EAWLC Lecture: Understanding Tenant and Landlord Rights, and How Cultural Difference Plays a Role

In a two part series, Ontario award-winning legal expert Harry Fine will illustrate the rights and obligations of tenants and landlords with real stories.  He will share also his observation and suggestions on how cultural difference plays a role in understanding, or misunderstanding, of the rights, obligations, and how to deal with conflicts.  Everyone is welcome to bring their own questions, and have a dialogue with Harry at the East and West Learning Connections! Continue reading “EAWLC Lecture: Understanding Tenant and Landlord Rights, and How Cultural Difference Plays a Role”

5 Poets Breaking Into Song at EAWLC

Ready for a moment floating in poetry, live music and songs?

With the courtesy of our old friend, national poet laureate George Elliott Clarke, the East and West Learning Connections proudly co-hosts this exciting festival for you.

Five poets will each recite poetry for approximately 10 minutes. Then each poet’s reading will conclude with the singing–by a professional singer–of a poem of theirs that has been set to music. Continue reading “5 Poets Breaking Into Song at EAWLC”

The East&West Dialogue with Educator and Police Officer on Anti-Asian Racism and Hate Crimes

Asian settlers arrived in Canada three centuries ago.  They came as builters, building trading posts, railroads and all sort of things this country has needed.  However, anti-Asian racism, manifested in early governments’ legistlations or hidden on some people’s minds till today,  has never stopped.  According to a joint-research by the University of Toronto and Ryerson University published in 2017, compared to applicants with Anglo names, Asian-named applicants with all-Canadian qualifications had 20% fewer calls from big companies for an interview, and almost 40% less calls from mid and small sized employers.  In the COVID-19 pandemic, hate crimes against Asians have risen at a stunning rate.  In 2020, Toronto saw a 275% increase in hate crimes against Asians, and the country’s highest number went to Vancouver with a more than 7-fold increase compared  to the previous year.  {1}{2}

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EAWLC Online Tour of Smithsonian National Museum of Asian Art: Art Across Cultures

The East and West Learning Connections proudly brings to you

Online Tour of the National Museum of Asian Art (Freer|Sackler)

Topic: Art Across Cultures at the Freer Gallery of Art

The creation of art is a universal human endeavor. But what connects
artwork across cultures and what sets them apart? In this tour, we will
observe and compare artworks from diverse cultures across Asia, and explore
the question: When different cultures meet, what happens to the development
of art in ideas, aesthetics, styles or technologies?

Continue reading “EAWLC Online Tour of Smithsonian National Museum of Asian Art: Art Across Cultures”

EAWLC Science Lecture: Is Mathematics Invented or Discovered?


On New Year’s Day in 2021, an article on mathematics rushed to the second place on the Zhihu Hot Question List, with over 15 million views and more than 1.3 million readings. The question was: Is Mathematics Invented or Discovered? (数学是人类的发明,还是发现?) 

What makes a mathematics question into the hot list that normally only social hotspots can enter?  The article neither lists abstract mathematical formulas nor rises to the level of obscure philosophy concepts.  Instead, it starts from Raphael’s masterpiece “The School of Athens”, and tells from the perspective of the history of science and technology, where mathematicians used “infinity” as a tool. From there, a whole new world has been created. 

The East and West Learning Connections proudly presents Mr Yingfeng Zhang, the author of the article in question, to give us an informative and insightful lecture on topics touched by the article yet have not been discussed in detail, such as: 

  • Do animals know mathematics?
  • How did early civilizations discover mathematics?
  • How did ancient Greeks invent infinity?
  • Why is our universe finite?
  • What other secrets are hidden in Raphael’s painting?

Continue reading “EAWLC Science Lecture: Is Mathematics Invented or Discovered?”

EAWLC East & West Dialogue with George Elliott Clarke and Rosemary Sadlier

We are thrilled to kick off the East & West Dialogue in 2021 with two prominent Black leaders in Canada!  The monthly event invites people of different heritages to come over to our organization as guest speakers, and share their life stories, thoughts and suggestions with our audience, many of whom are immigrants.  We are deeply grateful to the guest speakers for volunteering their time and expertise to help immigrants learn more about Canadian society, people and customs, as well as to promote communications among people from different cultural backgrounds.

(Poster created by Christina Wang. Photos courtesy of Rosemary Sadlier and George Elliott Clarke.)

In This Dialogue:

George Elliott Clarke is a poet and professor.  Rosemary Sadlier is a social activist, Author, and Speaker.  They share many things in common: having had great achievements and received highly recognitions in their own fields across Canada, family trees dated centuries back in the country, and prominent advocates for social justice, among other traits.  They grew up in quite different environments.  Rosemary lived in a very white neighbourhood in Toronto when she was a kid, while George was familiar with both city and rural life of Black Nova Scotians from childhood.  How have their life experiences shaped their growth paths and perspectives of the world?  What are the driving forces behind their remarkable success?  What barriers have they experienced and how have they coped with them?  What opportunities and challenges do they see that the Black community in Canada is facing?  How do they feel about the Asian community with regards to stereotyping, marginalization  and racism?  What suggestions do they have for immigrants to live in Canada with a bit more ease and grace?


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AGO Artworks Show & Talk @East and West Learning Connections

With the courtesy of the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO), our old friend, artist and art educator Doris Purchase will come to the East and West Learning Club as a guest speaker again, and facilitate AGO Artworks Show & Talk events!


We’ll start with an art engagement workshop in March.  Doris will use a video she created for the AGO, introducing two important Canadian artists, and facilitate a very engaging art talk based on their artworks.  One way that you can prepare and engage in this workshop will be to think about two words and how they relate to your personal experience: “tough” and “love”.  You are also invited to have something citrus and have a smell or taste of cinnamon, ginger or vanilla when you join the zoom.


Guest Speaker: Doris Purchase

Artist and art educator at the Art Gallery of Ontario, Public programming and Learning

Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Doris has lived in Toronto since attending OCA in 1987.  She is a conceptual artist focusing on the painting.  Doris works part time for the AGO as a tour guide, and enjoys connecting people with art and engaging them in a creative process.

In 2018, Doris came to the East and West Learning Connections (then ‘the East and West Learning Club’) for the first time, and was one of the guest speakers for our East&West Dialogue event.  We were all inspired by the originality of her artworks, as well as the life experience she genuinely shared with us.  We are so happy that she will come again and try something innovative, to introduce the highlights of the AGO’s collections, and facilitate talks to connect our life experiences with the art!

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The English Conversation @EAWLC

* We are constantly recruiting native English-speaking facilitator volunteers for the English Conversation program!  Please see the invitation message at the end of this announcement.

Have you ever wondered what to talk about in a social conversation?  Or as an immigrant do you sometimes feel it is difficult to join your local co-workers’ conversation because you don’t know the people or things they are talking about,  or you have some everyday questions that you would like to know how local people would think or deal with?  Or do you just want to find a safe, relaxing and friendly environment to talk to some native English speakers, and enjoy a pleasant conversation?

Judith Lawrence and her native English-speaking volunteer team are kindly offering this free English Conversation program to address those questions for you at the East and West Learning Connections!

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Reading for Culture with Emma: Monthly Reading Group @East and West Learning Connections

Culture is the beliefs and practices of a people, and literature is one of the richest repositories of these beliefs. In this reading group we will read canonical texts that greatly influenced English literature, and as we read, we will encounter dominant cultural values that still hold sway today.  The importance of free will, the individual in society, the role of gods and fate, the nature of virtue, and the conventions of love and gender are just some of the ideas we will explore. We will read works ranging from Ovid in the 1st century BCE to Chaucer in the 14th century CE–literature that greatly influenced English writers, and literature that was considered the earliest kind of English literature. Before 1500, works that influenced English literature were written in Latin, Italian, or French; moreover, early “English” literature is written in a version of English that native speakers now no longer understand! Therefore, the readings are all in modern English translations. Web links, PDFs, and library links will be provided to enable members to gain affordable and easy access to these texts.

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