2023 - 2024 Program

Wednesday, December 20th, 2023

Elizabeth Carson at the Canadian Club

Elizabeth Carson is a proud born and bred Calgarian who used to play “restaurant” with the neighborhood kids. She would bake cakes and would set up her tables in the backyard. After attending university, she followed her true passion by attending the Institute of Culinary Education in NYC. ICE created the James Beard Foundation in 1985 and while there, Elizabeth was able to see the best of New York’s chefs such as Jacque Pepin.

After graduation, she started her own catering company and eventually owned and ran one of Calgary’s first gourmet food stores on 17th Avenue – Pepper’s Deli. Elizabeth retired from the food business in the early 90’s to raise her family but continued to be connected by volunteering and leading the event planning for many of Calgary’s signature charitable fundraising events. In early 2019, she was approached by CBC to replace John Gilchrest as their Calgary restaurant critic, following his retirement. Since that time, she has gained a loyal following for her Friday morning forthright reviews and “best of series”. 



Wednesday, November 15th, 2023

Ghosts in the Machine: Ethical AI and the Transformation of Veteran Cemeteries

In this electrifying talk, we journey into an unexpected crossroad of technology and remembrance: the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in veteran cemeteries. We delve into the potential of AI to revolutionize how we mourn, remember, and interact with the legacies of those passed on, from virtual obituaries, to AI cemetery tours, to accessibility aides that assist sight-challenged visitors.

However, we also confront the challenging ethical questions that emerge, exploring issues of privacy, authenticity, and emotional integrity. Will AI serve as a compassionate conduit to our lost loved ones? Are we on the brink of using AI as a bridge to the past? Or are we stepping into an abyss, where technological overreach could blur our boundaries of respect and remembrance? Join us as we discuss our journey and lessons learned as we navigate this delicate intersection between human emotion, remembrance, and cutting-edge technology.

Memory Anchor is a pioneering AI-powered startup transforming the way we remember veterans at cemeteries and memorials worldwide. Memory Anchor's early adopters are responsible for over 2,000,000 soldiers buried in 150+ countries worldwide.


Wednesday, October 15th, 2023


Hearts and Minds in a Digital Landscape: What Shapes Individuals’ Sensitivity to Misinformation?

As our lives become intertwined with digital technologies, the information environment is increasingly confrontational, particularly on social media platforms. The current conflict in Ukraine demonstrates daily how strategic communication is now an essential aspect of modern warfare, using narratives and images to bolster domestic and international support, as well as spread confusion and undermine the morale of adversaries.

As such, mis/disinformation is a menace to democratic resiliency as it limits the ability of citizens to access verified information and for governments to find the needed public support to engage in policymaking. Thus, democracies are now investing significant resources to understand better what factors increase the susceptibility of their citizens for mis/disinformation. 

  • Erin Gibbs Van Brunschot is a Professor of Sociology and Vice Dean of the Faculty of Arts at the University of Calgary. Her primary research interests are in the realms of crime, risk, security, and social control, with specific interests in how individuals, organizations, agencies, and states orient to threats and how responses diverge and converge. Her current projects focus on information and security, crime risk management, policing, victimization, and terrorism.
  • Jean-Christophe Boucher is an Associate Professor at the School of Public Policy and at the Department of political science at the University of Calgary. His current work focuses on applied machine learning to understand how the digital world shapes our society. He is currently responsible for projects funded by the Department of National Defence (DND) to study information operations; the Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) to understand civil-military relations in Canada.  He specializes in international relations, with an emphasis on foreign policy, international security, and data analytics.



Wednesday, September 20th, 2023

Darrel Janz

My 60 Years in Journalism

Darrel’s broadcasting career began at CFAM Radio in Altona, Manitoba, in 1962. In 1973 he accepted an offer to join CFCN-TV Calgary as its senior news anchor.  He signed a 5 year contract, but never left! From 1973 to 1987 Darrel anchored the CFCN-TV 6:00 and 11:30 P.M. local newscasts.  From 1987 to 2010 he co-anchored the 6:00 P.M. news, first with Michelle Hogan for two years and then with Barb Higgins for twenty-one years.

Darrel had trained as a teacher at Saskatchewan Teachers College and put that training to good use as a Broadcast Journalism instructor at SAIT for eleven years and Mount Royal College for fifteen years. He has worked with dozens of his former students over the years and is proud of their achievements.

From 2010 to 2013 he co-anchored the weekend 6:00 P.M. news and began a weekly feature entitled “Inspired Albertans”. On December 29th, 2013 he anchored his final newscast but continues to enjoy the Inspired feature but still does a weekly show on YES TV.

Listen to Darrel's speech on our podcast.