Liquor Meets Intellect

How are tea pots made? What are the origins of cartography? Do bears dream during hibernation? What do we really know about the sundog phenomenon? Unusual questions, perhaps. But the answers lie somewhere out there. Now, there is an inquisitive event which caters to the curious crowd, called Drunken Lectures: The way high school should have been. At this series of events, the investigative folks of Whitehorse can discuss topics that strike their fancy.

The Drunken Lectures are intended to provide information about anything in a casual setting where you can relax with a beer (or whatever) and soak up new ideas. The event first surfaced last year with two events, and returned this year for a lecture night on Oct. 13. The next one takes place Nov. 19 at Baked Cafè.

The Drunken Lectures format is that eight speakers present a topic – any topic – to the crowd for eight minutes each. Their slogan is “8 not-quite sober speakers, 8 topics, 8 minutes each.”

The Drunken Lectures are the brainchild of Whitehorse based design and marketing firm, SMRT Pop Ups. This firm is comprised of a group of adults in their 30’s who strive to bring fun and intellectual events to Whitehorse inhabitants.

In addition to Drunken Lectures, SMRT Pop Ups also puts on other events in Whitehorse, such as Date the Candidates and a Letter Writing Party. Selene Vakharia is one of the founders SMRT Pop Ups and collaborated with a few of the other founders to create Drunken Lectures.

“We believe that learning and engaging with important community issues doesn’t have to be boring,” she says. “‘Smart fun’ to us means entertaining and meaningful.”

Everyone is welcome to sign up to speak at a future event and for topics anything goes.

“Past speakers have spoken about everything from B horror movies, to obscure battles of the 16th century, to insect mating habits,” says Vakharia.

The speaker lineup for the Nov. 19 lectures are Kirsten Burrows, Brett Elliot, Vance Fok, Samie G., Cathy MacDonald, Kieran Slobodin, Vanessa Stewart and John Streiker.

The Drunken Lectures will run until the spring. They’re a great way to break out of your comfort zone and learn something new, or release your inner teacher and share your discoveries with others.

“Our speakers are experts and community members who want to share their enthusiasm for the nerdier side of life. We encourage everyone to learn responsibly,” Vakharia says.

Doors open at 7 p.m. for the Drunken Lectures on Thursday, Nov. 19 at Baked Cafe and Bakery. Speakers will begin at 8 p.m. Cover is $5.

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