Welcome to all new Fine Arts students, and welcome back to all returning students! We’re looking forward to offering safe and engaging courses this year—whether you’re attending classes in-person or online.

While most of the following information can be found on the Fine Arts website, we thought we’d offer a bit of a roundup for you as we ease into the new semester. And if you’re a first-year student, be sure to spend some time reading through the New Student Handbook, which is full with important and useful information about your new role as a UVic student.

We also recommend you familiarize yourself with the New Student Checklist and, if have any questions regarding dates, please see this list of important dates for campus.

If you’re curious about what life will be like on campus this fall, please watch this short video.

If you’re primarily learning from home this fall but still want to get a sense of the extensive facilities Fine Arts offers, please visit the Fine Arts YouTube page, which has virtual tours of most of our departments.

And if you have questions about your courses—including major or minor degree options—please connect with our Fine Arts Advisor, Sarah Riecken, who will be offering drop-in sessions via Zoom this fall.

Fine Arts Advisor Sarah Riecken is here to help with courses, programs, majors & minors

Social media

The best way to stay connected is to follow the Fine Arts social media feeds—on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter& YouTube—in order to stay up to date on student job opportunities, call for entries from galleries and magazines, arts contests, audition notices and regular information that will make your student experience better. But each of our departments have their own social media feeds, so be sure to follow those as well:

Our Faculty blog offers a regularly updated selection of stories highlighting the work of Fine Arts students, faculty and alumni. And our blog page also hosts The Connector, our monthly roundup of faculty news: sign up here to receive automatic notice of that.

You (or your family or your community supporters) can also sign up for the Coming up in Fine Arts email list to stay updated on events happening both on and off-campus. (Note: this email list mostly focuses on events, however, instead of student-focused information and opportunities.)

Fine Arts also has a dedicated Communications Officer, John Threlfall, who handles our storytelling, social media and media relations. As well as writing about faculty and alumni accomplishments, he regularly writes and promotes stories about student activity on campus and in the community. He can also help prepare you for interviews or tell you how to work with the media. 

Visual Arts student Rudra Manani had her art profiled in the media

Get involved

We also encourage you to join the student group for your area of study; most of our departments have at least one course union. You can find a full list of links for those here.

Getting involved beyond your classes is an important part of being a Fine Arts student. We encourage all first-year students to connect with these groups to meet new people and help grow the Fine Arts student community. You can also see about joining one of the many student clubs on campus via their posts on the UVSS Facebook page.

But whether you’ll be on campus this fall or not, everyone is welcome to participate in the special events planned by your UVic Student Society. The annual UVSS Campus Kick-Off runs from September 9 – 11 and includes live music, online trivia, a free movie at Cinecenta, an e-sports tournament and more.

UVic also offers a special Week of Welcome for Indigenous Students from September 14 – 18.

Student jobs

Once the semester gets underway, you’ll be able to see our list of student job postings, some of which will be on-campus and others which will be online (often including positions as social media assistants).

But, as you heard during the Fine Arts orientation on September 8, our dedicated Fine Arts Career Educator Joy Andrews can also help you with longer-term goals and plans. Connect with her to search for work or explore workshops options for resumes, cover letters and other interview resources.

And if you’re interested in exploring a Co-op option for your program, touch base with Fine Arts Co-op Coordinator Allison Benner. UVic offers one of Canada’s largest and most diverse co-op programs: each year, students from more than 40 different programs areas complete more than 2,700 work term placements across Canada and around the world.

Writing student Hugo Wong put his journalism & photography skills to use in his co-op position with Parks Canada

Student health

We are as concerned about your health as you are. With only a third of our usual population on campus this fall, UVic is able to offer a safe environment for students and classes thanks to physical distancing, reduced building capacity, increased surface cleaning and other ongoing efforts.

New for September 2020 is UVic’s Student Wellness Centre, bringing together counselling, health and multifaith services in one central location. The centre provides holistic care to support UVic students’ emotional, physical and spiritual well-being. The team includes counsellors, doctors, nurses, administrative staff, chaplains and other practitioners.

But our commitment to student wellness also extends to the current health crisis. Be sure to read UVic’s comprehensive roundup of COVID-19 student information, covering topics like masks, funding, housing, campus life, health services, counselling, mental health and more. This page is frequently updated and will be your best source of information regarding resources and programming for the academic year.

The UVSS also offers their own COVID-19 resource hub, which offers information ranging from financial aid and community care to support for online learning, international students, monthly bills and more.

Finally, as UVic recently announced, we will continue to offer a blend of face-to-face and online instruction for the spring term beginning in January 2021.

“UVic remains committed to offering high quality academic programming to all of our students—locally and around the world—and we will continue to invest in resources to support students, faculty and instructors,” says Valerie Khune, UVic’s Vice-President Academic and Provost. “Thank you for all that you are doing to help us create a vibrant and inclusive university community.” 

We look forward to learning together with you!