Memoir Writing and Reading

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

Memoir, unlike autobiography, is the art of reminiscing about particular events, people and/or time periods in our lives and is becoming increasingly popular. As in previous years, participants will present extracts from their own writing. Ideas/prompts are offered to stimulate writing in class and provide a source for longer pieces. Time will be given to share these explorations in a supportive and inviting atmosphere. Participants are encouraged to provide constructive feedback to sharers (who request it), as learning from others (and from published memoirs) is a significant component of this workshop.

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For the Love of Poetry

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

This workshop focuses on the power and wonder of poetry, with emphasis given to the reading out loud of a poet’s work. We will be looking specifically at poets and poems from 1900 to today. Participants will each select a poet to discuss – famous or obscure — and begin with a short summary of the poet’s life and work, followed by a reading of a few poems and a general discussion of the poems. A list of poets is provided, but participants are free to choose a favorite poet not on the list. There will be two separate presentations in each workshop.

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Contemporary Film A

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

Please join us for lively discussions of contemporary films. At each meeting we choose two films released since 2019 and available on Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Kanopy, to view before the next class. Decisions about cinema films will be made on a case-by-case basis. Films may be from any genre — indies, art films, documentaries, block-busters, anime. Members will propose films for group consideration, volunteering in turn to create a presentation and lead a discussion on one of the films chosen, stimulating debate. Two presentations per class will focus on aspects such as themes, production values, take-home values.

After rating the films individually, we compare our class rating to the Internet rating. In preparation for the first session, the co-facilitators will contact registered members with an invitation for two participants to volunteer. They will have the one-time opportunity to select and present a film of their own choice.

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Democracy: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

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

The workshop will cover a number of subjects including addressing the tensions within a democracy (populism, protecting the interests of minorities, intolerance etc.), the mechanisms for moving from dictatorship to democracy (e g Poland, Spain, Iraq and The Gambia) and the safeguards needed to minimize the risk of democracies sliding into dictatorships. Can democracy be saved? Join us for a wide-ranging discussion about democracies, how they flourish and how they fail. We will discuss what differentiates democracies of the past, present and future and what mechanisms are at play that undermine or enhance democracies. How do democracies become dictatorships and how do dictatorships become democracies? How are societal tensions amplified such that democracies are threatened? What is populism and when did it start? Is there a difference between manipulation of the electorate in the past, through propaganda, versus today through data derived from social media and other means? How are the vulnerabilities of democracy undermined today and what can we learn from the past in order to enhance democracies in the future. Each participant will prepare a 20 minute presentation leading to a discussion of the topics. There is no assigned reading list and extensive workshop notes will be provided.

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The Originals: From Monks to “Mad Men” – The People Who Have Shaped Our World

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

In this workshop, we’ll examine the lives, loves, struggles and accomplishments of famous, infamous and lesser-known people who have shaped our world. These people may include activists, actors, athletes, entrepreneurs, inventors, pioneers, mathematicians, scientists, writers, humanitarians, monks, monarchs, politicians, filmmakers, spies, singers, songwriters and visual artists.

During each two-hour meeting, we will explore the lives of two people, one during each hour. Each member will be asked to create a 20-25 minute presentation on the person of their choice. Presenters may also recommend articles, books and / or films to share with our workshop participants.

Join us as we engage in discussions of the lives of some extraordinary people, both well-known and lesser-known who may not figure as prominently in our history books.

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Join an Academy Book Club!

There are now two Book Clubs as well as Special Interest Groups that are running in the Fall and Winter (these groups run monthly online via Zoom and are available to all members).

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Response To COVID Incidence at The Academy

Guided by Toronto Public Health, the Academy’s primary concern is the well-being of our members.

The Board continues to monitor the incidence of COVID including plans to deal with COVID increased incidence.

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