Giving Tuesday supports Student Impact Fund

Tuesday, November 29 is Giving Tuesday—the world’s largest generosity movement! Today, Fine Arts is asking our creative community to help us raise funds for the Fine Arts Community Impact Award—and we’re fortunate enough to have a generous donor offering to match all donations up to $1,000!

“In the arts, we put a lot of ourselves into our work because we love it,” says 2022 recipient & current Music student Isolde Roberts-Welby (seen here with additional 2022 recipient Tori Jones and Dean Allana Lindgren). “This award means that I can spend less time at work and more time pursuing opportunities and projects that are deeply fulfilling.”

Donate here to our Student Community Impact Award! 

Thanks to our Fine Arts Community Impact Award, over the past two years we have given out 5 awards of $1,000 each to 5 different Fine Arts undergraduate students honouring their contributions to community organizations like Open Space, Pacific Opera Victoria, VOS Musical Theatre, Victoria Children’s Choir and Sidney’s ArtSea Community Arts Council.

“My goal as an artist has always been to use my passion for creativity to enhance the community, and being recognized for my efforts felt incredible,” says 2021 recipient Alison Roberts. “As a student, it ensured that I could continue volunteering my time for projects and productions that brought me joy and fulfillment instead of worrying about finances. I am very grateful to everyone who made this award possible!”

With your support, we can continue to financially assist the community efforts of our students: in 2021, Giving Tuesday saw Fine Arts raise $5,167 in support of Faculty of Fine Arts Indigenous Student Award.

In addition to donating, here are three other ways to support our students on Giving Tuesday:

UVic Philanthropoly 

To celebrate Giving Tuesday, the UVic Alumni Association is inviting UVic alumni and friends to play an online game of Philanthropoly, like monopoly but with a giving twist. Each player will unlock $10 to the Giving Tuesday fund of your choice and have the chance to win in 1 of 5 UVic prize packages!

Purchase a coffee

Between 8am & Noon at participating UVic Food Services outlets, proceeds ($1 from drip and $2 from specialty) will support our Giving Tuesday priority fund.

Hot chocolate by donation

Find the Bubble Bus on campus from Noon-4pm and get an afternoon treat by donation!

Fine Arts active with 5 Days of Action

UVic’s 5 Days of Action is back! Running Nov 14-18, Five Days of Action: 365 Days of Commitment is UVic’s annual free, week-long event aimed at amplifying the work groups, units and organizations are doing to create a more diverse, inclusive and equitable campus and community throughout the year—both on- and off-campus. Fine Arts is once again organizing a number of events as part of this week of significant interactions.

Each day of the week represents a different call to action: Monday asks us to listen, Tuesday to reflect, Wednesday to dialogue, Thursday to engage, and Friday to take action. There will be many opportunities to reflect on what we can do as individuals and as part of a team to improve the sense of inclusion and belonging in our greater community. We’re all encouraged to take part throughout the week by visiting an events, attending a workshop or seminar, or engaging with the curated list of things to read, watch and do. 

Here’s a quick roundup of what Fine Arts has coming up:

KILLJOYS art exhibition: Mon-Fri, Nov 14-18, Audain Gallery, Visual Arts Building

Explore how art can use various mediums to confront forms of systemic violence and oppression in this annual exhibition by Visual Arts students, staff and faculty.

Walk with Me: 10 & 11:30am Mon-Tues Nov 14-15, SUB Pujol Room

Join Fine Arts Indigenous Resurgence Coordinator Karla Point, Theatre PhD alum & sessional Will Weigler plus Lydia Toorenburgh (Anthropology) for this one-hour, in-person experiential and creatively rewarding activity designed to deepen Settler Canadians’ felt-understanding of the lived experiences of Indigenous peoples.

Karla Point

Arts for Action: 12:30-1:30pm Tues, Nov 15, Visual Arts Room A111

Poets will be performing up to three poems while collaborating with visual arts students to live capture the themes and experiences during the performances. With poetry ranging from free-verse and Haiku to rhymed poetry, the themes will  address different topics of anti-racism, equity, diversity, inclusion and/or sexualized violence prevention. 

Featuring poets & Writing alumni Yvonne Blomer and Arleen Paré, plus Alexa Taylor-McCallum, ALHS and Visual Arts students Tori Jones and Satya Underhill.

Amplifying Voices: 12:30pm Tues, Nov 15, Phillip T. Young Recital Hall, MacLaurin B-wing

The first of two School of Music events being presented, Amplifying Voices sees UVic’s Music Student Association present a lecture-recital featuring underrepresented identities in music. Student performers and composers will present and discuss works that highlight marginalized voices, bringing awareness to EDI-related challenges that musicians and musical institutions are facing.

Equal Measure: 8pm Tues, Nov 15, Phillip T. Young Recital Hall

That same evening sees the recital Equal Measure featuring pianist Rachel Kiyo Iwaasa (BMus ’93) and violinst Sarah Westwick performing a concert of works for violin and piano by historical and contemporary women composers including lsabella Leonarda, Amanda Maier, Florence Price, Elizabeth Raum, and Jessie Montgomery. A short post-concert Q&A and reception will follow. This concert is made possible in part by funding from the University of Victoria Alumni Association.

Rachel Iwaasa (photo:SD Holman)

“It’s Just Black Hair” 12:45-1:45pm Thurs, Nov 17, McIntyre Studio, Phoenix Building • Register here

Join Fine Arts playwright-in-residence Thembelihle Moyo for this artist talk, which will feature a Q&A plus premiere excerpts of her new play, It’s Just Black Hair. She’ll be joined on-stage by Theatre professors Sasha Kovacs & Yasmine Kandil.

Born and raised in Zimbabwe, Moyo’s previous plays include Colour Blue, Let it Out, Who Said I Don’t Want to Dance and I Want To Fly. “Black hair is more than just strands that unite in kinky solidarity, demanding to be seen and heard,” says Moyo. 

Thembelihle Moyo

Spring Awakening: Nov 10-26, Bishop Theatre, Phoenix Building (Tickets $18-$33)

While not directly associated with this overall event, the themes behind the mainstage Phoenix production Spring Awakening definitely match the goals of 5 Days of Action. As high-school teenagers in an 1890s provincial German town struggle to reconcile their budding sexual feelings, the moral code of their society leads them to tragedy. An electrifying fusion of morality, sexuality and rock music, Spring Awakening forever changed the definition of what a Broadway musical could be when it debuted in 2006, breaking boundaries by exploring the journey from adolescence to adulthood with poignancy and passion. 

A coding career composed of science and sound

When Calgary-based Logan Wood was looking for a leading post-secondary music and computer science degree program, he quickly realized that there was only real choice for him. “In comparing programs across the country, UVic stood out for me,” he says.

Despite landing squarely in the pandemic years, Wood managed to not only excel academically and creatively in his Bachelor of Science, but also complete four software-development co-op terms with a pair of tech start-ups in his hometown. His interest in music production and recording have already seen him release a mixtape album and three charting EPs—including his latest, 2022’s Pardon My Name—all of which helped him land a full-time position fresh out of classes. (Check out his work @LoganWoodMusic on Instagram, TikTok & Twitter.)

Music made the hiring difference

Now a corporate systems developer with the Calgary branch of energy company PETRONAS Global, Wood feels it was his unique combination of skills and experiences that helped him secure his new position. “I definitely got it because of my co-op experience . . . but my music background certainly helped my application,” he says. “Employers are looking for interesting, well-rounded people—not just a straight-A student whose life is all about grades—so my recording successes showed that I wasn’t one-dimensional.”

While he’s currently leaning into the computer science side of his new degree, Wood clearly isn’t giving up on his hard-earned recording skills. “Coming into the program, I knew I wanted to release music but didn’t really have a plan,” he admits. Thanks to the School of Music’s fully equipped Creative Research Technology (or CReaTe) Lab, Wood was able to learn everything he needed to record, mix and master his tracks, including producing, engineering, plug-in development and all the required hardware. “It was definitely a catalyst in bringing my music to life.”

Recording & networking

One unintentional COVID highlight was the opportunity to work with local label Cordova Bay Records on a unique recording project. “We were able to produce some ambient music for them to consider, which was really great.” (Hear Wood’s “Cloudwalker” track on the UVic Library’s “Library Lullaby” Soundcloud playlist.) “Not only did we get some professional feedback on our tracks, but it opened a window into the world of record labels and gave most of us our first experience doing ambient music, which is more of a low-fi/study-beat. My personal work is more either old-school jazz boom-bap hip hop or trappy upbeat anthem-y party vibes.”

Other degree highlights include courses in music technology and music production, and serving as communications director for the Computer Music Course Union. “I’m really happy with what the CMCU grew into—not only did we increase student involvement but the academic funding we received let us invest close to $10,000 in recording equipment, instruments, microphones and software back into the studio,” Wood says. “Looking back, those were the standouts: fun projects, great experiences, good friends.”

The experience he needed

Ultimately, Wood says he wouldn’t hesitate in recommending the program to future students. “If you’re passionate about computer science and you want to learn about music—or vice-versa—this is the program for you,” he says. “This is where you get the experience and the opportunity to network and build relationships with your peers and professors and the industry: I really don’t think there’s a better program in Canada.”

All photos by Emily Erickson-Flegg

Fine Arts well-represented at 2022 GVRA Awards

For over 50 years, Fine Arts has been an incubator for young artists, technicians, arts administrators, volunteers and audience members. And while our alumni and faculty members continue to make a vital impact on Victoria’s arts community, it’s also important to recognize the ongoing contributions made by our students.

With that in mind, Fine Arts is more than pleased to present the annual Faculty of Fine Arts Student Community Impact Award as part of the annual Greater Victoria Regional Arts Awards, presented on September 29 at a public downtown event at Club KWENCH.

Created in 2021 by the Dean’s External Advisory Committee, the $1,000 Student Community Impact Award recognizes individual achievements or outstanding efforts made by one or more full-time undergraduate students for a local arts organization. And thanks to Fine Arts donors—especially the Saanich Peninsula chapter of the Canadian Federation of University Women, who donated an additional $1,000 to this award in memory of one of their members, local artist Margaret Little—we were able to present awards to two students this year.

Our first award went to Visual Arts student Tori Jones for her work organizing (Un)Expected, an undergraduate exhibit held at Sidney’s ArtSea Community Arts Council Gallery in May 2022. With less than two-month’s notice, Tori was able to coordinate 13 Visual Arts students to curate, hang and run what was, for most of them, their first off-campus exhibit; this not only offered these students an opportunity to connect with the community at large, but also provided invaluable “real world” experience in working with a community art gallery.

Our second award went to School of Music voice student Isolde Roberts-Welby for her continued work with the Victoria Children’s Choir. Isolde began singing with the VCC when she was just 10 years old; now, a decade later, she continues to perform with them and has also taken on leadership roles by conducting, teaching and leading sectional rehearsals. Indeed, her work with the Victoria Children’s Choir has directly led to her current position as a choral scholar at Christ Church Cathedral and a soloist with the likes of CappriCCio Ensemble, Victoria Philharmonic Choir and the international Pacific Baroque Festival.

 

Dean Allana Lindgren with Tori Jones (left) & Isolde Roberts-Welby

Alumni recipients

In addition to these awards, three Fine Arts alumni received recognition at the GVRAAs as well: a great reminder about the role Fine Arts continues to play in Victoria’s creative community. Congratulations go out to:

  • Andrew Barrett (Impulse Theatre) on winning the $3,000 City of Victoria Creative Builder Award
  • Mercedes Bátiz-Benét (Puente Theatre) on winning the $2,000 PARC Retirement Living Mid-Career Artist Award
  • Chelsea Kutyn (School of Music, not present) on winning the $2,000 John Mears Achievement in Music Award
  • Blue Bridge Repertory Theatre—represented by Rebekah Johnson (Theatre) & Department of Theatre professor Brian Richmond—on winning the $15,000 JAYMAC Outstanding Production Award for their production of Betrayal by Harold Pinter.
Read more about our 2021 winners: Kyla Fradette (Music), Alison Roberts (Theatre) and Dani Neira (AHVS). 

Awinakola: Tree of Life public discussion

How can art help develop strategies to heal the planet, heal the people and change culture? Find out at this free public talk by the Awinakola: Tree of Life Research Group from 3-4:30pm Sat Sept 10 in room A162 of UVic’s Visual Arts building.

This community presentation & discussion is in conjunction with the exhibition Still Standing: Ancient Forest Futures, running to Sept 17 at UVic’s Legacy Art Gallery downtown.

Join exhibit artists including MFA alum Rande Cook, Visual Arts professors Paul Walde & Kelly Richardson plus forest researcher Suzanne Simard (author of Finding the Mother Tree) & Ernest Alfred, Hereditary Chief of Tlowit’sis First Nation, elected leader of the ‘Namgis First Nation and leader of the Swanson Occupation. This discussion will be moderated by Still Standing exhibit curator Jessie Demers.

Awinakola: Tree of Life is a research group comprised of Indigenous knowledge keepers, scientists and and artists brought together by Makwala – Rande Cook, an artist and Hereditary Chief of the Ma’amtagila First Nation. By sharing cross-disciplinary research practices, the group seeks to develop strategies to heal the planet, heal the people, and change culture—starting with regeneration and preservation of threatened forest ecosystems in Kwakwaka’wakw territory through the confluence of Indigenous knowledge, scientific research, and the arts.

Young Alumni Lunch & Learn sessions engage current students

While Fine Arts has no shortage of national and internationally renowned alumni at the peak of their careers, finding meaningful ways to engage our more recent graduates remains a priority for the faculty. 

With that in mind, this year we created a new “Young Alumni Lunch & Learn” webinar series, which enabled current students to benefit from the recent skills and achievements of those who have graduated over the past 10 years. 

Four separate webinars were held over both semesters, covering a range of topics designed to offer useful and practical information to upper-level students

Arts funding for recent grads

“BC Arts Council Funding 101” saw Theatre alumna and current BC Arts Council program officer Erin Macklem offering an introduction to the often-confusing world of artist grants.

 

Inside the Gallery

Art History & Visual Studies alumni McKaila Ferguson and Jenelle Pasiechnik to share their paths out of school and into their current positions with the Penticton & District Community Arts Council and Campbell River Art Gallery (respectively).

 

Are You Media Ready?

Join Department of Writing alumnus Cormac O’Brien—currently social media manager for Toronto’s Six Shooter Records—to learn insider tips on promotions, marketing and working with the media.

 

Finding Meaningful Work in the Arts

Did you know students and alumni both can use UVic Career Services to find work after graduation? Join current career educator and AHVS alumna Caroline Riedel, plus recent alum Caitlin Gallupe (Visual Arts) and current student Trevor Rutherford (Music), to learn more about UVic’s Coop & Career Services and their approach to employment preparations, work search transitions and career development. 

 

Given the unintentional pandemic benefit of increased use of video platforms and overall webinar proficiency, these sessions allowed us to work with young alumni no longer based in Victoria.