Submission call for Student Impact Awards!

Are you a current or graduating Fine Arts student who’s been involved with a community-engaged creative project in Greater Victoria between Jan 1/23 & May 31/24? If so, you could qualify for $1,000 via our annual Fine Arts Student Community Impact Awards! Since 2021, we have awarded over $8,000 to 8 different students! (Read about our 2023 winners here.)

Arts activities may include (but are not limited to) any exhibit, performance, workshop, publication, curatorial, educational, digital, production and/or administrative role within the regional boundaries of Greater Victoria (Sidney to Sooke). This award is open to any current or graduating student in Art History & Visual Studies, Music, Theatre, Visual Arts or Writing.

This year’s Impact Awards will be presented in Fall 2024 to 1 or more undergrads who’ve demonstrated an outstanding effort in community-engaged creative activity that went over & above their academic studies. Good news: if you’ve applied before but didn’t get an award, you can apply again (as long as the project falls into the current timeframe).

A completed submission package—including the submission form and all supporting materials—must be received by 5:00pm Friday, May 31, 2024. Full details & application criteria can be found here: https://finearts.uvic.ca/forms/award/

Questions? Contact fineartsawards@uvic.ca 

Opera star Marion Newman joins UVic Music

Critically acclaimed Canadian opera singer and national CBC Radio host Marion Newman is returning to the University of Victoria to join the award-winning teaching faculty at the School of Music.

Newman — whose traditional name is Nege’ga — is of Kwagiulth and Stó:lō First Nations descent with English, Irish and Scottish heritage. The 2022 UVic Distinguished Alumni Award recipient (BMUS ’93) will officially join the School of Music as an assistant professor on July 1, 2024.

“I’m really looking forward to this,” says Newman. “It’s always a lovely circular journey when alumni return and become part of the faculty.” Currently based in Toronto, the busy mezzo-soprano will continue hosting CBC’s Saturday Afternoon at the Opera from Victoria.

In addition to the UVic announcement, the news was picked up by a number of local media outlets who subsequently ran stories, including the Times Colonist, Victoria News, Sooke News Mirror and the Vancouver is Awesome blog. (We think Marion is awesome too!)

No stranger to local audiences, Newman just appeared in City Opera Vancouver’s Songs from the Uproar: The Lives and Deaths of Isabelle Eberhardt and is currently workshopping a new opera by Ian Cusson and Royce Vavre,commissioned by Against the Grain Theatre and Edmonton Opera, based on Thomas King’s 2020 comedic novel Indians on Vacation. (“It is such a delight to play somebody who’s so full of sunshine and reality and so . . . normal,” she laughs.)

She was also lauded for her performances in Pacific Opera Victoria’s Missing, which gave voice — in English and Gitksan — to stories of missing and murdered Indigenous women.

“Singing in Indigenous languages is something I’ve been doing for a number of years now,” she says. “It’s always exciting to immerse yourself in that way as a character to sing words . . . you start to understand what the general sound of the language is and how it grew out of the place and the people.”

Marion Newman in Pacific Opera’s Missing (photo: Dean Kalyan)

Learning and living by example

Already recognized as one of Canada’s leading singer-training programs, UVic’s School of Music is a perfect fit for Newman, who will join the internationally acclaimed likes of professors and opera performers Benjamin Butterfield and Anne Grimm, as well as a team of outstanding faculty covering program areas ranging from performance, composition and musicology to music technology, music education and music theory.

“We are thrilled to welcome Marion!” says School of Music director Alexis Luko. “Given her perspective, local connections and international reach, she’s positioned to have a profound impact on artistic and cultural life in Victoria, and will further UVic’s reputation as a destination for mindful and engaged artists.”

Newman’s new teaching position is also a good fit with her role as host of Saturday Afternoon at the Opera, and her passion for championing Canadian opera.

“It’s always been my wish to showcase how many amazing Canadians we have working in opera,” she says. “I know it’s exciting for students to hear from people who are working in their chosen field right now, because their information is very current and very inspirational. Learning and living by example is a fantastic thing — you can speak directly to what the challenges and changes are within the industry.”

Making connections

Newman has strong memories of her own time as a UVic Music student. “I had a wonderful piano teacher there in Dr. Robin Wood,” she recalls. “He was one of the most human humans, and really helped shape me in terms of what it means to remain connected and humble and work hard in ways that bring joy.”

As well as being the co-founder of the diversity-focused Amplified Opera organization, Newman also teaches at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity and is on faculty for Manitoba Opera’s Digital Emerging Artist Program. She also serves on the Opera America Artistic Services Council, the Artist Advisory to the board of City Opera Vancouver, the board of the US-based Plimpton Foundation, which raises awareness and funds for an Indigenous Songbook and bursaries for Indigenous classical artists, as well as various other committees.

She’s also looking forward to working more closely with her brother, artist Carey Newman – Hayalthkin’geme, who is the Impact Chair in Indigenous Art Practices with UVic’s Faculty of Fine Arts.

“As people who are often tasked by others to explain decolonization or Indigenization, it’s going to be wonderful to be able to have those conversations with him in person — it’s a heavy load and no one person has all the answers,” she says.

“I’ve been doing that work within the music sphere for a number of years now, so I’m really looking forward to being a part of what’s going on at the university and getting to be part of those conversations. And we have a couple of shows that we would love to create together.”

Photo: Tony Hauser

Helping to move each other forward

Newman’s hiring aligns with UVic’s Indigenous plan, Xʷkʷənəŋ istəl | W̱ȻENEṈISTEL | Helping to move each other forward, where Indigenous ways of knowing, being and learning are embedded into the university’s programs, systems and organizational structure.

“Part of what’s exciting about coming to UVic is that wish to actually do what’s needed,” she says. “There are a lot of other places who think they’re ready to have that conversation, but they’re not really ready for the consequences of those conversations.”

Newman is also clearly excited about calling the West Coast home again. “I’ve been living in Toronto for 24 years now and while I love it, I know it’s time to breathe that salty sea air again every day,” she says. “I’m still in touch with my family daily, but to be able to go to family dinners more than just three or four times a year is exactly what I want right now.”

Distinguished Alumni Awards honour Carrie Tennant, Dennis Gupa & Ivy Martin

UVic announced the recipients of the 2024 Distinguished Alumni Awards on March 4 and Fine Arts was once again proud to see three of our outstanding graduates included among the 18 recipients being recognized across the three categories: Presidents’ Alumni Award recipient Carrie Tennant (Music), Emerging Alumni Award recipient Dennis Gupa (Theatre) and Indigenous Community Alumni Award recipient Ivy Martin (CRM). You can view all the awardees and read about them on the alumni awards webpage.

“This diverse group of graduates contribute their skills, passions and leadership to many different fields, including the arts, education, law, science, engineering and business,” says UVic President Kevin Hall. “Advocacy, community building and climate action are common threads woven through their work. In that sense, they shine a light on the values and priorities that define and unite us at UVic.”

Once again, the awards show the calibre of UVic alumni and their impact across the world—but it’s also a great reminder of the potential future impact of the work we do every day to create positive student experiences.

Carrie Tennant, Presidents’ Alumni Award

Presented by UVic’s President and the President of the UVic Alumni Association, this award recognizes the outstanding lifetime accomplishments of alumni who have either earned national or international regard, or had a significant local impact as a result of their outstanding professional achievements and/or service to society.

For the past 20 years, the Vancouver-based Carrie Tennant has worked with young singers, developing their leadership and artistry. Holder of a Bachelor of Music in Music Education (1999) and a Teaching Certificate from Faculty of Education (2000), she is currently the founder and artistic director of the Vancouver Youth Choir.

Carrie’s choirs have won several awards and have performed at international events in Istanbul and New York City. She is also an affiliate conductor with the Vancouver Chamber Choir, and a frequent clinician, adjudicator and guest conductor across North America and around the world. She is the editor and curator for two choral series: the Vancouver Youth Choir Choral Series (Cypress Publishing), which promotes diverse Canadian voices on the international stage, and the brand new Carrie Tennant Choral Series (Hal Leonard). She received the 2023 YWCA Women of Distinction Award for Arts and Culture, and in a past life she toured, performed and recorded with her husband as a member of Vancouver-based indie-pop group the Salteens.

When asked for her favourite memory of attending UVic, Carrie points to playing in the ensembles with retired Music Ed and Wind Symphony director Gerald King and singing in UVic Chamber Singers with Bruce More. “I went to Korea and Thailand and China with him and the choir,” she recalls. “Bruce was an incredible mentor and a fantastic role model, and he let me conduct in Korea. That gave me the conducting bug. It was really a transformative experience for me.”

You can hear Carrie and the Chamber Singers in action at a special 50th Anniversary concert at Vancouver’s Pacific Spirit Church on April 21, which will also feature an alumni reception before the concert.

One aspect of her UVic training that really helped shape Carrie was what she describes as the “spirit of thinking outside the box, which I really have carried forward with me.” But she also credits our “incredible” music education program: “I walked out of that program ready to be a successful teacher in the public system, and I didn’t realize at the time that that was not the norm until I connected with other first-year teachers from other post-secondary programs who were overwhelmed and treading water and couldn’t handle it,” she says. “Even though I’m not a teacher in the traditional sense now, I think a lot of the foundational principles and methodology comes from that strong background of music ed from UVic.”

Read more of the interview with Carrie here—including her thoughts on community building, her own personal motivations, the best advice she ever received, her go-to karaoke song (spoiler: it’s Dolly Parton’s “9 to 5”) and her secret talent.

Dennis Gupa, Emerging Alumni Awards

Recognizing the outstanding professional achievements and/or contributions of recent alumni (graduated within the last 10 years) to the community, one of this year’s Emerging Alumni Awards goes to the now Philippines-born but now Winnipeg-based Dennis Gupa (Doctor of Philosophy in Applied Theatre, 2021).

Dennis is a theatre director, performance maker/researcher, applied-theatre practitioner and an assistant professor at the Department of Theatre and Film at the University of Winnipeg. He has an MFA in Theatre (Directing) from UBC, an MA in Theatre Arts from the University of the Philippines and completed his PhD in Applied Theatre at the University of Victoria as a Vanier Scholar; his dissertation centred on climate change and Indigenous ecological knowledge, which was amplified with his role as UVic’s Ocean Networks Canada Artist in Residence during the pandemic.

Dennis has directed and devised performances in Southeast Asia and North America. He received the 2023 inaugural Green Award (Individual Artist Runner-Up) from the Professional Association of Canadian Theatres (PACT) and Boca del Lupo and RBC Foundation’s 2023 SLaM (Successor, Leadership and Mentorship) Program. He is a Dwight Conquergood Laureate of the Performance Studies International (PSi) and The Ada Slaight Drama in Education Awardee of Toronto’s Young People’s Theatre. Dennis is mentioned in the Cultural Centre of the Philippines’ Encyclopedia of Philippine Arts for his contribution to the contemporary theatrical heritage of the Philippines.

He describes his experiences at UVic as “life transforming,” noting that he’s the only person in his family who received both an international education and a PhD.

“But having such an achievement is empty when you are not connected to the purpose of the work that you’re doing,” he says. “UVic taught me to have an attentiveness to one’s purpose—a kind of an attention to the things that I wish to contribute to the world. It made me reflexive, value collaboration and to have the courage to constantly interrogate and question the work I create, communicate and circulate. My academic and artistic experiences at UVic made me realize that I have to constantly evolve with my own craft as a scholar, teacher and artist to become a better human being.”

Read more about Dennis here—including the one essential trait for his continuing work (humility), a good piece of advice, his favourite way of relaxing, one food he can’t resist (Filipino adobo) and who (or what) he’d like to play him in the movie of his life.

Ivy Martin, Indigenous Community Alumni Award

Long before obtaining her Diploma in Cultural Resource Management in 2023, Tofino-based (but Port Alberni-born) Ivy Martin played a key role in caretaking, documenting and promoting the traditional knowledge and cultural treasures of the Tlaoquiaht First Nation.

She has successfully repatriated several ancestral treasures to the community and helped build a custom space with temperature and humidity control to secure their long time use and preservation. Ivy works with Tlaoquiaht’s Tribal Parks department and archaeologists on cultural surveys to ensure cultural sites and treasures are handled with the proper traditional protocols of the Tlaoquiaht First Nation, and to establish a repository for artifacts found within the traditional territory. She records, documents and shares cultural knowledge, and is currently building an online database and learning resources as part of the nation’s efforts to revitalize the endangered Tlaoquiaht language.

When asked for a favourite memory of her time at UVic, Ivy recalled the cultural regalia that went missing from her family years before. “My mother’s the eldest daughter of my grandfather, who was chief,” she explains. “I was in my 20s when I started collecting, documenting culture and our history, because it was intriguing to me . . . and [my grandfather] shared his wish for me to find this regalia and to bring the regalia home.”

So when one of her CRM assignments was to do a repatriation request, Ivy  already knew what her family wanted. “Now we have a room that is a designated chief’s regalia space. That’s come from part of my course work with UVic. It’s helped me to see how it can be a reality for my community. It’s been an awesome journey, very culturally healing. My experience has made it such a personal thing, connected to that identity in my family, of having that regalia coming home.”

Read more about Ivy here, including key skills, underappreciated characteristics (“We don’t shine enough light on our abilities to push forward each day”), valuable advice, what she does to relax, and what brings her joy (“seeing my kids enjoy life”).  

“My education with UVic has helped me to create opportunities for my family to learn and experience things that are meaningful,” she concludes.

Nominate a Distinguished Alumni

You can read more about previous Fine Arts Distinguished Alumni Award winners.

Nominations for the 2025 Distinguished Alumni Awards are now open through October 18, 2024.

Chamber Singers mark 50 years at UVic Music

For 50 years, the UVic Chamber Singers have proven to be one of the most endearing — and enduring — ensembles in our School of Music. Over the years, the Chamber Singers have performed to enthusiastic audiences in 140 cities and 30 countries on 6 continents, and have been recorded for broadcast on the CBC, University of California Radio and NCRV Radio (Holland), as well as the national radio stations of China, Poland & Hungary. They have also been winners in the CBC choral competition and took part in a 2000 recording that won a Juno Award.

While their performances are primarily held in UVic’s Phillip T. Young Recital Hall, the Chamber Singers have transcended local boundaries by performing in venues around Vancouver Island, across BC, and, from 1987 to 2009, across the globe.

Today, the Chamber Singers are led by Music professor Adam Con, but Professor Emeritus Bruce More was the ensemble’s longest-standing conductor with an impressive 37-year tenure leading the group. While More retired in 2008, he continues to host alumni reunions and foster connections that strengthen the long and prestigious history of the Chamber Singers.

This spring, the Chamber Singers are marking their 50th anniversary with a mini-tour that includes March 2 performances in Port Alberni (following a day-long workshop with Urbanstreet Choir and Barkley Sounds Choir) and Parksville, alongside UVic Music Education alumni Brent Kellas (choral director at Bellenas Secondary) and Crystal-Anne Howell (choral director at Kwalikum Secondary).

They will also be performing two concerts in Victoria: 2:30pm March 9 at UVic’s Phillip T Young Recital Hall, featuring the return of 40+ Chamber Singers alumni and conductor Bruce More performing Healey Willan’s “Rise Up My Fair One” (also available as a live stream), and 3:30pm March 10 at Broadview United alongside the University of Puget Sound Chamber Singers. Expect to hear a repertoire spanning 400 years of world and folk music, newly composed music, music of the Renaissance, Canadian composers and traditional African American spirituals.

Their 50th anniversary mini-tour will then conclude at a very special April 21 performance at Vancouver’s Pacific Spirit Church, alongside 2024 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient and Chamber Singers alumna Carrie Tennant, featuring a pre-concert reception open to all UVic alumni.

An exhilarating experience

For former Chamber Singers director Bruce More, the 50th anniversary offers both a chance to reconnect with former singers and to lead the group in song once more.

“I’ve been retired for 15 years and am well along the path of aging, so it is a wonderful reminder of the joys of working with gifted young musicians,” he says. “I expect it will be an exhilarating experience to be in front of Chamber Singers alumni again, although I’m not much older than some that I conducted in the 1970s!”

When asked for a favourite memory from his years leading the Chamber Singers, More singles out their touring years. “The desire to become a touring ensemble was greatly enhanced in 1981 during our first trip to California by the realization that several of the singers had never seen a palm tree before,” he recalls.

Bruce More (bottom right)

“Five years later, we were sailing down the Danube; 10 years later we were seeing long bread-lines in Leningrad; 15 years later we were singing with students in Soweto; 20 years later, singing in the Great Hall of the People in Tiananmen Square; and 25 years later sharing a concert with a Cambodian school choir in the presence of a Cambodian prince.”  (Read about more touring adventures in More’s book, The Conductor is the One in Front: 37 Years with the UVic Chamber Singers.)

An education on multiple levels

Current Chamber Singers leader Adam Con echoes More’s enthusiasm. “The UVic Chamber Singers is that one place to practice the art of singing at the highest level with others who share that burning passion,” he says. “There’s something about having that very high-level experience that sparks a huge interest in composing, conducting and many other activities in music.”

Far from going out of fashion, choral presentations continue to be an essential part of public ceremonies internationally, ranging from coronations and presidential inaugurations to the Olympics. Con sees this as proof that singing together is a quintessential human endeavour. “Music is like food: why do we eat? To Live! Why do we sing? The same, to live,” he says.  “Worldwide, we see people make art, music and dance not only as a part of culture but also as part of simply being and passing down stories and experiences.”

Adam Con

But Con points out the Chamber Singers also fills an essential pedagogical role for music educators. “It’s important in the education of young musicians to experience all genres and all eras,” he says. “Our students must learn to use their voice in different ways to honour the respective singing traditions: this is part of a solid education in music and singing, and it practices the decolonized approach to choral music education.”

Con is already planning for the future of the Chamber Singers. “Next year we hope to do an international competition and more touring. Future years will include the CBC Choral Competition and expanding our horizons to embrace other communities of singing. We hope the larger community will come out to support our efforts to fundraise for these projects as well.”

Planning for the future

Indeed, a generous contribution from a Chamber Singers alumni in 2023 led to the establishment of the Bruce More Legacy Fund, aimed at supporting the Chamber Singers and their future tours.

“I am truly honoured to loan my name to the Legacy Fund, and I look forward to the future benefits provided by its growth over time,” says More. “Of course, I hope the Chamber Singers will continue forever—but, at the very least, I hope it will offer the opportunity to School of Music students to perform the best of the choral art and to experience the community that can come with it.”

Fine Arts in the news: media roundup

When it comes to announcements, publications and media appearances, there’s never really a slow time for Fine Arts faculty, alumni and students — and the past couple of months have been no exception. Here’s a quick roundup of who’s been speaking with the media lately.

 

Art History & Visual Studies

In this December article for Forbes magazine, professor Catherine Harding comments on the use of AI in identifying another artist involved in a 16th century painting by Raphael. “It is wonderful if we can use AI in this way,” Harding said. “It won’t be irrefutable. It will depend entirely on the expertise of the people doing the programming, but if they can write the right kind of algorithm, it will be very useful.”

As part of the new Jeffrey Rubinoff Nexus for Art as a Source of Knowledge, professor Allan Antliff has been selected as the inaugural Rubinoff Legacy Professor. This named professorship is just one facet of $230,000 in new funding from the Rubinoff Foundation, which also includes 15 annual graduate student scholarships and the expansion of experiential learning initiatives at Hornby Island’s Jeffrey Rubinoff Sculpture Park. Read more in this announcement.

Professor Carolyn Butler Palmer and Visual Arts professor emeritus Lynda Gammon were interviewed on this Jan 6 segment of CBC Radio’s North By Northwest in support of Gammon’s Latent exhibit at Legacy downtown, which is curated by Butler Palmer. There is also an accompanying short visual story with pictures in this issue of the NXNW newsletter.

Adjunct professor Martin Segger recently wrote this fantastic Times Colonist piece about the history of not only Centennial Square but the overall planned design of Victoria’s downtown district.

Adjunct professor Grace Wong Sneddon co-curated the recent exhibit The Magic of Tony Eng (with local historian John Adams) for the Chinese Canadian Museum in Fan Tan Alley. A goal for this museum is to recognize Victoria’s Chinese Canadians and, as such, Eng is an ideal subject: a vibrant and active member of the city, many remember him as a charismatic stage magician, teacher and mentor to generations of local magicians. In other news, Wong Sneddon recently co-authored two chapters in a new book, Diversity Leadership in Education: Embedding Practices of Social Justice (2024, edited by UVic’s Catherine McGregor & Shailoo Bedi): “Unpacking the Equity Myth: Diversity & Leadership Deficit” (with Reeta Chowdhari Tremblay) and “Race and Gender: Chinese Canadian Women and Leadership” (with Lokpriy Shrma & Tremblay).

Alum India Young is cited in this Vancouver Sun article about a career retrospective exhibit by Nuu-chah-nulth artist George Clutes at Vancouver’s Bill Reid Gallery; the exhibit was created by Young plus UVic’s Andrea Walsh and Jennifer Robinson.

School of Music

Marking their official retirement from performing, the “trailblazing” Lafayette String Quartet were recently profiled in this feature article from Strings Magazine. “I hope we’ve instilled a deep love of chamber music in our audiences and students,” said Ann Elliott-Goldschmid. Our students benefited enormously from observing four musicians who respect each other and worked together, unified, in overseeing their studies and musical growth.”

Ahead of his final concert featuring live piano accompaniment to a silent film, professor Bruce Vogt was interviewed by CBC Radio’s All Points West (not archived) and in this Times Colonist story. “I’m certainly not retiring from playing,” said Vogt. “I just won’t be teaching any more. I’ll still be around, until I hear the chimes at midnight.”

January’s masterclass with guest mezzo-soprano Allyson McHardy got a shout-out in this Times Colonist roundup.

Professor Benjamin Butterfield plus alumni Isaiah Bell and Timothy Carter all appeared on this segment of CBC Radio’s On The Island talking about their recent concert, Banned from the Concert Hall. Butterfield was also interviewed for this Times Colonist story about the same event. “I’m not sure everyone goes around talking about their arse all day in Baroque circles,” Butterfield said with a laugh. “But this type of thing has been around a long time.”

As the new leader of the annual TubaChristmas fundraiser, instructor Scott MacInnes was featured in this December Times Colonist article. “It’s awesome that such a lowly instrument can provide so much happiness,” said MacInnes, who will be conducting the festive ensemble for the first time.

Arbutus Middle School’s music program was recently announced as the winners—again—of CBC’s annual national Music Class Challenge. While not named in the article, Arbutus’s music program is led by alumni Jennifer Hill & sessional Michael Mazza.

Theatre

As co-author, professor Yasmine Kandil was recently announced as one of the winners of 2023’s Wayman Mullins Award for Best Journal Article, as awarded by the Society for Police and Criminal Psychology Board of Directors. This award is given for the best scientific article as published in the Journal of Police and Criminal Psychology. Kandil, along with co-authors Jennifer A. A. Lavoie & Natalie Alvarez, picked up the award for their article “Developing Community Co-designed Scenario-Based Training for Police Mental Health Crisis Response: A Relational Policing Approach to De-escalation”.

Alum Jena Mailloux (MA Interdisciplinary Studies: Applied Theatre/Curriculum & Instruction) recently published the article “Elevating Critical Pedagogy Through Dramatic Principles: A Comparative Framework Analysis of Anti-Bullying Drama Education and Theatre Research Initiatives” in the Drama Australia Journal.

Alum Alynne Sinnema (MA Applied Theatre) was recently awarded the Canadian Association for Theatre Research Robert G. Lawrence Scholarship for her for the project “Coming to her Senses: Women’s Sexual Empowerment Through Applied Theatre”, which the adjudicating committee found “inventive and insightful in the ways it aims to combine applied theatre, specifically physical theatre, and feminist theory as a way to support women’s voices, embodied and scholarly considerations of women’s pleasure and sexual agency, and mental health.”

Alum Narges Montakhabi was awarded the Canadian Association for Theatre Research (CATR) Heather McCallum Scholarship for her project “Politics and Poethics of Precarity in Contemporary Middle Eastern Canadian Theatre.” Describing her project as “ambitious”, the committee found her work “amplified the voices of less-heard and younger generations of underrepresented Middle Eastern Canadian playwrights, focusing on contemporary (mostly 21st century) plays and playwrights from Iran, Syria, Palestine, Lebanon, Afghanistan, and Iraq.”

Visual Arts

Recent MFA alum Maryam (whose last name is not being used in the media due to safety concerns) was quoted in this Times Colonist story about her work in the latest Victoria Arts Council exhibit, You Are Welcome. “I’m still very impressed,” she said of the protests in Iran, where most of her friends and family reside. “The metal [in my piece] represents the strength and power of the women in my country when they were killed and shot in the streets.”

While the late-’90s children’s TV show Nanalan is currently going viral on TikTok, none of the coverage mentions the fact that professor Kelly Richardson worked on the show in between her BFA and MFA degrees. She worked on 71 episodes, making the set & greenery but also puppeteering; this allowed her to buy her first computer which entirely changed her art practice. “I’ve never really stopped making plants and animating bugs in my work,” she says. You can see some behind-the-scene photos Kelly has posted on her Instagram feed.

UVic Impact Chair Carey Newman was involved in the first fully bilingual colloquium of the New Uses of Collections in Art Museums Partnership  at the National Gallery of Canada in December. The conference outlined some of the innovative practices changing the standards and practices of art acquisition. This colloquium was jointly produced by the National Gallery of Canada (NGC) and the Université du Québec en Outaouais (UQO) as part of the CIÉCO Research and Inquiry Group’s Partnership New Uses of Collections in Art Museums.

In other news Carey Newman news, this Vancouver Sun article notes that the traveling exhibition of his Witness Blanket will be on display in the West Vancouver public library from Jan 26-March 8. This touring version is a detailed photographic replica of the original 13-panel sculptural installation, which is now permanently housed in Winnipeg’s Canadian Museum for Human Rights. Following this stop, the current 17-city tour next comes to the Saanich School Division (March 25–May 10) before moving on to Nelson and Nova Scotia, with more dates booking into 2025.  

Work by current MFA candidate Eeman Masood was featured in Frozen Forest, the recent curated exhibition at Abu Dhabi Art, and will also be displayed at the India Art Fair exhibition in New Dehli via her gallery representative Galerie ISA, from Feb 1- 4. 

 

Writing

Recent Writing grad and Climate Disaster Project managing editor Aldyn Chwelos was recently featured on this story for CBC Radio’s All Points West, speaking about their work documenting testimonials from survivors of severe wildfires and floods—some of which are getting a reprint in the December/January issue of Readers Digest. Chwelos was also featured in a separate interview with CBC Kelowna’s Radio West (not archived).

Teaching professor Marita Dachsel’s new essay collection Sharp Notions: Essays from the Stitching Life was mentioned in the Globe and Mail’s book gift guide for “The Mindful Maven” this year. “As the editors [Marita Dachsel and Nancy Lee] point out, in the 21st century we don’t need to knit, embroider, weave, bead, make lace or spin yarn. But what these essays by crafters get at, instead, is the nourishment found in the meditative (rather than productive) solace of fibre-arts handiwork.” Dachsel was also interviewed for this Vancouver Sun article exploring two new books with Vancouver Island fibre connections. Sharp Notions was also recently positively reviewed for The British Columbia Review, and it was included inAll Lit Up’s “Refresh Your Shelf: New Non-Fiction” list, which included five notable nonfiction reads for 2024.

Professor David Leach spoke with residents at two Isralei kibbutzim for this story for Jewish Renaissance Magazine. “In 2010, I completed a circuit around Israel to research a book about the founding ideals, hundred-year history and slow decline of the kibbutz movement,” writes Leach. “These 270 or so rural communes, dreamed into reality by young Jewish pioneers as a fusion of socialism and Zionism, had marked the borders of the future state and shaped many of its leaders and artists.”

Crookes Professor Sean Holman announced in December that Rappler — the Philippines’ leading digital media company — has published five students stories as part of the Climate Disaster Project Philippines, appearing just in time for COP28. As part of the CDP’s international outreach, UVic’s Division of Continuing Studies provides certificates to the Philippines students for their work in trauma-informed environmental journalism. All five harrowing stories can be read here, here, here, here and here.

MFA Sam Shelstad’s novel The Cobra and The Key was recently included on CBC Book’s list of “30 books to read this winter”. Things are getting meta with this new satirical novel, which is centred on the life of a writer (also named Sam Shelstad) who is busy working on a book about his failed relationship, while he awaits word from a publisher about the manuscript he’s sure will make him a star—a how-to book for aspiring fiction writers detailing the finer points of the craft.

MFA alum Kyeren Regehr has been named the new director of Victoria’s venerable Planet Earth Poetry Reading Series—which, at 28 years, is surely the city’s longest-running continuous literary series. PEP runs weekly, 7-9pm Fridays at Russell Books on Fort Street.

Fine Arts

UVic’s Fine Arts + Grants & Awards Librarian Christine Walde recently presented her book-themed art exhibit Salvage at the Bruce Hutchinson public library branch, in conjunction withthe Victoria Arts Council. Salvage is a collection of driftwood books salvaged from the beaches of Vancouver Island and the Cascadia bioregion of the Pacific Northwest over a ten-year period.

Did you know Fine Arts Dean Allana Lindgren hosts the pre-show talks for the DanceVictoria series? A dance historian herself, Lindgren speaks ahead of each show in the performance series.

Finally, the winners of our 2023 Student Community Impact Awards were mentioned in Monday Magazine’s coverage of the Greater Victoria Regional Arts Awards.

’Tis the season for choral celebration

Downtown’s Christ Church Cathedral was filled beyond capacity for the School of Music‘s annual winter choral concert on December 2. But you can still experience the harmonious sound of 150+ voices resonating in the cathedral’s beautiful acoustics in this video of the event, which featured the combined talents of UVic’s Chorus, Chamber Singers, Vocal Ensemble and Vocal Jazz Ensemblem plus organist
Mark McDonald.