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Fall Richmond Hill Speaker Series. Get your tickets now!

6 min to read

The 2019 Spring Speaker Series ended in April.  We'll take the summer off.  But before you switch to summer mode, purchase your tickets to the 2019 Fall Speaker Series! 

Be prepared to hear some great speakers. Here's the line up:

Thursday September 12, 2019 - 7:30 pm (only evening talk) ~ Bernie Farber : A Canadian Genocide: Canada’s Historical Treatment of its Indigenous People

Bernie Farber will moderate a panel focusing on the concept of Indigenous genocide that was historically committed by Canada – consistent with the findings of Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

We will explore the historical antecedents that led to genocide as defined under Article 11 of the1948 UN Convention on the Prevention and Prosecution of Genocide.

Looking back on history, through the enactment of the Indian Act of 1876; the residential school system, state sponsored kidnapping of First nations children and starvation of thousands will be examined; nutritional experiments carried out in the late 1940’s will be assessed and we will look at the Sixty’s Scoop where children were taken and placed in “white” foster homes and, finally,  discuss the poverty, alcoholism and drug addiction in First Nations reserves.

While not a happy history, it is one that we must share, discuss and find ways to move forward.

Bernie Farber’s career, spanning more than a quarter century, focuses on human rights, pluralism and inter-ethnic/faith/race relations. As an expert in human and civil rights, he is regularly called on by the courts, media and law enforcement to provide analysis on hate crime, white supremacy and anti-racism. His efforts have been documented in numerous Canadian Human Rights publications, books, newspapers, film documentaries, magazines and academic publications. He writes for various newspapers in Canada and the USA.

Mr. Farber has successfully run large NGO’s and Foundations such as Canadian Jewish Congress, the Paloma Foundation and the Mosaic Institute, all focused on social justice and human rights. He also worked closely with Canadian Indigenous communities on historical redress. Today Mr. Farber is “rewired” (as opposed to retired).  He sits as a Board Member on Human Rights Watch, Chairs the Rights and Ethics Committee for Community Living Toronto and is a co-Chair of the Ontario Anti Racism Directorate.

Dr. Suzanne L. Stewart, Ph.D., C.Psych is a member of the Yellowknife Dene First Nation.  She is a registered psychologist and Director of the Waakebiness-Bryce Institute for Indigenous Health at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at University of Toronto, where she is Associate Professor in the Division of Social and Behaviour Health Sciences. Research and teaching interests include Indigenous health and healing with specializations in psychology (homelessness, youth mental health, identity, and work-life development), Indigenous determinants of health, Indigenous pedagogies in higher education and health sciences, and Indigenous research ethics and methodologies. She is also Chair of the Aboriginal Section of the Canadian Psychology Association and is committed to advancing Indigenous healing issues in health practice and policy.

Dr. Michael Dan, a committed philanthropist, is considered a model of social responsibility and generosity. A former neurosurgeon, he created the Paloma Foundation to fund organizations that assist marginalized people in Toronto. Dedicated to Canada’s Aboriginal community, he has created opportunities for future generations by supporting businesses on reserves. Recently, he also endowed the Waakebiness-Brye Institute for Indigenous Health at the University of Toronto, the first privately-endowed research institute in the world geared to the unique health needs of Aboriginal people. His commitment to peace in the Middle East is exemplified by his support to the University of Haifa, the Michael and Amira Dan Professorship in Global Health at the University of Toronto, and the St John Eye Hospital in Jerusalem.

Thursday, September 26, 2019 (10am to 12pm) ~ James Lockyer: Wrongful Convictions in Canada

As a founding director of Innocence Canada and a founding partner of Lockyer Campbell Posner, James Lockyer has focused primarily in the field of wrongful convictions. He will present cases in which individuals have been exonerated.

In 1977 James Lockyer was called to the Ontario Bar and began to practice criminal law.  He has been a criminal lawyer for 42 years.   Since 1992, the majority of his practice has involved unravelling wrongful convictions. 

Mr. Lockyer is a founding director of Innocence Canada (formerly known as the Association in Defence of the Wrongly Convicted (AIDWYC)), a Canada-wide organization that advocates for the wrongly convicted.  In that capacity, he has been involved in several high profile wrongful conviction cases including those of Guy Paul Morin (1995), David Milgaard (1997), Steven Truscott (2007), William Mullins-Johnson (2008),Tammy Marquardt (2011), Leighton Hay (2014), John Salmon (2015), Maria Shepherd (2016) and Frank Ostrowski (2018).

He has received six honorary doctorates from the Law Society of Upper Canada and five Canadian Universities. In 2001, he received the G. Arthur Martin Criminal Justice Medal from the Criminal Lawyers’ Association.  In 2005, he received the John Howard Society’s Award for Distinguished Humanitarian Service. In 2012, he received the Award for Justice (Advocates Society).

In December, 2018, he was made a member of the Order of Canada.


Thursday, October 3, 2019 (10am to 12pm) ~ Helena Moncrieff: Discovering the Urban Orchard

Our cities are places of food polarities - food deserts and farmers’ markets, hunger and food waste, fast food delivery and urban gardening. While locavores and preserving pros abound, many of us can’t identify the fruit trees in our yards or declare a berry safe to eat. Those plants—and the people who planted them—are often forgotten.

In her new book The Fruitful City Helena Moncrieff examines our relationship with food through the fruit trees that dot city streets and yards. Tracking down the origins of these living heirlooms, Helena asks how they went from being subsistence staples to raccoon fodder and explores the surge of non-profit urban harvest organizations trying to prevent that bounty from rotting on concrete. Guiding us through her journey of slipping into backyards, visiting community orchards including the Dartmouth Common, Helena shows us that while the bounty of apples is great, reconnecting with nature and our community is the real prize.

Helena Moncrieff is a writer, professor, former radio journalist, and lifelong city dweller. Her writing has appeared in Best Health magazine, the Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail and many in-house publications. Her freezer is full of fruit collected from other people's backyards.

Thursday, October 10, 2019 (10am to 12pm) ~ John Lorinc:  The Ward

"The Ward," Toronto's original `arrival city,' was a dense, working-class immigrant enclave located near the present-day New City Hall that became home for waves of newcomers between the 1840s and the 1960s. A hub at various times for African American refugees, Italians, Eastern European Jews, and Chinese immigrants, The Ward was seen as a blight and a source of moral panic for city officials. But this neighbourhood also had tremendous energy, and became a hub for social organizing and cultural activity. John will talk about the area's rich history, the lessons it holds for the contemporary city, and the remarkable revelations about this neighbourhood that surfaced during an extensive archaeological dig that took place next to City Hall in 2015/2016. 

John Lorinc is a Toronto journalist and editor who writes regularly about urban affairs, business, technology and local history for various media, including The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, Maclean's, Walrus and Spacing, where he is senior editor. John is also the Toronto non-fiction editor for Coach House Books, and has co-edited four anthologies, including The Ward (2015) and The Ward Uncovered (2018). 


Thursday, October 17, 2019 (10am to 12pm)  ~ Dr. Aurel Braun: Assessing the Middle East Chessboard

The Middle East, a strategically vital region, is becoming ever more volatile. Russian and Iranian involvement has deeply impacted not only the regional states but also the West. Add the problems of the Iran nuclear agreement (the JCPOA) from which the U.S. withdrew and we have an enormously complex situation where the parties are playing three dimensional chess.

Aurel Braun is currently a Professor of International Relations and Political Science, and Fellow of Trinity College at the University of Toronto. He is also an Associate of the Davis Center at Harvard. Between July 2012 and June 2015 he was a Visiting Professor teaching in the Department of Government, Harvard University. Professor Braun has twice been appointed a Visiting Scholar at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. In March 2009, the Federal Cabinet via a Governor-in-Council appointment made Professor Braun the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development for a three-year term. In 2012, Professor Braun was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for services to Canada and for academic distinction by the Governor-General of Canada. Professor Braun has published extensively on international relations and strategic studies and is a specialist in international law. He is the author and/or editor of several books. His latest book is NATO-Russia Relations in the 21st Century. His forthcoming book is on Russia, the West and Arctic Security.


Thursday, October 24, 2019 (10am to 12pm) ~ Carolyn Harris: Royal Parenting from Medieval to Modern Times

Royalty have always raised their children in the public eye and received both praise and criticism. Royal parents have also shaped cultural trends in the history of family life. The precedents set by past monarchs continue to influence royal parenting, as the present generation of royal parents - William and Kate, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex - balances tradition and modernity in the upbringing of 21st century royal children.

Carolyn Harris teaches history at the U. of T.  School of Continuing Studies. She received her Ph.D in European history from Queen’s University in 2012. Her writing concerning the history of monarchy in the U.K., Europe, and Canada has appeared in numerous publications including the Globe and Mail, Ottawa Citizen, Smithsonian Magazine, Canada's History Magazine and the BBC History Magazine, and she is the author of three books: Magna Carta and Its Gifts to Canada, Queenship and Revolution in Early Modern Europe: Henrietta Maria and Marie Antoinette and Raising Royalty: 1000 Years of Royal Parenting. She lives in Toronto.

November 7, 2019   (10am to 12pm) ~ Ted Barris: The Great Escape: A Canadian Story

On the night of March 24, 1944, eighty Commonwealth airmen crawled through a 400-foot-long tunnel, code-named “Harry,” and most slipped into the darkness of a pine forest beyond the wire of Stalag Luft III, a German prisoner-of-war compound near Sagan, Poland. The event became known as the Great Escape.

What most casual readers, history buffs, moviegoers, and even some who participated, don’t readily acknowledge is that the Great Escape was in many ways “made-in-Canada.”

Ted Barris is an award-winning journalist, author, and broadcaster. For more than 40 years, his writing has regularly appeared in the national press, as well as magazines as diverse as Air Force, esprit de corps and Zoomer. He has also worked as host/contributor for most CBC Radio network programs and on TV Ontario. And after 18 years teaching, he has just retired as a full-time professor of journalism and broadcasting at Toronto’s Centennial College.

To purchase tickets click on your preference.  Or call the box office at 905 787-8811

  • Speaker Series (all 6 daytime talks) - $70 . click HERE
  • Bernie Farber - $20  Click HERE
  • Speaker series + Bernie Farber - $85. Please call the box office to purchase this discounted package

Individual tickets, if available, go on sale September 16th.