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

2021 ONC Artist in Residence Dennis Gupa

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

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

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

About the residency

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

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

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

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

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

Learn more about previous Artists in Residence

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

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

2022 ONC Artist-in-Residence Colin Malloy

Financial provision for the Artist

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

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

Proposal Submission

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

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

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

Public Exhibit or Event

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

About Ocean Networks Canada

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

About the Faculty of Fine Arts

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

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

Explore UVic on Nov 26

Considering a future as a student in the Faculty of Fine Arts? Join us on Saturday, Nov 26, as we open our doors as part of Explore UVic—UVic’s free, all-day open house. We’ve created a fun-filled day of student panels, sample lectures, presentations, tours and more. Check out the schedule of events, plan ahead and make the most of your visit!

This is your chance to discover what it’s like to be part of BC’s only stand-alone fine arts faculty, which means you’ll be learning as part of a dedicated arts-specific community. On Saturday, we’ll be hosting an open house (12-2pm in the lobby of the Fine Arts building) with representatives from our departments of Art History & Visual Studies, Theatre, Visual Arts, Writing and the School of Music who can answer your program questions. We’ll also have a general representative on hand to answer your questions from 11-12 and 2-3pm if you can’t make the open house.

Explore where you’ll be learning

We’ll also be offering behind-the-scenes tours of our facilities at these times and locations:

  • Art History & Visual Studies: 11:00, 12:00, 1:00, 2:00, 3:00 (meet in the Fine Arts building lobby)
  • Fine Arts/Writing: 11am-3pm (meet in the Fine Arts building lobby)
  • School of Music: 11:00, 12:30, 2:00, 3:30 (meet in Music’s upstairs lobby, MacLaurin B-Wing)
  • Theatre: 11:00, 11:45, 12:30 (meet in the Phoenix Building lobby)
  • Visual Arts: 11:00, 12:00, 1:00, 2:00 (meet in the Visual Arts building lobby)

Enjoy a sample lecture

You can also catch a sample lecture on “Activating Performance” with Theatre professor Sasha Kovacs from 2:15-3pm in room 167 of the Elliott Building.

The word “performative” is everywhere across social media. People add “performative” in hashtags to denounce those who don’t, as Hamlet advised his players, “suit the action to the word, the word to the action.”

Performance has always gotten a bad rap. People criticize performance as hollow, ineffective, lazy and false. But does this account for performance’s power to activate and incite real-world change? Through historic and contemporary examples, we’ll reconsider the power of performance as an agent of positive change.

Sasha Kovacs

Take in a show

If you’re specifically interested in Theatre, take the opportunity to see first-hand what our students can do by catching a matinee of our mainstage show Spring Awakening, running 2-4pm Saturday. This powerful rock musical transformed Broadway in 2006 and went on to win eight Tony Awards including Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical and Best Original Score — now, our Phoenix students are bringing this electrifying fusion of morality, sexuality and rock ‘n’ roll to life on stage. (Note: this is a separate ticketed event that must be booked separately from Explore UVic.)

Spring Awakening (photo: Dean Kalyan)

And if you’re interested in Music, you can hear what our students are creating at two separate concerts on Saturday: a Piano Studio Recital (2-4pm, featuring students from the studio of May Ling Kwok) and a Student Composers’ Concert (8-10pm, featuring new and daring works by composition students), both in the School of Music’s Phillip T Young Recital Hall in the MacLaurin B-Wing. 

Register now for Explore UVic

Register in advance now for this free day of exploration and activities . . . or just drop by on Saturday. We’d love to meet you!

Fine Arts active with 5 Days of Action

UVic’s 5 Days of Action is back! Running Nov 14-18, Five Days of Action: 365 Days of Commitment is UVic’s annual free, week-long event aimed at amplifying the work groups, units and organizations are doing to create a more diverse, inclusive and equitable campus and community throughout the year—both on- and off-campus. Fine Arts is once again organizing a number of events as part of this week of significant interactions.

Each day of the week represents a different call to action: Monday asks us to listen, Tuesday to reflect, Wednesday to dialogue, Thursday to engage, and Friday to take action. There will be many opportunities to reflect on what we can do as individuals and as part of a team to improve the sense of inclusion and belonging in our greater community. We’re all encouraged to take part throughout the week by visiting an events, attending a workshop or seminar, or engaging with the curated list of things to read, watch and do. 

Here’s a quick roundup of what Fine Arts has coming up:

KILLJOYS art exhibition: Mon-Fri, Nov 14-18, Audain Gallery, Visual Arts Building

Explore how art can use various mediums to confront forms of systemic violence and oppression in this annual exhibition by Visual Arts students, staff and faculty.

Walk with Me: 10 & 11:30am Mon-Tues Nov 14-15, SUB Pujol Room

Join Fine Arts Indigenous Resurgence Coordinator Karla Point, Theatre PhD alum & sessional Will Weigler plus Lydia Toorenburgh (Anthropology) for this one-hour, in-person experiential and creatively rewarding activity designed to deepen Settler Canadians’ felt-understanding of the lived experiences of Indigenous peoples.

Karla Point

Arts for Action: 12:30-1:30pm Tues, Nov 15, Visual Arts Room A111

Poets will be performing up to three poems while collaborating with visual arts students to live capture the themes and experiences during the performances. With poetry ranging from free-verse and Haiku to rhymed poetry, the themes will  address different topics of anti-racism, equity, diversity, inclusion and/or sexualized violence prevention. 

Featuring poets & Writing alumni Yvonne Blomer and Arleen Paré, plus Alexa Taylor-McCallum, ALHS and Visual Arts students Tori Jones and Satya Underhill.

Amplifying Voices: 12:30pm Tues, Nov 15, Phillip T. Young Recital Hall, MacLaurin B-wing

The first of two School of Music events being presented, Amplifying Voices sees UVic’s Music Student Association present a lecture-recital featuring underrepresented identities in music. Student performers and composers will present and discuss works that highlight marginalized voices, bringing awareness to EDI-related challenges that musicians and musical institutions are facing.

Equal Measure: 8pm Tues, Nov 15, Phillip T. Young Recital Hall

That same evening sees the recital Equal Measure featuring pianist Rachel Kiyo Iwaasa (BMus ’93) and violinst Sarah Westwick performing a concert of works for violin and piano by historical and contemporary women composers including lsabella Leonarda, Amanda Maier, Florence Price, Elizabeth Raum, and Jessie Montgomery. A short post-concert Q&A and reception will follow. This concert is made possible in part by funding from the University of Victoria Alumni Association.

Rachel Iwaasa (photo:SD Holman)

“It’s Just Black Hair” 12:45-1:45pm Thurs, Nov 17, McIntyre Studio, Phoenix Building • Register here

Join Fine Arts playwright-in-residence Thembelihle Moyo for this artist talk, which will feature a Q&A plus premiere excerpts of her new play, It’s Just Black Hair. She’ll be joined on-stage by Theatre professors Sasha Kovacs & Yasmine Kandil.

Born and raised in Zimbabwe, Moyo’s previous plays include Colour Blue, Let it Out, Who Said I Don’t Want to Dance and I Want To Fly. “Black hair is more than just strands that unite in kinky solidarity, demanding to be seen and heard,” says Moyo. 

Thembelihle Moyo

Spring Awakening: Nov 10-26, Bishop Theatre, Phoenix Building (Tickets $18-$33)

While not directly associated with this overall event, the themes behind the mainstage Phoenix production Spring Awakening definitely match the goals of 5 Days of Action. As high-school teenagers in an 1890s provincial German town struggle to reconcile their budding sexual feelings, the moral code of their society leads them to tragedy. An electrifying fusion of morality, sexuality and rock music, Spring Awakening forever changed the definition of what a Broadway musical could be when it debuted in 2006, breaking boundaries by exploring the journey from adolescence to adulthood with poignancy and passion. 

Broadway veteran directs Spring Awakening at the Phoenix

When mounting an acclaimed Broadway musical, it’s always good to have somebody in the director’s chair who knows of which they ing. Enter veteran performer Michelle Rios, whose impressive credits on and Off-Broadway include a number of Tony Award-nominated productions—including starring alongside reining musical theatre king Lin Manuel Miranda in a little show called In the Heights.

Now a university instructor, applied theatre facilitator, and director herself, Rios was invited to the Department of Theatre this year as both a sessional and the director of the mainstage production Spring Awakening, the coming-of-age high-school rock musical that swept the Tony, Grammy, and Drama Desk awards back when it debuted in 2006.

The cast of Phoenix Theatre’s Spring Awakening (photo: Dean Kalyan)

Popular but challenging

Yet, despite its impressive rock & roll pedigree, Spring Awakening—which runs November 10-26 at the Phoenix—remains a challenging show that never flinches from tackling youthfully sensitive topics like abuse, abortion, suicide, homophobia, teen pregnancy and the crushing pressure of unrealistic academic expectations.

“There are a number of moments in this show that can be triggering for young actors,” says Rios. “We’ve had several conversations, because some scenes are rather vulnerable.  I’m trying to keep this process safe—emotionally and psychologically—because I know that this piece requires a certain level of emotional connection and urgency. Therefore, safety, collaboration, and open communication are key.”

In addition to these emotional pressures are the inevitable singing/dancing/acting anxieties that come with mounting a full musical. Unlike the students Rios usually works with as part of the teaching faculty at the Canadian College of Performing Arts, UVic’s theatre program doesn’t specifically focus on musical theatre . . . despite the fact it was the students themselves who chose to mount Spring Awakening.

Not an easy show

But Rios says she’s more than up for the challenge, seeing it as an ideal fusion of her experiences both on Broadway and working with young artists. “Teaching is something I really love, even though I come from a strong performance background,” she says. “While I was performing in New York, I was also working as a teaching artist with an organization that used drama as a means of conflict resolution and drop-out prevention.”

The first step in her process was finding out why the students chose this production. “At our first rehearsal, we had a great conversation about where they’re at, what they’re feeling, and what they need to say,” she explains. “This was an important conversation. Musical theatre is a multilayered process. This isn’t an easy show to sing, act, and dance multiple times a week. But now that the students are immersed in it, they’re learning a lot about the process and the demands of this kind of production—they have learned so much material in very little time.”

Sharing her experience

While Victoria may well be just about as far from Broadway as you can get in North America—both geographically and culturally—Rios feels she’s in the right place at the right time.

“As an artist and educator, I’ve spent a lot of time on the road — directing a musical with 20 young actors is another exciting journey for me,” she says with a quick laugh. “I’m at a point in my life where I really want to focus on passing the torch by working with young actors and helping them achieve their goals. I also feel lucky to have learned from some great directors and mentors throughout my career, so I try to bring that knowledge into the work. All in all, it’s been a great opportunity and process!”

Orange Shirt Day 2022

Artist Carey Newman Hayalthkin’geme (Kwakwaka’wakw/Coast Salish) on “Hearts and Hands”
UVic is committed to reconciliation. We’re working to foster truth, respect and mutual understanding with all Indigenous peoples and communities. You can partner in the work of reconciliation by listening, learning and sharing on Orange Shirt Day.

The theme of this year’s Orange Shirt Day event is resurgence. Resurgence means to reclaim, regenerate and reconnect one’s relationship with Indigenous homelands, culture and community.

Faculty, staff, students, alumni and community members are invited to attend campus Orange Shirt Day events on Thursday, September 29 in the quad. You are welcome to drop in and stay for as long as you are able.

The university will be closed and the university flags lowered on September 30 to mark the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, a federal statutory holiday to honour the lost children and survivors of residential schools, their families and communities.

Schedule of events

Emcees: Dr. Jacquie Green, executive director, Office of Indigenous Academic and Community Engagement, and Mercedes Neasloss

9 a.m. Lighting of the Sacred Fire

9:30 a.m. Opening remarks
With Eugene Sam and Christine Sam, Songhees Nation

  • opening blessing
  • welcome to the Territory
  • singing and drumming
  • calling of the Witnesses

9:50 a.m. Significance of the Sacred Fire with Ry Moran, associate university librarian, Reconciliation and co-chair, Orange Shirt Day committee

10:05 a.m. Survivors share their reflections
Speakers: Eddie Charlie, Karla Point, Mark Atleo and Laura Manson

11:45 – 12 p.m. Witness reflections

1 – 2 p.m. Open dialogue on resurgence

  • moderator: Dr. Heidi Stark, associate professor, Indigenous Governance and director, Centre for Indigenous Research and Community-Led Engagement at UVic
  • panelists: Dr. Sarah Hunt, assistant professor in Environmental Studies & Canada Research Chair; Dr. Sarah Morales, associate professor, Faculty of Law; Dr. Gina Starblanket, associate professor in School of Indigenous Governance; and Andrew Ambers, 4th year Political Science and Indigenous Studies student

2 – 2:30 p.m. Closing remarks and closing prayer

About the design

The design for the t-shirt was created by Fine Arts Impact Chair in Indigenous Art Practices Carey Newman Hayalthkin’geme (Kwakwaka’wakw/Coast Salish).

“This design was made to honour the children who died in residential school. The hearts express love for all those in unmarked graves and compassion for the families and communities who waited for them to be found. The small and colourful hands remind us of the uniqueness and beauty of every child. Taken together, they represent our commitment to listen to our hearts and use our hands, to do the work that needs to be done,” says Newman.

“The visceral confirmation of Survivor accounts that has come from locating these graves has affected many of us on an emotional level. It has changed the way that many people think and feel about our histories and current realities in Canada.”

If you would like to support Orange Shirt Day initiatives, please consider making a $25 donation directly to the Elders Engagement Fund, Witness Blanket Project or Orange Shirt Society.

 

Curtain call: John Krich

“All has not been said and never will be.”
—Samuel Beckett

The Department of Theatre is sad to announce the loss of influential professor John Krich, who passed away on September 14.

John was a member of the Theatre department from 1969 to 2002. He contributed greatly to the life of this university and our community as a beloved professor of acting, a versatile and inventive performer, and a caring and supportive director.

After receiving his MFA from the Yale School of Drama, he came to UVic and established the Victoria Fair with a fellow instructor and dear friend, Harvey Miller. The Victoria Fair presented three plays produced each season by the Theatre department (most often at the McPherson Playhouse) and included such noted international theatre artists as Christopher Newton, Marti Maraden and Neil Munro. John also spearheaded the Phoenix Summer Theatre which ran as a repertory company from 1972 to 1996 and employed numerous Phoenix students. In 1996, he also organized an international Beckett Festival presented at the Phoenix Theatre.

He directed many shows at the Phoenix and appeared in others as an actor working alongside our students. In his final year at the Phoenix, he gave an awe-inspiring performance as Hamm in a memorable production of Samuel Beckett’s Endgame directed by Giles Hogya (above). John continued to perform following his retirement in 2002 in Canada and the United States, notably appearing in Blue Bridge Repertory Theatre’s inaugural production of As You Like It.

In his final years, he found contentment in his old pastimes of reading, writing and drawing (or “doodling” as he referred to it). He loved language and was a dedicated logophile and an avid cruciverbalist. He zealously collected references to the number “7” amassing over 3,000 entries. He relished slow thoughtful walks. When health or weather prevented him from walking, he drove along Dallas Road to Beach Drive, up Cedar Hill Cross Road, once around the Ring Road—with a nod to the Phoenix—and back home again.

“He was always a teacher, always an inspiration,” says acting department chair Patrick DuWors. “He will be missed.”

Endgame credits: Production director & photographer, Giles Hogya; set designer, Allan Stichbury; costume designer, Mary Kerr; guest lighting designer, Melinda Sutton; movement coach, Peter Balkwill; stage manager, Noelle Miles. Cast: John Krich, Ryan Arnold, Devon Pipars and Zachary Stevenson.