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Biweekly, Thursday, 2 – 4, Week 2.    THIS WORKSHOP HAS BEEN CANCELLED

What is the real and surprising truth behind the most iconic Canadian symbols, such as the Flag, Totem Poles, Maple Syrup, Mounties, Vimy Ridge, Tim Hortons, Beaver, Hockey, or the National Anthem? Their history is often contentious and contested. Some symbols have been forgotten; others are being revived, such as once outlawed indigenous cultural practices. Exploring their history serves as a counterweight to blind nationalism or unchecked patriotism but allows also for recognizing their power in shaping how we see ourselves.

With a wide range of subjects from which to select, and no required readings, you may explore in detail any topic that inspires you. Each participant will be expected to give a 20-minute presentation following which there will be plenty of time for discussion. A primary resource is Symbols of Canada edited by Michael Dawson, Catherine Gidney, & Donald Wright.


Don Nicol (  is a retired United Church minister and teacher in other cultures in local languages whom the Academy has inspired and provoked for 17 years.

Margrit Eichler  (  is a retired sociologist who is looking forward to pondering symbols, from the sublime to the ridiculous.

Workshop Notes:

Workshop Details