NSB Logo Charlotte Gray Charlotte Gray

Charlotte Gray

Speaker Exclusive

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Bestselling Author, The Promise of Canada

Charlotte Gray, one of Canada’s pre-eminent biographers and historians, has won many awards for her work, including the prestigious Pierre Berton Award for a body of historical writing. In ten bestsellers, including biographies such as Sisters in the Wilderness and Reluctant Genius: The Passionate Life of Alexander Graham Bell  and intriguing narratives such as The Museum Called Canada and The Massey Murder, she has brought our past to vivid life. Charlotte is a Member of the Order of Canada and was a panelist on the 2013 edition of CBC Radio’s Canada Reads. 

Keynote Speeches

The Promise of Canada: 150 Years — People And Ideas That Have Shaped Our Country

Ever since she arrived in Canada nearly forty years ago, Charlotte Gray has been intrigued by what holds this country together. What makes it different from all other countries? What does it mean to be Canadian? From the research for her bestselling book, Gray believes that the ideas and actions of individuals can shape larger social changes, and those changes, in turn, mold national identity. Her goal is for her audiences to learn about Canadian events and forge an emotional connection with the people at the heart of the story, including those who have formed our history, and some of today’s Canadians who are shaping our collective tomorrow. She notes:  “Canada does have an optimism and promise that you don’t see in many other places in the world.  We have an extraordinary sense of stability.”  Gray challenges audiences to ask “Is this real? Are we just five years behind the curve of change? Or have we quietly developed characteristics that will ensure stability for the next 150 years?” [/nsb]

Platform Plus Presentations

Unique formats and ways to connect with audiences.
Charlotte is a great facilitator of conversations around issues important to Canadians. She has experience moderating panels for The Canadian War Museum, Macdonald-Laurier Institute & various literary organizations.
Charlotte sparks fascinating and lively discussions that help audiences define the challenges and opportunities we face today, whether it is welcoming and accommodating new Canadians, achieving reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, building new relationships with the US and the rest of the world, or finding new economic opportunities for Canada at a time of great change and upheaval.

Audience reviews:

  • A beautiful, different & successful way of looking at things. Looks at the good and the bad, what we have already achieved and what needs to be worked on, and shows us a road to a stronger future — together.

    - Winnipeg News
  • Charlotte Gray makes history come alive as she opens doors into our past, our present and our future, inspiring and challenging readers to envision the Canada they want to live in.

    - Simon & Schuster Canada

Speaker Biography

Well-known across Canada as an author and public speaker, Charlotte explores the past and our future with wit and a sense of drama. Her style has been described as thought-provoking, insightful, vivid and with a love of country. She inspires and challenges audiences to envision the Canada they want to live in.

Educated at Oxford University and the London School of Economics, she began her writing career in England as a magazine editor and newspaper columnist. After coming to Canada, she worked as a political commentator, book reviewer and magazine columnist before she turned to biography and popular history.

An adaptation of her 2010 bestseller Gold Diggers, Striking It Rich in the Klondike was broadcast as a television miniseries in early 2014 on the US Discovery Channel, under the title Klondike. In 2008, Charlotte published Nellie McClung, a short biography of Canada’s leading women’s rights activist in the Penguin Series, Extraordinary Canadians. 

Charlotte appears regularly on radio and television as a political and cultural commentator. She was a celebrity panelist, championing Jane Urquhart’s novel Away, in CBC Radio’s annual battle of the books, Canada Reads.  For the CBC series: The Greatest Canadian, she was the advocate for Sir John A. Macdonald, Canada’s first prime minister.

Her nine previous non-fiction bestsellers include The Massey Murder; Gold Diggers, Striking It Rich in the Klondike; Reluctant Genius, the Passionate Life and Inventive Mind of Alexander Graham Bell and Sisters in the Wilderness, The Lives of Susanna Moodie and Catharine Parr Traill.

Charlotte is a member of the Order of Canada and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada