Mitchell Marcus “City Building Through Creativity: the Redevelopment of the Downsview Airport Lands.” On Wednesday, May 10 at 10:15 a.m. (Spring Talk # 5) at Innis College, 2 Sussex Avenue.

Mitchell Marcus is a cultural entrepreneur, Founding Artistic Director of The Musical Stage Company, and presently the Executive Director of Site Activation and Programming for the Downsview Airport Lands redevelopment project (Northcrest Developments). Mitchell Marcus will share his vision for the transformation of this 370 acre heritage land into one of Toronto’s most culture-forward, innovative communities.

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Andrew Kirsch: “Discussion with a Spy: What CSIS is.  What it does. Why it’s important for you to know more about it.” Wednesday, May 3 at 10:15 a.m. (Spring Talk #4) at Innis College, 2 Sussex Avenue.

Andrew Kirsch, former Canadian Spy, gives a rarely seen peak behind the curtain of Canada’s intelligence agency.  He explains what the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) is and what it’s really like to work there. In a ten-year career with CSIS, Andrew held roles as a policy analyst, a field investigator, ultimately leading teams on clandestine warranted special operations. Andrew now works as a consultant in cybersecurity with Kirsch Consulting Group Inc.

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The Persian Empire

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

This workshop offers every member the exciting opportunity to actively participate in exploring the history and culture of the Persians. Far from being the barbarians of the Greek imagination, the Persian Empire was sophisticated, powerful, economically strong, and intellectually gifted. We will examine the rise and spread of this Empire from its modest beginnings to the time it dominated as history’s first great superpower, ruling the largest of all ancient world empires. We will meet the Great Kings of Persia, the queens, the tax-collectors, the soldiers, the eunuchs and the concubines; discuss their religious ideas, their politics, where they lived, and why they are so absent in Western histories.

Every participant will be expected to participate in discussions and provide a presentation on topics chosen from ‘THE PERSIANS’ by L. L. Jones, (Basic Books 2022) using whatever accompanying research they have discovered.

The main idea of this workshop is that we will all have fun learning from each other about a brilliant, complex and influential civilization. Come join us!

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10 Benefits of Lifelong Learning

Experience the Benefits of Lifelong Learning! When we reach “retirement age”, we have also gained a lot of wisdom to share with others. If we can all integrate lifelong learning into our lives, we will reap many benefits. The following are ten specific benefits that lifelong learning brings to our lives.

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Events Of The Fortnight

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

This workshop is focused on discussions of current events. Members suggest topics of interest; they are expected to be aware of events reported in the various media and to come prepared to discuss them. Each session will begin with a listing of the proposed events of interest, followed by a short introduction of each event by the member who suggested it, and then by discussion.

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The History Of Women

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

We will discuss the role women played in society throughout the ages from hunter-gatherers to modern times.  While women are over half the population, standard history and anthropology texts say little about women and what they accomplished.  And though it is a story often left untold, assumptions about women’s roles abound.  However, current scholarship is changing those assumptions and the findings may surprise you.

We will examine many similar findings about women that demolish the myth of the ‘weaker sex’.  We will shine a light on the little-known history of women, and to do so we will enlist the work of modern historians, archeologists, anthropologists, biologists, economists, and sociologists.  In disentangling the past, we will learn about the stellar accomplishments of little-known female artists, writers, and scientists as well as ground-breaking discoveries by women that were credited to men.

Participants may choose to present from a wide range of topics.

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Exploring the World of Podcasts

Bi-weekly;  Week One;  Wednesday;  10:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon
In-person **NEW**

Podcasts are a relatively new use of technology to share information, expand our understanding of the world as well as to entertain us while we go about our active lives.  There is a topic for every interest. This workshop aims to explore the world of podcasts by examining those that tackle a variety of topics (example: The Daily by New York Times journalists) to ones that delve deeply into specific subjects (Science Friday) to ones that tell a story (The Memory Palace).  We will examine how to choose podcasts that are both reliable and enjoyable. Workshop participants will select a topic, and explore up to three podcasts on that topic.  Each presenter will recommend that fellow participants listen to one of their chosen podcasts prior to the presentation and discussion which the presenter will lead.  Presentation topics may include the biographical sketch of the podcast host(s) and guests, format and style, and quality of the information.

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