PROBUS Pickering lakeside

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October 16 - Cheryl Cooper

Cheryl Cooper was born in Toronto, spent her youth in Thornhill, and now lives in Bracebridge.  She holds degrees in English and Education from Queen’s University and is presently a director of the Children’s Foundation of Muskoka.

Cheryl’s articles and stories have appeared in numerous Canadian periodicals, and in 2010 she made her book publishing debut with Come Looking for Me, a work of historical fiction set on the high seas during the War of 1812.   Her second and third novels, Second Summer of War and Run Red with Blood were published in 2014 and 2018 respectively. 

When Cheryl is not at her desk writing, she is on the road speaking, addressing various clubs and organizations on the historical backdrop of her books. 

Cheryl's presentation is titled "1812 and the Age of Sail" and it will include a lively and interactive discussion on the naval aspects of the War of 1812; the conditions and hardships faced by the men who fought for their country on the Atlantic Ocean and the naval origins of words and expressions which have found their way into our everyday language. 


September 18 - Joseph Sharon

Joseph Sharon has a Bachelor’s Degree from the Academy for Music and Dance in Jerusalem, Israel and has also studied music and musical history in  Milan, Italy and in Switzerland.

Joseph’s life-long love affair with music and the arts provided the impetus for him to launch Circles Enrichment; a company that develops and delivers a wide range of entertaining and educational presentations which are focused on the arts.   His belief is that combining the arts, education and entertainment can result in a magical experience for audiences is ingrained in each and every presentation the company delivers. 

His presentation will be on the Strauss Family from Vienna.    In Vienna in 1848 the Austro-Hungarian Empire is in political turmoil but the music, the Viennese lifeblood, has never been more cheerful.   We'll meet the Strauss Family which dominates the light music scene, and also get to know some of its juicy stories and scandals.

Jul 17 - Dr Christopher Di Carlo

Dr. Christopher DiCarlo is a philosopher, educator, and author. He teaches in the Faculty of Philosophy at the University of Toronto and is member of Humanist Canada and an Expert Advisor for the Centre for Inquiry Canada.   He is the developer of the first Pilot Project in Canada to introduce Universal Critical Thinking skills into the Ontario Public High School curriculum.


His book “How to Become a Really Good Pain in the Ass: A Critical Thinker’s Guide to Asking the Right Questions” is a best-seller in Canada and the U.S.


His presentation will be an entertaining look at Good vs Evil


What is “Ethics”? How did the concept of “Good vs. Evil” evolve throughout history?  How do we measure "goodness" and how applicable is it in everyday life?   Is ethical thought and behavior limited to humans only? 


June 19 - Dr. gordon bannerman

Dr. Gordon Bannerman received his Ph.D. from King’s College London in 2005 having previously studied medieval and modern history at the London School of Economics.   He has previously taught British history and has an extensive publication record of books, articles, and reviews, including the monograph Merchants and the Military in Eighteenth-Century Britain (2008).   Healso co-edited and co-authored two volumes of a four-volume set Battles Over Free Trade: Anglo-American Experiences with International Trade, and most recently published an article ‘The impact of war: new business networks and small-scale contractors in Britain, 1739-1770’ in the journal Business History

The topic of his presentation will be Myths and Facts of War: Was Churchill really a great leader?  In 2002, a BBC poll voted Winston Churchill as "The greatest Briton in history", largely due to his role in World War II.  How justified is this judgement of history?   

The presentation separates myths from facts and attempts to portray the real Churchill;  a man who made mistakes and had character flaws as opposed to the near-mythical figure that has often been projected in books and films.

May 15, 2019 - Daniel Alonso

Daniel Alonso studied piano from an early age.   He then went on to complete a Bachelor's and later Master’s degree in music from York University with Classical Piano as primary instrument.  He also enjoys playing guitar regularly. His main areas of interest are in Popular Music and Film Music.

Daniel will be talking about the Legends of Big Band music.   

From the greats like Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington, to the legends like Benny Goodman and Tommy Dorsey.   

Experience the bombastic sounds of the Big Band.

April 17th, 2019 - Elaine Charal

Elaine Charal is a Canadian, Toronto-based Certified Graphologist (hand writing analyst), Keynote Speaker and Media Personality.  She received her certification through the International Graphoanalysis Society of Chicago and also the American Handwriting Foundation, a handwriting association in the United States.  She has worked with over 150 companies for more than 20 years as a Certified Graphologist, analyzing handwriting and assisting companies in making their hiring decisions. 

Come prepared to laugh and learn during Elaine's "Power of the Pen" presentation where you discover how to communicate even more effectively with family and friends through knowing what the strokes of handwriting mean. 

Everyone will learn about their strengths as reflected in the 'paper mirror' of their handwriting.  

Elaine will be available to do individual 5-minute Handwriting Analyses after her presentation.

March 20, 2019 - Jim Craigen

Image result for jim craigenJim works on contract as an Instructional Facilitator.  He has offered instructional strategies workshops in England, Scotland, Norway, Mexico, Germany, Holland, Australia, Russia, Vietnam, China, United States and throughout Ontario and across Canada.  In 1998, He became particularly interested in Brain theory and its application to teaching and is one of the original members of the Brainy Bunch - a group trained by Pat Wolfe in California. For the past 20 years he has continued to expand his interest in and knowledge of the brain and its implication for life-long learning.

Jim will be talking about Brain Theory - Implications for Lifelong Learning:   Recent discoveries from brain research have given powerful new understandings of how our brain operates.  Such understandings have provided us with the opportunity to explore how people receive, process, retain and recall information and the factors that modulate this learning.  The focus of this session will be on sharing the latest findings in brain research and how these findings could affect us personally as we continue to learn and process information- especially for those of us who may feel that our memories are beginning to fail us a bit.

FEBRUARY 20, 2019 - TERRY FALLIS

A two-time winner of the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour, Terry Fallis is the award-winning author of six national bestselling novels, including his latest, One Brother Shy, all published by McClelland & Stewart. His seventh novel is due in bookstores in August 2019.

The Best Laid Plans was the winner of the Leacock Medal for Humour in 2008, and CBC’s Canada Reads in 2011. It was adapted as a six-part television miniseries, as well as a stage musical. The High Road was a Leacock Medal finalist in 2011. Up and Down was the winner of the 2013 Ontario Library Association Evergreen Award, and was a finalist for the 2013 Leacock Medal. His fourth novel, No Relation, was released in May 2014, debuted on the Globe and Mail bestsellers list, and won the 2015 Leacock Medal. His fifth, Poles Apart, hit bookstores in October 2015, was a Globe and Mail bestseller and was a finalist for the 2016 Leacock Medal.

One Brother Shy was released in May 2017 and became an instant bestseller. The Canadian Booksellers Association named Terry Fallis the winner of the 2013Libris Award as Author of the Year.

January 16, 2019 - Eric Conroy

Eric Conroy has done many things in his 50+ year career…


… but his first job, and his current job, may be the two most notable.   In 1963 and 1964 teenager Eric Conroy worked summers as a waiter aboard one of the last ships of the of the Canadian Pacific Great Lakes Fleet, the S.S. Keewatin, and found it to be the defining experience of his life. In July 2011, a newly retired Eric Conroy undertook the return of the century-old ship to her home port, which he completed in June 2012, and now acts as captain of the charity which operates her as an historical attraction.

The story of the seemingly impossible task of extricating the 350-foot, 3 story high, 8 million-pound Keewatin from the mud of the Kalamazoo River in Michigan and returning her to her home port of Port McNicoll, Ontario, is the subject of BRING HER ON HOME, occasionally shown on CBC’s documentary channel. But nothing can equate to that same story told by the person who lived the experience and went on to help secure her future.   

And that is the subject of Eric’s presentation.

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