Noon Hour Presentations

Learn about varying topics every week from passionate speakers for free as part of your ELLA Membership

Friday, January 19

Ikigai: Leisure and “A Life Worth Living”

Our speaker will discuss what “leisure” is; what “ikigai” (or roughly “life worth living” in Japanese) is; how leisure relates to ikigai and other well-being concepts; challenges and suggestions regarding leisure and ikigai in post-pandemic society, and implications of leisure and ikigai research for older adults.

Speaker: Shintaro Kono, or Shin,

 is an assistant professor in the Faculty of Kinesiology, Sport, and Recreation at the University of Alberta. His research and teaching interests revolve around the relationship between leisure and well-being. Being Japanese and having lived in different countries, he also examines this relationship from diverse cultural backgrounds. 

Friday, January 26

Holger Petersen, in conversation with Peter North

Well-known to Edmonton audiences, Holger Petersen is a record producer, broadcaster, author, educator, festival producer, album collector – and serious music fan. In 1975 he co-founded Stony Plain Records, a roots and blues label which, for close to 50 years, has recorded many Juno-winning and Grammy-nominated albums with artists past and present, from Ian Tyson to Corb Lund, Jeff Healey and Long John Baldry. While he has now sold Stony Plain Records to True North/Linus Music, Holger continues to act as Executive Producer on many projects for the label.

On radio, Holger has hosted one of the world’s longest running blues programs, ‘Natch’l Blues’ on CKUA since 1969, and CBC Music’s ‘Saturday Night Blues’ since 1987. Named ‘Best Public Broadcaster’ by the Blues Foundation in Memphis in 2009, Holger has interviewed blues and roots artists from Doc Watson to Ry Cooder, Bill Wyman and Mavis Staples, and authored two books of his interviews, Talking Music: Blues Radio and Roots Music and Talking Music 2.

Among his other accomplishments, Holger is a founder and past artistic director of the Edmonton Folk Music Festival; was named to the Order of Canada in 2003 and the Alberta Order of Excellence in 2020, and is the recipient of two honorary degrees for his contributions to Canadian culture and public broadcasting.

Friday, February 2

Conservation Projects at the Provincial Archives of Alberta

SpeakerAlison Freake 

has been a conservator at the Provincial Archives of Alberta (PAA) for more than 20 years. Her work focuses on the preventive care of archival materials, as well as interventive treatment of paper, books and photographic records. She also works with emerging conservators from across Canada who train at the PAA in order to learn the practicalities of working in a larger archival institution. The Friends of the PAA is hosting a Young Canada Works Intern in Conservation who will also be participating in this talk to discuss their current conservation projects underway at the PAA.

Friday, February 9

Black History in Edmonton: Recovering Early African-American Stories

Speaker: Russell Cobb 

is an award-winning writer and instructor at the University of Alberta, where he is Associate Professor in Modern Languages and Cultural Studies and Adjunct in Creative Writing. His study of the silenced histories of the American Heartland was published in 2020 under the title The Great Oklahoma Swindle: Race, Religion, and Lies in America’s Weirdest State, which subsequently won a Director’s Special Merit Award from the Oklahoma Department of Libraries. His nonfiction has appeared in Slate, NPR, The New York Times, and The Nation, among other places. The Netflix film “Come Sunday” is based on his story “Heretics” for This American Life. His scholarly work includes the edited collection, The Paradox of Authenticity in a Globalized World, as well as numerous articles on cultural production in the Greater Caribbean. He is passionate about public histories, especially those outside the mainstream of settler colonial society, and this passion fuels his work as a consultant and writer for Edmonton City as Museum Project and as lead producer on the CJSR radio show and podcast “History X”. His newest book, The Ghosts of Crook County, will be published by Beacon Press in September 2024.

Friday, February 16

Beyond Wile E. – Conflict and Coexistence with Urban Coyotes

Coyotes are medium-sized, highly adaptive canids whose range has expanded dramatically in North America in recent decades, coinciding with increasing abundance in cities. Conflict with urban coyotes stems from the risk of physical attacks on people and pets as well as exposure to a new zoonotic tapeworm that has infected 25 people in Alberta since 2013. The Edmonton Urban Coyote Project seeks to understand specific contributors to conflict with a goal of informing mitigation that supports coexistence. In this talk, the speaker will show how poor health in coyotes can be both a cause and a consequence of access to anthropogenic diets, how reliance on anthropogenic food and habitat necessarily increases rates of conflict, and how city managers and community members can adopt policies and practices to reduce conflict. Many of the findings for coyotes likely apply to diverse other urban-adapted wildlife species, with associated sources of human-wildlife conflict and opportunities for better coexistence.

Speaker: Colleen Cassady 

St. Clair is a Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of Alberta, where she has been for 25 years. She and her students aim to use theory and methods from animal behaviour to solve problems in wildlife conservation and management. Work from her lab addresses diverse species in a range of landscapes from protected to urban areas. Their work has supported over 100 scientific publications, several policy documents for government and industry, lots of media interviews, and thousands of opportunities for citizens to engage and participate in science. 

Friday, February 23

Expanding the Manscape: The Men’s Shed Movement

‘Men’s Sheds’ started 25 years ago in Australia when a group of retired men decided to get together in an organized way to socialize and promote their own health, well-being and sense of purpose by working on community-based projects.  There are now 3,000 Men’s Sheds in 12 countries, welcoming men of all ages, interests, cultures and capabilities.  We will talk about the history and evolution of the movement; the social and personal challenges that men face in their senior years; the evidence that Sheds are beneficial to the health and welfare of their members and their extended communities as they collectively and purposefully work shoulder to shoulder, and provide examples of the network of Sheds in Canada, Alberta and Edmonton.

SpeakerBrian Sawyer 

is a director of Men’s Sheds Canada and Vice President of ELLA.  He has been involved in men’s peer support groups for three decades.  Punch Jackson is a director of Men’s Sheds Alberta, has garnered many awards during his career advocating for men’s health through recreation, active living and fitness, and publishes ‘Men’s Sheds Across the World’. Michael Hoyt is a director of Men’s Sheds Edmonton and a City of Edmonton social worker who has worked extensively to engage men and boys in gender-based violence prevention

Friday, March 1

Edmonton Interfaith Centre and the Parliament of the World’s Religions

Speakers: Netta Phillet and Karen Farkas, Edmonton Interfaith Centre

How do local issues of interfaith dialogue and understanding compare to the global ones presented at the  Parliament of World Religions?
Netta Phillet has a degree in Religious Studies and is the executive director of the Edmonton Interfaith Centre for Education & Action. She belongs to two local synagogues and is a member of the Gandhi Foundation for World Peace as well as the Arab/Jewish Women’s Peace Coalition. Currently she serves on the Edmonton Anti-Racism Independent Advisory Board. The focus of her volunteer life is inter/intra faith dialogue, as well as the place of women in religious ritual and observance

Friday, March 8

Feed Your Mind: Delving Into Older Adult Lifelong Learning

Speakers: Dr. Walter Archer and Lynne Moulton

While older adults have always engaged in individualized, often unstructured learning activities, more structured group activities began with the first University of the Third Age (U3A) in Toulouse, France, in 1973. Most U3As in France continue to be associated with a conventional university. In the 1980s, the UK imported the U3A into the UK and adopted a “peer learning” model with members learning from each other, rather than from university professors. By 2020, the UK model boasted over 1000 U3As and more than 450,000 members.

The presentation examines how these models were imitated, adopted, or adapted in other countries, particularly Canada. It will briefly outline how ELLA’s version of the French model grew out of a Faculty of Extension program called Spring Session for Seniors and continued to evolve after becoming ELLA, a volunteer-run program in 2001.

It will be compared and contrasted with the Calgary Association for Lifelong Learning (CALL), which adopted a version of the British model.

Presenters: Dr. Walter Archer & Lynne Moulton

Walter Archer joined the Faculty of Extension as Assistant Professor and Director of Adult and Distance Education in 1988. For two years in the 1990s his area of program responsibility included Spring Session for Seniors, the predecessor of ELLA. He served as Dean of Extension at the University of Saskatchewan from 2001 to 2007 before returning to the University of Alberta, where he again served in the Faculty of Extension until he retired in 2015.

Lynne Moulton: Since first attending Spring session in 2019 Lynne has volunteered with ELLA. A background in health care, a professional education and a knack for organizing has been an asset for the role of Chair of the Program Implementation team that she currently holds. Meeting, learning from and sharing experiences with other lifelong learning groups across Canada has been a delight and an invaluable resource for our association.

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