BMO Financial Group establishes renewable scholarship

Wednesday, September 23, 2015 - 4:00am

BMO Financial Group is expanding its support of OCAD University students with a $300,000 endowed scholarship. The BMO Financial Group Awards, valued at more than $3,500 each, will be given annually to full-time students enrolling in their first year at OCAD University. Recipients will be chosen based on academic merit with preference given to students who demonstrate community involvement.

The scholarships will be renewed based on the students’ academic standing and fulltime enrolment.

“We are grateful to BMO Financial Group for establishing these renewable scholarships which will have a tremendous positive impact on the student experience,” said Dr. Sara Diamond, President and Vice-chancellor. “The recipients will benefit from stable financial support right through to graduation.”

BMO Financial Group has been a champion of OCAD University for over 25 years, generously supporting student talent, signature events and special projects. This latest contribution will allow more students to pursue their passion for careers in art, design and digital media.

BMO Financial Group:

Established in 1817, BMO Financial Group is a highly diversified financial services provider based in North America. With total assets of approximately $672 billion as of July 31, 2015, and more than 47,000 employees, BMO provides a broad range of retail banking, wealth management and investment banking products and services to more than 12 million customers and conducts business through three operating groups: Personal and Commercial Banking, Wealth Management and BMO Capital Markets.

Art and Design in the Connected World - Dr. Sara Diamond

Friday, November 20, 2015 - 5:00pm to 6:30pm

Toronto Region Board of Trade welcomes you to join Dr. Sara Diamond, President and Vice-Chancellor of OCAD University, as she discusses how creativity and artistic imagination contribute to the skills and strategies our Toronto region business community needs to excel in the connected world.

Effectively harnessing the skills of our designers, artists and digital inventors is important for the increasingly connected Toronto region. From healthcare, to entertainment, to manufacturing, design can provide a competitive advantage and act as a key differentiator for business.

Venue & Address: 
Toronto Region Board of Trade Downtown Centre 1 First Canadian Place, 4th Floor Toronto, ON
Individual ticket - Member $79.00 Individual ticket - Non-Member $99.00 Table of 8 - Member $632.00 Table of 8 - Non-Member $792.00

GradEx100 draws record 41,000 to OCAD University

Monday, May 4, 2015 - 4:00am

It was an exhibition that exceeded all expectations: The 100th edition of the university’s graduate exhibition drew an estimated 41,000 visitors, a 64% increase over last year, making it one of the city’s largest free art and design exhibitions.

Some 900 students from 14 undergraduate and six graduate programs displayed their thesis works, including smartphone apps, wearable technology, ad campaigns, sculpture, textiles, digital painting and everything in between. The top student from each program received an OCAD University medal. 

President Sara Diamond stated, “I spent many days immersed in the exhibition and had the pleasure of touring government and private sector partners through the show. We all agreed that the quality, maturity and relevance of the students’ work is remarkable. They will have a powerful influence on the world."

Saturday night the inaugural Alumni of Influence awards were presented to accomplished alumni for their achievements and service to the community:

  • 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)

​“The range and depth of talent displayed this year reflects the scope of programs and experiences students gain at OCAD University,” said Dr. Diamond. “Our alumni award recipients noted that their years here prepared them for their careers ahead by grounding them in interdisciplinary skills and discipline while giving them a unique frame of reference for their creativity. They represent a bridge between our past and current unique excellence in delivering studio-based education.”

In his opening night remarks, illustrator Gary Taxali, an alumnus and faculty member, recalled his own graduate exhibition. “I’ve worked for every major magazine and have shown in top galleries, but I’ve never had thousands of people come to one of my openings like they do for GradEx every year. When I was a student it was one of the greatest experiences of my life and it kick started my art career.” Taxali designed this year’s GradEx poster and donated proceeds from the sale of limited edition prints to the university.

OCAD University’s annual Graduate Exhibition is generously supported by Presenting Sponsor Mercedes-Benz Financial Services. Other sponsors include: C.A. Delaney Capital Management Ltd., First Capital Realty, Borden Ladner Gervais LLP, CP24 (Media Sponsor), NOW (Media Sponsor) and Steam Whistle (Event Sponsor).

This event has been financially assisted by the Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund, a program of the Government of Ontario through the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport, administered by the Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund Corporation.

Statement from President Diamond on It's Never Okay: An Action Plan to Stop Sexual Violence and Harassment

Tuesday, March 10, 2015 - 4:00am

As president of OCAD University, I applaud Premier Wynne’s Action Plan on Sexual Violence. This plan will target behaviours and cultures in our elementary and secondary schools, courts, police forces, workplaces, universities and colleges.

Please read the Action Plan and take a moment to view a powerful video that is part of the Province’s multi-media implementation campaign.

OCAD University has strong policies against sexual harassment and violence. In the fall I issued a message highlighting policies, procedures and support for those who have been affected by sexual violence. Please take a moment to learn about these resources available to our community.

Nonetheless we are in the process of revisiting these policies in collaboration with students, with a special focus on ensuring safety for women, lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans members of our community. We are looking at ways in which we can increase prevention and awareness of sexual violence on and off campus and support those who have been affected by such violence.

Deanne Fisher, our Associate Vice-President, Students, is a member of the Council of Ontario Universities’ Reference Group on Sexual Violence, which will support the action plan by reviewing policies and sharing best practices within the university sector in Ontario. Emily Rourke, Director of Campaigns and Outreach for the OCAD Student Union, has been actively involved in the discussions with the Premier on these issues and will co-lead, with the AVP Students, the development of the OCAD University strategy.







Statement from President Diamond on Prevention and Response to Sexual Violence

Friday, November 28, 2014 - 5:00am

Recent media reports have brought attention to the issue of sexual violence, particularly on college and university campuses. I want to take this opportunity to assure our community that I take this issue very seriously and that we have well-developed policies and procedures in place to respond to incidents of sexual assault, as well as resources to support survivors.

We have three policies that provide options and recourse to those who have experienced sexual violence:

  • The Response to Violent and Threatening Behaviour Policy outlines OCAD University’s obligations with respect to any situation involving violence or threat of violence and applies to all students, faculty, staff, volunteers and visitors.  Through that policy, OCAD U has a highly trained team of professionals who assess risk of violence expediently and take appropriate action.  All situations involving violence or risk of violence should be reported to Security & Emergency Services.
  • The Non-academic Misconduct Policy defines sexual assault as an offence and applies to situations involving students. Complaints under this policy are directed to our Associate Vice-President, Students.
  • The Respectful Work & Learning Environment Policy is inclusive of sexual assault and applies to students, staff and faculty. Complaints under this policy are directed to the Office of Diversity, Equity and Sustainability Initiatives.I want to ensure that our students, staff and faculty understand the range of options and resources available to them should they require support following an assault or have safety needs while on campus.

Information & Resources

  • Security & Emergency Services
    Our Security & Emergency Services team is responsible for the safety of all members of the community and will work with students, staff and faculty to develop safety plans for anyone who feels they may be at risk. Specific services include:
    • Guardly Safe Campus™
      The Guardly Safe Campus program puts a personal duress button onto the smartphones of OCAD U students, staff and faculty for free, providing the fastest way to connect to campus security when reporting an emergency. Register for this free service.
    • WalkSafe Program
      The WalkSafe Program provides students, faculty and staff with a personal security escort. Please contact Campus Security at least 10 minutes prior to your departure and Security personnel will escort you to the Grange underground parking facility or a nearby bus stop/subway station.
    • Emergency and Non-emergency Service
      To reach Security & Emergency Services in an emergency, phone 416-977-6000 Ext. 511 (or use any of the red phones on campus, or simply dial 511 from any office or hallway phone).
      For non-emergency service, please dial 416-977-6000 Ext. 366.
    • Sexual Assault Reporting
      OCAD U Security & Emergency Services works in partnership with the relevant municipal police services to assist members of our community who would like to report an incident to the police for investigation.
  • Health and Wellness Centre
    Confidential counselling for students who are or know someone who is a survivor of sexual violence or who have experienced abusive relationships is available through our Health & Wellness Centre. To see a counsellor, please walk-in during business hours Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. or call the Centre at 416-977-6000 Ext. 260 to book an appointment. For more information visit the Sexual Assault Support web page.
  • Office of Diversity, Equity and Sustainability Initiatives (ODESI)
    The role of ODESI is to foster an educational and employment environment that respects, supports and values all students, staff, and faculty.  ODESI administers the university's human rights complaint process (see the OCAD U Respectful Work & Learning Environment Policy) to address discrimination, harassment and bullying, including sexual and gender-based harassment on campus and online.  Sexual harassment means unwelcome sexual attention directed at an individual by someone whose conduct or comments are, or should reasonably be known to be, offensive, inappropriate, intimidating, hostile, and unwelcome. At any time, individuals can contact ODESI to confidentially ask a question, raise a concern or seek assistance on how to address an issue.

Office Location: 115 McCaul St., Level 2

For more information please contact Amanda Hotrum, Director, Diversity, Equity & Sustainability Initiatives at 416-977-6000 Ext. 4860.

In an emergency on campus the OCAD University community is encouraged to call Campus Security at 511 first to help efficiently direct emergency response teams to the emergency location. Always call 911 in an emergency off campus. To reach Toronto Police Services in a non-emergency or to report a crime, call   416-808-2222.

Dr. Sara Diamond, President and Vice Chancellor, OCAD University

OCAD U Student Forum

Ideas, Thoughts on Your Student Experience At OCAD U?
Wednesday, November 5, 2014 - 6:00pm to 7:45pm

Ideas, thoughts on your experience at OCAD U? Come share them with Dr. Sara Diamond, OCAD U President and Vice Chancellor, and members of the senior administration at the fall student forum! Your feedback is crucial so please, come and share it.

Venue & Address: 
Room 284, 100 McCaul Street, Toronto


An early model of the three Mirvish+Gehry towers, Courtesy of Gehry International, Inc.
Peter Kofman, Vladimir Spicanovic, Dr. Sara Diamond, David Mirvish and Craig Webb, Photo: Martin Iskander
Another early model of the three Mirvish+Gehry towers, Courtesy of Gehry International, Inc.

Picture a vibrant new gallery space and learning centre in the heart of Toronto’s cultural core that will bring OCAD University to the world. That’s a hope for the future for the OCAD U campus, and on February 14 Dr. Sara Diamond, President and Vice-Chancellor announced the name of the 25,000-square-foot facility: the Princess of Wales Centre for Visual Arts at OCAD University.

It’s appropriate this announcement was made on Valentine’s Day, because of the passions it’s awakening in everyone involved and connected to it. The use of the name was approved in a letter of permission sent on behalf of the Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry: “Their Royal Highnesses are extremely grateful to you for raising this matter,” read the letter, “since Toronto always held a very special place in their mother, Diana, Princess of Wales’s heart.”

The new arts-dedicated facility will honour a legacy that associates the creative and socially transformative components of art with the Princess of Wales’s dedication to young people, intergenerational exchange and social concerns such as violence, poverty and HIV education. These themes resonate in contemporary art practice and OCAD U’s engagement with contemporary ethics and art in the social sphere. 

“There are very special moments as a leader when your heart both leaps with excitement and warms with profound gratitude,” said Dr. Sara Diamond, OCAD U’s president at today’s announcement. “The day that David Mirvish called me and shared his hope that OCAD U would become his partner in the creation of a transformative King Street development with world-renowned architect Frank Gehry was such a life moment.”

The facility, part of the Mirvish+Gehry Toronto initiative, is slated to be built at the north east corner of King and Duncan streets in downtown Toronto. The plan proposes a myriad of opportunities for Toronto and international public to engage with the legacy that OCAD U represents.

Like the Sharp Centre for Design designed for OCAD U by Alsop Architects and Robbie/Young + Wright Architects Inc., the Mirvish + Gehry development will be visually unique. Craig Webb, one of Frank Gehry’s partners described the vision as three towers, each with its own identity, emerging from a cloud-like podium structure onto the Toronto skyline.

“Our goal is to define ourselves and our ambitions,” said David Mirvish, who compared the community spirit of the project to that of NYC’s 92nd Street Y, Manhattan’s renowned cultural community hub. “We’re building a neighbourhood that will serve the whole city, and we’re hoping the core of the gallery can be free to the public.” 

"This space will be about more than places to see and experience art,” said Vladimir Spicanovic, OCAD U’s Dean of Arts. “It will also be a place to study, curate and create artboth for OCAD U students and for the public.”

Imagine a space where you can:

  • See OCAD U’s permanent collection of more than 6,000 prints, paintings, sculptures, textiles and photographs by more than 250 notable Canadian artists
  • View exhibitions by curatorial students
  • Attend performances and the president’s lecture series in a 254-seat theatre-in-the-round
  • Access OCAD U’s expansive collections by master printmakers and archive of artists’ books
  • Study and research criticism, curatorial practice, art history, printmaking and publications
  • Produce publications in a hands-on studio for layout, editing, bookbinding and print-on-demand bookmaking

Find out more:


Presidential Review Process update from the OCAD University Board of Governors

Monday, April 28, 2014 - 4:15pm

The following memo was issued to the OCAD U community on Monday, April 28 from Ian C. Tudhope, Chair, Board of Governors, OCAD University:

The Presidential Review Committee has met twice since its creation and is now deeply engaged in the review process. The committee has met with President Sara Diamond and is currently reviewing the results of the online feedback from staff, faculty and students. 

The online performance feedback process has now been extended to May 4, 2014 to enable more staff, faculty and students to participate, with the objective of making this process as inclusive and engaging as possible. As well, the Presidential Review Committee has added internal interviews from a cross-representation of the university to broaden the review process.

If you have not already done so, I encourage you to fill out the online performance feedback form delivered via email to comment on Dr. Diamond’s presidency to date and to reflect on the university’s leadership needs for the future. Your participation is vital to this review and the members of the Presidential Review Committee process will hold all replies and information that it collects through this online feedback form in strict confidence.

On behalf of the OCAD University Board of Governors, I thank you for your participation in this important process.


Ian C. Tudhope,

Chair, OCAD University Board of Governors

Chair, Presidential Review Committee

New legislation proposes OCAD name change

Tuesday, April 27, 2010 - 4:00am

(Toronto—April 27, 2010) New legislation is being introduced today by the Government of Ontario that, if passed, will officially change the name of the Ontario College of Art & Design (OCAD) to “OCAD University.”

“This is truly a remarkable day in OCAD’s proud 134-year history,” said OCAD President Dr. Sara Diamond. “The change in OCAD’s name is important not only for the university, but also for Ontario. It will provide clarity to prospective students, both in Canada and internationally; improve our ability to attract and retain high-calibre faculty; and strengthen our ability to partner with other universities in Ontario in delivering joint degrees.”

“We thank the Ontario Government and the Ministry of Training, Colleges & Universities for leadership in recognizing OCAD’s evolution,” said Robert Montgomery, Chair of OCAD’s Board of Governors. “The new name reflects OCAD’s role as a leader in art and design education and research, sustainability and digital culture. This change will ensure OCAD’s strategic position within a highly competitive, global post-secondary education marketplace."

OCAD has operated as a fully accredited university offering undergraduate degrees since 2002, and graduate degrees since 2008. In 2006, the institution was granted membership in the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada, which represents 95 public and private not-for-profit universities and university-degree level colleges across Canada. Today, OCAD has approximately 4,000 undergraduate and graduate students, 650 faculty and staff, and a 12-building campus in downtown Toronto.

“This is important recognition of the work we have undertaken in research, graduate studies and ensuring high standards in our curriculum,” said Diamond. “It is a phenomenally important day for OCAD, one that not only respects the institution’s rich history and legacy of art and design education, but also acknowledges where the university is headed.”

Government of Ontario News Release

About the Ontario College of Art & Design (OCAD)
The Ontario College of Art & Design ( is Canada’s “university of the imagination.” OCAD is dedicated to art and design education, practice and research and to knowledge and invention across a wide range of disciplines. The university is building on its traditional, studio-based strengths, adding new approaches to learning that champion cross-disciplinarity, collaboration and the integration of emerging technologies. In the Age of Imagination, OCAD community members will be uniquely qualified to act as catalysts for the next advances in culture, technology and quality of life for all Canadians.

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For more information and images please contact:

Sarah Mulholland, Media & Communications Officer, OCAD
416.977.6000 Ext. 327 (mobile Ext. 1327)

OCAD becomes ‘OCAD University’

Tuesday, June 8, 2010 - 4:00am

(Toronto—June 8, 2010) The Ontario College of Art & Design is now ‘OCAD University,’ the institution announced today.

The Act to change OCAD’s name was introduced April 27 as part of Bill 43, the Post-secondary Education Statute Law Amendment Act, 2010 and also included language to officially recognize the role of the university’s chancellor, modify the powers of the Board of Governors and create an academic senate.

“What a proud day for OCAD University and the Province of Ontario,” said President Dr. Sara Diamond. “Our new name makes clear for our current and future students, alumni, faculty, Ontario and the world our role as Canada’s leading institution for art and design education and research. It is the completion of an evolution that has seen the institution grow from an elite arts school formed by Canada’s leading painters in 1876 to a formidable university offering a unique studio-based education that fuels the expansion of Ontario’s knowledge economy.”

“OCAD's outstanding faculty, staff and students have helped the institution become Canada’s leading art and design university, said The Hon. John Milloy, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities. “By granting OCAD official university status, we can help ensure that it will continue to grow and evolve to meet the needs of students and the province in today’s rapidly changing global economy.”

“Our new name ensures OCAD’s strategic position within a highly competitive, global post-secondary education and research marketplace,” said Robert Montgomery, Chair of OCAD’s Board of Governors. “We thank all those who contributed towards this great achievement, and express our sincere appreciation for the leadership of the Government of Ontario and the Ministry of Training, Colleges & Universities.”

Read information about the name change process:
An Open Letter to the OCAD University Community
Background information about the process
Frequently Asked Questions

About OCAD University (OCADU)
OCAD University ( is Canada’s “university of the imagination.” The University is dedicated to art and design education, practice and research and to knowledge and invention across a wide range of disciplines. OCAD University is building on its traditional, studio-based strengths, adding new approaches to learning that champion cross-disciplinary practice, collaboration and the integration of emerging technologies. In the Age of Imagination, OCAD University community members will be uniquely qualified to act as catalysts for the next advances in culture, technology and quality of life for all Canadians.

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For more information or to request images, contact:

Sarah Mulholland, Media & Communications Officer
416.977.6000 Ext. 327 (mobile Ext. 1327)

Steve Virtue, Director, Marketing & Communications
416.977.6000 Ext. 222