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Bi-weekly – Week 2 ; Thursday ; 2pm – 4pm

Term 1 – via Zoom; Term 2 – Tartu (tbc)

Jazz music is considered to be America’s greatest original art form and is well known for its creativity and innovation. Since its emergence at the beginning of the 20th century, its evolution has been closely woven into the tremendous changes and upheaval in American society.

Our Jazz Appreciation workshop features examples and discussions of various different eras and personalities and how the evolution of jazz has reflected and contributed to those changes.

Each participant is requested to select a musician, personality, or genre and prepare a presentation of approximately 15 to 20 minutes. Examples of recorded music should be provided to share with the group and time allowed for group discussion to follow.

This is an enthusiastic, highly interactive and fun class in which all are welcome from curious beginners to those who have enjoyed all aspects of jazz for many years. Wherever possible, we invite a guest musician to explain and illustrate the role of their own instrument in jazz.

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Bi-weekly – Week 2 ; Thursday ; 12pm – 2pm

Term 1 – via Zoom (2 hours); Term 2 – Tartu (tbc) 

Feature films are an excellent way to highlight current and historical socio-political issues in order to inform and arouse a broad public.  This workshop aims to stimulate thought and discussion through such films.  In the workshop, one participant will present background information on the film (director, actors, awards won, context from which the film arose, production values).  A second participant will present the issues raised in the film and their possible relevance to the contemporary world. Examples of films viewed in 2020-21 are Incendies (2010) and Bicycle Thieves (1949).

During the Fall Term this will be a two-hour Zoom workshop.  Participants will view the film at home using Kanopy, (available, free, through the Toronto Public Library.)  In the Winter Term, if conditions allow for in-person meetings, the co-facilitators, in consultation with participants, will decide between continuing the same format as the Fall Term, or moving to a 12-4 pm format in which the participants would view the films together, followed by discussions. 

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Bi-weekly – Week 2 ; Thursday ; 12pm – 2pm

Term 1 via Zoom; Term 2 Tartu (tbc)

Welcome to all Film Fans! In each session we jointly choose two contemporary films. Each member is then expected to view and rate them, based on a set of criteria developed by the group, as well as their personal enjoyment. This has been a lively workshop where members are never at a loss for discussion. Members will take turns introducing the films, but everyone should come prepared to discuss them.

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Bi-Weekly – Week 2 ; Thursday ; 10am – 12pm

Term 1 – via Zoom; Term 2 – Tartu (tbc)

Because of recent events around the world there has been a lot of media attention paid to Populism. This workshop will try to clarify what Populism is and where it fits into a discussion of political and social movements both past and present. For example, should the French Revolution be considered a result of a populist movement? The Russian Revolution? The decolonization movements in the Global South? The Tea Party movement in the US? The Arab Spring? Have the lack of economic opportunities and disparity of wealth been factors? Do ethnic and religious identities or race play a part? Where does a populist movement fit on our Left-Right political spectrum. Participants will research some aspect of this subject and prepare a short presentation (20-30 minutes) to share with the group, with a discussion to follow. The facilitators will help with choosing suitable topics for presentations if necessary. 

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Bi-weekly ; Week 2 ; Wednesday ; 12pm – 2pm

Term 1 via Zoom; Term 2 Tartu (tbc)

Please join us for lively discussions of contemporary films. At each meeting we choose two films, released in the last 5 years and available on Netflix and Kanopy, to view on our own before the next class. Films may be from any genre — indies, art films, block-busters — or whatever moves the class when voting. The two presentations per class will focus on aspects such as themes, production values, and take-home values. We rate the films individually, and then compare our class rating to the Internet rating, just for fun. Prior to the first session, the facilitator will contact registered members with the two films for consideration and solicit volunteers for presentations.

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Bi-weekly – Week 2 ; Wednesday ; 12pm – 2pm

Term 1 – via Zoom; Term 2 – Tartu (tbc)

Our continuing goal is to understand the issues that consume civil society in the Middle East as it struggles to find status and stability in the modern world.  This region is home to powerful ethnic, religious, and cultural loyalties that are centuries older than the national borders marked on todays map: Iraq, Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel/Palestine, the Gulf States, Yemen, Egypt, and Turkey.   Appropriate study topics would include Arab and Kurdish nationalism; Persian, Islamic, and Jewish history; the Arab Spring; regional conflicts and various Islamist movements – as well as the role of powerful regional leaders, their arguments and influence.  We will also examine related global issues (old and new), including shifting alliances; climate change and the future of oil; human rights and refugees; capitalist-socialist polarization, pandemics and terrorism. 

In consultation with the facilitators, each workshop participant will choose a topic to research and present to the group for discussion. 

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Bi-weekly – Week 2 ; Wednesday ; 10am – 12pm

Term 1 via Zoom; Term 2 Tartu (tbc)

This workshop is about the Human Condition.  It will exam interpretations of love, sex, death, taxes and the Seven Deadly sins, (Lust, Gluttony, Greed, Sloth, Wrath, Envy and Pride) in the films of some of Hollywood great writer-directors  – using film clips and scenes from the screenplays of Billy Wilder, (Sunset Boulevard,  Some Like it Hot), Preston Sturges (Sullivans Travels, Hail The Conquering Hero), Frank Capra (Its a Wonderful Life), Michael Curtiz (Casablanca), and Alfred Hitchcock, (Vertigo, Psycho).

Presentations can draw from the visual and performing arts –  e.g. Hitchs storyboard artist was Edward Hopper. Or other films – e.g  Lust, Body Heat” , Greed, Wall Street”, and can include table reads.

All films, and screenplays covered in the workshop are available on DVD or Toronto Public Librarys Kanopy – or will be supplied by the facilitators. 

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Bi-weekly – Week 2 ; Wednesday ; 10am – 12pm

Term 1 via Zoom; Term 2 Tartu (tbc)

This version of Opinions will meet at Tartu at the earliest opportunity, but until then will meet via Zoom.  Once in Tartu, there will be no concurrent Zoom.  Members who wish to enjoy Opinions via Zoom only should enrol in Opinions A”. 

Participants will discuss articles taken from a wide range of journals, newspapers, and other sources. Topics should be substantive enough to be worthy of discussion. The group will consider the case made by the author in the light of experience, alternative points of view, and other material that may be offered by the presenter. Participants are expected to read articles chosen for review, take turns introducing an article and starting the discussion, and are encouraged to suggest suitable articles from their own reading. 

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Bi-weekly – Week 2 ; Tuesday ; 2pm – 4pm

Terms 1 & 2 – via Zoom

This is not a how-to” workshop but an exploration of Zoom history and video conferencing in general; its uses in various fields, and impact on our behaviour. It may or may not be with us in 2022 but we will have had at least a year of experience with it and something we will remember about the Pandemic. Topics will include the technology history & development; psychology of perception as applied in Zoom; the good and the bad, ugly and weird; is Zoom actually a new medium”? There will be opportunities to discuss our own personal experiences and discuss where is Zoom going in the future 

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Bi-weekly – Week 2 ; Tuesday ;  12pm – 2pm

This version of Opinions will meet via Zoom all year.

Participants will discuss articles taken from a wide range of journals, newspapers, and other sources. Topics should be substantive enough to be worthy of discussion. The group will consider the case made by the author in the light of experience, alternative points of view, and other material that may be offered by the presenter. Participants are expected to read articles chosen for review, take turns introducing an article and starting the discussion, and are encouraged to suggest suitable articles from their own reading.