Trafalgar-Ross Lecture

This year’s Lecture took place at Trafalgar School on October 19, 2018.

One of the school’s most celebrated annual events: the TrafalgarRoss Lecture brings together the entire student body and staff, along with many Old Girls, parents, friends of the school, and special guests. This year, we welcomed Joanna Goodman (Trafalgar Class of 1986). Joanna’s Historical Fiction novel, The Home for Unwanted Girls was released in April 2018 to wide critical acclaim, and has been topping Canadian and international bestseller lists since. The book was inspired by Joanna’s mother’s childhood, trying to reconcile her dual anglo-franco identity, and is set in the dark years of Quebec’s Duplessis Orphan Crisis.

Joanna is the author of four previous novels, and has had stories published in The Fiddlehead, The Ottawa Citizen, B & A Fiction, Event, The New Quarterly, and White Wall Review. She currently resides in Toronto with her husband and two children.

The Trafalgar-Ross Lecture: linking past and present. Donald Ross stipulated in his will that an annual lecture be given at the school “…on suitable subjects, in science, history, literature, and religion…” The Lectureship was re-established in 1981 to perpetuate the memory and intention of our founder, Donald Ross, “to bring before a large audience of students, Old Girls, parents, staff and friends of the school, a speaker of prominence and personal distinction, whose address will prove of lasting influence and inspiration for our students.” Now called the Trafalgar-Ross Lecture, outstanding Canadians such as Maureen Forrester, Marc Garneau, David Suzuki and Adele Wiseman are invited each year to address the school during the month of October.

Past Speakers

  • 1981 – David Suzuki – geneticist
  • 1982 – Marie-Josée Drouin – economist
  • 1983 – Diane Jones Konihowski – athlete
  • 1984 – Adele Wiseman – author
  • 1985 – Maureen Forrester – singer
  • 1986 – Marc Garneau – astronaut
  • 1987 – Anne Begor Lancashire ‘58 – university professor
  • 1988 – Louise Mailhot – judge (Quebec)
  • 1989 – Jane Poulson – physician
  • 1990 – Peter Mansbridge – journalist
  • 1991 – Lynn Johnston – cartoonist
  • 1992 – David Lank – historian
  • 1993 – Sunniva Sorby ‘78 – trans-Arctic explorer
  • 1994 – Gretta Chambers- Chancellor of McGill, journalist
  • 1995 – Sylvia Sweeney – athlete, filmmaker
  • 1996 – Terry Mosher (Aislin) – editorial cartoonist
  • 1997 – Margie Gillis – solo dance artist
  • 1998 – Amanda Vincent – environmental biologist
  • 1999 – Kathy Reichs – forensic anthropologist, author
  • 2000 – Rosalie Abella – family court judge (Ontario)
  • 2001 – Jessalyn Gilsig ’88 – actor
  • 2002 – Lisa Campeau ’86 – international aid worker
  • 2003 – Heather Munroe-Blum – Principal of McGill University
  • 2004 – Margaret Somerville – ethicist
  • 2005 – Charlotte Gray – historian and author
  • 2006 – Moira Brown – marine biologist
  • 2007 – Elizabeth May – politician
  • 2008 – Nancy Dunton – architectural historian
  • 2009 – Debbie Travis – designer, author, television personality and producer
  • 2010 – Dr. Brenda Milner – neuropsychologist
  • 2011 – Sylvie Fréchette – Olympic champion
  • 2012 – Sheila Fraser – Former Auditor General of Canada
  • 2013 – Heidi Hollinger – International Photographer
  • 2014 – Maude Barlow – National Chairperson, Council of Canadians
  • 2015 – Dr. Victoria Kaspi PhD – Astrophysicist
  • 2016 – Kim Thúy – Award-winning Author
  • 2017 – Carolyn Taylor ’90 – Award-winning Writer/Actor/Comedian
  • 2017 – Jennifer Moroz ’90 – Award-winning Journalist/Producer