June 14 is convocation day and the Faculty of Fine Arts is very excited to welcome 224 new graduates to our alumni family! Here is a quick glimpse into our diverse group of graduates:
- 24 Department of Art History & Visual Studies
- 44 Department of Theatre
- 46 Department of Visual Arts
- 37 Department of Writing
- 40 School of Music
- 8 Combined Majors in Computer Science + Visual Arts or Computer Science + Music
- 11 Diplomas in Cultural Resource Management
- 11 Professional Specialization Certificates in Collections Management
- 3 Foundations in Indigenous Fine Arts Certificates
Together with the new class of grads, you are part of an expansive network of over 8250 alumni. Given that you’re graduating on the cusp of Fine Arts celebrating our 50th anniversary as a faculty, there are many reasons to stay connected.
We are always interested in hearing about alumni accomplishments—please do keep in touch as your career develops, and let us know if you have any events or honours to celebrate.
We had another creatively inspiring year in Fine Arts. Here are just a few of the highlights:
A cultural non-profit leader whose work is devoted to developing the performing arts in Canada, Nathan Medd (BFA ’01) is currently Managing Director of Performing Arts for the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, the nation’s largest arts training institution and incubator of new works. This year, he was honoured with the 2019 Distinguished Alumni Award. Read more
Celebrated novelist and Writing grad Esi Edugyan (BFA ’99) soared to new literary heights this year by becoming only the second author in Canadian history to win two Giller Prizes — first for 2011’s Half Blood Blues and now for 2018’s Washington Black, which is also currently in development as a limited run TV series. Read more
Graduating Visual Arts student Laura Gildner was shortlisted for the Lind Photography Prize, mounted a solo photography exhibit at Vancouver’s Polygon Gallery and staged work at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria. She also won the Victoria Medal for the highest undergraduate GPA in the faculty. Read more
Members of the School of Music’s Vocal Jazz Ensemble were thrilled to have the opportunity to sing the music of iconic rock band Queen when the Victoria Symphony presented their Best of Queen concert this spring. Read more
Using her paintings as inspiration, graduating Visual Arts MFA Claire Scherzinger teamed up with School of Music students to create the new science-fiction podcast project Arca-45672. Scherzinger used her paintings as inspiration for the nine-episode sci-fi audio drama, which cracked the top-100 arts podcasts on iTunes Canada its first week. “The reason I do what I do is I’m interested in the future and thinking about the future,” Scherzinger told CBC Arts in this interview. “How can we use metaphors to think about how we exist today as colonizers, as destroyers of the environment? That’s really important to me.”
Kirk McNally (School of Music) oversaw the installation of the new CREATE Lab and recording studio for music technology students, dedicated to the art and science of listening. Read more
Carey Newman (Visual Arts) made history twice this year by seeing his Residential School memorial sculpture The Witness Blanket entered into the permanent collection of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, and in seeing the piece designated as a living entity that honours the stories of the survivors. Read more
Bill Gaston (Writing) won the City of Victoria Butler Book Prize for his story collection, A Mariner’s Guide to Self-Sabotage — one final honour before he retires at the end of this academic year. Read more
Jacques Lemay (Theatre) led the student team behind The Drowsy Chaperone to create a smash hit show that resulted in a sold-out, held-over run — and one of the most popular Phoenix shows in recent memory! Read more
Carolyn Butler-Palmer (Art History & Visual Studies) consulted on the new $10 bill featuring Canadian civil rights leader Viola Davis, which means you can see the influence of our faculty whenever you get one of the new bills. Read more
Our generous donors gave over $1.8 million in 2018/19, with 45% of that coming from Fine Arts alumni. Overall, we distributed $709,621 to students last year via donor-funded scholarships and bursaries.
Theatre student Emma Leck became the inaugural recipient of the Spirit of the Phoenix Award, named for the late Phoenix student Frances Theron.
With the 50th anniversary of the Faculty of Fine Arts coming up in 2019/20, we would love to hear your thoughts on how we can continue to engage with our alumni in significant ways. Convocation is a day for making meaningful memories—we hope that the culmination of your student years marks the start of our new relationship as alumni and colleagues.