Festival Aims to Inspire Possibility, Imagination

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The University of Guelph is a leading sponsor of a new festival of arts and discussion intended to inspire and imagine new possibilities.

Spur Guelph running Nov. 12-14 will offer events including lectures, musical performances, literary readings, film screenings and city walks.

The festival’s centrepiece is the annual Guelph Lecture, which will be held Friday at 7 p.m. at the River Run Centre.

The lecture will begin with an introduction by U of G president Franco Vaccarino, and will feature Jaron Lanier, a musician, artist and writer who coined the term virtual reality. A scientist working at Microsoft Research in California, Lanier will discuss our relationship with technology, especially the Internet.

This year’s literary guest is writer Lee Maracle, an instructor at the University of Toronto and a traditional teacher at the U of T’s First Nations House. This fall, she has been Eastern Comma writer-in-residence at the Rare Charitable Research Reserve in Cambridge, Ont.

Also on Friday, U of G environmental sciences professor and poet Madhur Anand will take part in a discussion with Lanier and Lee Smolin, faculty member at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo, Ont. “Imagination and Possibility” will be held in the University Centre’s Peter Clark Hall, 3-4:30 p.m. Tickets are free.

A festival highlight is a series of walks and café chats Saturday involving festival presenters and emerging scholars from U of G, the University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University.

Other events include presentations by Croatian artists Nadija Mustapić and Toni Meštrović and a performance at the River Run Centre featuring poets, artists and musicians.

A complete schedule is available online.