Spur Ottawa: November 5 – 8, 2015



This year’s speakers include: Chair of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada The Honourable Justice Murray Sinclair, the BBC’s diplomatic correspondent Bridget Kendall, Inuit activist and former International Chair of the Inuit Circumpolar Council Sheila Watt-Cloutier, former premier of Alberta Alison Redford, and NATO’s Assistant Secretary General for Public Diplomacy Ted Whiteside.

To purchase a Festival Pass to all nine Spur Ottawa events (full value $95) for just $75 – click here

All Spur Festival passholders receive 25% their admission to the National Gallery of Canada!

 Welcome to Spur, a national festival of politics, art and ideas. Join today’s most provocative thinkers and scholars, artists and activists, journalists and entrepreneurs – from across the country and beyond – to share ideas worth spurring into action.

Spur 2015: Alone, Together

We live in a world of always-on connectivity; in a moment where more than half of the world’s population resides in cities. We live in the digital as much as the physical, where opportunities to create and sustain vibrant communities have never been greater. Yet, in this very togetherness, MIT technologist Sherry Turkle says that our relationships have devolved – though they are wider, they are weaker, more simulated than strong, less meaningful and more mediated. We turn to technology instead of to each other.

We live in a world where we are alone, together. But what does it mean to be a part of a neighbourhood? To be a part of a social or cultural community? To be a citizen of a nation and of the world? How do we balance individuality with the sort of community-building necessary to give individual lives meaning in the first place? How can we re-imagine a civic life that is as engaging as it is promising for the 21st century?