Making Sense of Now

What we do and think about today would be unimaginable to previous generations - even to our slightly younger selves. During this 10th anniversary NLC program, we’ll examine how ideology, technology, environment, food and culture have undergone radical changes in recent years.  By placing the “now” in historical  context and imagining the future, we’ll have fun making sense of the contemporary world!

Six evening lectures and five morning seminars will provide a fascinating glimpse into how much our world has changed.  

That’s not all! Join us for a special wine and cheese event - an interactive “salon-style” discussion on the 24/7 news cycle.

October 22, 2015
Making sense of now: a crash course

Dr. Michael Prokopow - Associate Dean of Graduate Studies, OCAD University

A cultural historian and critic looks at the present: its culture, ideology, environment, and the challenges of social life in the 21st century. What are we to make of so-called precipice events such as the collapse of hive bees, extreme weather, and radical changes in the forms of art? How are historians and critics to make sense of the modern world?

October 29, 2015

The disruptive impact of technology on higher education

Dr. Wendy Freeman - Associate Professor and Graduate School Director, School of Professional Communication, Ryerson University

While social media, smart phones, and big data are changing the way we relate to institutions and each other, the nature of university education has not essentially changed. What should higher education look like when information is just a click away and students communicate in 140 characters? Set against hype, hope, and reality, this lecture will explore some possible futures for university education.

November 5, 2015

IntenCity: new ways of living in the city

George Dark - Partner, Urban Strategies

The postwar city – built around the automobile – is no longer practical as a result of rapid and dramatic changes of the last 15 years. These include: higher density, less reliance on cars, a move to renting instead of owning, work based on creative knowledge instead of manufacturing, and a return to nature in the city. The city that figures out what this means will gain a competitive advantage. 

Note: The above presentation was recorded. View it here.

November 12, 2015

Eating the future: design and sustainable food systems

Dr. Fabio Parasecoli, Associate Professor and Coordinator, Food Studies Program,The New School, New York City

The global food system is sensed to be in crisis. Questions are being raised about its production, consumption, health, justice, and environmental impact. A new field of Food Design has as its goal improving “our relationship with food, individually or collectively, in the most diverse ways and instances.” Changes must be sustainable in many aspects: environmental, economic, social, and not least, sensory.

November 19, 2015

What and how we see: a personal view of contemporary visual art

Ron Bolt, Visual Artist and Past President, Royal Canadian Academy of Arts

The concepts of what art is or can be are driven today by ideas more than by definitions of beauty. The “tool box” available to visual artists is expanding constantly as the historic borders dissolve between the visual arts and other arts, disciplines, science, and technology. So what’s new, and what’s new again? How does a shopping cart get to be worth $45,000 and is art really anything you can get away with?

November 26, 2015

Long live LIVE music - it’s not dead yet

Mervon Mehta, Executive Director, Performing Arts, The Royal Conservatory of Music

In an age when seemingly everything can be digitized and enjoyed at home and alone, most concert halls continue to be filled night after night. This holds true for all genres of music if venues, programmers, and artists are paying attention. Yet there has been panic for 50 plus years about live music's demise. This talk explores new trends in the industry, why the live music scene is healthy, and why it will be ever thus.

Port Hope Public Library, 31 Queen Street
9:00 am to 11:00 am

October 23
The work of historians: methodologies for understanding the present
Dr. Michael Prokopow - Associate Dean of Graduate Studies, OCAD University

October 30
To tweet or not to tweet: how communication technologies are shaped by use
Dr. Wendy Freeman - Associate Professor and Graduate School Director, School of Professional Communication, Ryerson University

November 13
Feast your eyes: food in film
Dr. Fabio Parasecoli, Associate Professor and Coordinator, Food Studies Program, The New School, New York City

November 20

What do you see? How to look at pictures
Ron Bolt, Visual Artist and Past President, 
Royal Canadian Academy of Arts

November 27
The world of world music: the Middle East, Africa, Latin America and beyond
Mervon Mehta, Executive Director, Performing Arts, The Royal Conservatory of Music

October 31
Exploring innovation through archaeology
Carl Knappett, Walter Graham/Homer Thompson Chair in Aegean Prehistory, University of Toronto

November 7
The Archaeology of Community: Understanding social life in the Neolithic
Maria Theresia Starzmann, Assistant professor Archaeology, McGill University

November 14
Taming the wild peach and wild rice in China: The first biotechnology experts
Gary Crawford, Professor, Anthropology, University of Toronto

November 21
Understanding ancient pottery: A hands-on examination
Jane Francis, Associate Professor, Classics, Modern Language and Linguistics, Concordia University

November 28
From dumb brute to kissing cousins: Rewriting Neanderthal prehistory
Tristan Carter, Associate Professor Anthropology, McMaster University 

All evening events and morning seminars include a presentation by the speaker, refreshments, and an opportunity to ask questions.

Sunday, November 22, 2015 - 3:00 to 5:00 PM

Sculthorpe Theatre at the Capitol Theatre
20 Queen Street, Port Hope, ON  L1A 2Y7

With the 6 o’clock news quickly becoming a quaint throwback, how do we process the stories being flung at us 24/7? Developing new skills to select and understand what we hear and read is essential. Led by award-winning journalist Denny Manchee, members of the local and national media will join us for an animated, salon-style discussion on how to make sense of news without losing sight of reality. Wine, cheese and fruit will be served.

Tickets are $20 per person. Order your tickets today from our Tickets Page.

For more information, call Joanne Bonebakker at 905.349.3402.




Making Sense of News


George Dark’s work focuses on the quality of urban environments. He has directed numerous community master plans and is renowned for his skill at forging consensus among stakeholders and professional disciplines. Currently working on several large mixed-use redevelopments in downtown Toronto, George has served on the steering committees and the design juries for important public projects, including the 1812 Fort York National Historic Site, Toronto’s HtO Park and Lansdowne Park in Ottawa. George is a Past Chair of the Toronto Parks Foundation, Chairman Emeritus of the Evergreen Foundation, on the Honour Roll of the Toronto Region Conservation Authority and a past Member of the City of Ottawa Design Review Panel. Read more here.

Karen Davis Anchor

Dr. Michael Prokopow is a cultural historian who earned his PhD at Harvard University in 1996. From 2004-2008, Michael was curator of the Design Exchange, Canada's only museum of 20th century industrial design; in 2012, he was co-curator of “Museum for the End of the World” at Scotiabank Nuit Blanche. Recent work includes a study of middle class taste in North America between 1940 and 1975; an exhibition on the roles of Scandinavian aesthetics in Canadian design culture since 1920; and a project for the New York Times on prison architecture and the aesthetics of incarceration. Read more here.

Raymond Carlberg Anchor

Dr. Wendy Freeman’s career has focused on the use of information and communication technology in adult and post-secondary education. She received a Ph.D. from the University of Toronto in 2008, where she researched how community and cultures affect and are affected by new technologies such as blogs and other social media. Before coming to Ryerson’s School of Professional Communication, Wendy worked as an Instructional Designer in nonprofit and private sector organizations.  She uses her insights on how technology can improve learning environments to help Ryerson faculty integrate it into their teaching. Read more here.

Ernest Cholakis Anchor

Dr. Fabio Parasecoli is Associate Professor and Director of Food Studies Initiatives at the New School in New York City and a popular Huffington Post blogger. He earned a PhD in Agricultural Sciences from Hohenheim University in Stuttgart, Germany, and studied East Asian cultures and political science in Rome, Naples and Beijing. Fabio’s research explores the intersections among food, media, and politics.  After covering Middle and Far Eastern political issues, he wrote for many years as the US correspondent for Gambero Rosso, Italy's authoritative food and wine magazine. Recent publications include Bite me! Food in Popular Culture (2008) and Al Dente: A History of Food in Italy (2014). He is general editor with Peter Scholliers of the six-volume Cultural History of Food(2012). Read more here.

KarenJoy Fitzgibbon Anchor

Ron Bolt is a renowned Canadian visual artist whose paintings, prints and limited edition books are in the collections of public galleries across Canada and at the Victoria and Albert Museum, the University of London, the Tate Gallery West, the University of Hungary and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Wakayama, Japan. During his 50-year career, Ron has had 100 solo exhibitions and has participated in group shows in Canada, the US, Mexico, England, Japan and China. He was elected to the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts in 1986 and served as President from 2000 to 2002. Ron’s most recent commission is the 9’ by 7’ triptych “Cobourg Light” installed in the entrance hall of the Cobourg Community Centre.  Ron’s other major interest is Music; he holds an Associate Diploma in Piano Performance and Teaching from the Toronto Conservatory of Music Toronto.  Read more here.

Bob Hambly Anchor

Mervon Mehta, son of the famed conductor Zubin Mehta, was born in Vienna and grew up in Montreal. His career in the arts has seen him on both sides of the curtain. Mervon performed as an actor in over 100 theatrical productions and made several appearances on television and in films. In 1994, he put his theatrical career on hold to serve first as Director of Programming and later also as Director of Production at the Ravinia Festival, one of America’s oldest and most musically diverse outdoor festivals. In 2002, Mervon joined the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia as the first Vice President of Programming and Education. Since April of 2009, Mehta has been the Executive Director of Performing Arts for The Royal Conservatory in Toronto. He oversaw the launch of Koerner Hall and is responsible for programming its classical, jazz, world music, and pop concerts, as well as overseeing all Conservatory events. Read more here.

Elizabeth Ivory