Workshops

Workshops on a range of topics in the arts, sciences, and current affairs are generally offered every two weeks. The workshops are led by member-facilitators, and topics are researched and presented by the members of the class.

Workshop Space Availability

Workshops listing - by category

Workshops listing - Alphabetical:

“OH THE PLACES YOU’LL GO!”: Travel Ideas

Biweekly – Week 1 ; Monday ; 12pm – 2pm

Term 1 – via Zoom; Term 2 – Tartu (tbc)     Space available 

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. 

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Activism and Advocacy Through Visual Art

Bi-weekly – Week 1 ; Tuesday ; 12pm – 2pm

Terms 1 & 2 – via Zoom    –    Space Available

Individual artists, as well as small groups of visual activists, create art to engage persuasively with the world:  to change it, to unite a movement, or to draw attention to social issues.  Over the centuries many artists and groups have devoted their careers to sending influential messages through visual art.  In this workshop we will explore the art of select visual activists, and various progressive art movements, through analysis and discussion of their work in light of the cultural environment of their time.
For this full-year online workshop, and in the spirit of the Academy, all participants will present a 20-minute virtual slide talk of an artist-advocate or an activist-movement within their cultural contexts.  By early summer a recommended list of visual activists and influential art movements will be distributed; however, participants may present an artist-activist of their choosing.
We anticipate lively debate and discussion.

Anglo-Saxons (410 – 1066 CE)

Bi-weekly – Week 1 : Wednesday ; 10am – 12pm

Term 1 via Zoom; Term 2 – Tartu (tbc)     Space Available

Britain was invaded many times, but while the Romans, Vikings and Normans ruled England for many years, the only invaders that left a lasting legacy were the Anglo-Saxons. The Anglo-Saxon period spans six centuries from the middle of the fifth century to the Norman Conquest.  

In this workshop, we will look at how they influenced the English language, their contributions to literature – the writings of Bede, Alfred the Great, Beowulf. We will examine the invasions as migrations – where the Anglo-Saxons came from, where the different tribes settled (Angles, Saxons, Jutes and Frisians), how they differed and how they interacted with one another and other tribes such as the Picts, Scots and Irish. Further topics include the effects of the Viking invasions and the Norman conquest on the Anglo-Saxon population.  

Everyone is expected to make one twenty-minute presentation structured around topics selected for discussion.  

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Art Crime: Fraud, Plunder And Theft Of Culture

Bi-weekly – Week 2 ; Tuesday ; 10am – 12pm

Terms 1 and 2 – Via Zoom.    Space Available

Not just the theft of beautiful items for pride of ownership or monetary gain, art crime is the theft of history and the appropriation of culture. Join us to explore topics such as the impacts of archaeological theft and tomb raiding, looting by invading armies, cultural reappropriation, vandalism and free speech, copyright, art crime in the digital age, and the impact of art crime on the future of cultural institutions. And we may even admire the skill of a forger or the daring of a gentleman thief!  

Everyone is expected to give a 20-minute presentation on their topic and to participate in discussions. There is no assigned reading list, but a bibliography will be provided. 

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Artists’ Lives in Literature and Film

Bi-weekly – Week 2 ; Friday ; 12pm – 2pm

Term 1 – via Zoom; Term 2 – Tartu (tbc).    Workshop Full

Where does artistic creativity and courage come from? Why do some artists overcome challenges and leave lasting influences? How do authors and directors choose to represent artists? Join us as we investigate various artists’ lives, struggles, choices, influences, and artistic creations using both books (mainly novels) and movies. Members are expected to read or watch each session’s book or film (see text and artist list) and present once, choosing to focus on the artist’s life, artwork, or legacy; literary or cinematic analysis; historical accuracy; and/or issues and themes raised in the text. Note: this is a smaller-group workshop with one in-depth presentation, and extensive discussion, per session. 

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Celebration Of Song

Bi-weekly – Week 2 ; Friday ; 12pm – 2pm

Term 1 – via Zoom; Term 2 – Tartu (tbc)     Space Available 

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). 

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China in the Evolving World Order

Bi-weekly – Week 1 ; Wednesday ; 2pm – 4pm

Term 1 – via Zoom; Term 2 – Tartu (tbc)     Space Available 

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 facilitators discretion, it is expected that workshop members will do a presentation on a topic of interest. 

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Cities Of The Future

Bi-weekly – Week 2 ; Monday ; 12pm – 2pm

Term 1 – via Zoom; Term 2 – Tartu (tbc)     Space Available

In our workshop, we look at cities and human habitations of all sizes and locations in assessing past successes and upcoming challenges to ensure long term liveability, sustainability and people-friendliness.

We have already explored climate change, demographics and population pressure, pollution, logistics, endemics and pandemics, food and water supply, energy, war, pestilence, etc.  But we have only scratched the surface!

This year, we shall prognosticate possible long-term human habitation trends – both active and passive. What can we control and what can we do about what we cannot control?  Are we in trouble?

Our exploration will examine extreme human habitations (deserts, the far north, isolated areas, underwater habitation), otherworldly locations (Space stations, the Moon, Mars, other planets and their moons, Deep Space), sinking” cities (Venice, Amsterdam, Bangkok, Lagos, Miami), among other intriguing topics.

We shall be future forecasters as well as planners. So  start polishing your crystal balls! 

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Contemporary Film A

Bi-weekly ; Week 2 ; Wednesday ; 12pm – 2pm

Term 1 via Zoom; Term 2 Tartu (tbc)     Workshop Full

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 and Kanopy, to view on our own before the next class. Films may be from any genre — indies, art films, block-busters — or whatever moves the class when voting. 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. Prior to the first session, the facilitator will contact registered members with the two films for consideration and solicit volunteers for presentations.

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Contemporary Film B

Bi-weekly – Week 2 ; Thursday ; 12pm – 2pm

Term 1 via Zoom; Term 2 Tartu (tbc)     Space available

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.

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