.
The Honourable Mary Ng, Canada's Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade
From promoting Canada to the world as a great place to do business, to helping our entrepreneurs and businesses grow and access new markets, Minister Ng is focused on helping Canadians succeed.
First elected the Member of Parliament for Markham, Thornhill in April 2017, Minister Ng was first appointed to Cabinet in July 2018 as Minister for Small Business and Export Promotion. After being successfully re elected in October 2019, she became Canada’s Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade, the first woman of colour to hold that role.
Prior to serving as a Member of Parliament, Minister Ng served as Appointments Director for the Prime Minister, and as Executive Director for the President of Ryerson University where she oversaw the creation of a world leading business incubator for tech start ups.
Throughout her 20 years of public service, Minister Ng has been a devoted community leader with a focus on creating jobs, fostering entrepreneurship, and empowering small businesses to innovate and grow.
Eileen Park Robertson, Filmmaker at Anecdotia Media
Eileen Park Robertson is currently founder and filmmaker at Anecdotia Media, a video production agency focused exclusively on racial, social, and climate justice. Most recently, she ran communications at the Office of the Mayor of Portland, after twelve years as an award winning reporter and TV anchor.
Less than 48 hours after 8 people were killed in Atlanta, 6 of them Asian women, news of her interracial marriage to the longest serving mayor of Vancouver, BC was published. Eileen, a Korean American living in Vancouver, received a torrent of racist, hate filled messages. She spoke out, calling out anti Asian hate, and received support from all over the world after shedding light on the difficult subject of the fetishization and hypersexualization of Asian women and their long unspoken, oppressive history of being objectified and commodified.
As the American daughter of Korean immigrants, experiencing racialized sexism through her 12 plus years in news, and most recently in political senior leadership at the Mayor's Office in Portland, she is proud to be an advocate on the frontlines of the Stop Asian Hate movement, fighting for and standing in solidarity with all marginalized communities.
Virtual Event: Representation of People with Disability on Screen: A Work in Progress
Filmmaker Atom Egoyan is an icon of the Canadian film industry and has seen a lot of changes in the past 35 years. When he began making movies in the mid 80s, his early features were perceived as examples of a country coming to terms with the complex reality of diversity and multiculturalism. Many awards and two Oscar nominations later, Egoyan comes to the podium of the Empire Club to take a closer look at how the discourse around diversity has shifted.
Highlighting the importance of authentic representation and inclusivity vis a vis people with disabilities in media and the arts, Egoyan sits with co panelists Christine Hill, Stakeholder Engagement, Office of the CEO, at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation, and George Alevizos, an ACTRA Equity Professional Actor. Also joining this panel will be Atom’s son Arshile, whose recently completed first film, Absence, is centred around a character who is differently abled.
This event will be moderated by Tenny Nigoghossian and is a not to be missed event for anyone following how the arts are dealing with diversity with a special focus on how people with disabilities should be portrayed in cinema.
Sylvia Sweeney, Associate Dean of Film, Acting and Media Productions, Humber College
Atom Egoyan, Canadian Filmmaker
Christine Hill, Stakeholder Engagement, Office of the CEO, Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital Foundation
George Alevizos, ACTRA Equity Professional Actor
Arshile Egoyan, Canadian Filmmaker
Tenny Nigoghossian, Board Director, Empire Club of Canada
Virtual Event: Indigenomics, The Emerging Strength of the Indigenous Economy
With new models of commercial partnership, Indigenous economic strength is emerging across sectors and locations. Join our panelists to hear more about the concepts of Indigenomics and the evolution of the emerging $100 billion Indigenous economy reflecting the size of the Indigenous population in Canada. It will look at barriers to Indigenous business owners and communities including land and water rights issues and lack of access to financial capital. It will examine key features of the current and potential economic growth and design of the Indigenous economy, and underscore why this growth is critical to Canada’s future.
Carol Anne Hilton, CEO and Founder of The Indigenomics Institute
Carol Anne’s work has been recognized with the 2020 BC Achievement Foundation’s Award of Distinction in Indigenous Business and a national Excellence in Aboriginal Relations Award from the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business.
Carol Anne was the only Indigenous person appointed to the Canadian Economic Growth Council as a senior advisor to the federal Finance Minister. Carol Anne served on the BC Emerging Economy Taskforce, the BC Indigenous Business and Investment Council and Carol Anne currently serves as a Director on the McGill University Institute for the Study of Canada, the BC Digital Supercluster as well as on Mitacs.
Carol Anne has led the establishment of a line of thought called #indigenomics, growing from a single word to an entire movement that focuses on the rebuilding and strengthening of Indigenous economies. Carol Anne is the author of Indigenomics, Taking A Seat at the Economic Table and is an adjunct professor at Royal Roads University School of Business.
Carol Anne Hilton, MBA is the CEO and founder of the Indigenomics Institute and the Global Center of Indigenomics. Carol Anne is a dynamic national Indigenous business leader, author, speaker and senior adviser with an international Masters Degree in Business Management, MBA, from the University of Hertfordshire, England. Carol Anne is of Nuu chah nulth descent from the Hesquiaht Nation on Vancouver Island.
Heather Berthelette, CEO, Tribal Councils Investment Group of Manitoba Ltd.
Since 2015, Heather has served as CEO of Tribal Councils Investment Group and has led the restructuring and refocusing of the corporation. As a result of her leadership and entrepreneurial style, a new business model was embraced, and the creation of the Spirit Healthcare Group of companies began. The Spirit business model and overall vision is to advance and equalize healthcare for Indigenous people. This business model embodies the concept of Indigenomics: the practice of bringing an Indigenous perspective to economic and social development.
In June 2019 The Spirit Healthcare Group was honoured to receive an inaugural Indigenomics 10 Indigenous Businesses to Watch award.
A forward thinking and compassionate leader, Heather believes in giving back personally and professionally as both a female role model and community member. Heather’s personal passion and connection to her First Nation Metis roots, brings her a unique perspective on the First Nations need for self sufficiency and economic development, which fuels her purpose and desire to be part of an investment strategy with an Indigenous worldview.
Heather Berthelette is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Tribal Councils Investment Group of Manitoba, TCIG. TCIG is owned by the seven Tribal Councils of Manitoba, which represents approximately 150,000 First Nations. TCIG has recently developed the Spirit Healthcare Group. A group of strong competitive companies focused on the vast economy formed around Indigenous Peoples healthcare.
Heather attended the Asper School of Business at the University of Manitoba; her career has spanned diverse industries from wholesale to healthcare. With an ex
Virtual Event: Peter Routledge moderated by Vanmala Subramaniam
CDIC, which protects close to $1 trillion dollars in bank deposits, is a key part of Canada’s financial safety net. CEO Peter Routledge will discuss Canada’s economic volatility in post pandemic life. He will also discuss how CDIC contributes to making our financial system more resilient to failure, which supports financial stability, a key element of economic growth.
Peter Routledge, President and CEO, CDIC
Mr. Routledge was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation, CDIC, in November 2018. Mr. Routledge leads a team of professionals from a variety of disciplines whose work supports the corporation’s vision to earn the trust of Canadians as a global leader in deposit insurance and resolution.
Mr. Routledge has extensive experience in Canada’s financial sector. Prior to joining CDIC, he was a Senior Advisor at the Department of Finance where he provided advice on a range of policy issues including financial stability, housing finance, and competition in Canadian financial services.
Mr. Routledge has held a variety of leadership roles in the financial services industry, both in Canada and abroad. He served as managing director of research at National Bank Financial, where he led a team responsible for producing equity, fixed income, and derivatives research on Canadian financial institutions. Prior to that, Mr. Routledge led the Canadian Financial Institutions Group at Moody’s Canada, with responsibilities for covering issuers in the banking, life insurance, personal and commercial insurance and reinsurance industries in Canada and the United States.
Mr. Routledge holds an MBA from INSEAD in France, and a bachelor’s degree in business and economics from Simon Fraser University.
Vanmala Subramaniam, Capital Markets Reporter, The Globe and Mail
Vanmala Subramaniam is a reporter with The Globe and Mail, covering capital markets for Report on Business. She was previously at The Logic, where she covered Canada's tech sector, with a focus on how legacy industries are adapting to the innovation economy. Vanmala is a business journalist with over a decade of reporting across Canadian media, prior to The Logic she was the Financial Post's cannabis reporter, where she investigated and broke stories on the biggest names in legal cannabis, establishing herself as a must read for anyone with a stake in the industry. Vanmala also created and led VICE Canada’s Money vertical, where her areas of coverage included personal finance, labour and the housing market. She began her career as a television producer at the CBC, working on various business and current affairs programs including The Fifth Estate.
Virtual Event: Honourable Seamus O’Regan in Conversation with Bob Espey
The live webinar discussion is sponsored by the Canadian Fuels Association and will see Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, The Honourable Seamus O’Regan joins Parkland President and CEO, Bob Espey, for a fireside conversation on the future of the Canadian fuels sector, low carbon leadership, and renewable fuels, and the important role that Canada’s fuel sector has in helping Canada reach Net Zero Emissions by 2050. The event will be the first in a series of Fuel for Thought webinar events the Canadian Fuels Association will be hosting over the coming months.
Bob Espey, President and CEO, Parkland
Mr. Espey was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer in 2011 and has successfully led the evolution of Parkland from a regional independent into an international marketer of fuel, petroleum and convenience products. In his role, Mr. Espey delivers on Parkland’s strategic plan while maintaining a strong focus on teamwork, business integration and shareholder value.
Mr. Espey has overseen a number of transformative acquisitions, including of Chevron Canada’s downstream fuel business, the Ultramar business from CST brands, the expansion of Parkland into the U.S., and in 2019 the addition of Sol which expanded Parkland’s operations into the Caribbean region. Under his leadership, Parkland’s annual fuel volumes have grown from less than 5 billion to more than 22 billion litres.
Previously, Mr. Espey served as Chief Operating Officer from 2010 to 2011, and Vice President, Retail Markets from 2008 to 2010. Prior to joining Parkland, Mr. Espey held a variety of senior management roles across a diverse group of industry sectors, both internationally and domestically, including as President and Chief Executive Officer of FisherCast Global Corporation. Mr. Espey also worked as a consultant based in the United Kingdom, where he worked with many large multinationals across a variety of industries including downstream marketing, media, consumer goods, and manufacturing. Mr. Espey also has experience in the Canadian Navy where he spent four years as a commissioned officer.
Mr. Espey serves as Chair of the Board of Directors for the Canadian Fuels Association and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers of America, SIGMA. Mr. Espey holds a Bachelor of Engineering, Mechanical, from Royal Military College and a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Western Ontario.
The Honourable Seamus O’Regan, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources
Minister O’Regan was appointed Minister of Natural Resources in 2019, with a mandate to put Canada’s natural resources sector at the forefront of the fight against climate change. This mandate includes planting two billion trees over ten years, developing low and zero emissions fuels for widespread adoption, and retrofitting homes and infrastructure to ensure peak energy efficiency.
Prior to this role, Minister O’Regan served as the Minister of Indigenous Services, where he oversaw the passage and implementation of laws affirming Indigenous jurisdiction over child and family services.
Minister O’Regan’s first Cabinet position was Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, where he reinstated lifelong pensions and introduced an Education and Training Benefit for Veterans.
Minister O’Regan is from St. John’s, Newfoundland, and was raised in Goose Bay, Labrador. He studied politics at St. Francis Xavier University and University College Dublin, and marketing strategies at the INSEAD Business School, near Paris. He received his Master of Philosophy degree from the University of Cambridge, where he wrote his dissertation on Indigenous participation in large-scale natural resource development.
Minister O’Regan began his career in politics as Executive Assistant to the Minister