Engaging. Provocative. Inclusive. Inspiring. That was my experience from attending my first Walrus Magazine's, Walrus Talk, held in Calgary this week at Theatre Junction Grand. The event was the 45th Walrus Talk and this one featured eight speakers, each with a platform to talk on the topic of Health for seven minutes.
More than 400 people joined to hear the personal accounts from a completely diverse group of speakers: a 21yo medical student and SHAD Fellow, a psychology professor, a Harvard graduate and psychiatrist, an artist, author and cancer patient, an awarded physician with a social conscious, an Indigenous Canadian Olympian, and Canada's most famous wife of a former prime minister and mother of a current prime minister.
Margaret Trudeau's presentation may have exceeded her seven minute allotment, but she was incredibly open, honest, frank, and quite funny as she related her story from meeting Pierre Trudeau, her long struggle with being bi-polar and often depressed. "Depression is not sadness or sensitivity. That's just being human. Depression is an illness," Mrs. Trudeau said.
For those familiar with TED Talks, Walrus Talks are a similar live forum but with a Canadian point of view. The series runs nationally across all major cities. Upcoming topics include spirituality, the future, energy, and vices. The next Calgary event is on Monday, May 30 and will discuss, What is Art, anyway? (Arts Commons/Max Bell Theatre/$14.50 for students, $23.50 for adults) A cocktail reception with the presenters follows all Walrus Talks.
Below is an excerpt from Margaret Trudeau's presentation. The full program can be streamed on thewalrus.com