Abbotsford Learning Plus Society

Fall 2017 PROGRAMS

10 a.m. till 12 noon, Tuesdays and Thursdays

(topics/speakers subject to change)


September 14, 2017

1.  Is the “Terminator” Real?

September 19, 2017

Lin Long

With the onset of driverless cars and a host of new inventions, how has and will robotics affect our society and daily life?  Come find out about robotics in our own Fraser Valley and UFV’s innovations!


2.  Historical Environmental Change Recorded in Wetland and Lake Sediments of the Fraser Valley

September 21, 2017

Jonathan Hughes

Loss of natural landscapes continues since it started in earnest with the first clearing of forests and conversion to agricultural land in the late 1800s. These landscape changes can be identified in environments that preserve undisturbed sediment and the organic material they include. In this presentation, Dr. Hughes will discuss evidence of recent landscape change in the Fraser Valley from studies of wetland and lake sediments.


3. Centre and Periphery in Medieval Art and Thought

September 26, 2017

Jill Bain

In the Middles Ages, the stratified nature of society meant that those living in this era were very much aware of concepts of place and space, and one's position in relation to these. Medieval art often reflects this consciousness in the deliberate demarcation of the spaces of mural paintings, relief sculptures or illuminated manuscripts to denote the significance of the subject represented (for example, its sacred or profane nature). This illustrated lecture will explore the margins of some examples of medieval art to shed light on how compositional strategies conveyed meaning to medieval viewers.


4.  Fighting For Human Rights In A Climate Of Fear

September 28, 2017

Vivienne Chin

The world of human rights took a different turn when Donald Trump was elected the President of the United States. No longer is that country the leader of the free world, nor is it a major proponent of human rights, democracy and the rule of law. Instead it has instilled a climate of fear and hate internally, as well as confusion and uncertainty beyond its borders. What is at stake and what are the impact of those big changes on justice, human rights, and the rule of law in the rest of the world?  Vivienne will share her personal views on the subject.


5.  Learning From a Pharmacist

October 3, 2017

Raj Sharma & Todd Zimmer

Seniors face unique challenges, which need addressing.  We will discuss preventative measures such as fall prevention, maintaining good health through vitamins, healthy living and identifying risk factors for various conditions.  We will also focus on medication considerations such as side effects, conflicting prescriptions and medication reviews.  Come prepared with questions!


6. Good Government: Learning From George Ferguson’s Legacy & AGM

October 5, 2017

Patricia Ross

Patricia will talk about her time working with former Mayor George Ferguson, lessons learned on how to be a true servant of the people, stories from their time working together and how it has guided her decision making. She will also discuss current issues of interest including the Ag-refresh project, the city's recycling efforts and future plans for improvement to get to zero waste. Her presentation will be followed with the Annual General Meeting.


7.  Australia’s New England

October 10, 2017

Ruth Thiessen

From subtropical to subalpine, explore the unexpected breathtaking vistas of Australia’s World Heritage National Parks in the New England Tableland. Ruth and Art will travel, by several routes, from the beaches of Coffs Harbour through the stunning forests of the Gibralter Range and Dorrigo to the historic town of Glen Innes. 


8.  Refugees – They Are Us

October 12, 2017

Jennifer Mpungu

Jennifer will tell the stories of a few refugees and show how they as people are no different from ourselves in the diversity of hopes, dreams and needs. She will also share a few stories of how some have settled into our country and are doing the regular things we are all busy with.


9.  Mindfulness and Wellbeing

October 17, 2017

Seonaigh MacPherson

Originating in Asia, mindfulness practices have been adapted for use in secular, health-promotion and educational contexts. Scientific evidence suggests that mindfulness has strong benefits in stress reduction, pain management, and the relief of depression and anxiety, among others. In this workshop, participants will be introduced to a few key mindfulness practices, theories about why it works, and research that supports its use. Also, we will explore the potential benefits of mindfulness for seniors.


10. Facing Death While Trekking Through Himalayan Medieval Nepalese Hamlets and the Highest Mountain Pass in the World

October 19, 2017

Tony Mayo

This thrilling and informative Power Point presentation will take you back to another time and to another world. A few artifacts pertaining to the discussion will be displayed.

11. Driver Updates

October 24, 2017

Tracey Dyck

Our wonderful Tracey is back to give us the latest updates in the driving world for Class5/7 drivers.  Don’t miss this morning – it will help to keep you safer on our roads!


12. The Most Pressing Questions Facing Subatomic Physics Today

October 26, 2017

Derek Harnett

The Canadian Subatomic Physics Long Range Planning Committee recently released a series of recommendations intended to guide Canadian research efforts in subatomic physics for the next five years. What re the most pressing issues facing subatomic physics today? How are Canadian physicists planning to address them? And what might we discover? In this presentation, we’ll delve into all of these questions.


13. Into the Abyss of the Grand Canyon

October 31, 2017

Ewan MacKenzie

Let Ewan take us into the depth of the mighty Grand Canyon to discover the world of wonder through his eyes, his camera and his stories!


14. Street Sense for Seniors

November 2, 2017

Kelly Pater

Kelly, with the Abbotsford Police Department – will be here to discuss Street Sense for Seniors.  This will include topics such as Personal safety, Safety while travelling, Online Safety and a discussion about Elder Abuse and Awareness.


15.  Holmberg House, Abbotsford’s Hospice: New Programs to Serve Our Community

November 7, 2017

Ron Kuehl

While the Abbotsford Hospice Society has operated in the community for more than 30 years the recent addition of Holmberg House, Abbotsford’s Hospice has enabled new programs and services to develop and for existing programs to expand.  This session will deal with an exploration of attitudes and norms related to death and dying, program review of bereavement and palliative care and an exploration of future developments in this new facility.  A virtual tour of the new facility will be shown.


16. “We’re Here”: Understanding the Importance of Story-telling for LGBTQ Movements

November 9, 2017

Martha Dow

This conversation will highlight some of the social and political shifts and challenges that have characterized the rights discourse of activism for LGBTQ individuals in Canada. Key issues related to same-sex marriage, reproductive rights, and silence and voice in schools and communities will be explored though examples of personal and collective narratives.


17. Overdose Update and Information on Recognition and Response

November 14, 2017

Erin Gibson, Fraser Health

The news reports and numbers of overdoses in our province in recent times has been overwhelming, affecting all of us in our community in some way.  Erin will approach the issues surrounding opioids, fentanyl overdoses, naloxone, the response by health organizations and more.


18. “They’re Not Scary”: An Intergenerational Dance Project

November 16, 2017

Darren Blakeborough

As multiple factors are leading to a significant disconnect between our youngest and our oldest citizens, The Centre for Education and Research on Aging at the University of the Fraser Valley undertook an intergenerational research project in 2012. Each week for 6 months a small group of 8 year old girls from a Mission elementary school took dance classes with a group of elders from the Pleasantview Care home. This is their story.


19. Baltic Beauty

November 21, 2017

Janet Trout

Expecting the trip to be quite historic, and of course I am keeping my fingers crossed that the Trump/Putin relationship will be....harmonious...??  Or shore excursions may be denied!  We start in England for 2 days then cruise for 14, with a bit more of England at the end. You could say "another chapter in the Trout Travels saga".


20. The Doctor Is In!

November 23, 2017

Dr. Alex Bartel

Dr. Bartel is here to give us another delightful morning of answering our worrisome health questions, always adding a laugh and lightening the load!

Bring your questions!


21. Parsley Is World Peace In Disguise

November 28, 2017

Chef Dez

Chef Dez is here to talk about his new motivatinal/inspirational book titled "Parsley is World Peace In Disguise". This is not a cookbook. It is a Food-Eater's guide to enhancing life and relationships. Chef Michael Smith of Food Network has written the foreword and he says "Chef Dez knows the way forwad is through the kitchen". This book is for the culinarily skilled, for the ones that struggle with a can opener, and everyone else in between. It is for anyone that loves being in the kitchen and for the ones that detest it, but most importantly it is for everyone who wants to enrich their lives and relationships with an everyday means: food.

**change of topic from Italian Cooking


22. Canada’s New Criminal Sentencing Policies

November 30, 2017

Yvon Dandurand

The criminal sentencing of offenders is one of those topics which never fails to ignite a debate among Canadians. In the last decade or so many changes to Canadian sentencing laws created major issues from a public safety and fair criminal justice system point of view. One only has to think of the “mandatory minimum sentences” that were introduced over the years to limit judicial discretion. The Minister of Justice of Canada will soon be announcing very substantial changes to Canadian law in that regard. Dandurand’s presentation will try to place these proposals in the broader context on criminal law reform and public safety. It will review some existing data on sentencing and refer to relatively new features of problem-solving courts (e.g., drug courts, community courts, First Nations Courts). Everyone has an opinion of the courts and their sentencing practices. The presentation and the discussion that will follow will be a unique opportunity to share your views with others and reflect on what Canada’s new sentencing policy ought to be.


23. Culture and Society in Latin America

December 5, 2017

Stephen Piper& Teresa Arróliga-Piper

Walls along the Mexican border. Deportation of undocumented migrants. Economic crisis in Venezuela. Corruption in Brazil. Peace in Colombia. Latin America sometimes appears in our news, but most of us lack the background knowledge to contextualize the stories we read. In this session, we will learn a little Spanish, some geography, some history, something about social structure and inequality, and, because it is the holiday season, something about Christmas in Nicaragua. ¡Feliz Navidad y próspero Año Nuevo!


24. A Universe of Planets

December 7, 2017

Arnold Sikkema

Planets were once simply known as wandering stars. We've come a long way since the ancient Greeks, beginning with the recognition that Earth is a planet. In school, you would have learned about the nine planets, now officially only eight after Pluto's "demotion." However, starting only 25 years ago, astronomers have found that, not only our Sun, but very many stars have planets orbiting around them. Thousands of planets and hundreds of planetary systems have been discovered and many studied. This talk (with visual aids and demonstrations) will give you an appreciation of the size and age of the universe, as well as of the methods used by astronomers in their discoveries of these "exoplanets," some of which appear to be quite similar to Earth in some ways.



Join us for the Christmas Tea on Tuesday, December 12, 2017!!

 Free for all!