Join us for

HTAL’s  5 Engaging, Energizing and Educational virtual lectures from the comfort of home.

When: Wednesdays – January 24, 31, February 7, 14 and 21

Time: 10 AM

Cost: $55.00 for all 5 webinars (including the recordings)

Program: 50 minute lecture followed by a question and answer opportunity. Note – Recordings of the lectures will be provided automatically for all paid subscribers through a password protected link that will be sent by email after the “live” Zoom. Recordings will be available for 2 weeks after each lecture. 

  • January 24 – A Country Aflame: Learning to Live with Wildfire
  • January 31 – Hamilton Underworld: Unmasking the Mafia’s Hidden History.
  • February 7 – Electric Cars: Sorting Out the Hype from the Facts
  • February 14 – Artificial Intelligence 101: New Friend or Robot Overlord?
  • February 21 – Good Grief! – We all live With Loss

Winter Series 2024

Registration is now Open!

Registration closes Friday January 19, 5PM.

Eric Kennedy Speaker for January 24th 2024

Eric Kennedy

January 24th, 2024 – 10AM

Eric Kennedy

2023 was a striking reminder of the power of wildfire in Canada. Over 18 million hectares were burned in the record-setting year, an area two and a half times larger than New Brunswick. Why so many fires? And what can we do about it?

In this lecture, we’ll discuss the factors behind this incredible season, as well as the power of fires in Canada and beyond. We’ll explore the impacts these fires can have on people near and far, as well as the challenges faced by wildfire management agencies.

As well, we’ll examine some of the approaches that might need to change if we want to learn to live with these kinds of fires.

Dr. Eric Kennedy is an Associate Professor of Disaster & Emergency Management, School of Administrative Studies, York University.

The majority of his research focuses on wildfire management, especially in the Canadian context, although he has also studied wildfire in Australia and the United States. He is currently working on a book on the subject.

Outside of wildfire, he has been on COVID over the past three years. He studies how science is – or isn’t – used in decision-making processes, as well as public attitudes, perceptions, and impacts.

Antonio Nicaso Speaker for January 31st 2024 Lecture

Antonio Nicaso

January 31st, 2024 – 10AM

Antonio Nicaso

As an internationally recognized expert on organized crime, Dr. Nicaso will provide us with insights into the Mafia and its background in Hamilton.

In addition to being an internationally recognized expert on organized crime, Dr. Nicaso is a bestselling author and an award-winning journalist.  He has authored more than 40 books and teaches courses on the social history of organized crime and mafia culture, focusing on the power of rituals, symbols, and myths at Queen’s University in Kingston.

One of his books served as the basis for the television series Bad Blood, initially broadcast on Citytv and later, on Netflix. Originally from Calabria, Italy, he is now based in Toronto

Lorraine Summerfield Speaker for February 7th Lecture

Lorraine Summerfeld

February 7th, 2024 – 10AM

Lorraine Summerfeld

There’s a lot of talk about electric cars, but what does it really mean?

As consumers, the choices in the automotive industry continue to evolve rapidly. But what should we really be thinking about when we consider a shift to a very new technology?

  • Is an EV the right choice for you?
  • How is pricing compared to traditional cars and hybrids?
  • What will maintenance look like?
  • Do I need a charger at home?
  • Will I be able to take road trips?
  • Will my insurance be different?
  • Will I have to change how I drive?
  • How long do batteries last, and are they really as expensive as I’ve heard?

If you have consumer questions about electric vehicles, this is where you bring them.

After beginning her career in writing with The Motherlode column in the Hamilton Spectator in 2003, Lorraine added automotive journalism to her file in 2005. After stints with The Toronto Star and The Globe & Mail, she has been with since 2014. She began hosting The Driving Podcast in 2021 and helmed The Lemon Aid Car Show for seven years. She has been a member of AJAC since 2013 and has been named AJAC Automotive Journalist of the Year twice.

After years of partaking in adventures like driving Smart cars in the Yukon winter, competing in the Gazelle Rally in Morocco, off-roading in Argentina, RVing around much of Canada, and chasing down Route 66 (twice), Lorraine now writes as a consumer advocate.

She is a prominent voice on radio stations across the country, and her debut novel, A Face in the Window, was released in July 2023.

Michael Ridley Speaker for February 14th Lecture

Michael Ridley

February 14th, 2024 – 10AM

Michael Ridley

Artificial intelligence (AI) is everywhere these days. ChatGPT anyone?

How do you separate the hype from the helpful?

Let’s dig into AI and make you AI literate. No complex math or weird computer code, a commonsense guide to what AI is, when you should trust it, and when you shouldn’t.

For many years Michael Ridley was the Chief Librarian and Chief Information Officer (CIO) at the University of Guelph where he is now Librarian Emeritus.

Ridley holds degrees from Guelph, New Brunswick, Toronto, and Western. His recent PhD dissertation examined human centred, explainable artificial intelligence.

Ridley is obsessed by the alphabet and has an extensive collection of toy alphabet blocks as well as wooden and metal printer’s type.

Ask him about it.

Christina Walton Speaker for February 21st Lecture

Christina Walton

February 21st, 2024 – 10AM

Christina Walton

We all live with loss, whether we like it or not. There are many kinds of loss, yet we try to avoid talking about it or acknowledging it. It’s painful and we don’t like it.

Christina will lead us through the different kinds of loss; why we grieve; how we grieve, and how to care for ourselves and for others during these times.  

We will discuss why grief is more than just a feeling, and that it is actually healthy and normal and an appropriate response to loss.


Christina Walton is a Registered Psychotherapist with The College of Registered Psychotherapists of Ontario and she specializes in grief and loss, for children and adults. She holds a B.A. from McMaster University, a master’s degree from Wilfrid Laurier University and has been a Licensed Funeral Director for 35 years.

She is the Community Care Co-ordinator, and Grief Counsellor with Dermody Funeral Homes of Hamilton, and has been in Private Practice since 2005. She is the President of “The Children’s Grief Foundation of Canada”.