The Annual Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Conference is the Foundation’s largest and most public event. It brings the Foundation Community – scholars, fellows, mentors, directors, and members – together with respected intellectuals, public decision-makers from a variety of backgrounds, and members of the public. The conference is held each year in mid-November and participation is by invitation. There are no registration fees and the Foundation always reserves seats for young researchers and students. Between 2006 and 2013, the Foundation commissioned a national opinion poll related to the topic of the event.


In the fall of 2008, the Foundation launched an annual series of lectures delivered by fellows: the Trudeau Lectures. Hosted by Canadian universities, the lectures disseminate Trudeau fellows' ideas and publicize the Foundation's work on campuses and communities across the country. Delivered in the second year of the fellow's Trudeau fellowship, each lecture gives the speaker an opportunity to reflect on their intellectual career and on the institutional framework within which they developed their ideas. The text of the lectures are published each year as The Trudeau Foundation Papers.

Recent Trudeau lectures:


Held in late January or February, the annual Mentor-Scholar Retreat is a special opportunity for Foundation scholars to share their concerns, experiences, and best practices, and to spend time with a group of eminent Canadian policymakers. The event is only open to the Foundation Community members. For most of the mentors appointed in November, it is the first contact with the Trudeau Community. The two-day meeting opens with the “From Ideas to Policy” lecture, which is given by the head of an influential and respected think tank or research organization and challenges the participants to find new ways of using knowledge for the common good. During parallel dialogue sessions structured around the Foundation's four themes, participants are invited to discuss how to apply ideas and reason in the context of public policy.


The Foundation Summer Institute offers an exceptional opportunity for collaboration and intense networking among Foundation scholars, fellows, and mentors. A wealth of experience, knowledge and interdisciplinary exchange transforms these four to five days of plenary sessions, seminars, excursions and informal discussions into an event where participants seek to break the boundaries between disciplines and go beyond the typical debates of academic gatherings. The Foundation Summer Institute is the ideal place to find out about research carried out by Trudeau Community members, to make contact with colleagues in preparation for other events, and to learn more about other disciplines. Aside from the Foundation Community members, who are at the forefront of the program, outstanding national and international experts are invited to give seminars on research-related topics. To lay the ground for reflection and structure the discussions, the Foundation commissions position papers on the topic of the Summer Institute.


The Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation's public interaction events are policy workshops and seminars proposed and organized by Trudeau fellows, mentors, or scholars. The Foundation supports up to four public interaction projects every year, providing essential logistics and financial support of up to $10,000 per event. Only Community members can submit a proposal for a PIP workshop or seminar: the Foundation suggests that members consult the program director on the eligibility and feasibility of a project before submitting it. Our Public Interaction Program Event Policy explains in detail how to submit a proposal.


The Foundation actively pursues collaboration opportunities with other not-for-profit organizations and institutions interested in public policy issues on the national and international levels. Partnerships can take different forms, but must include the active participation of Trudeau Community members.

Examples of events and external collaboration

"Systemic, psychological, and legal issues in emprisonment"

The event was held in Lyon, France, on 26-27 November 2013 as part of the Entretiens Jacques Cartier 2013.

"Social Sciences and Humanities in Motion – The Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation Audiovisual Archives"

Workshop on audiovisual archives organized in partnership with ESCoM at the Foundation Maison des Sciences de l’Homme (FMSH), Paris, September 22-24, 2009.

"Refugees and the Regional Dynamics of Peacebuilding"

The Foundation’s first event organized in United States of America, in partnership with the International Peace Institute, the United Nations Peacebuilding Support Office, the Permanent Mission of Canada to the UN and UN high-representatives, New York, May 3-4, 2010.