Concordia University Presents

The Walrus Talks Vice at High Performance Rodeo

Calgary Thursday, January 29, 2015, 7 p.m.

Concordia University


  • A Boy Called Vice by Dave Bidini, Bidiniband musician and author
  • Business of Vice by Rizwan Jiwan,
  • What’s the Use? by Jonathan Goldstein, host of the CBC’s WireTap
  • Drink by Ann Dowsett Johnston, author of Drink
  • On Women, Vice, and Vagrancy in Canada by Viviane Namaste, Concordia University
  • Naughty, Sexy, and Fun by Jim Pfaus, Concordia University
  • The Innards of Vice by Elizabeth Renzetti, Globe and Mail
  • Playing the Hand You’ve Been Dealt by Shelley Youngblut, journalist

Reception to follow.

Bidini, Dave 2(author consent)

Dave Bidini, author and musician, is the only person to have been nominated for a Gemini, a Genie, a Juno, and the CBC’s Canada Reads competition. His twelve books include On a Cold Road, Tropic of Hockey, Around the World in 57 1/2 Gigs, Home and Away, Writing Gordon Lightfoot (nominated for the Toronto Book Award), Baseballissimo (which Jay Baruchel is currently developing for the screen), and, most recently, Keon and Me: My Search for the Lost Soul of the Leafs. He has made two Gemini-nominated documentaries; his play, The Five Hole Stories, toured the country in 2008; he writes a weekly column for the National Post; and, in 2010, he won his third National Magazine Award, for “Travels in Narnia.” Dave is a founding member of the indie-rock group Rheostatics, and his Bidiniband recently put out their third, critically acclaimed record, The Motherland.


Rizwan Jiwan is the chief operating officer of Avid Life Media, the company behind, the world’s fastest-growing dating website for married people, with more than 28 million members in forty-two countries. Based in Toronto, Rizwan oversees overall business operations as well as product direction for Avid’s numerous business offerings. He is responsible for the creation and ongoing improvement of compelling end-user features. Prior to joining Avid Life in 2009, Rizwan was product manager, handheld software, with Research in Motion, in Waterloo, Ontario, where he worked on the BlackBerry OS. Earlier in his career, Rizwan was a software developer at Hummingbird Ltd., where he worked on the company’s core service offerings. He holds an MBA from the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management and a B.Sc. in computer engineering at Queen’s University.

Photo for Walrus

Jonathan Goldstein is an American Canadian author who has contributed to The New York Times Magazine, The Walrus, The Believer, and This American Life. He writes a weekly humour column for the National Post, and he hosts and produces CBC Radio’s WireTap, now in its eleventh season. His most recent book is the memoir I’ll Seize the Day Tomorrow.


Ann Dowsett Johnston is the bestselling author of Drink: The Intimate Relationship between Women and Alcohol, chosen as one of the Washington Post’s top ten books of 2013. She is also an award-winning journalist; co-founder of the National Roundtable on Girls, Women, and Alcohol; a director of Faces and Voices of Recovery Canada; a former vice-principal of McGill University; and the current CEO of Pine River Foundation, which supports Pine River Institute, a facility for teens with addictive behaviours. Ann lives in Toronto.

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Viviane Namaste is a professor at the Simone de Beauvoir Institute at Concordia University, where she also holds a research chair in HIV/AIDS and sexual health. She is co-author of HIV Prevention and Bisexual Realities, a study on why Canada ignored bisexual people when formulating its HIV/AIDS policy. She is currently researching the history of HIV/AIDS in Montreal’s Haitian community in the 1980s, thanks to funding from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. She is also studying urban-development processes in Montreal and recent attempts by local politicians and developers to eradicate vice from the downtown core.

Jim Pfaus, an expert in the neurobiology of sexual behaviour, researcher at the Center for Studies in Behavioral Neurobiology, and a professor at Concordia University’s psychiatry department, has authored over 170 publications and book chapters examining how brain systems process sexual arousal, desire, pleasure, and inhibition. His laboratory also worked on preclinical development for drugs to treat sexual-arousal and desire disorders. He has been interviewed for Time, Newsweek, CBC, BBC, and ABC’s Nightline; his work was featured on the Discovery Channel’s Sex Files; and he has appeared in several documentaries, including the joint HBOBBC project Middlesex. He is an associate editor of The Journal of Sexual Medicine and a section editor for Current Sexual Health Reports; he serves on the standards committee of the International Society for Sexual Medicine; and he is a past board member of the International Society for the Study of Women’s Sexual Health. He holds a Ph.D. in psychology and behavioural neuroscience at the University of British Columbia, and he completed his post-doctoral studies at New York’s Rockefeller University.


Elizabeth Renzetti is a national columnist with the Globe and Mail, where she was previously the arts and books editor and a correspondent in the London and Los Angeles bureaus. In June 2014, House of Anansi Press published Elizabeth’s bestselling first novel, Based on a True Story, which is forthcoming in Australia and the UK. Elizabeth lives in Toronto with her husband and two children.

Heather Saitz

Shelley Youngblut has created magazines for ESPN, Cosmopolitan, Seventeen, and Nickelodeon. She was the western editor of the Globe and Mail; a pop-culture columnist for CTV’s Canada AM and ABC’s World News; and the founding editor of the award-winning Calgary magazine Swerve and the alternative-music publication Vox. Shelley has written for Entertainment Weekly, Reader’s Digest, Martha Stewart Weddings, and Salon; she frequently offers unconventional insights on CBC Radio’s The Eyeopener; and, in 2009, she was given the Lifetime Achievement prize at the Western Magazine Awards. The mother of identical twins, she is writing a memoir about daddy issues and a gambling problem (his and potentially hers).

One Yellow Rabbit Performance Theatre
Concordia Montreal presents Thinking Out Loud
The Walrus
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The Walrus Talks is a national series of events produced by the charitable, non-profit Walrus Foundation as part of an educational mandate to provide forums for conversation on matters vital to Canadians. The Walrus Foundation produces The Walrus magazine, the most awarded publication in Canada, as well as producing content at, on Walrus TV, and on stages from coast to coast to coast.

The Walrus Talks format features eight speakers for seven minutes each on various themes relating to a single topic. Each event offers lively, thoughtful, inspiring, riveting, smart, new thinking from scientists, writers, performers, scholars, and leaders of business and the arts. Each Talks event is followed by a spirited reception with attendees and participants.

The Walrus Talks delivers fresh ideas and new ways of looking at big issues. The Walrus has no “wings.” Our speakers are chosen to reflect a range of experiences and viewpoints, but they all have one thing in common: the desire for real conversation about issues that affect the future of Canada. Our goal is for audience members to think “I never thought about it that way” when the Talks are over.

In 2015, The Walrus Talks will be held in Calgary, London, Winnipeg, Montreal, Edmonton, Ottawa, Toronto, Halifax, and Victoria. They will address themes including vice, creativity, the Arctic, the animated city, the Aboriginal city, being human, play, and water.

The Walrus Talks 2015 will feature more than 100 speakers from all walks and from across the country. The Walrus Talks are sponsored by forward-thinking members of the private and public sectors whose support enables the Canadian conversation and encourages dialogue on a wide range of issues.

Dates, details, and ticket information are available at