Lunchtime Series

The Atwater Library Lunchtime Series features once-a-week presentations by leading writers, musicians, intellectuals, scientists, and many more people sharing their knowledge and experience with the Atwater Library community. Lunchtime Series events usually take place on Thursdays (but sometimes are on other days), from 12:30 to 1:30 pm. Admission is free though we do appreciate donations! Everyone is welcome and we serve coffee and biscuits.

Upcoming Events

Thursday, December 19, 2019 from 12:10 to 1:30 pm
Harpist Meta Epstein plays Christmas carols and celtic tunes from 12:10 to 12:40 pm.
PLEASE NOTE that the music begins 20 minutes before our usual start time.
Then veteran actor Barrie Baldaro gives a dramatic reading of A Child’s Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas.

Thursday, January 9, 2020 from 12:30 to 1:30 pm
Dr. Anja Borck gives a presentation on the Emile Berliner Musée des Ondes, which is housed in the RCA Building in Saint-Henri.

Thursday, January 16, 2020 from 12:30 to 1:30 pm
Janet Torge shares Radical Resthomes’ vision and discusses housing models that meet seniors’ needs.

Thursday, January 23, 2020 from 12:30 to 1:30 pm
Veteran CJAD broadcaster Tommy Schnurmacher discusses his memoir Makeup Tips from Auschwitz: How Vanity Saved My Mother’s Life. The book tells the story of how his Jewish mother got two top Nazis to save her life and the powerful impact that had on their relationship.

Thursday, January 30, 2020 from 12:30 to 1:30 pm
A special event to mark the 100th anniversary of the opening of our building. Architectural consultant, teacher and author Nancy Dunton traces the building’s history and comments on its architectural significance. Architect Nathan Bonneville gives a short presentation on the current elevator-accessibility project and answers questions.

FRIDAY, February 7, 2020 from 12:30 to 1:30 pm
To celebrate BLACK HISTORY MONTH, the IMANI Gospel Singers, directed by Marcia Bailey, perform a program of spiritual music and discuss the evolution of Black gospel music.

Thursday, February 20, 2020 from 12:30 to 1:30 pm
Author Mary Soderstrom discusses her latest book, Frenemy Nations: Love and Hate between Neighbo(u)ring States.

Past Events 2019

Thursday, January 10, 2019 from 12:30 to 1:30 pm
Herbert Marx reminisces about his life and discusses his years as an MNA (1979-1989) and Minister of Justice for Quebec. Copies of his recently-published memoir will be on sale. Please note that this is event is NOT AT THE LIBRARY but instead in an accessible room at Temple Emanu-El-Beth Sholom, 395 Elm Avenue just south of Sherbrooke Street West in Westmount, near the Atwater métro station.

Thursday, January 17, 2019 from 12:30 to 1:30 pm
World traveller and photographer Muslim Harji gives a presentation on “Burma: The Lost Paradise.” He will discuss “the gentle people, stunning landscape, beautiful monuments, spiritual practices, religious beliefs, culture and foods.”

Thursday, January 24, 2019 from 12:30 to 1:30 pm
In honour of ROBBIE BURNS DAY, poet and musician Ilay Ian Charles Ferrier (aka Ian Ferrier) performs his poetry with accompaniment by clarinetist and composer Louise Campbell. Ian Ferrier is one of the best known spoken word performers in Canada. He, his son and his fathers before him are all named after that fabulous whisky isle in the Hebrides, Islay.
Presented jointly by the Atwater Poetry Project, curated by Deanna Radford, with funding from the League of Canadian PoetsSpecial treats provided by Shortbread by Gryphon will be served with coffee.
2:00 to 4:00 pm
Poet and musician Ian Ferrier leads an Atwater Writers Exhibition memoir writing activity, “Moments in the Story of Your Life.” FREE. All welcome. No registration necessary. For more information, please email elise.m@videotron.ca.
Generously supported by the Community Cultural Action Fund (CCAF) of the Department of Canadian Heritage.

FRIDAY, February 1, 2019 from 12:30 to 1:30 pm
To celebrate BLACK HISTORY MONTH, the IMANI Gospel Singers, directed by Marcia Bailey, perform a program of spiritual music and discuss the evolution of Black gospel music.

Thursday, February 7, 2019 from 1:00 to 2:00 pm (later than usual)
Brian Manker, Principal Cello of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, presents a program on cellists as political activists, centering around Casals, Rostropovich, and the “cellist of Sarajevo.”  He will play J.S. Bach’s 1st Suite in G major, a Catalan folk song, Tomaso Albinoni’s Adagio in G minor, and Benjamin Britten’s 3rd Suite for solo cello.

Thursday, February 14, 2019 from 12:30 to 1:30 pm
Peter Pearson screens his 1980 film for CBC’s The Canadian Establishment profiling Paul Desmarais, Sr., then chairman of Power Corporation of Canada.

Thursday, February 21, 2019 from 12:30 to 1:30 pm
Author Mark Abley discusses his new book The Organist: Fugues, Fatherhood, and a Fragile Mind, a memoir of his father and his younger self. He will also answer questions and sign copies of his 2018 book Watch Your Tongue: What Our Everyday Sayings and Idioms Figuratively Mean.

Thursday, February 28, 2019 from 12:30 to 1:30 pm
Photographer and author Sandra Semchuk gives an illustrated presentation on her book The Stories Were Not Told: Canada’s First World War Internment Camps.
Funded by the Endowment Council of the Canadian First World War Internment Recognition Fund.

Thursday, March 7, 2019 from 12:30 to 1:30 pm
Literary Legacies: Margaret Laurence and Her Archives. Join Dr. Linda Morra as she discusses provocative results of her research in Canadian literary icon Margaret Laurence’s archives. Surviving letters between Laurence and her publisher Jack McClelland reveal that she wielded far greater influence in English-Canadian literary culture than was previously realized.

Thursday, March 14, 2019 from 12:15 to 1:30 pm
A program of music and words for ST. PATRICK’S DAYDragún Bán perform traditional Irish music as well as their own compositions. Fergus Keyes gives a talk on Irish immigration to Quebec, probing the reasons for large-scale immigration in the early 1800s and during the Irish famine around 1847. He will also mention distinguished Quebecers of Irish heritage.
Co-sponsored by Quebec Anglophone Heritage Network (QAHN) as part of their 2019 Heritage Talks lecture series.

Thursday, March 21, 2019 from 12:30 to 1:30 pm
Author DArcy Jenish discusses his book The Making of the October Crisis: Canada’s Long Nightmare of Terrorism at the Hands of the FLQ.

Thursday, March 28, 2019 from 12:30 to 1:30 pm
Artificial Intelligence 101Luke Stark explains Artificial Intelligence (AI) for non-techies. He will separate the hype from reality and show how AI is more about searching for cat photos online or scheduling work shifts than it is about HAL900 or Commander Data. He will also give an overview of the history of human fascination with creating artificial beings, and why that fantasy can sometimes get in the way of a clear-eyed view of the real impacts digital technologies are having on our everyday lives.
With funding from the Government of Canada.

Thursday, April 4, 2019 from 12:30 to 1:30 pm
Marie-Claude Giguère, founder of Helping Seniors, discusses housing issues for seniors. She will share practical information and answer questions about such issues as safety adaptations, downsizing, and assessing options to stay or move.

Thursday, April 11, 2019 from 12:30 to 1:30 pm
Life Stories: How I Wrote My Family Memoirs. Writer and journalist Elaine Kalman Naves takes you into her confidence, sharing the intimate story of how she became the author of two award-winning family memoirs, Journey to VajaReconstructing the World of a Hungarian-Jewish Family and Shoshanna’s Story: A Mother, a Daughter, and the Shadows of History. Copies of the books will be on sale.

Thursday, April 25, 2019 from 12:30 to 1:30 pm
Historian and author Gail Cuthbert Brandt discusses her book Through the Mill: Girls and Women in the Quebec Cotton Textile Industry, 1881-1951.

Thursday, May 2, 2019 from 12:30 to 1:30 pm
Woodstock 1969: Music, Legends, and Legacy. To celebrate Woodstock’s 50th anniversary, musician, author, ethnomusicologist and Concordia professor Craig Morrison presents engaging stories of the festival’s historical and cultural context, illustrated by images and music (recorded and live).

Thursday, May 9, 2019 from 12:30 to 1:30 pm
Filmmaker Rowena Woods screens her celebrated short film Celia Found and discusses the process of writing and directing it.

Thursday, May 16, 2019 from 12:30 to 1:30 pm
Archie Fineberg shares his passion for Montreal street art and shows photos from his online gallery as well as his popular book Montreal’s Street Art Gallery: The Best of the City’s Graffiti and Wall-Art.

Thursday, May 23, 2019 from 12:30 to 1:30 pm
Artist, writer and gardener Pat Webster gives an illustrated tour of Glen Villa Gardens, her 750-acre property in North Hatley.

*FRIDAY, May 31, 2019 from 12:30 to 1:30 pm (*NEW DATE)
Cynthia Boyle Russell tells the astounding story of her father, Willard Boyle, who spent his childhood in a remote Quebec logging camp and went on to win a Nobel Prize for Physics. She will show family photos and offer for sale copies of her book about her father’s childhood. PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS EVENT WAS EARLIER SCHEDULED FOR THE DAY BEFORE.

Thursday, June 6, 2019 from 12:30 to 1:30 pm
Karen Molson gives an illustrated presentation on Sir John A. Macdonald’s summer residence near Rivière-du-Loup, and discusses the process of creating an exhibition about it for the Virtual Museum of Canada.

Thursday, June 6, 2019 from 1:30 to 3:00 pm
**HANDS-ON WORKSHOP on Virtual Museums and Online Exploration: Immediately following Karen Molson’s presentation, Liz Perrin leads a tour of some of the most renowned museum collections, the most famous landmarks and neighbourhoods, and furthest reaches of outer space. Learn where the internet can take you!
**We can supply tablets but encourage participants to bring their own devices. Advance registration for the workshop is requested but not required: Richard Cassidy at 514-935-7344 or richard@atwaterlibrary.ca.
Part of our CONNECT project, funded by the Government of Canada.

WEDNESDAY, June 12, 2019 from 12:30 to 1:30 pm
Festival Bloomsday Montréal presents THE MUSIC OF MRS. JOYCE: An Exploration of Nora Barnacle’s Traditional Soundscape. With Gearóid Ó hAllmhuráin (concertina and pipes), Kate Bevan-Baker (violin and vocals) and Martine Billette (keyboard). Followed by light refreshments.

Thursday, September 5, 2019 from 12:30 to 1:30 pm
Author Susan Doherty discusses her acclaimed new book The Ghost Garden: Inside the lives of schizophrenia’s feared and forgotten.

Thursday, September 12, 2019 from 12:30 to 1:30 pm
Sheila Barshay Goldbloom reflects on her life in conversation with journalist Royal Orr. Copies of her recently published memoir, Opening Doors, will be on sale.

Thursday, September 19, 2019 from 12:30 to 1:30 pm
Playwright and actor Keir Cutler performs Magnificence, his work based on his relationship with his late mother, May Ebbitt Cutler (1923-2011), former mayor of Westmount, founder of Tundra Books publishing house, and the author of the award-winning memoir set during her childhood summers at Mont-Tremblant during the 1930s, I Once Knew An Indian WomanMagnificence won the award for Best English Text at the 2019 St-Ambroise Montreal FRINGE Festival.

Thursday, September 26, 2019 from 12:30 to 1:30 pm
A talk on the outstanding history of The Black Watch (Royal Highland Regiment) of Canada: “Montrealers being ‘twice the citizen’ for more than 150 years.” With LCol Bruce Bolton and LCol Bruno Plourde, Commanding Officer, accompanied by serving soldiers.

Thursday, October 3, 2019 from 12:30 to 1:30 pm
Fenwick McKelvey, Internet Researcher, Associate Professor, Concordia University, discusses how social media and the Internet are affecting political discourse. With Q&A.

Thursday, October 10, 2019 from 12:30 to 1:30 pm
THE COMEDIC FICTION OF COLLEEN CURRAN: The playwright and author entertains from the three novels that make up her Lenore trilogy and introduces her new novel Out for Stars. With songs about the heavens from The Salinas Sisters ukulele players!

Thursday, October 17, 2019 from 12:30 to 1:30 pm
Oscar-winning filmmaker Beverly Shaffer screens her documentary short Mr. Mergler’s Gift, about the final chapter in the life of an exceptional Montreal piano teacher. With Q&A. This event is co-sponsored by PROJECTION: A Week of Dialogue.

Thursday, October 24, 2019 from 12:30 to 1:30 pm
Christopher Lyons, McGill University’s Head Librarian, Rare Books and Special Collections, gives a talk on “A Trip Through Time: 4,000 years of Accessible History at the McGill Library.” Join him for an overview of the contents of McGill’s valuable and varied holdings.

Thursday, October 31, 2019 from 12:30 to 1:30 pm
Joe Schwarcz, PhD, Director of the McGill University Office for Science and Society, gives a presentation on HOUDINI for HALLOWE’EN.

Thursday, November 14, 2019 from 12:30 to 1:30 pm
Peter Blaikie, media commentator, retired lawyer and former politician, reflects on current issues: “Impeachment and Beyond – The United States in 2020.”

WEDNESDAY, November 20, 2019 from 12:30 to 1:30 pm
Peter McAuslan, Guest of Honour for the 2019 St. Andrew’s Ball, tells his family’s Scottish immigrant story: “Will ye no come back again?” His grandparents arrived in Quebec in 1920, leaving behind a Scotland that was in the grip of rent strikes and workers’ revolts. Escaping the turmoil and civil unrest, they faced tough challenges in Canada but also found opportunities to build a prosperous new life here.
In collaboration with the St. Andrew’s Society of Montreal.

Thursday, November 28, 2019 from 12:30 to 1:30 pm
Writer and explorer Adam Shoalts shares stories of his amazing adventures in the Far North and discusses his new book Beyond the Trees: A Journey Alone Across Canada’s Arctic. Copies of the new book as well as his earlier ones will be on sale.

Thursday, December 5, 2019 from 12:30 to 1:30 pm
Nathalie M. Cooke, McGill University Professor and Associate Dean and founding editor of CuiZine, conducts a tour of Christmas fare in Canada and discusses food traditions of other celebrations of light during the winter solstice. She will touch on the sweet and savoury pleasures of Chanukah, for example, and linger over the mulled wine and pastries of Saint Lucia’s Day, before musing on what Canadian cooks will serve to their guests in ceremonial winter meals of the next century.

Thursday, December 12, 2019 from 12:30 to 1:30 pm
The Orpheus Singers, conducted by Peter Schubert, perform a program of seasonal music, including a couple of Christmas sing-alongs.

Please click here to view the events list for September-December 2019.
Please click here to view the events list for January-June 2019.
Please click here to view the events list for September-December 2018.
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Please click here to view the events list for August-December 2017.
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Please click here to view the events list for September-December 2016.
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Please click here to view the events list for January-June 2014.
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Please click here to view the events list for September-December 2010.
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