Top-10 Fine Arts stories of 2021

As we wind down a(nother) year of unprecedented firsts, it is with gratitude and awe that we look back on the student accomplishments, faculty successes, new appointments and visiting scholars who made 2021 memorable. Read on to see some of the things that kept our year bright even in these often trying times.

New Impact Chair

Most recently, Fine Arts was proud to announce that we are now home to one of just four new Impact Chairs positions at UVic. With a deep understanding of art’s power to inspire change and a teaching style that embraces cultural learning, Carey Newman brings his passion for decolonization and Indigenous resurgence to his new appointment as Impact Chair in Indigenous Art Practices in both the departments of Visual Arts and Art History & Visual Studies.


Learning with others

“There’s something quite sacred about listening and working with your hands at the sametime.” Award-winning poet, memoirist and Writing professor Gregory Scofield—also a traditional Cree-Metis beadworker— connects traditional beadwork and writing through his creative practice and teaching. All of this unites in Scofield’s course on Indigenous women’s resistance writing and material art, which combines hands-on learning in traditional Cree-Metis beadwork with readings, films and writing practice centered on resurgence and resistance.

And in July, Fine Arts welcomed Karla Point as the new Indigenous Resurgence Coordinator, and we couldn’t be happier. Here’s what Karla had to say about it, “When I was a cultural support liaison with Law, I was ‘Aunty Karla’ for the Law students—so I’d love to be Aunty Karla for all the Fine Arts students.”


Transformational theatre

Eurocentrism in theatre continues to be one of the most pressing artistic issues of our time, whether on professional stages, community performances or academic institutions. Enter the Theatre department’s new initiative, Staging Equality—which offers a vision of how theatre can address issues of race, diversity and inclusion by building relationships based on trust and respect. Created out of the Strategic Framework Impact Fund, Staging Equality is a three-year collaborative and creative research project devised by Theatre professors Yasmine Kandil and Sasha Kovacs.


Graduate achievements

On June 1, Syilx & Tsilhqot’in playwright & director Kim Senklip Harvey became the first Indigenous woman to win the Governor General’s Literary Award for Drama for her play Kamloopa: An Indigenous Matriarch Story (Talon Books)—less than a week after receiving her MFA in Writing from our Writing department. The widely acclaimed play then received a staged reading at Phoenix’s Chief Dan George Theatre in November.

In September, Theatre PhD candidate Dennis Gupa premiered his Gossip with Whales, a unique choral collaboration which seeks to give voice to those most affected by climate change on the oceans. It was created while Gupa was Artist in Residence with Ocean Networks Canada.

Making music matter

In November, the School of Music’s AUDIO+ held its second annual event to advance the integration of women and non-gender conforming persons into the male-dominated realm of audio engineering. With exciting events including a build-your-own-synthesizer workshop and strong student participation, we hope this is the start of a new tradition here on campus.

Along similar lines, School of Music students highlighted marginalized voices during UVic’s 5 Days of Action this fall, with the hopes of bringing awareness to EDI-related challenges faced by both musicians and music institutions.

Student accomplishments

School of Music undergraduate Iryna Peleshchyshyn received the gift of a lifetime this past year when she was given the opportunity to play a treasured 18th century violin during her degree program. The French violin—crafted in 1748 and valued at nearly $35,000—was donated to UVic by well-known local violinist Trudi Prelypchan, who knows a thing or two about being a young violinist: at just 16, she began playing with the Victoria Symphony in 1964.

In other departmental news, Visual Arts was able to launch its long-awaited and newly upgraded Photography Lab this summer thanks to the help of UVic’s Capital Projects and our donors.

Changing climate

While we are all aware that there is a climate crisis and there’s not enough happening to stop it, the appointment of Sean Holman as the new Wayne Crookes Professor in Environmental and Climate Journalism to help change the narrative around climate change.

And back in June, Visual Arts professor Kelly Richardson brought her environmental vision to the world when she was selected as one of six international artists by the UN Convention on Biodiversity to participate in the Instagram takeover of @withnature2020.

Guest speakers

Fine Arts was fortunate to host a remarkable range of guest speakers this past year, most hosted by our long-running Orion Lecture Series and many of which are still available for viewing on our Orion playlist. Guests range from celebrated nonfiction author JB MacKinnon, who explored society’s problematic relationship with consumerism, to musical scholar Gayle Young, who offered a unique workshop on microtonality and tuning. Notable among our many other speakers were Islamic curator Fahmid Suleman, multidisciplinary painter Manuel Mathieu and Indigenous actor Gary Farmer, to name but a few.

Online exhibits

Plays and concerts weren’t the only things to shift online: this year also saw the annual BFA exhibition shift into an online virtual reality walkthrough format. “Any limitations have only inspired innovation,” noted supervising Visual Arts faculty member Jennifer Stillwell. The exhibit, titled The End, proved that even a pandemic can’t keep art down as 30 graduating students filled much of the Visual Arts building with their creations.

Livestream and live performances

dead man's cell phone posterLast March, Problem Child became the sole public main stage production of the 2020/21 Phoenix Theatre season due to COVID—prompting a major technological shift as students learned to live stream their first major production. But this fall saw audiences return to the Phoenix Theatre mainstage with a production of the highly entertaining Dead Man’s Cell Phonewith more to look forward to in spring 2022.

The impact of Indigenous art practices on truth & reconciliation

Art not only has the power to inspire, it can also be a powerful catalyst for change. Nowhere is this more evident than in issues of truth and reconciliation, as Carey Newman well knows. Recently appointed as the inaugural Impact Chair in Indigenous Art Practices with the Faculty of Fine Arts, Newman brings his passion for decolonization and Indigenous resurgence to this new position. 

A multi-disciplinary Kwakwak’awakw and Coast Salish artist, master carver, filmmaker and author, Newman strives to highlight Indigenous, social and environmental injustice through his art practice. In addressing the impacts of colonialism and capitalism, he uses material truth to unearth memory and trigger the necessary emotion to drive positive change. He is also deeply engaged with community and incorporating innovative methods derived from traditional teachings and Indigenous worldviews into his process.

Newman was most recently UVic’s sixth Audain Professor of Contemporary Art Practice of the Pacific Northwest. Now as the Impact Chair in Indigenous Art Practices, he is jointly appointed to the Department of Visual Arts and the Department of Art History & Visual Studies, where he will teach both graduate and undergraduate students, as well as continuing his own research and cultural production.

About the Impact Chairs

UVic Impact Chairs are intended for exceptional researchers acknowledged as leaders in their field, with recognized success in research-inspired teaching and fostering collaborative and interdisciplinary research. The role of the Impact Chair is to convene, connect and facilitate collaborative research and education across disciplines and academic units, knowledge sharing and mobilization, partnerships on campus and with external partners and communities, and to provide leadership in relation to the relevant Strategic Framework priorities.

Newman is the third of four inaugural UVic Impact Chairs appointed to five-year research positions funded by the university’s strategic framework initiative. His appointment also reflects UVic’s commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs), specifically the UN SDGs on reducing inequalities and on fostering peace, justice and strong institutions.

In this Q&A, Newman discusses the intersection between his art practices and social issues, as well as his hopes to build new relationships while challenging Canada’s historical narrative.

How can Indigenous art practices promote meaningful intellectual exchange and community building?

My artwork is inspired by, and responds to, a wide spectrum of historical and contemporary social issues. It is rooted in Kwakwaka’wakw and Sto:lo world views that see governance, law and arts as inextricably interconnected: I include all of these when considering the potential impacts of Indigenous art practices.

I think about this Impact Chair position as being not just about the process and practices of Indigenous art making, but as an opportunity to discover what is possible when the distinctions between disciplines are removed, and the processes of creative production and intellectual exchange are transformed by not only changing who participates, but also the questions we pose, how we approach finding solutions and the metrics we use to evaluate success.

Newman at the opening of his Earth Drums installation in Saanich, BC

How do you hope to use this position to build new relationships between truth, art and reconciliation?

When I think about the goal of reconciliation, the process begins with learning, understanding and accepting truth. I make a distinction between understanding something intellectually and feeling it on a fundamental or emotional level. I make the same distinction between being taught or told something and discovering that same thing through personal realization. That small distinction makes an enormous difference when it comes to how willing a person is to participate in, or make the sacrifices necessary for transformational change . . . like reconciliation.

We know that art can be a catalyst in the process of discovering and sharing truth. We also know that art has the power to inspire people to action. This position provides me the time and resources to continue making art that addresses injustice and asks difficult questions. It also provides the opportunity to write about and critically reflect upon the process, and in doing so gain a better understanding of what works or doesn’t work and why.

Newman with his Witness Blanket sculptural installation in Winnipeg, MB

How can the arts help challenge the historical narrative of Canada’s colonial truth?

Throughout history, music, dance, literature and visual arts have all been used to confront various forms of injustice and inequality. When it comes to the genocide wrought by colonial Canada, generations of artists, scholars, activists and knowledge keepers have advocated for awareness and called for change by varying degrees of confrontation and inspiration.

The work of reaching hearts and minds and then turning them to action is slow, but recently we have seen how quickly the confirmation of unmarked graves at residential schools transformed the perspective and galvanized the commitment of many in this country.

How does that translate into your own art practice?

In my own creative practice, I build upon the work of those who came before me, making artwork that looks at how the colonial foundations of Canada have created the social, ecological, racial and economic injustices we face today.

I believe that by understanding this history and recognizing how it is perpetuated today—and maybe embracing some Indigenous ways of being—we can dismantle what makes it systemic, and eventually live up to the altruistic self-image that has long been embedded in Canada’s national identity.

How can this position better bridge the space between institutional and community-based learning?

Something that unsettles me about the way scholars and institutions engage with community-based knowledge systems is how academia views research as proprietary. Whoever publishes something gets credit and is cited as the “expert,” regardless of where the knowledge came from, or how many generations contributed to its development; even with ethics reviews and consent forms, this practice is extractive.

In oral traditions, storytelling is the way knowledge is carried through generations, so it is natural to share information—but just because something is freely told, it doesn’t mean the rights to it have also been given. Better understanding this nuance between rights and responsibility will go a long way toward building stronger relationships between academia and communities.

What projects are you currently working on?

Every project seems to take longer than expected, so they always end up overlapping, but as I begin my term as Impact Chair in Indigenous Art Practices, there are two projects that I am particularly excited about. The first is establishing the unCentre for Arts and Decolonisation, a legacy of the Witness Blanket that will take an anti-oppressive, anti-racist, nonhierarchical approach to collaboration. My goal is to encourage more interdisciplinary creative/research projects that address the root causes of systemic issues that broadly impact society, including

(but not limited to) Indigenous injustice, systemic racism, gendered violence, the climate crisis and global inequality. The other one is a conceptual art project called “The Seedling” that will ask us to transform our relationship with land, reconsider who and what our governance serves, and challenge us to change our actions and sense of collective responsibility today by radically expanding the timeline we use when planning for the future.

New survey of scientists & journalists calls for media to cover climate as a crisis

While the term “climate crisis” has been in use by media outlets since 2019 and launch of the global journalistic initiative Covering Climate Now, the term itself has yet to be adopted by all major outlets. A new first-of-its-kind survey, released Nov. 16, has revealed that a majority of scientists and journalists agree the media should indeed be covering climate as the crisis it is.

“The world is warming. Humans are responsible. And climate change is already responsible for many disasters. Scientists, journalists, and the public recognize these facts and want their news media to reflect them,” says Sean Holman, the Crookes Professor of Environmental & Climate Journalism with UVic’s Department of Writing and co-lead of a new survey on how journalists, scientists and the public perceive news coverage of climate change.

First of its kind survey

Climate Coverage in Canada is the first Canadian study to compare the perceptions of journalists, climate scientists and the public, and is part of a larger study examining the relationship between all three groups. The report found large majorities of each somewhat or strongly agree that there is a climate crisis—including 96% of scientists, 95% of journalists and 81% of the public—and that the news media should report on it that way (scientists 91%, journalists 95%, public 73%).

The surveys—conducted in October 2021 with the support of the Canadian Association of Journalists, the Canadian Association of Black Journalists and CWA Canada, the country’s oldest and only all-media union—were completed by 143 scientists, 148 journalists and 1,006 members of the public.

For Holman, it was clear that all three groups would want to see more coverage on climate change…especially in the run-up to the recent federal election.

“When we asked scientists and journalists whether or not they felt the public in Canada knows enough about climate change to make informed election decisions, just 18% of scientists and 21% of journalists agreed with that…that’s really low,” Holman told CBC Radio’s Early Edition host Stephen Quinn. Quinn was one of the journalists who responded to the survey, with CBC also being one of more than a dozen Canadian media outlets that covered the survey’s release in November.


Released ahead of deluge of news on landslides and flooding

The report—led by researchers at UVic, Mount Royal University and First Nations University of Canada—was released in the wake of the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, and just ahead of the rash of flooding and landslides that have rocked communities on both coasts.

However, the public seemed less certain about the causes of climate change and its severity, suggesting a disconnect in how scientific findings and the overall story of global warming is conveyed to the public in the news media. The surveys found 73% of journalists and 63% of scientists agreeing that news outlets shouldn’t publish columns or editorials rejecting mainstream scientific findings of average global temperatures increasing due to human activity.

There was also strong agreement that stories about extreme weather events should include information about how scientists say the likelihood and severity of those disasters are increasing as a result of the climate crisis (94% journalists, 95% scientists).

“Scientists and journalists both prize evidence and facts, and both communities are really in favour of free expression and freedom of information—our careers are built on that,” says Holman.

Yet 32% of journalists specifically noted frustration with their ability to communicate about climate change and its impacts‚ with 44% identifying lack of interest from news managers as a cause.

A clear need for factual information

Together, scientists and journalists contributed 175 recommendations on how reporting and their relationship can be improved—from providing daily climate coverage “like COVID” to letting climate change researchers “speak without editing.”

And both groups (scientists 89%, journalists 82%) felt newsrooms should consult with climate scientists in their editorial decisions on climate coverage.

A majority of respondents (scientists and journalists 64%, public 59%) also favoured social media companies suspending or banning users who are climate-science rejectionists, while 73% of journalists agreed that news outlets should not broadcast or publish columns, editorials or guest essays rejecting mainstream climate science findings.

While Climate Coverage in Canada will release more survey findings in the coming months, even these initial results indicate a clear need to create a new evidence-based community that includes scientists and journalists working together, on a regular basis, to share factual information with the public and counter a media environment that is increasingly saturated by misinformation and disinformation.

“Democracy hinges on us using truthful information to make rational decisions, and misinformation and disinformation gets in the way of that,” says Holman.

Alumni activity this fall

Looking for a good example of the interdisciplinary impact of Fine Arts alumni on the local arts scene? Consider the recent CRD Arts Champion Summit held in December, which included presentations by a wide range of our alumni including Mercedes Bátiz-Benét (Writing), Lindsay Katsitsakatste Delaronde (Visual Arts), Sarah Jim (Visual Arts), Regan Shrumm (AHVS) and Tiffany Tjosvold (Theatre).

But that’s just one event our alumni have been involved with. Read on to discover much more alumni activity this fall.

Art History & Visual Studies

Dorian Jesse Fraser was featured as part of the Alumni Relations webinar Pop Goes The Art! on Oct 19, which was hosted by AHVS chair Marcus Milwright and featured Legacy Gallery’s Caroline Riedel. The webinar was part of the current Legacy Maltwood exhibit Eric Metcalfe: Pop Anthropology, a career retrospective of 2021 honorary doctorate and Visual Arts alum Eric Metcalfe. Fraser was also interviewed in the fall issue of The Torch, UVic’s alumni magazine.

Laura-Beth Keane led the creation of Giving Tuesday’s “Add Sprinkles” sculptural installation in UVic’s quad. The creation of this brightly coloured installation was assisted by current AHVS Masters candidate Sophie Ladd and Museum Studies minor Jade Guan, along with four other community volunteers.

There’s plenty of alumni now at Open Space arts centre, where Amena Sharmin is the new operations manager, Dani Neira returns as the curatorial assistant, and India Rael Young has taken up the position of acting board president.

Keane adds sprinkles

Sad news, however, in the loss of former sessional and MA/PhD alum Dr. Gillian Mackie, who recently passed away at the age of 90. A scholar of Early Christian art and iconography, Mackie’s PhD thesis won her the Governor General’s gold medal and her book Early Christian Chapels in the West is a standard reference. She was also an accomplished potter and some of her stoneware and porcelain pieces are in the permanent collections of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria and the UVic Art Collection.

School of Music

Marion Newman has been named the new host of CBC Radio’s venerable Saturday Afternoon at the Opera. Following the retirement of longtime host, Ben Heppner, A mezzo-sporano Newman who recently appeared in Pacific Opera Victoria’s Missing. Now based in Toronto, Newman—a member of the Kwagiulth and Stó:lo First Nations—is the sister of Impact Chair Carey Newman.

Distinguished Alumna and celebrated pianist Eve Egoyan returned to campus this fall to work with students and present a guest lecture about recent piano projects involving a physical modelling synthesizer, which she also demonstrated.

UK-based composer Cassandra Miller has just been signed to an exclusive publishing agreement with Faber Music, while clarinetist Heather Roche has remained active with performances despite the pandemic, including this recent interview in The Guardian.

Marion Newman

Nashville-based recording artists and Distinguished Alumni Twin Kennedy—aka Carli and Julie Kennedy—returned to Victoria for a pair of holiday fundraising concerts with the Naden Band of the Royal Canadian Navy at the Royal Theatre in December. Twin Kennedy were also featured on CBC Radio’s All Points West in October, speaking about their latest EP and making a life in music; in other Twin Kennedy news, their recent production Wise Woman – The Show was shortlisted for the 2021 Canadian Country Music Awards in the “Country Music Program/Special of the Year” category.

Tenor Josh Lovell recently won the s’hertogenbosch Competiton in the Netherlands and the Belvedere Competition in Germany, and was the only Canadian to make it to the semi-finals of the Rolex Operalia competition in Moscow. Tenor Kaden Forsberg was a finalist in the 2021 Lotte Lenya Competition in New York City. Kaden also recently appeared in Victoria with Pacific Opera Victoria’s summer series (and has been a regular with the company since 2014). Forsberg has also started his own group, the Volare Tenors, with fellow alum Taylor Fawcett.


In one of those fascinating change-of-life stories, actor-turned-bread-man Markus Spodzieja has opened The Bikery, Victoria’s first kosher bakery.

Morgan Gadd’s new production of Dog Sees God took the stage at Theatre Inconnu this December, and was covered in this recent Martlet article—which notes how Gadd met Inconnu artistic director and longtime sessional Clayton Jevne while enrolled in Theatre. This production also features current student Tianxu Zhao in the cast.

Nicholas Guerreiro was shortlisted for the Playwrights Guild of Canada 2021 Emerging Playwright Award for his new play, Green Knight on the Frog River, which was also recently published by the PGC.  In related news, director & playwright Nicole Natrass was shortlisted for the PGC’s Bras D’Or Award

Markus Spodzieja

Leslie Bland recently rebranded the company he shares with Indigenous cultural archeological monitor Harold Joe under the new name/ brand Orca Cove Media. The story was picked up by both Deadline (US) and Playback (Canada). Their latest documentary, A Cedar Is Life, was featured in this recent article in the Ladysmith Chemainus Chronicle.

Ian Case directed the play The Shadow in the Water by David Elendune as part of the 2021 Victoria Fringe Festival.  Other Theatre alumni who were involved with productions in this year’s Victoria Fringe Festival include Zoë WesslerEmma NewtonArielle PermackKapila RegoRahat SainiNicholas GuerreiroCam CulhamConnie McConnellMelissa TaylorAndrew FraserLogan SwainNicholas AtkinsonShayla PreadyConor FarrellKevin Eastman and Jim Leard, plus Visual Arts alum Kara Flanagan.

Visual Arts

 While it’s not necessarily where you’d expect a Visual Arts alum to pop up, Amy Anderson is the new film programmer for UVic’s venerable movie theatre Cinecenta. She was interviewed in the fall issue of the Torch on the occasion of Cinecenta’s 50th anniversary.  

Congratulations go out to Jordan Hill on being named a runner-up in the 2021 Philip B. Lind Emerging Artist Prize in September; one of 17 finalists nominated this year—including Visual Arts alumni Levi Glass and Graham Wiebe—Jordan wins $1,500 as a runner-up.

Lindsay Katsitsakatste Delaronde participated in a webinar panel discussion on the State of the Arts in Greater Victoria in October, and also presented MOTHER – An Afternoon of Ten Short Films at the Belfry Theatre. Featuring a variety of Indigenous performers and performance, all these films were inspired, enacted and created on the land and waters of the lək̓ʷəŋən and W̱SÁNEĆ territories.

Amy Anderson (photo: Michael Kissinger)

Ireland-based Enda Burke was featured in this August article in The Guardian, which focused on his award-winning series, “Homebound With My Parents”—where he transformed his COVID lockdown into a series of “wittily deadpan” dayglo images.

Duane Ensing was featured in this August Victoria News article about his involvement with the local architecture firm Villamar Design. “I feel as an artist or a creative person, I like to leave my mind open to the possibilities of doing something, even exploring things that I don’t even know whether we can do it, but saying, let’s explore the possibility,” he says.


Congratulations to English/Writing alum Lise Gaston on winning the 2021 CBC Poetry Prize with her heartbreaking poem, “James” —which was selected out of 3,000+ entries! She wins $6K & a residency at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. (If the name rings a bell, it’s because she’s another of the incredibly talented children of retired Writing professor Bill Gaston & author Dede Crane.)

Congrats are also due to Sara Cassidy on winning the 2021 Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize at the recent BC Yukon Book Prizes with her latest book, Genius Jolene, and to Susan Sandford Blades on winning the 2021 ReLit Award and being shortlisted for the 2021 BC and Yukon Book Prizes Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize for her first novel, Fake It So Real; she was recently interviewed by Capital Daily, as well as being featured on their podcast.

Lise Gaston

Professor emeritus Lorna Crozier’s Through the Garden: A Love Story (with Cats) was one of the finalists for the $5,000 Victoria Book Prize this fall, alongside Kyeren Regehr (Cult Life). Also among the finalists for the $5,000 Victoria Children’s Book Prize was Melanie Siebert (Heads Up: Changing Minds on Mental Health).

Michael LaPointe released his debut novel The Creep, and was interviewed for The Torch. Danielle Janess appeared at Planet Earth Poetry in October for an in-person reading from her new volume, The Milk of Amnesia; she also had fall readings scheduled for Olympia and Seattle.

Arno Kopecky has a new book, The Environmentalist’s Dilemma: Promise and Peril in an Age of Climate Crisis, for which he was interviewed for this Tyee article. Kopecky is a frequently contributor to The Tyee, including this new piece about UVic atmospheric scientist and former BC Green Party leader Andrew Weaver.  Jenessa Joy Klukas has been named the new Education and Child Welfare Reporter for IndigiNews, following on her fellowship at The Tyee earlier this year.

Writing the Land, a new documentary series that arrived on CBC Gem last week, combines a travelogue concept with profiles of 12 of the country’s top authors—including Esi Edugyan, who features in Episode 1. You can stream the complete series right now.

Recent Writing MFA and Governor General’s Award winner Kim Senklip Harvey was featured in this Sept episode of the national CBC Radio show (skip to the 00:52 min mark). Harvey, now working on her PhD in Indigenous Law at UVic, was speaking about her new production Break Horizons: A Concert Documentary, as well as her work as an Indigenous playwright. As part of her GG win, Harvey was also commissioned to write G’waan, a new piece for CBC Books “Moving Forward” series, which reflects on her Tsilhqot’in land work, childhood adventures and penchant for cream soda slurpees. Theatre’s new Staging Equality series featured a staged reading of her GG winning play Kamloopa in November, and Harvey also wrote a first-person essay for the fall issue of the Torch.

Writing MFA alum Ellery Lamm presented her latest play this fall with Theatre SKAM’s Young Company: The Fates also involved Theatre alumni Anna Marie AndersonOlivia Wheeler and current student Riley Schaffner.

Busy film director Jeremy Lutter has released a new music video for local singer-songwriter Justin Hewitt. You can stream the lush “The Ways to Love You” here.

Media & faculty activity this fall

There’s been no shortage of faculty activity beyond our departments this fall, with a wide range of professors and instructors appearing in the media, participating in festivals and exhibitions, or lending their expertise to workshops and symposia.

Art History & Visual Studies

Melia Belli Bose recently participated in a presentation for UVic’s Centre for Asia-Pacific Initiatives, speaking on “Artistic Journeys through Asia in Multiple Objects“, while Marcus Milwright and Menno Hubregtse spoke at the recent on-campus colloquium Bauhaus, Design, and the Livable Anthropocene.

Allan Antliff recently published “The Politics of Indigeneity, Anarchist Praxis, and Decolonization” in a special issue of Anarchist Developments in Cultural Studies, along with “Indigeneity, Sovereignty, Anarchy: A Dialog With Many Voices”, co-written with Gord Hill. Mitch Parry participated in Pender Island’s Crisp Festival, while Victoria Wyatt appeared in an episode of the  UVic Bounce podcast, a faculty-led initiative providing meaningful resources to support student wellness, mental health, and academic resilience.

School of Music

Current postdoc Taylor Brook was featured in a seven-page article in the Fall issue of Musicworks magazine, which also included a CD featuring two tracks of his music. Suzanne Snizek’s new CD, Chamber Music (Re)discoveries, was released this fall on the Centaur label, while Harald and Sharon Krebs have had a set of arrangements of songs by Josephine Lang accepted for publication by German music publisher Furore Verlag.

Benjamin Butterfield and Kinza Tyrrell were featured on CBC Radio’s This Is My Music, and Butterfield’s “Art Song’s Truth” appeared in Art Song Canada online magazine. Current Music & Computer Science student Baylee Shields was featured in BC Local News and Music’s 5 Days of Action concerts were featured in the Capital Daily as well as the Martlet.


As well as welcoming live audiences back into their theatre, Phoenix’s fall production Dead Man’s Cell Phone was covered by the Times Colonist, Monday Magazine, the Saanich News and the Martlet.

Current Theatre PhD candidate Lindsay Delaronde participated in the “State of the Arts in Greater Victoria” panel discussion, organized by online media outlet Capital Daily, while Sasha Kovacs and Puente Theatre founder Lina de Guevara appeared on the CFUV radio show Postales Musicales de Latinoamérica, discussing Theatre’s new Staging Equality series and their recent presentation of Journey to Mapu.

Dead Man’s Cell Phone (photo: Dean Kalyan)

Conrad Alexandrowicz released a new book, which he instigated and co-edited: Theatre Pedagogy in the Era of Climate Crisis (Routledge) also features two chapters by Alexandrowicz, who co-wrote the introduction, as well as chapters by Sasha Kovacs and Kirsten Sadeghi-Yekta, Theatre alumna Lara Aysal, plus a trialogue with Sadeghi-Yekta, Aysal and alumni Dennis Gupa.

And in his role as Ocean Networks Canada artist-in-residence, Gupa showcased his ONC AIR project Gossip With Whales twice this fall via a pair of international webinars, including the Virtual Ocean Pavilion at the UN Climate Change Conference COP 26. This project, featuring five Filipino artistic collaborators plus a set of stirring string and vocal performances, was inspired by a traditional Filipino poetic form.

Visual Arts

Paul Walde’s work was featured in the September issue of Whitehot Magazine of Contemporary Art, and his “Requiem for a Glacier” was one of three artworks discussed in the scholarly journal Sustainability 2021; his “Requiem” was also covered by the Luma Film and Media Art Quarterly and in ArtsHelp: Canada, and appeared as part of the Coventry Biennial. His work was also covered in a recent issue of Musicworks magazine and, along with alumni Rande Cook and Mike McLean, in the Galleries West review of the recent Fortune Gallery exhibit Last Stand: Ancient Forests, Collective Action

Kelly Richardson was one of just six international artists and scientists invited by the UN Convention on Biological Diversity to participate in the global Instagram movement @withnature2020, a global collaborative artwork celebrating the world’s biodiversity and urge for its protection. Rick Leong presented his first solo exhibition in the US this fall with The Desired Path at Arsenal Contemporary Art in New York City, while Daniel Laskarin is the latest faculty member to present in the Dean’s Lecture series: “From a Ragged Edge, Possible Futures” was filmed in his studio and frames his practice in terms of memory, collapse and art that offers imaginative prospects for a future not yet determined. Doug Jarvis was recently named executive director of downtown’s Open Space artist-run centre, and current MFA candidate Colton Hash was featured in Luma Quarterly.

A billboard promoting Paul Walde’s “Requiem for a Glacier” at the Coventry Biennial (@wildairphoto)

It’s been a busy fall for Carey Newman, who participated in a screening and panel conversation with UBC’s Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre, as well as participating in the “Art is Action” panel for the Canadian Museum for Human Rights and a live presentation for the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation; he also participated in the design and launch of Aspiration 2030, UVic new Research & Creative Works Strategy.

Sales of Newman’s 2021 Orange Shirt Day t-shirt design helped UVic raise over $60,000 for related initiatives; he also created a separate design for Cycling BC’s orange cycling jerseys. Newman was also in the news as a recipient of the City of Victoria’s Honorary Citizen Award and earned the Opera Directors Recognition Award for his volunteer on the board of Pacific Opera Victoria. More coverage of Newman continues with his announcement as UVic’s inaugural Impact Chair in Indigenous Art Practices, which has so far been covered by CBC Radio’s On The Island, Saanich News and others.


The recent announcement of Sean Holman as Writing’s new Wayne Crookes Professor in Environmental & Climate Journalism was covered in this National Observer interview, where Holman explores the role of mass media in shaping public understanding and attitudes towards the global climate crisis, as well as in Focus magazine and the Politico blog; his related COP26 media panel was also covered by CBC Radio, The TyeeGeorgia Straight and the St. Albert Gazette, while a first-of-its-kind survey of media and scientists that he co-organized was featured on over a dozen CBC Radio programs across the country.

This fall’s Southam Lecture with journalist Andrew Nikiforuk continues to be incredibly popular—covered by CBC Radio’s On The Island and the Martlet, this co-presentation with The Tyee had an original combined in-person and virtual attendance of over 1400 people, with over 5,000 further views of his lecture on YouTube. Mark Leiren-Young was the featured guest at UBC’s “Stage & Screen Writes” reading series, while his Skaana: Orcas & Oceans podcast continues to post new episodes and his current Royal BC Museum exhibit Orcas: Our Shared Future has now been extended to March 2022.

Andrew Nikiforuk’s Southam Lecture

Marita Dachsel has had one of her poems selected as one of 10 pieces that will be featured as part of BC Transit’s continuing Poetry in Transit series; the new series also features work by Patrick Friesen and alum Billeh Nickerson. David Leach spoke about the infinite ways of integrating technologies such as 3D and VR in conveying narratives at the Limitless Possibilities conference, while current Writing MFA candidate Letay Williams short film Traytown won the Audience Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival’s Big Pitch! event. Kathryn Mockler  recently published the micro-climate story “Let’s Say” as part of the Imagining Climates project from the University of Guelph’s Environmental Institute of Environmental Research, and her recent book Watch Your Head: Writers and Artists Respond to the Climate Crisis was reviewed in Canadian Literature. 

Fine Arts

Fine Arts hosted our first Creative Futures webinar this fall with a focus on sustainability and the arts, featuring Theatre’s Conrad Alexandrowicz and Writing’s Kathryn Mockler, as moderated by Writing’s Shane Book. And Acting Dean Allana Lindgren presented the inaugural Fine Arts Student Community Impact Awards at the annual Greater Victoria Regional Arts Awards in October, which also involved a number of alumni both behind the scenes and as other winners.

Thanks to donor support, we were able to present 3 separate $1,000 Community Impact Awards to recent School of Music grad Kyla Fradette, plus current students Alison Roberts (Theatre) and Dani Neira (AHVS). Visual Arts alum Sarah Jim received the ProArt Early-Career Artist Award, alumni company Theatre SKAM won the JAYMAC Outstanding Production Award, and the conVERGE IBPoC initiative led by Puente Theatre’s Mercedes Bátiz-Benét (Writing alum) & Intrepid Theatre won the CRD Community Impact Award. The event was organized the ProArt Alliance including alumni Ian Case (Theatre), Doug Jarvis (Visual Arts) and Matthew Payne (Theatre), while the livestream was managed by Justin Lee (Theatre).

Finally, Fine Arts communications officer John Threlfall earned sixth place in the international, experts-level Ultimate James Bond Trivia Marathon, run by James Bond Movie Encyclopedia author Steven Jay Rubin, and hosted a popular public trivia challenge as part of the Victoria Film Festival’s screening of Casino Royale; Threlfall also recently appeared on CBC Radio’s On The Island speaking about the importance of community building during trying times.