Lunchtime Series – January to June 2019

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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
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
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.

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