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!

Call for grad student proposals: Ocean Networks Canada Artist-in-Residence Program

2021 ONC Artist in Residence Dennis Gupa

UVic’s Faculty of Fine Arts and Ocean Networks Canada (ONC) are calling for graduate student applications for the 2023 ONC Artist-in-Residence program.

Note: the application period closes on December 17, 2022.

The Artist-in-Residence program strengthens connections between art and science that broaden and cross-fertilize perspectives and critical discourse on today’s major issues, such as environment, technology, oceans, cultural and biodiversity, and healthy communities. This program is open to all current Fine Arts graduate students who have completed most of their course requirements with practice in any visual, written, musical or performance media. Co-led and sponsored by Fine Arts and ONC, the Artist-in-Residence program receives additional financial support from UVic’s Faculty of Science and Office of Research Services.

About the residency

The Artist-in-Residence will ignite cross-disciplinary exchanges, interacting with Fine Arts faculty members and scientists & staff at ONC, as well as with other individuals using ONC’s world-leading ocean facilities. The Artist will learn from and engage with the current research, connecting it to the Artist’s own practice, and to wider societal and cultural aspects, creating work for public presentation at the end of the residency. The Artist will also be invited to contribute as a lead or co-author in scientific conference proceedings and/or journal articles.

The selected Artist will actively engage with researchers on a variety of ocean science themes that may include:

  1. Deep Sea Ecology
  2. Seabed-Ocean Exchanges
  3. Coastal Ocean Processes
  4. Marine Natural Hazards
  5. The Ocean Soundscape
  6. Arctic Ocean Observing
  7. Ocean Big Data

The ONC Artist-in-Residence program is established to:

  1. explore the potential of the arts or alternative cultural practices in the area of the visions, challenges, philosophical, aesthetic, and ethical aspects of the ocean and the impacts humans have on it;
  2. add a complementary artistic and creative perspective to ocean science, the societal ramifications of its exploitation, and its cultural aspects;
  3. create opportunities for potential new research questions, experimental approaches and knowledge synthesis resulting from interaction between the arts and science; and
  4. help envision and communicate the potential long-term impact of ocean changes on humanity.

Learn more about previous Artists in Residence

Previous ONC Artists in Residence include Colton Hash (Visual Arts, 2019), Dennis Gupa (Theatre, 2021) and Colin Malloy (School of Music, 2022). Watch for a special performance event in late January 2023, when Colin will be debuting his project created as part of the residency.

But you can get a sneak peek of Colin’s work by listening to these two compositions which he created during his time with ONC:

2022 ONC Artist-in-Residence Colin Malloy

Financial provision for the Artist

The residency period can start anytime between 1 Feb 2023 and 31 May 2023 and last for up to four months. A cost-of-living stipend of CAD$2000/month will be paid to the selected Artist, with limited additional funds to support production or materials.

At the conclusion of the residency, a public exhibit of the resulting art will be displayed or performed, and will be promoted by ONC and the Faculty of Fine Arts.

Proposal Submission

Interested applicants are to email ONC at with the subject line “Ocean Artist-in-Residence Program,” and attach:

  1. the artist’s CV
  2. a concise portfolio of previous relevant artistic work;
  3. a letter of motivation outlining the artist’s project proposal for the residency, and
  4. a 500-word project proposal with a separate project-costs budget.

The application period closes on 17 December 2022. Applications will be reviewed by representatives of Fine Arts and Ocean Networks Canada. Artists may be contacted for an interview or to supply further information before a decision is made.

Public Exhibit or Event

At the conclusion of the residency, the artist will host a public exhibit or event within a specified budget agreed to during the residency and depending on the type of project to be exhibited. Assistance for marketing and/or ticketing could be made available from other UVic departments (Visual Arts, Theatre, etc.).

About Ocean Networks Canada

Established in 2007 as a strategic initiative of the University of Victoria, ONC operates world-leading ocean observatories for the advancement of science and the benefit of Canada. The observatories collect data on physical, chemical, biological, and geological aspects of the ocean over long time periods, supporting research on complex Earth processes in ways not previously possible. The observatories provide unique scientific and technical capabilities that permit researchers to operate instruments remotely and receive data at their home laboratories anywhere on the globe, in real time. The facilities extend and complement other research platforms and programs, whether currently operating or planned for future deployment.

About the Faculty of Fine Arts

With experiential learning at its core, the Faculty of Fine Arts provides the finest training and learning environment for artists, professionals, and students. Through its departments of Art History and Visual Studies, Theatre, Visual Arts, Writing and School of Music, the Faculty of Fine Arts aspires to lead in arts-based research and creative activity and education in local, national, and global contexts by integrating and advancing creation and scholarship in the arts in a dynamic learning environment.

As British Columbia’s only Faculty exclusively dedicated to the arts, UVic’s Faculty of Fine Arts is an extraordinary platform that supports new discoveries, interdisciplinary and diverse contributions to creativity, and the cultural experiences of the students and communities UVic serves. With thanks also to the Vice President Research & Innovation and Faculty of Science for their support.

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). 

Best in her class: Victoria Medal winner Caitlin Wareing-Oksanen

Caitlin Wareing-Oksanen with Dr Allana Lindgren, Dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts 

Students come to UVic for a variety of reasons: some because it’s close (or far) from home, others because of a certain program or faculty member. For outstanding Art History & Visual Studies student Caitlin Wareing-Oksanen, UVic had a different appeal when she first heard about it from a recruiter at her Comox high school on Vancouver Island.

“UVic honestly seemed more fun than the other BC universities,” she recalls. “The recruiter talked about having glow-in-the-dark dodgeball, which was a major selling point for me.”

But while Wareing-Oksanen may have come for the fun, she’s leaving as the best in her class: as the recipient of the undergraduate Victoria Medal, she graduates with the highest GPA in the entire Faculty of Fine Arts.

“I cried when I found out about the award,” she recalls. “I got an email from the Dean saying she wanted to meet with me and I thought I was in trouble. It was very overwhelming, but incredibly touching: it felt like all my hard work was really coming together.”

A vibrant intellectual curiosity

AHVS professor and Associate Dean of Fine Arts, Dr. Eva Baboula, wrote the award citation for Wareing-Oksanen that was presented at convocation on June 15.

“Some students stand out for their academic talent, potential and personal fortitude,” noted Baboula. “Cate brought a vibrant intellectual curiosity to each one of her classes. An experienced traveler with a keen eye for intercultural connections, she is a model community builder and natural leader, and has become an ideal ambassador for the study of art history.”

Not only was Wareing-Oksanen a top grade-earner, but she also

All of which is doubly remarkable, considering she left UVic after her first year to care for her mother, who had been diagnosed with terminal cancer. “When I came back, the faculty was so supportive,” she recalls. “Professors welcomed me and remembered my name.”

A great place for a co-op job!

One elective can change your life

While she entered UVic unsure of the specific direction her studies would take, Wareing-Oksanen quickly realized AHVS was the place for her after signing up for one art history elective in her first year of general studies—taught, in fact, by Dr. Baboula.

“I feel so lucky to have had her as my first instructor,” she says. “She sold me on art history right away. She was engaging and interesting, and she really encouraged the insights of all her students . . . I realized this was a department that was encouraging of questions and was interested in helping you find the answers, wherever they may lead.”

Her experiences in the department and position as an events and engagement assistant at the AGGV led her to realize the importance of breaking down the perceived barriers of museums and art galleries. “So many people say they don’t understand art, but they engage with images on Instagram all the time,” she says. “When you digitize art collections and make them available online, it helps people can connect on an emotional level in their own space.”

The future looks bright

After being offered post-graduate placements in multiple prestigious institutions in both Canada and the UK, Wareing-Oksanen has accepted a place at the University of Edinburgh to study for a Master’s in Global Premodern Art. While it was flattering to have multiple graduate offers, she feels the U of E was ultimately the right program for her.

“This is a way of pushing myself outside of the Eurocentric narrative. It’s so important that we look at art history through more than just a western lens. We need to look at world art history not just as examples but as having their own canon in the context of their own cultures.”

Following her Master’s, Wareing-Oksanen hopes to work in the UK before embarking on a planned PhD. “I’d like to get more curatorial experience, work towards getting people more engaged with art,” she says.

Wareing-Oksanen in Portugal

The last word

Looking back on her time at UVic, does she have any advice for future students? “Always ask your professors for help: 10 minutes at office hours can make all the difference. It’s important to build a relationship with them, so they know who you are.”

Finally, only one question remains: did she ever play glow-in-the-dark dodgeball?

“No,” she says with a bright laugh. “I was too busy studying!”

Call for nominations: student community impact award

Are you a current or graduating UVic Fine Arts undergraduate who’s been involved with some community-engaged creative activity in Greater Victoria between Jan 1/21 & May 31/22? If so, you could qualify for $1,000 via our Community Impact Award!

The annual Fine Arts Student Community Impact Award will be awarded in Fall 2022 to undergraduate students who have demonstrated an outstanding effort in a community-engaged creative activity in Greater Victoria. Student recipients are eligible to receive funding of $1,000 or more.

Read about the inaugural 2021 winners here.

2021 winners (from left): Kyla Fradette (Music), Alison Roberts (Theatre) and Dani Neira (AHVS)

Eligibility criteria

Entering, graduating, transferring, or continuing undergraduate students of UVic’s Faculty of Fine Arts are eligible for the award at this time. Activity must have occurred between January 1, 2021 and May 31, 2022.

For the purpose of this award, “community-engaged creative activity” may include (but is not limited to) any exhibit, performance, workshop, literary, curatorial, educational, digital, production and/or administrative role within the regional boundaries of Greater Victoria (Sidney to Sooke).

Submission deadline

A completed submission package—including the submission form and all supporting materials—must be received by 5:00pm Tuesday, May 31, 2022.

Submissions and relevant support material must be uploaded here.


The following elements will be required in order to submit your award application.

  1. A description of the community-engaged creative activity (maximum 500 words), including a title page with applicants contact information.
  2. A letter from an individual or organization demonstrating how the student was involved in the community-engaged creative activity (maximum 300 words).
  3. Two letters of endorsement of the project (maximum two pages and from different people than #1. The letters must be written by people who are not related to the nominee).
  4. A resume, CV or portfolio encapsulating the student’s work.

Selection criteria

Nominations will be evaluated on the quality of experience, recognition and dedication to creative practice including contributions to, engagement with, and impact on the local arts community.

  • Nominations can be made by any individual or organization in Greater Victoria.
  • Students can nominate themselves for the award.
  • Neither the nominator nor the letters of endorsement can be from a relative of the nominee.
  • Students are only able to receive the award once, but can submit multiple nominations.
  • All nominations will be screened for basic eligibility. If a nomination is incomplete or deemed ineligible, it will not be advanced to the jury.

Selection process

The Fine Arts Student Community Impact Award recipients will be chosen by a jury representing the five disciplines of Fine Arts convened annually by the Dean of the UVic Faculty of Fine Arts, based on the criteria for the award.

The fine print

Approval of the recipient will be made by the Senate Committee on Awards upon the recommendation of the Dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts. The Award will be presented annually as part of the annual Greater Victoria Regional Arts Awards (or another suitable event) as determined by the Dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts and the Dean’s External Advisory Committee.


Contact us at

Distinguished Alumni

Fine Arts was thrilled to see three past graduates named among the 20 recipients of the UVic’s 2022 Distinguished Alumni Awards announced on March 10. 

Presented by UVic and the University of Victoria Alumni Association, the awards recognize graduates who, through their leadership or accomplishments, contribute significantly to communities locally, nationally or globally. New this year, there are three award categories: the Presidents’ Alumni Awards, the Indigenous Community Alumni Awards and the Emerging Alumni Awards—and Fine Arts had winners in each category. Congratulations to all!

Kim Senklip Harvey directing a staged reading of Kamloopa at UVic’s Chief Dan George Theatre in Nov 2021 (photo: Tori Jones)

Kim Senklip Harvey

Syilx and Tsilhqot’in director, writer and actor Kim Senklip Harvey (MFA Writing, ’21) was named one of the winners in the Emerging Alumni Awards category, adding to her 2021 Governor General’s Literary Award for Drama for her groundbreaking play, Kamloopa: An Indigenous Matriarch Story. 

Kim is no stranger to awards, with Kamloopa having won the 2019 Jessie Richardson Award for Significant Artistic Achievement, Best Production and the Sydney J. Risk Prize for Outstanding Original Play. Kim is currently developing three television series, working on her first book of prose and earning her PhD in Law at UVic. She believes that storytelling is the most compelling medium to move us to a place where everyone is provided the opportunity to live peacefully.

Kim feels her work is in deep service to her peoples. “I say my stories are a place of respite for their trying lives and if I make them laugh once or momentarily nourish their spirits I’ve done my job,” she says. “I hope my continued work supports the next generation in the ongoing practice of making a more equitable and peaceful future.”

Read more about Kim Senklip Harvey here.

Marion Newman

Kwagiulth and Stó:lō First Nations mezzo-soprano and CBC Saturday Afternoon at the Opera host Marion Newman (Music, ’93) is the recipient of one of UVic’s new Indigenous Community Alumni Awards. “I hope to bring about better awareness and understanding that will lead to meaningful change in who we see as our leaders and innovators,” she says.

As a singer, Marion is acclaimed for her portrayals of Dr. Wilson in Missing and title roles in Shanawdithit and Carmen, and will make her debut with the Welsh National Opera in June 2022. She is also co-founder of Amplified Opera, a group that centres artists and encourages audiences to embrace diverse and challenging cultural experiences.

She is sought after as a speaker, teacher, dramaturge, director and advisor for institutions and arts organizations across North America.

When asked about her advice to young people entering the world of professional music, who may feel lost or confused about their future, she had this to say: “Never stop learning and don’t be afraid to make mistakes: learn, apologize if needed and move forward. And remain open to other ways of engaging in your area of interest and expertise.”

Read more about Marion Newman here.


Karen Clark Cole

Recipient of a prestigious President’s Alumni Awards, Karen Clark Cole (AHVS ’91) is the CEO & co-founder of the award-winning, global experience design firm Blink UX. “Our mission is to enrich people’s lives . . . so the world can have more happy people,” she says from her home in Seattle, where she loves to trail run, garden, backcountry ski, kitesurf and hang out with her amazing daughter.

Karen’s leadership philosophy is grounded in what she calls being a “Possibility Thinker.” Her optimistic, fully present approach to life enables her to turn big visionary ideas into action and plant a seed for what is possible in everyone she meets.

When asked about her time in Fine Arts, Karen recalls, “The campus, the students, and the professors were all top notch. The profs were all so accessible and engaged it created a very personal and intimate learning experience.”

Karen is also executive director for Girls Can Do, a non-profit she founded in 2014. Girls Can Do hosts an event series for girls with the mission to inspire a generation of possibility thinkers and ignite a vision for equal opportunity. In 2016, First Lady Michelle Obama gave a keynote video address, and Karen received a thank you letter from President Barack Obama for her work with girls.

Read more about Karen Clark Cole here.