’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.

2023 Student Impact Award winners

For the third year in a row, Fine Arts honoured the winners of our annual Student Community Impact Awards as part of the Greater Victoria Regional Arts Awards. Held on November 24 at Victoria City Hall, Fine Arts Dean Allana Lindgren presented three separate awards of $1,000 each to Heidi Goetz and Nathan Malzon (both School of Music students), and recent Visual Arts grad Laveen Gammie.

Including our 2023 winners, Fine Arts has now given over $10,000 to eight different students over the last three years — all thanks to the generosity of our donors.

Created in 2021 by the Dean’s External Advisory Committee, the Student Community Impact Awards recognize individual achievements or outstanding efforts made by full-time Fine Arts undergraduate students for a local arts organization.

Next-generation learning

Heidi Goetz (seen here with Fine Arts alum Matthew Payne) won her work as the coordinator of Music Discoveries, the School of Music’s annual weekend music camp — which, in January 2023, welcomed over 100 SD61 middle-school students and involved more than 40 volunteers in the two-day event.

As Music professor Steven J. Capaldo pointed out in his support letter, “Heidi demonstrated genuine dedication and commitment to providing strong service to the music education community, as well as her desire to improve the lives of the students with whom she connects.”

Music technology in action

Nathan Malzon won for being an enthusiastic part of creating the permanent live-streaming system for downtown’s Christ Church Cathedral; this has become an essential method for broadcasting both their regular worship services and substantial music performances.

As Christ Church’s Reverend Canon Jeannine Friesen says, “Nathan has devoted hundreds of hours to this work . . . thanks to him, we can bring sacred and secular music to thousands of people, not only in Victoria, but around the world.”

Engaging the public

Laveen Gammie picked up her award for her unflagging work in taking an unwanted room in downtown’s vibrant Rockslide Studio and turning it into the vibrant Vault Gallery. Currently pursuing her MFA at the University of Chicag, Laveen wasn’t able to attend the ceremony.

As Rockslide’s chair Logan Ford says, “Laveen worked tirelessly — and fully voluntarily — to develop and lead this innovative space for over a year. The Vault has made a remarkable impact on the local creative scene and has shown that Laveen has a genuine passion for the arts and dedication to her community.”

A legacy of achievement

While the GVRAAs recognize a variety of early- and mid-career achievements, we consider our own Student Community Impact Awards as more of a pre-career category, as all our recipients are definitely talents to watch.

For over 50 years, Fine Arts has been the city’s incubator for artists, technicians, curators, scholars, volunteers, arts administrators, board members, and appreciative audience members.

Indeed, a great many of our alumni can be found on the list of previous GVRAA winners: Matthew Payne, Lindsay Delaronde, Mercedes Batiz Benet, Andrew Barrett, Rebekkah Johnson, Colton Hash, Sarah Jim, Chelsea Kutyn
. . . all have emerged from Fine Arts to become key players in Victoria’s arts scene.

Finally, we were excited to see Theatre alum Andrew Barrett‘s performance company Impulse Theatre win the $15,000 JAYMAC Outstanding Production Award this year for their recent performance, The Soft Spaces.

Congratulations to all! 

Upcoming Music concerts

It’s a busy month for concerts and recitals in the School of Music! Here’s a quick roundup of what’s coming up.

UVic Vocal Jazz Ensemble: Into the Twilight

Directed by Music instructor Wendell Clanton, the UVic Vocal Jazz Ensemble has established a reputation for artistic excellence, stylistic flexibility, and performances of original and inspiring arrangements. Join them for an evening of timeless classics, old and new.

7pm Sunday, Nov 19 in the Phillip T. Young Recital Hall (MacLaurin Building, B-Wing). By donation. Find out more info.

This concert will be available as a live stream.

Faculty Concert Series: I Have Been to Tibet

Music professor Ajtony Csaba leads the audience on a captivating journey, weaving together diverse keyboard repertory from different eras, improvisations, electronic sounds, and evocative live imagery.

Drawing inspiration from locations of significant heritage, such as Tibet, Csaba creates an avant-garde music theatre experience rich in storytelling with a travel diary’s essence.

8pm Monday, Nov 20 in the Phillip T. Young Recital Hall (MacLaurin Building, B-Wing). By donation. More info here.

Emerging Artists Alumni Series: Thomas Law & Nikola Markovic

School of Music alumnus Thomas Law (BMus ’14) brings us a program of works written for flute and piano curated with a keen focus on increasing performance representation of female-identifying Asian composers.

The program features works by Janet Sit (MMus ’15), Chen Yi, and Yuko Uebayashi.

7:30pm Thursday, Nov 23 in the Phillip T. Young Recital Hall (MacLaurin Building, B-Wing). By donation. More info

UVic Symphony Orchestra: Chopin & Farrenc

Join us for an evening of symphonic grandeur featuring two monumental works: Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in E minor, Op. 11, and Louise Farrenc’s Symphony No. 1 in C minor, Op. 32.

Featuring current student & 2023 UVic Concerto Competition winner Carey Wang on piano with conductor Giuseppe Pietraroia.

8pm Friday, Nov 24 in The Farquhar at UVic (Jamie Cassels Centre). Tickets are $15-$28, but free for UVic students. More info.

Sonic Lab: Moving On: Revolutions in the Rearview Mirror

Directed by Music professor Ajtony Csaba, UVic’s New Music Ensemble showcases compositions by revolutionary centenarians Iannis Xenakis and György Ligeti, juxtaposed with influential pieces by their contemporaries such as Conlon Nancarrow, as well as fresh and innovative works by emerging and established composers.

8pm Sunday, Nov 26 in the Phillip T. Young Recital Hall (MacLaurin Building, B-Wing). By donation. More info.

This concert will be available as a live stream.

UVic Jazz & Creative Music Ensemble: The Music of Phil Nimmons

In the big band style, UVic’s Jazz & Creative Music Ensemble presents a concert featuring the music of Phil Nimmons to celebrate his 100th birthday! Nimmons is often referred to as the “Dean of Canadian jazz,” and is known for his work as a clarinetist, bandleader, composer, arranger and educator; in 2002 he was the recipient of the Governor General’s Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement for his more than six decades of contributions to the arts in Canada, including 45 years of service as an educator at the University of Toronto.

Don’t miss this dynamic and energetic evening of jazz, led by Music instructor Scott MacInnes.

8pm Wednesday, Nov 29 in the Phillip T. Young Recital Hall (MacLaurin Building, B-Wing). By donation. More info.

This concert will also be available as a live stream.

Linda Catlin Smith named Honorary Degree recipient

Honorary degrees have been awarded at UVic since its inaugural convocation in 1964. An honorary degree is the highest honour the university can bestow for distinguished achievement in scholarship, research, teaching, the creative arts and public service.

As part of the Fall convocation ceremony on November 14, we were thrilled to confer upon School of Music double alumna Linda Catlin Smith with an Honorary Doctor of Music (DMus).

Forging a career in music

Linda Catlin Smith’s music has been performed by Canada’s major orchestras and featured in concert series and festivals across North America and around the world. Born in New York City, Linda received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from UVic, before moving to Toronto. Since then, she has forged a career like her music: quiet and persistent, unassuming and steady, with an absolute certainty of purpose.

On the surface, her music is deceptively simple; look closer, and it reveals a mastery of harmony and orchestration that puts her in the highest ranks of composers. In the classical music world, where works by (male) composers from the past dominate orchestral concerts, Linda’s is often the only contemporary voice. Over more than 40 years, she has developed a singular vision, creating real beauty in a world that profoundly needs it.

A sensitive teacher and mentor, Linda has also been an inspiration and a model for a generation of young composers, performers and ensembles, many of whom have become important artists in their own right. She will continue to be revered by future generations in Canada and beyond.

Orion Series presents Kunji Ikeda

The Orion
Lecture Series in Fine Arts

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

Kunji Ikeda

Visiting artist


7:30pm Monday, Nov 6

Phillip T. Young Recital Hall, School of Music 

Free & open to all 



Presented by UVic’s Faculty of Fine Arts

For more information on this lecture please email: finearts@uvic.ca



Don’t miss this dramatic reading of a new solo work created and performed by current Past Wrong, Future Choices artist-in-residence.

From the creator of the most successful comedy about the Japanese Canadian Internment, Ikeda shares their first draft of this brand new solo performance. Ikeda’s creative signature has been built from a deep trust in joyful rigour, and rigorous joy that has generated their own unique brand of dance / theatre / clown. Inspired by modern day rituals, the psychology of creativity, and classic Japanese Oni (demons), this work invites the audience to consider their own definition of joy.

About Kunji Ikeda

Kunji Ikeda 池田 勲二 (he/they) has spent his life researching the super powers of stories and how they can bring us together. Ikeda is the Artistic Director of Cloudsway Dance Theatre (based in Mohkinstsis / Calgary) and is honoured to be pursuing a life of connection and empathy.
He performs, directs, and dramaturges while following the natural ecology of the performance. They’ve won awards and stuff, but they are more proud of the connections that art has given them – particularly in physical theatre, where they have the greatest capacity to grow physical, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing within his community. He enjoys climbing trees, classical music, and drinking tea.
For more information and upcoming performances visit www.cloudsway.ca

About the Orion Fund

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

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

Visit our online events calendar at www.events.uvic.ca