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Western Washington UniversityCommunications and Marketing
DATE: April 23, 2011 6:17:10 AM PDT
WWU Center for Canadian-American Studies Celebrates 40th Anniversary

[ Editor's note: This release has been amended to reflect new speakers for this event. Phillip Chicola and David Emerson will be keynoting the dinner and luncheon. ]

Contact: Don Alper, director, Canadian-American Studies, (360) 650-4675 or donald.alper@wwu.edu

BELLINGHAM – Phillip Chicola, U.S. Consul General to Canada, will be the keynote speaker at a gala dinner April 28 celebrating 40 years of regional and national impact by the Center for Canadian-American Studies at Western Washington University.

The next day, April 29, a conference on Canada-U.S. relations will be held on Western’s campus, with a luncheon talk by David Emerson, former minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade in the Canadian government.

“The Center for Canadian-American Studies is celebrating 40 years of excellence in teaching, scholarship and training K-12 teachers by holding two distinguished events that will draw attendance from regional U.S. and Canadian government officials, business leaders, educators, students and anyone with an interest in cross-border relations,” said Don Alper, director of CAS.

The Center for Canadian-American Studies (CAS) at Western is a national leader in teaching and research on Canada-U.S. relations and, with its consortium partner at the University of Washington, is one of only two U.S. Department of Education-designated National Resource Centers on Canada in the United States.  Its 40-year record of accomplishment has been vital to improving knowledge about Canada with students on campus and with businesses in the region. Through research and outreach, CAS has promoted greater understanding between our two countries and impacted education policy and border policy in the region and nation. 

The anniversary dinner on Thursday, April 28, at the Bellwether Hotel Ballroom will celebrate students, academic participants, and friends of Canadian Studies from both sides of the border. The event will start at 5:30 p.m. with a hosted reception, followed by dinner, musical entertainment by La Famille Leger, who plays traditional French-Canadian fiddle music, door prizes and a silent auction to fund-raise for student awards that encourage concentrations in Canadian Studies and a greater understanding of the importance of Canada-U.S. relations. Chicola will be the keynote speaker.

The academic conference will be held Friday, April 29, from 8:15 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Room 565 in the Viking Union on Western’s campus. The conference is free and open to the public. The luncheon, with the keynote talk by Emerson, costs $20.

The conference, called “Bridging Distances: Past and Future Perspectives on Canada-U.S. Relations,” provides an excellent opportunity to hear from distinguished scholars and policy professionals from Canada and the United States who are actively involved in strategic Canada-U.S. policy-making.

Confirmed speakers include:  Ian Brodie, strategic advisor, Inter-American Development Bank and former chief of staff to Prime Minister Stephen Harper; Deborah Meyers, director of Canadian Affairs, Department of Homeland Security; Anne McLellan, distinguished scholar in residence, Alberta Institute for American Studies, University of Alberta; Steve Reynolds, CEO, Puget Sound Energy; and Colin Robertson, distinguished senior fellow, Norman Paterson School of International Affairs, Carleton University. 

The full conference program and description of events can be found at http://www.wwu.edu/canam. Individuals interested in attending the dinner ($65), keynote luncheon ($20) and/or the conference (free) can register online at https://west.wwu.edu/eesp/35/ConferenceServices/Registration.aspx?e=2097. Local businesses interested in event support and promotion or to purchase a table (8 tickets included), please contact canam@wwu.edu or call 360-650-3728.

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