News & Achievements

Art History & Visual Studies



Jamie Cassels Undergraduate Research Awards 2015

The Department of Art History and Visual Studies is represented in the upcoming JCURA Research Fair Wednesday, March 4, by three Art History and Visual Studies students:

Successful completion of Doctoral program by Jamie Kemp

Congratulations on a superb performance, Jamie!

The Department of Art History and Visual Studies is proud to announce the successful completion of the Ph.D by Ms. Jamie Kemp on December 5, 2014. Her work on illustrated copies of Bartholomeus Anglicus’s encyclopedia produced in France during the fifteenth century was an outstanding success. We look forward to seeing the results of her research in publications and future presentations.


Master's students awarded SSHRCs

The Art History and Visual Studies department is proud to announce that Natalie Massong and Regan Shrumm have been awarded each a Joseph Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship (via SSHRC).


Arts & Cultures of World War I

To mark the centenary of the commencement of the War Dr. Marcus Milwright from our Department of Art History and Visual Studies is organizing two events:

Exhibition at Legacy Maltwood (at the Mearns Centre - McPherson Library)
(7 November 2014 - 2 March 2015)

Lecture Series - Held in David Strong Bldg C118 4:30-6:00 pm
(2 October - 27 November 2014)

  • Thursday October 2, 2014
    Martin Bunton, Department of History
    World War One and the Remaking of the Modern Middle East
  • Thursday October 16, 2014
    Allan Antliff, Department of Art History and Visual Studies
    Revolutionary Violence and the War against War I
  • Matthew Adams, Banting Post-Doctoral Fellow, University of Victoria
    The contraty Experience: Herbert Read and the Cultural Memory of the First World War
  • Thursday October 30, 2014
    Mitch Parry, Department of Art History and Visual Studies
    The First World War in Film
  • Thursday November 13, 2014
    Lisa Cooper, Department of Classical, Near Eastern adn Religious Studies, University of British Columbia
    Daughter of Empires: The Archaeological and Political Activities of Gertrude Bell in Mesopotamia, 1909-1926
    This lecture is sponsored by the University of Victoria branch of the Middle East and Islamic Studies Conortium of British Columbia (MEICON).
  • Thursday November 27, 2014
    Evanthia Baboula, Department of Art History and Visual Studies
    From Ithaca to Number 31328: Greek Literature of the First World War

A new name for our Department!

As of May 2014, we have a new name for our unit: Department of Art History & Visual Studies. The former name, History in Art, was created in the late 1960s by Professor Alan Gowans who was an early pioneer in material culture/visual studies. He believed that all visual art was worthy of study, whether it was an iconic masterpiece, a famous building, or an exquisite textile from long ago. We are renewing our curriculum, with a focus on areas like Visual Studies, Film, Material Culture and Museum Studies, and World Art. Stay tuned for the new direction and expanded possibilities for our students.

History in Art Graduate Student Co-curating exhibition at the Legacy Art Gallery

Featuring Christian Orthodox icons and crucifixes from the Legacy permanent collection, this exhibition examines religious, historical, and cultural meanings past and present. Co-curated by Regan Shrumm (graduate student) and Dr. Evanthia Baboula, (Assistant Professor, History in Art)

2013 Lieutenant Governor's Silver Medal awarded to History in Art graduate

The department of History in Art is proud to announce that Erin Wallace, one of our 2013 Master’s graduates, has been awarded the 2013 Lieutenant Governor’s Silver Medal (Other than Thesis) for outstanding project or extended essay, “Making Space, Speak: Performing violence in Gordon Matta-Clark’s Window Blowout”.


History in Art Doctoral Candidate awarded the SSHRC Joseph-Armand Bombardier Graduate Scholarship

History in Art's doctoral candidate Brian Pollick is a recipient of a Joseph-Armand Bombardier Graduate Scholarship (2013-16). His dissertation focuses on merchants in Trecento Italy who used images to help negotiate their place in society, in a Christian context that deeply mistrusted the impact of money, wealth and commerce. He is studying the Palazzo Datini in Prato, as one of the case studies of his dissertation; this merchant's palace is one of the best-preserved late medieval spaces in Tuscany.


New publication for Dr. Allan Antliff

Dr. Allan Antliff is pleased to announce the publication of his new book, Joseph Beuys (published by Phaidon).

Joseph Beuys (1921–1986) – sculptor, painter, draughtsman, teacher, theorist and political activist – ranks among the most radicaland influential artists to emerge during the second half of the twentieth century. An enigmatic figure whose complex imagination drew on his research across awide range of themes – including mythology, zoology, botany and the spiritual theories of Rudolf Steiner – Beuys strove to establish a truly democratic approach towards artistic creativity, and prove that modern art need not be confined to the museum or the gallery.

For more information on Joseph Beuys, you can see:

  1. Why Joseph Beuys and his dead hare live on -
  2. How Joseph Beuys went from artist to philosopher -

Dr. Antliff has also edited a special 'anarchism in print' issue of the Journal of Modern Periodical Studies.


Jamie Cassels Undergraduate Research Awards 2014

The Department of History in Art was represented at the JCURA Research Fair this month by three History in Art students:


Big Button Blanket at Adasla

The Big Button Blanket was exhibited once more during another performance held at the Legacy Art Gallery, in downtown Victoria. This featured a special contemporary performance collaboration between Governor General’s Award winning performance artist Rebecca Belmore—a former Audain professor for the Department of Visual Arts—and blanket co-creator, Tahtan Nation artist Peter Morin.


Visual Impetus XVII - Graduate student organized symposium
The annual History in Art graduate student symposium Visual Impetus is returning for its impressive 17th year, January 24th & 25th. The weekend-long seminar will be held in the centrally located Legacy Art Gallery in downtown Victoria. Take in a presentation or two and at the same time come check out the The Big Button Blanket, courtesy if Dr. Carolyn Butler Palmer and Peter Morin (learn more). You can find out about the presentations here.


 CBC interview - The Big Button Blanket project
Jo-Ann Roberts host of All Points West, CBC Radio One'sprovincialafternoonshowserving British Columbia, interviewed artist Peter Morin regarding The Big Button Blanket project. This project was offered as a course at the University of Victoria, under the direction of Dr. Carolyn Butler Palmer, Assistant Profesor Williams Legacy Chair.
Photo credit: Michael Glendale


Dr. Evanthia Baboula offers Jewish art course in Spring 2014
History in Art's Dr. Evanthia Baboula was interviewed by Vancouver's Jewish Independent newspaper in December. She's talking about her new course on Jewish art—the first of its kind in Canada!—that kicks off this semester.


 Now that’s a big blanket!
History in Art professor Carolyn Butler-Palmer and her students have been busy creating the world’s biggest button blanket this fall. The Big Button Blanket project was recently profiled in the Times Colonist in a UVic knowlEDGE piece and will be part of a feature exhibit at UVic’s Legacy Galleries Downtown in early 2014.

 The art of eating

History in Art alumna Lindsay Anderson was featured in the fall issue of the UVic alumni magazine The Torch for her work as both a busy food writer and the official food blogger for the City of Richmond.

Jewish art course a Canadian first
History in Art professor Eva Baboula has created Canada’s first university course focused solely on Jewish art.

Visiting scholars

History in Art, Medieval Studies and the Middle East & Islamic Consortium welcomed a pair of guest scholars in October, Langara College’s Dr. Niall Christie and Bernard O’Kane.

Faculty Research Symposium

With a focus on “Contemporaneity Then and Now”, the 9th Annual History in Art Faculty Research Symposium offered an interdisciplinary lineup of speakers from both in and beyond the Fine Arts faculty.

 Undergrad wins prize

History in Art Honours student Regan Shrumm was named winner of the 2013 Victoria Medal—awarded annually to the student with the highest GPA in the Faculty of Fine Arts.


 Dr. Erin Campbell's new publication

Adopting a broad chronological framework and expanding the regional scope beyond Florence and Venice to include domestic interiors from less studied centers such as Urbino, Ferrara, and Bologna, this collection offers new perspectives on the home in early modern Italy. The volume’s dual emphasis is on reconstructing the material culture of specific residences, and on how particular domestic objects reflect, shape, and mediate family values and relationships within the home.



Jamie Kemp flips the classroom

History in Art instructor and PhD candidate Jamie Kemp is featured in the July Martlet article "Flipping the Classroom". “Flipping the classroom, to me, is just simply a movement to push the initial delivery of information and content out of the classroom and online,” explains Kemp. “The beauty of that is that you’re able to spend your class time doing more interactive things, so really applying knowledge and engaging with the course content in a more dynamic way.”


Susan Hawkins talks science & popular culture

How does quantum theory play into art and popular culture? Find out when History in Art instructor Susan Hawkins talks with CFAX radio's Adam Sawatsky in this podcast from his Eye on the Arts show in July.


Regan Shrumm earns top marks

History in Art undergraduate student Regan Shrumm earned the top GPA in all of Fine Arts this year. Read about her past and present curatorial work, and future plans as a returning


Sampling Core Samples

Downtown's Legacy Gallery looks at the first 20 years of the Visual Arts department with their new exhibit, Core Samples. Get the story on our blog and read what Times Colonist art reviewer Robert Amos has to say about "this carefully chosen and installed exhibition" in this article.


Marcus Milwright wins Craigdarroch

History in Art professor Marcus Milwright was honoured with UVic's Craigdarroch Silver Medal for Excellence in Research this spring. Milwright's award is only the third time the Craigdarroch has been presented to Fine Arts, alongside Lorna Crozier and the Lafayette String Quartet.


UVAC highlights Karl Spreitz's films

The short film archive of Karl Spreitz is now part of the UVic Art Collection. Among the films are studio visits with the likes of Maxwell Bates and Myfanwy Pavelic, which are highlighted in this Times Colonist article.


Liz Charsley-Jory now artist-in-residence

History in Art (and Theatre) alumna Liz Charsley-Jory is the first Canadian artist-in-residence at London's Dulwich Picture Gallery. Her show Bright Land: West of the Rockies, South of the Thames ran there this spring. Dulwich also has a major show in the works about Emily Carr in 2014.



It's the 5th annual Middle East & Islamic Consortium of BC conference, running March 21-23 at UVic. A collaboration between faculty and students of UVic, SFU and UBC, MEICON kicks off with a keynote presentation of “Representations of Muslim Women: Image and Reality” on March 21 (7pm HSD A240), followed by a full-day faculty symposium focusing on Canada’s contributions to Middle Eastern and Islamic studies—including two sessions on Islamic art and archaeology—on March 22 in the University Club, and a student conference on March 23 in ECS 125.


History in Art at IdeaFest

If you missed the IdeaFest Creativity panel featuring History in Art's Victoria Wyatt—alongside colleagues Jennifer Stillwell (Visual Arts), Lee Henderson (Writing) and George Tzanetakis and Jonathan Goldman (Music)


History in Art at JCURA

Fine Arts had 10 students represented at the annual spring Jamie Cassels Undergraduate Research Awards this year, including History in Art's Sara Fruchtman, Alexandra Macdonald and Christine Oldridge. Also presenting this year were Stewart Gibbs, Sarah Johnson and Jennifer Taylor (Theatre), Bronwyn McMillin and Willie Seo (Visual Arts), plus Claire Garneau and Liz Snell (Writing).


Stories of Gold

UVic hosted the 26th Annual Medieval Workshop this spring, with Stories of Gold as the title and focus. It was the Medieval Studies Program's way of helping UVic celebrate our golden anniversary while also exploring the many roles of gold within Medieval society.


Visual Impetus XVI

The annual History in Art graduate student symposium Visual Impetus returned for its impressive 16th year this January. The weekend-long seminar was held in the Fine Arts building and you can find out about the presentations here.


New Program: Minor in History in Art

If you are enrolled in another UVic undergraduate program you can combine it with a Minor in History in Art.

Based on the following pattern, you can design a set of courses that complement your area of study.  The Minor in History in Art will help you understand comparative visual cultural traditions in a world-minded way within your main disciplines.

Students wishing to declare a Minor in History in Art should contact the Advising Centre for their faculty.

To obtain a History in Art Minor, students are required to complete successfully:

1.5 units of HA 120
1.5 units of HA 121
3.0 units – HA 200 level
9.0 units – HA 300/400 level
For a total of 15.0 units

Courses taken for the Minor cannot be used to complete requirements for a Major or Honours Program. 


Three History in Art students participating in the Jamie Cassels Undergraduate Award Research Fair

JCURA award winners are preparing for their participation in the upcoming research fair. Please come and support your fellow students as they have worked hard on their projects. You can view their abstracts here.

Award Winners:
Sara Fruchtman
Alexandra MacDonald
Christine Oldridge

  • Wednesday, March 6, 2013
  • 11:30 am - 3:00 pm
  • Michele Pujol Room, Cinecenta and Upper Lounge at the SUB


26th Annual Medieval Workshop:
Stories of Gold

Saturday February 9, 2013
The Bob Wright Centre Room B150

Faculty Coordinator:
Dr. Marcus Milwright,
Director, Medieval Studies Program

Gold has been prized by humans for thousands of years. One of the few metals to occur in its pure form on the surface of the earth, gold is a remarkably malleable material that can be formed into any shape. To celebrate the fiftieth (golden) anniversary of the University of Victoria, we have chosen to explore the many roles of this rare and beautiful metal within Medieval society. Gold was used for sacred purposes ranging from reliquaries and liturgical items to the ornamentation of buildings and manuscripts with gold leaf. The metal had a central role in economic life, with gold coins circulating across the known world. There are also metaphorical dimensions of gold; these include the Medieval bestseller, the Golden Legend, and the pervasive concept of lost “Golden Ages.” We hope to bring you a workshop that is worth its weight in gold!


Winter 2015

Kirk McNally and Emily Carr String Quartet

 When Black Angels was premiered in Michigan in 1970, it was described as “one of the most important events of the season.” Kirk McNally, audio specialist at the School of Music, recently dug up the original program for George Crumb’s electric string quartet, as well as newspaper reviews from the premiere, in his preparation for the Jan. 29 performance of Black Angels by the Emily Carr String Quartet (ECSQ). Inspired by the Vietnam War, the eerie and atmospheric piece calls upon the musicians to play their instruments in many unusual ways—including trilling on the strings with thimble-capped fingers—as well as to whisper, chant, shout and play percussion instruments such as maracas, tam-tams and water-tuned crystal goblets.

“We are doing a proper version of the quartet using equipment that is the contemporary equivalent of what was used in the premiere,” explains McNally. “The recording from the premiere is still on reel-to-reel tape, so unfortunately it won’t be available as a reference.”

Featuring local residents Müge Büyükçelen and Cory Balzer (violins) as well as two UVic alumni, violist Mieka Michaux (BMus ’98) and cellist Alasdair Money (MMus ’03), the ECSQ will also perform works by Shostakovich, Osvaldo Golijov and alumna Cassandra Miller (BMus ’05).

Harald Krebs and Dániel Péter Biró

A recent publication, The String Quartets of Béla Bartók: Tradition and Legacy in Analytical Perspective, edited by School of Music's Harald Krebs and Dániel Biró, received an extensive review in the Winter issue of Chamber Music America magazine (p.48-50). The book, published by Oxford University Press, grew out of an interdisciplinary workshop on Bartók's quartets at the School of Music in September 2008.

Concerto Winner: Keenan Mittag-Degala

 Fourth-year percussion performance major, Keenan Mittag-Degala, will perform Ney Rosauro’s Concerto for Marimba and Strings with the UVic Orchestra on Friday, January 30. A winner of the School of Music’s annual Concerto Competition, the Seattle-born musician has a background in a variety of musical styles on multiple instruments, from jazz drums, to folk guitar, and classical piano and percussion. Read an interview with Keenan in the School of Music's e-Pusle newsletter.

Eugene Dowling: Endowing the Gift of Music

How do you cap a life spent in music? By investing your legacy in future generations. That’s what beloved School of Music brass professor Eugene Dowling is doing with a special January 11 concert inaugurating the Eugene Dowling Scholarship for Tuba and Euphonium. Not only will this kick off fundraising efforts for the scholarship itself, but the concert will also tie together Dowling’s friendships, musical life and his years performing in both the School of Music and the greater Victoria community. Read on...

Donations to the scholarship can be made here using this online donation form.

Louis Ranger: A Life in Music

 For School of Music professor and trumpeter, Louis Ranger, the Faculty Chamber Music concert on January 10 marked a double milestone–—36 years of teaching at the School of Music as well as his forthcoming retirement. Featuring many colleagues, alumni, and current students including Benjamin Butterfield, Anne Grimm, the Lafayette String Quartet and the UVic Chamber Singers, the concert showcased some of the music that inspired Ranger the most throughout his lifetime. The full-house concert concluded with a surprie performance by nearly thirty of Ranger's current and former trumpet students. Read more here.

Hold the Phone: Goodbye muzak, hello Beethoven 

Getting put on hold at UVic just became a bit more pleasant, thanks to School of Music professor Andrew Schloss and the Lafayette String Quartet. Tired of listening to the muzak that UVic had been using, Schloss “went on a bit of a crusade” to replace it with something that actually features the School of Music. 

"It was this absolutely abominable stuff—the kind you hear when you’re on hold with an airline," says Schloss. “It put me in a bad mood every time I heard it."  His "crusade" to replace the music with UVic Systems took the better part of two years, but callers across campus will now hear a five-minute excerpt from a live performance of Beethoven’s Opus 18 No. 3 in D Major performed by the Lafayette String Quartet. “It is Beethoven, but over the phone it actually sounds a bit like the Mexican Hat Dance,” chuckles Schloss.

Fall 2014

 Concerto Winner: Elizabeth Clarke

As one of the three winners of the School of Music’s annual Concerto Competition, pianist Elizabeth Clarke will perform Brahms’ Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor with the UVic Orchestra on November 29.

Originally from Fort McMurray, Alberta, Elizabeth is currently completing her M.Mus in piano performance under the direction of Professor Arthur Rowe. Before arriving at UVic, Elizabeth studied piano with Milton Schlosser at the University of Alberta’s Augustana Campus where she was one of three 2013 undergraduates to receive the presigious Governor General’s Silver Medal. Read more here.

Lafayette String Quartet

Distinguished musicians and artists, the Lafayette String Quartet, Artists in Residence at the University of Victoria, with Alexander Tselyakov, Professor at Brandon University, released a new CD of two piano quintets by famous Russian composer, Dmitry Shostakovich and well-known Canadian composer, Kelly-Marie Murphy.

Murphy’s quintet, In a World of Motion and Distance, was commissioned by the Pender Harbour Chamber Music Festival to celebrate their 10th anniversary in August 2014. It was written for Alexander Tselyakov and the Lafayette String Quartet.

“The initial catalyst for the piece (In a World of Motion and Distance) was in drawing parallels between the creative process and the annealing of glass and metal ” Murphy wrote of her composition.

Stay tuned for details regarding a CD release concert in 2015!

Tsilumous Ensemble

 The School of Music was well represented at the Symposium of New Music and Computer Music (SiMN 2014) in Curitiba, Brazil this past September. Ensemble Tsilumos, the new music group formed by School of Music faculty Joanna Hood, Ajtony Csaba, and, Dániel Péter Bíró, with Kris Covlin, was in residence at the symposium to present a concert, reading session, masterclasses, and a lecture.

In concert in the picturesque Capella Santa Maria, with new pieces from Takasugi, Ullivelli, Bíró, and Frechette, Tsilumos also performed the world premiere of Alhures, composed by School of Music alumnus Felipe de Almeida Ribeiro (M.Mus ’08), currently professor of composition the State University of Paraná – EMBAP.

Dániel Péter Biró

Dániel Péter Biró 
is spending the 2014-15 academic-year at Harvard University’s Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study, thanks to the prestigious Fellowship he received—a first for the University of Victoria. Biró’s tenure at Harvard will be spent not teaching but completing a seven-part, three-hour composition cycle he has been creating since 2003. “It’s called Mishpatim, which means ‘laws’. It’s all coming from an archaic Hebrew text, and will involve large ensemble, voice, piano and electronics,” explains Biró. Read more about this work at Artsy Type.

Summer 2014

School of Music Launches New Degree

 Over the past few years, the School of Music’s string faculty has been working with the university to establish a program for young musicians to study intensively—not as individual artists, however, but as a quartet. We are now proud to announce the launch of the Masters Degree Program in String Quartet Performance—a first in Canada.

While there are other institutions where individual musicians can earn graduate degrees in string performance, UVic is now the first Canadian degree-granting institution to offer a Masters with a string quartet emphasis. This new program will allow previously formed quartets the opportunity to study both as a group and individually with the Lafayette String Quartet, UVic’s acclaimed Artists-in-Residence.

Read the full story at Artsy Type
More about the program

Lafayette String Quartet

The Lafayette String Quartet has a busy recording session ahead of them this summer, thanks to the August release date set for their world premier recording of Piano Quintet by Canadian composer Kelly Marie-Murphy, featuring pianist Alexander Tselyakov. Marie-Murphy was commissioned by the Pender Harbour Chamber Music Festival to compose a piano quintet for Alexander (the festival’s artistic director) and the LSQ in celebration of the festival’s 10th anniversary. As a bonus, the CD will also feature the Shostakovich piano quintet. The LSQ will perform the world premier of Marie-Murphy’s quintet at the fest in August, where they will also launch the CD.

The busy quartet will be in Ontario for a large part of the summer performing in Leith, Waterloo, Ottawa, and the 35th annual Festival of the Sound in Parry Sound. Just by way of showing the range of works they’ll be tackling this summer, their lineup of composers includes Murray Adaskin, Fanny Hensel-Mendelssohn, Benjamin Britten, Beethoven (“Op. 95 String Quartet and the 9th Symphony with a smash-up band organized to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the Festival of the Sound,” says the LSQ’s Ann Elliott-Goldschmid), Alberto Ginastera, Felix Mendeslssohn, Luigi Boccherini, Arthur Foote, Rebecca Clarke, Joseph Haydn, Tchaikovsky, Mozart, Dmitri Shostakovich (quartet and piano quintet), and Ernst Chausson.

Dániel Péter Biró

 As well as preparing for his prestigious Fellowship from the Radcliffe Institute at Harvard University in 2014/15, School of Music professor Dániel Péter Biró will have his new composition Al Ken Kara (That Is Why It Was Called) performed on July 26 at the Teatro Fondamenta Nuove in Venice, Italy. This piece was originally composed as part of the Mediterranean Voices film project. In addition, the book The String Quartets of Béla Bartók: Tradition and Legacy in Analytical Perspective that he co-edited with fellow School of Music professor Harald Krebs, has just been released by Oxford University Press.

More about Al Ken Kara

Susan Lewis Hammond

School of Music director Susan Lewis Hammond is cracking the books this summer—her own book, that is. “I’ll be finishing a textbook titled Baroque Music: History, Culture, Performance—forthcoming with Routledge in 2015″, she says. On top of that, she’ll be presenting on a panel “on the value of a Bachelor of Music degree” at Congress 2015 at Brock University, and traveling to do research at the University of Toronto.

Beyoncé Course a National Headline

 The School of Music’s new course, Beyoncé, gained national media attention with a string of articles, blog posts and radio interviews. Instructor Melissa Avdeeff spoke with The Globe and Mail about what the course and her response to some of the criticism it has received. She explains that the class goes beyond watching videos and listening to music and offers “a way to develop a framework to understand why and how we listen to popular music and its role in society.” In another article from The Province, School of Music Director, Susan Lewis Hammond, speculates that the course is so popular with students because they “look for courses that address issues of relevance to them. The course will help them understand their own relationship to music, media and technology.” Originally capped at 70 students, the class, which starts in January, has reached its new capacity of 100 students.

You can follow the course on Twitter at @UVicBeyonce

Patrick Boyle

Patrick Boyle will be one of the guest artists at the Tuckamore Festival in St. John’s Newfoundland, which runs from August 4-17, 2014. Since 2001, the festival has provided opportunities for young artists to mentor with world-class musicians, participate in workshops and performances, and attend concerts. Boyle will lead workshops in improvisation and spontaneity as well as give a late-night jazz performance.

Quartet Fest West

 The popular summer intensive workshop, Quartet Fest West, returned to UVic for two weeks in June. Attracting participants from across Canada, the US and Italy, the festival of concerts, workshops and coachings was hosted by UVic’s beloved quartet-in-residence, the Lafayette String Quartet.

Participants and the public had the opportunity to soak in the host quartet’s prowess in a concert on June 18. Performing works by Boccherini, Shostakovich and Mendelssohn, the Lafayette String Quartet shared the stage with David Ellis, cellist of the Alcan String Quartet (guest coaches of the festival from Chicoutimi, Québec).

The festival culminated in a student concert on June 20 featuring chamber groups made up of Quartet Fest participants.

Spring 2014

Suzanne Snizek

Suzanne Snizek’s chapter, The Abyss and the Berries, was recently published by Université Paris Ouest in the book La captivité de guerre au XXe siècle - Des archives, des histoires, des mémoires. The collection of essays were presented at the conference entitled ‘The Impact of Nazism on Twentieth-Century Music’ in April 2008 at the University of London’s Senate House.

Snizek’s essay looks at the music of Austrian born composer Hans Gál, in particular his “Huyton Suite,” composed with instruments that were available in the camp which he was interned. Snizek concludes that “it is in Hans Gál’s internment period compositions that one finds a unique portrayal of the collective internment experience.”

Harald Krebs

 School of Music theory professor, Harald Krebs, was recently awarded the Craigdarroch Award for Excellence in Artistic Expression. Recognized internationally as an expert on musical meter and rhythm, especially in 19th-century German art song known as Lieder, Krebs was named a UVic Distinguished Professor in 2010. He has produced award-winning publications as well as many articles and collaborative performances fusing scholarship and musical practice. Krebs is active as a pianist and performs frequently in collaboration with Sharon Krebs. The duo present the recital series Lieder at Lunch at the School of Music, which Sharon and he founded in 2001.

The Craigdarroch Research Awards were established in 2003 to recognize outstanding research-focused and creative contributions at UVic. They were named for Craigdarroch Castle, the estate that was once home to UVic’s predecessor institution, Victoria College, from 1921 to 1946.This year’s four Craigdarroch Research Award recipients will be honoured at an evening ceremony on May 1.

More on this story

Music Student and Alum Compose for Local Theatre

 The Langham Court Theatre’s upcoming production of the stage-adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s The Penelopiad, will feature new, original music by Ivana Jokic (MMus ’13) and 4th year School of Music student, Liam Gibson. A re-imagining of Homer’s Odyssey from the perspective of Odysseus’s wife Penelope, The Penelopiad will run from April 24 to May 10 in Victoria. Since taking on the project this past September, Jokic, who currently resides in Ontario, and Victoria-based Gibson collaborated on the score, each taking on various scenes independently while combining their thematic material in others. Jokic has found the process of writing for theatre very exciting and rewarding. “This is my first composition that I wrote outside of a school or workshop environment,” explains Jokic. “It feels great to finally take part in the real world!” Jokic and Gibson discuss their collaboration in this Victoria News article.

Patrick Boyle

Trumpet and jazz instructor, Patrick Boyle, appears in the animated film short, 54 Hours, which recounts the 1914 tragedy off the coast of Newfoundland in which 132 seal hunters were stranded on the ice during a severe snowstorm. 78 men lost their lives in the ordeal. Produced by the National Film Board of Canada, Boyle brings horns and lap steel to the ensemble to help create the mood and sound effects that are as inventive as the film's shadow pupperty and animation. The making of the music is described in this short video clip.

UVic Hosts American Musicological Society Meeting

The School of Music hosted the Meeting of the Pacific-Northwest Chapter of the American Musicological Society on March 29-30. The 2-day conference featured a book sale hosted by Musicological Explorations—the School of Music’s graduate student journal—as well as a celebratory book launch of The String Quartets of Béla Bartók: Tradition and Legacy in Analytical Perspective, edited by the School of Music’s own Daniel Péter Biró and Harald Krebs. In addition to the many papers presented, Sharon and Harald Krebs gave a lecture-recital on The Hollywood Elegies of Hanns Eisler and Bertolt Brecht.

Ligeti Festival

 Sonic Lab, the School of Music’s contemporary music ensemble, participated in the Victoria Ligeti Festival, sponsored by the Victoria Symphony. The series of four concerts from March 21-29 honoured works spanning more than 40 years of the Hungarian composer’s career. With special guest violinist, Müge Büyükçelen-Baden, Sonic Lab gave a “stunning” and “mesmerizing” performance of Ligeti’s Violin Concerto. The concerto exemplifies the composer’s late style: a fusion of avant-garde techniques and traditional conventions. Read Deryk Barker’s review of the concert as well as this preview of the festival in the Times Colonist.

Media Briefs

School of Music instructor Colleen Eccleston was a guest on CFAX 1070′s “Cafe Victoria with Bruce Williams” show (unfortunately not archived online). Eccleston spoke about the recent anniversary of the Beatles appearing on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1964, and the impact they have had since that day 50 years ago. Music’s Wendell Clanton was also featured on CFAX 1070 in February (but also not archived); both he and members of the UVic Vocal Jazz Ensemble were interviewed about their Singing Valentines fundraiser.

12tet-frontThe UVic Wind Symphony and the Naden Band appeared on Shaw TV’s Go Island South show in advance of their Naden Scholarship fundraiser concert on February 7. Also in the brass department, congratulations go out once more to School of Music professor emeritus Ian McDougall on his latest Juno Award nomination! His album The Ian McDougall 12tet LIVE is nominated for “Traditional Jazz Album of the Year.”

The School of Music’s new live streaming initiative also sparked this Times Colonist article about the pros and cons of digital content when it comes to audience impact. Concert Manager Kristy Farkas was interviewed, saying “she knows of no evidence suggesting that this program compromises attendance at UVic concerts.” The TC’s Kevin Bazzana quoted Farkas on how technology is “broadening our reach with the community” by allowing a student’s family in another city to watch a graduating recital, for example.

Colleen Eccleston wins Rally Song contest

 To the cheers of a tight game and the applause of a packed house, the winner of the School of Music / Vikes Nation Rally Song Contest was decided at the Vikes men’s basketball game on January 10—and first prize went to the School of Music’s own songwriting instructor Colleen Eccleston! With 18 submissions from across campus—including entries by students, faculty and administration alike—the top three finalists were performed live at half-time by fourth-year Music student and rising star Josh Lovell. It was a fantastic night for the School of Music in the McKinnon Gym, with the UVic Jazz Ensemble—led by Music professor Patrick Boyle—also getting in on the action by playing upbeat songs at both the women’s and men’s game. Click here to listen to Josh Lovell singing Eccleston’s winning song, with a montage of photos from the January 10 event.

Read the full story on the Fine Arts blog.

A Week With Mahler

The music faculty in rehearsal for Mahler week (photo: Kristy Farkas)The School of Music had an ambitious first week back in January, thanks to a fascinating Week with Gustav Mahler. A combination of open rehearsals, lectures, listening rooms and a full faculty recital, Mahler Week earned a fair bit of media coverage.

The Times Colonist published a pair of articles about Mahler Week. As TC arts writer Amy Smart noted, “One doesn’t simply say, ‘Hey, let’s play Gustav Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde,’ on a whim. The large work not only requires a certain number of trained musicians, but a level of commitment to learning the complex rhythms, especially when performed in a chamber arrangement without a conductor.” Smart then speaks to both Music faculty members Benjamin Butterfield and Alexandra Pohran Dawkins in this article, who noted the concert could only come about because of the size of the School of Music’s performance faculty—the largest in the country—and its emphasis on chamber music. “There aren’t many schools that could pull this off,” said Pohran Dawkins. “I won’t say it exactly fell into place, but the timing was right and there’s a lot of enthusiasm for the project. We’re hoping it will be a bit of a splash.”

Classical music columnist Kevin Bazzana also highlighted the final concert of Mahler Week—the faculty performance of Das Lied von der Erde (The Song of the Earth)—in his January 9 column. (Not available online, but can be read here in the article UVic pays tribute to Mahler.) Bazzana provided the fascinating history of the symphony as well as some insight into the specific arrangement the faculty were performing. As Benjamin Butterfield notes, “It is the ultimate chamber music piece.”

Fall 2013

Christopher Butterfield

 A fitting work for the Remembrance Day period, Christopher Butterfield’s Convoy PQ-17 commemorates the tragic near-destruction of an Allied convoy by German forces in July 1942. This sensational requiem, which was performed by the Victoria Symphony with Maestra Tania Miller on November 10, features the renowned dance troupe Coleman Lemieux & Compagnie, the Victoria Philharmonic Choir, and a stunning set. Since its premiere by the Victoria Symphony 12 years ago, this piece received such high acclaim that it was brought back the following year and has been performed several times in Russia.

Rally Song Contest

 The School of Music, in collaboration with Vikes Athletics, has launched the University’s search for its first rally song. With a deadline of November 15, the judging panel will include School of Music Director Susan Lewis Hammond along with UVic president Jamie Cassels, Athletics Director Clint Hamilton, and gold medal-winning athlete Kendra Pomfret. Judging will occur in December, with the shortlisted songs being performed by noted tenor and the School of Music’s Head of Voice Benjamin Butterfield and the UVic Jazz Ensemble at the Vikes Days of Thunder men’s basketball game on January 10, 2014. The crowd at that game will also help decide which song will ultimately win. The winner will receive a $500 iPad courtesy of PepsiCo Canada, who is proud to partner with Vikes Nation and the School of Music on this school spirit initiative.

Visit the Artsy Type blog for contest rules and details.

Monumental Opera Debut for Music Student

 Fourth-year performance major, Josh Lovell, garnered high praise for his performance in Pacific Opera Victoria’s recent production of Falstaff. As Times Colonist reviewer Kevin Bazzana noted, “tenor Josh Lovell, who plays Bardolfo, is still an undergraduate student, and that is scarcely believable—he seems fully at home among all these distinguished pros.” While many School of Music students have performed in the POV chorus, and our alumni have been cast in many roles, Lovell is the first student to play a major role with the company.

Aldeburgh Connection

 Members of the Order of Canada and the recipients of a Ruby Award from Opera Canada, the piano duo of Stephen Ralls and Bruce Ubukata (Toronto) made their first appearance in Victoria as the Aldeburgh Connection in a concert commemorating the 100th anniversary of the birth of Benjamin Britten. The duo gave a stunning performance to a full house on October 26 along with Daniel Taylor (counter-tenor), UVic’s Benjamin Butterfield (tenor), Alexander Dobson (Baritone) and the UVic Chamber Singers (with Garry Froese, conductor). The concert can be heard on the School of Music’s online Music Audio Archive for a limited time.

Lafayette String Quartet

The Lafayette String Quartet hosted Brahms, Bubbly & Brunch on October 6, a fundraising event celebrating the launch of Canada’s first Masters degree program in String Quartet Performance. The sold-out event at the Inn at Laurel Point featured an exclusive champagne brunch with a special performance of Brahms’ B flat Sextet, Op. 18 by the LSQ, renowned cellist Paul Katz and Yariv Aloni. Proceeds from this fundraiser contributed to UVic’s Graduate String Quartet Scholarship Fund.

Read all about here

Summer 2013

Dániel Péter Biró

From August 1 to 18, composition professor Dániel Péter Biró joined the faculty of the Akademie Schloss Solitude (Stuttgart, Germany) for the International Masterclass for Young Composers. Sixteen composers were chosen to participate, including School of Music alumni Max Murray (BMus ’10) and Robert Hansler (MMus ’13). Over the course of the program, participants attended individual lessons, discussions, evening presentations, and heard their music performed in a final concert. The permanent faculty of the Academy includes Chaya Czernowin and Steven Kazuo Takasugi.

Benjamin Butterfield

 Since his invitation eight years ago to teach at the Amalfi Coast Music & Arts Festival, Benjamin Butterfield attended the festival for the second time this summer. An American program based out of Washington, Butterfield is the sole Canadian on the faculty. Other institutions represented include Rice, George Mason, North Texas, Peabody and the Metropolitan Opera. The festival provides great opportunities to sing in Italy, soak up the language and culture, have the chance to work on a role and establish crucial contacts with other students and teachers for future studies.

While at the festival Butterfield also performed with Vlad Iftinca (Metropolitan Opera) in Sorrento as part of the festival's outreach program.

Seen in the photo is Butterfield with students from his studio, which included four UVic Music students. (L to R - Margaret Newcomb (Manhattan School of Music), Laura Miller, Ariel Boughen & Benjamin Butterfield (UVic), Caroline Brazelton (Stetson University), Leah Alfred & Christina Dennehy (UVic))

Kirk McNally

School of Music audio specialist and recording engineer Kirk McNally will be recording a CD project with adjunct faculty member Collin Tilney on harpsichord this summer, their fourth project together. McNally is also working on an online library of the school’s concert recordings.

Benjamin Butterfield

The always busy performer and head of Voice Benjamin Butterfield has a full lineup of international activities this summer, including performing at the Aldeburgh Connection as part of Toronto’s Britten Festival, singing with the Bach Choir of Bethlehem at the Pennsylvania Bach Festival, appearing with the American Classical Orchestra at New York City’s Lincoln Center, plus appearances in Newfoundland, Edmonton, Vancouver and Italy.

Susan Lewis Hammond

New School of Music director Susan Lewis Hammond will be researching Claudio Monteverdi and music of the baroque period at the University of Toronto this summer, with the results appearing in two forthcoming books from Routledge Press: Claudio Monteverdi: A Research and Information Guide and Music of the Baroque: History, Culture, Performance.

QuartetFest West Returns

After a 15-year hiatus, QuartetFest West returned in 2013 with a new series of masterclasses & performances in the School of Music. Guests the Penderecki String Quartet united with UVic artists-in-residence Lafayette String Quartet and other guests to train the next generation of string quartets.

CUMS & Congress 2013

The 2013 Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences was held on the University of Victoria campus from June 1-8. Thousands of academics, researchers, policy-makers, and practitioners gathered at UVic to share findings, refine ideas, and build partnerships through meetings, lectures, panels, presentations, concerts, and social events. As part of Congress, the Canadian University Music Society met for their annual association meeting at the School of Music from June 6-9. Chaired by the School of Music's Jonathan Goldman, highlights of the four days included a gala concert with School of Music faculty performers on June 6 and a concert of contemporary music featuring winners of the CUMS 2013 Student Composer Competition. The jury selected two outstanding works to share First Prize including UVic graduate, Robert Hansler's “Broken Branch” as well as André Mestre’s “Zikr.” Read more about this story on Artsy Type.

SALT New Music Festival

The annual SALT New Music Festival & Symposium returned at the end of May at both Open Space & UVic's School of Music. Created & hosted by the Tsilumos Ensemble, the festival integrates local & international performers to present performances of groundbreaking new music to Victoria audiences.


Spring 2013

The Krells

UVic's in-house analogue-digital electronic trio The Krells (John Celona, Kirk McNally, Dan Godlovitch) performed at Open Space in April, and were featured in this article in the local Times Colonist.

Symphony in the Library

While not exactly a flash mob, the UVic Symphony played a surprise performance this spring . . . in the McPherson Library! Fortunately, there wasn't a single "shush".

Music at IdeaFest

Two Music professors participated in this spring's IdeaFest Creativity panel: Jonathan Goldman and George Tzanetakis, of the Music & Computer Science program. They were speaking alongside Jennifer Stillwell (Visual Arts), Victoria Wyatt (History in Art) and Lee Henderson (Writing).

Jonathan Goldman

Music professor Jonathan Goldman performed his "L/Art de la Fugue: Bach & Piazzolla" at Le Fondation Arte Musica at Musee des Beaux-Arts in Montreal this spring.


Alumnus Mark Reid named Teacher of the Year

 School of Music alumnus Mark Reid has been named teacher of the year by MusiCounts, the music-education charity associated with the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS). The award, one of the highest honors in Canadian Music, was presented to Reid by country super-star Shania Twain at a private ceremony in Las Vegas. Reid also received $10,000, which he will put toward his post-graduate studies. He is currently pursuing a master’s degree from Chicago’s Vandercook College to add to his bachelor’s degree in music education from UVic. Reid has been teaching at Vancouver Technical Secondary School for the past seven years, and the students will receive an additional $10,000 in instrument inventory as part of the CARAS award.
Photograph by: AEG Live

CUMS awards Composer prize to UVic grad

The Canadian University Music Society (CUMS) announced that recent UVic graduate, Robert Hansler, is one of the recipients of their 2013 Student Composer Competition. The jury selected two outstanding works to share First Prize: Robert Hansler’s “Broken Branch” as well as André Mestre’s “Zikr.” Both pieces will be performed by faculty members of the UVic School of Music, as part of a concert of contemporary music to be presented on Friday June 7, 2013 at the Phillip T. Young Recital Hall. Read more about this story on Artsy Type.

Fine Arts Benefit CD Nominated for Juno

 School of Music Professor Emeritus Ian McDougall‘s 2012 album The Very Thought of You, has been nominated for a Juno Award! A gorgeous collection of 13 jazz standards featuring McDougall’s signature trombone backed by a lush string section, The Very Thought of You—produced by Ian’s wife, Barb McDougall—has been nominated in the “Instrumental Album of the Year” category.

Conceived of as a benefit album for Fine Arts students in financial need, $10 from every $20 copy of The Very Thought of You goes directly to McDougall’s student benefit fund—officially titled the Ten Mile Fine Arts Student Assistance Fund. Back in December 2012, McDougall presented Fine Arts with a cheque for $16,000, the first payback from the CD to the fund.
You can pick up a copy of the CD in the Fine Arts office, UVic’s Bookstore, Arts Place cafe, the School of Music Office, and Phoenix Theatre, as well as Lyle’s Place, Larsen Music and Munro’s Books. Online, you can find it at CD Baby or through McDougall’s own website.

Winners of the 2013 Juno Awards will be announced on April 21 at a gala ceremony in Regina.

Read more about this story on the Fine Arts blog, Artsy Type.

John Celona

 School of Music composition professor, screenwriter and filmmaker John Celona recently returned from having a “terrific experience” at the 2012 California Film Awards, where his screenplay for an unproduced sci-fi black-comedy thriller called Lady Smoke earned a Diamond Award in the screenwriting category.

The awards were held on January 26 at the swish Bahia Hotel in Mission Beach, San Diego. “They really do it up right,” says Celona. “First-class, ballroom, formal dress, podium speeches, representation, studio execs like Harvey Weinstein."

This isn’t Celona’s first time to attend this awards ceremony. Celona picked up honorable mention at the same awards two years ago for his neo-noir thriller Nightfreight.

For more about Lady Smoke, visit Artsy Type.

Bruce More publishes book about UVic Chamber Singers

 Former conductor of the UVic Chamber Singers, Bruce More, recently published The Conductor is the One in Front - 37 years with the UVic Chamber Singers. The 135-page book about More’s long history of what is possibly the most widely travelled university choir in Canadian history (having performed 200 cities in 142 countries) also speaks to the milieu in which Canadian university choirs and choral conductors have existed from 1974 to 2010. The book contains over 70 colour photographs as well as a CD of selections from Chamber Singers tour performances. For details about the book, visit Artsy Type.

Pick up a copy from the UVic Bookstore for $25 ( Former members of the Chamber Singers can contact Bruce More at for a complimentary copy.

Composition Student Finds Inspiration in Apeldoorn

 Fourth-year School of Music student, Lynne Penhale, had the opportunity to attend the 19th Young Composers Meeting in Apeldoorn, the Netherlands this past February. The meeting, which is chaired by iconic Dutch composer, Louis Andriessen, offers a select group of young composers (14 this year from around the globe) the opportunity to exchange ideas about contemporary music. “It was the most enriching experience of my life!” describes Panhale. “I learned more about society, myself and music in an experience which seemed to have lasted three weeks but was really only one.” Each composer came prepared with a three-minute piece composed for the 23-instrument ensemble-in-residence, Orkest de Ereprijs. Participants engaged in rehearsals, lectures, and lessons with composers Martijn Padding, Richard Ayers, Dmitri Kourliandski, Carola Bauckholt, and Ted Hearne. The meeting culminated in a performance of the young composers’ works. “As intense a learning experience this most favourite learning experience was getting to engage with the other young composers, and being completely inspired and challenged by everyone's individual strengths they had brought with them,” says Penhale, who thanks the UVic School of Music for supporting her in this opportunity.

Winter 2012

Ajtony Csaba

“If students are exposed to many different ways of interpreting music, they will be able to go to another country and listen with a referenced ear.” Music professor and UVic Orchestra conductor Ajtony Csaba talks about internationalizing music education in the February issue of UVic's Ring.

Suzanne Snizek

School of Music professor Suzanne Snizek discussed "suppressed music" with the Times Colonist, hooked to a classroom visit by persecuted Iranian composer Farshid Sammandari.

Student Jared Richardson

Second year School of Music student Jared Richardson exercised his license to thrill by having his composition "Double Agent" featured in the Victoria Symphony's "007 & Other Spies" concert in January at the Royal Theatre.

Bill Linwood

School of Music instructor Bill Linwood talked about his pan-Canadian new music group, ensemble1534, in the Times Colonist in January.

School of Music Welcomes New Director

 The School of Music is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Susan Lewis Hammond as Director of the School of Music. Dr. Lewis Hammond joined the School of Music in 2001 in the musicology area and received promotion to Associate Professor in 2007. Bringing a wealth of experience to this position, Dr. Lewis Hammond has served two terms as Acting Director of the School of Music, presently serves her third term on University Senate, and participates in the Early Modern Research Collective at the University of Victoria. She teaches courses in Renaissance and Baroque music and has authored two books, The Madrigal: A Research and Information Guide (Routledge, 2011) and Editing Music in Early Modern Germany (Ashgate, 2007). We congratulate Dr. Lewis Hammond on her appointment.

Suzanne Snizek

 Suzanne Snizek’s essay, ‘It’s Growing like an Asparagus’: British internment and Gál’s Huyton Suite trio’, describing the composition of his exceptional chamber piece written under repressive conditions for one flute and two violins, was published in November 2012 in the Armand Colin publication Captivité de guerre au XXème siècle: des archives, des histoires, des mémoires. The essay was presented at a conference of the same title, in Paris, France at École Militaire in November 2011. The conference (and book) were organized into four themes: artistic and intellectual life in captivity; the laws and regulations that governed the lives of prisoners; the relationships between prisoners and society at large; and prisoners’ and captors’ perceptions of each other. The publication is available for purchase on the Armand Colin website.

Ian McDougall donates $16,000

 School of Music Professor Emeritus and Juno Award-winning musician Ian McDougall presented the Faculty of Fine Arts with a cheque for $16,000 in early December—the first significant payment in the "one potato fund" (more formally titled the Ten Mile Student Assistance Fund) created by the sales of his Fine Arts benefit CD, The Very Thought of You. Read more about the Ten Mile Student Assistance Fund and where you can buy a copy of the CD here.

Andrew Schloss presents Jaron Lanier

 He's often described as the “father of computer science,” so to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Alan Turing, Andrew Schloss and the Music and Computer Science program hosted acclaimed futurist Jaron Lanier for a special appreciation of Turing’s Spiritual Legacy in November. Lanier—a computer scientist, composer, visual artist and influential author who was named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine in 2010—is also famed for coining or popularizing the term “virtual reality.”

LSQ Health Series returns

 The Lafayette String Quartet's seventh annual Lafyette Health Series was presented in the David Lam Auditorium September. This year's topic was “Weighing in on Fat: What makes us obese and what we can do about it,” and featured guest speakers Priya Manjoo, Mary Kay Nixon, Hanh Huynh, Allen Hayashi and Darlene Hammell.

Christopher Butterfield

Christopher Butterfield yielded a great deal of coverage for the recent Cage 100 Festival he curated in November. “I think Cage’s whole point is that he wants people to be acutely aware of the kind of aural world or acoustic world around them and to be able to actually, I don’t know, rejoice in the sheer idea of consciousness or of being sensitive to the world, and you don’t need the kind of conventional constructs of music,” Butterfield told Globe and Mail arts writer Marsha Lederman. “It’s much more about a much larger world of sound possibilities than simply the ones put together for people to learn on the piano or the violin or an orchestra or whatever.” He also appeared in articles in the Times Colonist, on CFUV’s U in the Ring show with Phoenix Bain (hear the podcast here), and an interesting review of the Cage 100 fest appeared in the Coastal Spectator blog. School of Music Adjunct Faculty member, Gordon Mumma, who worked closely with John Cage in the mid-60's and 70's, presented a lecture during the festival. Mumma also supplied the Art Gallery of Victoria with numerous pieces from his personal collection for the John Cage installation entitled Devoted Play, curated by Butterfield.

Steinways on TV

Shaw TV ran a segment between November 19th and 25th about the School of Music’s Steinway pianos featuring piano professor Arthur Rowe and dedicated UVic piano tuner Jim Anderson speaking with Shaw host Nikki Ewanyshyn. The segment showed Anderson working on one the Steinways, as well as some students at the keyboards. If you missed the episode, you can now watch it online. For information on the School of Music's Steinway initiative, visit Adopt a Piano.

George Tzanetakis

Computer Science and Music prof George Tzanetakis talked about robotic musicianship and other electronic music notes in the Saanich News on October 19. “When you play sound, a musician hears what is happening. We are trying to add the ability to understand music to an artificial agent that performs,” he told reporter Edward Hill. “The idea is to make the system musically intelligent, to have robotic musicianship.”

Jonathan Goldman

Musicology professor Jonathan Goldman appeared on Vancouver’s Radio Canada—that’s the French CBC station—on September 24, discussing the Learning Without Borders program through which he won a course development grant to develop his Mus 391: Global Music class. The class hosted an end-of-semester Global Music Fair on Wednesday, November 28.

Robert Silverman plays for Steinway pianos

 Distinguished pianist Robert Silverman performed at the School of Music in September as a fundraiser is to help cover the costs of the 63 new Steinway pianos that made UVic the first and only All-Steinway School in Canada. Silverman, himself a Steinway artist, performed Brahms’ Rhapsody in B Minor and Six Pieces for Piano, as well as Schumann’s Piano Quintet with the Lafayette String Quartet—with whom he has had a longstanding professional relationship.

Dániel Péter Biro

 Congratulations to Dániel Péter Biró, whose composition for solo bass flute, Kivrot HaTa'avah (Graves of Craving), was selected as an independent submission for the ISCM (International Society of Contemporary Music) 2013 World New Music Days in Kosice, Bratislava, and Vienna. Founded in 1922, ISCM is an international network of members from around fifty countries, devoted to the promotion and presentation of contemporary music.  Each year they present an international festival hosted annually by a selected country of one the of ISCM’s Section Members. The festival focuses on contemporary music across a broad range of contemporary practice. It provides an opportunity for composers, ISCM members and audience to converge and experience a showcase of activity from around the world.

Additional Canadian works to be performed at 2013 ISCM World New Music Days include Anna Pidgorna's solo accordion piece Light-play through curtain holes, and Patrick Saint-Denis' multimedia work Trombe.

Summer 2012

Harald Krebs

After meeting with the Society for Music Theory‘s program committee in Louisville, Kentucky, and taking a research visit to Berlin and the Stuttgart area, professor Harald Krebs participated in the Vancouver International Song Institute, as well as finished editing a collection of essays on Bartók’s string quartets for Oxford University Press (co-edited by fellow Music prof Dániel Biró).

Dániel Péter Biró

As well as teaching workshops on electronic music and on rhythm, extended techniques and notation with the Meitar Ensemble in Kiryat Ono, Israel, and lecturing on the history of Jewish Torah cantillation signs (the te’amim) at the Genootschap voor de Joodse Wetenschap—that’s the Dutch Society for Jewish Studies—Biró visited the Netherlands to conduct field recordings of Jewish and Islamic chants. That’s all on top of teaching at the Matrix Academy for Electronic Music in Amsterdam, as well as leading colloquia at the Harvard Summer Composition Institute. In addition, Biró’s composition Vayiru Et (And They Saw) Version II was performed by the Meitar Ensemble at the Center for New Music and Technology in Tel Aviv.

Christopher Butterfield

School of Music associate professor and head of composition Christopher Butterfield earned some strong media attention—as well as audience appreciation—with his recent Toronto concert Contes pour enfants pas sages: 8 cautionary entertainments. Based on poet Jacques Prévert‘s 1947 collection of fairy tales (which loosely translates to Fables for Naughty Children), Butterfield’s composition for Toronto’s Continuum Contemporary Music got a lengthy write-up in the Globe and Mail, as well as playing to full houses both nights at the 918 Bathurst Centre.

While Butterfield’s world premiere of Contes may be noteworthy in itself, it also warrants attention here due to the collaboration with the other Fine Arts faculty involved in its performance—Christopher’s equally talented tenor brother, Benjamin Butterfield (head of voice); Benjamin’s wife, soprano Anne Grimm (music performance instructor); and Visual Arts painting professor Sandra Meigs, who provided projected images to accompany the music. (Also involved in the production were acclaimed choreographer Laurence Lemieux and Choir 21, led by David Fallis.)

Continue reading on Artsy Type

Youth Orchestra tours with three of UVic's outstanding players

Every January, young orchestral musicians across the country audition for a spot in the National Youth Orchestra of Canada’s summer program and tour.  This year, three talented UVic School of Music students landed a seat in the coveted Orchestra.  Jiten Beairsto and Lindsey Herle (both violinists) as well as Tazmyn Eddy (trumpet) will take part in the NYOC tour, which stops in six Southern Ontario cities, Montreal, and two cities in the US, all under the baton of Alain Trudel, one of the most sought after conductors on the Canadian Scene.

 Faces of UVic Research series launched

As one of Canada’s leading research universities, the University of Victoria is home to a wealth of world-class expertise across a broad range of disciplines. More than 800 faculty researchers are at the forefront of discovery—on everything from aging to music to zoology and sculpture—and are working with community, government and business partners to turn that new knowledge into action.

Who are these researchers? What do they study? And how is their work relevant to our lives? Find out in the newly launched “Faces of UVic Research” video series, in which individual researchers give a short and succinct “elevator pitch” on their work—in everyday language—that quickly gets to the heart of what they do and why it matters.

Sixty short one-minute videos have now been released on UVic’s YouTube channel, and Fine Arts is well-represented in this first batch by the likes of Andrew Schloss (Music), Lorna Crozier, Maureen Bradleyand David Leach (Writing), Warwick Dobson and Conrad Alexandrowicz (Theatre), Daniel Laskarin (Visual Arts), and Marcus Milwright (History in Art).

Read more about this initiative on the Fine Arts blog, Artsy Type.

April 2012

Concerto Competition Winners

Congratulations go out to this year’s winners of the School of Music’s annual Concerto Competition: Jiten Beairsto (violin), Daniel Jordan (piano), Erin Ronningen (mezzo soprano) and Sabrina Sun (flute).

The competition took place in April in front of a panel of judges that included one member from each section of the Performance Faculty along with the UVic Orchestra conductor, Ajtony Csaba.  The winners, selected by ballot, will have the opportunity to perform in the Concerto Concert this coming spring alongside the students & faculty of the Concerto Orchestra.  The program for the January 25 concert will include Chausson’s Poeme, Op. 25 with Beairsto as soloist, Jordan in the spotlight performing Rachmaninoff’s Concerto No. 1, Ravel’s Scherezade sung by Ronningen, and Martin’s Ballade with Sun on flute.

Suzanne Snizek

 Suzanne Snizek’s chapter titled "'Spiritual Vitamins:' Music in Huyton and Central internment camps May 1940 to January 1941" was recently published in the Routledge publication Cultural Heritage and Prisoners of War: Creativity behind Barbed Wire.  Inspired by a conference held at Cambridge in April 2010, the book focuses on the numerous examples of creativity produced by POWs and civilian internees during their captivity.  At the conference, Snizek presented a paper as well as a concert of works for flute and piano with works composed by Hans Gál and Franz Reizenstein during their British internment (during WWII).   The nature of the book is interdisciplinary and international in scope. Contributors include archaeologists, musicologists, cultural studies scholars, visual art curators, military historians, dance and theatre specialists and scholars in Eastern European studies. The publication is available for purchase on the Routledge website.

March 2012

A Taste of SALT

 Tsilumos Ensemble, Victoria’s new music ensemble co-directed by School of Music faculty Dániel Péter Biró, Ajtony Csaba, and Joanna Hood as well as Kris Covlin was recently awarded grants from the Ernst von Siemens Foundation for their 2013 SALT Festival.  With the objective of presenting first-rate performances of new and challenging works by Canadian and international composers, the grant will fund the commissioning of new works by Wolf Edwards (M.Mus ’03), Bernhard Gander (Austria), Steven Kazuo Takasugi (USA), and Gianluca Ulivelli (Italy).   

Biró received an additional grant from the Ernst von Siemens Foundation for the commissioning of a new work for ensemble and electronics to be performed this year by Tel Aviv’s Ensemble Meitar.

  • Read about this year's SALT Festival, which included the UVic Orchestra's North-American premiere of Chaya Czernowin's Zohar Iver and the world premiere of Lovely Monster Reloaded by Bernhard Gander on Artsy Type.

February 2012

Jonathan Goldman

Jonathan Goldman, Associate Professor of music history, musicology and theory for the School of Music has been awarded an Opus Prize in the category “Book of the Year” for his latest publication, The Musical Language of Pierre Boulez by Cambridge University Press.

Awarded annually by the Quebec Music Council, Goldman describes the Opus Prize as “kind of like the Quebec classical music Grammys.” This latest prize comes on the heels of Goldman’s previous “Article of the Year” Opus win for “Charting Mémoriale: Paradigmatic Analysis and Harmonic Schemata in Boulez’s … explosante-fixe …

January 2012

Michelle Fillion

The Faculty Advisory Committee has selected Dr. Michelle Fillion as the winner of this year’s Award for Teaching Excellence in Fine Arts, a prize awarded to one Fine Arts Faculty member each academic year.  Dr. Fillion teaches musicology and music history while also serving as Graduate Advisor at the School of Music.

Michelle Fillion joined the School of Music faculty in 2002, after almost two decades at Mills College (Oakland California) where she served as Professor and Head of the Music Department.  While at Mills, Fillion was acknowledged on more than one occasion for her teaching excellence, having received the Phi Beta Kappa Northern California Teaching Award and the Mary S. Metz honorary Chair for Excellence and Creativity in Teaching.  Dr. Fillion will be honoured at the UVic Faculty Excellence Awards reception this spring.

Harald Krebs

There is much to be lauded of long-time UVic faculty member Dr. Harald Krebs, professor and Head of Theory at the School of Music.  While 2011 marked his 25th year at the University, Krebs was also named a University of Victoria Distinguished Professor in 2010 - the highest academic honour that the university can bestow on a faculty member.  “I am very grateful to the University for this award.  It's wonderful when your own university recognizes you for your research as well as your teaching,” says Krebs, who is using the award to fund research and conference travel, and to invite guest speakers and performers to the School of Music.  

As the eleventh recipient of the prestigious award, Krebs has been invited to give a public presentation for UVic’s Distinguished Professor Lecture Series.  “I am happy to have the opportunity to give a talk on campus. It is a way of saying ‘thank you’ to the University,” says Krebs. The talk, intended for a broad audience, grows out of his recent research on how song composers manipulate the rhythm of poetry for expressive purposes.  “It was during this research that I became enthralled with Robert Schumann's late songs, which are not sufficiently appreciated by scholars and performers.  I look forward to acquainting the audience with this wonderful music, both by talking about and performing it,” says Krebs, who will be joined by his wife, soprano Sharon Krebs, for the performance portions of the presentation.

In addition to his work at UVic, this past October Harald Krebs became President of the Society for Music Theory, the primary scholarly society in the field.  Although the position is one of many demands, Krebs finds the work rewarding. “I'm enjoying it all very much—especially because I like and admire all the people with whom I am working,” expresses Krebs, who previously served on several committees of the Society, and as its vice president.  

Krebs’ lecture, Robert Redeemed: The Beauty of Schumann’s Late Songs, will be held on Tuesday, January 24th at 7:30 p.m. in the Phillip T. Young Recital Hall.  Admission is free.

Reinventing the Piano: Trimpin Visits UVic

Trimpin, the famed sound sculptor, composer and inventor, brings his latest innovations to Victoria in Spring 2012 with a project titled (CanonX+4:33=100).  In collaboration with Open Space and Dr. Andrew Schloss (co-creator of UVic’s Music and Computer Science program), a team of emerging sound engineers, musicians, and visual artists from UVic will have the opportunity to work directly under Trimpin’s mentorship while assisting with the creation and installation of the work, scheduled to open on March 16.

With 2012 marking the centennial celebration of some of the most influential composers of the last century, namely John Cage and Conlon Nancarrow, (CanonX+4:33=100) celebrates a continuum and extension of the important work of both composers.  Combining ancient concepts and methods with the latest in digital technology, Trimpin will give new life to an array of transformed abandoned pianos, by constructing visually dynamic and aurally stunning acoustic and electroacoustic sculptures and automatons out of their carcasses.  “The pianos will be ‘prepared’ with mechanical actuators, small robotic devices to play the piano strings in a way which both composers, more than a half century ago, started to experiment with, compose, and perform,” describes Trimpin. “With the tools of today’s technologies, this experimentation can be extended to the next level of investigation.” Believing in our capacity to experience sound visually, Trimpin will accentuate this concept with the use of video cameras and sensors to translate movement and colour into gestures that activate the instruments.

Trimpin will visit UVic from January 17 to 20 to conduct workshops with participants and will introduce the project in a public lecture on Tuesday, January 17th at 2:30 pm in Rm. A162 of the Visual Arts Building.  A screening of Peter Esmonde’s documentary, TRIMPIN: the sound of invention will be presented on Wednesday, January 18th at 8:00 pm in Rm. A146.  Trimpin will return in March to install (CanonX+4:33=100) at Open Space, present an artist talk, and perform with the UVic collective, MISTIC.  Until the close of the installation on April 28th, the UVic team will lead demonstrations and workshops at Open Space as well as have the opportunity to develop unique methodologies for activating and “performing” the installation as an enormous musical instrument.

One of the most stimulating and inventive forces in music today, Trimpin’s installation will skew your everyday assumptions about sound and technology and engage your senses of perception, surprise, and joy, in an extraordinary and intricate audio-visual experience unlike any other.

November, 2011

Honourary Doctor of Laws awarded to internationally renowned music education advocate

Internationally renowned music education advocate, Dennis Tupman, was awarded an honourary Doctor of Laws at the UVic Fall convocation on November 9th, 2011.

In his convocation address, Dr. Tupman used the children’s song “Row, row, row your boat” as a metaphor for the well-lived life and had the convocation audience singing in 3-part harmony! He stressed putting children first in educational matters and paid tribute to the large community of colleagues, family, and friends who were present to honour him. As one colleague remarked at the luncheon following the ceremony, “There hasn’t been a convocation address like that for some time!” Moving, authentic, and passionate, Dr. Tupman highlighted the importance of music and the arts as key to children’s and society’s health.

Tupman, born on May 19, 1936 in Victoria, BC, received a Bachelor of Education from UBC in 1964 and a Master of Education from the same institution in 1969. He taught music, English and math in Kitimat from 1957-1971 when he became District Principal for the Performing Arts at the Vancouver School Board, a position he held until 1992. In 1992, he became a Faculty Advisor at UBC. Mr. Tupman has been president of the British Columbia Music Educators Association, the Canadian Music Educators Association, and the British Columbia Choral Federation and has been involved with many other music organizations, notably the International Society for Music Education. He has adjudicated numerous music festivals throughout BC and beyond and has won prestigious awards, including the Governor General Award for Lifetime Arts Leadership (1995) and the Coalition for Music Education in Canada Award (2010). Mr. Tupman has a regular column in the Canadian Music Educator and has been a lifelong advocate for arts education, in particular, music education. He has touched and influenced the lives of many as the support letters demonstrate.


Faculty honoured for service

This year marks a significant milestone in the careers of four School of Music faculty members. At a reception on October 4 at the University Club, long service employees from all areas of campus were honoured.  Among those celebrated were our very own Alexandra Pohran Dawkins (Head of Woodwinds) and Harald Krebs (Head of Theory) for 25 years, Eva Solar-Kinderman (piano performance) for 30 years and Eugene Dowling (tuba, euphonium, and trombone performance), for 35 years with the School of Music.

Dr. Gerald King, the School of Music’s Director, is grateful for their commitment to the School of Music. “We are so honored to have such talented and dedicated faculty who have given so much to the School of Music and the University.  Four faculty members who have served the University for 25, 30 and 35 years—this is a remarkable milestone.  Such longtime service is an indicator of the quality of our School. We thank Alexandra Pohran-Dawkins, Harald Krebs, Eva Solar-Kinderman, and Eugene Dowling for their outstanding contribution to the UVic School of Music.”

Student voices fly on Dutchman stage

This October, eight School of Music students took to the Royal Theatre stage for Pacific Opera Victoria’s production of Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman. As members of the massive 50 plus-person chorus, Andrew Buckley, Josh Lovell, Mary-Ellen Raynor, Jeremy Roszmann, Anna Shill, Cedric Spry, Claire Stewart, and Marlee Wetter brought their dynamic voices to the stage with verve. 

Having the opportunity to work with the Opera Company has given these students a valuable glimpse into the world as a professional musician. "POV has shown me what the real world is like. The ability to study professionals in their element without feeling like an intruder is invaluable experience and education," says fourth year student, Jeremy Roszmann.  First year Master’s student, Anna Shill, felt honoured to be a part of the production: “What can't you learn from your peers and those ahead of you? Sharing space with people that spend their lives living the career you hope for puts everything that we learn at school into perspective.”

POV will stage the world premiere of the new opera, Mary’s Wedding, this November, and we can look forward to hearing Andrew Buckley, Anna Shill and Cedric Spry, in this chorus as well.  In addition, the lead female role will be performed by School of Music alumna, Betty Wayne Allison (B.Ed & B.Mus ’05).

Duo release dual CDs

Bruce Vogt has had a productive year in the recording studio. In addition to his latest CD release of the piano music of Franz Liszt (Volume 1), Vogt has further released two CDs this year, both recorded in the Phillip T. Young Recital Hall with soprano, Susan Young (chorus director and voice instructor at UVic).

Paul Hindemith’s Das Marienleben (The Life of the Virgin Mary) is a rarely heard masterpiece.  Although a more practical, revised version exists of this song cycle for soprano and piano, Vogt and Young recorded Hindemith’s original, more powerful and demanding 1922-23 version.  “The later version is more singable,” says Vogt, “but not nearly as fresh or beautiful. Susan is that rare singer who can handle the difficulties.”
The 10th Anniversary Celebration CD, a live recording commemorating the period of Young and Vogt’s collaboration, includes works by Strauss, Schubert, Brahms, Liszt, and Debussy.  The recording “beautifully captures Susan's voice in four languages and many musical styles,” describes Vogt.

Credits to the production of the CDs include School of Music faculty Alexandra Pohran Dawkins (producer), Kirk McNally (mastering), and alumni Andrea Young (B.Mus ‘01) (sound editor, graphic design and producer). 

These CDs and others are available for purchase on Vogt’s website.

September, 2011

The Lafayette String Quartet  

With 25 years under their belt, the Lafayette String Quartet uniquely holds the title as the only all-female ensemble in the world to still feature its original members.  If that wasn’t enough of an accomplishment, since forming in 1986, the Quartet has performed across Canada, the US, and internationally, won major prizes, received awards for their recordings, and have been the subject of a book.  As artists-in-residence at the School of Music for the past two decades, they still manage to maintain a rigorous touring schedule in addition to their teaching duties.   

“UVic has shown a strong commitment to us,” says LSQ violinist Sharon Stanis. “I feel very fortunate to be here. Not all universities have a resident string quartet, and there's a real mentoring by having all of the string teachers in one ensemble."

For their silver anniversary concert season, the Quartet has invited some exceptional friends to join them on stage. On Saturday, September 17th, pianist Flavio Varani will join the Quartet in performing Dvorak's Piano Quintet in A major Op. 81. And on Saturday, February 4th, violinist James Dunham and cellist Paul Katz will help form the sextet in Brahms' Sextet in G major, Op. 36. Both concerts will take place in the Phillip T. Young Recital Hall. Tickets are $25 and are available from the University Centre Box Office.


Lafayette Health Awareness Forum

On Thursday, September 22 at 7 pm, the Lafayette String Quartet will host its annual Health Awareness Forum, Shades of Grey: Understanding the Mental Health Continuum, at UVic.  The forum will approach subjects about mental health that aren’t often publicly discussed, covering a wide spectrum of topics by a top-notch panel of five physicians.  The evening will address some of the main concerns common in various stages of our lives and how we might better discern what would be considered a health issue and what is expected as part of our life experience.  Aptly subtitled, Everything you wanted to know about mental health, but were afraid to ask, the forum will include presentations by each panelist as well as a moderated Q & A.  As has become the tradition, the Quartet will begin the evening with a short musical presentation.


Leading British composer visits UVic

Composer Michael Finnissy, a major voice in British music, will visit the University of Victoria School of Music as an Orion Lecturer this fall.  Renowned for his broad aesthetic range, he is equally at home with complex and simple musics. Well-known as a pianist, he will give a recital of his work on Monday September 12th at 8 p.m. in the Phillip T. Young Recital Hall.  On Wednesday September 14th at 4:30 p.m. he will present a lecture entitled 'Writing anything and everything'. This event will take place in room B016 in the MacLaurin Building. Both events are free and open to the public. 

In addition, Finnissy will be joining Victoria’s Aventa ensemble for their annual Composer Workshop.  Participants in this year’s workshop include UVic Alumni Anna Höstman (MMus ‘05), Mason Koenig (BMus ‘10), and Christopher Reiche (MMus ‘08), whose works can be heard in a reading session on Saturday September 10th at 2 pm.  As well, alumnus Chedo Barone (MMus ’04) and current student Alex Jang will have works performed by Aventa in a concert that includes music by Finnissy on Sunday, September 11th at 8 pm.  Both events will take place in the Phillip T. Young Recital Hall.  Please visit Aventa’s website for further details.

Andrew Schloss

Andrew Schloss is the latest UVic faculty member presented on the BC government’s Year of Science website as a featured scientist.  Renowned for his innovative work with sound technology, Schloss is one of the pioneers of the Radiodrum, an instrument developed in the 1980s at Bell Labs.  The Radiodrum is played in three-dimensional space using two drumsticks to control MIDI signals.  Schloss’ work with electronic musical instruments is described on the Year of Science website in words, photos and a video.

John Celona

John Celona received the award for Best in Category in the 2010 California Film Awards for his thriller screenplay, Nightfreight, as well as an invitation to the awards ceremony in San Diego. This is the second win for the yet-to-be-made film, which follows his 22-minute 2009 HD film, The Strange Case of DJ Cosmic; the first was an award for his self-made minute-and-a-half trailer, which picked up Best Art Direction in the 2010 International Movie Trailers Festival in August 2010. As for the future prospects of Nightfreight, Celona says, “I am in the long process of raising a budget for the feature-length. You know how that goes.”

Dániel Péter Biró

Dániel Péter Biró won the 2010 Giga-Hertz-Award for electronic music—one of the most prestigious composition awards in Europe. Bestowed by the Centre for Arts and Music in Karlsruhe, Germany, and the Experimental Studio in Freiburg, the award honours composers working in the areas of electronic and acousmatic music for a particular composition. "Ancient Jewish and Christian chant traditions were an inspiration for this piece, as was the Qur'an recitation of Indonesian reciter Hajjah Maria Ulfah," says Biró.

Harald Krebs

Harald Krebs received the University of Victoria Distinguished Professor award in 2010 - the highest academic honour that the university can bestow on a faculty member.  The title is awarded to individuals who have achieved great distinction in teaching and research, and who have made a substantial contribution to the university and the wider community.  Krebs is the university's 11th Distinguished Professor and the first from the School of Music.  Read the feature article about Krebs in UVic’s publication, The Ring.


Fall 2014

Theatre Students at India Field School

PhD candidate Matthew Gusul is leading 13 Department of Theatre students on a trip to India to assist with the development of Tamil Nadu’s first intergenerational theatre company.

Bangkok Exchange

The Department of Theatre hosted a panel discussion about their current student exchange between Bangkok University and Phoenix Theatre,which was announced last year.

Bella: The Colour of Love

Department of Theatre design professor Mary Kerr co-wrote and designed a play about the life of Bella Chagall – the writer, scholar, actress, and revolutionary who was also the wife of Marc Chagall, one of the most important artists of the 20th Century. The play debuted at the Toronto Centre for the Performing Arts’ Greenwin Theatre to great success.

Orbit premieres at Kingston

Associate theatre history professor Jennifer Wise’s play Orbit premiered at Queens University this October. Under the direction of Craig Walker, Head of the Queen's Department of Drama and former Artistic Director of Theatre Kingston, the play is based on the surviving letters of Galileo Galilei’s daughter Virginia, who was sent with her sister Livia to a convent to live out her life in seclusion and misery.

Department of Theatre Scholarship Recipients

Our students are earning some fantastic awards for their hard work and academic achievements! Congratulations!


Spring 2014


all sorts of Phoenix alumni are nominated in Vancouver’s annual Jessie Richardson Awards for outstanding theatrical work.

Mother Tongue

Theatre professor Conrad Alexandrowicz’s new production Mother Tongue earned a good deal of praise when it opened in Vancouver in May.

M Awards

Theatre faculty and alumni were all over the Theatre category in the 2014 M Awards.

Unity (1918)

Writing professor and noted playwright Kevin Kerr earned roundly strong reviews for directing his own play Unity (1918) at Phoenix Theatre this spring.

Fine Arts’ Distinguished Alumni for 2014

Phoenix Theatre alumus Michael Whitfield was named the Faculty of Fine Arts’ Distinguished Alumni for 2014. A veteran lighting designer with an enviable career illuminating professional stages across North America, he literally got in on the ground floor of UVic’s Theatre department back in the early ‘60s.

Back in January, Department of Theatre professor Jennifer Wise was announced as the winner of the Canadian Jewish Playwriting Competition for her 2013 play The Girl Rabbi of the Golden West.


Fall 2013

Phoenix wins more Spotlights

Our Department of Theatre was once again all over the Critics Choice Spotlight Awards, awarded annually by a group of Victoria’s theatre critics. The 13th annual awards saw students, faculty and alumni all sharing nominations, as well as two wins for the spring 2013 production of You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown: Musical Production and Performance in a Community Production (Ensemble).

High praise for The Skin of Our Teeth

The November 2013 Phoenix production of Thornton Wilder’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play The Skin of Our Teeth earned kudos from local critics, with the Times Colonist calling it “a theatrical extravaganza” and the CBC describing it as “the best dressed show in theatre in this town.”

Spotlight on Alumni goes apocalyptic

The Department of Theatre’s annual Spotlight on Alumni production saw alum Ingrid Hansen and Kathleen Greenfield return with their quirky comedy Kitt & Jane: An Interactive Survival Guide to the Near Post-Apocalyptic Future. Media cover of the show was brisk, with the CBC describing it as “simple yet effective theatricality.”

Theatre alumnus Ian Case talks local theatre

Ian Case, the always-busy local theatre legend and UVic’s new Director of Ceremonies and Special Events, delivered the preshow lecture ahead of the debut of Kitt & Jane in October. Always entertaining, Case’s engaging talk described the many ways his degree prepared him for a life in theatre—without ever having to leave Victoria.


Summer 2013

Will Weigler

Dept of Theatre PhD alumnus Will Weigler's compelling immersive theatre piece "From the Heart" was profiled on CBC Radio's "All Points West".

  • Hear what Weigler and fellow UVic alum Krystal Cook had to say about this compelling and powerful experience.

Blue Bridge

Phoenix Theatre alum Amitai Marmorstein was profiled in the Times Colonist for his starring role in Neil Simon's "Brighton Beach Memoirs"—which was mounted by Phoenix professor Brian Richmond's Blue Bridge Theatre.


Fringe Awards

Four Phoenix alumni picked up awards at the Montreal Fringe: Chris Wilson (BFA'08) & Peter Carlone (BFA'08) of Peter N' Chris Show – Best English Comedy Award; Ingrid Hansen (BFA'09) & SNAFU Dance Theatre for Best English Production Overall; and Sam Mullins (BFA'08) won Best English Text for his play "Weaksauce". These three were also nominated for other awards, as well as the ones they won.


Artist Profile

BLVD magazine profiled Fine Arts alum Mercedes Bátiz-Benét--a multi-disciplinary artist, writer and director whose latest film credit (camera & cinematography) is for the 2012 Juno-winning feature-length documentary about the singer/songwriter Feist, "Look At What The Light Did Now". Mercedes is also the artistic director of local Puente Theatre.


Spring 2013

M Awards
Monday Magazine held their annual M Awards this spring and the Phoenix Theatre grad-heavy Blue Bridge production of "Little Shop of Horrors" won four awards.


Female Rabbi

A 19th-century synagogue with a female Rabbi? Find out how history was made in Victoria back in 1895 with this one-night-only, world-premiere workshop performance of a new play by Theatre professor Jennifer Wise, staged in the beautiful historic sanctuary of the synagogue itself—the very location where the events of the play took place.

Social Farting

Fine Arts alum Kathleen Black (Writing/Theatre & Acting 2010) finds fame through "social farting" anti-smoking public service message.


Charlie Brown

The spring Phoenix production You're A Good Man Charlie Brown received a number of strong reviews.

What Would the Dean Do?

Curious what Fine Arts Dean and Theatre professor Sarah Blackstone did during her year-long sabbatical? Check out her new website focusing on her photography. "Whether I’m bird watching, taking photos, and/or flying an airplane, it’s all about wings and feathers when it comes to my hobbies," she says.

Brian Richmond

Department of Theatre professor Brian Richmond buys Victoria's historic Roxy movie theatre, and plans to convert into mixed usage space for his Blue Bridge Repertory Theatre.


Theatre Students

Fine Arts featured 10 students at the annual spring Jamie Cassels Undergraduate Research Awards, including Department of Theatre's Stewart Gibbs, Sarah Johnson and Jennifer Taylor.


Reasons to be Pretty

The Times Colonist describes the spring Phoenix Theatre production Reasons to be Pretty as "one of the season's highlights" and CVV Magazine calls it "the best I’ve seen from Phoenix yet."


Winter 2012

To Bangkok, With Exchange

Department of Theatre professor Allan Stitchbury was in Thailand in February, presenting at the World Symposium on Global Encounters in Southeast Asian Performing Arts, co-hosted by Bangkok University and UVic. Stitchbury was also happy to announce a new student exchange program with Thailand's Bangkok University, which you can read about here.


Doctor Who?

Doctor Who composer and playwright Murray Gold spoke to students at Phoenix's Bishop Theatre in November, when he was in town working on the world premiere of his show, Kafka: The Musical. Kafka was being mounted by Theatre Inconnu and Phoenix alum Clayton Jevne.

Leslie Bland Proudly Canadian

Deptartment of Theatre instructor Leslie Bland is making a feature-length documentary about Hollywood's deep dark Canadian secrets, alongside noted humorist and author Ian Ferguson. Titled Gone South: How Canada Invented Hollywood, read about how the doc is planned to be launched alongside Ferguson's book of the same name in this Times Colonist article.

Fall 2012

Department of Theatre alum Catherine Plant is Phoenix Theatre's new audience and client services liaison.


Good Person of Setzuan

Good Person of Setzuan is Phoenix Theatre's fall production. Director Conrad Alexandrowicz discusses the ideas behind the show.

Good Person of Setzuan gets good reviews.


Summer 2012

Fringe Festival

Phoenix Theatre students and alumni one again make a strong showing at Victoria's annual Fringe Festival.


July 2012

Victoria Foundation

Victoria Foundation establishes new theatre award in memory of late Phoenix grad, Megan Newton.


June 2012

 Theatre Awards

Phoenix alumni win a wide range of theatre awards. Atomic Vaudeville's Ride the Cyclone, Peter N' Chris, and Meg Roe all take home various awards


February 2012

Learning from a Legend

Can you imagine getting the chance to work with a legendary Shakespearean master? This was the opportunity offered to more than a dozen talented actors, designers and aspiring directors at the Department of Theatre when the illustrious playwright, director and critic Charles Marowitz came to UVic this spring to direct his reinterpreted version of Hamlet.


Chocolate Woman Changes the World

Acclaimed Guna and Rappahannock actor and playwright Monique Mojica follows up the production of her play, Chocolate Woman Dreams the Milky Way at Vancouver’s Talking Stick Festival, with a UVic public lecture on the five-year process of creating the production.

Ancient Myth, New Life

The recent Phoenix Theatre production of Euridyce attracted quite a bit of attention from the media, primarily thanks to the dazzling visual design by Mary Kerr.

Say It With Dance

Assistant Theatre professor Conrad Alexandrowicz picks up $175,000 in grant funding to collaborate on an interdisciplinary project with famed poet and Writing professor Lorna Crozier, as well as Applied Theatre graduate student Kate Bessey, School of Music head of woodwinds Alexandra Pohran Dawkin, and associate Writing professor and experimental filmmaker Maureen Bradley.

Theatre Calgary’s Dennis Garnhum to Speak

Theatre Calgary artistic director and Department of Theatre grad Dennis Garnhum took a break from directing Pacific Opera Victoria's recent production of Carmen to visit the Phoenix and talk with the current crop of Theatre students.


January 2012

Critics' Choice Awards

It's seven nominations and two wins for Phoenix Theatre productions in the 10th annual Critics' Choice Spotlight Awards


December 2011

Legacy Awards?

Who's behind the creative work for the actual awards given out at UVic's recent Legacy Awards? None other than our own Dean of Fine Arts, Sarah Blackstone, who's also in the Department of Theatre faculty.


November 2011

Bindon Kinghorn

Phoenix Theatre’s latest production, Rookery Nook, is getting plenty of local media coverage. This 1920s British farce written by Ben Travers and directed by Bindon Kinghorn got some good reviews, and Kinghorn himself was well-quoted about it. FFarce is a fine line between satire, which makes a point, and just a gentle prod in the ribs,” explains Kinghorn. “No one is meant to be offended by any portrayal of themselves on the stage; it’s written for pure fun and enjoyment.”


 Spotlight on Alumni

Are you a Department of Theatre grad who has a killer show just aching for a large audience? If so, you're in luck: Phoenix Theatre is currently accepting proposals for the upcoming 2012/ 2013 Spotlight on Alumni, which will form part of UVic’s 50th Anniversary season. (With that in mind, proposals that consider themes related to the 50th anniversary are encouraged.) Take your place in a proud Spotlight on Alumni lineup that includes past shows like Legoland, The Ugly Duchess, Love Kills, The Josephine Knot and Death of a Clown.


Will Weigler

Applied Theatre sessional instructor Will Weigler’s doctoral dissertation about why audiences connect to live performances—what he describes as “ah-ha!” moments—was featured in both the Times Colonist and the Calgary Herald, as well as the Victoria News, and was interviewed for CFUV’s campus news show, U in the Ring, and on-air at CFAX 1070.


October 2011

Jennifer Wise

Theatre historian and Department of Theatre professor Jennifer Wise was announced as a finalist in the 2011 Herman Voaden National Playwriting Competition for her original UVic play The Moons of Jupiter. Written by Wise for 2009′s International Year of Astronomy, directed by Dean of Fine Arts Sarah Blackstone and workshopped by Theatre students and faculty, The Moons of Jupiter looked at the the family dynamics between famed astronomer Galileo and his children.


Brian Richmond

Department of Theatre professor Brian Richmond has been nominated for the People’s Order of British Columbia, a grassroots initiative spearheaded by scrappy online magazine, The Tyee. And while Richmond has done admirable work as part of UVic’s theatre faculty, it’s his brainchild Blue Bridge Theatre Company that has earned this stage veteran the nod.


March 2011

M Awards

UVic’s Fine Arts faculty are once again well-represented as nominees on the ballot for Monday Magazine’s annual M Awards. Included in the many categories now open for voting are Phoenix Theatre’s production of Yerma and Blue Bridge Theatre’s UVic-heavy A Streetcar Named Desire (Favourite Overall Production); the Belfry’s new play The Life Inside, which featured associate professor Jan Wood (Favourite New Play) . . . there’s even a theatre student project on the ballot: Jay Mitchell’s Fringe Festival favourite Z-Day: Anthem for the Post-Zombie Apocalypse (Favourite Musical).

Visual Arts


Fall 2014

Vikky Alexander

Noted photographer and Visual Arts professor Vikky Alexander has had a busy fall, mounting two solo exhibitions—one of new work in Los Angeles, and a retrospective in Vancouver. She also has two more exhibits opening in early 2015.

Long Service Awards

Both Visual Arts professor and UVic alumnus Robert Youds and building caretaker Cheryl Crooks were honoured at UVic’s Long Service Awards in October, each celebrating 25 years on campus.

Jennifer Stillwell

Visual Arts professor Jennifer Stillwell debuted a new piece of permanent public art this fall—her 25-foot tall sculpture High Five in is now reaching for the sky in Winnipeg’s Waterfront Drive.

Robert Youds

Visual Arts professor Robert Youds unveiled For Everyone a Sunset, his latest piece of public art this fall. A commission for the Vancouver Art Gallery’s Offsite, it will be on view until March 30, 2015.

Paul Walde

There’s just no stopping Visual Arts chair Paul Walde’s recent video installation Requiem for a Glacier, which was seen at Coquitlam’s Evergreen Cultural Centre in September, Toronto’s Nuit Blanche in October and Université Laval’s Visual Arts Gallery in Quebec City for the month of December. In other Paul Walde news, his work Interdeterminacy (for John Cage)—seen locally as part of last year’s Visual Arts faculty exhibit Paradox—was part of Open Sound 2014: Sonorous Kingdom at the Surrey Art Gallery in Surrey, BC.

Jackson 2Bears

September’s annual Audain Exhibition presented returning 2013-14 Audain Professor Jackson 2Bears and his live cinema/scratch video performance, Iron Tomahawks.

Lynda Gammon

Visual Arts professor Lynda Gammon curated the fall exhibit Work’PLACE’at downtown’s Open Space gallery, using  a variety of strategies to interrogate the rapidly transforming definitions of work. The exhibit also featured the work of Visual Arts alumnus Dong-Kyoon Nam, among other artists.

Paul Walde

Visual Arts professor Paul Walde was announced as the new chair of the department in July. “Good leadership is key to everything we do and all we want to accomplish as a Faculty,” says Blackstone.

Jackson 2Bears

Jackson 2Bears apart as the 2013/14 Audain Professor of Contemporary Arts of the Pacific Northwest for the Department of Visual Arts. Not only is he the first UVic alumnus and first local artist to hold the position, but he is also the first person reappointed for a second year.


Spring 2014

MFAOpen Space’s spring symposium on public art

Current Audain professor Jackson 2Bears participated in Open Space’s spring symposium on public art, alongside professor emeritus Mowry Baden. And Visual Arts staffer Chris Lindsay had a solo show this spring, all of which you can read about here.

MFASandra Meigs‘ new series

The Toronto exhibit of Sandra Meigs‘ new series of paintings The Basement Panoramas got a great full-page review in the Toronto Star, which called it “perhaps the most potent work of Meigs’ career.”

MFADeluge Contemporary Art

Visual Arts chair Daniel Laskarin opened his fourth exhibition at downtown’s Deluge Contemporary Art from January to March 2014.

MFAGovernor General’s Awards

Former Visual Arts student Kim Adams was announced as one of the winners of the 2014 Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts.

MFARequiem for a Glacier

Visual Arts professor Paul Walde’s video and sound installation Requiem for a Glacier opened at Nelson’s Oxygen Arts Centre in January and also received a review in Canadian Art magazine.

MFAMFA candidates host graduation exhibit

The MFA exhibit, titled In Your Eyes,will feature work by six graduating MFA candidates: Megan Dyck, Ethan Lester, Neil McClelland, Kaitlynn McQueston, Carley Smith and Jeroen Witvliet. “It’s really like six solo exhibitions,” says Walde. “Six people are taking over the entire facility, and some take up three or four rooms. The amount of work they produce is staggering; you’ll only be seeing a fraction of what they’ve produced in the past two years.”

badenMowry Baden wins prestigious Guggenheim fellowship

Well-known contemporary artist and sculptor Mowry Baden, a professor emeritus with the Department of Visual Arts, can now add one of North America’s most prestigious awards to his long list of honours. Baden is one of only two Canadians receiving a 2014 Guggenheim Fellowship and is among a diverse group of 178 scholars, artists, and scientists selected from a field of almost 3,000 applicants.

badenVisual Arts Undergrads SPLIT!

Undergraduates in the Department of Visual Arts are similar to students in any department at the University of Victoria: they come here to learn, to think, to research and to incubate their ideas. But what makes Visual Arts students different is that they also come here to create—and that creative difference is showcased in the annual Bachelor of Fine Arts graduating exhibit, this year titled Split.

Fall 2013

blinkVisual Arts grad wins $50K art prize

Visual Arts alumna Erin Shirreff has won the Art Gallery of Ontario’s prestigious $50,000 Aimia Photography Prize (formerly known as the Grange Prize). In addition to the cash prize, Shirreff will receive a six-to-eight week fully funded residency across Canada, to commence in early 2014.

blinkSandra Meigs exhibit attracts attention

In addition to receiving a nice amount of local coverage, the November Open Space exhibit The Basement Panoramas by painting professor Sandra Meigs was reviewed by Canadian Art magazine’s John Luna. “Meigs’s basement is a metacognitive space, a set of generative coordinates in which—as in Matisse’s clock face without hands—the explicit depiction of action (past-present-future) is withheld,” writes Luna.

Meigs was also covered the Focus magazine and the Times Colonist, as well as Kate Cino’s ArtOpenings website.

blinkFaculty exhibit a Paradox

The Visual Arts faculty exhibit Paradox opened at Legacy Art Galleries Downtown in October, making it the first current faculty exhibit in 35 years.

Visual Arts grad doesn’t need a permanent home

Visual Arts graduate Kelly Dunning has earned praise as one of “21 Location-Independent Women” by for her work as a travel writer with her own blog, Global Goose. Dunning, who graduated with a BFA in 2008, is typical of many of our graduates who combine their academic training with their own creative passions to carve out a place in life.

Visiting Artists visit artists

The Visiting Artist program in the Department of Visual Arts had a busy fall, bringing in guests as noted artists  Ian Johnston, Stan Denniston, alumna Marla Hlady, Adad Hannah, Saul Ostrow and Garry Neill Kennedy.

blinkAnne Heeney guest exhibit

Visual Arts alumnaAnne Heeney presented her exhibit Three Cornered World, a collection of narrative paintings and abstracts, at the Audain Gallery in October.

Read more about it here.

Laskarin in Europe

Visual Arts chair Daniel Laskarin participated in the International Triennial of Extended Media 2013 in Belgrade, Serbia, in September.

Youds in Saskatoon

Visual Arts professor Robert Youds had a pair of exhibits in Saskatoon this fall—his own late-day lightat the 330g gallery, and as part of the group show ReWilding Modernity at the Mendel Art Gallery.

blinkJackson 2Bears named Audain professor

UVic alumnus Jackson 2Bears was named the 2013/14 Audain Professor of Contemporary Arts of the Pacific Northwest in September, making him the first UVic grad—and the first local artist—to be appointed to the position. 2Bears also participated in the Toronto exhibit Ghost Dance: Activism. Resistance. Art. this fall.

blinkWalde curates Fictive Realities

Busy Visual Arts professor Paul Walde curated the exhibit Fictive Realities at the Richmond Art Gallery this fall. The exhibit presented new work by artists—including Writing professor Lee Henderson and Visual Arts instructors Doug Jarvis and Peter Morin— working in such technologies as interactive digital projection, artware, video mediated sculptural installation, as well as good old fashioned storytelling,

Requiem for a Glacier a world hit

blinkVisual Arts professor Paul Walde’s July performance of Requiem for a Glacier made international news after its two-day installation on the Farnham Glacier in the Kootenays. Accompanied by an orchestra and crew of nearly 100 people, Walde filmed the performance—intended for an audience of one, the glacier itself—which was then prepared for gallery presentation.

Summer 2013

blinkChris Lindsay Solo Show

Recent Visual Arts MFA grad Chris Lindsay opened his first post-graduation solo show "change" at Deluge Contemporary. Read all about Lindsay's installation and how it has been conceived and constructed as a sort of laboratory/maquette for the expansion of our insight in this Times Colonist article.


blinkVisual Arts in Canadian Art

Check out the Department of Visual Arts in Canadian Art magazine's school listings. Looks great!


Spring 2013

C.D. Howe Scholarship for Art & Design

blinkVisual Arts BFA student Bronwyn McMillin was honoured with the C.D. Howe Scholarship for Art & Design. Awarded by the Royal Canadian Academy of Art, this $5,000 award recognizes excellence and provides opportunities for graduating undergraduates to pursue further formal study in a discipline represented by the RCA membership.


blinkFaculty Exhibit

It's rare that the Visual Arts faculty mount a group exhibit, but their exhibit Now Art! during Congress 2013 in June received good media attention. Listen to this CBC All Points West podcast featuring Sandra Meigs and Paul Walde and read about the exhibit this Times Colonist article.


blinkCrystal Przybill Ynveils Public Art

Fine Arts alum Crystal Przybill unveils her new City of Victoria 150th anniversary public art pieces, as noted in the local Times Colonist.


Franke James Earns Harper's ire

Fine Arts alum & environmentally aware artist Franke James has come under scrutiny of the Harper government, due to her criticism of Canada's oil & gas industry.


blinkMowry Baden Debuts New Work

Visual Arts professor emeritus Mowry Baden debuts four new works and offers two pieces from his archive in "Califanada [cal i fan’ ada]" at Toronto's Diaz Contemporary in June.


blinkAnnual MFA Exhibit

The annual Visual Arts MFA show offers four exhibits in one: don't miss the work of imminent Masters of Fine Arts graduates Hilary Knutson, Chris Lindsay, Yang Liu, and Paola Savasta.


blinkAnnual BFA Exhibit

Graduating undergrad Willie Seo was featured in this Times Colonist article about the BFA Visual Arts graduating exhibit. Seo is seen with his life-size human sculpture, made out of layered newspaper. The BFA exhibit was also featured in this segment on Shaw TV and you can read what faculty curator Sandra Meigs had to say about the show in this article.


Nicholas Galanin Wins Again

Congratulations to Nicholas Galanin, 2012 Audain Professor for the Visual Arts department, who has won an unrestricted $25,000 Eiteljorg Contemporary Art Fellowship—less than three months after winning a $50,000 unrestricted Rasmusin Fellowship.


Sandra Meigs Curates Alumni Exhibit

Visual Arts professor Sandra Meigs curates an exhibit by three Visual Arts alumni—Stephanie Aitken, Katie Lyle & Shelley Penfold. "Drama of Perception" ran throughout March & April at Deluge Contemporary.


Paola Savasta Solo Show

Visual Arts MFA student Paola Savasta exhibited at Xchanges Gallery this spring. Her show, "The Heir", ran through March.


Rebecca Belmore wins Governor-General's Award

Former Visual Arts department Audain professor Rebecca Belmore wins the 2013 Governor-General's Award for Visual & Media Arts. The Globe & Mail noted that Belmore was recognized for “advancing the discussion of political identity in Canadian art” through her efforts to find what she calls “beauty in difficult places.”


blinkVisual Arts at IdeaFest

If you missed the IdeaFest Creativity panel with Jennifer Stillwell (Visual Arts), Victoria Wyatt (History in Art), Lee Henderson (Writing), George Tzanetakis and Jonathan Goldman (Music).


Jamie Cassels Undergraduate Research Awards

Fine Arts has 10 students in the annual spring Jamie Cassels Undergraduate Research Awards, including Visual Arts students Bronwyn McMillin and Willie Seo.


Robert Chaplin's Tiny Book

The Oak Bay News talks to Visual Arts alum Robert Chaplin about his World Record-holding tiny book, Teeny Ted from Turnip Town. Chaplin was back at UVic this spring to participate in the Alumni Week celebrations.


UVic Visual Arts Undergrads Recieve Awards

Bronwyn McMillin was awarded the C.D. Howe Scholarship for Art and Design, administered by the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts.

The Visual Arts Achievement Award of $500 each (funded by the office of the VP Academic and Provost, Dr. Reeta Tremblay) was awarded to Carson Wronko, Emma Palm, and WonSeok Seo


Winter 2012

Visiting Artist Program

The spring's Visiting Artist program was busy this year, with appearances by the likes of Blue Republic and Mowry Baden. Baden is one of Victoria's most acclaimed, and often controversial, artists. A Governor-General's Award winning-artist, this Professor Emeritus also helped shape our Visual Arts department into the well-respected school it is today.


Robyn Kruger at RBCM

Recent Visual Arts grad Robyn Kruger was featured in the Royal BC Museum's "Two Worlds: Indigenous Media & Performance Festival" this spring.


Laura Dutton Saskatoon Exhibit

Visual Arts instructor Laura Dutton's new exhibit, "Quietly at the Window," ran in early 2013 at Saskatoon's Paved Arts. This series of free-standing (sculptural) photographic prints extends the artist's investigation into light, both as the elemental material of photographic process and as a subject matter.


Robert Youds Toronto Exhibit

Visual Arts professor Robert Youds opened his latest exhibit "handmade ultramarine mantra" at Toronto's Diaz Contemporary in January 2013.


blinkTodd Lambeth Marijuana Exhibit

The Times Colonist featured Visual Arts sessional instructor Todd Lambeth's exhibit "Home Grown", which featured 11 works about marijuana culture.


New Audain Professor Announced

Nicholas Galanin, the 2012 Audain Professor in Contemporary Arts of the Pacific Northwest, wins a $50,000 US fellowship grant.


Katie Lyle among RBC winners

Visual Arts alum Katie Lyle wins honourable mention and $15,000 in 14th annual RBC Canadian Painting Competition. And instructor Thomas Chisholm was also shortlisted for the second year in a row.


blinkVikky Alexander at National Gallery

Photography instructor Vikky Alexander participates in the Toronto edition of Nuit Blanche, and has a set of her photographs displayed at the National Gallery of Canada.


Jennifer Stillwell in Winnipeg Now

New video and drawing professor Jennifer Stillwell is represented in the Winnipeg Now exhibit at the Winnipeg Art Gallery.


Megan Dickie exhibit

Busy instructor Megan Dickie takes her kinetic sculpture to an exhibit in Nelson.


Two exhibits for Tara Nicholson

Instructor and busy local photographer Tara Nicholson has exhibits at both Deluge Gallery and the Slide Room Gallery.


Jason Bourque shoots a movie

Visual Arts alum Jason Bourque returns to campus to film a sci-fi action movie.


Jackson 2Bears goes high tech

Visual Arts alum and Fine Arts interdisciplinary PhD Jackson 2Bears is now teaching for the Technology and Society minor program.


Autumn Visiting Artists announced

The fall lineup for the long-running Visiting Artists program is now up.


Summer 2012

Robert Chaplin earns a Guiness

Visual Arts alum Robert Chaplin is now in the Guiness Book of World Records for creating the smallest book in the world.


Vikky Alexander in the news

Photography professor Vikky Alexander is profiled in Vancouver online arts mag Here and Elsewhere.


Spring 2012

A pair of alumni exhibits

Visual Arts alumni Rick Leong and Emilio Portal both have exhibits on view in Victoria.


July 2012

blinkVisual Arts grad Melanie Jewell

Recent Visual Arts grad Melanie Jewell has been announced as one of the winners of the 2012 Canadian Aboriginal Writing & Arts Challenge.


June 2012

blinkRBC Canadian Painting

Visual Arts grad Thomas Chisholm named as one of 15 finalists in the RBC Canadian Painting Competition. This is Chisholm's second nomination in as many years.


blinkAlumna Crystal Przybille

Visual Arts alumna Crystal Przybille has won the national competition to create a series of public art sculptures to celebrate Victoria's 150th anniversary.


blinkCanadian collage exhibition

Two Visual Arts professors—Vikky Alexander and Lynda Gammon—are among 30 artists included in the Canadian collage exhibition, Cut and Paste, at Vancouver's Equinox Project Space.


May 2012

blinkRick Leong and Emilio Portal

Visual Arts alum Rick Leong and Emilio Portal both launch exhibits in Victoria. Leong's The Phenomenology of Dusk is on view at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, and Portal's islands is at Open Space.


blinkVikky Alexande

Photography prof Vikky Alexander gets a nice profile in online Vancouver arts mag, Here and Elsewhere.



MFA Thesis Exhibition takes over the Visual Arts building.


April 2012


The annual BFA exhibit is on now in the Visual Arts building. BLINK offers work by more than 40 emerging artists.


February 2012

Megan Dickie Throws It Down

Limited-term Visual Arts professor and ongoing sessional instructor Megan Dickie has a pair of new shows: she's part of the AGGV group exhibit Throw Down and has her own exhibit Get the Gleamer at Calgary's Stride Gallery.

Daniel Barrow Brings Art to Life

The ongoing Visiting Artist series continues to bring top talent to UVic. Most recently, we've had an appearance by famed Montreal-based manual animator and $50,000 Sobey Art Award-winning artist Daniel Barrow.


November 2011

 Paul Walde

The Department of Visual Arts has announced that London, Ontario, visual artist Paul Walde has been named as the newest associate professor. “The Department is excited to have Paul join our ranks,” says Visual Arts chair Daniel Laskarin. “His expertise and enthusiasm will complement and augment the range of learning available to our students, and his creative work will be a welcome addition to the discourse of the visual arts at UVic and beyond.”


Franke James

Artist, writer, environmentalist and recent thorn in Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s side, Franke James, was profiled in the Autumn 2011 issue of the alumni mag, The Torch. One of the first two graduates of UVic’s MFA program way back in 1981, James has made something of a name for herself since 2007 with her unique fusion of artistic and environmental concerns as seen on her website, My Green Conscience—but, most recently, as a result of the Federal government blacklisting a planned European art tour blasting the ongoing Canadian tar sands development.


October 2011

Robert Youds

Robert Youds, professor of painting in Visual Arts and a leading practitioner of light-based art, recently had an exhibit of new sculptures and paintins called Turn On Your Electric on view at Toronto’s Diaz Contemporary gallery. Youds also participated in an exhibit at Winchester Contemporary alongside iconic Visual Arts professor emeritus Mowry Baden.

Daniel Laskarin

The work of Visual Arts chair Daniel Laskarin has made it into the pages of Sculpture magazine. The current issue features Rachel Rosenfield Lafo’s review of Laskarin’s 10-year survey exhibit, Agnostic Objects (things persist), which was on view at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria earlier this year.


August 2011

maegan rose mehler

Visual Arts grad maegan rose mehler has won the BC regional prize in BMO Financial Group’s national 1st Art! Invitational Student Art Competition. Only the second UVic student to win in the competition’s seven-year history, mehler's 36 x 36 oil-on-canvas portrait Josh turned out to be just the piece to mesmerize the judges. With 250 entrants across the country and 38 in BC alone, mehler is one of 12 regional winners to pick up a $2,500 prize. mehler credits her instructors and mentors in our acclaimed Visual Arts department for her success—specifically Daniel Laskarin, Robert Youds, d. bradley muir and Sandra Meigs. "I asked a lot of questions and was a real pain in the butt, that’s for sure—but I wouldn’t have even applied for this competition if it wasn’t for them,” she says.


May 2011

Rebecca Belmore

Noted aboriginal artist Rebecca Belmore was the obvious choice to become the Visual Arts department's inaugural Audain Professor in Contemporary Art Practice of the Pacific Northwest. “She’s a First Nations artist of substantial repute, a person with a strong international reputation who had represented Canada at the Venice Bienale, and one who could give our students the benefit of her skills and experience,” explains department chair Daniel Laskarin. With her her enviable 25-year international legacy of multi-disciplinary art, the Vancouver-based Belmore talks about the challenges and successes of her UVic teaching gig. “I was trying to share with [students] my process as an artist—which is kind of spontaneous, and involves more short-term planning than long-term," she says.


Everett Wong

Fourth-year Visual Arts major Everett Wong designs the 2011 Distinguished Alumni Award. Read about what inspired the artist to create his limited-edition serigraph print here.


April 2011

John G. Boehme

Adjunct Visual Arts faculty member John G. Boehme is heading off to the Venice Biennale in June.


March 2011

Martineau, Meigs and Youds

Three Visual Arts faculty members were represented in the National Gallery of Canada’s 2010 Canadian Biennial exhibit, It Is What It Is: Luanne Martineau, Sandra Meigs and Robert Youds.


Mowry Baden

Iconic UVic Visual Arts professor emeritus Mowry Baden was profiled in the Winter 2010/2011 issue of Canadian Art magazine, as part of their second annual “Art School Special” issue. The The same issue also recognizes the Visual Arts department as offering “Innovative Options” in the realm of Digital Art education “boasting an impressive inventory of high-tech studio equipment” and noting such graduates as Althea Thauberger and Jackson 2bears.


Lynda Gammon

Associate Visual Arts professor Lynda Gammon is one of three Canadian artists participating in Silent as Glue, the new contemporary exhibit at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria.


Sandra Meigs

Visual Arts professor Sandra Meigs was recently profiled in the summer 2010 issue of Canadian Art magazine. The article, “Eminent Victorian”, was written by former Globe and Mail art critic Sarah Milroy and included four glossy images of Meigs’ work, noting that she “is known for her eclectic influences—country-and-western hurtin’ songs, movies, children’s television, opera—but the art-historical backstory is also dense, with Meigs surveying painting’s history with characteristic eccentricity.”


Previous Graduation BFA & MFA Shows:


Fall 2014

Arleen Paré

Department of Writing double-alumna Arleen Paré (BFA, MFA) was announced as the winner of the $25,000 2014 Governor General’s Literary Award for poetry. Her newest collection—a 45-part praise poem titled Lake of Two Mountains—earned the jury’s praise for being ““a poem of sustained beauty, an almost monastic meditation on the overlapping centres of human and natural reality.”


Writing at Writers Festival

A whopping 18 Department of Writing faculty members, alumni and sessional instructors participated in the annual Victoria Writers Festival this year. Included were the award-winning likes of Bill Gaston, Joan MacLeod, Kevin Kerr, Lee Henderson,  Aislinn Hunter, Arleen Paré and many others.


Mark Leiren Young

Mark Leiren Young is this year’s Harvey Stevenson Southam Lecturer in Journalism and Nonfiction for the Department of Writing. And while his current Writing course Finding the Funnyfocuses on humour writing, his recent public lectureYou Can’t Say That!? Comedy, Censorship and Sensitivity in the 21st Century—examined the fine line between comedy and censorship.


Governor General’s Literary Award Finalists

Wow—this year’s list of English-language finalists in the Governor General’s Literary Awards includes four from the Department of Writing: Writing professor Bill Gaston (Fiction), MFA alumni Garth Martens  and Arleen Paré (both Poetry), and Arno Kopecky (Non-fiction). Department of Theatre alumna Janet Munsil was also nominated in Playwriting.


Lee Henderson

From Blondie to Doonesbury, comic strips have been a mainstay of the newspaper industry for the better part of a century. Now, Department of Writing professor Lee Henderson has crafted an insider’s look at the world of comics in his highly anticipated new novel The Road Narrows As You Go (Penguin/Random House), which launched this October.


Maureen Bradley

Department of Writing professor Maureen Bradley‘s debut feature film, Two 4 One, had its world premiere this fall, playing at both the Vancouver International Film Festival and the Calgary International Film Festival. It’s currently touring the country to other film festivals before debuting locally at the 2015 Victoria Film Festival.


Tim Lilburn

Congratulations go out to noted poet and Department of Writing professor Tim Lilburn, who joins the ranks of Canada’s academic elite after being elected by his peers to become a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. The distinction is Canada’s highest academic honour.


Annual Faculty Reading Night

The Department of Writing held its Annual Faculty Reading Night in September, showcasing the work of both permanent faculty members and current graduate students.


Mark Leiren-Young

Award-winning author, journalist, playwright, screenwriter, satirist and University of Victoria alumnus Mark Leiren-Young has been announced as UVic’s 2014 Harvey Stevenson Southam Lecturer in Journalism and Nonfiction for the Department of Writing. He is the first UVic alumnus to hold the Southam position, and his fall 2014 course will focus on humour writing. 


Brian Hendricks

We are saddened to announced that longtime and much-loved Department of Writing and Faculty of Fine Arts instructor Brian Hendricks passed away in August 2014 at the age of 57. “Brian was one of the friendliest and most upbeat people you’d ever meet,” says longtime Writing department colleague Bill Gaston. “Here at UVic his presence is greatly missed.”


Eliza Robertson

Rising Canadian literary darling and one of the Writing department’s most amazing recent undergrads, Eliza Robertson, launched her debut short story collection Wallflowers to great acclaim in August 2014. Before it was even published, it was named one of “the 25 most anticipated (Canadian) books of 2014” by the National Post.


David Leach

Popular Writing professor David Leach was named the new chair of the Department of Writing in July 2014. Leach, an alumnus of the same department, says he is “thrilled and honoured” to lead the department he first joined as a student 25 years ago. “Every day, we hear good news about the creative success of our alumni,” says Leach, currently the director of both the Professional Writing and Technology and Society programs.


Concrete Garden

The third issue of the Writing department’s spin-off magazine Concrete Garden hit the newsstands this July. Originally conceived as a project in the department’s Magazine Publishing class, it has since evolved into an actual hard copy magazine focusing on sustainable urban agriculture.

Find out more here


Spring 2014

Shelagh Rogers

Much-loved CBC Radio personality Shelagh Rogers was recently announced as UVic’s next Chancellor. But what you may not know is that her nomination was first put forth by Writing professor Lynne Van Luven. Find out how Van Luven and Fine Arts Dean Sarah Blackstone championed this nomination here.


Erin Frances Fisher

Newly minted Writing MFA Erin Frances Fisher was announced as the winner of the 20th annual $5,000 Writers’ Trust RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers on May 27, with the jury praising her as “a writer you will see again.” Fellow top-three finalist and $1,000 winner Leah Jane Esau is also a former Writing student. This is the third Bronwen Wallace Award for Writing students.


Poetry Prize Shortlist

Long time Writing instructor Madeline Sonik and current student K’ari Fisher were both on the 12-writer shortlist for the Exile Quarterly $15,000 Carter V. Cooper short fiction prize. Other recent prizes include alumna Kayla Czaga, who won first the $2,000 first-place prize in The Fiddlehead‘s 23rd annual Ralph Gustafson Poetry Prize and MFA alumna Kyeren Regehr for honourable mention in that same category.


BC Book Prizes

Writing alumna Ashley Little picked up a remarkable two awards at the 2014 BC Book Prizes in May: her book The New Normal won the Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize while her other book Anatomy of a Girl Gang picked up the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize.


Theatre BC 2013 Playwriting Competition

Recent playwriting news for Writing alum include two winners of Theatre BC’s 2013 Playwriting Competition: current undergrad Shedon Seigel and MFA grad Peter Boychuk. And Writing MFA Sally Stubbs had a script selected for Calgary’s Suncor Energy Stage One Festival, another one in Nightwood Theatre’s National Play Reading Series and shortlisted for the 2015 Women Playwrights International Conference in Cape Town, and yet another script to be published this fall.


Nominated for a Leo Award

Writing MFA Connor Gaston had a busy spring touring his award-winning short film ‘Til Death to various film festivals—including Cannes—and it was nominated for a Leo Award alongside work by fellow alumni filmmaker Jeremy Lutter. Find out more here.


Annual Canadian Creative Writers and Writing Programs conferenc

The Department of Writing sent a number of faculty members and graduate students over to Vancouver in May for the annual Canadian Creative Writers and Writing Programs conference. Find out more about it here.


Nominated for a 2014 M Awards

Writing department filmmakers Maureen Bradley, Connor Gaston and Jeremy Lutter were all nominated for a 2014 M Awards, as were alumna author Thelma Fayle and current undergrad and former City of Victoria Youth Poet Laureate Aysia Law.


Mario versus Minecraft

Guest instructor Ashley Blacquiere upped his game with the summer course Mario versus Minecraft: The History of Video Games


Book launches

Recent book launches by Writing alumni included Arleen Pare, Garth Martens, Gillian Wigmore, Cara-Lyn Morgan, and  Colin Fulton.


Prize Winners

More prize winners and nominees were announced, with alumni Marjorie Celona, D.W. Wilson, Arno Kopecky, Jane Silcott, Catherine Greenwood, Melanie Siebert, Cathy Kozak, Jordan Mounteer, Jenny Boychuk, Kyeren Regher (again) and Leah Jane Esau (again) all making names for themselves.


When Is A Man

MFA Aaron Shephard recently released his debut novel, When Is A Man, and earned a great deal of media attention around its themes of landscape and masculinity.


BC Business magazine

Writing professor David Leach penned a fantastic piece for BC Business magazine’s special all-TED issue in February.


Southam Lecturer Tom Hawthorn

2014 Southam Lecturer Tom Hawthorn received a fair bit of media attention around the time of the Winter Olympics earlier this year—which isn’t surprising, given his course focused on sports writing. Click here and scroll down to read what Hawthorn thought about Sochi, gay activism and UVic’s new CARSA building.  


Unity (1918) at Phoenix Theatre

Writing professor and noted playwright Kevin Kerr earned roundly strong reviews for directing his own play Unity (1918) at Phoenix Theatre this spring.


Two 4 One is Canada’s first transgendered romantic comedy

Writing professor and busy filmmaker Maureen Bradley filmed her first feature film in Victoria this past February—and her movie Two 4 One is Canada’s (if not the world’s) first transgendered romantic comedy.


The Malahat Review

Writing had a strong presence at The Malahat Review’s second annual WordsThaw symposium this February, thanks to the participation of the departmental likes of David Leach, Tim Lilburn, Marita Daschel, Matthew Hooton, John Threlfall, alumni John Barton and Will Johnson, MFA JoAnn Dionne and undergrad Benjamin Willems.


So You Want to Launch a Magazine

Professor Lynne Van Luven organized a “So You Want to Launch a Magazine” showcase during UVic’s IdeaFest this year, presenting a number of student and alumni publications.


CFI Hi-Def Story Incubator Laboratory

The Writing department’s CFI Hi-Def Story Incubator Laboratory received some nice attention back in January, with professor Maureen Bradley singing the praises of the achievements of her Writing 420 film production class.


National Post

The forthcoming releases by both Writing professor Lee Henderson and alumna Eliza Robertson were included on the National Post‘s list of “The 25 most anticipated (Canadian) books of 2014” back in January.


Fall 2013

Tom Hawthorn the latest Southam Lecturer

Veteran local journalist Tom Hawthorn has been named the 2014 Harvey S. Southam Visiting Lecturer. Hawthorn’s Southam course will focus on the fast-paced field of sports writing. “It’s a different age for sports now,” he explains. “Athletes are using social media, they’re portrayed in video games, their personas are much wider culturally than they used to be. It’ll be fascinating to look at the relationship between athletes and the public, and with journalists and writers.”

New Joan MacLeod play debuts in Toronto

Writing professor and noted playwright Joan MacLeod’s latest play, The Valley opened at Toronto’s Tarragon  Theatre this November and got good notices from both the Toronto Star and The Globe and Mail .

Maureen Bradley champions transgender community

Writing professor and filmmaker Maureen Bradley spoke about cinematic representations of transgender people as part of the Transgender Day of Remembrance at UVic’s Cinecenta in November, and was profiled in the local Times Colonist about her own upcoming bittersweet transgender romantic-comedy Two 4 One. She also ran a successful $20,000 Indiegogo campaign to raise money for the film.

Floodplain wins two awards

Fine Arts digital media staffer and Writing alum Dan Hogg‘s film Floodplain won two awards at the recent Vancouver Short film Festival.

‘Til Death
also wins a pair of awards

The latest student-created Writing 420 short film, ‘Til Death—directed by current grad student Connor Gaston—won a pair of awards at the Vancouver Short film Festival. It also screened at the Whistler Film Festival in December.

Writing’s film program profiled

Both Maureen Bradley and Dan Hogg were both profiled, alongside Connor Gaston, for their work with the Writing 420 film program in the fall issue of UVic’s alumni Torch magazine.

Read the article here (flip to page 32).

Benjamin Willems an EVENT winner

Current fourth year student Benjamin Willems was recently named a winner of EVENT magazine‘s annual creative non-fiction contest.

Half-Blood Blues tagged for Canada Reads

Headline-making alumna Esi Edugyan‘s Giller Prize-winning novel Half-Blood Blues has been named one of CBC’s 2014 Canada Reads contenders—championed by no less than stellar runner Donovan Bailey.

Arno Kopecky talks slick

Writing grad Arno Kopecky recently appeared on CBC Radio’s The Sunday Edition talking about his new book Oil Man and the Sea, which tracks his journey sailing the same routes as the tankers will take if the Northern Gateway pipeline goes ahead.

Writing & U in the Ring

The fall launch of the Writing department spawned Concrete Garden magazine and the annual Writing faculty reading night were both featured on the CFUV radio show, U in the Ring.

They call me Dr. Lane

Former Writing professor Patrick Lane was given an Honourary Doctor of Letters by UVic at November’s convocation, and his convocation speech “An Open Letter to All the Wild Creatures of the Earth” was such a hit that the Times Colonist printed it here—and it became a viral hit.

Lorna Crozier sells out

Well, actually it was November’s Lorna Crozier Literary Celebration that sold out, raising money for the new Lorna Crozier undergraduate poetry scholarship. The event garnered a good deal media attention.

Jackson talks Munro

Writing, professor Lorna Jackson appeared on CBC Radio’s All Points West in October to speak about Alice Munro’s Nobel Prize in Literature. Why Jackson? In addition to being a short story specialist herself, she also included Munro in her 2008 book of constructed interviews Flirt: The Interviews.

Van Luven doubles up

Writing professor and Associate Dean of Fine Arts Lynne Van Luven is always busy, this fall acting as one of the judges in the annual Times Colonist “So You Think You Can Write” contest and releasing an essay in the new collection, Hidden Lives: Coming Out on Mental Illness.

Writing alumni get busy

Rapidly rising Writing graduate Eliza Robertson was named to the prestigious Writers’ Trust Journey Prize shorlist this fall—earning herself $1,000 and a place in their annual publication. Meanwhile, fellow Writing alum Kayla Czaga and Garth Martens were both longlisted for CBC Poetry Prize—Martens twice!—alongside former instructor Pamela Porter; Porter ended up being a finalist.

Thelma Fayle + Ted Grant

Writing alum Thelma Fayle garnered widespread media coverage for her new book on iconic photojournalist Ted Grant: appearing in the Times Colonist, speaking alongside Grant on CFAX Radio’s weekly Eye on the Arts show, being interviewed in Monday Magazineand in the November issue of .

Portia writes with elan

Recent MFA graduate Portia Elan was featured in “Writing Lessons” on the Ploughshares Literary Magazine blog in October. “Writing Lessons” features essays by writing students—and now writing instructors—about lessons learned, epiphanies about craft, and the challenges of studying writing.

Books, prized

Writing professor Bill Gaston and the recently retired Lorna Crozier were both named finalists in October’s City of Victoria Butler Book Prize. Crozier also recently wrote a great self-explanatory travel piece titled “A Poet in the Great Bear Rainforest” for the online magazine Toque and Canoe.

Micro budgets, major talent

Writing professor Maureen Bradley and Fine Arts digital media staffer Dan Hogg appeared in a Monday Magazine article in November, discussing their involvement with Telefilm Canada’s Micro-Budget Production program.

Writing launches Campus Confidential

The Department of Writing launched Campus Confidential in November, a new collection of creative nonfiction tales by UVic writers exploring the intricacies of relationships . . . by degrees. Inspired by the popular New York Times column “Modern Love,” the new book features 13 student and alumni writers.

Big name guests

Writing brought in a series of high-profile guests to speak to both students and the public this fall, including Sheila Heti, Carmen Aguirre, Emily McGiffin and alumna Marjorie Celona. And Geneviève Castrée.

Lilburn heads to Hong Kong

Poetry professor Tim Lilburn was the only Canadian invited to the International Poetry Nights in Hong Kong in November. The annual festival brings in poets from around the world for a weekend of readings and lectures.

Concrete Garden grows on

Writing also launched the latest issue of the student-created sustainable urban living magazine, Concrete Garden, this fall.

Annual Faculty Reading Night

Writing’s Annual Faculty Reading Night happened once again in September, and was a bit hit with the students. A fine selection of Writing faculty and current grad students kept the packed house entertained.

Summer 2013

Floodplain & Cannes

Fine Arts staffer Dan Hogg, alongside Writing alum and frequent film partner Jeremy Lutter, traveled to the Cannes International Film Festival in March for the debut of their new short film, Floodplain. Floodplain is based on a short story by fellow Writing grad D.W. Wilson, who also joined them in Cannes.

Matthew Hooton & Jenny Manzer make CBC Shortlist

Congrats to both current Writing instructor Matthew Hooton and Writing alum Jenny Manzer (wife of Writing professor David Leach) for making the 2013 CBC Canada Writes Creative NonFiction contest shortlist! Not bad—out of 2700 entries, 2 of the top 5 are from UVic Writing. Writing alumni Kayla Czaga and Will Johnson also made the longlist. The winner will be announced on July 22.


Patrick Lane gets Order of Canada

Congratulations to much-loved former Writing professor Patrick Lane on being awarded the Order of Canada. Now he and partner Lorna Crozier have both that and the Governor General's Award in common. Wonder where they keep them?


Mark Leiren-Young launches new memoir

Fine Arts alum and veteran writer and playwright Mark Leiren-Young has launched his new magical memoir, Free Magic Secrets Revealed. Leiren-Young also penned the award-winning memoir Never Shoot a Stampede Queen, about his as a young journalist at a Black Press paper in Williams Lake. Never Shoot a Stampede Queen was also recently adapted for the stage, starring Phoenix Theatre grad Zachary Stevenson.


Richard Van Camp wins Alberta Literary Award

Busy and successful author Richard Van Camp has won the Georges Bugnet Award for Fiction in the Alberta Literary Awards for his latest novel,


Eliza Robertson wins Commonwealth Short Story Prize

Rising star Writing alum Eliza Robertson has won the Commonwealth Short Story Prize, after being named the winner of the Commonwealth Canadian/European Regional Prize!


Yasuko Thanh a Danuta Gleed finalist

Celebrated local author and Writing grad Yasuko Thanh's debut short story collection Floating Like the Dead was named as a finalist in the 2013 Danuta Gleed Literary Award. While she didn't end up winning,


Connor Gaston gets Leo nomination

Among the nominees in the 2013 Leo Awards are Writing MFA student Connor Gaston. Gaston was nominated in the Best Student Production for his short film "Bardo Light."


Spring 2013


Edugyan & Price kick off new reading series

Husband-and-wife literary A-team and Department of Writing superstars Esi Edugyan and Steven Price helped kick off the new reading series at Russell's Books this spring. They're following in the proud footsteps of that other A-list Writing couple, Patrick Lane and Lorna Crozier.


Western Magazine Awards nominations

Prizes, prizes—who's up for prizes? Writing grads Richard Van Camp, Jonathan Garfinkel, Yasuko Thanh and Mark Leiren-Young have all been named as finalists in the Western Magazine Awards, and Writing was also well-represented at the BC Book Prizes—including Literary Excellence Award winner Lorna Crozier, plus nominees Bill Gaston and Yasuko Thanh.


Bill Gaston wins BC Book Prize

Congratulations to current Writing chair Bill Gaston for winning the Ethel Wilson Fiction prize for his new novel The World at the BC Book Prizes in May.


2013 M Awards

Monday Magazine held their annual M Awards in April and the Department of Writing cleaned up: grad Yasuko Thanh won "Favourite Fiction Book" for Floating Like The Dead, current Writing stduent and Victoria Youth Poet Laureate Aysia Law was named "Newsmaker of the Year", and graduate student Scott Amos was named "Favourite Local Filmmaker".


Yasuko Thanh Q&A

UVic Writing grad and BC Book Prize nominee Yasuko Thanh does a fun Q&A in the April issue of local Boulevard magazine.


Anna-Maria Landis named Alumnus of Honour

Current Writing student Anna-Maria Landis was named Alumnus of Honour at the spring Victorious Voices Secondary School Slam Championships. Landis performed alongside fellow Writing student and Victoria Youth Poet Laureate Aysia Law.


Lorna Crozier earns Award for Literary Excellence

Call it another feather in the much-plumed hat of recently retired Writing prof Lorna Crozier. Crozier was named co-winner of BC's Lieutenant Governor's Award for Literary Excellence, alongside Vancouver writer Sarah Ellis—the first time the award has been split. Crozier received her award during the BC Book Prizes in May.


Erin Fisher on PRISM shortlist

Current Writing MFA student Erin Fisher has been announced as the first runner-up in PRISM International's 2013 Fiction contest for her story, "Last Concert: Luzon, Philippines." This isn't the first time Fisher's work has been nominated, as you can see here.


Writing at IdeaFest

In case you missed the IdeaFest Creativity panel featuring Writing professor Lee Henderson alongside fellow Fine Arts professors Jennifer Stillwell (Visual Arts), Victoria Wyatt (History in Art) and Music's George Tzanetakis and Jonathan Goldman.


Eliza Robertson a CBC finalist

Congratulations to Writing grad Eliza Robertson for being named one of five finalists in the CBC Short Story Prize in March! Her name appeared on the longlist alongside the likes of fellow Writing alumni Yasuko Thanh & Judy LeBlanc, plus former Writing instructor Holly Nathan.

Jorge Barrera wins Newsperson of the Year

Former Writing department Harvey Southam Diploma student Jorge Barrera has won the J-Source Canadian Newsperson of the Year Award. Barrera is a reporter for the Aboriginal Peoples TV Network and won the award for his investigative work in First Nations communities and Idle No More movement.


David Leach highlights Games Without Frontiers

In his guise as director of UVic's Technology & Society program, David Leach put together the fascinating day-long Games Without Frontiers event at IdeaFest in March. A “pop-up idea arcade” that explored the social power of video games, this free, all-ages public event was one of the highlights of IdeaFest.


Writing at JCURA

Fine Arts had 10 students represented at the annual Jamie Cassels Undergraduate Research Awards in March, including Writing's Claire Garneau and Liz Snell. Also on hand were Sara Fruchtman, Alexandra Macdonald and Christine Oldridge (History in Art), Stewart Gibbs, Sarah Johnson and Jennifer Taylor (Theatre), plus Bronwyn McMillin and Willie Seo (Visual Arts).


Marjorie Celona an Amazon finalist

Outstanding Writing grad Marjorie Celona was named a finalist for the $7,500 First Novel Award in April. Past winners include the likes of Michael Ondaatje, Nino Ricci, Rohinton Mistry, Anne Michaels and Joseph Boyden. Celona is the daughter of Music professor John Celona.


Yasuko Thanh goes bare for books

Why did acclaimed local author and Writing grad Yasuko Thanh agree to pose nude for the upcoming PEN "Bare it for Books" calendar? Coastal Spectator has the answer at this article written by fellow Writing grad Will Johnson.


Thanh & Robertson make CBC longlist

Two of the busiest Department of Writing grads both made the CBC Short Story Prize longlist in March: Eliza Robertson and Yasuko Thanh. Congratulations to both.


Sandra Martin & Tom Hawthorn podcast

Writing guests Sandra Martin & Tom Hawthorn appeared at UVic this spring to discuss the fine art of obituary writing at a presentation called "Obituaries to Die For". Hear what they had to say on this podcast of "U in the Ring". Also in this broadcast was Fine Arts honorary doctorate winner and celebrated Canadian author Anne Michaels.


Winter 2012

Arno Kopecky tackles Enbridge

Writing grad Arno Kopecky tackled the Enbridge pipeline and asked the $273 billion question in the February issue of Reader's Digest: is the payoff worth the risk?


Annual Faculty Reading Night

What's the good word? A packed house found out directly from the entire current Department of Writing faculty, plus four grad students, at the annual Faculty Reading Night in February.


Open Word

The twice-yearly Open Word: Readings and Ideas series had a busy spring, featuring Governor General's Award-winning poet, novelist, documentarian, academic and former Poet Laureate for the City of Toronto Dionne Brand in January, award-winning Vancouver-based performance poet Ray Hsu and celebrated 2012 Charles Taylor Prize-winning author Andrew Westoll (The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary), both in February.


Southam Lecturer Jo-Ann Roberts

CBC Radio's All Points West host Jo-Ann Roberts talked about her new gig as the Department of Writing's 2013 Harvey Southam guest lecturer in the January issue of Boulevard Magazine, which you can read here. She also hosted a full house for her public lecture, "Public Broadcasting and the Public Good: Making the case for the CBC".


Writing tips from Writing profs

Writing instructor Christin Geall offered some useful tips about how using a retrospective narrator can help you to be honest with yourself, via CBC's Canada Writes website. Meanwhile, Writing professor David Leach offered his creative nonfiction tips as part of CBC's Canada Writes CNF month in January.


Waterstones Eleven x 2

Congratulations to two Writing grads who made the UK's prestigious Waterstones Eleven "Debut Literary Stars of 2013" list in January: Marjorie Celona (Y) and D.W. Wilson (Ballistics). Read more about them here. Celona's Giller-nominated debut novel Y was also reviewed by the New York Times, who called it "heartfelt" and noted that Celona "adroitly confounds many of our expectations."


Maleea Acker's new book

Writing grad Maleea Acker's new book, Gardens Aflame, was profiled in the January issue of Focus Magazine, alongside a piece about 2013 Southam Lecturer Jo-Ann Roberts.


Mike Edel wins TC Music Award

Writing alum Mike Edel, co-editor of the Department of Writing-created Concrete Garden magazine, is also a busy local musician who was named one of the winners in the Times Colonist's annual Music Awards.


Aysia Law named Youth Poet Laureate

Inaugural City of Victoria Youth Poet Laureate and current Writing student Aysia Law talked to the Times Colonist about her new position in this article.


Joan MacLeod among the best

Writing professor Joan MacLeod topped the list of Best Canadian Women Playwrights in this recent article. Commenting on her breakout play Shape of a Girl, they said, "Joan MacLeod is one of Canada's best playwrights and almost any of her plays could be on this list . . . Shape of a Girl remains one of my top theatrical experiences. It's a play that remains relevant and important, and really should be seen, if not read, by everyone."


Crozier, Gaston, Celona, Wagamese on G&M's book list

Look who's on the Globe & Mail's list of top 100 winter books to read: Writing professors Bill Gaston and Lorna Crozier, plus alumna Marjorie Celona and former instructor Richard Wagamese.


Cody Klippenstein wins Zoetrope prize

Recent Writing grad Cody Klippenstein wins first place in the Zoetrope All-Story Fiction Contest. A notable U.S. prize sponsored by Francis Ford Coppola, the Zoetrope puts her work in front of the eyes of some of America's biggest literary talent agencies.

Read more here.


 Madeline Sonik a human book

Writing instructor and City of Victoria Butler Book Prize Winner Madeline Sonik was a "book" in the Greater Victoria Public LIbrary's recent Human Library Project.


 Maureen Bradley wins NSI film initiative

Writing professor and filmmaker Maureen Bradley has been selected as one of the winning teams for the National Screen Institute's Features First program.


 Dan Hogg wins NSI script prize

Fine Arts staffer Dan Hogg has been named one of the winners of the National Screen Institute's Script to Screen development initiative.


 All Star Reading Night

10 graduates of the Writing department held Fine Arts celebrate UVic's 50th anniversary.


 Madeline Sonik wins City of Victoria Book Prize

Writing instructor Madeline Sonik won the City of Victoria Butler Book Prize this October for her non-fiction memoir, Afflictions and Departures.


 Patrick Friesen wins ReLit Award

Writing instructor Patrick Friesen wins the 2012 ReLit Award for poetry for his book Jumping in the Asylum. While there's no cash purse for the ReLit.


Tamas Dobozy wins Writers Trust prize

Writing grad Tamas Dobozy wins the $25,000 Rogers Writers Trust prize for his short-story collection, Siege 13.


 UVic Writers in abundance at Writers Fest

Plenty of Writing faculty and alumni were on deck for the inaugural Victoria Writers Festival.


Connor Gaston goes to TIFF, WFF

Writing MFA student Connor Gaston has films accepted at both the Toronto International Film Festival and the Whistler Film Festival.


Arno Kopecky launches book

Writing grad and international journalist Arno Kopecky launches his first book, The Devils Curve.


G&M talks to Bill Gaston

Writing chair Bill Gaston is interviewed by the Globe and Mail for his thoughts on the number of emerging writers currently flooding the Can-lit market


Marjorie Celona makes Giller longlist

Writing grad Marjorie Celona makes the Giller longlist for her debut novel Y.


Judy Leblanc wins Antogonish Review prize

Writing grad Judy Leblanc has won The Antogonish Review's eight annual fiction award.


Kevin Kerr joins Writing department

Governor General's Award-winning Canadian playwright Kevin Kerr joins the Writing department, bringing a vast body of experience to his speciality in drama.


Lorna Crozier releases new book

The soon to retire Lorna Crozier launches her latest volume, The Book of Marvels, to a packed house at UVic's Bookstore.


Bill Gaston launches new novel

Writing chair Bill Gaston launches his latest novel, The World, alongside Writing alum and Giller Prize longlister Marjorie Celona, who is launching her own novel, Y.

Summer 2012

Richard Van Camp returns

Writing alum and acclaimed aboriginal author Richard Van Camp returns to campus to kick off the department's participation in UVic's 50th anniversary celebrations.


Sketch Ed goes live

The students of Ryan Harper-Brown's summer Writing 410 course are taking their comedy writing skills out of the classroom and onto a local stage by mounting Sketch Ed—a night of live comedy based on their course work.


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