Candidate Profile

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Anthropology & Cultural Studies
Film & TV
History - General
Travel & Destinations
Recently retired Professor Gary Evans taught History and Film Studies at the University of Ottawa, Canada. Since 2012 he has offered cruise ship audiences Caribbean, Panama, Alaska, South America and Asia Destination talks. He authored a book about World War II information and a second book dealt with the subject of visual communication and its impact on audiences.

Depending on need, his colorful presentations move from pre-history to European and North American history from the 1600s to the present. His lectures also cover contemporary realities and culture. Mr. Evans' has had positive impacts on guest audiences as his scores are consistently in the highest range. He has also offered Special Interest talks about film culture, including Alfred Hitchcock, Marilyn Monroe, Stanley Kubrick and Hollywood Oscar winners. The most constant compliment he receives from guests is, "I learned SO MUCH!."
December 4, 2019


1. The Caribbean As a Continent of Islands: Where are the spices and gold?
European nations wanted to extract riches and earn glory. Conflict and colonization were among the means to create wealth and to control their claimed real estate.

2. Taste the Sweet, Ignore the Bitter: Island Sugar Production & Its Consequences
The sugar economy of the Caribbean was based on exploitation and slavery. Sugar has left an indelible mark on the human diet.

3. Lost and Found: People and Culture of the Yucatan
The Olmec, Maya and Aztec civilizations were anything but primitive if one considers human ingenuity and human ability to adapt.

4. The American Century and the Caribbean as an American Lake
United States interest in the Caribbean had much to do with wanting to build and control the Panama Canal.
Historical photos and moving images demonstrate how changing perspectives led to present day realities.

5. Near Nuclear Armageddon: The 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis
The world held its breath as the United States and the Soviet Union went face to face over the future of Communist Cuba and western civilization.

6. How Objects Shape Civilizations
15 objects played a major role in shaping the civilizations of the Caribbean, Central and South American pre-Columbian history.

7. Caribbean and South American Musical Legacy
Each destination we visit demonstrates how its music, in word, image and sound is a useful critical and sociological tool.

8. Finding Your Island Paradise: Barbados, Dominica, Antigua, St. Maarten, St. Thomas
These islands have a checkered economic history that has proven a challenge to build upon. Are tourism and offshore banking the answer?

9. Alaska: An Eternal Frontier.
From first arrivals in 13,000 BCE, to charting the Inside Passage, to tourism today, this talk's wide scope justifies its title

10. The United States purchase of Alaska.
In 1867 a shocked public called it “Seward’s Icebox” while Russian diplomats could hardly believe how they had outsmarted the Americans.

11. The Klondike Gold Rush 1897-1899.
40,000 prospectors stampeded to Alaska to scoop up the gold. Historic photos reveal both gold winners and losers.

12. Alaska Enters the 20th Century: Journey to the Last Frontier
The 1899 Harriman Expedition marked the assemblage of the best minds of the era who documented flora and fauna in the first multi-volume study of Alaska

13. Alaska’s Native Cultures and Arts
From totem poles to cedar weaving to iconic religious objects, this talk is an overview of numerous perspectives of native art and music over the last 300 years.

14. Native Tribal Culture Meets Modern Civilization
The interaction of Northwest indigenous tribes with modern society has both transformed and challenged native civilization.

15. Alaska and the Second World War
Japanese military occupation of several Aleutian Islands hastened the construction of the long-awaited Alaska Highway. This kick-started Alaska’s intensive economic development leading to statehood in 1959.

16. Alaska Adventures in the 20th century
From removing hazardous Ripple Rock, to John Muir trapped on a glacier, to Jack London sick in Dawson City, to the tragedy of amateur grizzly expert Timothy Treadwell, all these Alaskan challenges met with mixed results

17. The Disastrous Exxon Valdez Oil Spill
As tragic as this event was ecologically, responses to it have made its repetition in scope less likely today and in future.

18. The American Revolution and the War of 1812
Canadians resisted American imperial ventures after the birth of the United States. War and a dangling conversation along the St. Lawrence River defined their respective futures.

19. The Civil War and Canada-United States relations.
Canada and Britain traded with the Confederate States of America. Tensions nearly sparked war with the United States yet helped hasten the birth of Canada.

20. Canada: A country born without bloodshed
Contrast the founding principles of both the United States and Canada: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness versus the principles of peace, order and good government.

21. The Elephant in the Room
Americans are benevolently ignorant about Canada while Canadians are fearfully well informed about the United States. This is why Canada suffers from the ‘little brother’ syndrome.

22. Relations with Canada’s Indigenous Peoples
Canada’s First Nations experienced an imperfect peace but a more tolerant society than their sister tribes in the United States. This talk explains the differences.

23. Discovering Canada
If you seek a polar climate, misery, or a need to atone for a sinful life, Canada awaits you.
The First Nations translated “Ka-Na Da,“ as “Nothing but trees and beaver.” This amusing talk confronts the myths and milestones that define this gigantic country.

24. The Rise of Imperial Japan
Forced to enter Western power politics, Japan shed its isolation and emulated Western traditions of expansion, war and national hazard.

25. Japan Resurrects the Cult of Bushido
Japan reconstructed its medieval society in a few generations yet was consumed by a warrior tradition that ultimately ruined it.

26. Japanese Film Propaganda in World War II
Using clips from Japanese films this talk demonstrates the power of film to motivate a population to accept war as a necessity.

27. Postwar Japanese Art Film: Remembering Poetry and Potential
Using brief clips from acclaimed Japanese films, this talk demonstrates how Japan remembered its poetic side in the postwar world.

28. Japanese Art and Ceramics
Japanese art and ceramics take on a new meaning in the context of 19th century western Orientalism and colonial conquest. Historical objects are presented from a nuanced and contemporary perspective.

29. The Amazon: The Story of Brazil’s Great River and Its Rainforest Canopy
Fierce ecological supporters and equally intense advocates of development each have strong arguments regarding the river and its future.

30. Brazil: A New World in the Tropics
Sociologist Gilberto Freyre’s definition of Brazilian society as a positive melding of three founding peoples held firm until the 1960s when a new paradigm replaced his historical vision.

31. How to Appreciate the Mighty Amazon.
Visitors often believe they are on another planet as they discover the Amazon rainforest’s fabulous and unforgettable diverse flora and fauna.

32. Sebastiao Salgado: Brazil’s National Treasure
This Brazilian photographer has won worldwide acclaim for his documentary photos and ecological activism.

33. Bus 174: A Microcosm of Brazil’s Urban Challenge
The issue of urban blight has clouded Brazil’s progress as this sad tale reveals a bus hijacking gone bad.

34. Brazil Past and Present.
A society built on slavery and monoculture produced a Brazil of many contradictions. The rush to globalization reveals their historical impacts.

35. The Amazonian Native Population Confronts the Contemporary World.
The indigenous peoples of the Amazon are at a crossroads: stay hidden in the government-protected spheres or share the risks and riches of development.


36. Cruising with Alfred Hitchcock, the Barbaric Sophisticate
Three different talks with film clips and vignettes reveal Hitchcock’s enigma to himself and to his audiences.

37. The Immortal Marilyn Monroe: Tragic Sex Goddess Who Became Immortal Then Died
Two talks deal with the life and death of this icon of American sexuality who continues to provoke theories and fantasies.

38. Actors’ Magic
These talks explain the public's ongoing attraction to the Hollywood Dream Factory and the Academy Awards.
Prof. Evans has been a Destination Speaker since 2012 and has specialized in the abovementioned locales. He has authored 4 books and also has a strong background in film studies. His Power Point delivery makes for a positive learning & social environment as Celebrity, Oceania, Princess, Cunard, Victory and Sea Dream officials will attest.From November - May he resides in south Florida.
The following recent Cruise History has been recorded for this candidate.
Viking Sky SK200214 Turquoise Caribbean Seas 7 Miami, Florida Friday, February 14, 2020
Viking Sea SE200121 West Indies Explorer 10 San Juan Tuesday, January 21, 2020
Viking Sea SE200111 West Indies Explorer 10 San Juan Saturday, January 11, 2020
Viking Sun SU191024 World Cruise 2019 - 2020 Sector 5 25 San Juan Thursday, October 24, 2019
Viking Orion OR190715 Alaska & the Inside Passage 10 Seward (Anchorage), Alaska Monday, July 15, 2019
Viking Orion OR190705 Alaska & the Inside Passage 10 Vancouver Friday, July 5, 2019
Viking Star ST181101 Cultural Cuba 7 Miami, Florida Thursday, November 1, 2018