• A Festival of Ideas
  • May 2 - 5, 2024
  • Guelph
  • An Opinion—On Being Canadian

    Originally Published November, 2003

    by Joy S. Roberts, Ph.D.

    • 2003

    Lately, I’ve been thinking about what it means to he Canadian. It’s not just that the topic has come up a lot since a family we used to swap homes with in Europe has decided to move here and are now comfortably settled into a neighbourhood where the children can play unsupervised for the first…

  • To Be Canadian

    Originally published November, 2004

    by Douglas G. MacMullen, FCA

    • 2004

    Lately, I’ve been thinking about what it means to be Canadian. I know that many others, some highly knowledgeable and fully engaged, ponder this topic too. But for most of us, absorbing what is going on in the world and determining how we should react to it can’t compete with daily concerns that seem much…

  • Arts and Culture: Human Qualities as Economic Engines

    First published March 2005

    by Simon Brault

    • January 2006

    A little less than 60 years after the adoption of Article 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – which states unequivocally that everyone has the right ‘freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits’ and the right to…

  • Musings from Musagetes

    Originally published November 2006

    • 2006

    At many times in history, those capable of observing trends have, perhaps, looked around and bemoaned the fast pace of change. It is often possible to feel a sense of loss, even as our civilization develops. In The Malaise of Modernity, Charles Taylor proposes that the source of our malaise can be largely summed up…

  • Commentary on Arctic Sovereignty

    Originally published November 2007

    by Ken Coates, Ph.D

    • 2007

    The global debate about Arctic sovereignty has rekindled Canadian interest in the far North. A curious conjunction of northern issues—the melting of Arctic ice, rival claims to the Arctic seabed, and a race for oil and gas—has challenged Canadians to rethink their approach to the Arctic. These issues are important, but the public debate has…

  • Dominion City

    Originally published November, 2008

    by Andrew Hunter

    • 2008

    Dominion City is the elaborate, ever expanding, work-in-progress of the renowned Guelph-based, Canadian cartoonist Seth. An imagined place combining elements of numerous early modern Canadian cities, Dominion captures the spirit of the booming small metropolis at a time of community boosterism and growth that, to the contemporary eye, can seem at times quaint and alien.…

  • A wooden carving on an Indigenous elder appears to look out over a river.


    Originally published December 2009

    by Lisa Hirmer & Andrew Hunter

    • 2009

    The fundamental focus of DodoLab is simple: What are the barriers to adaptation and change? In order to address this, we work to uncover underlying—and often unperceived—ideas, beliefs and assumptions that affect (or even govern) what we do or don’t do. We want to reveal these ideas so that we can examine and discuss them…

  • Sunset in Nairobi, Kenya

    Art is Empathy

    Originally published November 2010

    by Shawn Van Sluys

    • 2010

    During a recent trip to Nairobi, I participated in a conference on the development of the arts and the creative economy in the African Community. Not having defined the conceptual differences between the expressive arts and “lucrative” arts, the mixed group of creative industry leaders, fine artists, community leaders and academics was soon mired in…

  • Aurora borealis

    Exploration—of Ideas—in the North

    Originally published November 2011

    by Dr. Thomas S. Axworthy

    • 2011

    To improve public policy in the Circumpolar Arctic, the Canada Centre for Global Security Studies at the Munk School of Global Affairs (UofT) and the Walter & Duncan Gordon Foundation have partnered on a four-year multi-dimensional international Arctic Security program. A goal of this Program is not only to carry out original research on Arctic…

  • A Decade of Ideas

    Originally published November 2012

    by Joy Roberts

    • 2012

    As I was writing this column, a month before tonight’s 10th Guelph Lecture—On Being Canadian, a message popped up on my screen from Eramosa Institute President Valerie Hall, telling me that The National was on, featuring one of the Lecture’s previous guests. Well, two really, since Peter Mansbridge made a cameo appearance onstage in 2006.…