Perry Spitznagel is Vice Chair of Bennett Jones, a former longstanding Managing Partner of the Calgary office and a senior corporate lawyer with extensive national and cross-border experience in a broad range of matters. Perry has acted for clients in some of the largest transactions in Canada, including many of Canada’s and North America’s largest national and cross-border financings and mergers. He has been recognized by Financial Post Magazine as one of the 25 most influential people in corporate Canada. He is also widely recognized as a leading lawyer in his areas of expertise.
Perry is a director of a large private holding company and is a director and past Chair of WinSport which manages the legacy assets and programs of the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics. He is also a director of the Calgary Zoological Society and a member of the Advisory Board of the Samara Centre for Democracy, a non-profit organization dedicated to strengthening Canada’s democracy. He is a past member of the Alberta Securities Commission Advisory Committee, a past Co-Chair of the Pipestone Securities Law Conference and a past director of Alpine Canada, the governing body for alpine ski racing in Canada.
A former international ski racer, Perry remains active in skiing.
Perry is a graduate of McGill University, BA (Economics), 1979, with great distinction, and Osgoode Hall Law School, LLB, 1982.
He is a frequent speaker and has chaired national and international conferences on a variety of topics. Perry speaks French and German.
Niall Ferguson is one of our most influential commentators on geopolitics and the global economy. The wide range of his expertise underscores his ongoing importance as a keynote speaker.
A Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and a senior faculty fellow of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard, where he served for twelve years as the Laurence A. Tisch Professor of History. He is also a visiting professor at Tsinghua University, Beijing.
He has published sixteen books, including “The Pity of War” (1998), “The Cash Nexus” (2002), “Empire” (2003), “Colossus“ (2004), “The War of the World“ (2007), “The Ascent of Money“ (2009), “Civilization: The West and the Rest“ (2012), “The Great Degeneration“ (2014), is currently writing a life of Henry Kissinger, the first volume of which—”Kissinger, 1923-1968: The Idealist”—was published in 2015 to critical acclaim. His recent book, “The Square and the Tower,” was a New York Times bestseller and was adapted to a three-part television series called “Niall Ferguson’s Networld,” airing on PBS in March 2020. His latest book, “Doom: The Politics of Catastrophe,” was published in May 2021.
His first, Paper and Iron: Hamburg Business and German Politics in the Era of Inflation 1897-1927, was short-listed for the History Today Book of the Year award, while the collection of essays he edited, Virtual History: Alternatives and Counterfactuals, was a UK bestseller. In 1998 he published to international critical acclaim The Pity of War: Explaining World War One and The World’s Banker: The History of the House of Rothschild. The latter won the Wadsworth Prize for Business History and was also short-listed for the Jewish Quarterly/Wingate Literary Award and the American National Jewish Book Award. In 2001, after a year as a Houblon-Norman Fellow at the Bank of England, he published The Cash Nexus: Money and Power in the Modern World, 1700-2000.
In 2003 Ferguson wrote and presented a six-part history of the British Empire for Channel 4, the UK broadcaster. The accompanying book, Empire: The Rise and Demise of the British World Order and the Lessons for Global Power, was a bestseller in both Britain and the United States. The sequel, Colossus: The Rise and Fall of the American Empire, was published in 2004 by Penguin, and prompted Time magazine to name him one of the 100 most influential people in the world. Two years later he published The War of the World: Twentieth-Century Conflict and the Descent of the West, a television adaptation of which was screened by PBS in 2007. The international bestseller, The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World, followed in 2008; it too was a PBS series, winning the International Emmy award for Best Documentary, as well as the Handelszeitung Economics Book Prize. In 2011 he published Civilization: The West and the Rest, also a Channel 4/PBS documentary series. A year later came the three-part television series “China: Triumph and Turmoil.” The book based on his 2012 BBC Reith lectures, The Great Degeneration: How Institutions Decay and Economies Die, was a New York Times bestseller within a week of its publication.
An accomplished biographer, Ferguson published High Financier: The Lives and Time of Siegmund Warburg in 2010 and is currently writing a life of Henry Kissinger, the first volume of which was published in 2015—to critical acclaim—as Kissinger, 1923-1968: The Idealist. The book won the 2016 Council on Foreign Relations Arthur Ross Book Award. In 2011 his film company Chimerica Media released its first feature-length documentary, “Kissinger”, which won the New York Film Festival’s prize for Best Documentary.
He is an award-making filmmaker, too, having won an international Emmy for his PBS series “The Ascent of Money.” His many other prizes and awards include the Benjamin Franklin Prize for Public Service (2010), the Hayek Prize for Lifetime Achievement (2012) and the Ludwig Erhard Prize for Economic Journalism (2013).
Ferguson was the Philippe Roman Visiting Professor at the London School of Economics in 2010-11. He is a member of the board of trustees of the New York Historical Society. His many prizes and awards include the GetAbstract International Book Award (2009), the Benjamin Franklin Prize for Public Service (2010), the Hayek Prize for Lifetime Achievement (2012), the Ludwig Erhard Prize for Economic Journalism (2013), the Estoril Global Issues Distinguished Book Prize (2013), and the Philip Merrill.
Award of the American Council of Trustees and Alumni for Outstanding Contributions to Liberal Arts Education (2016). He has received honorary degrees from the University of Buckingham (UK), Macquarie University (Australia), and the Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez (Chile).
In addition to writing a weekly column for the Sunday Times (London) and the Boston Globe, he is the founder and managing director of Greenmantle LLC, a Cambridge-based advisory firm. He also serves on the board of Affiliated Managers Group and is a trustee of the New York Historical Society and the London-based Centre for Policy Studies.
Niall Ferguson is married to the author and women’s rights activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali. He has four children.
During a distinguished career in the federal public service, Mr. Dodge held senior positions in the Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation, the Anti-Inflation Board, and the Department of Employment and Immigration. After serving in a number of increasingly senior positions at the Department of Finance, including that of G-7 Deputy, he was Deputy Minister of Finance from 1992 to 1997. In that role, he served as a member of the Bank of Canada’s Board of Directors.
In 1998 he was appointed Deputy Minister of Health, a position he held until his appointment as Governor of the Bank of Canada.
Mr. Dodge, appointed Governor of the Bank of Canada, effective 1 February 2001 for a term of seven years, retired on 31 January 2008. From July 2008 to June 2014, he served as Chancellor of Queen’s University. From 2009 to 2015, he was a member of the board of directors of Canadian Utilities Limited, ATCO Limited and the Bank of Nova Scotia. Mr. Dodge is Senior Advisor at Bennett Jones LLP one of Canada’s leading law firms. He also serves on the board of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research, and Chairs the National Council of the C.D. Howe Institute.
A native of Toronto, Mr. Dodge received a bachelor’s degree (honours) from Queen’s University, and a PhD in economics from Princeton.
During his academic career, he taught economics at Queen’s University; at the School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University; at the Faculty of Commerce at the University of British Columbia; and at Simon Fraser University. He also served as Director of the International Economics Program of the Institute for Research on Public Policy. Mr. Dodge has been awarded honorary degrees from a number of Canadian universities. In 2009, he was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.
President & CEO, Calgary Chamber of Commerce
Deborah Yedlin joins the Calgary Chamber of Commerce with a background that includes experience on Wall Street and Bay Street, and more than two decades as a business columnist for various media outlets, commenting on the nexus of business and politics since 1996.
Since moving to Calgary in 1992, Yedlin has been very active in the Calgary community – as a board member on a number of not-for-profit organizations and including serving as the co-chair of the 2016 United Way Campaign. Yedlin is currently serving as the 14th Chancellor of the University of Calgary and is one of three co-chairs of the $250 million Calgary Cancer Centre fundraising campaign.
A first-generation Canadian, born and raised in Edmonton, Deborah is a graduate of the University of Alberta and Queen’s University. She also completed her ICD.D designation through the Haskayne School of Business at the University of Calgary.
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 in 2020 launched his new project, energyphile.org, 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 and in 2021, he joined the board of Contemporary Calgary, and the Institute of Sustainable Finance Advisory Board.
Peter has an undergraduate degree in Geophysics from the University of Alberta, a graduate degree in Econometrics from the University of Southampton UK, and a Master of Science in Management of Technology from the Sloan School of Management at MIT.
Peter and his colleague Jackie Forrest also host the ARC Energy Ideas podcast, exploring trends influencing the energy industry. Subscribe to the podcast.
The Honourable Lisa Raitt was the President and CEO of the Toronto Port Authority. She was elected into the House of Commons in 2008, where she went on to hold three senior portfolios serving as Minister of Natural Resources, Minister of Labour, and Minister of Transport. Most recently, Ms. Raitt was the Deputy Leader of the Official Opposition and the Conservative Party of Canada.
Joining CIBC Capital Markets in January 2020, having previously worked in both the public and private sectors, Ms. Raitt’s current focus is on senior client coverage and business development with clients in the energy, infrastructure and industrial sectors, which align closely with her deep expertise.
Ms. Raitt holds a Bachelor of Science degree from St. Francis Xavier University and a master’s degree in Chemistry from the University of Guelph. She possesses an LL.B from Osgoode Hall Law School and was called to the Ontario bar in 1998. In 2020 Ms. Raitt was named a Woodrow Wilson Center Global Fellow of the Canada Institute.
The Honourable Jason Kenney, 18th Premier of Alberta, is an Ontarian by birth and an Albertan by choice, with a happy Saskatchewan childhood in between. He burst onto Canada’s political scene in the early 1990s as the 22-year-old President of the new Canadian Taxpayers Federation and a passionate, articulate advocate for individual freedom, democracy, and free enterprise.
First elected in 1997 as the Reform Party of Canada Member of Parliament for Calgary Southeast, he played a major role in creating and expanding the modern Conservative Party of Canada, leading to its election in 2006. During the following decade he served as Minister of Multiculturalism, Citizen and Immigration, Employment and Skills Development, and National Defence. Unofficially, due to his tireless networking among diverse Canadian cultural communities, he was also known as the “minister of curry in a hurry.”
Returning to Alberta in 2016, Jason Kenney undertook a 3-year mission to revive and unite the province’s free enterprise coalition. In an unprecedented succession of political achievements, he first won the leadership of the Alberta Progressive Conservative Party, then won a referendum creating the new United Conservative Party, then won election as UCP leader, then won a seat in the Legislature as Leader of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition, and finally, in the 2019 election, led his party to a majority government with the highest vote tally of any party in provincial history.
He was sworn-in as Premier on April 30, 2019, and ever since his government has been working hard to get Alberta back to work, make life better for Albertans, and stand up for Alberta’s right to develop its resources and control its economic destiny.
Rex Murphy is a trusted face and voice across Canadian media. His intellect and biting humour strike through the heart of profound political and social issues.
Currently he writes and reports for CBC’s The National and is a columnist in the National Post. Canadians are treated to weekly commentary from Rex on CBC’s The National along with his Saturday column in the National Post.
He’s also acted as an editorial contributor to CBC Radio’s Definitely Not the Opera. For over 20 years he was the host and moderator of CBC Radio’s Cross Country Checkup. The show brought over 1 million listeners and at times 15,000 callers wanting to join in discussions.
As a speaker, Rex radiates intelligence and trustworthiness. His endearing style brings forth a sarcastic intellect and deep insight into issues affecting individuals and businesses. Audiences can expect to be simultaneously informed and entertained by Rex’s provocative commentary. He knows what makes Canadians tick, and what drives our political and social affairs. Rex makes us important and reminds us we have culture beyond hockey. His thought-provoking, sometimes stinging commentary and original insights are delivered through a vocabulary to make Webster’s consider updating.
A Rhodes Scholar, Rex was born and raised in St. John’s, Nfld., where he graduated from Memorial University. He went to Oxford University, along with former U.S. President Bill Clinton. Rex later ran twice in provincial elections and lost both times. Maybe he was too honest?