Presentation Topics

 

History
The French Revolution: Don’t Lose Your Head (Paul Dias)

Discover how the richest, most powerful country in Europe disintegrated almost overnight. Discover how the noble ideas of Liberty, Equality and Brotherhood fed the every-hungry guillotine. Discover the French Revolution.

Napoleon: Tyrant, Dictator, Genius (Paul Dias)

From the ashes and chaos of revolution, From Italy to Egypt to Spain to Russia, follow one of Europe’s greatest generals as he blazed a trail across the pages of history. Join us as we trace Napoleon’s path – from victory to defeat to legend.

D-Day: the Invasion to Normandy (Paul Dias)

The Invasion to Normandy, codenamed “Operation Neptune”, was rife with uncertainty and could have easily spelled doom for the allies and victory for the Nazis. Join Paul as he examines this battle: The planning, the decisions, the bravery and sacrifices of one of the most pivotal turning points of history.

O Canada! The Land, the Moments, the people (Paul Dias)

From a remote settlement to a nation: Come celebrate Canada and discover the events that shaped our nation and the people who have made it shine.

Myths and Facts of War: Was Churchill really a great leader? (Dr. Gordon Bannerman)

In 2002, a BBC poll voted Winston Churchill as “The greatest Briton in history”, largely due to his role in World War II. How justified is this judgment of History? This lecture separates myths from facts attempts to portray the real Churchill, who made mistakes and had character flaws, as opposed to the near-mythical figure that has often been projected in books and films

The Evolution of Memory: 100 Years of Remembrance Day (Dr. Gordon Bannerman)

With the mass casualties of the two World Wars of the twentieth century, the consequences of ‘total war’ affected large sections of the population in the combatant countries. The loss of so many people prompted moves to officially recognize and commemorate The Fallen. Remembrance is now a vital part of our mental landscape and plays a role in teaching the present and future generations of the nature of sacrifice and loss, as well as the horrors of war.

Queen Victoria (Dr. Gordon Bannerman)

After Elizabeth II, Queen Victoria is the longest-reigning monarch in British history. As Queen from 1837 to 1901, her reign was marked by great political, social, and economic change. Victoria was made “Empress of India”, reflective of Britain’s imperial power and prestige. In this talk, Dr. Gordon Bannerman explores Victoria’s personal and political life and legacy.

Literature
Shakespeare in Love (Paul Dias)

Explore Shakespeare’s insights into the theme of love through some of his most dynamic characters: The submissive Ophelia, the domineering Lady Macbeth, the jealous Othello and the hilarious love triangles of midsummer night dream, that have thrilled and chilled audiences for generations!

Bram Stoker’s Classic Novel “Dracula” (Paul Dias)

Prince Dracula, a creature of the night, armed with immense supernatural powers and rapacious blood lust is menacing the very heart of Victorian London. A spine-tingling Gothic tale of evil, corruption, lust and the redemptive power of love that lasts from beyond the grave…

Love Stories for Young Hearts (Paul Dias)

Through classic myth and folklore, poem and legend, we will explore the passion, the tragedy and the triumph of love.

Art
Rembrandt (Paul Dias)

From portraits to landscapes, allegorical and historical scenes, biblical and mythological themes, Rembrandt’s works and styles tell an array of stories that uncover the depth, beauty and mystery of our hidden lives. We will explore the life of this genius and examine some of the most beautiful paintings of the Dutch golden age.

Picasso – The Aesthetic of Ugly (Paul Dias)

Producing over 50 thousand works of art, Pablo Picasso is considered the most prolific artists in all of history. Explore this 20th Century master and discover why his paintings and sculptures continue to provoke and inspire.

Leonardo Da Vinci: The First Renaissance Man (Paul Dias)

He has been called one of the greatest minds in human history. Indeed, more than just the painter of the Mona Lisa and her mysterious smile, his ideas, designs and sketches on everything from robots to helicopters and human anatomy , were centuries ahead of their time. You were warmly invited to meet and explore the life of this Renaissance man who embodies the term universal genius.

The Group of Seven – The Mystery, Majesty and Maic of Canada’s Landscape (Paul Dias)

At the turn of the 20th Century, a bold group of artists set out to capture the wild and natural landscapes of Canada as never before. Explore the paintings that changed the world of art and shaped a nation in the process.

Philosophy and Science
The Fair Machine (Dr. Christopher DiCarlo)

Fairness – A concept around which politics (we all hope) revolves. But what does it really mean to be fair? Is it possible to build a “Fairness Machine” which reduces bias, vested interest, and personal agendas in an effort to create a more fair society?

Good vs. Evil (Dr. Christopher DiCarlo)

What is “Ethics”? How did the concept of “Good vs. Evil” evolve throughout history? How does Utilitarian philosophy measure “goodness” and how applicable is it in everyday life? Is ethical thought and behavior limited to humans only?

Redemption on the Silver Screen (Dr. Christopher DiCarlo)

Nowhere more creatively is the theme of redemption played out than in the movies. We shall look at this theme In Gran Torino, Good Will Hunting, the Pianist, the Shawshank Redemption and others and consider whether something akin to a redeeming spirit dwells within each of us.

The Abridged History of Love (Dr. Christopher DiCarlo)

How was the concept of ‘love’ defined, used, and celebrated throughout recorded time (and potentially, pre-recorded time). During the festive season of St. Valentine’s – when “love is in the air” – let’s consider the nature of this most perplexing, yet wondrous of human emotions.

Sigmund Freud & the Inner Mind (Paul Dias)

Father of modern psychology or cult leader? Explore the 20 century’s most controversial thinker and learn the meanings of your dreams, desires and defenses.

The will to power – the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche (Paul Dias)

Could everything we know be a lie? Could all our values be wrong? Is the world very different from what we perceive it to be?

The answers given by the philosopher F. Nietzsche to these questions turned modern philosophy and the world on its head.

Classical Music
Opera Choruses (Joseph Sharon)

No opera is complete without at least one good chorus. In this presentation we’ll enjoy some of the best known opera choruses by Verdi, Wagner, Weber and Puccini and get to know their context.

The Strauss Family from Vienna (Joseph Sharon)

Vienna 1848 – The Austro-Hungarian Empire is in political turmoil. But the music, the Viennese lifeblood, has never been more cheerful. We’ll meet the Strauss Family which dominates the light music scene, and get to know also some its juicy stories and scandals.

The Many Faces of Itzhak Perlman (Joseph Sharon)

Itzhak Perlman is one of the most versatile artists of our time. A virtuoso violinist who feels at home equally in classical music, folk and music for movies. This talk is an opportunity to take a peek behind the scenes of the concert hall and the musician’s practice studio.

Robert Schumann – Scenes from Childhood (Joseph Sharon)

For Robert Schumann “childhood” was paradise lost, the only truly happy time of his life. Throughout his adult life recollections of that blissful period emerge in his work. In our meeting we will get to know three piano works of a composer that never grew up.

Life and Music of Frederic Chopin (Joseph Sharon)

Frederic Chopin is known as “the Piano Poet” – Nobody made the piano sing and express emotions like him. In this presentation we will hear some of his short pieces, try to understand the essence of the music of the romantic era, and also get to know the man behind the music.

Curious Instruments (Joseph Sharon)

Names like Pan-flute, Baryton or Jew’s harp might not be common in the concert hall, but they are not merely musical curiosities – they have interesting history, as well as unique repertoire, written by well known composers (and some less known…)

The Pilgrimage of Franz Liszt (Joseph Sharon)

In a sharp contrast to his famous fireworks for the piano, Franz Liszt’s “Années de pèlerinage” is a poetic work, a window to a soul of a young artist whose fascination with literature, nature, art and history inspired the creation of this piano cycle.

G.F.Handel: Messiah, an Oratorio (Joseph Sharon)

Although by far the best known work by Handel, Messiah is his most untypical oratorio – rather Than a drama with characters and plot it is a narration of the birth, passion, resurrection and second coming of Christ – a work with theological, philosophical and even political agenda.

The Songs of Franz Schubert (Joseph Sharon)

The art song (“Lied”), the perfect marriage of poetry and music, is the flower of romanticism. Join Joseph as he takes you to a journey through nature, love and tragedy in the early 19th century.

The Recorder (Joseph Sharon)

Apart from “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” and similar tunes, the recorder has a rich repertoire that spans from the middle ages to modern times. Composers such as Vivaldi, Telemann and Bach wrote music for this uncommon instrument.

The Golden Age: Music in Elizabethan England (Joseph Sharon)

Walter Raleigh, Shakespeare, Francis Drake, Christopher Marlowe: Truly the golden age of England. And music did not lag behind. Domestic music making was THE fashion under the reign on the virgin queen.

Benjamin Britten – A War requiem (Joseph Sharon)

Lt. Wilfred Owen was a soldier and a poet who lived the horrors of WWI. His apocalyptic poems are set to music in this beautiful outcry against the inhumanity of war.

Claude Debussy – an Impression (Joseph Sharon)

“Impressionism” – An artistic movement that flourished in France at the end of the 19th century. Discover the art of Monet, Pissarro, Verlaine and Debussy – a fascinating world between reality and dream

Women Composers (Joseph Sharon)

It’s a men’s world – certainly when it comes to creating music. Yet, through history we encounter talented females who dared challenge this belief and create music. In this presentation we will meet not just “wife of…” or “sister of…” but great artists in their own right.

1000 Years of Church Music (Joseph Sharon)

A central part of the story of western music is the evolution of sacred music – The transition from the pure service of God to a vehicle for artistic expression. Join Joseph as he explores different styles of sacred music from the middle ages up to Mozart.

The Architecture of Music – The Sonata Form (Joseph Sharon)

What is “form” in music? How does a composer organize musical material? Using works of W.A.Mozart, we will examine the most prevalent form of music in the age of enlightenment, sharpen our mind and understand our role as active listeners.

Popular Music
The Story of the Tango (Dr. Alberto Munarriz)

Join Alberto as he tells the story of the iconic dance of Argentina and its complex relationship with the country’s changing social, political, and economic realities – from the beginning in the late 1800’s through the political turmoil and the regime of the military junta to the early 2000’s.

“Evita” (Dr. Alberto Munarriz)

The fascinating life of María Eva Duarte de Perón, the first lady of Argentina. Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical is a romanticized fairytale about an illegitimate child born in poverty, her career in the showbiz and the marriage which catapulted her into being one of the most influential political figures of her time.

Popular Music of Ireland (Daniel Aonso)

See Ireland’s contribution to popular music through some amazing artists including Van Morrison, Enya, and Delia Murphy.

Icons of Canadian popular music (Daniel Aonso)

Explore how popular music has been shaped by Canada. Hear the sounds of Leonard Cohen, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, and many more great Canadian musicians.

George Gershwin: Jazz in the Concert Hall (Daniel Aonso)

A central figure at the crossroads of jazz and classical, he naturalized jazz in classical music with works like Blue Monday, Summertime, I got rhythm, and of course his “jazz concerto” – Rhapsody in Blue.

Aretha Franklin, Queen of Soul (Daniel Aonso)

The 10 years old gospel-singer from Detroit who became one of the best-selling musical artists of all time with career spanning over 60 years, 18 Grammy awards and hits like “Respect”, “A Natural Woman” and “I Knew You Were Waiting”. The fiery voice of an artist, a civil rights activist and humanitarian icon who “helped define the American experience” (Barack Obama).

The Beatles – Icon of the ‘60s – (Daniel Aonso)

Listen to the sounds of the greatest band of the 1960′s – the Fab Four, and see what made them the legends they are now. How they approached music, forming their style and evolving over time. A journey back to the Golden Age of Rock n’ Roll!

Sous Le Ciel de Paris – The Great French Channsonieres (Daniel Aonso)

The romantic sounds of the French chanson with Charles Aznavour, Jacques Brel, Édith Piaf, and more.

Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby: A Flashback to Blue-eyed Crooners (Daniel Aonso)

“The legend of old blue eyes himself: Frank Sinatra. explore Sinatra’s roots with the music of Bing Crosby, and how crooning has evolved in the 21st century!”

From Pete Seeger to Bob Dylan: A Folk Music Retrospective (Daniel Aonso)

Giving power to the guitar and a voice to the people, discover folk music through the legends of Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, and more!

The Big Sound of the Big Band: The Legends of Big Band music (Daniel Aonso)

From the greats like Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington, to the legends like Benny Goodman and Tommy Dorsey. Experience the bombastic sounds of the Big Band.

The Sounds of Hollywood! Discovering the Music of Film (Daniel Aonso)

Starting from the soaring romanticism of the Golden Era of Hollywood, and traveling through the years: From the scares and screeches of Bernard Herrmann to the beautiful sounds of John Williams, explore the music of motion pictures!

Highway of Heroes (for Remembrance Day) (Daniel Aonso)

The various shades of popular war songs – From the patriotic tone of Johnny Cash, through the mourning of Pete Seeger, to the pacifism of Simon and Garfunkel.

Irving Berlin: The Great American Songwriter (Daniel Aonso)

Exploring the roots of American popular music through it’s most famous songwriter. Featuring “What’ll I Do?”, “White Christmas”, and “Puttin’ on the Ritz”.

Romance in the Musical (Daniel Aonso)

From West Side Story to My Fair Lady, from the Phantom of the Opera to Singin’ in the Rain. Exploring the theme of romance in classic musicals.

A winter Wonderland of Yuletide Favorites (Daniel Aonso)

It’s the holiday season! The classic sounds of Bing Crosby, the jazz of Vince Guaraldi, and the flair of Elvis Presley!

The Legend of “White Christmas” (Daniel Aonso)

Irving Berlin’s classic is the most covered Christmas song of all times. Traditional pop, early rock and roll, blues and jazz – Bing Crosby’s “original” version, compared that of Michael Buble, Elvis, Oscar Peterson and more!

Current Events Discussions
For each session 5-6 hot-button topics are selected – items from newspapers and mainstream websites. We also like to include human-interest stories, new technological innovations, issues affecting the elderly, photos of the week, and more.

These talks are moderated in a way that both encourages residents to voice their opinions while at the same time making sure that everyone is respectful of opposing views. While we sometimes wade into some very contentious subjects, never does a discussion become heated or hostile. Rather, more often than not, there’s a lot of laughter that contributes to a positive, upbeat atmosphere.