Upcoming Events

2019 Fall Program

Ray Clark –  A Tradition of Journeys to Hell and Back – October 3, 2019 

In his presentation, Professor Ray Clark will recount tales of 2000 years of divine and human journeys to hell from the Middle East, Greece and Rome in the period before Christ.

Join us on Thursday, October 3, 2019 at 7:00 pm in the auditorium of the Ottawa Public Library, 120 Metcalfe Street, Ottawa.

*After undergraduate and doctoral studies at the University of Exeter UK, Ray Clark travelled to St. John’s, Newfoundland where he taught classics for some 30 years before his retirement.  He is still teaching, however, as an adjunct professor of classics at the University of Ottawa.  Professor Clark has published extensively on the Roman poet Vergil and for three years was editor of Vergilius, the scholarly journal of The Vergilian Society of America.  Much of Professor Clark’s research has been devoted to the mythology of the underworld in Graeco-Roman belief.

Larry Kardish – Mad Science and Popular Cinema 1910 – 2020 – November 2019

Although “Oscar” is a creature of an organization called the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Hollywood has for 110 years made the “sciences” a terrific villain in its films as the 2018 Oscar winner, The Shape of Water, demonstrably shows. With a few notable exceptions, American cinema has portrayed movie scientists as ambitious, driven, single-minded, demonic (but not necessarily evil) and slightly berserk. In their search for a better world, according to Hollywood, scientists have made a worse one.

And why not? Treating scientists seriously would make for boring cinema and deprive film lovers of many enjoyable genre films, like horror, science-fiction, mysteries and even biographies.

In an illustrated talk, Laurence Kardish, the former Senior Curator of Film at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, follows the image of scientists in a century plus of film as they create wondrous dramatic trouble and eye-popping havoc on planet Earth.

Join us on Thursday, November 7, 2019 at 7:00 pm in the auditorium of the Ottawa Public Library, 120 Metcalfe Street, Ottawa.

*After graduating from Carleton and Columbia universities, Laurence Kardish spent the next 44 years of his career at The Museum of Modern Art in New York City where he curated over a thousand exhibitions covering the whole history and culture of the moving image.  A native of Ottawa, Mr. Kardish is a fixture at film events and festivals in New York, Canada and worldwide, serving on film festival juries and supporting many film programs.  He has received numerous awards, including the Order of Merit (Bundesverdienstkreuz) of the Federal Republic of Germany and the French Ordre des Arts et des Lettres as well as an honorary doctorate from Carleton University in 2011. He is currently the co-artistic director of FilmColumbia, a festival in Chatham, New York, and an instructor in the Graduate Film Program of the School of Visual Arts in New York.

On May 16, Dr. Rick Van Loon gave an OSFAS lecture to a large, appreciative audience: Hard Travel: 6000 years up the Ottawa River and into the West. Lorraine Rekmans, an Algonquin, was in the audience and was inspired to compose the poem below. OSFAS is hoping that Rick Van Loon will give a follow-up lecture in 2020.

In the Middle of the Canoe – May 2019

The sacred Askikou was revered by all our ancestors
But now my people are relegated to the middle of the canoe
When we would leave Montreal in May
And travel 18 hours a day,
Paddling together up the River of Tessouat,
Fighting off the mosquitoes together,
My people would paddle and steer
Taking us both to the great land of beaver
But now, you have moved us to the middle of the canoe
And we see the treacherous rapids ahead,
And we call out to you,
Who have the paddles and the bow
But you do not hear us above the thunderous noises that Kichissipi makes
We who know this land
Its rivers and its lakes,
Its mountains and its ranges
At the front of the canoe,
You have estranged us.
7,000 years ago
Wearing the Obsidian
In a dugout canoe
The sun
Filtered through
The silver birches along the shore
Lorraine Rekmans ©2019