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

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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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.

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Aging Well: Your Guide to Fitness and Health

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

Hate exercising?  This course is for you!  And even if you don’t mind it, in this course you’ll learn the science behind the fitness imperative.  And how to do what you need to do to be independent.  Mixing hard science with how-to tips, this workshop puts the FUN back into Fitness.  If you want to continue to do ordinary functional things like looking after yourself, playing with your grandkids, or lifting groceries out of your trunk, keeping fit is essential. Oh and did we mention that fitness is linked to maintaining good cognitive functioning. But if you don’t know where to start, it can be a little daunting. You’ll learn ‘how’ to keep fit–can walking do it or must you sweat it out at the gym 7 days a week? Do chair exercises really work? How can you safely start exercising as you age?  And what type of exercise is right for you?

Each participant will present on a topic related to Fitness or Health.  The topics are endless, but we’ve suggested many in the enclosed notes. Depending on the weather, we’ll hopefully find time to get outside and take walks in the woods and maybe even exercise in the park!

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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.

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Artists’ Lives

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

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.

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Black Art Matters: African American Art

Bi-weekly; Week 2; Thursday; 10 am – 12 pm
Location: TBD

You are probably familiar with Jackson Pollock, Rothko, and Georgia O’Keefe, but are you familiar with Jacob Lawrence, Romare Bearden, Carrie Mae Weems, Kara Walker, and Kerry James Marshall? There is a growing number of exciting and significant African Americans artists.  We will explore the lives and art of African American artists, mostly of the 20th and 21st centuries.  We will examine their art through a social, political, cultural, and aesthetic lens.   We will also look at some of the artistic and political issues concerning African American art. For example: how has racism affected African American art? Does African American art need to reflect African American themes?  It is hoped that each participant will make a presentation on an African American artist. We are happy to assist and topics and references will be provided.

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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). 

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China in the Evolving World Order

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

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.

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Cities of the Future

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

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; 12:15 pm – 2:15 pm
Location: TBD

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.

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