About Salon Speakers Directors Rudyard Griffiths and Patrick Luciani

When we started the Salon Speakers in the summer of 2004, our intention was to bring the best thinkers on current international issues to grano restaurant in Toronto. We felt strongly that Canadians needed to hear more about international problems that affect Canada such as the role of America in a post 9/11 world. But just as important, we wanted to break away from the traditional lecture forums and revert to a true salon where guests not only get to listen, but interact with speakers in a casual, stimulating environment.

Three more cites: Montreal, Calgary and Vero Beach Florida

Based on the success of the series in Toronto, we’ve expanded to Calgary at Teatro Restaurant in 2007 with our partner Peter W. White. In Montreal we launched our series at Club 357 in 2008 with our co-director Deon Ramgoolam.  We have also expanded our series in the United States with our first event held in Vero Beach, Florida in 2009. Our objective is the same in all these cities: to invite global thinkers and doers to address “the pressing issues of our times”.

Our approach to each event is simple: We ask our speakers to give an informal talk for 30 to 40 minutes without notes followed by a rigorous Q & A. Our speakers have included a roster of great minds including the late Samuel P. Huntington, Bernard Lewis, Christopher Hitchens, Gore Vidal, David Gergen, Paul Volcker, Niall Ferguson and Bob Woodward. Given the enthusiastic reception to our series in all four cities, we know the formula works.

The Munk Debates and ROM

Based on the success of our series, Salon Speakers was retained in 2008 to organize and manage the bi-annual Munk Debates in Toronto (www.munkdebates.com). The Royal Ontario Museum has also engaged Salon Speakers to help with its lecture program to promote its exhibit of the Dead Sea Scrolls in 2009. 

Contact Information

Salon Speakers Series
The Gate House
Massey College
4 Devonshire Place
Toronto, M5S 2E1