BC Arts Council Funding 101


Curious about funding your creative projects? Wondering how to apply for grants?

Get to know the BC Arts Council—the provincial funding agency for arts & culture—in this Q&A info session aimed at upper-level undergrads in any Fine Arts department.

Featuring BC Arts Council program officer & Theatre alum Erin Macklem, this 1-hour session covers grants for individual artists—including eligibility requirements, current strategic priorities, registering an online application & invaluable tips for writing successful grants!

About the presenter

After 25 years working in professional theatre as a costume designer, playwright and administrator, Erin Macklem joined the team of Program Officers at the BC Arts Council in 2018 where she facilitates youth-focused multidisciplinary programs. She has a passion for outreach and engagement, especially as they relate to supporting the BC Arts Council’s strategic priorities. A graduate of UVic’s Theatre department, Erin is a member of the Metis Nation of BC and the Metis Nation of Greater Victoria. She strives to bring this cultural lens to her work, while being conscious of the white-skin privilege afforded her by her father’s Irish and English ancestors.



BC Arts Council Funding 101


Curious about funding your creative projects? Wondering how to apply for grants?

Get to know the BC Arts Council—the provincial funding agency for arts & culture—in this Q&A info session aimed at upper-level undergrads in any Fine Arts department.

Featuring BC Arts Council program officer & Theatre alum Erin Macklem, this 1-hour session covers grants for individual artists—including eligibility requirements, current strategic priorities, registering an online application & invaluable tips for writing successful grants.

About the presenter

After 25 years working in professional theatre as a costume designer, playwright and administrator, Erin Macklem joined the team of Program Officers at the BC Arts Council in 2018 where she facilitates youth-focused multidisciplinary programs. She has a passion for outreach and engagement, especially as they relate to supporting the BC Arts Council’s strategic priorities. A graduate of UVic’s Theatre department, Erin is a member of the Metis Nation of BC and the Metis Nation of Greater Victoria. She strives to bring this cultural lens to her work, while being conscious of the white-skin privilege afforded her by her father’s Irish and English ancestors.

Orion Series presents visiting artist Linda Catlin Smith

The Orion
Lecture Series in Fine Arts

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

Linda Catlin Smith


4 – 5:30 pm (PST) Wednesday, Feb 9, 2021

Rm. A169, MacLaurin Building, A-Wing


Free & open to the public in-person

Presented by UVic’s School of Music

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

“Music and Thought: a composer’s reverie…”

Visiting composer and School of Music alumna Linda Catlin Smith (BMus ’79) presents the lecture Music and Thought: a composer’s reverie… Derived from an essay she wrote for the journal Continental Thought and Theory, Smith delves into the kind of thought we are involved in when composing and listening to music. In large part about the art of listening, Smith looks at a variety of ways of listening and the different kinds of understanding we have of what we listen to.

Linda Catlin Smith grew up in New York and lives in Toronto. She studied music in NY and at the University of Victoria (BMus ‘79). Her music has been performed and/or recorded by: BBC Scottish Orchestra, Tafelmusik, California Ear Unit, Kitchener-Waterloo, Victoria and Vancouver Symphonies, Arraymusic, Tapestry New Opera, Turning Point Ensemble, Vancouver New Music, and the Del Sol, Penderecki, and Bozzini quartets, among many others. She has also been performed by many notable soloists including Eve Egoyan, Elinor Frey, Philip Thomas, Colin Tilney, Vivienne Spiteri, and Jamie Parker. Her work has been supported by the Canada Council, Ontario Arts Council, Chalmers Foundation, K.M. Hunter Award, Banff Centre, SOCAN Foundation and Toronto Arts Council and in 2005 her work Garland (for Tafelmusik) was awarded Canada’s prestigious Jules Léger Prize. In addition to her work as an independent composer, she was Artistic Director of the Toronto ensemble Arraymusic (1988-1993), and she was a member of the ground-breaking multidisciplinary performance collective, URGE (1992-2006). Linda teaches composition privately and at Wilfrid Laurier University.

Attend in person. No RSVP required.

*As per BC Public Health orders, indoor mask mandates and proof of vaccination will be required. See further information about COVID protocols at the School of Music


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.

Free and open to the public  |  Seating is limited (500 Zoom connections) |  Visit our online events calendar at www.uvic.ca/events

“Never less than amazing”: Lafayette String Quartet take its final bow in 2023

The Lafayette String Quartet at UVic, January 2022 (l-r): Pam Highbaugh Aloni, Ann Elliott-Goldschmid, Sharon Stanis, Joanna Hood (Credit: UVic Photo Services)

A Detroit McDonald’s may be the most unlikely place to start the story of UVic’s internationally acclaimed chamber music ensemble, yet under the golden arches is precisely where the newly formed Lafayette String Quartet (LSQ)—violinists Ann Elliott-Goldschmid and Sharon Stanis, violist Joanna Hood and cellist Pamela Highbaugh Aloni—had made the decision to pursue a career as a professional string quartet in 1986.

Even more unlikely? Getting their first big international break thanks to the Chernobyl meltdown: when fears of radioactive fallout prompted another string quartet to cancel an appearance at a Munich music festival, the nascent LSQ snapped up the offer to step in as replacements—and never looked back.

Now, with over a dozen albums and a thousand appearances worldwide behind them, the members of UVic’s multiple award-winning Lafayette String Quartet have announced their decision to retire as a performance ensemble in August 2023—a decision made collectively and unanimously, as all their decisions have been…including the anonymous vote on whether or not to accept the newly created position as artists-in-residence at UVic’s School of Music in 1991.

“We just thought we’d do this for two or three years, but here we are over 35 years later—and what an experience we’ve had,” says Highbaugh Aloni. “But great things have to stop at some point, and this feels like the natural time to finish.” 

A passionate commitment as artists and teachers

 While plans are currently underway for the LSQ’s final season—including the recording of five new commissions by female composers, among other performance projects—the university community has been quick to praise the ensemble’s accomplishments.

“The Lafayette String Quartet and UVic have created musical history for over 35 years. Supporting the world’s only all-female string quartet with its original members is a distinct rarity, and we are extremely proud of their accomplishments,” says acting Vice Provost Susan Lewis, who as former dean of UVic’s Faculty of Fine Arts and former director of the music school, has known the LSQ for 20 years. 

“In addition to their internationally acclaimed performance history, the quartet has transformed the teaching of chamber music at UVic, training and mentoring a generation of over 400 string musicians and developing the master’s of music in string quartet performance—the only program of its kind in Canada,” continues Lewis.

Read the university’s January 27 news release 

Not only has the LSQ enhanced UVic’s reputation, it has also played an essential role in Greater Victoria’s extended music community, as both musicians and champions of public-school string programs, as well as bolstering Canada’s chamber music reputation and legacy.

“The Lafayette Quartet helped put UVic on the map as a string and chamber music destination by setting an internationally recognized standard of excellence,” says Alexis Luko, current director of UVic’s School of Music.


(Left) The Lafayette String Quartet at UVic in 1991, just after the musicians were hired as artists-in-residence, and now in 2022 (left to right: Elliott-Goldschmid, Stanis, Hood, Highbaugh Aloni)

A musical lineage of performance and teaching

Named for both the street and early home of two of their members (the Lafayette Towers on Detroit’s Lafayette Avenue), the LSQ’s musical lineage is far more vaunted: among their own musical mentors were the Cleveland String Quartet and the noted Russian violinist Rostislav Dubinsky, founder of the Borodin Quartet, who had the unique opportunity of working directly with famed 20th-century Soviet composer Dmitri Shostakovich.

Indeed, one of the LSQ’s career highlights—along with performing the complete Beethoven cycle of string quartets and the full Mozart quartets and quintet cycles—was the unique performance of a chronological cycle of Shostakovich’s 15 string quartets over a series of five concerts at UVic in 2017.

“The great thing about being in a string quartet is that it’s repertoire-driven: it’s the music that we play that makes being in a string quartet worthwhile,” says Elliott-Goldschmid. “Our career took such a rich trajectory with teaching—had we been strictly a performing group, we would have gotten through much more repertoire—but our role models were always great musicians who taught.” 

Highbaugh Aloni agrees. “Teaching enhances so much of our playing: one of my own teachers said you don’t really learn how to play until you can teach. We have all benefited from being teachers; it really affected how we play individually and as performers.”

Music director Luko, who was herself an undergraduate music student in the 1990s, clearly recalls the impact of the LSQ’s early years—and their importance as female faculty members.

“When I was a student, nobody missed a Lafayette String Quartet concert. The sheer performance energy and powerful bond of these four women made a huge impression on me . . . . It felt like a real feminist moment. This group brought ‘woman power’ to the highest levels of chamber music,” says Luko. 

Pianist and long-time School of Music colleague Bruce Vogt was the one who called the LSQ to see if they might be interested in moving to UVic, and he clearly recalls their arrival on campus in 1991. “They brought an instant energy, a joy in performing and in collaboration,” he says. “It was always an inspiration to play with them . . . individually or together, they brought us closer, inspired so many of us.”

The quartet at the School of Music’s Phillip T. Young Recital Hall in January 2022 (l-r): Hood, Stanis, Highbaugh Aloni, Elliott-Goldschmid. (Credit: UVic Photo Services)

The senior string quartet in Canada

From their earliest days as a quartet, the LSQ earned both praise (“These people are good!” exclaimed Detroit’s Metro Times in 1987) and international attention (“The Lafayette String Quartet resides at the heart of chamber music life in Canada” noted a 1993 cover feature in UK’s historic Strad magazine), which continued throughout their career.

“They are never less than amazing,” says James Campbell, who has known the LSQ since he performed with them—on Dubinsky’s recommendation—for his debut faculty concert at Indiana University’s Jacob School of Music in 1988. Dubbed “Canada’s premier clarinetist,” Campbell has since performed with and booked the LSQ numerous times at Ontario’s acclaimed Festival of the Sound, of which he has been artistic director since 1985.

“They were definitely unique as one of the only all-female quartets, but it was their spirit that set them apart,” he recalls. “Technical and musical excellence is assumed at that level, but there was an extra personality to their group that connected with us all—audiences included.”

That’s a sentiment shared by Jennifer Taylor, artistic director of Music TORONTO—Canada’s pre-eminent chamber music series. “Our audiences love the Lafayette Quartet,” notes Taylor, who has been booking the LSQ for 32 years—including the upcoming closing night gala of Music TORONTO’s 50th anniversary season in April 2022.

“Their longevity without a change of personnel is remarkable—and they clearly still like each other,” she says. “As the senior string quartet in Canada, we are proud to call them ‘Friends of the House’.”

Campbell agrees with their remarkable legacy.

“They’ve been together through children, through illnesses, through injuries, through all the ups and downs of a musical career, which are many,” he says. “Most quartets have players that come and go—the name continues but the personnel change—but the Lafayette are united as sisters: it’s unique and quite amazing.” 

The healing power of music

In addition to their musical and teaching legacy, the LSQ also created the annual Lafayette Health Awareness Series in 2005 to provide expert information on various health topics ranging from COVID and aging well to brain health and breast cancer—the latter of which both inspired the series and profoundly impacted the LSQ, following a 2001 diagnosis and treatment for one of its members.

As such, music and well-being have become integral to the daily lives of the LSQ—from their own practice and health to both their students and the audience members with whom they share their music.

A generational legacy

While certain aspects of the LSQ’s final season will depend on the current pandemic—including a number of local and national performances—what isn’t in question is their remarkable legacy spanning more than 35 years.

“They will never be replaced,” says the Festival of the Sound’s Campbell, who is scheduled to perform with them in fall 2022. “Those four personalities are unique and special, so you’ll never get another quartet like them.”

As a long-time colleague, UVic’s Lewis can’t help but see their influence on campus.

“If you look at the history of the School of Music, there’s before the Quartet and after the Quartet,” she says. “They didn’t just arrive and head off into a rehearsal room for 30 years: their influence permeated every aspect of the school—and beyond.”

For Allana Lindgren, the dean of UVic’s Faculty of Fine Arts, they represent the pinnacle of performance and pedagogical rigour.

“”In addition to being world-class musicians, the members of the LSQ have been inspiring role models of elegance, intelligence and artistic brilliance throughout their impressive careers,” says Lindgren. “They embody our guiding aspiration in Fine Arts to challenge our students to excel through our own passionate commitment to excellence as artists and teachers.”

Their final year 

With plans currently underway for the LSQ’s final season—including decisions around who will be retiring from teaching, as well as the ensemble—each member offers a more personal reflection on their legacy.

“We could never have dreamed of this adventure,” says Highbaugh Aloni. “We’ve really had a great run.”

“I just feel so blessed to have had such rich opportunities,” says Stanis. 

Elliott-Goldschmid considers their impact on the local music scene. “There was chamber music here when we arrived, of course, but there’s been such growth over the past 30 years…Victoria had incredibly fertile ground and we just helped to plant the seeds. We’ve made music with so many colleagues around the city over the years, and our students are now playing in chamber groups everywhere in Victoria and across the country.”

It’s this final thought that may well offer the best coda to the Lafayette String Quartet’s legacy. Thanks to their dedicated mentorship, the LSQ is surrounded by a generation of student musicians who are now succeeding as peers in ensembles, symphonies and quartets of their own.

“It is so fulfilling to play with our former students,” concludes Hood. “Nothing beats that.”

Top-10 Fine Arts stories of 2021

As we wind down a(nother) year of unprecedented firsts, it is with gratitude and awe that we look back on the student accomplishments, faculty successes, new appointments and visiting scholars who made 2021 memorable. Read on to see some of the things that kept our year bright even in these often trying times.

New Impact Chair

Most recently, Fine Arts was proud to announce that we are now home to one of just four new Impact Chairs positions at UVic. With a deep understanding of art’s power to inspire change and a teaching style that embraces cultural learning, Carey Newman brings his passion for decolonization and Indigenous resurgence to his new appointment as Impact Chair in Indigenous Art Practices in both the departments of Visual Arts and Art History & Visual Studies.


Learning with others

“There’s something quite sacred about listening and working with your hands at the sametime.” Award-winning poet, memoirist and Writing professor Gregory Scofield—also a traditional Cree-Metis beadworker— connects traditional beadwork and writing through his creative practice and teaching. All of this unites in Scofield’s course on Indigenous women’s resistance writing and material art, which combines hands-on learning in traditional Cree-Metis beadwork with readings, films and writing practice centered on resurgence and resistance.

And in July, Fine Arts welcomed Karla Point as the new Indigenous Resurgence Coordinator, and we couldn’t be happier. Here’s what Karla had to say about it, “When I was a cultural support liaison with Law, I was ‘Aunty Karla’ for the Law students—so I’d love to be Aunty Karla for all the Fine Arts students.”


Transformational theatre

Eurocentrism in theatre continues to be one of the most pressing artistic issues of our time, whether on professional stages, community performances or academic institutions. Enter the Theatre department’s new initiative, Staging Equality—which offers a vision of how theatre can address issues of race, diversity and inclusion by building relationships based on trust and respect. Created out of the Strategic Framework Impact Fund, Staging Equality is a three-year collaborative and creative research project devised by Theatre professors Yasmine Kandil and Sasha Kovacs.


Graduate achievements

On June 1, Syilx & Tsilhqot’in playwright & director Kim Senklip Harvey became the first Indigenous woman to win the Governor General’s Literary Award for Drama for her play Kamloopa: An Indigenous Matriarch Story (Talon Books)—less than a week after receiving her MFA in Writing from our Writing department. The widely acclaimed play then received a staged reading at Phoenix’s Chief Dan George Theatre in November.

In September, Theatre PhD candidate Dennis Gupa premiered his Gossip with Whales, a unique choral collaboration which seeks to give voice to those most affected by climate change on the oceans. It was created while Gupa was Artist in Residence with Ocean Networks Canada.

Making music matter

In November, the School of Music’s AUDIO+ held its second annual event to advance the integration of women and non-gender conforming persons into the male-dominated realm of audio engineering. With exciting events including a build-your-own-synthesizer workshop and strong student participation, we hope this is the start of a new tradition here on campus.

Along similar lines, School of Music students highlighted marginalized voices during UVic’s 5 Days of Action this fall, with the hopes of bringing awareness to EDI-related challenges faced by both musicians and music institutions.

Student accomplishments

School of Music undergraduate Iryna Peleshchyshyn received the gift of a lifetime this past year when she was given the opportunity to play a treasured 18th century violin during her degree program. The French violin—crafted in 1748 and valued at nearly $35,000—was donated to UVic by well-known local violinist Trudi Prelypchan, who knows a thing or two about being a young violinist: at just 16, she began playing with the Victoria Symphony in 1964.

In other departmental news, Visual Arts was able to launch its long-awaited and newly upgraded Photography Lab this summer thanks to the help of UVic’s Capital Projects and our donors.

Changing climate

While we are all aware that there is a climate crisis and there’s not enough happening to stop it, the appointment of Sean Holman as the new Wayne Crookes Professor in Environmental and Climate Journalism to help change the narrative around climate change.

And back in June, Visual Arts professor Kelly Richardson brought her environmental vision to the world when she was selected as one of six international artists by the UN Convention on Biodiversity to participate in the Instagram takeover of @withnature2020.

Guest speakers

Fine Arts was fortunate to host a remarkable range of guest speakers this past year, most hosted by our long-running Orion Lecture Series and many of which are still available for viewing on our Orion playlist. Guests range from celebrated nonfiction author JB MacKinnon, who explored society’s problematic relationship with consumerism, to musical scholar Gayle Young, who offered a unique workshop on microtonality and tuning. Notable among our many other speakers were Islamic curator Fahmid Suleman, multidisciplinary painter Manuel Mathieu and Indigenous actor Gary Farmer, to name but a few.

Online exhibits

Plays and concerts weren’t the only things to shift online: this year also saw the annual BFA exhibition shift into an online virtual reality walkthrough format. “Any limitations have only inspired innovation,” noted supervising Visual Arts faculty member Jennifer Stillwell. The exhibit, titled The End, proved that even a pandemic can’t keep art down as 30 graduating students filled much of the Visual Arts building with their creations.

Livestream and live performances

dead man's cell phone posterLast March, Problem Child became the sole public main stage production of the 2020/21 Phoenix Theatre season due to COVID—prompting a major technological shift as students learned to live stream their first major production. But this fall saw audiences return to the Phoenix Theatre mainstage with a production of the highly entertaining Dead Man’s Cell Phonewith more to look forward to in spring 2022.

Alumni activity this fall

Looking for a good example of the interdisciplinary impact of Fine Arts alumni on the local arts scene? Consider the recent CRD Arts Champion Summit held in December, which included presentations by a wide range of our alumni including Mercedes Bátiz-Benét (Writing), Lindsay Katsitsakatste Delaronde (Visual Arts), Sarah Jim (Visual Arts), Regan Shrumm (AHVS) and Tiffany Tjosvold (Theatre).

But that’s just one event our alumni have been involved with. Read on to discover much more alumni activity this fall.

Art History & Visual Studies

Dorian Jesse Fraser was featured as part of the Alumni Relations webinar Pop Goes The Art! on Oct 19, which was hosted by AHVS chair Marcus Milwright and featured Legacy Gallery’s Caroline Riedel. The webinar was part of the current Legacy Maltwood exhibit Eric Metcalfe: Pop Anthropology, a career retrospective of 2021 honorary doctorate and Visual Arts alum Eric Metcalfe. Fraser was also interviewed in the fall issue of The Torch, UVic’s alumni magazine.

Laura-Beth Keane led the creation of Giving Tuesday’s “Add Sprinkles” sculptural installation in UVic’s quad. The creation of this brightly coloured installation was assisted by current AHVS Masters candidate Sophie Ladd and Museum Studies minor Jade Guan, along with four other community volunteers.

There’s plenty of alumni now at Open Space arts centre, where Amena Sharmin is the new operations manager, Dani Neira returns as the curatorial assistant, and India Rael Young has taken up the position of acting board president.

Keane adds sprinkles

Sad news, however, in the loss of former sessional and MA/PhD alum Dr. Gillian Mackie, who recently passed away at the age of 90. A scholar of Early Christian art and iconography, Mackie’s PhD thesis won her the Governor General’s gold medal and her book Early Christian Chapels in the West is a standard reference. She was also an accomplished potter and some of her stoneware and porcelain pieces are in the permanent collections of the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria and the UVic Art Collection.

School of Music

Marion Newman has been named the new host of CBC Radio’s venerable Saturday Afternoon at the Opera. Following the retirement of longtime host, Ben Heppner, A mezzo-sporano Newman who recently appeared in Pacific Opera Victoria’s Missing. Now based in Toronto, Newman—a member of the Kwagiulth and Stó:lo First Nations—is the sister of Impact Chair Carey Newman.

Distinguished Alumna and celebrated pianist Eve Egoyan returned to campus this fall to work with students and present a guest lecture about recent piano projects involving a physical modelling synthesizer, which she also demonstrated.

UK-based composer Cassandra Miller has just been signed to an exclusive publishing agreement with Faber Music, while clarinetist Heather Roche has remained active with performances despite the pandemic, including this recent interview in The Guardian.

Marion Newman

Nashville-based recording artists and Distinguished Alumni Twin Kennedy—aka Carli and Julie Kennedy—returned to Victoria for a pair of holiday fundraising concerts with the Naden Band of the Royal Canadian Navy at the Royal Theatre in December. Twin Kennedy were also featured on CBC Radio’s All Points West in October, speaking about their latest EP and making a life in music; in other Twin Kennedy news, their recent production Wise Woman – The Show was shortlisted for the 2021 Canadian Country Music Awards in the “Country Music Program/Special of the Year” category.

Tenor Josh Lovell recently won the s’hertogenbosch Competiton in the Netherlands and the Belvedere Competition in Germany, and was the only Canadian to make it to the semi-finals of the Rolex Operalia competition in Moscow. Tenor Kaden Forsberg was a finalist in the 2021 Lotte Lenya Competition in New York City. Kaden also recently appeared in Victoria with Pacific Opera Victoria’s summer series (and has been a regular with the company since 2014). Forsberg has also started his own group, the Volare Tenors, with fellow alum Taylor Fawcett.


In one of those fascinating change-of-life stories, actor-turned-bread-man Markus Spodzieja has opened The Bikery, Victoria’s first kosher bakery.

Morgan Gadd’s new production of Dog Sees God took the stage at Theatre Inconnu this December, and was covered in this recent Martlet article—which notes how Gadd met Inconnu artistic director and longtime sessional Clayton Jevne while enrolled in Theatre. This production also features current student Tianxu Zhao in the cast.

Nicholas Guerreiro was shortlisted for the Playwrights Guild of Canada 2021 Emerging Playwright Award for his new play, Green Knight on the Frog River, which was also recently published by the PGC.  In related news, director & playwright Nicole Natrass was shortlisted for the PGC’s Bras D’Or Award

Markus Spodzieja

Leslie Bland recently rebranded the company he shares with Indigenous cultural archeological monitor Harold Joe under the new name/ brand Orca Cove Media. The story was picked up by both Deadline (US) and Playback (Canada). Their latest documentary, A Cedar Is Life, was featured in this recent article in the Ladysmith Chemainus Chronicle.

Ian Case directed the play The Shadow in the Water by David Elendune as part of the 2021 Victoria Fringe Festival.  Other Theatre alumni who were involved with productions in this year’s Victoria Fringe Festival include Zoë WesslerEmma NewtonArielle PermackKapila RegoRahat SainiNicholas GuerreiroCam CulhamConnie McConnellMelissa TaylorAndrew FraserLogan SwainNicholas AtkinsonShayla PreadyConor FarrellKevin Eastman and Jim Leard, plus Visual Arts alum Kara Flanagan.

Visual Arts

 While it’s not necessarily where you’d expect a Visual Arts alum to pop up, Amy Anderson is the new film programmer for UVic’s venerable movie theatre Cinecenta. She was interviewed in the fall issue of the Torch on the occasion of Cinecenta’s 50th anniversary.  

Congratulations go out to Jordan Hill on being named a runner-up in the 2021 Philip B. Lind Emerging Artist Prize in September; one of 17 finalists nominated this year—including Visual Arts alumni Levi Glass and Graham Wiebe—Jordan wins $1,500 as a runner-up.

Lindsay Katsitsakatste Delaronde participated in a webinar panel discussion on the State of the Arts in Greater Victoria in October, and also presented MOTHER – An Afternoon of Ten Short Films at the Belfry Theatre. Featuring a variety of Indigenous performers and performance, all these films were inspired, enacted and created on the land and waters of the lək̓ʷəŋən and W̱SÁNEĆ territories.

Amy Anderson (photo: Michael Kissinger)

Ireland-based Enda Burke was featured in this August article in The Guardian, which focused on his award-winning series, “Homebound With My Parents”—where he transformed his COVID lockdown into a series of “wittily deadpan” dayglo images.

Duane Ensing was featured in this August Victoria News article about his involvement with the local architecture firm Villamar Design. “I feel as an artist or a creative person, I like to leave my mind open to the possibilities of doing something, even exploring things that I don’t even know whether we can do it, but saying, let’s explore the possibility,” he says.


Congratulations to English/Writing alum Lise Gaston on winning the 2021 CBC Poetry Prize with her heartbreaking poem, “James” —which was selected out of 3,000+ entries! She wins $6K & a residency at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. (If the name rings a bell, it’s because she’s another of the incredibly talented children of retired Writing professor Bill Gaston & author Dede Crane.)

Congrats are also due to Sara Cassidy on winning the 2021 Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize at the recent BC Yukon Book Prizes with her latest book, Genius Jolene, and to Susan Sandford Blades on winning the 2021 ReLit Award and being shortlisted for the 2021 BC and Yukon Book Prizes Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize for her first novel, Fake It So Real; she was recently interviewed by Capital Daily, as well as being featured on their podcast.

Lise Gaston

Professor emeritus Lorna Crozier’s Through the Garden: A Love Story (with Cats) was one of the finalists for the $5,000 Victoria Book Prize this fall, alongside Kyeren Regehr (Cult Life). Also among the finalists for the $5,000 Victoria Children’s Book Prize was Melanie Siebert (Heads Up: Changing Minds on Mental Health).

Michael LaPointe released his debut novel The Creep, and was interviewed for The Torch. Danielle Janess appeared at Planet Earth Poetry in October for an in-person reading from her new volume, The Milk of Amnesia; she also had fall readings scheduled for Olympia and Seattle.

Arno Kopecky has a new book, The Environmentalist’s Dilemma: Promise and Peril in an Age of Climate Crisis, for which he was interviewed for this Tyee article. Kopecky is a frequently contributor to The Tyee, including this new piece about UVic atmospheric scientist and former BC Green Party leader Andrew Weaver.  Jenessa Joy Klukas has been named the new Education and Child Welfare Reporter for IndigiNews, following on her fellowship at The Tyee earlier this year.

Writing the Land, a new documentary series that arrived on CBC Gem last week, combines a travelogue concept with profiles of 12 of the country’s top authors—including Esi Edugyan, who features in Episode 1. You can stream the complete series right now.

Recent Writing MFA and Governor General’s Award winner Kim Senklip Harvey was featured in this Sept episode of the national CBC Radio show (skip to the 00:52 min mark). Harvey, now working on her PhD in Indigenous Law at UVic, was speaking about her new production Break Horizons: A Concert Documentary, as well as her work as an Indigenous playwright. As part of her GG win, Harvey was also commissioned to write G’waan, a new piece for CBC Books “Moving Forward” series, which reflects on her Tsilhqot’in land work, childhood adventures and penchant for cream soda slurpees. Theatre’s new Staging Equality series featured a staged reading of her GG winning play Kamloopa in November, and Harvey also wrote a first-person essay for the fall issue of the Torch.

Writing MFA alum Ellery Lamm presented her latest play this fall with Theatre SKAM’s Young Company: The Fates also involved Theatre alumni Anna Marie AndersonOlivia Wheeler and current student Riley Schaffner.

Busy film director Jeremy Lutter has released a new music video for local singer-songwriter Justin Hewitt. You can stream the lush “The Ways to Love You” here.