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Herr Lectures

Clara Hughes

Open Heart, Open Mind

November 27, 2023 - 7:00 PM

Hughes is the only athlete in Olympic history to win multiple medals in both summer and winter Games, representing Canada in both speed skating and cycling. In addition, she served as Team Canada’s flag-bearer at the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games.

As the founding spokesperson for Bell Let’s Talk, a campaign designed to end the stigma attached to mental illness, Hughes helped jumpstart the conversation on mental wellness. In 2014, she completed a 110-day national bicycle tour through every province and territory in Canada called “Clara’s Big Ride”. She covered more than 11,000 kilometres, visited 105 communities, and hosted over 235 events to raise awareness for mental health. She is also the author of the bestselling memoir, Open Heart, Open Mind.

Hughes' Herr Lecture presentation is a raw but life-affirming story of one woman’s struggle with depression. In a world where winning meant everything, her biggest competitor was herself. After more than a decade in the grueling world of competitive sports that stripped away her confidence and bruised her body, Hughes began to realize that her physical extremes, her emotional setbacks, and her partying habits were masking a severe depression. After winning bronze in the last speed skating race of her career, she decided to retire from that sport, determined to repair herself. She has since emerged as one of our most committed humanitarians, advocating for a variety of social causes both in Canada and around the world. Hughes' lecture will move and inspire you.




Herr Lecture Series History

The Larry and Denise Herr Lectures in the Humanities feature presentations by highly qualified speakers on issues of public interest. The lectures provide a forum for dialogue, open discussion, and reasoned debate in Central Alberta. The lecture series is named after two of Burman University’s retired professors, Dr. Denise Herr and Dr. Larry Herr.


For more information on the lecture contact: Glen Graham, Herr Lecture Series Coordinator
403-782-3381 x.4077

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Over the past two years, the Herr Lecture Series has brought acclaimed speakers and leading experts to Central Alberta to address the most pressing social and political issues facing Canadians today. We want as many people as possible to benefit from these lectures. It is vital that all our lectures remain free to the public. We thank you for your continued support of the Herr Lecture Series.  It will make a real and lasting impact on our community.

To make a donation click here to go to our CanadaHelps web page. Please indicate that the donation is for the Herr Lecture Series in the message box on the web page. Note that a monthly giving option is available. Donations of $20 and above are eligible for a tax-deductible receipt.