The Walrus Talks is a national series of events about Canada and its place in the world. Each event offers thoughtful, inspiring thinking from scholars, writers, performers, scientists, artists, and business leaders.
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General Admission: $14.50
The Grand Theatre
471 Richmond Street
The nature of how our minds work, how memories define us, and how the past can shape the future.
- Lisa Moore, author
- John MacLachlan Gray, writer-composer-performer
- Eric Peterson, stage, television, and film actor
- Iskwe, electronic Indigenous singer-songwriter
- Peter Behrens, author
- Marie Wilson, Commissioner, Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, 2009-2015
- George Myatte, retired Corporal, The Royal Canadian Regiment
- Michael Kaan, author
Lisa Moore is the acclaimed author of the novels Caught, February, and Alligator. Caught was a finalist for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize and the Scotiabank Giller Prize and is now a major CBC television series starring Allan Hawco. February won CBC’s Canada Reads competition, was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, and was named a New Yorker Best Book of the Year and a Globe and Mail Top 100 Book. Alligator was a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize (Canada and the Caribbean region), and was a national bestseller. Her story collection Open was a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and a national bestseller. Her most recent work is a collection of short stories called Something for Everyone. Lisa lives in St. John’s, Newfoundland.
John MacLachlan Gray is a multi-talented artist. As a playwright, composer and theatre director, he has created acclaimed productions, most notably Billy Bishop Goes to War, which won the Governor General’s Literary Award for Drama; was produced on and off Broadway; and was released as a feature film in 2011. As a writer, John has authored several fiction and non-fiction books, including five mystery-thrillers, the most recent being The White Angel. He is an Officer of the Order of Canada. He lives in Vancouver, British Columbia.
Eric Peterson is recognized as one of the early pioneers of the collective theatre movement in Canada during the 1970s. In 1976, he began working with John MacLachlan Gray to create Billy Bishop Goes to War, a two-man show. As a film and television actor, Eric has performed Street Legal, Sesame Park, This Is Wonderland, and Corner Gas). In 2008, he received the Award of Excellence from ACTRA Toronto, and in 2009, he was honoured with the Earle Grey Award. He was named a member of the Order of Canada in 2010.
Iskwe is an Indigenous pop and electronic music singer who received a Juno Award nomination for Indigenous Music Album of the Year in 2018 for her second album, The Fight Within. She released her debut album, Iskwe, in 2013. Bridging cross-cultural aesthetics while exploring her own struggle to both fit into and break away from modern Western archetypes has been an important part of Iskwe’s artistic vision since the release of her self-titled debut album. Her debut single “Nobody Knows” captivated audiences by turning a stark spotlight on the more than 1,200 missing and murdered Indigenous women in Canada. Iskwe garnered a win at the 2017 Western Canadian Music Awards for Electronic/Dance Artist of the Year. In 2018, she received a SOCAN Songwriting Prize nomination for the song “Healers.”
Peter Behrens‘s first novel, The Law of Dreams (2006), won the Governor General’s Literary Award and is published in nine languages. The New York Times hailed his second novel, The O’Briens (2011), as “a major accomplishment.” His third novel, Carry Me (2016), winner of the Vine Award for Canadian Jewish Literature, received extraordinary reviews and was one of National Public Radio’s Best Books of 2016. Peter has been a contributor to the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and NPR’s All Things Considered. Born in Montreal, he is a graduate of Concordia University, studied International Relations at McGill University, and held a Wallace Stegner Writing Fellowship at Stanford University.
Marie Wilson, a Commissioner of the historic Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (2009 to 2015), has been an award-winning journalist, trainer, federal and territorial executive manager, teacher, lecturer, and consultant. She served as the 2016 Professor of Practice at McGill University’s Institute for Study of International Development, and as a mentor for the Pierre Elliot Trudeau Foundation. Marie currently sits on the board of directors of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and the Rideau Hall Foundation. As a prominent public speaker throughout Canada and internationally, she brings acknowledged expertise on the successes and challenges of advancing reconciliation. Marie holds honorary degrees from six Canadian universities, and in additional to several professional awards, is the recipient of the Order of the Northwest Territories, the Order of Canada, and the Meritorious Service Cross.
George Myatte retired from the Canadian Forces in 2013. He was a Corporal in the Royal Canadian Regiment during the Cold War, Gulf War, and war in Bosnia. Over the past 10 years, he has been a guest speaker at many schools in the London, Ontario, area, and with fellow veterans has spoken to more than 10,000 kids of all ages to spread the word of remembrance.
Michael Kaan was born in Winnipeg, the second child of a father from Hong Kong and a Canadian mother. His first novel, The Water Beetles (Goose Lane), details a family’s experiences in occupied Hong Kong during the Second World War, as seen through the eyes of a child. The novel is loosely based on the diaries and stories of his father, won the 2018 Amazon Canada First Novel Award, and was listed as a most-anticipated read by Quill & Quire, CBC Books, and 49th Shelf. The Georgia Strait calls it a “work of lasting power.” Michael Kaan lives in Winnipeg.