Welcome to the Winter 2020 edition of the Hart House Quarterly Newsletter.
In this issue of our newsletter, we unveil our Annual Report for 2018-2019, introduce you to some amazing students and alumni, and focus our lens on some of the exciting programs and activities coming up at Hart House this winter.
This has already been an immensely busy and exciting year. In November, we marked the 100th Anniversary of Hart House with our “Gala of the Century,” where hundreds of Hart House friends and family helped us unveil the historic Centennial Art Commission by Rebecca Belmore and Osvaldo Yero – waabidiziiyan doopwining (to see oneself at the table) - that now hangs proudly and permanently in our Great Hall. A testament to our hope that all students will see themselves and their identities reflected back at them when they engage with Hart House, the installation will also long remind us of the immense excitement that has marked our 100th Anniversary ever since we launched our year of special centennial programming back in May 2019.
And that work continues. Until the end of April 2020, we continue to present special programs, events and exhibits that remember our past, celebrate our present and envision our future.
If you are a music lover, we have three concerts remaining in our Centennial Concert Series lineup. They include special presentations by our Orchestra, Jazz Choir, and Chamber Strings Ensemble. For tickets and additional information, please visit harthouse100.ca.
As part of our centennial celebrations, we will bring the Hart House 100th Anniversary Concert Series to Hart House.
We are also very excited to present our final Centennial Dialogue event that “reimagines” an iconic Hart House debate from our first century. The series began last spring with a discussion about Indigenous sovereignty featuring a circle of Indigenous Elders, scholars and activists that included the Hon. Ethel Blondin-Andrew, Canada’s first female Indigenous MP, who returned to Hart House after almost 30 years.
In September, we paid tribute to a 1929 discussion about the “emancipation of women” that had featured Agnes Macphail, Canada’s first female MP, by convening an “all-star” discussion about the current state of feminism in Canada. And, most recently, we marked the return of the brilliant Stephen Lewis to Hart House for the first time since he had debated then-Senator John F. Kennedy about U.S. foreign policy in 1957. In an event introduced by writer and social justice advocate Michelle Landsberg and moderated by legendary broadcaster Shelagh Rogers, Mr. Lewis and three current UofT students reflected on the meaning of “good global citizenship” in the Trump Era.
On March 19th, we conclude our Centennial Dialogue series by welcoming back to Hart House the legendary University of Toronto professor, Nobel Laureate and peace activist John Polanyi. Together with a panel of fellow experts, Professor Polanyi headlines a timely and troubling discussion entitled “From nuclear war to killer robots: A conversation on responsibility and science”. Tickets are available now at harthouse100.ca.
Listening to Snow
We are also thrilled beyond words that legendary Canadian artist Michael Snow, whose long and fruitful relationship with Hart House as a musician and a visual artist dates back to the 1950s, is currently featured in a new show at the Justina M. Barnicke Gallery to coincide with our 100th Anniversary year. As described on the Art Museum’s website, “Listening to Snow is a devoted-to-listening space, a music box, focusing on ideas and thoughts arising from a selection of Snow’s sounds.” The exhibition, which runs until March 21, recognizes the special place that Hart House holds in the iconic Snow’s biography.
I hope you will be able to join us at some or all of our upcoming programs, but if for some reason I don’t see you in person, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your tremendous support throughout our centenary year. The enthusiasm that so many of you have shown us through your attendance and through your financial support of our efforts has been tremendously encouraging to us and to the students that we serve as we embark on the second century of pursuing “high endeavour” at Hart House.
John MonahanWarden of Hart House