Friday, June 2, 2017

Canada 150: A Number of Things

Keynote Event
10:00 a.m.–11:30 a.m.
LIB72, Library Building, 350 Victoria Street
$18 online and $20 at the door

A look at what objects–both large and small–can tell us about ourselves, the spaces we have entered and changed, and those with whom we share this ever-changing place called Canada. Jane Urquhart will speak about how objects from her own family’s past helped her to more fully understand the many diverse narratives that have unfolded over the past century and a half since Confederation. She will also examine how objects from outside her own experience encouraged her to learn more, not only about diversity, but about her ancestral family’s role in altering the landscape. Whether it be a Beothic legging or a prospector’s tent, a prayer mat or a model ship, each object has a fascinating, complicated, and ultimately enlightening history.

Jane UrquhartJane Urquhart was born in the far north of Ontario. She is the author of nine internationally acclaimed novels, among them The Underpainter, winner of the Governor General’s Award and a finalist for the Orange Prize; Away, winner of the Trillium Book Award; and The Stone Carvers, a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Governor General’s Award and the Man Booker Prize. Her most recent novel is The Night Stages. Her work, which is published in many countries, has been translated into numerous languages. Urquhart has received the Marian Engel Award and the Harbourfront Festival Prize. She is a chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in France, is an Officer of the Order of Canada, and is the recipient of almost a dozen honorary doctorates. Urquhart is also the author of A Number of Things: Stories of Canada Told Through Fifty Objects, which received critical acclaim across Canada. She lives in southeastern Ontario with her husband, artist Tony Urquhart.

1967: What Was Charles De Gaulle Really Up To in Québec?

11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.
LIB72, Library Building, 350 Victoria Street
$15 online and $20 at the door

July 24, 1967 was a beautiful, sunny day. As French President Charles de Gaulle made his way from Québec City to Montreal amidst incredible scenes of enthusiasm, officials in Montreal and Ottawa were decidedly nervous. What was de Gaulle up to? His attitude toward Canada had grown hostile over the years and no one could predict what he might do or say during his visit. Had he not declared a few months earlier that “we need not celebrate the creation of a part of the French people into a British structure”? De Gaulle made it to the Montreal city hall in the early evening and was welcomed by Mayor Jean Drapeau. Brushing aside the pre-arranged schedule, de Gaulle insisted on addressing the 5,000 strong crowd gathered into the narrow square below, from the balcony. “I am going to tell you a secret,” he started. “Tonight, all along my route, I found myself in an atmosphere just like the Liberation [of France].” He went on for a few minutes, then concluded with his now famous “Vive le Québec… libre!”

Scholars have long debated whether the balcony speech was improvised or premeditated. Regardless, it is important to understand why he uttered those words. In deliberately calling for the creation of a French state in North America, what was he really trying to achieve? This presentation will shed new light on de Gaulle’s fourth and most controversial visit to Canada.

Olivier CourteauxOlivier Courteaux holds a doctorate in the field of 20th century international relations. He has taught at various Canadian universities, including Ryerson University and the Royal Military College of Canada. Dr. Courteaux is the author of The War on Terror: Canada’s Dilemma (2009) and Canada between Vichy and de Gaulle, 1940‐1945 (2013) on Franco‐Canadian relations during the Second World War.

The Future of News Reporting

1:30 p.m.–2:30 p.m.
LIB72, Library Building, 350 Victoria Street
$15 online and $20 at the door

Who is responsible for keeping us informed and engaged as citizens? Can we continue to rely only on the news media, which is shrinking in the face of financial difficulties — and should we? As the digital revolution gives us all the ability to create, publish and distribute material, we hear about fake news and filter bubbles. But there also is a wealth of reliable, diverse information in our communities – in universities, interest groups, even in ourselves – if we choose to share it.

Catherine WallaceCatherine Wallace is the 2016-2017 Atkinson Fellow in Public Policy, researching alternate sources of journalism in the community that might help fill the information void left by shrinking newsrooms. She’s writing about her findings as she goes, in articles published by the Toronto Star. Catherine is a lifelong journalist who has had two tours at the Montreal Gazette, two at the Toronto Star, and one at The Globe and Mail. She has been city editor, features and investigations editor, Sunday editor, and weekend editor. Her most recent positions were managing editor of the Gazette, and then editor of its short-lived but beautiful evening iPad edition.

Religion and Politics: Convergence Or Divergence?

2:30 p.m.–3:30 p.m.
LIB72, Library Building, 350 Victoria Street
$15 online and $20 at the door

In Canada, Muslim participation in politics has sometimes been represented as dangerous or threatening: a way for Muslims to stealthily impose “shariah law” on the rest of the population. This session will deconstruct such myths about “creeping shariah,” suggesting that they are not based on reality, but rather on several fundamental misconceptions about Islam and Muslims in Canada. We will explore three areas where the Islamic intellectual and ethical traditions could productively shape contemporary political struggles: environmental justice, justice for non-human animals, and justice for Indigenous peoples.

Azeezah KanjiAzeezah Kanji is a legal analyst and writer based in Toronto. She received her Juris Doctor from the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Law, and Master of Laws specializing in Islamic Law from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London (UK). Azeezah writes a regular column for the Toronto Star on issues of race, law, and national security. Her writing has also appeared in the National Post, the Ottawa Citizen, OpenDemocracy, and rabble. Azeezah serves as Director of Programming at Noor Cultural Centre, a Muslim religious, educational, and cultural institution in Toronto.

How We Hear Music

3:30 p.m.–4:30 p.m.
LIB72, Library Building, 350 Victoria Street
$15 online and $20 at the door

Music lover Tim Falconer asked himself a simple question: “Can I learn to sing?” But shortly after he started taking singing lessons, he visited a Montreal lab that diagnosed him as belonging to the 2.5 percent of the population that is amusic, or scientifically tone deaf. While he continued his vocal lessons with the goal of a public performance, he researched not only his neurological disorder but a deeper question: “What do we hear when we listen to music?” What he discovered may get you thinking differently about the music you love.

Tim FalconerTim Falconer is the author of four non-fiction books. His most recent, Bad Singer: The Surprising Science of Tone Deafness and How We Hear Music, was named one of the Top 100 books of 2016 by The Globe and Mail. In addition to teaching magazine journalism at Ryerson University from 1995 to 2016, Tim works with writers in the MFA in Creative Non-Fiction program at the University of King’s College and is a faculty editor in the Literary Journalism program at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity.

Good Ol’ Fashioned Rock N’ Roll!

7:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m.
The Monarch Pub, Chelsea Hotel, 33 Gerrard Street West
$35 online and at the door

The DreamboatsThe Dreamboats are bringing back good ol’ fashioned Rock n’ Roll! With a sound that is equal parts Chuck Berry and The Wonders, this quartet of handsome young Mississauga boys delivers a high energy, nostalgic show that has audiences dancing and singing the night away!

What brings these four youngsters together to play music that was much before their time? A true passion for an era when ice cream cost a quarter, milk was delivered to the door, and people danced to live music! The Dreamboats capture this era at live shows through their angelic harmonies, rockin’ guitars, matching uniforms, and contagious dance steps!