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About the event

Politics and the Pen /  la politique et l'écrit

Politics and the Pen is a unique fundraiser that celebrates Canadian political and literary cultures and brings together national politicians, talented writers, prominent diplomats, and notable arts and business leaders. The event is the backdrop for the annual presentation of the $25,000 Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing, sponsored by CN.

Writers' Trust of Canada extends enormous thanks to the Politics and the Pen committee members. By directing the funds from this event to Writers’ Trust, this committee is supporting the Writers’ Trust's ability to advance, nurture, and celebrate Canadian writers and writing. Thanks to the work and generosity of the committee, Politics and the Pen has cumulatively raised more than $5 million, with the net proceeds directed to support Writers’ Trust literary programs.


  • Elizabeth Gray-Smith, co-chair
  • Patrick Kennedy, co-chair
  • Jim Armour
  • Hardave Birk
  • Maureen Boyd
  • Heather Bradley
  • Dan Mader
  • Rob Rosenfeld
  • Alex Spence

2024 Politics and the Pen Co-Hosts

The Honourable Jason Kenney

The Honourable Jason Kenney recently completed a 25-year career in public service. He was first elected to Parliament in 1997, was re-elected six times, and served in key opposition roles including shadow finance minister. As a senior member of the Harper government, he led some of the largest federal departments as Minister of Citizenship, Immigration, and Multiculturalism; Minister of Employment and Social Development; and Minister of National Defence, while chairing the influential Cabinet Operations Committee. He was also the Canadian Taxpayers Federation’s first president and CEO. In 2016, Hon. Kenney launched a successful campaign to unite Alberta’s free enterprise parties and went on to win a landslide majority to become Alberta’s eighteenth premier. He is currently a senior advisor at Bennett Jones LLP and Teneo, a Senior Fellow of the C.D. Howe Institute, and a member of several corporate boards.

Kathleen Wynne

Kathleen Wynne served in public office from 2003 until 2022 and was elected as Ontario’s 25th premier in 2013. She began her political career as a public school board trustee in Toronto. As the MPP for Don Valley West, she served as Ontario’s Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs, Minister of Transportation, Minister of Education, and Minister of Agriculture and Food. Wynne was the first female premier of Ontario and Canada’s first openly gay head of government. She is currently the Hon. Newton W. Rowell Professor at University of Toronto’s Victoria College and is an organizer and facilitator of a number of grassroots community initiatives. She lives in Alliston, Ontario.

2024 Platinum Sponsors

2024 Video Sponsor

2024 Gold Sponsors

2024 Silver Sponsors

2024 Bronze Sponsors

2024 Politics and the Pen Media Partner