Alisa Siegel


Alisa Siegel is a longtime CBC radio documentary maker. She shares stories about unsung women artists, history, and the human condition — how we live and die, and who it is that gets to be remembered. Her work has been recognized with international awards by Amnesty International, The Gabriels, The New York Festivals and the United Nations.

Latest from Alisa Siegel


Singing Black gospel music teaches these students about faith, hope and history

In a classroom at the University of Toronto, the sounds of silence collide with a few hushed whispers in the corridors of the glass-and-concrete building housing the Faculty of Music. When class begins the room comes to life with the awe-inspiring echoes of We Shall Overcome.

Exiled composer's music performed nearly a century after fleeing Nazis

For the last 20 years, members of ARC Ensemble have dedicated themselves to recovering the forgotten works of exiled composers. Recently, the ensemble revived the works of Frederick Block — music that hasn't been performed publicly in nearly a century.

How 3 strangers are helping refugees start new lives in Canada

What do a former refugee from Afghanistan, an advocate in Canada and a retired academic in Australia have in common? These three strangers found an unexpected connection and pooled their money and skills to change the lives of refugees forever.

In their footsteps: Canadians honour troops who liberated the Netherlands

In a powerful act of remembrance, a group of Canadians participated in a pilgrimage to the Netherlands to commemorate their fathers, grandfathers and uncles who helped to liberate the country from the Nazis. IDEAS contributor Alisa Seigel shares their story.

For this 95-year-old musician with dementia, playing the piano keeps her feeling like herself

Mother and daughter Marjorie and Beverly Taft are experiencing first-hand what dementia specialists and caregivers have known for years — that even when other aspects of memory slip away, music can not only remain, but serve as a lifeline.

School Cars: how trains brought classrooms to children in remote communities

They were known as school cars and schools on wheels. Trains that brought the classroom to children in the most isolated communities of Northern Ontario. Contributor Alisa Siegel explores remote education, homeschooling and nation-building.

O Canada and beaver perfume: Joyce Wieland's art still helps us understand our national identity

In the 1960s and 70s, Joyce Wieland painted, sculpted and stitched the Canadian flag and our sense of national identity. Her art called on the need to preserve its distinctness from the United States. Now, a quarter century after her death, Canadians are wrestling with questions of who and what we are as a nation.

Raphaëlle de Groot turns 'emotional burdens' into art

Raphaëlle de Groot is a collector — of other people’s burdens. The award winning Montreal-based visual artist’s project has been in the making since 2009.

Kandahar to Carleton U.: Afghan woman's risky pursuit of education

Maryam Sahar Naqibullah, once the Canadian Forces' only female translator in Afghanistan, has followed a risky path that has taken her from a classroom held on patch of desert in Kandahar, to the halls of Ottawa's Carleton University.

Program helps highly educated moms return to workforce

At the University of Toronto, the Rotman School of Management has created a program to help highly educated women get back into the workforce after taking time away for their families.