Equity Review results

During the 2022-2023 academic year, the Faculty of Fine Arts engaged in an Equity Review in order to provide an opportunity for faculty, staff, instructors and students to share their personal experiences with equity, diversity, inclusion and anti-oppression in Fine Arts.

The survey was distributed to approximately 1,500 current Fine Arts members and we received 241 responses (16%).

The results revealed that respondents appreciate the inclusive content in our courses, that equity-centred pedagogy is beginning to define the work we do, and that increased diversity among our faculty, staff and instructors has been well received.

However, some survey respondents indicated behaviours and systemic barriers that continue to impede our progress, including elements of discrimination, harassment and/or oppression. As a result, we will be focusing on growing our inclusive culture, increasing representation and learning opportunities, streamlining our complaint process and continuing our outreach with the Fine Arts community.

You can view the full results here:

Fine Arts is committed to doing the important work to advance our shared responsibility in making social justice the foundation of our community; our progress in these areas will be shared at a later date. Please reach out to us if you have any thoughts or suggestions about the Equity Survey Results that you wish to share.

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! 

International exchange info fair

Did you know UVic offers academic exchanges with over 70 other universities worldwide? That means you can study and travel and not feel like you’re falling behind in your degree work!

Learn more at our free international exchange information session specifically for Fine Arts students, running 12:30-2pm Wednesday, Nov 29, in Fine Arts room 108. Come for the info, stay for the snacks! Register in advance here (just for the snacks.)

An incredible experience

“Solo travelling and moving abroad was one of the most incredible experiences of my life,” says Writing student Sophie Thomas, who spent a semester at the University of Manchester in 2022. “I’m excited to be back on the island but I’ll miss all the amazing people I met, and the places that I got to know. “

Thomas combined some solo European travel ahead of her semester with weekend trips to places like Germany, Scotland and Ireland while she was studying in Manchester. 

Why choose international?

“Doing an international exchange was something I had wanted to do my entire degree,” says Thomas. “I wanted to a chance to learn in a new environment and be immersed in different cultures. Studying abroad offers a knowledge and perspective different from what you learn at UVic. This experience comes back home with you and I found it helped me think from different angles when I returned.”

The November 29 info session will feature returning exchange students from a variety of Fine Arts departments, plus a representative from UVic’s international office who can speak to issues around travel visas, academic equivalencies, housing, financing and more.

“Doing an international exchange is such an incredibly rewarding experience,” says Thomas.

“Interacting with other people and cultures is an experience that pushes you to grow, learn new skills and make new connections . . . it can feel like a scary step to make, but the experience you get is worth it. And honestly, the exchange was so much fun and the memories you make you will cherish forever!”

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.

Come to our pizza welcome party!

If you’re a Fine Arts student in Art History & Visual Studies, Theatre, Visual Arts, Writing or our School of Music, then you’re invited to our annual Welcome (Back) Pizza Party!

Join us from 4-6pm Thursday, Sept 14, in the Fine Arts courtyard.

Enjoy free pizza, cake, drinks and lawn games, and be sure to enter the prize draw for 5 Fine Arts hoodies (one given to a student in each of our departments).

The Fine Arts teaching faculty & staff will be serving, so swing by and say hi!

Have you signed up for the Sept 5 New Student Orientation?

Wondering what it’s going to be like to be a UVic Fine Arts student? Get a snapshot of your upcoming year while meeting other students at our annual New Student Orientation event!

RSVP now for this free session & get a jump on the semester!

Date: Tuesday, Sept 5
Time: 2pm ~ 4pm (directly following UVic’s Welcome to the Territory event)
Location: Gather at the Phoenix Theatre building

Event description: The Dean of Fine Arts invites all first-year & new transfer undergraduate students in all five of our units (Art History & Visual Studies, Music, Theatre, Visual Arts, Writing) to attend this short introduction & overview of the Faculty, including speakers from Fine Arts Academic Advising & Co-op + Careers. You’ll have the chance to ask questions before breaking into groups for short, peer-led departmental orientation sessions and facility tours, plus a brief orientation in our computer labs.

By the end of this session, you’ll know what’s in which of our four buildings, where the faculty cafe is, how to access the computer labs, where to print assignments and art projects, who to talk to about your concerns, and so much more!