HUMAN RIGHTS related cultural arts activities

Later Life Learning patrons and their friends might want to check out some of the diverse HUMAN RIGHTS related cultural arts activities coming to the Queen’s Isabel Centre for the Performing Arts during their upcoming HUMAN RIGHTS ARTS FESTIVAL.

More information on this unique Human Rights Arts Festive that is taking place in our community from Feb. 26th to April 21 can be found at 

Some of these upcoming Human Rights themed art presentations include, but not limited only to the following events:
1. The words and music of Leonard Cohen, Feb. 26th.,
2. A Queen’s Multimedia Exhibition by Queen’s students in support of International Women’s Day on Thursday, March 8 th., 2018.
*A free public event.
4. And various other music, multi-media and other multinational cultural events with a HUMAN RIGHTS theme as described on the  website.

About the Human Rights Arts Festival of the Queen’s University

The core team of Later Life Learning owes its 30-year success to the 80,000 participants, speakers, friends and sponsors. While LLL’s main philosophy is about the incessant search for learning, we also believe in helping other local agencies. After all, it was also the assistance of other established organizations that paved the way for our foundation.

Among the many friends of LLL is Queen’s University. Most speakers that have attended and imparted their knowledge and expertise in our series of lectures are Queen’s scholars, researchers, and professors. 

In support of this prestigious academic institution, we invite patrons to its 2020 Isabel Human Rights Arts Festival. With this festival, explore the powerful voice of cultural arts in promoting awareness of human rights. Performances vary from films, debates, recitals, art galleries, and discussions. Each serves as a lens of injustices, corruption, and human experiences.

About the Isabel Human Rights Arts Festival

The Isabel Human Rights Arts Festival is one of the few annual events created by Tricia Baldwin, the Director of Queen’s Isabel Bader Centre. Its purpose is to show the world different ways to challenge elitist politics, political world climate, prejudice, hatred and violence. Depending on your artistic preferences, this festival offers a wide array of cultural arts. As listed above, expect to see independent films, concerts, art galleries, debates and discussions.

While performances are presented by Queen’s students and alumni, expect to see the impressive works of Canadian artists that are exclusive to the festival. On top of that, its annual success and grandeur are due to the collaborative efforts of the following agencies:

  • Queen’s University Equity Office
  • B’nai Brith Canada
  • Queen’s Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre
  • Dan School of Drama and Music
  • Dan School Department of Film and Media
  • Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF)
  • Human Rights Watch
  • Human Rights Watch Film Festival
  • CBC Radio 2

The 2020 Isabel Human Rights Arts Festival

The year 2020 will be the third tranche for this festival. It is announced to run from January 23 to April 18. Don’t miss the chance to explore today’ social issues. Through varying artistic approaches and platforms, discover the stories of refugees, Indigenous identity, public health, protest, impairment, inequity, and so much more.

As shared by Tricia Baldwin, Director of the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts at Queen’s, here are some of the awaited performance series: 


All premiered films will take place in the Gordon Vogt Film Screening Room. Their prices range between CAD6.00 to CAD12.00.

  1. Alanis Obomsawin’s Jordan River Anderson, The Messenger 


  • Year: 2019
  • Date of screening: January 23 (Thursday)
  • Screen time: 65 minutes
  • Language: English

Jordan River Anderson is one of four festival films curated by Susan Lord and Dorit Naaman themselves. They are esteemed professors at the Queen’s Department of Film and Media. It is, however, the 53rd film of American Canadian Abenaki Alanis Obomsawin, CC GOQ. She is a singer, artist, activist, but above all, she is mostly known for being one of the distinguished filmmakers in Canada.

Her film documents the life of a young boy from the Norway House Cree Nation, Jordan River Anderson. It profiles his lifelong stay in a hospital with a genetic disorder. He spent all five years of his life lying and battling a sickness where the provincial and federal government mainly argued over who was liable for taking care of his hospital care and expenses.

It was after his death when the Parliament shed light on the fair access of First Nations children to all government-funded public services, such as health and social care services. This is now called Jordan’s Principle.

In 2019, the Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF) awarded it the Best Canadian Documentary Award. 

  1. Philippe Bellaiche and Rachel Leah Jones’ Advocate


  • Year: 2019
  • Date of screening: February 3 (Monday)
  • Screen time: 108 minutes
  • Language: Hebrew, Arabic, English with subtitles 

Advocate is another award-winning documentary film to expect in February. It premiered at some of the major and prestigious film festivals like the Sundance Film Festival. Then, it bagged the top prizes at Thessaloniki Documentary Festival, Krakow Film Festival, Hong Kong International Film Festival and Docaviv Festival.

The film takes you to the inspiring life and work of Jewish-Israeli human rights lawyer Lea Tsemel. She is credibly well-known for her dedicated career supporting Palestinian rights. For nearly 50 years, she has represented Palestinian political prisoners by traversing through Israel’s judicial system. 

While others viewed her as a traitor, sent her countless death threats, and nicknamed her the ‘devil’s advocate’, the film tells otherwise. Instead, she is neither an ally of Palestine nor a traitor to Israel. If there is any, she sides with human rights and justice.   

  1. Laura Mora’s Matar a Jesus (Killing Jesus)


  • Year: 2017
  • Date of screening: February 10 (Monday)
  • Screen time: 95 minutes
  • Language: Spanish with English subtitles

Killing Jesus is a 2017 Colombian drama film with a story based on the biography of Laura Mora (the director of the film). It narrates the story of the youthful revenge saga of a female student photographer whose father is killed by a hitman. Due to the incompetence of the local police force, she takes her father’s murder case into her own hands. 

Live events/live programme

The festival’s live events consist of dance and concert presentations, where some of which are free of charge. An example of this feature is the performance installation entitled Firebirds in Motion. Refer to the list below in what to expect in this programme. 

  1. Firebirds in Motion


  • Venue: Main lobby (Isabel lobby)
  • Date of performance: March 18
  • Time of performance: 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM

Through the lens of movement and sound, Firebirds in Motion sends a powerful message discussing world equity. This performance is a concerted effort by Queen’s students, Holly Rose Lorenzon, and Selina Chiarelli.

Lorenzon is an award-winning street dance artist and dance instructor. Chiarelli, on the other hand, is a visionary director, storyteller, and musician. With these two talented artists, get ready to feel, explore, and view the beauty of equity. 

Let’s all envision what the world would be like with it encompassing the global society. Since it’s free of charge, don’t miss out on the chance to listen, watch, and experience the change that we ultimately seek.

  1. All We are Saying by the Art of Time Ensemble and Rolston String Quartet


  • Venue: Performance Hall
  • Date of performance: February 4
  • Time of performance: 7:00 PM
  • Price: Subscription pricing

Get in the world of musical greatness as you listen to the magical performances of the Art of Time Ensemble and Rolston String Quartet. Their repertoire will certainly galvanise you to a movement of resistance, as it touches several historical contexts and messages.

Founded in 1998 by artistic director Andrew Burashko, the Art of Time Ensemble is a Canadian-based musical group and non-profit organisation. It is composed of classical, jazz, and pop musicians, with genres ranging from contemporary classical, dance, and theatre. At present, the group has four albums. 

The Rolston String Quartet, however, was formed in 2013 at Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. Its members are Luri Lee (violin), Jason Issokson (violin), Hezekiah Leung (viola), and Yoshika Masuda (cello). The group’s name ‘Rolston’ was borrowed from Canadian violinist and conductor Thomas Rolston. He was the founder and longtime director of the Music and Sound Programs of the Banff Centre.

  1. Santee Smith’s The Mush Hole


  • Venue: Performance Hall
  • Date of performance: March 9
  • Time of performance: 7:00 PM
  • Approx. running time: 60 minutes (the play has no intermission)
  • Price: CAD17 to CAD39

Award-winning dance artist Santee Smith brings you the most versatile performance in the festival, The Mush Hole. This powerful and timely presentation has songs, dance routines, and theatrics, sending viewers a strong message on the real cases experienced by children who were forced to attend Ontario’s Mohawk Institute residential school. 

Mohawk Institute was the first residential school in the country. Founded and run by the Anglican Church of Canada, it was notably known for its abusive and dark history. See and acknowledge the lives and spirits of children through The Mush Hole. 

It depicts physical and sexual abuse, as well as the emotional and mental trauma in drinking and alcohol addiction. According to Smith, this performance is an open dialogue between spectators, survivors, and affected families.

About the Isabel (Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts)

Established in 2014, the new home for Queen’s creative arts now resides in the grand, monumental, and resounding Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts. An addition to the hall’s world-renowned architecture and design is its location. It sits next to the shores of Lake Ontario, giving Queen’s students another set of outstanding creative spaces.

At present, Isabel houses three major programmes:

  • The School of Drama and Music
  • The Department of Film and Media
  • Bachelor of Fine Art

These courses share Isabel’s state-of-the-art facilities, which are as follows:

  • Production studio
  • Film editing suites
  • Studio theatre
  • Film screening room
  • Art and media lab