The Orion
Lecture Series in Fine Arts

Through the generous support of the Orion Fund in Fine Arts, the Faculty of Fine Arts, University of Victoria, is pleased to present:

Patricia Bovey

Visiting author & art historian 

3:00pm Friday, Nov 17

Bishop Theatre, Phoenix Building 

Free & open to all 


Presented by UVic’s Faculty of Fine Arts

For more information on this lecture please email:



The Honourable Patricia Bovey (LL.D, FRSA, FCMA), member of the Senate of Canada (2016-2023) and the Winnipeg Art Gallery’s Director Emerita, is a Winnipeg-based art historian, museologist, author and professor. She will be speaking on “Western Voices in Canadian Art: The Land, Culture & Reconciliation.”

About Patricia Bovey

Bovey has lectured and published extensively on western Canadian art over many years, including Western Voices in Canadian Art (2023), Don Proch: Masking and Mapping (2019 Manitoba Book Awards’ finalist) and Pat Martin Bates: Balancing on a Thread (2015 Alberta Book Awards’ recipient).

Commencing her art gallery career in 1970 as Curator of the Winnipeg Art Gallery, she was Director of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria (1980-1999) and Director of the Winnipeg Art Gallery (1999-2004). She was the founding Director/Curator of St Boniface Hospital’s Buhler Gallery, (2007-2016).  

An Adjunct Professor of Public Administration at the University of Victoria, and Adjunct Professor of Art History at the University of Winnipeg, she taught Canadian Art, Curatorial Practice, Cultural Resource Management, and in the University of Winnipeg’s MA Curatorial Practicum.

An independent consultant, she has assisted arts organizations across Canada with governance, funding and strategic planning, and has mentored emerging professionals in museum practice, art history, and arts administration.

As Senator, she served on many Senate committees including the Committee on Internal Economy, Budgets, and Administration, and its subcommittees on Budgets and Estimates; Human Resources; Diversity (as deputy chair); and was chair of the Senate Artwork and Heritage Advisory Working Group. She was deputy Chair of the Senate Transportation and Communications Committee; Deputy Chair of the Social Affairs, Science and Technology Committee; and Deputy Chair of the Special Committee on the Arctic. She also served on Foreign Affairs and International Trade; National Finance; Rules, Procedures and Rights of Parliament; Official Languages; and Oceans & Fisheries. She was the Senate Sponsor for Canada’s 2019 Oceans Protection Act.

In the Senate she gave voice to the importance of the arts throughout society initiating special Senate exhibitions, programs, reports and legislation. The Senate unanimously passed her Bills S202, Parliamentary Visual Artist Laureate,  and  S 208, The Declaration Respecting the Essential Role of Artists and Creative Expression in Canada; and adopted the Senate report she initiated, Cultural Diplomacy at the Centre Stage of Canada’s Foreign Policy. Her internal Senate work included contracting an external analysis of the Senate’s Indigenous art collection, and initiating programs such as Honouring Canada’s Black Artists; Galleries and Museums in the Senate; and Cultivating Perspectives, in which Canadian curators were invited to publish on aspects of the Senate collections.

Former Chair of the Board of Governors of the University of Manitoba, and Board Chair of Emily Carr University, she served on the National Gallery of Canada’s Board of Trustees; the Board of the Canada Council for the Arts; the Withrow/Richard Federal Task Force on National and Regional Museums; the Eckhardt-Gramatté Foundation Board; the Board of the Manitoba Chamber Orchestra; and was a member of the Trudeau Foundation, and the Manitoba selection committee for both the Rhodes Scholarships and the Loran Scholarship. She is a past chair of the Canadian Art Museum Directors Organization.

Bovey received a University of Manitoba Honorary Doctor of Laws in 2021. She is a Fellow of the UK’s Royal Society for the Arts, and a Fellow the Canadian Museums Association. She is the recipient of the Canada 125 Medal; the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal; Winnipeg’s Woman of Distinction for the Arts; the Canadian Museums Association Award of Distinguished Service; the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts Medal; the Association of Manitoba Museums’ Inaugural Award of Merit; and the Winnipeg Arts Council Making a Difference Award. In 2023, she was given the distinction as the first Honourary Member of Canadian Black Artists United, and, was also honoured as Kingston Ontario’s H’Art Centre’s inaugural Champion of Inclusive Arts.

She is a member of Ghana’s Pan African Heritage Museum’s International Curatorial Council and was recently appointed the Pan African Heritage Museum’s Special Museum Ambassador. She is a member of the Board of the Roberta Bondar Foundation, and of Diabetes Canada Government Relations and Advocacy National Committee. She continues her art history writing, as well as her work on international fraud against Canadian and Indigenous artists, and that for creative initiatives on climate change strategies with a number of international organizations.

About the Orion Fund

Established through the generous gift of an anonymous donor, the Orion Fund in Fine Arts is designed to bring distinguished visitors from other parts of Canada—and the world—to the University of Victoria’s Faculty of Fine Arts, and to make their talents and achievements available to faculty, students, staff and the wider Greater Victoria community who might otherwise not be able to experience their work.

The Orion Fund also exists to encourage institutions outside Canada to invite regular faculty members from our Faculty of Fine Arts to be visiting  artists/scholars at their institutions; and to make it possible for Fine Arts faculty members to travel outside Canada to participate in the academic life of foreign institutions and establish connections and relationships with them in order to encourage and foster future exchanges.

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