About Munk Debates

The semi-annual Debates were established in 2008 as a charitable initiative of the Aurea Foundation co-founders Peter and Melanie Munk. The Debates take place in Toronto in the evening in front of an audience of 3,000 people at Roy Thomson Hall. The Debates last approximately an hour and a half. Two panelists argue for a debate style motion and two against. The format is short opening statements followed by a civil and substantive moderated panel discussion, followed by short closing statements. Past participants include Henry Kissinger, Glenn Greenwald, Paul Krugman, Fareed Zakaria, Tony Blair, Christopher Hitchens and Larry Summers, among others. The Debates are broadcast throughout Canada by the CBC and across the continental United States on C-SPAN. The transcript of each debate is published as a book in Canada by House of Anansi Press and internationally.

The Munk Debates are open to the general public. Tickets to the debates are $40 to $100 each. Seating is limited. Each event begins at 7:00 PM with a vote by the audience on the resolution being debated. The final vote is tallied and the winning side is announced at approximately 9:00 PM.

The Munk Debates are organized by Rudyard Griffiths, Chair of The Munk Debates, with Naylor and Associates.

The Munk Debates benefit from advice and insights of an advisory board. Its members include Mark Cameron, Andrew Coyne, Devon Cross, John Duffy, Allan Gotlieb, Margaret MacMillan, Anthony Munk, Robert Prichard and Janice Stein.

Co-founders

Peter and Melanie Munk

Peter and Melanie Munk

The late Peter Munk (1927-2018) and wife Melanie founded the Munk Debates as a signature initiative of their private foundation ...

Peter and Melanie Munk

Peter and Melanie Munk

The late Peter Munk (1927-2018) and wife Melanie founded the Munk Debates as a signature initiative of their private foundation. The Munks are among Canada's leading philanthropists, having generously donated more than $300 million to improve healthcare, support higher education, and advance public policy discussion and debate. Peter Munk was a Companion of the Order of Canada, Canada’s highest public honour, and the recipient of numerous other awards and distinctions. Melanie Munk is a passionate advocate for patient care, public health, and recognizing the service and dedication of nursing and support staff in Canada’s healthcare system.

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Organizer

Rudyard Griffiths

Rudyard Griffiths

Rudyard Griffiths is the organiser and moderator of the Munk Debates. He is the author of ...

Rudyard Griffiths

Rudyard Griffiths

Rudyard Griffiths is the organiser and moderator of the Munk Debates. He is the author of the 2009 Globe and Mail book of the year, Who We Are: A Citizen's Manifesto, and has edited various essays on Canadian and international political and historical themes. He has been a television anchor on BNN, CTV News Channel and Bloomberg TV Canada. For debate related content and commentary follow Rudyard on twitter at @rudyardg.

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