Talking water, water infrastructure & history

I had a great discussion with James Shelley about water, water infrastructure, and history back in January.

James is a local thinker, writer, researcher, podcaster and host of London’s Wolf Hall Debates. In other words, James is one of the people in our city who helps make London a vibrant, thoughtful community. You can catch the conversation here as well as check out his excellent website which is filled with other thoughtful content:

http://jamesshelley.com/2017/04/10/talking-canadians/

London Oral History Project

I am very pleased to announce that I will be partnering with the London Youth Advisory Council (LYAC) to produce a youth-led and researched oral history of London, Ontario.
 
The project will involve fourteen 2 person research teams, all of whom being young adults, who will fan out across London’s 14 Wards. Each team will be composed of persons who live in the Ward where they will be working. The goal is to have each team interview 5-10 persons/families. The project is intended to tell many different and diverse stories about our city much the way Studs Terkel did when he researched and wrote “Division Street America” about Chicago, Illinois back in the mid-1960s.
 
There will be an editorial staff working with the research teams to transcribe and then publish this study in book form. We will also have a Project Manager, an Assistant Project Manager, and a Historical Consultant. The final manuscript will be pitched to Canadian publishers with an intent to reach a broad reading public. I can only imagine how a work like this could appeal not only to Londoners, but also to artists, social scientists, local businesses and anyone who wants to learn something about this growing city that sits midway between Toronto and Detroit.
 
The best part is, all participants will gain writer/editorial credits and research and publishing experience. This project will be researched and assembled by London youth. An undertaking of this nature has never been done before. While putting the design together, it was my intention to produce a project that could reach out to people from all walks of life: gender, racial, religious, socio-economic, ethnic and linguistic in order to offer the researchers and eventually readers, a slice of the complex and fascinating dynamics shaping London’s social geography. Best of all, the interviewees will get to decide what stories and ideas they wish to share. This book will be Londoners speaking on their own behalf while taking to young adults.
 
I am more excited than I can possibly express right now. This has been an evolving dream of mine and the first major step to making it happen was approved this afternoon. Please stay tuned. London Oral History Project

‘Talking to Canadians’ episode #5 (Elisha Stam & Alan Judson)

I sit down for a very enjoyable conversation with Elisha Stam & Alan Judson, two artists who (like us all) hold down day jobs. They also are householders and have two wonderful children.

We discuss writing, music, creativity, and leading the creative life in Canada. Have a listen:

https://ryanoconnor.ca/talkingtocanadians/2017/3/23/talking-to-canadians-episode-5

‘Talking to Canadians’ episode 4 (Susan DiFabio)

I think this is a very timely interview. Susan talks not only of her Baha’i faith and her early religious upbringing, but also of conversion, intercultural understanding, diversity and of the difference between love and tolerance. Susan’s life, her experiences, and her outlook are eloquent testimony to the need for each one of us to open ourselves up to people of all faiths and stations in life.

Speaking with Susan not only was inspiring, but she also gives expression to the underlying values of multiculturalism and pluralism which are said to be defining characteristics not only of civic life in Canada, but of Canadian self-understanding. Please tune in to hear what she has to say.

My interview with Susan DiFabio:

https://ryanoconnor.ca/talkingtocanadians/2017/3/7/talking-to-canadians-episode-4

Upcoming Event at Innovation Works

On Sunday April 23rd, from 1-6 p.m., I will be hosting an event at Innovation Works downtown.

The event is on behalf of my Literacy in Action Group, a discussion group which meets biweekly at Central Library downtown. The event will feature speakers discussing institution-building, civil liberties, political correctness and other subjects. More information will be forthcoming.

The event is catered and is FREE. If you have a young adult who would be interested in attending and listening to some dynamic speakers and who also would like to participate in Socratic discussions, please let me know. You can contact me at demoindependentlearning@gmail.com

“Life in the Suburbs”

I have a long standing interest in putting together a small reading & discussion group devoted to the subject “Life in the Suburbs.” It would be a group where fiction, non-fiction, film, and photography are read, watched, viewed, and discussed. I think it would encompass work done on Canada & the United States, where suburban life first took off.

If anyone is interested in this idea please feel free to message me. I think it could be quite a bit of fun.