Year of Grant: 2016

Location: Canada


The Institute for Liberal Studies (ILS) was founded in 2006 to offer a non-partisan venue for the discussion of economics, philosophy, history and public policy in Canada. Its mission is to advance a free, peaceful, and tolerant society by promoting the ideas of liberty in Canada, particularly by identifying, educating, and training talented student leaders.

Since its inception, ILS has hosted a variety of seminars, lectures and conferences to provide participants with the opportunity to engage with libertarian ideas. In particular, one of its flagship events – Freedom Week Seminar, an intensive 5-day intellectual event, has been growing steadily over the years. 


From 28 participants in 2014 to 46 attendees in 2015, ILS is planning to host not 1 but 2 Freedom Week Seminars with a target to train over 100 students in 2016. The first seminar will take place at McGill University and the other at Simon Fraser University. 


Open to post-secondary students at the undergraduate or graduate level and to recent graduates (within two years), the Freedom Week Seminars will allow students to learn more about the libertarian movement in areas like economics, philosophy and law, and also about public policies from a faculty of distinguished professors. Students will be selected based on their answers to short essay questions, so as to ensure a diversity of backgrounds, both academically and ideologically. This will provide a richer experience for all participants and avoid “preaching to the choir.”

Experience has shown that this type of prolonged and intensive seminar can impact a student’s world-view in a way that other programs cannot. Ultimately, the goal is to give students who are already sympathetic to libertarian ideas a better intellectual understanding, while introducing students who are not familiar with these ideas to the rich tradition of libertarian thoughts and principles.