Workshops

Workshops are held on a wide range of topics including the arts, science, history, current affairs, and film. Workshops are developed and led by Academy members who are called “facilitators”. Members research and deliver presentations on the subject of their choice, and lively discussion follows.

 

Workshops listing

“Oh the Places You’ll Go!”: Travel Ideas

Bi-weekly; Week 2; Tuesday; 2:30 pm – 4:30 pm
via Zoom.  ***WORKSHOP WAITLISTED***

Join us in exploring new adventures and sharing the exhilaration of discovery!  If you could take your next trip today, where would you go?  If you could plan 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. 

Each participant will select a destination to research and prepare a 20-30 minute presentation, which will be followed by an informative and lively discussion. 

Find out more

A Very Short Introduction To….

Bi-weekly; Week 1; Thursday; 2:30 pm – 4:30 pm
Location: TBD

How to be a “Know It All” or “The Thinking Man’s Wikipedia”. Want to know as much as possible in the shortest time possible? Checkout some of the books in this series of over 650 topics, choose a subject and dazzle everyone with your knowledge!

In this workshop we will look at the vast knowledge produced by this series from Oxford University Press ‘ whose expert authors combine facts analysis, perspective, new ideas and enthusiasm’ on interesting and challenging topics from Accounting to Zionism. Subjects cover areas of interest including Arts & Humanities, Law, Medicine & Health, Science & Mathematics,  and the Social Sciences.

Participants will be asked to make a 20 minute presentation and to actively participate in the bi-weekly discussions.

Find out more

Aging Well: Health and Wellness Imperatives

Bi-weekly; Week 1; Monday; 2:30 pm – 4:30 pm
Location: TBD

We all want to live long lives—with one caveat—as long as we can live well. In this broad-based course, we will explore what the elements of ‘living well’ are as we age. As this large demographic moves forward, what are the implications for how we live? From options for housing and ways cities can be reconfigured, to our unique nutritional and fitness needs to support an active physical and mental life, this course will explore cutting edge innovations and science as well  as alternative approaches such as meditation, humour, socialisation and even forest bathing!

Each participant will present on a topic related to health and wellness. The topics are endless! Weather permitting we may even find time for a walk in the woods.

Find out more

Ancient Greece from Homer to Alexander

Bi-weekly; Week 1; Wednesday; 12:15 pm – 2:15 pm
Location: TBD

Ancient Greece is uniquely important to us, bequeathing modes of thought and values that have shaped the western world and still influence us in profound ways today. Western philosophy and logic, art and architecture, and poetry and drama were born here, as was the city state and western forms of warfare. Democracy was invented by the ancient Greeks and argued about, achieved and attacked. This workshop surveys Greek history, philosophy, statecraft, literature, art and science, from the time of Homer in the 8th century BCE to the death of Aristotle in 322 BCE. Participants will be asked to present on an aspect of ancient Greek history and culture during the workshop.

Find out more

Artists’ Lives

Bi-weekly; Week 2; Friday; 12:15 pm – 2:15 pm
Location: TBD  **  WORKSHOP WAITLISTED **
Join us as we continue our exploration of various artists’ lives, artwork, influences, challenges, themes, philosophies, and legacies. Using various texts (novels, biographies, films, podcasts, interviews), we’ll also analyze representations of these lives. Members are expected to read, watch, or listen to each session’s text/s (see attached list) and present once. Note: this is a smaller-group workshop with one in-depth presentation and extensive discussion per session.

Find out more

Celebration of Song

Bi-weekly; Week 2; Friday; 12:15 pm – 2:15 pm
Location: TBD

Songs are a vital part of our lives. First,participants will give presentationson their choice of historical periods of song, composers (e.g., Cole Porter, Jim Webb, and Lennon & McCartney), performers (e.g., Tiny Tim, the Beatles, Mel Torme), or favourite songs. Second, we will sing the songs we discuss. No experience is required – just enthusiasm for singing. We can sing a capella, or with a karaoke machine or with the accompaniment of whichever instruments members of the course wish to play (piano, guitar, accordion, percussion). 

Find out more

China in the Evolving World Order

Bi-weekly; Week 1; Tuesday; 12:15 pm – 2:15 pm
via Zoom

For the past several years this workshop has studied the rise of China, the US response, and their ensuing conflicts that affect Canada and the global order. The workshop will consider a range of current events, issues and policy options as they emerge and evolve in a world fraught with uncertainty. Subject to the facilitator’s discretion, it is expected that workshop members will do a presentation on a topic of interest.

Find out more

Contemporary Film A

Bi-weekly; Week 2; Wednesday; 12:15 pm – 2:15 pm
Location: TBD.  ***WORKSHOP WAITLISTED***

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, Amazon Prime, and Kanopy, to view on our own before the next class. Films may be from any genre — indies, art films, documentaries, block-busters — or whatever moves the class when voting. Participants will volunteer in turn to create a presentation on one of the chosen films, stimulating discussion and reactions. 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. 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.

Find out more

Contemporary Film B

Bi-weekly; Week 2; Tuesday; 12:15 pm – 2:15 pm
via Zoom ***WORKSHOP WAITLISTED***

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.

Find out more

Contemporary Quebec

Bi-weekly; Week 2; Thursday; 12:15 pm – 2:15 pm
Location: TBD

How well do we, in Ontario, understand our next-door province – its cultural richness; its views on immigration; its sensitivity to language and identity; its nationalist aspirations; its approach to managing climate change; the many differences between Montreal and its regions? Do we know and listen to its voices in popular culture, art, film and literature?

This workshop will explore today’s Quebec in its multiplicity and distinctiveness – a province with a vibrant culture, diverse population, riveting politics and determined secularism – a province often misunderstood by its fellow Canadians.

Participants will be asked to research and prepare a presentation on one of the topics from the exploration framework we’ve developed which may evolve, particularly from the lens which the October 2022 provincial election will provide. We hope to include some outside presentations as well. Participants do not have to understand French to enjoy this workshop as all the recommended resources, sources, websites etc. are in English, supplemented by some in both languages.

Find out more