Benjamin Butterfield wins Craigdarroch Award

Performer, artistic collaborator and educator—Benjamin Butterfield continues to make an indelible impression on the future of Canadian singers and on audiences worldwide. He is a tenor of international renown, with a repertoire ranging from baroque to classical to contemporary. This much-loved School of Music professor is now the 2015 winner of UVic’s Craigdarroch Award for Excellence in Artistic Expression.

Benjamin Butterfield (UVic Photo Services)

Benjamin Butterfield (UVic Photo Services)

Benjamin Butterfield is an outstanding performer, artistic collaborator, and educator, whose body of artistic work and song serves as a link to a greater sense and understanding of one’s self, others, and the world around us,” says Dr. Susan Lewis, Acting Dean of Fine Arts. “The measure of Professor Butterfield’s impact on the musical world can truly be found in how he applies his talent and expertise to the training of a new generation of singers at the School of Music. He makes the difference for young singers, providing both inspiration and sound teaching to prepare them for the world stage.”

Butterfield’s artistic knowledge and production experience is broad, versatile and widely recognized by peers, critics and audiences for its quality and impact. He has performed with the world’s top musicians and conductors, and is highly sought-after as a teacher who transforms young singers into emerging professional artists. Many of his students have gone on to give performances with major opera companies and symphonies throughout North America.

“This award clarifies the value that the University of Victoria places on the arts by acknowledging artistic expression as a point of recognition amongst it’s community members,” says Butterfield. “To be included with scientists, scholars, historians, technicians and health professionals sends a valuable message that the whole is made stronger by the sum of it’s parts. This award also helps me clarify for myself the importance of continuing to grow and learn as a singer, educator and human being.”

Butterfield, dressed for success on the stage

Butterfield, dressed for success on the stage

As an example of how busy Butterfield is during his off-campus hours, he is performing at two prestigious music events this summer alone: the Ukrainian Art Song project—which will find Butterfield at the Glenn Gould Studio this July recording alongside the acclaimed likes of fellow Canadian vocalists Russell Braun, Virginia Hatfield, Andrea Ludwig, Krisztina Szabó, Monica Whicher and Pavlo Hunka as part of the overall project to record 1,000 Ukrainian art songs by 26 composers as an extraordinary musical legacy to the world—and at Vermont’s famous Yellow Barn Concerts, which presents 23 concerts between July 10 and August 8.

“Music binds, educates and serves—the human voice is common to us all and is at the very core of our collective abilities, story telling and passions. Music can heal and rally, console and inspire. It is a reflecting pool for our common struggles and joys,” says Butterfeld. “Our world today is full of seemingly insurmountable obstacles and conflicts presenting a complicated and challenging future. There has never been a better time to sing. It helps one find the strength of character to be inspired, find solace and understanding and to know our responsibilities towards this world. As a performing artist, how do I inspire others to better appreciate the world around us? By singing about it.”

Butterfield teaching one of his students

Butterfield teaching one of his students

And, considering the range of students he’s had over the years, what kind of impact does Butterfield see UVic graduates having on the world? “An old sailor once said, ‘There are two kinds of people in this world: those who have hit a coral reef, and those who are going to hit a coral reef.’ UVic grads know that true success comes from developing the strength of mind to negotiate and manage failure; they are taught to deal with life’s inevitable ups and downs through UVic’s faculty, staff, facilities and location,” he says.

“They become committed, thoughtful and interested contributors to our society rather than focusing on self serving ventures. Our music grads in particular achieve this through learning to communicate through their music, developing their point of view and by taking chances every day. Their impact on the world is simple: they make music.”

Butterfield joins the likes of previous Craigdarroch Award winners Harald Krebs, Lorna Crozier and Marcus Milwright. The Craigdarroch Research Awards were established in 2003 to recognize outstanding research-focused and creative contributions at UVic, and were named for Craigdarroch Castle—home to UVic’s predecessor institution, Victoria College (1921-1946).

You can view Craigdarroch winners’ “Faces of UVic Research” videos here.

Crozier Named to Order of Canada

Lorna Crozier, the acclaimed professor of poetry with the University of Victoria’s Department of Writing, has been named an Officer of the Order of Canada by Governor General David Johnston.

One of Canada’s most beloved and talented poets, this latest honour comes on the heels of Crozier being recognized as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada in 2009, and her winning of UVic’s Craigdarroch Award for Excellence in Artistic Expression in 2010. With 15 books of poetry behind her and a number of awards—including the Governor General’s Literary Award—as well as a pair of honourary doctorates for her contributions to Canadian literature and her designation as a Distinguished Professor at UVic, Crozier is in the enviable position of being highly regarded by her peers and universally loved by the students and writers she has mentored over her 20 years at UVic.

She will be honoured at a special celebration at Rideau Hall in Ottawa this fall, alongside a select list of other notable Canadians, including the celebrated likes of novelist Nino Ricci, comedian Eugene Levy, science broadcaster Bob McDonald and musician Valdy.

The Officer of the Order of Canada recognizes a lifetime of achievement and merit of a high degree, especially in service to Canada or to humanity at large. Over the last 40 years, more than 5000 people from all sectors of society have been invested into the Order, including UVic President Dr. David Turpin and School of Music professor emeritus Ian McDougall.

For more information visit www.lornacrozier.ca and http://www.gg.ca/document.aspx?id=72

She’s the Top

Lorna Crozier knows research can be poetic

Department of Writing professor Lorna Crozier was named one of UVic’s top seven researchers for 2011. Crozier, a much-loved poet, essayist and public speaker, picked up the Award for Excellence in Artistic Expression at the 2011 Craigdarroch Research Awards on May 3.

“Our university continues to be ranked nationally and internationally as a top research institution because of the talent, creativity and passion of our faculty and students,” noted Dr. Howard Brunt, UVic’s vice-president research. “The accomplishments of these award recipients exemplify that excellence and clearly demonstrate how new knowledge is being applied to improve the world around us.”
Crozier was lauded for her position “at the forefront of Canadian literature,” with the Craigdarroch panel noting how “the arresting, lyrical honesty for which she is best known infuses her 15 verse collections, as well as her 2009 memoir, Small Beneath the Sky.”

Other award recipients included engineer Dr. Andreas Antoniou, chemist Dr. Alexandre Brolo, engineer Dr. Reuven Gordon, physical anthropologist Dr. Eric Roth, historian Dr. Eric Sager and biochemist Dr. Caren Helbing.

http://communications.uvic.ca/releases/release.php?display=release&id=1223