OCAD U announces 2018 honorary doctorate recipients

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

On June 12, OCAD University will confer honorary degrees upon four prominent Canadians: fashion journalist Jeanne Beker, filmmaker David Cronenberg, visual artist Jamelie Hassan and Dr. William Reichman, CEO of Baycrest Health Sciences.

This year’s convocation ceremonies will take place at Roy Thomson Hall, celebrating the graduation of some 700 students. Medal winners in 23 academic programs will be presented with their awards, a number of faculty members will be honoured with teaching awards for their exceptional contributions and honorary degrees will be conferred. 

“It is a great pleasure to present these degrees to four phenomenal people who have made a tremendous impact on society through the arts and sciences. They are role models in their disciplines, and their work reflects the wide range of learning that takes place at OCAD University, including in the areas of design for health, integrated media, material art and design, and art for social change,” said Dr. Sara Diamond, OCAD University President and Vice-Chancellor. “We look forward to hearing from our honorary doctorate recipients as we celebrate this cohort of graduating students.”

The first ceremony, at 10:30 a.m. will recognize graduands from the Faculty of Design, with Jeanne Beker and Dr. William Eric Reichman receiving their honorary doctorates. The second ceremony at 3 p.m., will honour graduands from the Faculty of Art, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences and School of Interdisciplinary Studies, and Graduate Studies. David Cronenberg and Jamelie Hassan will receive their honorary doctorates at the afternoon ceremony. 

The Honorary Degree Committee, chaired by Chancellor Salah Bachir, selected the recipients from a list of nominees. 

Jeanne Beker, CM
After studying acting in New York and Paris, Jeanne Beker moved to St. John’s Newfoundland in 1975 to cover arts for CBC radio. Three years later she landed a job at Toronto’s CHUM radio, and helped launch the groundbreaking series The New Musicon CITY TV. A founding member of MuchMusic, Beker launched the legendary Fashion Television, which she presented in over 130 countries for 27 years. 

Editor-in-chief of FQ and SIRmagazines from 2003 to 2008, Beker has also authored five books. She’s been at the creative helm of numerous fashion lines under her own eponymous label, and since 2015 has been Style Editor and host for The Shopping Channel. In 2014 she was named to the Order of Canada. 

David Cronenberg, CC, O. of Ont. FRSC
Director David Cronenberg’s reputation as true auteur his firmly established by his uniquely personal body of work that includes ShiversRabidThe BroodScannersVideodromeThe FlyCrasheXistenzA History of ViolenceEastern PromisesA Dangerous Methodand Maps to the Stars

In 2006, Cronenberg worked with the Art Gallery of Ontario as a guest curator for the exhibition, Andy Warhol/Supernova: Stars, Deaths and Disasters, 1962–1964. 

Lauded as one of the world’s greatest and most influential directors, Cronenberg has earned critical praise and recognition internationally. In 2006, he was awarded the Cannes Film Festival’s lifetime achievement award, the Carrosse d'Or. He was appointed Officer to the Order of Canada in 2003, Companion of the Order of Canada in 2014, and in 1990 was invested in France’s Order of Arts and Letters and the Légion d’Honneur in 2009.

Jamelie Hassan 
Artist and activist Jamelie Hassan’s work is personal and political, exploring worldwide concerns about cultural interactions, the subjection of women, colonialism, racism and political conflict. Using traditional or contemporary cultural artifacts, she works in a visual language of cultural cross-references.

Based in London, Ontario, Hassan is also a lecturer and independent curator. Her installation works involve highly diverse sites including most recently, Nur, installed in the library of the Great Mosque of Xi'an, China; the Ottawa Courthouse and Land Registry; and the London Regional Cancer Clinic.

A survey exhibition, Jamelie Hassan: At the Far Edge of Words, organized in 2009 by Museum London and the Morris & Helen Belkin Art Gallery at the University of British Columbia toured in Canada through to 2013. She is a recipient of the Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts.    

Dr. William Eric Reichman
Dr. William E. Reichman is an internationally known expert in geriatric mental health and dementia care. He is president and CEO of Baycrest, one of the world’s premier academic health sciences centers focused on aging, seniors care and brain function. Dr. Reichman is also Professor of Psychiatry in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto. 

His academic interests have included Alzheimer’s drug development and testing, behavioural changes in dementia, and the character and quality of dementia and mental health services delivered in congregate geriatric care settings. He has advised government in the United States, Canada and China on the impact of an aging society on healthcare demand.  

Dr. Reichman is a recipient of a Bronze Telly award for a documentary film that he co-created and hosted, entitled Reflections of Memory Lost: Understanding Alzheimer’s disease. 


OCAD University celebrates these honorary degree recipients for their contribution to knowledge and culture in their creative fields, for their passionate belief in the importance of visual arts and design, and for their spirit of philanthropy in the cultural sector and beyond.

Since 2003, OCAD University has conferred honorary doctorates on notable figures including Piers Handling, Nobuo Kubota, Carole Condé and Karl Beveridge, Anita Kunz, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Margaret Atwood, Charles Pachter, Dan Donovan, Bill Buxton, the Rt. Hon. Adrienne Clarkson, Karim Rashid, Will Alsop, Daphne Odjig, Claude Gidman and Kent Monkman. 

About OCAD University
OCAD University (www.ocadu.ca)is Canada’s university of the imagination. Founded in 1876, the university is dedicated to art, design and digital media education, practice and research, and to knowledge and invention across a wide range of disciplines. 


Media may attend the convocation ceremonies or arrange interviews by contacting:
Sarah Mulholland
Communications, OCAD University
416-977-6000 Ext. 1327

Ontario MPP Monte Kwinter, alumnus and former VP, retires

Robert Montgomery, Monte Kwinter, Sara Diamond and MPP John Milloy with plaque
Monday, July 24, 2017

Longtime MPP Monte Kwinter will not be seeking re-election in York Centre next June. At 86, Kwinter has the distinction of being the oldest MPP in Ontario history.

A former vice-president and alumnus of the Ontario College of Art (now OCAD University), Kwinter was first elected to the Legislature in 1985, serving as Minister of Consumer and Commercial Relations, Minister of Financial Institutions and Minister of Industry, Trade and Technology.

Over his three-decades-long career at Queen’s Park, Kwinter has and continues to play an important role as a champion for OCAD University. He has been instrumental in advocating on OCAD University’s behalf, most notably in 2002, when the Government of Ontario passed new legislation changing OCAD U’s name from Ontario College of Art & Design to OCAD University. This was a significant victory for the institution in its evolution to become Canada’s most comprehensive art, design and media university.

Kwinter graduated from the Ontario College of Art in 1954 and served as Vice-President from 1971 to 1973. For his contributions and achievements, Kwinter was awarded an honorary doctorate from OCAD University in 2003.

OCAD University would like to congratulate MPP Monte Kwinter on a venerable public career, and wish him well in his future pursuits post-retirement.



Reception for Daphne Odjig

Friday, October 17, 2008 - 2:30pm

Please join us in celebrating Daphne Odjig, recipient of a 2008 Honorary Doctorate degree from OCAD.

A painter, activist and educator, Daphne Odjig was appointed Member of the Order of Canada in 1986. Her work, which fuses indigenous and Western art histories into a unique vision that bridges Native and non-Native cultures with elegant narratives, has been exhibited around the world. Over the course of her career, Odjig, who is of Potawatomi, Odawa, and English descent, has developed a distinct style based on the abstracted human form. The visual motif central to her work is the circle, which to the Ojibwa signifies completion and perfection, and is symbolic of women. Now a resident of British Columbia, she continues to revolutionize painting and creative practice through her commitment to exploring and communicating the continuity between tradition and contemporary practice.

Venue & Address: 
Rm 187 100 McCaul St., Toronto, Ontario

OCAD Spring Convocation

Thursday, June 5, 2008 - 4:00am

OCAD will honour the class of 2008 and present honourary doctorates.

Venue & Address: 
Roy Thomson Hall 60 Simcoe Street, Toronto, Ontario

OCAD University honours leaders in Black and Indigenous art

Image of Dr. Montague standing in front of a painting and bookshelf
Portrait of artist Alex Janvier
Thursday, June 2, 2016 - 4:00am

Artist, activist and teacher Alex Janvier and art collector and curator Kenneth Montague were awarded honorary doctorates at OCAD University’s convocation ceremonies on June 10.

Janvier is widely known as a pioneer of modernist Indigenous art with his paintings rendered in bright colours and imbued with spirituality. A survivor of the residential school system, Janvier pursued formal art training at what is now the Alberta College of Art and Design, where he graduated with honours. Janvier’s prolific work has influenced generations of Native artists.

Montague is sometimes described as a “Renaissance man” whose passion for art and philanthropy match his renowned dentistry skills. In 1997, Montague founded the non-profit Wedge Curatorial Projects, which promotes themes of culture and identity in art – particularly within the diasporic African and Black communities – through exhibitions, lectures and discussions.

“It is so fitting for Alex Janvier to receive this degree from OCAD University, which he had hoped to attend as a young man. His amazing body of work, from monumental murals to dazzling watercolours, has made a lasting impact on Canada’s visual culture,” said Dr. Sara Diamond, OCAD University’s president and vice-chancellor. “Kenneth Montague’s curatorial projects explore important issues of identity in art and society, whether in his own home here in Toronto or at galleries as far flung as London’s Tate Modern.”


Alex Janvier, from Cold Lake First Nation in northern Alberta, is one of Canada’s most acclaimed contemporary painters. His 50-year career is distinctively informed by his Indigenous heritage and modernist abstract painting style. His Morning Star mural painted on the domed ceiling of the Canadian Museum of History’s Grand Hall is seen by hundreds of visitors every day.

Besides being an influential artist, Janvier is a major figure and significant contributor to Indigenous visual culture. He was an art instructor, a cultural adviser and a member of the ground-breaking Professional Native Indian Artists Inc., also known as the Indian Group of Seven. 

Janvier received multiple honours, awards and honorary doctorates; among them, the Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts, the National Aboriginal Lifetime Achievement Award and the Order of Canada. This fall, the National Gallery of Canada will present a major exhibition of his work.

In the 1950s, Janvier applied to study at the Ontario College of Art (as OCAD University was then known) and was accepted. Due to government policy, however, he was not granted permission to leave the reserve to attend. On June 10, OCAD University will proudly recognize Janvier’s extraordinary accomplishments and welcome him into the university community with an honorary doctorate.

Kenneth Montague is a Toronto-based art collector and the founder and director of Wedge Curatorial Projects, a non-profit arts organization. Since 1997, Montague has been promoting both emerging and established diasporic African and Black artists via exhibitions, lectures and workshops. His focus is on contemporary art that explores Black identity, and he showcases these works in his Wedge Collection.

Montague is also a practising dentist who graduated from the University of Toronto's Faculty of Dentistry. He has repeatedly been voted "Best Dentist" in NOW Magazine readers’ polls, and his innovative downtown Toronto clinic provides dental care for many artists, designers and musicians. Montague is a founding member of the Association for the Advancement of Blacks in Health Science, and its Summer Mentorship Program for high-school students from African and First Nations communities has become a city-wide success. He has also established the Dr. Kenneth Montague African Diaspora Scholarship at the University of Windsor, where he began his post-secondary education.

Montague has served on the Africa Acquisitions Committee at Tate Modern, London (2012–2015), as well as the Advisory Board of the Ryerson Image Centre (2011–2014) and the Photography Curatorial Committee of the Art Gallery of Ontario (2009–2012). He is currently an AGO trustee and chair of the gallery’s Education and Community Engagement Committee. 

Professor Lillian Allen to receive Honorary Doctorate from Wilfrid Laurier

Professor Lillian Allen
Wednesday, May 11, 2016 - 4:00am

Internationally-acclaimed writer, dub poet and community activist Lillian Allen will receive an Honorary Doctor of Letters degree from Wilfrid Laurier University at its convocation ceremonies in June.

Allen, a professor in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences, has been teaching creative writing at OCAD University since 1992. 

As a writer and vocalist, Allen has recorded several albums. Revolutionary Tea Party (1986) and Conditions Critical (1988) won JUNO awards in the reggae/calypso category.

She is the founder of the DubPoets Collective in Toronto and has led such programs as Fresh Arts, Native Women in the Arts and Black Arts Service Organizations.

Allen is the recipient of the Margo Bindhardt Award, the City of Toronto Cultural Champion Award and the William P. Hubbard Award for Race Relations.

OCAD University honours esteemed arts mentors at convocation ceremonies

Photo of artist and activist Winsom Winsom
Photo of artist and academic Margaret Priest
Thursday, June 4, 2015 - 6:15pm

This year, two outstanding artists will receive honorary doctorates at OCAD University’s largest convocation ceremony to date: Professor Margaret Priest, artist, educator, and philanthropist; and Winsom Winsom, an arts activist and mentor to young people in marginalized communities.

In a two-ceremony event at Roy Thomson Hall on Thursday, June 11, 650 undergraduate and graduate students will be presented with their diplomas. As the university has become more diversified, with many students being the first generation in their families to complete post-secondary education, more seats are required so that students may invite family and friends to celebrate their success.

“Winsom Winsom’s lectures for OCAD University’s community arts practice courses demonstrated to students the ways that the arts enrich and empower communities in Toronto and in Belize,” said Dr. Sara Diamond, President and Vice-Chancellor of OCAD University. “Margaret Priest is one of Canada’s leading Canadian conceptual artists and has created single works, installations and major public commissions. She was deeply engaged with OCAD University as advisor to the Academic Council, active in planning our graduate programs and a passionate Board of Governors member. We are honouring these two artists not only for their creative achievements, but also for what they have brought to this institution.”

The first ceremony, at 10:30 a.m. will recognize graduands from the Faculty of Design, with Priest receiving her honorary doctorate. The second ceremony, at 3 p.m., will honour graduands from the Faculty of Art, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences and School of Interdisciplinary Studies, and Graduate Studies. Winsom will receive her honorary doctorate at the afternoon ceremony. 


Margaret Priest was educated in England, where she completed an MA at the Royal College of Art and a Dip.A.D (BFA equivalent) at the Maidstone College of Art. She has worked in Canada most of her adult life as an artist and as a Professor at both the University of Guelph and the University of Toronto. She is currently professor emeritus, University of Guelph, and is a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts. Margaret is a former member of the Board of Governors of OCAD University.

Margaret has received many honours and award over the years both as an artist and as an academic. Her art career includes solo exhibitions at public and private galleries as well as inclusion in group exhibition sin institutions as diverse as the Power Plant, RISD, and Plug In ICA in Winnipeg. She is represented in public collections such as the Tate Gallery, London, and the Canadian Centre for Architecture and in corporate collections in Toronto, Montreal, New York and San Francisco. Within the arts community, she is a strong advocate for artists. She regularly participates in selected addresses, panels, workshops and juries. Margaret is deeply engaged in academics. Her contributions to the community through lectures and appearances as a visiting speaker or critic encourages artists to be the best they can be so they can advance their careers. Simulating and mentoring the minds of young, budding artists is Margaret’s pursuit in life.

Margaret played an important role in the recent evolution of OCAD University. She was instrumental in establishing OCAD’s Graduate programs and was deeply engaged with the Academic Council. Margaret played a significant role in OCAD’s transformation from a college to a university, providing advice to the Academic Council and as an advocate of university level curriculum. As well, she was very involved in the creation of the Onsite Professional Gallery. As a Board of Governors members she supported OCAD through fundraising activities at her home.

Over her career, Margaret has played an important role in the arts community within Canada. Margaret is an outstanding individual who continues to enrich the lives of many by her presence in the art and academic world.

Winsom Winsom is a long-standing and well-known Canadian–Jamaican Maroon artist, arts educator and mentor who initiates and develops programs in the arts, arts education and culture to address community needs. She has had a significant and direct impact on the lives of hundreds of young people, first in Jamaica, later in Canada and now in Belize, where she established the Winsom Foundation. Her foundation trains and develops young people in the arts and education, as well as helps them to chart a path of sustainability. Winsom’s efforts and those of her foundation are carried out with few and scarce resources and art infrastructure must be created from scratch. Community cultural enhancement through the arts, the arts in education (as a tool of empowerment, creative collaboration and community development), cross-cultural dialogue and spiritual enrichment are some of the Winsom Foundation’s achievements to date.

Winsom’s position in equity-seeking groups is best assessed when it is understood that most artists from these communities are mentored, as opposed to coming up through art school. By means of her visibility as an artist, Winsom is an inspiration to many people, while her work creates paths and spaces for young people to dream and motivates them to embark on meaningful lives. In Belize, Winsom assists young people to get to and through high school and on to college or university by advocating on their behalf though the education system. She also provides training and other forms of support to a number of local emerging artists in order to help them establish a career in the arts. One of Winsom’s main visions is to help bring art and design education into the Belize school system. In Toronto, her mentorship and teaching in the Fresh Elements and Fresh Arts programs were important contributions to the emergence of several Canadian artists. Winsom’s status as an elder, along with her dedication to the arts as integral to the production of cultural voice, societal engagement and citizenship, has created new spaces for dialogue within and across marginalized communities. She is also tecognized for her ambassadorship in the arts, longstanding work in bridging cultures and providing opportunities for others.


IAIN BAXTER& was awarded an honorary doctorate at OCAD U’s convocation ceremony on June 12. BAXTER& is regarded as one of the most prolific artists in Canada.

Below are some highlights from his speech and the graduating class of 2014.

Find out more about IAIN BAXTER&

Watch “an introduction to IAIN BAXTER&” by the Art Gallery of Ontario.


IAIN BAXTER&’s online catalogue

Feature profile in Canadian Art magazine

OCAD to confer honorary doctorates on Carole Condé, Karl Beveridge, Anita Kunz and Buffy Sainte-Marie

Wednesday, June 2, 2010 - 4:00am

(Toronto—June 2, 2010) The Ontario College of Art & Design (OCAD) will present honorary doctorate degrees to artists Carole Condé and Karl Beveridge, illustrator Anita Kunz and singer/songwriter Buffy Sainte-Marie at the university’s convocation ceremony at Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto on Friday, June 4.

“Condé and Beveridge, Kunz and Sainte-Marie exemplify OCAD’s commitment to engaging creative skills to allow a deep understanding of the complex world around us,” said Dr. Sara Diamond, OCAD President. “It is with great pleasure that we honour their contributions, and welcome them to share their visions for the future as inspiration for this year’s graduating class.”

Called “the social conscience of the Canadian art world” by Canadian Art, Toronto-based Carole Condé and Karl Beveridge are collaborative artists who have been working with trade unions and community organizations in the production of their staged photographic works for more than 30 years. “We feel that it is not only important to articulate the concerns and experience of working and community life, but also that [the work] should be able to stand up to the sophistication of corporate culture and take into account the complexities of cultural representation.” Their work has addressed issues ranging from free trade to health care to anti-globalization, with each project involving intense research and collaboration with grassroots organizations, labour unions and community members. The resulting narratives are constructed within the languages of mass-communication, delivering engaged social messages. Condé and Beveridge’s have exhibited internationally, and they continue to be active in several labour arts initiatives including the Mayworks Festival in Toronto and the Workers Arts and Heritage Centre in Hamilton.

Recently appointed as an Officer of the Order of Canada, Anita Kunz is an accomplished and acclaimed illustrator contributing to the world’s leading magazines, design firms, book publishers and advertising agencies. Her clients include Time magazine, Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, GQ, The New York Times, Sony Music, Random House and many others. She has produced cover art for many magazines including Sports Illustrated, Newsweek, the Atlantic Monthly and The New York Times Magazine. She has also illustrated more than fifty book jacket covers. Kunz teaches workshops and lectures at universities and institutions across the globe, and has been honoured with many prestigious awards and medals. Her critically acclaimed paintings and sculptures have appeared in galleries worldwide, including the Norman Rockwell Museum in Massachusetts and the Teatrio Cultural Association in Rome. Her works are in the permanent collections at the Library of Congress, the Canadian Archives in Ottawa, the Musée Militaire de France in Paris and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Rome. A number of her Time magazine cover paintings are also in the permanent collection at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C. Kunz has been named one of the fifty most influential women in Canada by the National Post.

Buffy Sainte-Marie is an award-winning singer-songwriter, musician, composer, artist, educator and activist. Born on the Cree Piapot First Nation in Qu'Appelle Valley, Saskatchewan, Sainte-Marie was adopted and raised in the United States. In the 1960s, she toured North American colleges, reservations and concert halls with her songs of protest and love, encountering myriad misperceptions about Native American culture. Yet her career as a singer/songwriter earned her acclaim at home and internationally, eventually taking her to Europe, Canada, Australia, Hong Kong and Japan. As a composer, she won an Academy Award and a Golden Globe Award for the song Up Where We Belong, recorded by Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes for the film An Officer and a Gentleman. Her work has been covered by such musicians as Elvis Presley, Barbra Streisand, Neil Diamond, Janis Joplin and Chet Atkins.

An early pioneer in digital art and music, by 1994 Sainte-Marie's huge works were being shown in museums and galleries across North America, including the Glenbow Museum in Calgary, the Emily Carr Gallery in Vancouver, the Institute for American Indian Art Museum in Santa Fe, Ramscale Gallery in New York and the Tucson Museum of Art. Her works have appeared on the covers of Art Focus and Talking Stick magazines and featured in MS. Magazine, on Yahoo and in USA Today.

As an educator, Sainte-Marie is responsible for the Cradleboard Teaching Project, an educational curriculum devoted to the better understanding of Native Americans. She has taught digital music as an adjunct professor at several colleges. The recipient of many accolades and awards, Sainte-Marie was appointed as an Officer in the Order of Canada in 1997. She has received two medals from Queen Elizabeth II, and in 1999 received a star on Canada’s Walk of Fame. She has also received several Juno Awards, her most recent being Aboriginal Album of the Year for her 2009 release Running for the Drum.

OCAD’s 2010 Spring Convocation ceremony will take place on Friday, June 4 at 1:30 p.m. at Roy Thomson Hall, 60 Simcoe Street, Toronto.

Since 2003, OCAD has conferred honorary doctorates to such luminaries as Margaret Atwood, Charles Pachter, Dan Donovan, Bill Buxton, the Rt. Hon. Adrienne Clarkson, Karim Rashid, Will Alsop, Daphne Odjig and Claude Gidman. Prior to 2003, OCAD named honorary fellows, including A. J. Casson, Don Watt, Betty Goodwin, Atom Egoyan and Bruce Mau and many others.

About the Ontario College of Art & Design (OCAD)
The Ontario College of Art & Design (www.ocad.ca) 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 or to request images, contact:

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

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

OCAD University to confer honorary doctorates on Peter Caldwell, Piers Handling and Nobuo Kubota

Thursday, May 19, 2011 - 4:00am

(Toronto—May 19, 2011) OCAD University (OCAD U) will present honorary doctorate degrees to community leader Peter Caldwell, cultural icon Piers Handling and artist Nobuo Kubota at the university’s convocation ceremony at Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto on Thursday, June 2.

"Caldwell, Handling and Kubota are three individuals who have each had a profound impact in their respective fields," says Dr. Sara Diamond, OCAD University President. "Peter Caldwell has been a tireless crusader for OCAD University itself, especially in supporting our physical growth through major capital developments and acquisitions like the Sharp Centre for Design and our three southern campus buildings. Piers Handling has put Toronto on the global stage with his leadership in cultivating the Toronto International Film Festival into the world-class event it is today. Nobuo Kubota has left an indelible mark in Canada with his creative energy, innovation and enthusiasm. The qualities of these inspiring individuals are what we want to impart to this year’s graduating class as they go out into the world and make their own impressions."


Peter Caldwell has been a long-standing and passionate supporter of OCAD University in both a professional and personal capacity. As the institution’s former Vice-President, Finance & Administration, a position he held in various iterations since 1994, he served as its Chief Administrative and Financial Officer. In this role, he provided strong leadership and was a key figure in driving forward the university’s physical campus expansion while also supporting the overall academic growth of the institution. Notably, he oversaw the development and construction of the acclaimed Sharp Centre for Design that opened in 2004.
Piers Handling is one of the most successful CEOs within the Canadian cultural community.  Since taking over as the Director and CEO of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in 1994, he has been responsible for building an organization that presents an international event on par with Cannes and other premier film festivals around the world. Under his leadership, TIFF has grown to now include: TIFF Cinematheque; the Film Reference Library and the Canadian Film Encyclopedia online; Film Circuit, which promotes Canadian and independent film in underserviced cities across Canada; Sprockets Toronto International Film Festival for Children launched in 1998; and the TIFF Bell Lightbox. Handling is also recognized for his role in the expansion of the Festival of Festivals into a larger cultural institution with a much broader mandate.

Nobuo Kubota is a Vancouver-born, multimedia artist and former OCAD University faculty member (1970 to 1998) who incorporates his years of architectural experience to make video and film that explore the variety of structural possibilities. Much of his work touches on both his Canadian identity, as well as his Japanese roots. Abandoning his 10-year architectural career in 1969 to fully devote himself to sculpture and music, Kubota received a Canada Council grant to study his passion for art in Japan. Today, he continues to exhibit widely, and in 2009 received the prestigious Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts.

OCAD University’s 2011 Spring Convocation ceremony will take place on Thursday, June 2 at 1:30 p.m. at Roy Thomson Hall, 60 Simcoe Street, Toronto.

Since 2003, OCAD has conferred honorary doctorates to such luminaries as Carole Condé and Karl Beveridge, Anita Kunz, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Margaret Atwood, Charles Pachter, Dan Donovan, Bill Buxton, the Rt. Hon. Adrienne Clarkson, Karim Rashid, Will Alsop, Daphne Odjig and Claude Gidman. Prior to 2003, OCAD U named honorary fellows, including A. J. Casson, Don Watt, Betty Goodwin, Atom Egoyan and Bruce Mau.

About OCAD University (OCAD U)
OCAD University (www.ocad.ca) is Canada’s “university of the imagination.” The university, founded in 1876, 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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Download this release as a PDF file.

For more information contact:

Sarah Mulholland, Media & Communications Officer
416-977-6000 Ext. 327 (mobile Ext. 1327)