The Campaign for Debate at Hart House


Photo of debate“Debating at Hart House was, no question, one of the main highlights from university. The chance to join a community of erudite, intelligent and passionate individuals produced long-lasting friendships and fostered crucial skills that I continue to use every day. Hart House debating gave so much to me; I have no hesitation in giving back.”
—Michael  Kotrly

For the past 90 years, debating at Hart House has provided hundreds of students with enriching experiences that provide them with new perspectives while developing their speaking skills and confidence.

As it nears its 100th anniversary, Hart House is asking alumni to enhance its tradition of debate by supporting a dedicated endowment fund. Proceeds from this fund will be used exclusively for student travel to debating competitions and other related activities.


Boundless Experiences: Debates

When Louis Tsilivis joined the Hart House Debating Club and Debates Committee, he never suspected that it would lead to one of the greatest educational experiences of his life.

Read more>>

Donate NowGive to the Hart House Debate Endowment Fund or learn more about how your contribution will provide support for student debating at Hart House by downloading the full Campaign for Debate at Hart House.

The Need

Photo of debate“How will I make a meaningful contribution?” Many alumni have remarked that Hart House was their path to becoming a responsible global citizen. Hart House is a community where all members of the university—students, faculty and alumni—gather as equals to make meaning of their education.

The tradition of debate at Hart House exists within an exceedingly competitive environment. The Debating Club competes against US teams with large endowments and full-time coaches. Increasing travel costs limit student opportunities, with students carrying an ever greater financial burden of participating (upwards of $500 each) in tournaments.

The Response

Hart House Debate Endowment Fund

This permanently endowed fund will exclusively support student travel to national and international tournaments, and other related activities.

How Alumni Can Help

Please consider making an annual donation of $500 or more to enhance the storied tradition of debating at Hart House. Regardless of the amount, every donation makes a difference.

In addition to annual gifts, Hart House also has leadership giving opportunities available. For more information, please contact Peter Wambera at 416.946.3993 or email

Download the full Campaign for Debate at Hart House.

Campaign for Debate at Hart House

Honorary Cabinet

  • Peter Neilson (’78), co-chair
  • Prof. Jim Phillips, co-chair
  • Rahool Agarwal (’06)
  • Hon. Justice Ian Binnie (’65)
  • David Conklin (’88, ’91)
  • Jacob Glick (’99, ’02)
  • Lauren Israel (’91)
  • Michael Kotrly (’06)
  • Joanna Nairn (’06)
  • Hon. Bob Rae (’69, ’77, ’99)
  • Mark Slade (’96)