The works of award-winning composer Anna Hostman have been performed in Canada, China, the US, England, Mexico, Italy and Russia since graduating from the School of Music. She was composer-in-residence with the Victoria Symphony (2005-08), during which time her opera What Time is it Now?, based on a libretto by P.K. Page, was premiered by the Symphony and broadcast by CBC Radio.
People who have mostly known only poverty and suffering have now found new hope, a sense of joy and a stronger community thanks to a recent UVic Applied Theatre field school in India. Led by PhD candidate Matthew Gusul, 13 Department of Theatre undergraduate students traveled to India to participate in the 2014 field school.
When MFA Regan Shrumm co-curated the Windows Into Heaven exhibit at UVic’s Legacy Gallery, she was building on her own undergraduate research. “A lot of people don’t know what icons are or what they’re used for,” says the Department of Art History & Visual Studies graduate. The exhibit examined the religious, historical and cultural meanings—past and present—of Christian Orthodox icons and crucifixes.
Now successful poet Kayla Czaga didn’t wait until graduation to make her mark. She started submitting poems and gaining attention while still an undergrad in the Department of Writing, before going on to win the likes of 2012 The Malahat Review Far Horizons Award for Poetry, ARC Magazine’s 2012 Poem of the Year Contest, being longlisted for the 2013 CBC Poetry Prize, winning The Fiddlehead’s 2014 Ralph Gustafson Poetry Prize, and winning the 2015 Gerald Lampert Award for her debut collection, For Your Safety Please Hold On.
Art History and Visual Studies PhD candidate Astara Light was recently selected as the recipient of the 2016 Kalman Award for International Heritage Studies. Light will use the award to travel to the Tropen Museum in Amsterdam to research the ways in which the spiritual meanings of Balinese paintings changes when they are taken outside of their original site of creation and placed in a European setting.
Garth Martens is now $5,000 richer, thanks to his first-place poetry win in the RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers. A construction worker by day, the 28-year-old Department of Writing MFA graduate was announced on April 5 as the winner out of 120 submissions for “Inheritance and Other Poems,” a selection from The Motive of Machines, his work-in-progress manuscript.
Like many MFA students, director Chari Arespacochaga came to the Department of Theatre already armed with a strong resume and extensive experience. Her resume is teeming with major productions of Broadway’s best and most popular musicals including Spring Awakening, Legally Blonde, Avenue Q, The Little Mermaid, Aladdin and Rock of Ages, all staged in the Philippines.
MFA Kaitlynn McQueston was attracted by the independent studio focus of the Department of Visual Arts. “I love the idea of a program that focuses more on practice-based research,” she says. “Graduate students have a little more control over what you read and research . . . most programs are just partial studio, and you spend a lot of time writing papers. This is more independent.”
Already a name to be noticed in the Canadian literary scene, Eliza Robertson won both The Malahat Review’s 2009 Far Horizons Award and the 2010 PRISM International fiction contest, was shortlisted for the 2010 Journey Prize and was one of the student creators who won a 2011 Leo Award for the web series Freshman’s Wharf—all before she graduated from the Department of Writing. Wallflowers. her acclaimed debut story collection, was released in 2014.
Despite being busy with productions and assignments, undergrad Nicholas Guerreiro managed to find the time to enter—and win—the Times Colonist’s sixth annual “So You Think You Can Write” contest in 2015. The 20-year-old actor and writer triumphed over 100 entrants and three other finalists. Guerreiro says the win is “very exciting” as he was working on the Phoenix production of The Threepenny Opera during the four-week contest.