Strategic Foresight and Innovation teams sweep Association of Professional Futurists awards

Image of card game called the thing from the future
Friday, July 31, 2015 - 4:00am

SFI students and faculty received high praise at the Association of Professional Futurists awards in San Francisco in July. OCAD University’s teams picked up awards in four categories:

Most Significant Futures Works

Advancing methods and practice:

"The Thing from the Future" (game) Stuart Candy and Jeff Watson, Situation Lab

Illuminating futures through artistic work:

"Byologyc/" (cross-platform) Trevor Haldenby and The Mission Business

Student Awards

Graduate team project, 1st place:

"The Futures of Democracy" (Foresight Studio report) Chris Connolly, Laura Dempsey, Ron Memmel, Amy Satterthwaite and Jill Sharrock

Alternative media, 1st place:

"The Next Familiar" (Major Research Project) Karen Maxwell and Shannah Segal

SFI graduate Kelly Kornet was also nominated for the final Most Significant Futures Works category (analysing a significant future issue) for her MRP exhibit "Causing an Effect.”

This follows last year's success when SFI teams placed first and second in the Student Awards.

The Association of Professional Futurists is an international community of professional futurists dedicated to promoting professional excellence and demonstrating the value of futures thinking.

"This is the second year in a row that the Strategic Foresight and Innovation program has picked up top honours," said SFI Assistant Professor and OCADU Situation Lab director Stuart Candy. "We as faculty and our students have been working to make some real contributions to the field where foresight and design intersect, both in the classroom and beyond. It is wonderful to have those contributions recognised by our colleagues in the professional futures community."

Financial Aid & Awards Hosts OASFAA conference at OCAD U

Wide shot of attendees at OASFAA event
Tuesday, May 26, 2015 - 4:00am

The Financial Aid & Awards office hosted the Ontario Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (OASFAA) at OCAD University May 20 – 22.  OASFAA is an association made up of both colleges and universities and is concerned with scholastic and need-based assistance programs available to students of its member institutions. OASFAA works closely with the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities in support of student financial assistance.  

OCAD U broke the record of any host institution for registered attendees. OCAD University President Dr. Sara Diamond and Associate Vice-President, Students, Deanne Fisher welcomed OASFAA. Attendees were treated to a surprise visit and speech by the Assistant Deputy Minister of Post-Secondary Education, David Carter-Whitney.

The Financial Aid and Awards department placed their focus on financial literacy for students across Ontario and how to better educate students on this topic.  Andre De Freitas, Manager of Financial Aid & Awards presented on OCAD U’s successful financial literacy program, CreativeFunds.  A third year OCAD U student, Madison Leeson, presented to OASFAA providing a student’s perspective on the impact of early financial literacy education.

OCAD University faculty members recognized for teaching excellence

Friday, April 17, 2015 - 4:00am

OCAD University is filled with outstanding instructors, and each year we honour the best of the best with teaching awards. The winners of OCAD U’s 2015 teaching awards were announced on April 15:

  • Sandra Kedey will receive the Price Award for Excellence in Teaching, which recognizes the contributions of full-time faculty members.
  • Mark Tholen will receive the Non-Tenured Faculty Award, which each year is given to contractually-limited term appointment, sessional and continuing faculty for excellence in teaching.

Kedey and Tholen’s exceptional teaching contributions were recognized by anonymous nominations submitted by people from across the university, including students, fellow faculty, alumni and administrators.

A faculty member in OCAD U’s Advertising program (and a university alumna), Kedey is also a senior creative marketing executive at SLK Communications, where she specializes in strategic brand development. Tholen teaches in the Environmental Design program. In addition, he is the president of (and partner in) TYYZ, an award-winning architectural and design firm.

OCAD University celebrates recipients of inaugural Alumni of Influence Awards

Photo of the late painter Doris McCarthy
Wednesday, April 8, 2015 - 4:00am

To mark the 100th edition of its annual Graduate Exhibition (GradEx100), OCAD University is honouring accomplished alumni for their outstanding professional and artistic achievements, as well as for their service to the community.

This year’s recipients:

  • Legacy – Painter Doris McCarthy (AOCA, 1930)
  • Distinguished Alumni – Designer Donna Cummings (AOCA, 1967)
  • Distinguished Educator – Professor Allan J. Ryan, Ph.D. (AOCA, Advertising, 1967)
  • World Builder – Photographer Christine Germano (AOCA, 1994)
  • Trailblazer – Illustrator Gracia Lam (BDes, Illustration, 2009)

“It gives us great pride to sing the praises of these internationally acclaimed alumni whose diverse achievements continue to change our world for the better,” said Dr. Sara Diamond, President and Vice-Chancellor, OCAD University. “Their lives bear testimony to the many decades of OCAD University’s leadership in shaping the imagination of artists, designers and thinkers.”

Nominated by their peers and selected by a jury of alumni, faculty and staff, the five award recipients demonstrate excellence in a diverse range of fields and activities, whether at home or abroad. These include art, design, media, business, science, humanities, medicine, education and public service. The Alumni of Influence Award reception takes place Saturday, May 2, 2015. This exciting new program has been made possible through the support of presenting sponsor TD Insurance.


Doris McCarthy (AOCA, Drawing & Painting, 1930)

Doris McCarthy (1910-2010) is recognized today as one of the leading landscape painters in Canada. Her career spanned more than eight decades, which yielded a prolific body of work, exploration and collaboration and ultimately helping to shape Canadian art. In 1926 she earned a scholarship to OCA, as it was then known, where she was mentored by several premier Canadian artists of the early 20th century; among them, Group of Seven members Arthur Lismer and JEH MacDonald.

McCarthy gained wide acclaim for her work as a trailblazing female landscape artist. In turn, she made great headway for other emerging female artists and, by way of her legacy, continues to do so today. McCarthy received the Order of Canada and the Order of Ontario.

Donna Cummings (AOCA, Interior Design, 1967)

Donna (Tindall) Cummings is a leader in the field of interior design who co-founded Marshall Cummings and Associates (MCA), a pioneering international interior design firm whose corporate clients included the Toronto Stock Exchange, Irving Oil Ltd., McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada and may others. MCA developed extensive training and educational programs at offices in Toronto, Calgary, New York, and London, offering internships to students from OCAD U and other design schools.

After negotiating the sale of MCA in 2006 to IBI Group, Cummings turned her attention to painting, and has since been involved in many art and design shows and events. Cummings served on the board for the development of the Sharp Centre for Design and has supported many charitable initiatives.

Dr. Allan J. Ryan (AOCA, Advertising Design, 1967)

Dr. Allan J. Ryan is one of North America’s foremost interpreters of contemporary Aboriginal art whose achievements go well beyond conventional scholarship and teaching. His eclectic career included stints as a graphic designer, television satirist, singer-songwriter and recording artist. His contributions to society are numerous and varied, but he is most known for promoting Indigenous pedagogy and fostering understanding across cultural communities through art.

A 1967 graduate of OCA in Advertising Design, Ryan taught liberal arts courses at the institution during the 1980s and is currently an Associate Professor at Carleton University in Ottawa, where he was appointed New Sun Chair in 2001, the first university chair in Canada devoted to Aboriginal art and culture. There, he organizes the annual New Sun Conference on Aboriginal Arts, which provides a forum for contemporary First Nations, Métis, and Inuit artists across a broad spectrum of the creative arts.

Christine Germano (AOCA, Photography/Sculpture, 1994)

Germano’s work focuses on the voices and images of young people whose futures are influenced by climate change. Among her numerous collaborations with Indigenous communities, she is best known for the photojournalism project she developed in 2003, Through Our Eyes, which encourages First Nations youth to use photography as a means to express themselves and their community, build self-confidence, and share an otherwise unheard voice. The project has been successfully carried out in 14 First Nations communities and schools.

Germano is a 1994 graduate of OCA, where she spent her third year abroad as part of the university's Florence Off-Campus Studies program. She has exhibited in galleries internationally; among them, the Canadian Consulate in Rome, the Canadian Museum of Civilization, Minzu University of China in Beijing and the National Museum of Denmark. She is also a recipient of the John Hobday Awards in Arts Management through the Canada Council of the Arts.

Gracia Lam (BDes, Illustration, 2009)

Gracia Lam is an award-winning illustrator who lives and works in Toronto. She graduated from the OCAD U Illustration program in 2009 with honours and an already-growing client list. Her unmistakable aesthetic has caught the eye of countless publications and illustration enthusiasts. With a long list of notable clients such as The New York Times, The New Yorker, RealSimple, J. Crew, and Random House, Gracia has covered immeasurable ground since graduation day and is still powering forward.

Despite being in great demand and working on multiple weekly assignments, Lam still makes time to give back to OCAD U; she is invited regularly into core illustration classes to offer mentorship in the areas of client relations, business details, contracts, and process.

From OCA to OCAD U: Our History

OCAD University was originally established in Toronto in 1876 by the Ontario Society of Artists. Back then it was called the Ontario School of Art. In 1912, it was incorporated as the Ontario College of Art (OCA), becoming the first school in Canada dedicated exclusively to the education of professional artists in fine and commercial art. In 1996, the name changed to the Ontario College of Art and Design (OCAD), marking the growth of design programs. In 2010, to reflect the institution’s status as a university granted in 2002, the school became officially known as OCAD University (OCAD U). 







OCAD U graduate students receive prestigious national awards

Thursday, April 2, 2015 - 4:00am

The OCAD University community congratulates the students – from five different master’s programs – who have been awarded Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarships (CGS) by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC):

  • Ryan A. Church – Strategic Foresight and Innovation
  • Jason P. King – Interdisciplinary Master’s in Art, Media and Design
  • David Lawson – Inclusive Design
  • Katherine Meyer – Digital Futures
  • Jennifer Snider – Contemporary Art, Design and New Media Art Histories

“These talented emerging researchers are at the forefront of their respective disciplines,” says Helmut Reichenbächer, dean of graduate studies. “We are all deeply proud of their achievements. They are an inspiration to both their fellow OCAD U students as well as to their professors.”

The CGS scholarships offer valuable support to the recipients, furthering their ability to engage in leading-edge research.OCAD U’s Office of Graduate Studies has created a video that opens a window onto four of those projects.

CGS is part of SSHRC’s Talent Program. Its goal is to develop the next generation of researchers and leaders across society, both within academia and across the public, private and not-for-profit sectors.

Emerge Media Awards 2015

Poster with big block letter in orange, pink and purple
Monday, April 20, 2015 - 9:45pm to Tuesday, April 21, 2015 - 3:00am

The Emerge Media Awards celebrates and showcases the achievements of journalism, media studies and communications students across Canada. Our first awards gala is Monday, April 20, 2015 at the Humber Room, Humber College, Toronto. 
In addition to a keynote speech by Sean Beckingham, Founder of Branding and Buzzing, guests will have a chance to mingle with leading media-industry professionals and, of course, cheer as six participants claim their prizes. 
Learn more about Sean Beckingham and his social marketing agency visit at 


Robynn Jennings - OCAD University 

Entry Category: Digital Design

Entry Name: "PETA Ad."


Facebook: Emerge.TO

Twitter: @EmergeTO

Instagram: emergeto

#EmergeMediaAwards and #MakeMediaThatMatters

Venue & Address: 
The Humber Room, Humber College - 205 Humber College Blvd. Toronto, Ontario. M9W 5L7 
Tickets are on sale for $25.00 CAD via    Dress Code: Business Casual

Environmental Design students take top awards at Design Haus competition

Monday, March 16, 2015 - 3:45pm

Aspiring architects and design students from all over North America were given the opportunity to design a suite at a soon-to-be-built condominium in Toronto. Fourth-year OCAD U Environmental Design students took two of the top three prizes.

Chieng Luphuyong won the first prize of $10,000 and a team made up of Orod Tajdaran, Pouria Amidi and Yalda Bakhtiari won the third prize of $3,000.

Participants were asked to design one of two apartments ranging in size from 500 to 900 sq. ft. for a chance to earn cash prizes of $10,000, $5,000 and $3,000.

The jury consisted of industry and academic leaders in design and architecture:

  • David Lieberman, associate professor, University of Toronto
  • Colleen Reid, associate dean, Faculty of Design, OCAD University
  • Filiz Klassen, associate chair, School of Interior Design, Ryerson University
  • Pietro Ferrari, School of Architectural Studies, George Brown College
  • Clifford Korman, principal, KirKor Architects
  • Kelly Cray, principal, Union31

The Design Haus building on College Street east of Spadina will be 17 storeys high with approximately 116 condominium suites and 26 rental suites.


OCAD U student leaders celebrated at awards dinner

Recipients of Student awards
Friday, March 13, 2015 - 4:00am

Students were recognized for their outstanding leadership contributions to the OCAD U community on March 11, 2015 at a dinner at the Beverly Hotel.

Quentin Barbatunde Vercetty Lindsay received the Diversity & Equity Excellence Award for his leadership in many student activities including organizing cultural events and establishing the ONYX Society (an organization that supported the art and the culture of black students on campus). Quentin has also organized literary and poetry activities and has given spoken word workshops. Quentin’s latest project was the Afrofuturism show in February.

The Peer Mentor Awards acknowledge participants who have made outstanding contributions to the Peer Mentor Program while demonstrating enthusiasm and positivity while providing helpful advice and support to first-year mentees. This year’s recipients are:

  • Amrita Panesar
  • Claire Tatangelo
  • Dimitry Galamiyev

Others were recognized for their work as peer mentors for three years or more:

  • Aishwarya Babu
  • Arielle Bourette-Klein
  • Lisa Frost
  • Loren Harssar
  • Renee Stephens
  • Vinh Le

The event was made possible by First-Year Initiatives; Office of the President; Financial Aid & Awards; Student Union and Office of the Associate Vice-President, Students.

Students who wish to become peer mentors can visit for the new online application form.

Pictured L-R: Dimitry Galamiyev, Vinh Le, President Sara Diamond, Claire Tatangelo, Lisa Frost, Quentin Barbatunde Vercetty Lindsay, Amrita Panesar.

OCAD U Digital Security Competition Awards Ceremony

Black and pink text
Monday, March 9, 2015 - 8:00pm to 9:30pm

OCAD University has launched its first ever student competition to raise awareness about digital security in an increasingly digital world. Students were challenged to create a campaign centered on any form of Cybersecurity, ranging from hacking and malware prevention, to data back up and privacy. Winners will be announced at the Awards Ceremony hosted by Andrew McAllister, Manager, Academic Computing at OCAD U. All are invited to attend. Refreshments to be provided. Digital displays will present all competition submissions.


Venue & Address: 
OCAD University 49 McCaul St.

Alumni and students featured in Applied Arts Student Awards Annual

Applied Arts Student Awards Annual
Bambino Pasta package design by Hoda Gharai
Wednesday, November 19, 2014 - 5:00am

Students and recent grads from Photography, Advertising, Illustration, Industrial Design and Graphic Design were selected for this year’s prestigious Applied Arts Student Awards Annual, on newsstands now.

2014 Advertising graduate student Bonnie Cheung’s HomeSewn campaign was selected for the Complete Advertising Campaign category. Designed for the Canadian Apparel Federation, her campaign is designed to re-ignite the desire for Canadian-made clothing with the introduction of the HomeSewn sub-brand.

2014 Illustration graduate student Cornelia Li’s series of works called This Gold is Tarnished were chosen for the Complete Illustration category. “By inserting disturbing elements into social incidents otherwise considered ordinary, the series questions the booming country propagated by Chinese authority by exposing the living conditions of the average Chinese.”

Also selected for the Complete Illustration category was Broken Telephacts by 2014 Illustration graduate student Sophia Feesh. “Just like stories and rumours, when statistics are told time after time, they take on a new form and message. In combination with numbers, statistics hold an aura of truth. By illustrating misleading statistics, Broken Telephacts underline the absurd nature of these claims.”

Second-year Illustration student Hong (Ivan) Chen’s Fear of Public Speaking was selected for the Illustration Single category.

Fourth-year Photo student Emma Blackshaw’s series Emerging Existence was selected for the Photography Series category. Her series investigates the relationship between familiar Canadian landscapes and the surreal element of lighting. “In this series I wanted to explore the idea of staging scenes that exist somewhere between reality and imagination. The landscapes allow the viewer familiarity, but the lighting transforms the familiar place into a mysterious, spooky, and dream-like environment.”

In the Packaging Design Series category, fourth-year Graphic Design student Hoda Gharai’s Bambino pasta and spaghetti for children was featured. “Bambino means kid in Italian and is designed for children. As target users, they are attracted to the package, because it is small, colourful, communicative and also comes in three different favourable flavours. Although Bambino's brand block is different in imagery, it communicates as a unity.”

In the Packaging Design Single category, fourth-year Industrial Design student Sarah Eldershaw’s Shoe String Assemblies was selected. “This is my packaging and branding concept for Shoe String Assemblies, a flat-packing DIY shoe kit. Everything needed to construct the pair of shoes is included inside the kit. Much like the construction of shoe, the packaging does not use glue; the shoelace is what tethers the package together.”