Restart me up

Restart me up

Welcome to issue seven of the Fine Arts Connector, your biweekly listing of news, resources, activities and other shareable content from the Faculty of Fine Arts, specifically compiled for distribution during the current health crisis.

As Premier John Horgan announced on May 6, we’re now looking at a phased-in “restart plan” over the next few weeks in BC, which will ease some of the current restrictions on our lives. But while some sectors will be opening later this month, the ban on gatherings of more than 50 people is expected to remain in place throughout the summer, which will present some creative challenges for the arts sector. 

If you haven’t seen it yet, take a look at BC’s Restart Plan here.  

President Jamie Cassels also released his latest campus update on May 11, which notes UVic will be offering programming predominantly online for the fall term. “Where health and safety permits, we are also exploring opportunities for in-person instruction to support essential experiential learning, graduate education and work-integrated learning; the fall timetable will be available later this month.” Watch for more details pending, and how that will affect us in Fine Arts.

As always, please enjoy—and circulate—this collection of material featuring our faculty, students, alumni, staff and guests as a way of both sharing what our creative community is up to and keeping us connected in this difficult moment in history.

You can also help by keeping us in the loop if you’re working on a live-streaming project, have online material to share or are involved in something you’d like people to know about: just email either fineartsevents@uvic.ca or johnt@uvic.ca.

Finally, you can sign up here to receive automatic notice of each issue of The Connector

News

 

A sense of belonging & community

The first Monday of May is always a celebration of Music Education in Canada. Last year saw a few hundred people singing and playing at the BC Legislature, but this year everything went online instead with a series of live coast-to-coast performances.

As the principal researcher on a 2020 national study on the state of music education in Canada, School of Music professor and Acting Associate Dean Adam Con appeared throughout the entire 12-hour stream promoting the importance of music education.

“Have you noticed the news on TV and in social media constantly sharing how music plays an important role in how we express our feelings and how music creates a sense of belonging and community?” says Con in this YouTube message that ran throughout the entire broadcast. “The skills that allow us to share these musical moments are directly linked to the strength of our Canadian music education programs.” 

School of Music professor and Acting Associate Dean Adam Con in his Music Monday message 

Create Victoria 

The City of Victoria is proposing a restart of their Create Victoria initiative—including the hiring of a new staff position, a new Cultural Infrastructure Grant fund and a $5,000 grant to the ProArt Alliance of Greater Victoria for the creation of a City of Victoria sponsored award at the annual ProArt Regional Arts Awards in the fall. 

Acknowledging that the COVID-19 pandemic and the associated economic crisis has had a profoundly negative impact on the arts and cultural sector in Victoria, city councillor and poet Jeremy Loveday is bringing this forward to City Council meeting on May 14, with an eye to how the arts & culture sector can help fuel regional recovery and supporting the mental health and well-being of area residents . . . following provincial guidelines, of course.

“Investment in arts and culture and support to the struggling sector should be a key recovery priority for the City,” says Loveday. “This will help to drive the recovery of our local economy. It will also provide much-needed opportunities for residents to experience the benefits of engaging with arts and culture opportunities—albeit in new and creative ways—after being cooped up at home during the pandemic. In addition to economic stimulus, investing in arts and culture as part of the City’s recovery strategy is also good for the mental health and well-being of our residents.”

Livestreaming this week

Fine Arts alumni continue to be active in National Arts Centre’s ongoing #CanadaPerforms series: appearing this week are Theatre alumni Laura Anne Harris, Kathleen Greenfield and Ingrid Hansen. 

Destiny USA: Seen briefly at the Belfry’s SPARK Festival in March before its run was shut down, Laura Anne Harris‘s solo production captures the true daily drama of her job as a relay operator for the deaf and hard of hearing—but when Laura moves from Toronto to Syracuse, New York, she certainly wasn’t expecting to be living in Trump’s America. Can she discover the hidden humanity of the American people? Find out at 5:30pm PST on Wednesday, May 13.   

SNAFU in Epidermis Circus: This is a collection of new and experimental works by the legendary SNAFU artists, who create live theatre, puppet theatre and dance theatre here in Victoria, while also touring across Canada to theatres and festivals. Led by artists Kathleen Greenfield and Ingrid Hansen, get ready for anything when Epidermis Circus debuts at 7pm PST Thursday, May 14. Note: all tips and donations will go to Victoria’s Our Place Society, who help people who are homeless.

Laura Anne Harris in Destiny USA

Shelagh Rogers keeps good company

As if her long-running CBC Radio show The Next Chapter and her duties as UVic Chancellor weren’t enough, Shelagh Rogers is now launching a new online show: Good Company with Shelagh Rogers debuts at noon Thursday, May 14, on UVic’s Facebook page

The first episode features Department of Writing professor emeritus and iconic Canadian poet Lorna Crozier, who will talk about poetry and art in the age of COVID. 

 

DIY cycling adventure

While it’s not part of the #CanadaPerforms series, Theatre alum Keshia Palm has received financial support from the National Theatre School of Canada’s Art Apart program, an emergency fund for emerging artists who are affected by physical distancing, to create Make Me An Alleycat a step-by-step guide to making your own adventure.

Now Toronto-based, Palm has created this interactive digital community arts project where individuals are invited to share stories and locations with their community during this time of social distancing as a way to be together while apart. It’s a collection of little journeys, and a window into secret worlds, where you go for a bike ride with your friends!

Using the Make Me an Alleycat email template, you create a one-of-a-kind bike route generated by 10 of your friends. They pick the location, you go for the ride. Each stop has a story behind it, and on this alleycat, you get to listen in. Find out more here

Keshia Palm’s Make Me An Alleycat 

 

Theatre in the dark

Theatre alum Mackenzie Gordon is mounting Three Stories Up—a murder mystery staged entirely in a pitch black room—for two weekends only, May 14-16 and May 21-23. Gordon originally wrote the play in 2014, and it’s been mounted twice since, including a production with Chicago’s aptly-named Theatre in the Dark. With just two actors playing dozens of characters, plus strong foley work and an original score, Gordon felt it would be ideal for a live digital delivery.

“We thought it was perfect, in these times, to stage again as a live audio performance,” he says. “We’ve IT’d the hell out of Zoom and gotten professional microphones to make sure the production is so much more than just filmed theatre.”

Mackenzie Gordon (left)

Inspiring change

Each year, Leadership Victoria celebrates community leadership and recognizes people who have made a lasting contribution to the communities that make up Greater Victoria.

Among this year’s recipients of the Victoria Community Leadership Awards is Department of Visual Arts Audain Professor Carey Newman, who was named one of 2020’s “Inspiring Changemakers” and honoured with the Extending Reconciliation Award.

Newman, whose traditional name is Hayalthkin’geme, is a multidisciplinary Indigenous artist, master carver, filmmaker, author and public speaker. “As a leader he demonstrates his ability to bring together community members from different backgrounds through specific activities,” notes the award citation. “Carey believes in collective responsibility, learning from the past and creating art based on accumulated knowledge, experiences and traditions . . . He also works with young and at-risk populations, where carving is central for Indigenous people and for whom this kind of activity is considered a responsibility. Throughout his work, Carey believes the process has to model the goal.”

Watch his interview with Leadership Victoria’s Mark Crocker here.   

 

Carey Newman speaking with Leadership Victoria

Rising stars

In other news, two Fine Arts alumni have been selected for the prestigious Writers’ Trust of Canada Rising Stars program: recent Writing MFA graduate Troy Sebastian/Nupqu ʔa·kǂ am̓ and Theatre grad Carleigh Baker.  

Sebastian, a Ktunaxa writer who has also just been nominated for a pair of National Magazine Awards, and was selected by acclaimed novelist Lynn Coady. “Everything about the work of Troy Sebastian feels original,” says Coady. “His unpredictable structure, his extraordinary characters, his way with a completely unanticipated metaphor. You get the sense of a writer burrowing deep inside his own experience, history, and culture, fitting together the discarded fragments and treasures he finds along the way, until he emerges with something familiar yet utterly fresh—utterly dazzling.”

Baker, a nêhiyaw âpihtawikosisân/Icelandic writer, was a finalist for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, the Emerging Indigenous Voices Award for fiction and won the City of Vancouver Book Award in 2017 for her debut short story collection Bad Endings. She was selected by noted writer Thomas King. “Carleigh Baker is one of those writers who can look at humanity and tell you where the bodies are buried,” King says. “And she’s happy to dig a few up, dust them off, and send them on their way to find a story . . . . [she is] a rare talent who can make you smile and cringe and think in the same sentence.”

The Writers’ Trust Rising Stars program is a multi-faceted career development program that recognizes talented authors in the early stages of their careers with $5,000 and highlights their work with an endorsement from a proven, influential author. The Rising Stars will attend a two-week, self-directed writing residency at the Banff Centre in Alberta.

Troy Sebastian, Carleigh Baker

Resources

 

Call for local poster art

What does the city’s leading concert poster creator and distributor do when there are no events to promote? If you’re Metropol—the good folks who have been postering daily on the downtown cylinders for nearly two decades—you decide to change those poles into instant art galleries.

“While COVID-19 has shuttered cultural, athletic and social gatherings in communities worldwide, it does not hold back creative spirit and outreach,” Metropol announced. “We are calling on local artists and image-makers to submit colourful works that we can print and post around town once a week—free of charge.”

Yep, all you have to do is email posters@imetropol.com to submit your digital files (artwork sized to 11″x17″, high-quality-print PDF 300dpi or Vector), plus your name and/or Instagram handle, and you’ll see your work on poster poles around the city.

“Art is a calming and inspiring force,” says Metropol. “Let’s keep our community vivid, bright and alive.”

Movies, books & cats—oh my! 

While UVic’s legendary movie theatre Cinecenta is closed, they’ve decided to take a step into the streaming universe by partnering with indie film distributor Kinosmith to offer a pair of documentaries to enjoy from the comfort of your home. 

DW Young’s The Booksellers was an audience favourite at festivals this year, and sure to excite bibliophiles and history buffs alike. This 99-minute feature documentary takes viewers inside the small but fascinating world of antiquarian booksellers, whose owners are part scholar, part detective and part businessperson . . . and whose clients offer an assortment of obsessives, intellects, eccentrics and dreamers. Watch The Booksellers here.

Cinecenta is also offering the very popular Kedi, a brilliantly shot, charming and family-friendly documentary that will delight anyone who enjoys all things feline. Shot throughout the streets of Istanbul, Kedi takes the inherent appeal of its subject and goes beyond the call of duty, isolating the profound relationship between people and cats by exploring it across several adorable cases in a city dense with examples. Watch Kedi here.

Your ticket for these films ($9.99 for The Booksellers, $6.99 for Kedi) will help support Cinecenta during these strange times.

Walk on 

If you’re yearning to get out of the house and a short turn around the block just isn’t working anymore, why not go on some virtual walking tours around the globe instead?

The Open Culture website is offering a free collection of point-of-view walks through a variety of locations (the streets of Tuscany), weather (rain or shine), times of day (an afternoon in Venice, a night in Tokyo’s Shinjuku) and density (crowds in Bangkok and NYC, empty forest paths).

Some of the walks are as short as 20 minutes, while others are over an hour—more than enough time to fill your need for travel distancing.

Pocket-sized concerts

This week, we offer you a pair of shot-at-home performance videos featuring School of Music graduate student Lea Fetterman accompanying herself in a violin trio. In the first video, she’s performing Edward Elgar’s “Salut d’Amour, Op. 12”.

Given that she is now working without a pianist, Fetterman decided to act as her own accompanist in this video—which marks the first time she has ever created something like this.  

“I arranged the piano accompaniment into two violin parts and a bass line,” she explains. “I left the third violin part out because it muddled the melody too much. Due to all the rubato in this piece, I could not use a click track, so I first recorded the solo violin part, and then played the other parts along with that video.”

These videos were created using her MacBook Air and iPad, plus a Zoom Q4n microphone, the Symphony Pro 5 app and her Skullcandy Crusher wireless headphones.

“I hope this piece brings you some joy during these difficult and uncertain times.”

 

 

Then, buoyed by her success with the first video, Fetterman then created three violin duets from Bartók’s “44 Duos for Two Violins” — fusing “Tót Nóta (Slovakian Song [1])” with “Magyar Nóta (Hungarian Song [1])” and “Oláh Nóta (Wallachian Song)”.

“I hope you enjoy this pocket-sized concert. Be well!”

Look and see 

Unless you live in or near a high-rise, one of the casualties of living in a lockdown situation is the ability to easily watch other people—a popular human pastime, whether one admits to it or not.

Department of Visual Arts MFA alum and sessional instructor Laura Dutton explores themes of looking and watching in her works. To better explain her practice, she has created this new video for The Connector, which offers her thoughts on two of her recent works: the multi-channel video installation Night Comes On (2016) and the photography exhibit Nearness To or Distance From (2018).  

Described as a “meditation on the process of looking, and being looked at”, Night Comes On “allows the viewer to become a voyeur, peering into private space while navigating around imposing structures of flickering, hypnotic light”.

In contrast, Nearness To or Distance From offers a series of abstracted, candid portraits of tourists visiting the Grand Canyon—photographed from about a kilometre away and then further zoomed in during post-production. “It’s as if these people could have been stolen from the background of a Seurat painting, where they had been forgotten,” says Dutton.

Dutton’s work has been exhibited across Canada at the likes of the Esker Foundation Project Space (Calgary), Legacy Gallery and Deluge Contemporary (Victoria), PAVED Arts (Saskatoon), VU Photo (Quebec City), and as part of the Capture Photography Festival (Vancouver).

 

Laura Dutton’s “Night Comes On” (2016)

Laura Dutton’s “Nearness To or Distance From” (2018)

An offbeat comedy about human isolation

This week, we bring you the Department of Writing student-made short film Godhead. Written and directed as an MFA project by now-sessional instructor Connor Gaston, Godhead tells the story of Gary, who, rendered mute by his autism, spends his days racing remote-control boats with his little brother—which creates stress for the boy’s father, a single parent who just wants his eldest son to get a job. However, Gary’s condition conceals a powerful gift that goes beyond words.

“To me, Godhead is an offbeat comedy about human isolation, particularly passing judgment on each other, especially people who are different. Intelligence can take many forms, which is something people too often forget,” says Gaston. “Gary, our mute autistic protagonist, embodies this notion and reminds us that a person can be more than what meets the eye. The film also mixes the micro with the macro, contrasting a dysfunctional family unit with the unknowable cosmos.”

An official selection in 2014’s Toronto International Film Festival, Vancouver International Film Festival, Calgary International Film Festival, Whistler Film Festival and Rimouski Festival de Film, plus 2015’s Victoria Film Festival, Godhead was nominated for a Leo Award (Student Production) and won the Student Short Work award at the Whistler Film Festival.

In addition to his teaching duties, Gaston has since gone on to complete his first feature film, The Devoutwhich premiered at the Busan International Film Festival—one of Asia’s premiere film festivals. The Devout also earned Gaston the BC Emerging Filmmaker Award at the Vancouver International Film Festival in 2015 and won Best Motion Picture and Best Screenwriting at the 2016 Leo Awards.

Stay home, get quizzy

Had your fill of jigsaw puzzles? Tired of doing crosswords? If you’re ready for a serious visual challenge, why not tackle the new Stay-at-Home Art History Quiz?

Brought to you by Art History & Visual Studies department chair Marcus Milwright, and based on the same concept he’s been doing for his semi-annual Christmas quizzes, the Stay-at-Home quiz offers 10 composite visual images sourced from throughout art history.

“Our family was always keen on quizzes, from crosswords to tests of general knowledge,” says Milwright. “There used to be a quiz in a newspaper that asked readers to identify a painting from a little section. This provided the inspiration for the original AHVS Christmas Quiz, although I wanted to add some new elements.”

Your job, should you choose to accept the challenge, is to not only identify the art or artist (depending on question) but also solve the cryptic puzzle buried within. Complete instructions can be found on the quiz page

Answers will be posted on the new Gateway to Art site on July 1. Good Luck!

Reclaming First Nations culture & history

What does it mean to dedicate your life to honouring the dead? Harold Joe has spent his adult life following a tradition that has been handed down in his family for generations: the discovery, preservation and rededication of human remains and artifacts, and with them, a reclamation of First Nations culture and history.

As chronicled in the alumni-created documentary Dust n’ Bones, Joe is a revered archaeological consultant, filmmaker and former gravedigger, who has been challenging cultural and spiritual appropriation by museums, universities and private collectors for over 40 years. 

Dust ‘N Bones is a 2018 documentary that brings to light the legal, political, historical and spiritual challenges faced by First Nations leaders and archaeologists as they fight to give disinterred ancestors their proper reverence.

Framed around the pending transfer of artifacts from the Royal British Columbia Museum to traditional Cowichan territory, Dust n’ Bones takes us through the discovery, preservation and rededication of human remains and artifacts—and, with them, a reclamation of First Nations culture and history.  

Created by Less Bland Productions, Dust n’ Bones is produced, co-directed and co-written by Department of Theatre alum and sessional instructor Leslie Bland, also features the musical talents of fellow alum Alexander Brendan Ferguson (composer and arranger). 

Originally commissioned by Telus, APTN and US broadcaster FNX, Dust n’ Bones has since been acquired by NITV Australia, Télé Québec, Knowledge Network, Zoomer Media and CHEK TV. It’s now being used as a tool to help facilitate reconciliation locally between settler society and local First Nations. 

You can read more about Harold Joe in this 2018 Martlet interview.

Leslie Bland

More to come weekly

We’ll be posting more content from our faculty, students and alumni each week—be sure to check back!

Star Wars performance supports COVID-19 student fund

Department of Theatre alum Charles Ross will livestream his popular interstellar romp The One-Man Star Wars Trilogy at 5pm Monday, May 4, to help support an emergency fund for students experiencing financial hardship due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Coordinated through The Farquhar at UVic, this is a special opportunity to watch the Victoria actor and active Theatre alum condense 12 hours of cinema into a 75-minute re-enactment of the plots of three Star Wars films (Star Wars IV, V and VI) while raising money to support students.

Click here for the livestream link to this free performance.

UVic theatre alumnus Charles Ross will livestream his popular interstellar romp through Star Wars on May 4 to help support an emergency bursary fund for students affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Image: Courtesy of Charles Ross.

The UVic COVID-19 Emergency Bursary was established in April to help domestic and international students, at the graduate and undergraduate level, who are in financial need as result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Money raised will go toward students who have lost their jobs, face housing issues or have trouble paying for food, tuition or the technology needed for online or remote learning. The fund also supports mental health services, child care and transportation costs for students affected by the pandemic.

The emergency fund was established with $200,000 from the university and $140,000 from the BC government. Other contributions include $67,000 from the UVic Students’ Society, $50,000 from the UVic Alumni Association and $98,000 in individual donations from hundreds of alumni, faculty, staff and friends of the university.

So far, more than 2,000 students have applied to the emergency bursary, and UVic anticipates the demand will exceed $1 million. Fundraising is continuing and all gifts are welcome. Viewers are asked to donate to the UVic COVID-19 Emergency Bursary.

The livestream performance coincides with the popular annual “May the Fourth be with you” celebration of the Star Wars series. Ross has toured his world-famous production around the globe, entertaining more than a million fans in London’s West End, at the Sydney Opera House and off-Broadway in New York. Performed with permission of Lucasfilm Ltd, the show is fast-paced, funny and suitable for ages six to Yoda.

Most recently, Ross performed his One-Man Pride & Prejudice on April 18 as part of the ongoing #CanadaPerforms series developed by the National Arts Centre.

Annual BFA exhibit goes digital

BFA exhibition shifts to an online catalogue

Normally, this week would see the opening of the annual Visual Arts BFA grad exhibition, one of the most highly anticipated events of the Fine Arts academic year—but, of course, there’s nothing normal about the world these days. Instead of being able to come and enjoy the work of nearly 30 emerging artists in the exhibition Suggested Serving Size, however, we’re pleased to still be able to present their work via this online catalogue.

Ranging from performance, animation, video and photography to installation, painting, drawing and sculpture, supervising faculty member Richard Leong describes the work planned for the BFA exhibition as “a dynamic exchange of ideas”—and, as an undergrad alum of the very department in which he now teaches, he should well know.

“In my experience leading this year’s Art 401 Professional Practice and BFA Exhibition class, I came to see the next generation of artists come into their own,” he says. “This was not only reflected in the quality of their work . . . but also in their demonstrated leadership and teamwork. Their collective drive and commitment to their disciplines and each other was inspiring, and gave me great hope for the future.”

Hope & solace

That’s a sentiment echoed by BFA curator and graduating student Christian McGinty. “Looking at the work this group has made, I have found that there is a hope and solace about the future throughout the works, despite the anxious times we’ve found ourselves in,” he writes in the catalogue foreword. “The artists in the 2020 graduating exhibition have worked extremely hard to showcase our works to you nonetheless . . . . Despite the uncertainty of what’s to come, Suggested Serving Size shows that regardless of a tumultuous future, we will be able to weather it, even if it isn’t always what was on the on menu.”

And while this isn’t the splashy grad exhibition and party everyone was expecting, Leong feels some good has come of it. “I believe we all bear a great disappointment in not being able to witness how their hard work and critical discourse was realized in unique and engaging ways,” he concludes. “One of the remarkable things that they were able to accomplish this term was the development of their BFA exhibition catalogue, which highlights the culmination of each student’s research over the last four years.”

Please enjoy the exhibit in this digital format, and take the time to explore the extraordinary work and ideas of this year’s graduating Visual Arts students.

A quick selection of graduating artists in the 2020 BFA exhibition—be sure to visit the online catalogue to see all the artists

Fine Arts events cancelled in response to COVID-19

In response to the ongoing and global spread of the COVID-19 virus and the advice of the Provincial Health Officer, the University of Victoria is following provincial guidelines regarding large gatherings.

These actions have been taken in consideration of the recent declaration of a pandemic by the World Health Organization, confirming that the virus is likely to spread to all countries with a corresponding rise in the risk level of all international travel. It also supports our commitment to the safety and well-being of our campus community and the health of our broader community.

As part of our response to the evolving COVID-19 situation, UVic has created a COVID-19 response website to provide the university community with the most up-to-date information — including tips for staying healthy, information for travellers, and other resources for students, faculty and staff.

Cancelled events

Following the advice of the Provincial Health Officer, gatherings of more than 50 people are now cancelled. These events involving Fine Arts faculty, students and alumni have been cancelled:

  • The Children’s Hour, Phoenix Theatre
  • Belfry Theatre’s SPARK Festival
  • MFA Connect: Floatation Devices exhibit
  • Legacy Gallery downtown (including Urban Regalia FLUID exhibits)
  • Yvonne Blomer book launch (March 18)
  • Heng Wu guest lecture (March 19)
  • Sonic Lab (March 20)
  • Betsy Tumasonis AGGV guest lecture (March 22)
  • Vocal Jazz Ensemble (March 22)
  • Visiting Artist: Chantal Gibson (March 25)
  • Chamber Singers (March 28)
  • Faculty Concert: Connie Gitlin (March 29)
  • Gendered Threads of Globalization symposium (March 27-29)
  • UVic Wind Symphony (March 27)
  • Don Wright Symphonic Winds (April 2)
  • UVic Orchestra (April 3)
  • Middle East & Islamic Studies Consortium conference, UVic (April 4)
  • Mallory Tater reading, Munro’s Books (April 9)

Livestreaming events

The School of Music will be live-streaming a limited number of degree recitals in the coming weeks: please see their events calendar for specific details.

Stay up to date

Please see UVic’s COVID-19 website for all the latest information on UVic’s response to this health crisis.

All-Steinway School celebrations continue

The School of Music’s 12th anniversary celebration as an all-Steinway school continues through March with a special series of concerts and events. UVic became Canada’s very first all-Steinway school in 2008 when we acquired 63 new Steinway pianos—and our students, faculty, guest performers and concert-goers have been appreciating the beauty and quality of these incredible instruments ever since!

In addition to hearing some fantastic concerts, you’ll be able to see a special display of parts from a deconstructed piano shipped directly from the Steinway factory in New York City at Mark Anderson‘s March 5 concert (see below).

The School of Music became Canada’s very first All-Steinway School in 2008 when we acquired 63 new Steinway pianos—including 49 uprights for practice rooms and faculty offices, 13 grand pianos for the teaching faculty and rehearsal halls, and a Steinway Concert Grand for the Phillip T. Young Recital Hall.

Proceeds from these events will benefit our Steinway Legacy Fund, dedicated to the enhancement and expansion of our valuable collection instruments. Donate online to support this important ongoing achievement in the School of Music.

Mark Anderson & a deconstructed piano

Guest artist Mark Anderson

At 8pm Thursday, March 5, guest pianist and Steinway artist Mark Anderson performs Mozart’s Sonata in E-flat Major, K. 282, the Canadian premiere of Röntgen’s Sonata in C-sharp Minor, and the last piano sonatas by Schubert (No. 21 in B-flat Major, D.960) and Brahms (Sonata No. 3). A piano professor at UBC’s School of Music, Anderson’s appearances as recitalist, soloist and chamber musician have been met with widespread critical acclaim around the globe.

But you can also find out the “secrets of Steinway” with Simon Phillips, Island Regional Manager at Tom Lee Music, who are generously sponsoring this concert. Learn more about the inner workings of a Steinway by getting a closer look at the mechanisms that technicians and piano rebuilders are often only privy to in this special deconstructed piano—shipped directly from the Steinway factory in New York City. Seating for this talk is limited, however, so we suggest RSVPing in advance at music@uvic.ca to reserve a seat.

Technology meets classical styling

Drop by the Phillip T. Young Recital Hall from 2:30-6:30pm on Thursday, March 12, for open masterclasses and demonstrations of the Steinway Spirio | r, the world’s finest high-resolution player piano capable of live performance capture and playback.

The new Steinway Spirio | r

The Spirio | r uses an iPad to record performances, correct mistakes and play back the perfect version on the piano itself. The instrument can also play performances recorded in Steinway’s own studio, with all the subtleties of a live concert.

The School of Music’s main lobby will have a special display of parts from a deconstructed piano shipped directly from the Steinway factory in New York City. Learn more about the inner workings of a Steinway by getting a closer look at the mechanisms that technicians and piano rebuilders are often only privy to. Guided virtual reality tours of the Steinway factory will also be available in the lobby. Visit our website for a detailed schedule.

Emerging Steinway Stars

Curious about the difference a Steinway makes? Take an afternoon break and enjoy a concert of varied repertoire featuring UVic School of Music piano students at 12:30pm Friday, March 6, in the Phillip T. Young Recital Hall.

Then, hear some of the brightest piano students from the School of Music at this special concert showcase, starting at 8pm Thursday, March 12.  This concert will actually be performed on Steinway’s Spirio | r.

Faculty pianist Bruce Vogt

Bruce Vogt

Finally, School of Music professor Bruce Vogt performs a dynamic program of works by Liszt and Chopin, including a waltz and six Nocturnes, at 2:30pm Sunday, March 15. Among the elite of Canadian pianists, Bruce Vogt is a unique and dynamic performer. He appears regularly in concert within Canada, but has also inspired audiences in England, the USA, Germany, France, Italy, Norway, Bulgaria, China, and Japan.

Join Vogt for a special pre-concert talk at 1:30pm, where he will discuss two titans of the piano—Chopin and Liszt—and their very different paths. Seating for the pre-concert talk is limited, so please RSVP to music@uvic.ca to reserve your seat.

Canada’s very first All-Steinway School

Still Canada’s only All-Steinway School, UVic’s School of Music is justifiably proud of this designation. Back in 2008, we were the 99th All-Steinway School in the world, joining famous schools such as The Juilliard School and the Yale School of Music. It was announced at the time that the $1.1-million acquisition was being funded through a financing arrangement between UVic and Tom Lee Music.

You can help us grow and maintain our Steinways by donating online here.

Fine Arts shines at Ideafest

From issues in contemporary Indigenous arts to plastic waste, fake news and comic books about very serious topics, UVic’s annual Ideafest always offers one of the most fascinating weeks of the year!

Running March 2-7 at locations both on- and off-campus, Ideafest 2020 is UVic’s week-long festival of research, art and innovation. There are over 35 free events to capture your imagination, and tickets are not required (unless otherwise stated in the event description).

While you can peruse the full list of Ideafest events here, we’ve rounded up the Fine Arts offerings for your quick reference.

Luff: An Exploration of Kites

Take a stroll through UVic’s Fine Arts courtyard for an outdoor exhibit on kites from third-year drawing students in our Visual Arts department and other contributors. With a history dating back more than 10,000 years, the kite has entranced inventors and creative thinkers from Benjamin Franklin to Alexander Graham Bell and the Wright Brothers. This exhibit seeks inter-disciplinary connections and philosophical insights grounded in a fundamental truth: Without good design and careful construction, nothing flies.

Luff runs March 2-7 in the Fine Arts Courtyard

JCURA Student Research Fair

A recent installation by JCURA student Josh Franklin

Nine different students from all five of our departments are presenting their work in the annual Jamie Cassels Undergraduate Research Awards fair, including:

  • Josh Franklin (Visual Arts): “Holon Inc.: A Multidisciplinary Exploration of Holistic Process Based Art”
  • Megan Ingram (AHVS): “Police, Prejudice, and Film: Contemporary Perspectives on Filmic Representations of Law Enforcement”
  • Emily Markwart (Music): “Florence B. Price: An Antidote to the Whitewashed Classical Music Canon”
  • Hana Mason (Writing): “Re-coming of Age: Themes, Motifs and Conventions in New Adult Fiction”
  • Hannah Moore (AHVS): “Revisiting the Anarchist Politics of Barnett Newman’s ‘Zip’ Paintings”
  • Benjamin Parker (Music): “Post-War Art in Europe: Stravinsky, Sibelius, Vaughn Williams and Schoenberg in the wake of WW1”
  • Christian Tervo (Theatre): “Representing War on the Canadian Stage”
  • Olivia Wheeler (Theatre): “EVOKE: An Exploration of Theatrical Designs Emotional Stimulus”
  • Keren Xu (Music): “The flute solo repertoire ‘Reflections 1’ and reception of female composer Diane Berry”

JCURA runs 11:30am-3pm Wednesday, March 4, in the SUB

Where are the Women Composers?

Even in 2020 there are significant challenges and barriers to women who are composing music. How did a patriarchal concept of art music routinely ignore historical and contemporary achievements by women in the classical music industry? Through performances of four solo flute works by female composers and a discussion with the performers and scholars, this session will explore the reasons why female composers have been excluded, ignored or sidelined.

Presenters include School of Music professor Suzanne Snizek with Sikata Banerjee (Department of Gender Studies) and flute students Emily Morse, Lisa Matsugu, Charlie Mason and Rhiannon Jones.

Where are the Women Composers? runs 12:30-2:20pm Wednesday, March 4, in Mac B037

Artistic Alliances: Indigeneity & Fine Arts

The District of Saanich along with the artist, Carey Newman, officially welcomes Earth Drums to Cedar Hill Park in September 2019 (photo: Kevin Light)

Indigenous arts engage people in multiple ways. Some works are more visible than others for some audiences and for different reasons. What is the social impact of Indigenous arts?

The research and creative activity happening in the Faculty of Fine Arts reflects the dynamic range of contemporary work being created, Indigenous knowledge and both the written and spoken word. Join fine arts teaching faculty and graduate students at this timely interactive session to learn about some of the surprising and engaging approaches to contemporary practices.

Presenters include Gregory Scofield (Writing), Carey Newman (Visual Arts), Lauren Jerke (Theatre) and Lindsay Delaronde (Indigenous Resurgence Coordinator). Hosted and moderated by Allana Lindgren (Acting Dean, Fine Arts).

Artistic Alliances runs 4-6pm Wednesday, March 4, in ECS 116

All Lit Up

Meet the next generation of Canadian literature as Master’s of Fine Arts students from UVic’s legendary Department of Writing read (and perform) groundbreaking graduating manuscripts in fiction, poetry, screenwriting, playwriting and creative non-fiction in this lively literary cabaret.

Hosted by Writing professor Kevin Kerr, readers include MFA candidates Martin Bauman, Daniel Hogg, Ellery Lamm, Troy Sebastian / nupquʔ ak·ǂam̓ and Guochen (Chen) Wang.

All Lit Up runs 7-8pm Thursday, March 5, at the Intrepid Theatre Club, 1609 Blanshard

And while Ideafest offers over 35 events, members of the Fine Arts community may also be interested in some of these other Ideafest offerings:

UVic’s annual Ideafest runs March 2-7. UVic is accessible by sustainable travel options including transit and cycling. For those arriving by car, hourly pay parking is in effect. Evening parking is $3.50. Click here for parking info and campus maps.