Dr. David Pereyra at Toronto Parliament of the World's Religions 2018 for Our Doors Are Op

Our Doors Are Open logo
Friday, November 2, 2018 - 6:00pm to 7:00pm

The Open Your Doors “community-inclusion” workshop is designed specifically to help individual faith-communities. It enables communities to develop what we call “inclusive thinking,” reach out to their members with disabilities, engage those members in full participation, discuss ways to create accessible media and communications, which will allow them to assess the physical and social inclusivity of a faith-community.

Venue & Address: 
Room 601 Parliament of the World's Religions Metro Toronto Convention Centre, South Building
Website: 
https://www.parliamentofreligions.org/parliament/2018-toronto/programs/session/open-your-doors-welcoming-people-%C2%A0disabilities-places
http://opendoors.idrc.ocadu.ca
Embed Video: 

ReFiG: IN SITU

 

This project is a collaboration between game:play and Super Ordinary Lab.

IN SITU is a research project in partnership with Ubisoft Toronto funded by ReFiG (http://www.refig.ca/) that examines the opportunities around and impact of internal and external efforts aimed at creating a diverse and inclusive work culture in the game development industry.

The primary research goal for the project is to explore the factors that create an environment and culture of diversity, inclusivity and belonging (DIB) for game developers who identify as women at Ubisoft Toronto. This pilot stage of an ongoing research collaboration has been designed to feed into and support a diversity, inclusion and belonging initiative organized around internal task forces being rolled out at Ubisoft Toronto. 

The research insights from an environmental scan and ethnographic interviews will provide context to the primary research question and will inform the development of the task forces and programmatic initiatives at Ubisoft Toronto. A secondary phase of the project will evaluate the efficacy and impact of the task force programs through ongoing developmental evaluation. 

The collaborative nature of this research is central to it’s goals, partnerships of this nature are essential to build sustainable bottom-up DIB initiatives that are well informed, understood and embedded within existing corporate structures, practices and people. 

 

This research is supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

SSHRC Logo

Creator: 
Advisor: 
The logo for Ubisoft Toronto
Monday, July 16, 2018 - 4:30pm
Lab Member: 
Emma Westecott
Suzanne Stein
Cheryl Hsu
Kashfia Rahman

Camille Isaacs and Ryan Rice receive 2018 BLG Faculty Equity Awards

Dr. Gillian Siddall and Eric Roher presenting Camille Isaacs and Ryan Rice with the BLG Faculty Equity Award
Monday, June 18, 2018

OCAD University is proud to announce that Assistant Professor Camille Isaacs and Ryan Rice, Delaney Chair in Indigenous Visual Culture are this year’s co-recipients of the BLG Faculty Equity Award.

The BLG Faculty Equity Award, sponsored by Borden, Ladner & Gervais (BLG), recognizes distinctive and outstanding work in teaching, pedagogy, research or creative work and service in advancing OCAD U’s mandate in fostering an inclusive, equitable and diverse learning environment inside and/or outside the classroom.

Dr. Camille Isaacs teaches in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences and School of Interdisciplinary Studies. Her teaching load regularly includes courses in Postcolonial Literature, Diasporic Literature and Caribbean Literature where she “privileges the margins” to allow students to pair their own life-experiences and cultures with the literary material under discussion. This directly corresponds to her own significant research practice focusing on the Black Atlantic Region, as well as her work as the chair of Black History Month festivities, where she actively supports students’ success as they prepare for exhibits, workshops and conferences each February.

As the co-chair of the Presidential Task Force on Under-representation of Indigenous and Racialized Faculty and Staff, Dr. Isaacs has been instrumental in ensuring the implementation of a ground-breaking initiative. In the words of one nominator: “It is significant that Dr. Isaacs has a 360-degree commitment to her work of increasing visibility and facilitating inclusion of black, Indigenous and racialized faculty [and her] overarching commitment to seeing equity enacted at OCAD University through her service, research and teaching makes her a strong candidate for the BLG Faculty Equity award.”

Ryan Rice is serving his second three-year term as Delaney Chair in Indigenous Visual Culture (INVC), which includes teaching, administration, management and researching responsibilities. He has made great strides in strengthening and advancing the INVC BFA program, while establishing an inclusive Indigenous Students Centre for support and services while also contributing to committees, consultations and development opportunities. These have included the Presidential Task Force on Underrepresented Racialized and Indigenous Faculties, the Education and Employment Equity Committee and OCAD U search committees. Throughout the year, Ryan continued to program documentary series Culture Shiftsand hosted the final two Nigig Artists-in-Residence, while also participating in the Provost’s Indigenous Learning Task-Force and the hiring of the university’s Indigenous cluster hire.

As a leader within the field of Indigenous art and curatorial practice, Ryan recently curated an exhibition entitled raise a flag: works from the Indigenous Art Collection (2000-2015)at Onsite Gallery. Intended to create a discourse that spoke to equity through the visual voices held within a national collection, Ryan held workshops, hosted artist talks, conducted forty-one group tours and created a corresponding Education Guide. One nominator wrote, “The impact of Ryan’s research and creative work in curating raise a flagand its public program were imperative to contributing new knowledge of human rights, equity and social justice issues.” 

The pair were publicly celebrated for their achievements by BLG representative Eric Rohrer and OCAD University President Dr. Sara Diamond at Convocation on Tuesday June 12, 2018 at Roy Thomson Hall.

Student leaders recognized for contributions to OCAD U

OCAD U student leaders were celebrated on March 22 for their outstanding extracurricular leadership contributions at Campus Life’s annual recognition and awards dinner. 

Student leaders recognized for contributions to OCAD U

Monday, March 26, 2018

OCAD U student leaders were celebrated on March 22 for their outstanding extracurricular leadership contributions at Campus Life’s annual recognition and awards dinner. Emcee’d by Campus Life Student Monitor Daniel Naraindas, and included remarks from President and Vice Chancellor Dr. Sara Diamond and Vice-President, Academic & Provost Gillian Siddall.

The Diversity & Equity Excellence Award for Students, supported by OCAD Student Union and Office of the Vice-Provost, Students & International, acknowledges an outstanding student whose advocacy and leadership, promoting and advancing human rights, equity and social justice.

This year’s recipient, Meghana Ravi, co-led The Kaleidoscope Project, a multi-part arts-based participatory research project that included community consultations, an interactive public arts installation, and a full-length documentary that reflected the experiences and stories of OCAD U’s international student community. “Meghana is an exemplary student leader who uses her expertise in visual communication to engage in community building, education, and advocacy on issues of race and ethno-cultural identity, the international student experience, and decolonizing design,” said Sharmina Chherawala, Programs, Outreach & Human Rights Advisor in the Office of Diversity, Equity and Sustainability Initiatives.

As an advocacy initiative, The Kaleidscope Project amplified the voices of equity-seeking communities on campus and situated all participants as experts and educators in sharing their critical analysis and lived experiences. “Meghana’s project helped build a stronger international student community on campus, and was highlighted in Now Magazine, showcasing how OCAD U community members are advancing decolonization in the curriculum and beyond. The highly anticipated documentary screening and panel discussions premiered to a packed house of students, faculty, staff, senior leadership and community members,” explained Chherawala.

Peer Mentor Awards, supported by First Generation Programs, acknowledge Peer Mentors who have made outstanding contributions to the Student Mentor Program over the past program year. This year’s recipients, Daniel Lugo Travieso and Matt McCleery, have both demonstrated an inclusive approach in sharing their wealth of knowledge and insights. They have taken initiative to help other students navigate the university, it’s systems and programs and off-campus resources, and exercised patience when responding to questions. Their commitment to keeping in touch with their mentees, and to help students connect with each other and opportunities have helped build our student community. An honourary mention was given to Becky Wu.

Special Commitment Pins were presented to Peer Mentors who have shown commitment to the Student Mentor Program. For the first time ever, a four-year pin was presented to Arashdeep Chahal, while three-year commitment pins were given to Elisabeth Chan, Jacqueline Lee and Adria Maynard.

The Student Group Leader of the Year Award, made possible by Imagination Catalyst, is presented to a student leader of a group who excels, above and beyond in their leadership role. This year it was awarded to The Grind’s Russell Chiu. The Grind is an incubator for students who want to start their own small business, with goals to encourage networking and collaboration between students, provide workshops, guest speakers, and resources to assist in the development of new skills and portfolio building.

“Our student group leaders embody the entrepreneurial qualities of creativity, innovation, risk-taking and independence,” said Ahmed ElBedaway of the Imagination Catalyst. “Russell works consistently on bringing The Grind team together to curate a variety of inclusive entrepreneurship and creative business events on campus through encouraging open-floor discussion of ideas, while ensuring the core team members are on the right path of growing the group, supporting personal growth of each individual member, and making sure that he is able to help others achieve their goals as well as his own.”

Deanne Fisher, Vice-Provost, Students & International, acknowledged the commitment and leadership of OCAD Student Union executive and student participants in Board of Governors and OCAD U Senate.

Andre De Freitas, Manager, Financial Aid & Awards, presented a special Excellence in Student Services Award to Michelle Pereza, who, since 2016, has served students with expertise, empathy, enthusiasm and excellence. “An extraordinary student services representative, Michelle’s skills and dedication have helped to break down financial barriers for her student peers,” said De Freitas.

Special interest, student-run clubs and the six-year old Intramural Program at OCAD U allow interaction among students, support faith and culture, and create an atmosphere of diversity while encouraging self-development, entrepreneurship, social responsibility, environmental awareness, and fitness and well-being. Brent Everett James, Campus Life Coordinator, acknowledged student group leaders and intramural team captains for their leadership and contribution to community.

Thank you to Financial Aid & Awards, First Generation Program, Office of the President, OCAD Student Union, Office of the Vice-Provost, Students & International, Imagination Catalyst and Campus Life for making this evening possible. 

Poster: 
Group photo of student winners with OCAD U staff

From Within an Active PoV: Feminist VR Game Making

From Within an Active PoV: Feminist VR Game Making is a research-creation project that investigates a feminist intervention in virtual reality game-making. It aims to build a generous and inclusive coalition of feminists in games by bringing feminist VR makers together and studying how, what, and why they make VR games.

From Within an Active PoV builds on the research of ReFiG, a 5 year project supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. Composed of an international collective of scholars, community organizers and industry representatives, ReFiG is committed to promoting diversity and equity in the game industry and culture and effecting real change in an often myopic space that has been exclusionary to many. ReFig accomplishes this by intervening in four areas: game cultures, the games industry, informal learning environments, and formal education.

Unlike the world of commercial digital gaming, the VR ecosystem includes diverse voices: marginalized makers are visible in this emerging sector of technology (for example, CFC Open Immersion lab is open to indigenous artists and artists from the global south).  The inherent physicality of VR (which involves two audiences: the immersant and the voyeur) is also an opportunity to explore feminist approaches to game-making. From its development in the early nineties VR art has been driven by female artists, including works such as Catherine Richards’ Spectral Bodies (1991) and Char Davies' Osmose (1995). This clearly indicates a feminist interest in the ability of VR technologies to extend and reconfigure embodied experience. By featuring a living body, performance (and subsequently VR) allows women to “assert themselves as the active and self-determining agents of their own narratives” [1].

Through feminist game jams (distinguished by methods engaged and identification of participants) supported by multiple approaches to research documentation situated in OCAD University’s game:play lab, From Within an Active PoV will produce a series of VR sketches that explore, document, and instantiate a range of feminist approaches to processes of capture, design and development and interface.​ Engaging politically motivated activity in game cultures should grow from a purposeful playfulness in approach: playfulness is a much more potent force than direct conflict and offers an important means of engagement. 

​This will culminate in public exhibition and a co-Laboratory. Interested ReFiG researchers will join an open call for participation to these research jams. The jams will be documented using multiple methods (audio, video, note-taking, sketching, mapping, etc.) and the outcome shared in a range of channels including publication (academic and on the web), learning kits (for use in community and classroom) and via exhibition.

Additional Resources:
ReFig Website 
CFC Open Immersion Lab

1. Wark, Jane. 2006. Radical Gestures, Feminism, and Performance Art in North America. Montreal & Kingston: McGill-Queen's University Press.

This research was supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.

 

SSHRC Logo

 

 

Creator: 
Photographs of immersants interacting with VR technology
Photograph of girl kneeling while playing a VR game
Photograph of two people: an immersant steps forward while interacting with VR and is observed by a second person
Photograph of a person using VR. Their right arm is extended forward as they move through the game world.
Tuesday, May 15, 2018 - 11:00am

Call for Nominations: DIVERSITY & EQUITY EXCELLENCE AWARD FOR STUDENTS

Supported by OCAD Student Union and Office of the Vice-Provost, Students & International.

Expanded Context: Black Canadian Curators at the 56th Venice Biennale

Expanded Context: Black Canadian Curators at the 56th International Art Exhibition, the Venice Biennale 2015 was a forum which brought together black Canadian curators and critics at the 56th Venice Biennale in order to build transnational networks and promote black Canadian visual art. The forum sought to ameliorate the invisibility of the works of black Canadian artists, curators, and critics within the international sphere.

The goals of Expanded Context: Black Canadian Curators at the 56th International Art Exhibition, the Venice Biennale 2015 were as follows:

  • To foster greater awareness, understanding and opportunities for partnerships and collaborations between culturally diverse curators and the visual arts establishment, negotiating progression pathways for the new generation of leaders in visual arts.
  • To promote Canadian black artists and develop an engaging dialogue between Canadian art and the international stage
  • To allow Black curators a space for critical reflection, research, dialogue, experimentation, and exchange
  • To provide access to ideas, artists, and artworks that can be developed for curatorial research
  • To develop partnerships for future exhibition opportunities

Expanded Context: Black Canadians Curators at the 56th International Art Exhibition, the Venice Biennale 2015 was a unique professional development opportunity for Black Canadian curators and critics. It was a two-day gathering (held May 7th and May 8th, 2015) which addressed the politics and practice of curatorship in a globalized world.

The program of engagement included networking meetings and interviews with artists, curators, gallerists and collectors, as well as the opportunity to visit Biennale exhibitions and collateral events. The participation of Black curators and critics at the 56th Venice Biennale served to correct the visible absence of Black Canadian curators at key international arts events. The Expanded Context project provided an international platform for connecting Black Canadian curators, and created a global forum for these professionals to share projects and initiatives.

Participants included: Julie Crooks, Pamela Edmonds, Andrea Fatona, Sally Frater, Dominique Fontaine, Gaetane Verna, Camille Turner, Rinaldo Walcott.

Participants were selected from the group of curators and academics who attended the State of Blackness : From Production to Presentation conference. Keynote speakers included curators Bisi Silva and David Bailey

This project has been the subject of an article, “Questioning Citizenship at the Venice Biennale: Responses and Interventions” in C Magazine, Issue 128, and a podcast, "New Point of View at the Venice Art Biennale" by Fresh Arts International, Fresh Talk Series.

Other Resources:
The State of Blackness Website
 The State of Blackness on Youtube
 

  • We acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, which last year invested $153 million to bring the arts to Canadians throughout the country.
  • Nous remercions le Conseil des arts du Canada de son soutien. L’an dernier, le Conseil a investi 153 millions de dollars pour mettre de l’art dans la vie des Canadiennes et des Canadiens de tout le pays.

 

Creator: 
The State of Blackness Logo - text and a gradient in stacked rectangles from black to gray
Canada Council for the Arts logo
Ontario Arts Council Logo
Wednesday, December 6, 2017 - 10:45am
Lab Member: 
Andrea Fatona

Workshop: Surviving Art School - Toolkit for Artists & Designers of Colour

collage image of artwork attributed to Raju Rage
Thursday, September 14, 2017 - 3:30pm

Surviving Art School: An Artist of Colour Toolkit
with artist + activist Raju Rage

Thursday, 14 September 2017, 3:30–5 PM
Lambert Lounge (MCA 187), 100 McCaul St
OCAD University

Co-presented with the Office of Diversity, Equity & Sustainability Initiatives and OCAD Student Union
Hot Lunch will be served starting at 2:30pm ($3 suggested for meal)

Using the 'Surviving the Art School' publication, produced by Collective Creativity (of which Rage is a member) and published by Nottingham Contemporary (UK), as a starting point, the talk and workshop will ask what this visually entails. During this workshop participants can expect to learn and share strategies for decolonising education. Participants are encouraged to bring with them a 'problem' of the institution to collectively strategise and create a surviving the art school toolkit. This workshop is open to students from all disciplines. 

A presentation of Collective Creativity: a Queer, Trans* Intersex People of Colour artist collective in London UK which aims to create radical, grass roots space for QTIPOC to interrogate the politics of art, in relation to queer identity, institutional racism, and anti-colonialism. CC is dedicated to creating space for conversations that challenge institutional racism and white supremacy within a cultural framework. We are concerned with how we decolonise our art educations, unlearn the histories that replicate the colonial gaze, re-formatting our own art educations and a re-positioning of this canon by re-centring artists and cultural producers of colour.

Raju Rage is an interdisciplinary artist who is proactive about using art, education and activism to forge creative survival. Based in London and working beyond, they primarily use their non-conforming body as a vehicle of embodied knowledge; to bridge the gap between dis/connected bodies, theory and practice, text and the body and aesthetics and the political substance. They work in performance, sculpture, soundscapes and moving image, focusing on techniques of resistance and utilising everyday objects and everyday life experiences in communicating narratives around gender, race and culture. They investigate history, memory and trauma, with an emphasis on colonial legacy, its continuation and impact on the body and contemporary diasporan identity. They are an organiser and member of Collective Creativity arts collective. 

For any accessibility accommodation requests to fully participate in this event, please contact Shamina Chherawala at schherawala@ocadu.ca or 416.977.6000 ext.3840 in advance.

Venue & Address: 
Thursday, September 14 at 3:30 PM - 5 PM Lambert Lounge, 100 McCaul Street
Website: 
https://www.facebook.com/events/306759276454557/
Email: 
schherawala@ocadu.ca
Phone: 
416.977.6000 ext.3840
Cost: 
Workshop is free! OCAD Student Union will be serving Hot Lunch from 2:30pm onwards (suggested $3)

Reflections on the State of Blackness

Tuesday, February 28, 2017 - 6:30pm to 9:00pm

Join us for Dr. Andrea Fatona’s discussion of her ongoing interdisciplinary project: “The State of Blackness: From Production to Presentation”. The project interrogates issues of pedagogy and diversity in the context of both tertiary art education and gallery settings. It highlights the dearth of cultural production and in turn, presentation activities by black artists who because of racial difference have historically been at the margins of “traditional” visions of the Canadian nation and its art production.

Andrea Fatona is an associate professor in the Criticism and Curatorial program. She was the former curator of contemporary art at the Ottawa Art Gallery, and has worked as the programme director at Video In, Vancouver, Co-Director of Artspeak Gallery, Vancouver, and Artistic Director of Artspace Gallery, Peterborough. Fatona is concerned with the pedagogical possibilities of art works produced by 'other' Canadians in articulating broader perspectives of Canadian identities.

Venue & Address: 
100 McCaul Street, Room 190
Reflections on the State of Blackness Poster

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