Help celebrate the impact of grads at UVic’s 10th annual Alumni Week. More than a dozen free events — including talks, awards and workshops — highlight this event, running February 6 to 12, both on-campus and off. This year we focus on the vital impact of the university’s graduates, locally and around the world.

But, as always, our Fine Arts alumni are busy well beyond Alumni Week activities — scroll down for a few key events featuring our fantastic alumni!

Alumni Week begins on Monday, February 6 with a special kick-off launch with alumni who work on campus at the Welcome Centre (11:30am), followed by a fun presentation for current students at the Petch Fountain (1:30 to 3pm).

Tuesday, February 7, offers a very special presentation by Fine Arts alumnus and retired Art History and Visual Studies professor Martin Segger (BA ’69), who is being honoured as the 2017 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient by the UVic Libraries. His presentation on “Built Heritage: UVic’s Architectural Archive of the Pacific Northwest” (3pm, Mearns Centre for Learning room 129) was so popular that it sold out in less than 24 hours!

Martin Segger (photo: Colton Hash)

Drawing on diaries, notebooks, photographs, architectural drawings and other related media in Special Collections and the University Archives, Segger takes us on a digital tour through some of the materials that illuminate the architectural history of this region. These documents together provide fascinating insights — not only into the story of our built environment, but also to the lives of those who made it, recorded it, were inspired by it and lived in it.

The former director and curator of the UVic Maltwood Art Museum and Gallery (1979-2010), Segger has recently has been assisting with the development of the Pacific Northwest Architectural Archive. Following the presentation, attendees are invited to enjoy a special exhibit celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Art History and Visual Studies department in the Mearns Centre’s Legacy Maltwood Gallery.

Beyond Fine Arts, Tuesday also offers a Hi-Tech Co-op & Career Fair (10am to 3pm, Engineering Wing lobby), Child & Youth Care alumni reception (4:30pm, University Club) and a special event on the Etiquette of Networking with UVic Alumni Relations director Terry Cockerline (5pm, Continuing Studies Atrium), and a human rights session called Beyond Differences: How to engage with the world’s greatest challenges (7pm, Continuing Studies 280).

Althea Thauberger

The highlight of Wednesday, Feb 8, is the Distinguished Alumni Awards, which will feature the accomplishments of 13 outstanding UVic grads — including Visual Arts alumnus Althea Thauberger, as well as Westjet vice-president of marketing Bob Cummings, author and former chief of the Xat’sull (Soda Creek) First Nation Bev Sellars, and long-serving Langford city councilor and Capital Regional District director Denise Blackwell. (7:30pm, Songhees Wellness Centre)

But there’s also a special lunch gathering for grads of Health Information Science (11:30am, University Club), and a Young Alumni Paint Nite (6:30pm at Table 21, 777 Douglas), where you can grab a brush, make connections, channel your inner artist and take home your very own masterpiece . . . no painting experience necessary, as you will be guided from start to finish by a professional artist.

Shelagh Rogers

On Thursday, Feb 9, UVic Chancellor Shelagh Rogers will share her personal journey as an honorary witness to the proceedings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in a live interview with CHEK News anchor (and UVic alumna) Stacy Ross. Rogers will be answering questions instead of asking them, as the CBC radio journalist – and keen observer of Canadian life – talks about reconciliation and the country’s future (7pm, First Metropolitan Church).

Also on Thursday, out-of-town alumni in both Calgary and Seattle can take in a pair of regional events in their own cities: the Calgary meet & greet (7pm at the National on 10th), the Seattle meet & greet (7pm at the Rhein Haus).

Friday, Feb 10, is anchored by the Vikes for Life Basketball Night (6pm women’s game, 8pm men’s game), where alumni can cheer as the Vikes take on the Winnipeg Wesmen. Better still, it’s just $7 for four seats!

Saturday offers a special lunch & learn session for Victoria College alumni (from Craigdarroch and Lansdowne campuses) and the Provincial Normal School. Discover the inspiring efforts of UVic’s Victoria Hand Project, which provides 3D-printed upper-limb prosthetics to amputees in the developing world (11:30am, University Club). And all UVic Alumni are invited to an early Valentine’s Day Dinner (5:30pm, University Club) where Alumni ONECard holders are eligible for a free, one-year University Club membership.

Joan MacLeod working on “Gracie” with star Lili Beaudoin

Beyond the specific Alumni Week festivities, however, Fine Arts alumni are active in a number of events and exhibitions around town:

  • Award-winning Writing alumna Joan MacLeod has the world premiere of her latest play, Gracie, at the Belfry Theatre (1291 Gladstone) until Feb 19.
  • Visual Arts alumnus and sessional instructor Neil McClelland has a solo exhibit of paintings, Everything is Being Perfected, at Deluge Contemporary (636 Yates) until March 4.
  • Visual Arts alumnus and sessional instructor Todd Lamebth presents “Friday Night Spectrum” at the Ministry of Casual Living window space (764 Yates) until Feb 15.
  • Filmmakers and Writing alumni Jeremy Lutter (director) and Ben Rollo (writer) have the world premiere of their debut feature film — The Hollow Child, a horror thriller — at the Victoria Film Festival (9pm Feb 9 & 4pm Feb 11 at SilverCity).
  • Also at this year’s VFF is Writing MFA alumnus Connor Gaston and his short film The Cameraman, and the alumni-heavy short film Caw, produced & directed by Jeremy Lutter, screenplay by Ryan Bright, with executive producer Meghan Bell. Both show as part of the BC Shorts Program, 9:45pm Feb 7 at the Odeon. And the local CineVic Soceity of Independent Filmmakers — whose executive director, David Geiss, also holds a screenwriting MFA from the Writing department — will be hosting public receptions for these two VFF homegrown screenings: The Camerman (7-9:30pm Feb 7) and The Hollow Child (6:30-9pm Feb 11) at their CineVic HQ (#102 – 764 Yates).

Finally, the Art History & Visual Studies department presents three exhibits, all involving their alumni:

  • Ellen Neel

    Ellen Neel: The First Woman Totem Pole Carver (until April 1, Legacy Art Gallery, 630 Yates) –  Celebrate the career of Kwakiutl (Kwakwaka’wakw) carver Ellen Neel (1916-1966), the first woman carver of monumental totem poles, who had an undeniable contribution towards the recognition of Northwest coast Indian art as a contemporary art form.

  • The Mystery of Grafton Tyler Brown (Until April 1, Legacy Art Gallery, 630 Yates) –  Grafton Tyler Brown (1841-1918) was one of the first professional landscape artists to work in the Pacific Northwest; his few regional paintings that survive offer vivid windows into the world of 1880s Victoria and British Columbia. Yet, how did this African American artist succeed at a time when racial prejudice prevented most Blacks from entering any skilled profession? Guest curated by UVic History professor John Lutz, with Art History & Visual Studies alumna Emerald Johnstone Bedell and Caroline Riedel.
  • Learning Through Looking (To April 13, Legacy Maltwood at the Mearns Centre – McPherson Library) –  Celebrates the 50th anniversary of Art History & Visual Studies with this exhibit curated by faculty members and graduate students Jaiya Anka and Atri Hatef.