Annual Western Dinner

When: Thursday, October 8, 2015 - 17:00 - 21:00

Where: Winnipeg

The 2015 Western Dinner & Awards was an extraordinary celebration of Western leadership, featuring the presentation of the Peter Lougheed Award for Public Service to five remarkable Manitobans. We were delighted to host a sold-out crowd at the new Canadian Museum of Human Rights, a magnificent facility that embodies the determination and leadership that our honorees exemplify. And we are grateful to our honorees, those who presented them, and those who attended and supported our first signature event in Winnipeg earlier this month.

From Ambassador Gary Doer, we heard that important change in our country’s bilateral relations is measured less in years than in decades. The long-term commitment of Canadian leaders are bearing fruit, such as the U.S. recognizing hydroelectric power as a source of renewable energy. 

Gail Asper and her family hold an indelible place in the Manitoban imagination, manifested most recently by the Museum that hosted our festivities. Ms. Asper reminded us that the rigor of Canada is characterized by the capacity to think bigger and fight for regional rights.

Hon. Lloyd Axworthy cited the intra-Canadian discussion of tens of thousands of refugees arriving to Canada in a context where, globally, there are at present some 400 million displaced people. He challenged us to do better in preparing for uncertain times.

So, too, did Paul Moist. Mr. Moist insisted that leadership begins when we stare facts in the face, such as the fact that the income inequality gap is becoming everyday more of a chasm. He challenged us to do better for the more than 60% of the global population that live on less than $5 a day.

Justice Murray Sinclair noted the growing awareness of the truth of Canadian history, which includes nearly 130 years of government-imposed deprivations to First Nations peoples. Our country has the opportunity to forge a better future in which all Canadians can be proud of our collective response to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

There was a sense throughout the evening that, as a country, we can be so much better. The recommendations of the TRC provide us with guidance to become better communities, better regions and better Canadians. Our willingness to have honest conversations about poverty and income inequality, and our capacity to build bridges with neighbours near and far will define our future. 

Premier Greg Selinger opened the occasion with an eloquent reminder of the many ways that today’s leaders walk the path forged by predecessors such as Peter Lougheed, whose career of public service resulted in prairie priorities being on the table in Ottawa. 

This year's recipients:

Gail Asper
President and Trustee
The Asper Foundation

Lloyd Axworthy
Past President, University of Winnipeg and former Minister of Foreign Affairs


Gary Doer

Canadian Ambassador to the United States and former Premier of Manitoba


Paul Moist
National President
Canadian Union of Public Employees

Justice Murray Sinclair
Chair, Indian Residential School Truth and Reconciliation Commission


For more information please contact:

Julia Oliveira
Project Administrator
613-238-7858 x243


Thank you to our partners: