Famed journalist Haroon Siddiqui returns to Brandon to share memoirs

A man in glasses and a suit
Haroon Siddiqui
  • Date: Saturday, May 25
  • Time: 3–5 p.m.
  • Location: Gathering Space, John E. Robbins Library, Brandon University

One of Canada’s most eminent journalists first cut his teeth in Brandon, and now he is returning here with an acclaimed new memoir.

Haroon Siddiqui came to the Brandon Sun as a reporter in 1968, planning to spend just a year to “get the Canadian experience.” A decade later, he’d risen to become the Sun’s managing editor when he was finally wooed away to join the Toronto Star.

Book cover, reading in newspaper-adjacent design, "My Name is Not Harry"
Haroon Siddiqui’s memoir is a compelling tale of a life that went from India to Toronto — through Brandon.

This month, Siddiqui will be back in Brandon to share from his new memoir, “My Name’s Not Harry,” in a free public event at the Brandon University library.

“The insight and perspective that Haroon Siddiqui brings to culture, to politics — and to Canada — are second to none,” said Brandon University political science professor Dr. Kelly Saunders, who will join Siddiqui in a fireside-chat style conversation. “It will be a treat to engage with him as we explore the changes and challenges he’s seen during his exceptionally distinguished career.”

Siddiqui is a member of both the Order of Canada and the Order of Ontario, as well as a Senior Fellow at Massey College, University of Toronto.

The winner of several journalistic awards, including a World Press Freedom Award in 2002 and the Lifetime Achievement Award last year by the Canadian Journalism Foundation, Siddiqui is also a former president of writers’ group PEN Canada and a member of the board of PEN International.

Vintage photo of a young man speaking in a crowd.
Haroon Siddiqui led a legendary journalism life.

His career at the Toronto Star included stints as a foreign affairs analyst, columnist, national editor, and editorial page editor, and he continued a regular column until his retirement in 2015. Following that retirement, he was named Editorial Page Editor Emeritus.

Siddiqui has fond memories of his time in Brandon, to which he credits the launch of his journalism career.

“I was lucky to have been encouraged to go to the Brandon Sun,” he said. “I went reluctantly, fearing the prairie cold. But ended up staying 10 years, and learned what I wouldn’t have in Toronto, ‘the centre of the universe’.”

Copies of Siddiqui’s memoir will be available for sale at the BU Bookstore, and he will sign them at the event.

In “My Name Is Not Harry,” Siddiqui shares his journalistic forays into the corridors of power, war zones, and cultural minefields. He also takes the reader along his personal journey from British colonial India to the evolution of Canada as the only Western nation where skin colour is no longer a fault line.

The BU event follows talks with Siddiqui at Massey College in Toronto, at McGill University in Montreal, and in Vancouver, with luminaries such as, the Right Honorable Adrienne Clarkson, the Right Honorable Beverley McLachlin, and author-philosopher John Ralston Saul.

In Brandon, Siddiqui will be appearing in the Gathering Space of the BU Library. The talk will take place on Saturday, May 25, from 3–5 p.m. Following the conversation with Dr. Saunders, the floor will be opened for a public Q and A.


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