From the 'Pit' to the 'Pogey': Notions of Identity and Community in a Former
Coal-mining Town

Auditorium 10:00 – 11:15
This presentation, based on field research in Cape Breton, focused on the effects of unemployment and labour migration on notions of identity and community. Exploring the social impact of economic change through anthropological methods such as participant-observation and qualitative interviewing, it provided insight into the lived experience and changing worldviews of families struggling to make do in adverse conditions.


Jenny Ceridwen Cockburn recently completed a Masters of Arts at Concordia University in Social and Cultural Anthropology

Native Issues Panel - Reassembling the Shattered Glass:
Aboriginal Experiences in Canada


Auditorium, 11:30 – 12:45
Three participants from diverse backgrounds shared their views on issues that are affecting Aboriginal communities in Canada today.

  Hard Choices: School or ???
Many students take school for granted, but a panel of Vanier students of diverse backgrounds presented their stories about the sacrifices it takes to get an education in Canada. Their struggles serve as an inspiration for the rest of us.
Auditorium 1:00 – 2:15 Thanks to the Learning Centre and Student Services for helping to organize this panel.


Shawn Pitre is a teacher of Anthropology, Ethnomusicology and popular music and a scholar of Caribbean, Latin American and African music, is currently completing a doctorate at the Université de Montréal, focusing on the urban popular music of young Creoles in Cayenne, French Guiana.
Jambalaya: The Global Journey of a Southern U.S. Melody


Auditorium 10:00 – 11:15
This presentation introduced several approaches, methods and techniques used in dealing with music and culture/society (anthropology of music, ethnomusicology, popular music studies) and, by means of various international remakes of a particular melody, touch on issues such as globalization, cross-fertilization, commodification, appropriation, cultural imperialism, post-colonialism, alterity and exoticism. Jambalaya will involve some listening and audience participation.


Beyond Klezmer: The Changing Face of Yiddish Music

Auditorium 11:30 – 12:45
This talk explored the evolution of Klezmer music from its origins in Eastern Europe to the present, including analysis of audio clips.

Rebecca Margolis holds a doctorate in Yiddish Studies from Columbia University in New York. Her area of interest is the cultural history of Montreal, in particular of its Jewish Yiddish-speaking community. She teachers at Vanier in the departments of History and Humanities.

Educational Journeys from Pole to Pole: Climate Change, Leadership and Passion


Auditorium 1:00 – 2:15
This dynamic multimedia presentation shared stories, photographs and perspectives of unique environmental education programs that connect youth with our planet. It asked: Why is climate change the challenge of today's youth generation? How can youth become leaders in creating a more sustainable future?


Lisa “Diz” Glithero is a professional educator who has organized student trips to Antarctica, the Arctic and Labrador. Diz is committed to fostering a more ecological consciousness in youth and to inspiring her students to become engaged leaders capable of affecting positive change in today's society.

The Underground Economy: Some Myths, Some Realities

Amphitheatre 2:30 – 3:45
The underground economy is a complex phenomenon, far more complex than what is portrayed by the media and what is perceived by the lay person. Economists, politicians and policy makers have been engaged for some years in this rather controversial and ideologically charged area. This presentation attemped to dispel some of the myths and exaggerations that surround the concept of the underground economy.


Shernaz Choksi ’s interest in economics was roused at the London School of Economics and Political Science where she obtained her undergraduate degree. She continued the study of economics in the doctorate program at McGill University. Her PhD thesis examined the Pricing Policies of major firms in the Canadian Resource Industries. She has been teaching at Vanier College since 1980 and she continued her research and publish in the Journal of Post Keynesian Economics and Resources Policy. Her most recent area of interest is the Underground Economy.


The Market as a Citizen Responsibility

Auditorium 8:30 – 9:45
From her experiences in Latin America, Asia and West Africa, and from her personal involvement and commitment to Equiterre, Murielle Vrins presents us with the vast range of fair trade possibilities and the individual power we hold to contribute to fair trade and the development of a responsible economy and better world by our consumer choices. She explains the social and environmental impact of consumer choice and, as an example, she traces the route taken for coffee, the plantation, and even the coffee cup. In other words, she shows us how to change the world, one choice at a time.

Murielle Vrins holds a degree in environmental science with a specialization in biodiversity and conservation; her main mission is educating the public and raising awareness. Most notably, she is in charge of the ‘Quinzaine nationale’ organization for fair trade. Before joining the Equiterre group, she worked as an ecologist and was project director for community conservation and development for the nature centre in the Mont Saint Hilaire Biosphere Reserve.


Stand-up Comedy: Laughing Together Differently
Auditorium 10:00 - 11:15


Sugar Sammy

He's smart, he's young, he's MTV and he's constantly redefining himself. Voted as the #1 stand-up in 2004 and 2005 by the readers of The Montreal Mirror, Montreal's premier Arts and Entertainment Weekly, Sugar Sammy is one of the hottest comics working today. He has set attendance records and has been headlining across North America to rave reviews for the last year. His young, fresh and edgy outlook makes him a crowd and industry favorite. In fact, when you see Sugar Sammy, you don't think of the traditional definition of stand-up comedian. He explores the dichotomy between his life in a conventional East-Indian home and his experience as a trendy nightclub promoter. He riffs on subjects like arranged marriage and his Indian ancestry as well as his views on deviant sex, drugs, failed relationships and the ever-changing multi-cultural society he lives in. Sugar Sammy has appeared on The Comedy Network, at The Hollywood Comedy Festival in Los Angeles and at the 2004 and 2005 Just For Laughs Festivals. "Sugar Sammy's a comprehensive entertainment solution splicing, editing and evolving as he fuses marketing, pop and urban cultures into a tasty treat for the kids. When you start to think he's all hype, he'll tag a joke to death with all the skills of a professional, creating an eruption of laughter (Hour Magazine)."

 Kwasi Thomas   

 Kwasi Thomas spends a healthy portion of his life performing on stage, where he shares his insights on being black in Montreal. He's a member of the Dead Comics Society sketch troupe, and he recently produced two popular Montreal extravaganzas. This summer Kwasi took the stage during the Best of the Fest Showcase and represented Montreal at the Just For Laughs Homegrown Competition.



The 4th Annual Social Science
Quiz Show
Theatre Room B-323 12:00-1:15


Master of Ceremonies: Peter Gantous.
A trivia competition between four teams of Social Science whizzes.

 Salah and Family SteelPan Academy
Auditorium ,12:00 – 1:15
This group of steel pan musicians is led by Salah, his wife and three of their six children. Their purpose: to promote The SteelPan, the Newest Instrument of the 21st Century.

The Power of Magic in Ancient Egypt

Auditorium 1:30 – 2:45
The Ancient Egyptians believed firmly in the power of enchantments, amulets, effigies, protection of the dead and utterances of words of power – in a word, Magic. But what is Magic? Did it really work? Why did the Egyptians take so much trouble to consecrate the tombs and mummies with magic spells? In this lecture, Richard James will explored the Egyptians’ views of life after death and the journey of the soul in an attempt to understand the Egyptian belief in the power of magic.

Richard James is a teacher with the Vanier History Department, studied history and religion at McGill University. For many years, his historical interests have included the doctrine of the early Christian Church and religion in the Ancient World.

Hard Choices: School or ??? Amphitheatre 3:30 – 4:45
Young black men drop out of school and have an unemployment rate almost double the provincial norm for their age. Women from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka often face cultural barriers that keep them isolated and vulnerable. Philippino workers coming to Canada as domestics face many obstacles in their struggle to build new lives. A panel of community workers representing the Alfie Roberts Institute, the South Asian Womens’ Centre, and the Immigrant Workers’ Centre explored the difficulties facing immigrant and minority groups. Thanks to the Learning Centre and Student Services for helping to organize this panel.



The Ron Charbonneau Memorial Lecture       Banking on Baghdad

Auditorium 10:00 – 11:15 In the book Banking on Baghdad, New York Times and international bestselling author Edwin Black chronicles the dramatic and tragic history of a land long the center of world commerce and conflict. Tracing the involvement of Western governments and militaries, as well as oil, banking, and other corporate interests, Black pinpoints why today, just as throughout modern history, the world needs Iraq's resources, and remains determined to acquire and protect them. Banking on Baghdad almost painfully documents the many ways Iraq's recent history mirrors its tumultuous past.


Edwin Black is an award-winning, New York Times and international bestselling investigative author of 45 bestselling editions in 13 languages in 60 countries, as well as scores of newspaper and magazine articles in the leading publications of the United States, Europe and Israel. His work focuses on genocide and hate, corporate criminality and corruption, governmental misconduct, academic fraud, philanthropy abuse, and historical investigation. For more information on Mr. Black and is writings, visit

Islamic Law in Canada                                                                         Auditorium 1:00 – 2:15

The discussion centered on the advantages and disadvantages of using religious law in Canada.


Sevak Manjikian is a Vanier Religious Studies teacher, is currently completing a Ph.D. dissertation focusing on Islamic law in Canada.

Still You - A New Improved Version: All About Self-esteem and How to Raise It!

Auditorium 2:30 – 3:45
The talk centered on the importance of self-esteem to a person’s well being and discussed the fact that poor self-esteem exists in every psychological disorder.



Hannah Steinwald is a Vanier Psychology teacher since 1997, also works as a psychotherapist and is associated with the Cognitive Behavioural Therapy Unit of the Montreal General Hospital, specializing in self-esteem treatment.

Display on Racism by Anthropology students
D-Wing, 1 st floor 4:00-5:15

Students of the Anthropology course entitled 'Race and Racism' were on hand to explain their projects.



Canada World Youth: Cultural exchanges with Africa.
Two Canada World Youth past participants share their experiences.
Auditorium 8:30 – 9:45

Dylann McLean, former Vanier student and Canada World Youth past participant,

and David Fishman, age 21 in September 2003, partook in a Canadian youth leadership program called Katimavik.


The Stephen Lewis Foundation – HIV/AIDS in Africa: Witnessing the Pandemic

Auditorium 10:00 – 11:15
Drawn from recent visits to grassroots projects in Africa this session addressed the immediate devastation of AIDS, the long term impact of HIV/AIDS on the continent, shared the hopes and dreams of the next generation of Africans and explored what can be done from Canada to address the looming crisis.

Hilary Hall has an educational background in medicine and international experience working with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in public relations, event management, and programme development. Before joining the Foundation she was working with a local NGO in Rwanda on rural HIV/AIDS programme development and implementation. She has been with the Stephen Lewis Foundation since March of 2004.

Montreal and Black History

Auditorium 11:30 – 12:45
This talk explored the history of the Black community of Montreal beginning with slavery. A short film was shown.





Dorothy Williams is completing her doctorate in Information and Library Studies at McGill University. Her focus is the invisibility of Black history in Montreal, in particular its magazines and newspapers.

Monday to Friday, 9:00 – 3:00 weather permitting.    

Matthieu Sossoyan is an Anthropology teacher at Vanier with a special interest in archaeology. What will he and his archaeology students find in Vanier’s ground testifying to the past? [Visit our History of the Vanier College Campus page]