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Roy MacGregor

Acclaimed Storyteller, Globe & Mail National Columnist

Called a “national treasure” by the Globe and Mail and the heir apparent to Peter Gzowski by CBC’s Shelagh Rogers, Roy MacGregor has a sense of Canada like no other. In more than 40 years of journalism that has taken him throughout the provinces and territories, he may well have seen more of the country than any living Canadian. His love of the country is at the core of his Globe and Mail columns and 50 books.

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Presentations

Northern Light
MacGregor explores the enduring mystery of Tom Thomson and the woman who loved him. MacGregor is able to  prove that the woman Thomson was engaged to was wrongly identified for the better part of a century and able to show, for the first time, the real woman he was engaged to through forensic art and photo compilations. This presentation is very powerful and has the ability to hold a crowd spellbound!

This Country: An Exploration of Canada
In this presentation, MacGregor explores Canada. MacGregor knows the country intimately and, in all likelihood, has seen more of it than almost any living Canadian.

Canadian Nature
MacGregor discusses the importance of the outdoors, the landscape, to Canadians, and why “escape” is as much a part of the Canadian psyche as the rivers and railroads.

Kid’s Literacy
The Screech Owls were created by MacGregor to attract “the reluctant reader,” – boys who will not pick up books. The Screech Owls, a peewee hockey team that solves everything from the theft of the Stanley Cup to murders, is Canada’s most popular current series.

The National Game
MacGregor has been hailed by the Globe and Mail as “Canada’s best hockey writer.” Author of several classics in the game, MacGregor’s love of the national game is infectious.

Awards

2015
Ontario Sports Hall of Fame
Brian Williams Media Award

2012
Media Inductee to the Canadian Hockey Hall of Fame

2007
U.S. Rutstrum Award for Best Wilderness Book | Life in the Bush

2005
Officer of the Order of Canada

1980
National Magazine Award | Science for ‘Acid Rain’ (Maclean's)

1977
National Magazine Award | President's Medal for A Canadian Tragedy (Canadian)
National Magazine Award | Politics for ‘The Unhappy Landing of Otto Lang’ (The Canadian)

  • Roy is a tremendous story-teller and a genuinely likeable and accessible guy. His sharp insights into what it means to be Canadian were delivered with gentle humour. The audience had great fun asking him questions after his speech on a wide variety of subjects and his responses were honest, animated, wry and very funny! We received many compliments from our delegates for having Roy as our luncheon speaker. He truly is a national treasure.

    - President, Canadian Biosphere Reserves Association

Summary Profile

When MacGregor was named an Officer in the Order of Canada in 2005, the citation read: “One of our most gifted storytellers, Roy MacGregor is renowned for evoking the subtle nuances of our Canadian identity in his columns and books.” No other writer and speaker so successfully captures the essence of what it means to be Canadian and to live in this country. His passionate and humorous talks have long been popular with Canadian audiences.

His latest book, Canoe Country: The Making of Canada, is an examination of the aboriginal vehicle that opened the country to the explorers, the fur trade, the timber industry and, today, is at the core of the Canadian wilderness spirit. In it, he tells personal stories of adventure as well as stories virtually unknown to Canadians – such as the 1885 quest by Ottawa River voyageurs to save General Charles Gordon at Khartoum. The book, filled with characters from David Thompson to Pierre Trudeau, from Bill Mason to Frances Anne Hopkins, is really the story of the country. Canoe Country stands with MacGregor’s many other studies of the Canadian wilderness. His Northern Light: The Enduring Mystery of Tom Thomson and the Woman who Loved him, proved once and for all, through forensic science where Canada’s most-beloved painter is buried. His memoir of his father, A Life in the Bush, won the prestigious U.S. Rutstrum Award as the best book on the wilderness.

He is currently researching the rivers of Canada for his next book. MacGregor has written books on the James Bay Cree, dogs, cottages and so many on the national game, hockey, that in 2012 he was named the media inductee to the Canadian Hockey Hall of Fame. In 2015 he was welcomed into the Ontario Sports Hall of Fame. He is also a renowned children’s author. His award-winning young readers mystery series, The Screech Owls, has 30 volumes and has sold 2 million copies in Canada and around the world. His other children’s books, Forever: The Hockey Classic, and The Highest Number in the World, have been major bestsellers.