THE ACADEMY WILL BEGIN ITS 2020 / 2021 SESSION AT A NEW ADDRESS
310 BLOOR ST W
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.
Week 1 Workshop dates for 2020/2021 to follow early in April
Week 2 Workshop dates for 2020/2021 to follow in early April
Biweekly, Friday, 12 – 2, Week 1
Canadians have fought in four foreign wars since Confederation (The Boer War, WWI, WWII, and Korea). They also fought, in Canada, in two wars before Confederation (The War of 1812 and The US Civil War) and have participated in multinational operations and various United Nations peacekeeping programs since 1945.
Participants are expected to prepare a 20-minute presentation. Among possible topics, presenters may choose to speak about the political issues faced by the governments of the day with respect to sending Canadian troops overseas; the military engagements in which they fought during each war; the social and economic impact of the war on the home front; and the post-war impact affecting both Canada and its status on the world stage.Find out more
Biweekly, Monday, 12 – 2, Week 1
Reports of Indigenous people’s issues and actions are everywhere in the media. Join us for an Academy year of discovery. By focusing on the realities of life in a variety of Northern communities, we will get to know their history, geography, economic and climate challenges, and creative expressions – all the issues that make them such an important yet little-known part of Canada and the world. Participants will be expected to make an approximately 20-minute presentation on the pertinent aspects of a community selected from a list provided by the co-facilitators.Find out more
Biweekly, Friday, 12 – 2, Week 2
Songs are a vital part of our lives. First, participants will give presentations on 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
Biweekly, Monday, 12 – 2, Week 2
It is anticipated that in 2050, 70% of the world’s population will live in cities, a majority of them with more than 10 million inhabitants. Building cities that can accommodate such a large number of people is the challenge for the next 25 years. In this workshop we will look at megacities that have successfully or unsuccessfully dealt with the economic, demographic, cultural, and management issues they have faced. We will examine the factors that make a megacity livable and sustainable, and we will discuss the research, competitionsFind out more
Biweekly, Monday 2-4, Week 1
Climate change has been a major concern for about 30 years. In 2006 Al Gore heightened our consciousness with his film “An Inconvenient Truth”. What has changed? Bring your opinions to this workshop and be part of an exploration of an updated look at the causes, effects, mitigations, and adaptations to climate change.
Each participant is asked to do a presentation on a topic such as the effects we can see today; anthropogenic causes; tipping points; effects on global economic activities; adaptations and their costs; impacts on human health and the natural world; population migrations, and present-day mitigations.
When do we stop burning fossil fuel? What should we do as Canadians? In the US is it the “Green New Deal”?Find out more
Biweekly, Wednesday, 10 – 12, Week 2
Once limited to fringe audiences, conspiracy theories have become commonplace in mass media, emerging as a cultural phenomenon. Belief in these theories has become a topic of interest for sociologists, psychologists, and experts in folklore.
In this workshop we will look at theories in areas such as space exploration; sports; climate science; health and medicine; government and politics; extra-terrestrials and UFOs; ethnicity, race, and religion; espionage, and deaths and disappearances. We will explore how such conspiracies get started, who creates them and why; who adopts them; and their impacts.
The workshop promises to provide lots of material for lively discussion. Each participant will be required to give a 20-minute presentation. There will not be a required reading list, but we will develop a detailed bibliography for further exploration.Find out more
Biweekly, Wednesday, 12 – 2, Week 2
Please join us for lively discussions of contemporary films. At each meeting we choose two films 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.Find out more
Biweekly, Thursday 12 – 2, Week 2
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
Biweekly, Wednesday 12 – 2, Week 1
Join us in exploring diverse dance forms from around the world. Learn about the twist, tango, flamenco, break dancing, Shaolin Monk Dance and many more. Learn to appreciate the dance form and its historical, cultural, and political context. Each participant will research and do one presentation on a specific dance form or a dancer exemplifying the dance form, to be followed by discussion.Find out more
Biweekly, Monday 2-4, Week 2
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.
Using ideas from Conflict Resolution theory and practice, conflict remediation at the international level, as well as reconciliation within nations (e.g. Rwanda and South Africa) will be examined. The role of outside intervenors such as UN, NATO and ‘coalitions of the willing’ will be included in the discussion.
Each participant will be expected to make a 20-minute presentation on a topic such as ‘Does Proportional Representation Enhance Democracy?’; ‘Is Singapore the Model for Democracy in Asia?’; ‘The UN’s R2P (Responsibility to Protect) Doctrine’; and ‘What Went Wrong in Venezuela?’Find out more