Sunday, November 8, 2009 | Categories: Episodes |
Michael Enright's Essay
Twenty years ago next month, a maniac walked into a classroom in Montreal and slaughtered 14 young women because he hated feminists. In the pain and outrage that followed, the Canadian Government instituted a national gun registry. From that point on all private owned long guns in the country, all rifles and shotguns, would have to be registered.
The Harper Conservative government will mark the 20th anniversary of the Montreal Massacre by celebrating the demise of the gun registry.
Michael Enright discussed this development in his essay this week.
The Struggle for Peace: A Conversation with Gerry Adams
The hope and heartbreak, and frustrations, that have marked the history of Northern ireland since 1969 have filled histories, novels, poetry and songs. Consequently in 1998, the promise of the Good Friday Accord promising peace and co-existence at last, was greated world wide with joy and amazement. But agreeing to peace and self-government for the six Ulster counties still under British Control was actually only the first step in what is proving to be a long and arduous process.
Still to come: complete devolution of control from London to Belfast; the establishment of a truth and reconciliation process aimed at healing a century of lasting wounds and if Gerry Adams has his way, the complete re-unification of the 26 counties of Ireland.
Gerry Adams has been involved in the struggle to wrestle Northern Ireland from British Rule for nearly 40 years. He has been interned, imprisioned, banned from the airwaves, denounced, almost assasinated for his role in the work of Sinn Fein.
He's also been present at every effort to create the conditions for a peaceful resolution of the conflict. He's campaigned for and won numerous elections, including the one to be president of Sinn Fein, the political voice for the majority of Irish Repulicans in Northern Ireland.
This weekend Gerry Adams was addressing a conference in Toronto on the topic of "A United Ireland: How Do We Get There." On Sunday he was is in our Toronto Studios.
Listen to Hour One:
About half the foreign doctors stay just long enough to earn their Canadian credentials. Then they're going down the road to cities where the jobs have better pay and perks. Over time, many more of their immigrant colleagues join them.
Which makes the man you are about to meet quite remarkable. Dr. Mohamed Iqbal Ravalia has been taking care of the people of Twillingate, Newfoundland for 25 years now.
Twillingate is a small, rocky island joined by a causeway to the northeast coast of Newfoundland. It's not where you'd think an East Indian Muslim from Zimbabwe would choose to build his life.
But then again, being the only brown person in a Newfoundland outport is not what you might think it's like either. Dr. Ravalia is a "Come From Away" who is from so far away it doesn't matter.
Producer Heather Barrett brought us Dr. Ravalia's story now, in a documentary called My Own Private Twillingate.
It's called The Golden Mean, and she wrote it, in part, as a reaction to 9/11 and a world seeming to have gone awry.
Perhaps it's her training in philosophy, but whenever Annabel Lyon is rattled she seeks solace in the writing of Aristotle. Which is how she found herself pulling out an old volume of his Nichomachean Ethics.
She is a student of philosophy but she's also a writer of fiction, and one thing lead to another and before she knew it she began doodling with ideas and notes and voila a novel was born. A novel based on an imagined friendship between Aristotle and his student, Alexander the Great. Alexander the Great was, in fact, a student of Aristotle's. The rest , I gather, is pure Annabel Lyon.
The Golden Mean has been shortlisted for the Giller prize, the Governor General's Award and the Roger's Writer's Trust Fiction Award.
Ms. Lyon lives in New Westminster, BC with her husband and two small children - and she joined Michael from our studio in Vancouver.
Listen to Hour Two:
Violins and Virtuosity: A Conversation with Angele Dubeau
We started off the hour with one of the tracks on Angele Dubeau's latest CD Virtuose, a collection of some of her greatest performances over the last twenty years or so.
Virtuoso is of course an Italian word. It comes from the Latin virtus, meaning "skill" or "exellence". And traditional definitions describe a person with "outstanding technical ability" or "technical accomplishments so pronounced as to dazzle the public".
Ms. Dubeau has exemplified that definitrion almost from the time of her concert debut at age 5. Since then of course she has played all over the world to international acclaim.
What is often left out is something much harder to define - the ability to connect emotionally with an audience.
Angele Dubeau dazzles with both qualities. As a soloist or playing with symphony orchestras, or with her own group La Pieta, she is a master of the violin. And she is also, as one critic wrote, "an exceptional communicator...you feel she has a tale to tell".
Angele Dubeau was in our Montreal studio for the show and we were delighted to welcome her to The Sunday Edition.
Listen to Hour Three: