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Past Speakers

Fall 2020

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Recently awarded an Excellence in Teaching Award from U of T's School of Continuing Education, Dr. Julia Zarankin holds a PhD in Comparative Literature from Princeton. 


She has been a featured guest on Michael Enright's Sunday Edition on CBC and has a particular fascination with all things Russian.

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Erin Piotrowski is an educator, researcher, narrator and producer of independent audiobooks. She is currently completing her Ph.D. in English at U of T. As an aside,


Erin is involved with an organization that aims to help women, minorities and the under-privileged break into the technology industry.


Michael Nicin has served the Ontario government where he oversaw a
$500 million Ontario Autism Program and, as Minister of Seniors
Affairs, lead the design and launch of Canada’s first seniors strategy.
He has also worked with Carp, a 300,000-member advocacy group for
older Canadians, and as Executive Director of the National Institute on
Aging, a think tank at Ryerson University on our aging population.

Fall 2019


Michael Crabb has been writing, broadcasting and lecturing about dance for more than 45 years. He has worked for the Toronto Star, National Post and CBC and was inducted into Canada's Dance Hall of Fame in March 2019. 


Dr. Mike Daley holds a Ph.D in music, specializing in the history of popular music. He is currently researching the Toronto music scene of the 1960s.


Mike and his wife Jill are also leading music-themed tours to destinations in Canada, the US and UK.


Dr. Guy Prouxis an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at the Glendon Campus, York University.


Dr. Proulx is a clinical neuropsychologist specializing in cognitive ageing and its wide variability within our population.

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Ken Weber founded the department of special education at the Faculty of Education and the Institute of Child Study at the University of Toronto. He has been extensively published in the field. 

In 1996 he took early retirement, was honoured with the Emeritus title and Teacher of the Year. 


Dr. Philippa Sheppard has taught both Renaissance drama and Modern Drama at Memorial University in Newfoundland, University College Dublin, and currently, with the Department of English at the University of Toronto. 

She holds a MA in Shakespeare Studies from the Shakespeare Institute in Stratford-on-Avon and Ph.D. in English Renaissance Drama from Oxford where she was a Commonwealth Scholar.


Barbara Dickson is a popular public speaker, historian, and author of both fiction and non-fiction works.

Barbara offers us a unique glimpse into the lives of the dedicated women who courageously worked with high explosives around the clock during the war.

Spring 2019


Jo-Anne McArthur 

Jo-Anne McArthur is an award-winning photographer, author, and educator. Each year, for the past 15, she has spent six to eight months studying our complex relationship with animals.


Her animal stories, We Animals, have been featured in publications such as National Geographic.


Thanh Campbell took the last flight out of Saigon in 1975 as one of 56 orphans fleeing Vietnam. He was Orphan 32.

In Canada, he was adopted by Rev. William and Maureen Campbell and became the youngest of their six children. 

His autobiography, Orphan 32, tells the story of his reunion with fellow orphans and his family.


Dr. Carolyn Harris is an expert historian, speaker, and writer on European monarchies. She will guide us through that history and the impact it has on us. 

Carolyn has authored three books and regularly contributes to television, radio, print and online media on such topics as the Magna Carta, royal history, Canada and the monarchy and European history. 


Adam Chapnick knows a thing or two about Canada’s presence on the international field and our security.

He’s an award-winning writer and commentator on Canadian foreign policy and international security affairs and teaches defence studies at the Royal Military College of Canada. 


Dr. Lee Bartel's interest lies in the relationship between music and the brain. He teaches courses on music education and music and health at U of T and is the founder of the university’s Music and Health Research Collaboratory.  

He is currently studying the impact of sound and brain stimulation on conditions such as depression, pain and Alzheimer’s. 


Martin Galloway knows all about the secret life of plants and what happens in our gardens. He is the owner of Chalk Lake Greenhouse where, for the past 35 years, he has specialized in perennials and native plants.

Martin holds a B. Ed. and Masters Degree in both Environmental Biology and Zoology from U of  T and a BSc in biology from Guelph.

CLICK HERE to see this season's speakers

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