Tale of Two Cities – Montreal and Toronto

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Bi-weekly;  Week One;  Tuesday;  9:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Two Terms; Online via Zoom

We are continuing the Tales of two Cities joint ALLTO-MCLL workshop with our Montreal colleagues. At each session of our bi-weekly Zoom workshop, Toronto and Montreal participants take turns in presenting vignettes of life in our two cities. Previously, we looked at happenings and people in both cities from the time of the Ice Ages until Prohibition. Then we investigated the events, developments and personalities of both cities (in parallel) from 1867 until the present.

Next year we propose to explore the past, present and future of Culture, Art, Socio-economics, Thought Leaders, Entertainment, Sports, Neighbourhoods, Tourism, International Relations, Biculturalism and Bilingualism, Rural vs Urban development, Hidden Pearls, Attitudes to the two World Wars, Politics (if you dare), Future Prognostications. We are exploring having a guest joint session with other Lifelong learning groups across Canada.

We look forward to exchanging ideas, thoughts, attitudes with our Lifelong Learning colleagues in la Belle Province.

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Artists’ Lives

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Bi-weekly;  Week Two;  Tuesday;  10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Two Terms, Online via Zoom

Join our continued exploration of artists’ lives, artwork, influences, challenges, themes, philosophies, and legacies. We’ll also analyze representation of these lives and consider connections to our own world through a group of 12 artists reflecting diverse art forms, materials, time periods, ethnicities, lifestyles, and experiences. Each workshop participant presents once and can chose to focus on some or all of the above. Presentations, which usually run 20-40 minutes, should include interesting research findings, thought-provoking discussion prompts, and, ideally, some images, building in ample discussion time. Much of each session is spent on in-depth discussion by a group of very engaged participants. Tentatively, our 12 Year 4 artists are: Pacita Abad, Vanessa Bell (Duncan Grant), Lalla Essaydi, Alice Guy-Blaché, Saul Leiter, Tamara de Lempicka, Zachari Logan, Amanda McCavour, Alphonse Mucha, Wangechi Mutu, Remedios Varo, and Eva Zeisel. Please see the attached “Is The Artists’ Lives Workshop For Me?” document.

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The Supremes: Function and Impact of Our Supreme Court

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Bi-weekly;  Week One;  Thursday;  12:15 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.
Two Terms; In-person

Are you interested in learning more about the highest court in Canada and how it shapes our country’s laws and policies and impacts Canadian society? Do you want to find out about the Supreme Court’s rulings affecting social, moral and ethical issues including reproductive rights, human rights, medical assistance in dying, the environment and indigenous rights? This workshop provides the opportunity to delve into the reasoning of the Court on significant issues affecting us all and to discuss the rationale for the decisions. We will also look at how our top court in Canada operates and how it compares with the US Supreme Court. Regardless of your background, this opportunity to discuss these ground-breaking decisions and issues is sure to provide valuable insights. No technical knowledge of the law or terminology is required and participants have flexible options for presentation.

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Economist Readers

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Weekly;  Week One and Two;  Thursday;  10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Two Terms; In-person and Online via Zoom

This group will meet to extract the wit and wisdom in politics, business, finance, culture, literature and science from this influential international journal. Subscription copies can be delivered by mail (phone 1-800-456-6086) or electronically (economist@neodata.com). At each session, the group selects about eight articles and the discussion is begun by the proposer of each article with a short introduction to the article.

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Contemporary Film B

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Bi-weekly;  Week Two;  Tuesday;  12:15 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.
Two Terms; Online via Zoom

Come and join our Zoom discussion group where participants each select a current film available for viewing on Netflix. Two films will be presented at each workshop and all aspects of the film will be discussed. Members are expected to have viewed the two films recently and in advance of the workshop to ensure lively and congenial discussion. Think of Film B like a tasting menu in a fine restaurant. In the same way as you’d try dishes on a tasting menu at a fine restaurant that you would otherwise never think to eat, in Film B you’ll view films that you would otherwise never think to watch.

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Assassinations in History

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Bi-weekly;  Week One;  Thursday;  2:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Two Terms; In-person  **NEW**  

On learning of the death of Abraham Lincoln, British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli told House of Commons, “Assassination has never changed the history of the world.” Was Disraeli right? In this workshop, we will seek to answer that question by studying the role that assassinations have played as an instrument of political change from ancient times to today while we at the same time use the events to learn about the history of various countries and periods. Each participant will research, prepare and make a 20 to 25-minute presentation covering the context, target, perpetrator, motive, method and consequences of the assassination.  Presentations will be followed by an equal amount of time for Q&A and round-the-table discussion of such questions as, when is assassination justified, why is it more common in some societies than others, what is the relationship between assassination and terrorism and how are assassinations best prevented?

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Heiresses: Users and Abusers of Their Fortunes

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Bi-weekly;  Week One;  Wednesday;  10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Fall Term In-person, Winter Term Online via Zoom  **NEW**  

Imagine your life if you were born heiress to hundreds of millions, or billions, of dollars. What would you do with your life? We will examine heiresses from different time periods and cultures, the sources of their fortunes, and the effects of wealth on their lives. We will investigate the privileges and the responsibilities of such fortunes and the ‘poor little rich girl’ cliché.

Over the centuries some people have taken advantage of heiresses and harmed them physically, financially or emotionally such Barbara Hutton, Doris Duke, Patty Hearst or Clare Bronfman. Other heiresses used their wealth to try to better the world (e.g., Gertrude Bell, Nancy Cunard, Isabella Stewart Gardner or Edith Wharton).

All participants will make a 20-25-minute presentation. A list of possible heiress presentation topics will be sent to participants who may also propose heiresses of their choice.

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Immigrant Experiences in Canada

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Bi-weekly;  Week One;  Tuesday;  10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
One Term – Winter; Online via Zoom  **NEW**  

How do newcomers to Canada experience life here? Not all in the same way. Let’s read some recent first-person essays and fiction excerpts to see what some newcomers and second-generation immigrants say around key themes. We’ll express our thoughts and reactions from our own perspectives, whether born-in-Canada or a (long-ago?) immigrant. For background, we’ll add a short report on the statistics of immigrants from the various countries and, where possible, on the author’s life.

Texts, two to three per meeting, usually a total of about four pages, will be posted at the start of the course. Participants will be asked to join the conversation for each essay and to sign up to report on one author bio or immigration statistics. Key themes: Desire to belong, attitude toward the family’s original culture, language skills, child/parent attitudes, hope for the future in Canada.

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Sport and Its Influence on Society

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Bi-weekly;  Week Two;  Monday;  2:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Two Terms; In-person  **NEW**  

Whether you are a huge fan or couldn’t care less, the sporting world affects you. In this workshop we will explore topics such as sport’s impact on socialization, national identity, economics, race, gender and social inclusion and exclusion.

We will look at many of the good and bad aspects of sport from the time of the ancient Greeks to the present day, asking ourselves questions like ‘Who says competition is bad?’, ‘Is sport a mirror of society?’, ‘Are nations that invest in sport more successful?’, and ‘Has sport replaced religion as the opiate of the masses?’

Workshop members are expected to give a 20 minute presentation on their topic and to participate in the discussions. There is no assigned reading list and an extensive workshop notes will be provided.

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The Blues

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Bi-weekly;  Week Two;  Monday;  12:15 p.m. – 2:15 p.m.
Two Terms; In-person  **NEW**  

Blues is a relatively new genre of music, but with long and spread out roots. It coalesced in the rural south at the turn of the 20th century and expanded with the advent of recording just after World War I. It broadened from a strictly African-American audience to impact popular and jazz music. It has been amalgamated into R&B, Rock & Roll and Soul, until becoming a fringe genre in its original form, with an almost completely different audience and performer makeup. This workshop will look at Blues throughout its 100-year history from cultural and musical perspectives, discussing its stars, hits, incarnations and current state. We invite all, from enthusiasts to neophytes, to participate in a workshop meant to appeal to, engage and entertain everyone. Participants will be expected to prepare and deliver a 15-20 minute presentation on the topic of their choice, that will normally include musical excerpts. Technical help will be available to those who may need assistance with sound or visual content in their presentation.

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