Topics By Occasions

27 January - International Holocaust Memorial Day

PHILOSOPHY Man’s Search for Meaning (Dr. David Chandross)
Victor Frankl endured the hardships of the holocaust, losing his mother, his wife and his sister. His best selling book ‘Man’s Search for Meaning’ showed how he found the will to survive and how we can triumph over adversity. Join Dr. David Chandross as he looks at the stories of heroism and humanity that emerged from a time of madness.

February - Black History Month
CINEMA To Kill a Mocking Bird (Ryan Uytdewilligen)
This film which has just turned 60 is a coming of age classic. But it did so much more in terms of breaking down racial barriers in America at the cusp of the Civil rights movement, describing the struggle for justice for Tom, a black guy who is wrongly accused of raping a white woman. Join Ryan as he discusses the life of the author Harper Lee, the publication of the book, making of the movie and its impacts on society, education, and race.

14 February - St. Valentine's Day

CINEMA Romantic Comedies – The Recipe (Ryan Uytdewilligen)
Hollywood loves love. Romantic comedies have been a staple since the creation of film – continuously topping the box office and melting our hearts. Join Ryan as he breaks down the formula on what goes into a good romcom from the “meet cute” to the setting. Watch excerpts from classics “like It Happened One Night”, “Roman Holiday”, “Moonstruck” and “When Harry Met Sally”, while highlighting some of Hollywood’s most beloved couples from Tracy and Hepburn to Newman and Woodward.

CULINARY ARTS For the Love of Food (Kate Compton)
“Food is symbolic of love when words are inadequate” (Alan D. Wolfelt)
Sometimes delicious food says it all! Join chef Kate to find out what food is sure to impress on Valentine’s day. Learn some food history, tasty ideas and easy tips for including more ‘feel good foods’ into your life and relationships. See what miracles can ingredients like avocado, oysters, bananas, and asparagus work (And no, we haven’t forgotten about chocolate!)

LITERATURE 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.

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!

MUSIC 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.

MUSIC Operatic Love Arias and duets – The romantic, the tragic and the weird
From the seductive Don Juan, to the grave duet of Radames and Aida, to Serse’s love aria to a tree (!!!) – Explore the many shades of love – the lifeblood of the opera.

PHILOSOPHY 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.

8 March - International Woman's Day
MUSIC Women Composers
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.

Coco Chanel (Dr. David Chandross)
Explore the fascinating world of Coco Chanel, the greatest fashion influencer of all times. Beginning in her humble start as an abandoned 8 year old girl in France and rising to become a fashion empire, Coco Gabrielle Chanel redefined beauty and changed the role of women in society! Dior, Yves St Laurent and even Estee Lauder owe their success to this trailblazing woman from the roaring 20s!

MUSIC 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).

HISTORY 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. Explore Victoria’s personal and political life and legacy.

17 March - St. Patrick's Day
CINEMA Irish Stars (Ryan Uytdewilligen)
Combining both International Woman’s day St. Patrick’s day, Ryan’s presentation looks at the Irish actors of the silver screen. From golden age legends Maureen O’Hara to Maureen O’sullivan, their impact and appeal, to the career of Oscar winner Brenda Fricker, to modern day actresses and feminist icons Saoirse Ronan and Jessie Buckley.

MUSIC Popular Music of Ireland (Daniel Aonso)
From The Dubliners to The Clancy Brothers, from Clannad to the Irish Rovers. Since it’s revitalization in the 1960’s, Irish music has developed into a diverse catalogue of fantastic songs and styles. Come hear the lyrical lilting magic of Irish and Celtic music over the years.

CINEMA Epic Hollywood (Ryan Uytdewilligen)
Around Easter, TCM shows a lot of giant films – particularly biblical epics that have become synonymous with Easter. This genre – massively popular in 1950s, were some of the most expensive movies ever made. Join Ryan as he takes a look at the production and legacy of epic films like The Robe (1953), The Ten Commandments (1956), Ben-Hur (1959), Spartacus (1960), and Cleopatra (1963), and how they nearly destroyed the entire film industry in the mid-1960s.
24 May - Victoria Day
HISTORY 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. Explores Victoria’s personal and political life and legacy.
6 June - D Day
HISTORY 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.
1 July - Canada Day
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.

ART The Group of Seven: The Mystery, Majesty and Magic 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.

MUSIC 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.

14 July - Bastille Day
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.

HISTORY 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.

MUSIC 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.

31 October - Halloween
CINEMA Horror Comedies: Laughing the Fear Away (Ryan Uytdewilligen)
Having a good laugh is the perfect way to let off steam when you’re scared! Gene Wilder’s Haunted Honeymoon and Young Frankenstein, the nervous and bumbling Don Knotts in The Ghost and Mr. Chicken, and of course Abbott and Costello Meet...Watch some silly clips from horror comedy classics and see why those two genres mix so well together.

HISTORY London Fog: Jack the Ripper (Paul Dias)
Amid the fog and darkness, a mysterious killer stalks the streets of Victorian London – unleashing a series of bloody murders that terrorized the public. Join Paul as he combines a historical police investigation with spine-tingling story-telling, and sheds light on a mystery that has baffled law-enforcement for over a century: Who was Jack the Ripper?

LITERATURE 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…

TRAVEL Haunted Places (Jennifer Merrick)
From a haunted coal mine in Wales to the historic site of Fort Henry at Kingston, to the ghost who wanders the Elgin Theatre in Toronto, join me as we learn the spine-tingling, otherworldly tales of famous attractions around the world.

TRAVEL Monsters and Myths (Jennifer Merrick)
Everyone has heard of the Loch Ness Monster and Sasquatch, but what about Ogopogo, a lake creature in British Columbia’s Okanagan Lake, or the Michigan Dogman? Join Jennifer as she travels to destinations in Canada and around the world, where some famous and not-so-famous creatures and monsters are reported to inhabit and explore some of the folklore surrounding them.

11 November - Remembrance Day
CINEMA Hollywood Goes to War (Ryan Uytdewilligen)
Five Came Back is a documentary which explores the experiences of five American film directors who went to film in the frontlines in Europe during WWII. Join Ryan as he discusses this film, as well as clips of their documentaries and old propaganda reels. This talk also features Canadian soldier turned Oscar winner Harold Russell, and actors turned army vets like Clark Gable and Jimmy Stewart.

PHILOSOPHY Code of Honour: The Philosophy and Psychology of Courage (Dr. David Chandross)
What is honour and what is valor? This lecture explores the history of “honour”: Great incidents of courage and determination in the battlefield and outside it, of setting aside one’s own desires and uplift the lives of others.

MUSIC Highway of Heroes (Daniel Aonso)
Explore 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.

MUSIC In the Music Halls of World War One (Daniel Aonso)
With WWI came a change in the music halls of Europe. No longer just a form of entertainment, this dominating style of music evolved to reflect society’s concerns with songs such as “When the Boys Come Home” and “I Didn’t Raise My Boy to Be a Soldier”.

MUSIC Benjamin Britten – A War requiem
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.

HISTORY 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.

25 December - Christmas

CINEMA How Hollywood changed the Holidays (Ryan Uytdewilligen)
Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without Hollywood. Movies have become an integral part of the holiday experience – even more than most think. Ryan will explain how stories like A Christmas Carol (1951) marked a lot of firsts movie-making, how the portrayal on Santa Claus in Miracle on 34th Street (1947) lead to how we view the jolly gift giver today, how some like White Christmas and Meet Me in St. Louis spawned some of the most popular Christmas tunes of all time, and how some films like It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) and Sound of Music (1965) became holiday traditions themselves.

LITERATURE A Christmas Carol (Paul Dias)
Come listen to Charles Dickens’ timeless classic – featuring the Miserly Ebenezer Scrooge, the loveable Tiny Tim and those ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future.  Whether you celebrate Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Christmas or even Boxing Day, this time-honored tale of heart and hearth is guaranteed to get you into the true spirit of the season.

PHILOSOPHY 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.

MUSIC G.F.Handel: Messiah, an Oratorio
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.

MUSIC 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!

MUSIC 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!