Spring 2020


The Mongolian Chronicles –

Eagles, Demons & Empires

This lecture series is based on Allen Smutylo’s recent travels to Mongolia. The talks will include excerpts from his new book, other written accounts, historical research, avian biology, original artwork, a full-length film, photographs (personal and historic), and creative musings.

March 17

The Land of Golden Eagles

A detailed look into the rarified life and the nomadic culture of the legendary eagle hunters of Mongolia. This insight comes from Smutylo living with seven eagle hunters and their families during two trips to the Olgii – Bayan area of West Mongolia, in 2016 and ’17.

March 24

‘The Eagle Huntress’

A presentation of the 2015 award-winning documentary film, featuring the 13-year-old Mongolian girl, Aisholpan, who learns to become an eagle hunter. This is followed by a discussion of the film’s impact and accuracy.

March 31

Back to the Future - Genghis Khan & The Mongol Empire

A look at how Mongolia is currently resurrecting its past identity, back to the time of Genghis Khan and the infamous Mongols - the largest (and perhaps the most unlikely) empire the world has ever seen. The talk will survey how the Mongols came to conquer and dominate 100-million people from the Pacific Ocean to Eastern Europe.

April 7

Mongolia at the Turn of the 20th Century

A little-known, but equally fascinating (and turbulent) part of Mongolian history occurred in more recent times. At the beginning of the 20th century, with its former glory a faded memory, Mongolians found themselves shackled and subjugated by the imperialistic ambitions of their surrounding neighbours.

April 14

The Eagle Brand & Shamanism

This lecture will explore avian biology and intelligence, including why the eagle (and specifically the golden eagle) has become an emblematic symbol for nations, states, empires, tribes, sports teams and companies. Also, a review of the Mongolian’s past and present belief in shamanism and the spirit world.

April 21

The Hunt

This final week will explore the ethics and future of the Mongolian eagle hunting culture, including Smutylo’s experiences hunting with the nomads and their golden eagles.

Allen Smutylo 

Born in Toronto in 1946, Allen Smutylo is an Ontario College of Art honour graduate and a member of the Ontario Society of Artists.

For the past 38 years, his writing and his artwork (paintings, etchings and mixed media) have been based on experiences in some of the most remote places in the world. This includes sea kayaking and backpacking expeditions throughout the Canadian Arctic, the west, east and south coasts of Greenland, Iceland, Alaska, Labrador, the Amazon, Antarctica, the Himalaya, the Ganges, Baja, Rajasthan, Patagonia, West Africa, Morocco and Mongolia.  

Allen Smutylo’s artwork is included in over 300 corporate and public collections. His work has been exhibited in dozens of solo shows and countless group shows nationally and internationally and he has won numerous awards.