Topics by Subjects
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.
Sean Connery is James Bond (Ryan Uytdewilligen)
The first and definitive James Bond, Sean Connery, made his big debut in 1962’s Dr. No.
Join Ryan as he discusses scenes from the seven Connery Bond films, from his very first moments on screen, his infamous lazerbeam escape in Goldfinger, and his aged out-of-franchise comeback in 1983’s Never Say Never Again. See why he was truly the best to ever be 007.
Queen Victoria in the Movies (Ryan Uytdewilligen)
Queen Victoria (1819 – 1901) has been a subject in film throughout multiple decades, portrayed at different ages in the movies Victoria The Great(1937), Mrs. Brown (1997) and Victoria and Abdul(2017). Join Ryan as he discusses her life through clips and talking points from these movies.
Chief Dan George: Actor and Activist (Ryan Uytdewilligen)
Chief Dan George – a Canadian indigenous Oscar-nominated actor, who appeared in classic 1970s movies like Little Big Man, Harry and Tonto, and The Outlaw Josie Wales. He was also a political activist, and his speech Lament for Confederation from 1967 is a milestone in the dialogue between first nations people and non-natives.
James Dean – The Rebel (Ryan Uytdewilligen)
James Dean, the Post-War icon, only starred in three movies before his sudden death in 1955 at the age of 24. A masculine over-the-top figure that personified an unrivaled characterization of “cool,” Dean’s fascinating place in cinema history and his rebellious car crash death have only mythicized as the years passed. Through clips, photographs, and discussion, writer and film historian Ryan Uytdewilligen presents Dean’s life, films, and how he embodied the nihilism of the mid-1950s.
The Third Man (Daniel Aonso)
Pulp novelist Holly Martins travels to Vienna, only to find himself investigating the mysterious death of an old friend. See post-war Europe through the lens of Film Noir in The Third Man – a 1949 Orson Welles classic, set in the seedy, dark, and cynical Cold War Vienna.
Legends of Comedy: The Marx Brothers (Daniel Aonso)
The Kings of comedy, the Sultans of the silver screen: The Marx Brothers. From Duck Soup to A Night at the Opera; their films, sketches, and one-liners have continued to influence comedy today. Whether it be the slapstick of Harpo and Chico, or the snappy sarcastic one-liners of Groucho (I never forget a face, but in your case, I’ll be glad to make an exception!), come and roar with laughter at some of the best comedy the world has ever seen!
Everything Wild and Wonderful about Naples (Dr. Keith Johnston)
Take a virtual tour through the centuries – from ancient Greece to today – of one of the world’s most extraordinary cities. Learn how Naples shaped the modern world by changing the way we think about art, architecture, theatre, commerce, religion and food through the stories of some of its famous inhabitants: Pliny the Elder, Thomas Aquinas, Caravaggio, Pergolesi, Croce and others.
A Journey Through the Eastern Cape (Jennifer Merrick)
Wild and rugged, yet brimming with culture and history, South Africa’s second largest province, the Eastern Cape, captivates. Join us on a journey that will take you on land and marine safaris to visit their wild inhabitants. We will also explore the birthplace of Nelson Mandela to see the land that inspired him as a child as well as the attractions that pay tribute to his unsurpassed legacy.
Canada’s National Parks (Jennifer Merrick)
“National Parks exist in order that every citizen of Canada may satisfy a craving for Nature and Nature’s beauty: that we may absorb the poise and restfulness of the forests; that we may steep our souls in the brilliance of the wild flowers and the sublimity of the mountain peaks; that we may develop in ourselves the joy and activity we see in the wild animals; that we may stock our mind with the raw material of intelligent optimism, great thoughts, noble ideals; that we may be made better, happier, and healthier.”
. (James B. Harkin, 1st Commissioner of Parks Canada)
Canada has 47 national parks across our vast country that began with the establishment of Banff National Park in 1885. Join Jennifer to delve into our parks’ history and take a journey to some of Canada’s most breathtaking wild spaces.
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.
Cruising Alaska’s Inside Passage (Jennifer Merrick)
“To the lover of pure wilderness, Alaska is one of the most wonderful countries in the world,” wrote John Muir, the famous naturalist, in the late 1880s. Come along on a journey through Alaska’s Inside Passage, where you’ll find a lush temperate rain forest, awe-inspiring glaciers and wild inhabitants – Orcas, brown bears, sea lions and puffins.
A Journey to Wales (Jennifer Merrick)
In this tiny nation west of England you’ll find over 400 majestic stone castles, eleven million sheep dotting daffodil-covered rolling hills, romantic moors and wind-swept beaches with limestone cliffs. But this lecture also goes beyond Wales’ beautiful landscape and explores the culture and people of this poetic and musical land.
Nature and Environment
Many Paws Make Light Work: Insight into Animal Cooperation (Eve Smeltzer)
Charles Darwin initially described the evolution of cooperation as insuperable and potentially fatal to his theory of natural selection. Why would an individual help another at a cost to their own evolutionary fitness? Ants sacrifice themselves for the good of the colony. Vampire bats share their food with the babies of others. These behaviours are counterintuitive in a world that is supposed to favor the survival of the fittest. Here we will explore the many ways that animals work together to improve mutual health, survival, and reproduction.
Counting Sheep: The Variation of Sleep in the Animal Kingdom (Eve Smeltzer)
Did you know that dolphins only sleep with half of their brains at a time? Or that some birds snooze while flying? Most animals spend nearly half of their lives sleeping, yet relatively little is known about how sleep impacts animals’ health and survival. This talk will discuss how sleep differs across the animal kingdom and how choosing a good place to snooze can have an enormous impact on health and survival.
Do Animals Have Empathy? (Eve Smeltzer)
We initially thought that humans were the only animals who could experience true empathy. While most pet owners are very familiar with the emotional complexity of animals, the world of animal cognitive research is finally catching up! This talk will discuss some of the best evidence of empathy in animals: reconciliation, fairness, and grief.
Primate Politics: A Story of Dominance, Coalitions, and Coups (Eve Smeltzer)
Join Eve as she discusses primate politics through an anecdote from her fieldwork in Uganda. An opportunistic coalition of vervet females seized the rare chance to improve their social status, the unique circumstances that prefaced this insurrection and the lasting consequences of monkey social ambition. This incident had all the components of a television drama: infanticide, sex, violent coups, tyrannical leaders, and a fatal attack by a giant python.
The Comfort and Costs of Motherhood: Insight into Animal Love, Life, and Loss (Eve Smeltzer)
This talk will explore the emotional and physical investment of motherhood in the Animal Kingdom. We will discuss animal motherly instinct in general and simultaneously follow the story of one vervet monkey matriline through a series of rare events between mother and offspring. This anecdote from my Ph.D. fieldwork is an excellent demonstration of animal motherly love, sacrifice, and support.
Following the Herd: The Ins and Outs of Animal Groups (Eve Smeltzer)
In an individualist society, we often lose sight of the collective benefits of group living. We see animal groups all around us: flocks of birds, schooling fish, and herds of cattle. Why do animals live in groups? How do these groups form? Why do schools of fish seem to move in synchrony? This talk will discuss the many benefits of living and moving animal groups, discussing everything from sardine schools to herding elephants.
Health and Wellness
Mindfulness and Pain Management (Stefani Trovato)
There is no denying that pain can be debilitating and have a negative impact on one’s quality of life. While there are a number of ways that we can work to manage our pain, there is one technique that is seldom discussed and rarely recommended in our healthcare system – mindfulness. Mindfulness can have a profound positive impact on quality of life and can help reduce the experience of pain. Stefani Trovato is a mental health clinician based in Toronto who uses mindfulness frequently in her therapeutic work.
Video Games and your Health (Dr. David Chandross)
Not merely fun and relaxation! Games now treat drug addiction, train health care workers, improve memory and quality of life. Join us and find out how you can connect with other people to form video game communities and enrich your life with this wonderful new technology.
What is Health? A Journey into Wellness (Dr. David Chandross)
Naturopathic Medicine, chiropractic, acupuncture, homeopathy – none of these things make any sense unless we first understand what health is. Is it just living to an old age, or does it mean living well? Many studies show that health foods do little to improve our health, despite the higher price we pay for them… Is mental health a state of creativity and contentment, or does it mean simply getting by day to day? Explore the fascinating topic of health, from both scientific and philosophical point of view.
Positive Psychology: The Science Behind Feeling Good (Dr. David Chandross)
Can science teach us how to be happy? How does the experience simulator in our brains create sadness or happiness? Can negative people actually change your brain structure? Why does the over use of smart phones cause depression and anxiety? Explore the meaning(s) of happiness and the quest for it from Aristotle to modern psychiatry.
Culinary Arts and Nutrition
For the Love of Food (Katie Chemij)
Learn what food is sure to impress on Valentine’s Day, and dive deeper into the 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 can work (and no, we haven’t forgotten about chocolate!)
Five to Thrive (Katie Chemij)
Food is function! What we eat affects much more than satisfying an appetite. Learn the importance of including 5 common foods into any diet for supporting health and longevity, plus examples of how easy it is to include them in simple meal and snack preparations.
Plant-based Fundamentals (Katie Chemij)
Plants are still in power! Health Canada revised the national food guide to emphasize eating less meat, more veg, and a variety of less common plant-based foods. So, how do we make this shift toward supporting our health AND the planet? Learn easy tips and tricks on shopping, meal planning and preparing simple meals that feature a few more plants for feeling a whole lot better.
Healthy Habits for Lasting Changes (Katie Chemij)
Sustained energy and healthy weight are achievable by adopting 10 simple habits. Join Katie Chemij, Nutritionist and Chef, as she outlines what it takes to make positive and lasting changes for eating well, feeling great in your body, and never having to give up the foods you love!
Home or Away, Eat Well Every Day (Katie Chemij)
Life continues to be a real balancing act. Whether working at home or heading out to the office, eating well can be challenging when there is so much confusing information out there! Learn about stress-free dietary strategies and simple recipes for following a healthy eating plan from wherever you spend most of your days.
Nourishing the Mind (Katie Chemij)
Food, mood and stress are all connected and can influence one another in positive and negative way. See the health benefits of foods that can help manage stress and how everyday lifestyle habits, such as sleep and even breathing, can enhance our coping abilities for dealing with any type of stress.
The Iron Lady: Margaret Thatcher (1925-2013) (Dr. Gordon Bannerman)
From grocer’s daughter to Downing Street – This talk examines the life, career, and legacy of Margaret Thatcher, Britain’s first female Prime Minister. The Thatcher governments made many fundamental and controversial changes to the British economy and British society. Even today, after her death, she remains a highly influential, controversial, and divisive figure.
Assassin’s Creed – 8 Lectures Series (Paul Dias)
This series investigates the cabals, secrets, plots, controversies and characters behind some of history’s most infamous assassinations. It explores how and why the lives and deaths of these victims changed (or in some cases – failed to change) the course of human affairs by situating these events in their broader historical context and cultural landscape.
1. Birth of an Empire: The Rise & Fall of Julius Caesar
2. Don’t Lose Your Head: King Louis XVI & Queen Marie Antoinette
3. The Union Forever: Lincoln’s Last Days
4. The Man Who Killed the World: The Story of Archduke Franz Ferdinand
5. From Russia with Love: Rasputin & the Last of the Czars
6. Blood, Steel & Dictators: The Plots against Hitler & Stalin
7. Blessed are the Peacemakers: Mahatma Ghandi & Martin Luther King Jr
8. The Death of Camelot: Robert and John F Kennedy
The History of Business – 8 Lectures Series (Dr. Gordon Bannerman)
1. Business and the Ancient and Medieval World
2. Chartered Companies and the Age of Discovery
3. Financial Bubbles, past and present
4. Britain and the industrial revolution
5. The economic and business development of the United States: Trust Companies and “Robber Barons”
6. Canada’s economy before 1945
7. The rise of multinationals and the “New Economy”
8. Modern Canada: position and prospects
The Treaty of Versailles (Dr. Gordon Bannerman)
The treaty that was signed on June 1919 and brought WWI to an end was supposed to disarm Germany and impose a lasting peace in Europe. Instead, it eventually brought to the eruption of WWII. What went wrong?
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.
World Mythologies – 5 Lectures series (Dr. David Chandross)
1. Norse Mythology – Explore the ancient Gods of Scandinavia with an exciting tour of Denmark, Iceland, Sweden and Norway and find out how these powerful legends shaped a civilization
2. Greek Mythology – Explore the beauty of ancient Greece with tales of the Gods and Titans and discover the source of all great literature in the Western World.
3. Hawaiian Mythology – Come explore the exotic beauty of the Hawaiian Islands and meet the many goddesses of nature that are said to dwell there, a nature-lover’s delight.
4. African Mythology – Mankind arose from African 1.5 million years ago, find out how ancient cultures saw the world and created vast civilizations long before they were discovered.
5. Mythology and Meaning – We make sense of life through myths and religion, often expressed in profound ways. Come explore the jungles of Burma, the plains of Africa and the Aegean Sea in this fascinating tour of the great myths of the world.
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.
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.
Andy Warhol and the 15 Minutes of Fame (Paul Dias)
From painting to photography, from film to music, from kitsch to culture, Andy Warhol was the undisputed Pope of Pop. He conquered the art world, the 60s and the culture; he blazed a trail that led directly to The Simpsons, Seinfeld, Reality TV and the rise of the Youtube Celebrity. Shaman or charlatan, commercial artist, high artist or just plain con artist, explore Andy Warhol’s world of mass culture and consumerism, its decadence and delights.
Fashion of the 1930s (Dr. David Chandross)
Experience the golden era of fashion which launched with the first runway shows and glamour in films. From Madeleine Vionnet’s first fashion house in 1912, to the work of the immortal Coco Chanel, to the Salvador Dali-inspired creations of Elsa Schiaparelli, the 1930s was a decade that created a feeling of awe and became a defining era for women in history.
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!
Fashion of the 1940s: Fabulous Divas and Film Sirens! (Dr. David Chandross)
The 1940s were the greatest era of fashion – Vera Maxwell, Bonnie Cashin, Christian Dior, Nina Ricci and many others. A decade that defined glamour and created the most beautiful pieces of fashion art from the big screen of Hollywood, to the home spun looks of Claire McCardell, it stole the glory from Coco Chanel and turned the world of high fashion upside down.
Fashion of the 1950s (Dr. David Chandross)
Explore the classy and rebellious era of fashion. From denim pants and white T shirts, to comfy sweaters, to the hair designs of the Jewish stylist, Vidal Sassoon, to the birth of the leisure suit for men and the rise of American fashion houses – the forces that lead to a re-imagining not only of fashion, but of the modern way of life. Yve St. Laurent would arise from his work as an artist to become an iconic designer who threw away tradition and became a rock star.
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 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.
Philosophy and Science
The prize student in his congregation’s Talmud Torah that was excommunicated for “abominable heresies – who was Baruch Spinoza? A ‘radical atheist’ or a spiritual man who developed a new understanding of God? Spinoza was One of the early thinkers of the Enlightenment who laid the foundations for a democratic political thought and a deep critique of the pretensions of Scripture and sectarian religion.
Marshall McLuhan – The Medium is the Message (Paul Dias)
In the era of fake news, political polarization and internet censorship, we need to travel back to the man who predicted the coming of the internet some 40 years before it happened. Examining his prescient ideas about mass communication, the media and the effects of perception and bias, will help us make better make sense of these troubled times and give us the tools to navigate the complexity of the digital age.
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.
Ethics: How Should We Behave? – 8 Lectures Series (Dr. Christopher DiCarlo)
What is the difference between right and wrong? Or good and evil? What is ‘the good life’? What is well-being? What is autonomy? These notions are central in ethical theory, law, bioethics, and in the popular imagination. This course explores these concepts in greater depth, and then consider how our views about them shape our views about ethics.
1 – 2. Introduction to Ethical Theories and Principles.
3. Ethics and the Law, The Five Step Procedure for Case Study Analysis.
4. Ethical Issues and Case Studies: The New Reproductive Technologies.
5. Ethical Issues and Case Studies: Abortion and Euthanasia.
6. Ethical Issues and Case Studies: Racism and Capital Punishment.
7. Ethical Issues and Case Studies: Genetics and Genomics.
8. Ethical Issues and Case Studies: Autonomy – Political and Metaphysical.
Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Mankind (Dr. David Chandross)
Can machines think just like humans? Beyond the mere replacement of manual workers and the collapse of retail giants to online automated services, rapid advances in artificial intelligence are shaping our future. From neural networks to simulated digital patients, to virtual reality, to computer ‘doctors’, artists and musicians.
Human Potential and the Ascent of Consciousness (Dr. David Chandross)
What are humans capable of? From David Blaine’s holding of his breath for nearly 20 minutes, to the 3 minute mile, to the harrowing survival stories on Mount Everest. The average human lifespan has increased by 50 years since 1900, we are curing illnesses we once thought were fatal, and we plan to land on Mars in the next 20 years. Our intelligence as a species is ever increasing. Humanity is improving constantly, as our creativity and imagination continues to change history. What does the future hold for mankind?
Critical Thinking in a ‘Post-Truth’ World (Dr. Christopher DiCarlo)
With advances in technology involving the increasingly rapid transfer of information throughout the world, it has become more difficult to determine what is legitimate news from what is fake. The skill set of Critical Thinking provides one with the abilities to analyze information, understand the importance of bias and context, consider what counts as evidence, and be able to identify fallacies or errors in reasoning.
Man’s Search for Meaning (Dr. David Chandross)
According to the ancient Greek philosophers, we were made to be happy and to help others. In the Jewish traditions the idea of healing the world is central, but in the Buddhist tradition, it is the discovering what is real and what is illusion. Arthur Schopenhauer argued that life has no meaning at all, it is only what we make it. Come, ask and find out some answers to the greatest question of all, why are we here?
Aesthetics: The Philosophy of Art (Dr. David Chandross)
What is beauty and why is art important to us? The earliest art work dates back to 30,000 years ago, long before there the great civilizations of Mesopotamia and ancient Israel were created. Explore many fascinating examples of art, from the great masters to the abstract expressionism of Jackson Pollock to the impressionism of Van Gogh. Is comedy art? Is dance art? Can our entire life be sign as a form of art?
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 and 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)
Justice, compassion, altruistic concern – are our moral values contrary to nature? Is the will to power the only force in human consciousness? What is the next stage of the human evolution – biological and moral?
The controversial answers given by the philosopher F. Nietzsche to these questions turned modern philosophy and the world on its head.
The Birth of the Symphony
Starting as a form of entertainment for the middle class in the mid 1700’s, the early symphonies reflect the evolution of the classical style and taste – from an opera overture to an independent orchestral work and a brand new world of sound.
Lessons in Leadership from the Opera (Dr. Keith Johnston)
Passion, betrayal, murder, and…good leadership? Opera explores many aspects of the human condition, but one of the most surprising might be what it teaches us about how to be an effective ruler. Spectacular musical excerpts from operas by Monteverdi, Handel, Mozart, and Adams form the basis of a masterclass in good governance.
Hector Berlioz: Symphonie Fantastique
Opium addiction, passion, murder, execution and torments of hell are the ingredients of this drama without words. Symphonie Fantastique is a work of an over-ambitious young composer from the dawn of romanticism – the first musical expedition into psychedelia.
Brahms: Quintet for Clarinet and Strings
In 1891, the autumn of his life, Johannes Brahms produces his quintet for clarinet and strings op. 115 – An autumnal piece of introspection, yearning and melancholy. Join us to listen to some of the haunting moments of his greatest work of chamber music.
Improvisation? In classical music? Isn’t that a skill for jazz and Indian musicians?
Not only! From the very beginning of western music up to the 21st century, inventing music “on the spot” was not only a common and welcome practice, but in many cases an essential skill for the musician. Join me in a journey through the cathedrals of the Gothic era, the ballrooms of the European royalty, the Lutheran churches and the Parisian salons of the 19th century where musical improvisation was always à la mode.
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.
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.
The Strauss Family from Vienna
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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.
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
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
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
“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
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
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
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.
The British Invasion (Daniel Aonso)
It’s a blast from the past with all of your favourite British Invasion groups. Featuring the Rolling Stones “Satisfaction”, The Zombie’s “Time of the Season”, or how about The Kinks with “All Day and All of the Night”; from rock, pop, folk, and of course blues, the Brits managed to take American music and transform it into something bigger, better, and exciting!
Mahalia Jackson (Daniel Aonso)
She remains the most influential Gospel singer of all time. Counting Aretha Franklin, Little Richard, and Ray Charles as just some of the many artists who looked on her as a role model, come see how Jackson (and her peers) paved the way for African-American music and culture through the 20th century
The Memorable Music of Rodgers and Hammerstein (Dr Keith Johnston)
The Sound of Music, Oklahoma, The King and I, South Pacific: Richard Rodgers crafted some of the most remarkable and memorable music in Broadway history in order to bring far-flung places and stories to life. Learn the musical secrets behind the success of Rodgers’ music and hear some of his beloved tunes with fresh ears in this lecture-performance.
Music in the Cinema (Daniel Aonso)
From the early epics of “Gone with the Wind” and “Lawrence of Arabia”, through adventures in The “Great Escape” and “Raiders of the Lost Ark”, to fantasy and sci-fi in “Fellowship of the Ring” and “Interstellar”, see film music makes our favorite movies the masterpieces they are!
1. The Majestic Sound of John Williams
2 Alfred Hitchcock and Bernard Hermann – a Long Lasting Partnership
3. Stanley Kubrick and the Incorporation of Classical and Contemporary Music into Film
4. Hans Zimmer – Storytelling Music
5. Film Musicals – The Adaptation from the Stage.
6. Classical Music on the Screen
7. Popular Music as Film Enhancer
8. Film Music- a Look Behind the Scenes
Two Hollywood Stars: Judy Garland and Deanna Durbin (Daniel Aonso)
A journey across the lives of two Hollywood starlets and their musical careers. Starting from their simple beginnings, and onto the songs and roles that made them famous (including their first film together: Every Sunday). See the songs and films that made them famous, such as Wizard of Oz and Three Smart Girls, and continue on through both their lives and outstanding artistry.
Woodstock Festivel 1969 (Daniel Aonso)
The historic event of “three days of peace and love” in August 1969 still resonates throughout all music today. Joan Baez, Johnny Winter, Joe Cocker, and Jimi Hendrix – a festival of hippie culture, anti-Vietnam war, free love and rock’n’roll.
The Many Musical Moments of the Marx Brothers (Daniel Aonso)
You’ve seen the gags, you’ve heard the jokes, but what about the music? Explore the musical talent of the Marx Brothers: from Chico’s piano, Harpo’s harp, and much more!
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”.
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.
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 (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!
Newfoundland (Paul Dias)
Believe it or not, Newfoundland is the heart of Canada. It has been schemed over and fought for by everyone – from Vikings to European powers to the Canadian Government. Through it all, its dynamic people and culture continue to endure. In this interactive presentation that combines humour with history, we’ll explore the rich background of this unique province while having a few laughs along the way.
O Canada! The Land, the Moments, the people (Paul Dias) – See under HISTORY
The Group of Seven: The Mystery, Majesty and Magic of Canada’s Landscape (Paul Dias) – See under ART
Toronto’s Neighborhoods – 12 Lectures Series (Dr. David Chandross)
Through the immigration of people from all the great civilizations of the world, Toronto, then a small, dull, muddy shipping port for fabrics and food, got a new identity. Toronto’s cultural history is embedded in the avenues, paving stones and shops that define its neighborhoods, where the best elements of art, literature, philosophy, food, clothing and architecture converged.
1. Chinatown – Martial arts, crafts, rare foods – a taste of 3,000 years old culture
2. Little Malta/The Junction – A home to the original Maltese who built St. Paul the Apostle Church to create a new spiritual home in Canada as they fled persecution
3. Roncy/Little Poland – Funky urban shops, birthplace of great screen personalities and writers.
4. Little Tibet – The ancient path of Tibetan Buddhism in a virtual stroll through centuries of art, spirituality and mindfulness.
5. Koreatown – The Bloor/Annex area of the city hosts an ancient civilization known for its immersion into the East.
6. Little Portugal – The vibrant Portuguese community from a culture which treasures the sun, surf and sand of the Atlantic Ocean and preserves this love in food and family.
7. Little Manila – People who celebrate their love to nature at Earle Bales Park, Toronto’s richest forest ecosystem.
8. Little Jamaica – Infectious reggae and dub music, mouth watering Jerk chicken, easy going people who work to live, not live to work
9. Ukrainian Village – The stunning natural scenery with its valleys and crests, clusters of specialty butchers and the possibly the best fish market in Toronto along Bloor Street West
10. Little Mexico – Toronto’s Mexican community is established from mid town to down town, with local restaurants where a smile is always in fashion, the beer is cold and the people are warm.
11. Little India – The birthplace of yoga in Toronto. Flowing fabrics, year round Christmas lights, funky local cafes and famous artists.
12. Kensington Market – A hybrid of a living hippy village and Jewish shtetl, where people from every corner of the earth gather to connect, share music, food and arts.
Crossword Puzzles: A History (Dr. Keith Johnston)
Take a 100-year journey through the brilliant, maddening, hilarious, and sometimes downright weird history of the crossword.
The Amazing Story of the 1912 Olympic Marathon (Dr Keith Johnston)
Of the 68 runners who started out one sweltering day in July, 32 would drop out, one would die, and one would simply disappear. Meet a future Canadian champion, a tragic war hero, and a host of other characters at the dawn of the Olympic marathon.
Femmes Fatales and Villainous Vixens (Paul Dias)
Using modern psychology, we’ll explore the real-life cases of some of history’s most notorious female serial killers – proving that criminality is not just a man’s world.
Cold Cases (Paul Dias)
This series investigates some of the most grisly murders that have baffled law enforcement and terrified communities from around the world. It examines these cases from the perspective of law enforcement and how evolving technologies like fingerprinting, forensics, DNA and psychological profiling have been instrumental in bringing killers to justice.
1. London Fog: Jack the Ripper
2. Mommy’s Home: Edward Gein and the real-life psycho
3. All in the Family: The Cult of Charles Manson
4. Sam I Am: The Case of David Berkowitz
5. Killer Clown: John Wayne Gacy
6. Portrait of a Changeling: Ted Bundy
7. Cannibal Cravings: Jeffery Dahmer
8. The Anatomy of a Monster: Current theories on abnormal psychology and the creation of the psychopath.