Documentary Film

Bi-weekly;  Week One;  Tuesday;  2:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Two Terms; Online via Zoom

Documentary films are a powerful medium that can be used to inform, educate, observe, persuade, expose, improve, and challenge ideas. In this workshop, participants will watch documentary films available on various streaming services including Netflix, Kanopy (free with a library card), CBC Gem and YouTube and then we will discuss the films at each meeting.

The categories for the films may include science, nature, history, biographies, music, sports, crime, socio-political issues, and technology. Each member will select a film of their choice and will introduce the film and start the discussion. Members will view the films on their own before each meeting. Two films will be selected for each two-hour session. Different aspects of the films may be examined including new or interesting ideas or information, themes, the director, the cast, and production values.

Join us as we engage in lively discussions of thought-provoking documentary films.

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World of Opera: Listening and Learning

Bi-weekly;  Week Two;  Wednesday;  10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Two Terms; In-person  

This workshop aims to touch the entire world of opera: from its early beginnings in the 16th C. to the modern day. We will learn about and listen to the music of the historic opera repertoire, the most beautiful music in the world, and view exciting performances on stage by the most enthralling voices. There will be presentations around individual composers, opera history, periods of opera, famous singers through the ages and much more. You may be a real enthusiast or a complete neophyte… this workshop will appeal to and engage everyone.

Participants will be expected to prepare and deliver a 15-20 minute presentation on the topic of their choice. Technical help will be available to those who may need assistance with sound or visual content in their presentation.

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Travel Adventures

Bi-weekly;  Week Two;  Tuesday;  2:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. 
One Term – Fall; Online via Zoom  

Join us in exploring new adventures and sharing the exhilaration of discovery! If you could take your next trip today, where would you go? What entices you about this destination? Alternatively, tell us about a memorable travel experience from the past. For the past three years in this workshop, we have explored a world of destinations, from the well-known to the obscure and remote. Group members select a destination and highlight their choice of history, historical attractions, culture, scenery, or any aspect of interest to them. Recommendations for tour groups, flights, solo travel, dining and accommodation can be introduced if there is an interest. Group members will research their destination and prepare a 20 – 25 minute presentation, which will be followed by an interesting and lively discussion.

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Events of the Fortnight

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

At the start of each session the participants suggest topics from the recent news worthy of further discussion. The discussion of each topic starts with a brief introduction by the person suggesting the topic followed by a general discussion.

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

Genealogy involves collecting, organizing, and analyzing information about ancestors of a particular person or family. Using databases (such as Ancestry, MyHeritage, Billion Graves) and data like birth records, marriage certificates, census data, military records, wills, archives, and family stories, a family tree can be built. We will focus on: people’s experiences, people’s intentions, the tools. The intent in this workshop is to share people’s experiences or intentions with topics such as: DNA testing, comparing online databases and resources, illustrating research methods and techniques, understanding different types of records, tracing ancestor’s immigration, and sharing family history. Techniques used for securing information in Canada as well as other countries will be examined. Additionally, information about a place where an ancestor lived many years ago may be of interest. It is not required that participants have already done family research. They are encouraged to share their goals and provide ideas/feedback on what others have discovered or are planning.

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Tale of Two Cities – Montreal and Toronto

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

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

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

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 ( 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

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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