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Free Public Lectures
2023 – 2024
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  • All lectures are presented on a Saturday evening in Room 1A1, Ewart Angus Centre, McMaster University Medical Centre (MUMC), except where indicated.
  • No reserved seating.  Pre-registration is not required except where indicated.
  • McMaster University COVID-19 guidelines for classrooms apply. Masks and social distancing regarding seating are encouraged.
  • To view "More.." content for any lecture ensure that you have enabled JavaScript in your browser's options.


Apr 6, Sat, 7:30 pm
One Cartoonist's Completely Non-Definitive, Partial History of the Graphic Novel  —  By Joe Ollmann  |  More..


Sep 16, Sat, 7:30 pm
Battle of the Atlantic: Gauntlet to Victory  —  By Ted Barris  |  R  |  More..
Oct 14, Sat, 7:30 pm
Causes and Continuing Effects of the Black Death  —  By Hendrik Poinar  |  R  |  More..
Nov 18, Sat, 7:30 pm
Dreamers, Schemers, and Builders: A Glimpse at Royal Botanical Gardens’ History  —  By David Galbraith  |  Watch the Video  |  More..
Dec 9, Sat, 7:30 pm
Taking a Dot for a Swim: The Art of Surface Weaving  —  By Mita Giacomini  |  NA  |  More..
Jan 13, Sat, 7:30 pm
The 23rd Dr. John Rae Lecture   ~~   Unveiling Antarctica's Subglacial Secrets: A Journey into Hidden Waters  —  By Christine Dow  |  Watch the Video  |  More..
Feb 17, Sat, 7:30 pm
Two-Eyed Seeing: Joining Science and Traditional Knowledge  —  By Henry Lickers  |  R  |  More..
Mar 9, Sat, 7:30 pm
How Eclipses and Transits Transformed – and Continue to Transform – Science  —  By Doug Welch  |  Watch the Video  |  More..
Mar 20, Wednesday, 7:00 pm
Traversing the Continent:  Shaping the North American Musical Landscape  —  By Abigail Richardson-Schulte.  |  NA
St. Paul's United Church, 29 Park St. West, Dundas

Note special day, time, and location. This event will not be recorded for viewing later. Event is free but pre-event registration is required. Registration closes at 11:59 AM, March 20. You can register here.  |  Small map. You can register via a link on our Lectures page at "www.haalsa.org".

 |  More..
R      Recorded. The lecture was recorded but requires editing. This will take some time. When a suitable file becomes available a "Watch the Video" link will be provided on this page and members and friends will be notified via email.
NA   Not Available. The lecture was not recorded due to technical difficulties; or our Speaker did not consent to being recorded; or our Speaker did not consent to public access to the recording.

Our Annual Brochure

Our annual brochure provides information about our current season's lectures and our awards program for teen-age prose writers, poets, scientists and musicians. It also lists the Association's officers and other members of our Executive Council, and briefly summarizes the Association's long history. The brochure also provides essential contact information.

The brochure for our current season has been mailed to current annual and life members, former annual members whose membership expired within the past 7-years), and "friends" of the Association who have provided their postal address.

A downloadable, printer-friendly version of the brochure is available here.

The brochure is always available for pickup at our public lectures. You may also contact our Secretary to request a copy of the printed brochure.


When and Where


Except where noted above, each lecture will be presented on a Saturday evening, starting at 7:30 pm.

Each lecture will begin with the President's welcome and the introduction of the evening's presenter. The latter will speak for about 50 to 60 minutes. A question and answer (Q&A) period will follow. The duration of the Q&A period depends on the number of questions but seldom exceeds 10 minutes.

Each evening will end by about 8:50 pm. Presenters often stay for a few minutes after the Q&A in order to answer additional questions from audience members one-on-one.


Our lectures are usually presented in the McMaster University Medical Centre (MCH), also known as the McMaster Children's Hospital. Specific locations will be provided here as soon as they are confirmed, usually by late July or early August.

Each lecture will be presented in Room 1A1 of the Ewart Angus Centre (EAC).

The Ewart Angus Centre is an area in the north-west (left-rear, relative to the Main Street entrance) corner of the McMaster Children's Hospital on Main Street West. See our Campus Map.)

The EAC is wheel-chair accessible. Enter either via the Centre's front (west ) or rear (east) ground-floor doors or via the corridor that runs to the rear of the hospital building, through the Red and the Purple areas. If entering the hospital via its front (Main Street) doors, turn left, go down the corridor, and take a Red elevator down one level to Floor 1. On exiting the elevator turn left, go past the Media Centre (book store) and carry on to the Purple elevators and into the open space just beyond that. That's the Ewart Angus Centre's lobby.

From the EAC Lobby to Room 1A1:

  • If you enter the hospital building via the rear (north-end) doors facing University Crescent, you are already in the Ewart Angus Centre. Carry on into the lobby itself and go down the short corridor that begins on your left, opposite the William's Cafe outlet.
  • If you enter the hospital building via the rear (north-end) doors facing the building's inner courtyard, you are already in the EAC lobby. Go past (not up) the staircase and enter the short corridor on your right, opposite the William's Cafe outlet.
  • If you enter the EAC lobby via the corridor that ends at the Purple elevators, turn left on entering the lobby, walk to the end of the William's Cafe outlet, turn right, and go down the short corridor you see before you.
  • Room 1A1 is on your right at the end of that short corridor. There'll be signs to assist you.

Parking On and Off the McMaster Campus


We suggest that you not park in the Hospital's underground or surface lots. On 26 July 2023 the rates (Monday through Sunday) were $4.00 and $4.50 per half hour or less to a daily maximum of $21 and $26 for the underground and surface (emergency/short term) lots respectively (MCH's rates).


There are many off-campus parking spots on Stirling and some of the adjacent streets, including streets south of Stirling down to but excluding Main Street West.

Spots are usually unrestricted on Saturday evenings along most streets in the area near McMaster campus. Nonetheless, before leaving your vehicle, read carefully the city's signs regarding on-street parking. And of course, before leaving your vehicle, ensure that any valuable objects are locked in your trunk or otherwise not visible to prying eyes.


For vehicle access details see our Campus Map and associated instructions.

McMaster University provides no free on-campus parking at any time. The charge for any gated lot and metered parking spot entered on a Saturday is a one-time payment which is valid until at least midnight. You pay when leaving a gated lot or when obtaining your ticket from an on-street meter. Payment is by credit card only. (See, generally, the information for Visitors on the McMaster website, at https://parking.mcmaster.ca/visitor/.)

When we last checked the rates, on 26 Jul 2023, visitors without a transponder or seasonal parking permit may park for a flat rate of $8.00 (Mon-Fri, 4 pm to 6:30 am, and any time Sat, Sun, and holidays) in gated lots A (Divinity College), B, C, D, I G, H, Underground Wilson, Underground Stadium, or in a metered on-street parking spot. All gated parking lots are located farther from the Ewart Angus Centre than the two on-campus bus stops nearest the EAC.

Metered on-street parking spots are available on the east side of College Crescent, next to the Bourns Science Building and the John Hodgins Engineering Annex. Note the permit dispensers at regular intervals along the sidewalk.

Our understanding is that Parking Services' enforcement of the metered on-street parking rules is lax or non-existent on Saturday evenings after 7:00 pm. In the past some members have parked in one of the on-street spots on College Crescent, not purchased a permit from the nearest meter, and not been ticketed.

One final caution:  Do not park in a designated fire route, such as behind or beside the Ewart Angus Centre, or a spot reserved for disabled persons and those with accessibility issues, unless of course you have an up-to-date Ministry of Transportation Accessibility Permit for such spots. You risk being ticketed and towed for either offense.

The Association is not and will not be held responsible for any parking ticket you might receive.


If Coming By Bus


There are on-campus HSR bus stops on University Avenue near the Ewart Angus Centre and off-campus stops on Main Street near and opposite the Medical Centre. The on-campus stops nearest the EAC are within comfortable walking distance of the Centre's main entrance. As noted above, the EAC is in the purple area (left-rear) of the Medical Centre.

For up-to-date HSR route information telephone the HSR at 905-527-4441 or follow the links on the HSR website at "https://www.hamilton.ca/home-neighbourhood/hsr/schedule-route-tools". For bus stop details see our Campus Map.