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A series of 6 Dinners organized by the Hart House Community Committee, featuring exciting speakers on a wide range of topics. Audience participation encouraged and welcome.


Each dinner features a guest speaker who will lead a discussion in a broad range of areas from business, politics, education and the arts. A question and answer session will follow the speaker's presentation.

Dinners before the presentation include hors d'oeuvres, and 3 course meal with wine. A vegetarian option is available on request.

The full series of six dinners is available for purchase now, as is a half-series of any 3 dinners. These are discounted from the single ticket price, with an extra discount available for series tickets purchased before Friday, September 30, 2022. Single tickets for any of the dinners may also be purchased.


October 12

Dr. Leo Alcorn – "The Lovecraftian Universe: Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love The Cosmos"

Dr. Leo Alcorn delves into the crossover between sci-fi and science and how they can inspire each other, and how science fiction can spread an appreciation for, and interest in, our vast, weird, and sometimes terrifying universe.

She will examine the influence of stranger-than-fiction astronomical phenomena on the development of early science fiction and cosmic horror genres of literature. These include phenomena such as radiation and quantum mechanics (through "The Colour Out of Space"), the discovery of Pluto ("The Whisperer in Darkness"), and non-Euclidean geometry and general relativity ("Dreams in the Witch House"). 

November 16

Peter Kent – "Fake news, populism, and democratic politics"

Fake news: false or misleading information presented as news. It often has the aim of damaging the reputation of a person or entity. High-profile people have also used the term to apply to any news unfavourable to them.

Although false news has always been spread throughout history, the term "fake news" was first used in the 1890s when sensational reports in newspapers were common. Further, disinformation involves spreading false information with harmful intent and is sometimes generated and propagated by hostile foreign actors, particularly during elections or wars. 

The prevalence of fake news has increased with the recent rise of social media, especially the Facebook News Feed, and this misinformation is gradually seeping into the mainstream media. 

Several factors have been implicated in the spread of fake news, including increasing political polarization, post-truth politics, confirmation bias, and social media algorithms. 

December 7

Gerry Jutsun – "Seeking Justice in Ontario"

With a background in corporate finance, security and law, Mr. Gerald (Gerry) E. Jutsun has studied law and finance, and holds a degree in Economics and Finance. He will present the results of an 8 year investigation into licensing fraud and corruption in Ontario, during the course of which he uncovered a systemic network for the facilitation and issuance of licenses in exchange for envelopes of cash bribes.

Despite not having been called to the Ontario bar, he has worked extensively in the legal field for over 20 years, working with and assisting licensed practitioners and solicitors on major litigation casework. His other area of expertise is within the security industry, executing investigations into high-profile, sophisticated fraud and criminal enterprises.

He is also the Founder and President of FSI Fraud Security Investigations, a specialized criminal fraud investigative firm which researches and investigates major criminal fraudulent enterprises. He is resolutely committed to seeking justice and compensation for victims of criminal fraud, and has over 25 years of experience in the security field, including undercover covert surveillance for terminating major fraudulent operations, as well as experience working with the Canadian Department of National Defense.

January 18

Domenico Pietropaolo, “The Commedia dell'Arte in Opera.”

Domenico will explore the relationship between opera and the commedia dell’arte performance tradition, and interpret the aesthetic design of a few famous operas (Don Giovanni, Ariadne auf Naxos, Gianni Schicchi, Arlecchino) in light of that relationship. Much of the material will be quite new, and based partly on research that he has only just published, and partly on research currently in progress. Since some operas include allusions to, and quotations from the Divine Comedy, he will also comment briefly on the reception of Dante on the operatic stage simultaneously through the poetic lens of the libretto, and the humorous lens of commedia dell’arte conventions.

February 15

Mitchell Consky: “Transfiguring Grief through Storytelling”

During a pandemic lockdown full of pyjama dance parties, life talks, and final goodbyes, a family helped a father die with dignity. Mitchell Consky, will discuss his memoir of his Dad's terminal illness in the spring of 2020, and the way his whole family (mostly medical) cared for him. He will speak about how storytelling helped his father confront his own mortality. It’s a tender, dramatic, moving, and quite beautiful story.

In April 2020, journalist Mitchell Consky received terrible news: his father was diagnosed with a rare and terminal cancer, with less than two months to live. Suddenly, he and his extended family — many of them health care workers — were tasked with navigating the distance of the Covid-19 pandemic with a family-based approach to end-of-life care. The result was a home hospice during the first lockdown. Suspended within the chaos of medication and treatments were dance parties, episodes of Tiger King, and his father’s many deadpan jokes.

Leaning into his journalistic intuitions, Mitchell interviewed his father daily, audio recording final talks, emotional goodbyes, and the unexpected laughter that filled his father’s last days. Serving as a catalyst for fatherly affection, these interviews became an opportunity for emotional confession during the slowed-down time of a shuttered world — and reflect how far a family went in making a dying loved one feel safe at home.

March 15

Gary Smith – "Ice War Diplomat"

Tasked with finding common ground and building friendships between the world’s two largest countries and arctic neighbours, a young Canadian diplomat finds himself on his first overseas assignment in Moscow, the Soviet capital.

“Hockey has been a diplomatic bridge between Canada and Russia dating back fifty years to the storied Summit Series of 1972. At that time, and following the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968, Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau used hockey as a form of common ground with the Soviet Union to reduce the risk of conventional and nuclear war.

Forty-five years later President Putin himself embraced that series and told players from Team Canada in 2017 that “the series had improved relations with Canada and he would like to follow up on it.” Now with Vladimir Putin’s brutal invasion of Ukraine, we will have to wait and see whether the hockey bridge can—or should—sustain, once again, the weight of Russian tanks.”

Guest Speakers

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  • Date: Wed, Oct 12, 2022
  • Upcoming Recurrences

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  • Time & Duration: 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm (EST) (3h)
  • Venue:
    Hart House
    7 Hart House Cir,
    Toronto, ON M5S 3H3
    View Map
  • Room: Gallery Grill (2023)
  • Note: Priority registration given to U of T students.
  • Event Contact: For more information, contact .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)