OCAD University to install Salah Bachir as Chancellor at convocation

Monday, June 5, 2017

OCAD University will formally install Salah Bachir, president of Cineplex Media, as Chancellor at the university’s convocation ceremonies at Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto on June 9, 2017.

The university will also award Bachir an honorary doctorate alongside three other outstanding individuals who have made significant contributions to Canadian culture, art and design: architect Harriet Burdett-Moulton, artist Kent Monkman and Ada Slaight, one of Canada’s leading philanthropists.

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

A successful entrepreneur, publisher and media executive, Bachir is a passionate patron of the arts whose diverse art collection features many works of Canadian artists, both emerging and established. He is a strong supporter of numerous cultural events, organizations and programs.
“Salah Bachir is a wonderful addition to the OCAD University community as our new Chancellor, taking on the important role of the university’s chief ambassador,” said Dr. Sara Diamond, President and Vice-Chancellor. “Not only does he have a passion for art and phenomenal success in the field of digital media, his personal values of diversity, equity and inclusion are deeply embedded in our DNA, which makes him the perfect fit for this role.”

OCAD University celebrates the graduation of almost 800 of its students this year. The university’s 22 medal winners in their respective programs will receive their awards, and faculty members will be honoured for their contributions with teaching awards.

The new Chancellor will be installed during the first ceremony at 10:30 a.m. which will recognize graduands from the Faculty of Design with Bachir and Burdett-Moulton receiving their honorary doctorates. The second ceremony, at 3:30 p.m., will honour graduands from the Faculty of Art, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences and School of Interdisciplinary Studies, and Graduate Studies. Monkman and Slaight will receive their honorary doctorates at the afternoon ceremony.

OCAD University’s Board of Governors is pleased to award the title of Chancellor Emerita/us to past chancellors Rosalie Sharp, the Honourable James K. Bartleman and Catherine (Kiki) Delaney to pay tribute to their ongoing support of the university.

“The title honours and celebrates these past Chancellors and their work with OCAD University, and it acknowledges their ongoing relationship with the institution. From time to time we will call upon them for their sage advice and counsel to the university,” said Dr. John Semple, Chair, OCAD University Board of Governors.


Salah Bachir

Salah Bachir, CM, is an entrepreneur, magazine publisher, and the president of Cineplex Media. He is also one of Canada’s most influential philanthropists and patrons of art.

After five years in the publishing industry, Bachir began the trade publication Premiere to serve the needs of the burgeoning video distribution and retail sectors. In 1999, Bachir launched Famous magazine, distributed as an in-house movie theatre publication. Now called Cineplex Magazine, its circulation and readership are among the highest of any in Canada.

Bachir has lent his extensive collection of art for exhibition to major Canadian institutions, and donated important works to the National Gallery of Canada, The London Regional Gallery, The Art Gallery of Hamilton, Rideau Hall and the Canadiana Fund. In addition, he has provided extensive financial support to galleries, including the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Oakville Galleries, and numerous Canadian university galleries.

Bachir has been a long-time supporter and patron of the LGBTQ community, sponsoring Buddies in Bad Times Theatre in Toronto, the We’re Funny That Way comedy festival, the Inside Out film and video festival and The 519 community centre.

Health care is another of Bachir’s signature issues. He has helped raise millions for HIV/AIDS research and Toronto-area hospitals, including a $2.5 million donation to build a new dialysis unit at St. Joseph’s Health Centre. He is also a tireless voice for patients.

Harriet Burdett-Moulton

Harriet Burdett-Moulton is a Métis architect with primarily Inuit & Montagnais roots. She was born in Cartwright, Labrador and was raised “in a nomadic family deeply tied to seasonal hunting and the fishing cycle of the region.”

Formerly a school teacher, she returned to university to complete her architecture degree (1972-1976). Burdett-Moulton lived in Iqaluit where she worked for the government of the Northwest Territories and eventually relocated to Nunavut. With her husband, a mechanical engineer, they established the first architectural and engineering firm in the Eastern Arctic. In 2017, Burdett-Moulton became a Fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada.

Ms. Burdett-Moulton has not only conducted a successful career in a traditionally male-dominated profession, but also applied her knowledge to “respond with ingenuity” to the needs of the Arctic communities with whom she shared her understanding of the land. One of Burdett-Moulton’s main strengths is her ability to understand and interpret First Nations culture in her designs, while adapting them to the extreme climactic conditions and the transportation restrictions of this remote region. The years spent in the Territories taught her how to truly listen to the Inuit and this put an end to the prevailing model that encouraged a “design for” rather than “design with” the communities. Her most elaborate project was the planning of the new Innu town of Natuashish, Labrador, that involved an extensive seven-year consultation process whose scope reached beyond public engagement,placing the importance on community decision making.

Kent Monkman

Kent Monkman is well-known for his provocative reinterpretations of romantic North American landscapes. Themes of colonization, sexuality, loss, and resilience - the complexities of historic and contemporary Native American experience - are explored in a variety of mediums, including painting, film/video, performance, and installation.

His glamorous diva alter-ego Miss Chief appears in much of his work as an agent provocateur, trickster, and supernatural being, who reverses the colonial gaze, upending received notions of history and indigenous people. With Miss Chief at centre stage, Monkman has created memorable site-specific performances at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, The Royal Ontario Museum, The Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, Compton Verney, and most recently at the Denver Art Museum. His award-winning short film and video works have been screened at various national and international festivals, including the 2007 and 2008 Berlinale, and the 2007 and 2015 Toronto International Film Festival. His second national touring solo exhibition, Shame and Prejudice: A Story of Resilience will visit museums across Canada until 2020.

Monkman has been awarded the Egale Leadership Award (2012), the Indspire Award (2014), the Hnatyshyn Foundation Visual Arts Award (2014), and the Bonham Centre Award (2017).

His work has been exhibited internationally and is widely represented in the collections of major Museums in Canada and the United States. He is represented by Pierre-François Ouellette art contemporain in Montreal and Toronto, Trépanier Baer in Calgary and Peters Projects in Santa Fe.

Ada Slaight

Ada Slaight (née Mitchell) is one of Canada’s leading philanthropists. For many decades, Ada Slaight’s generous gifts to organizations in Toronto and elsewhere have supported education, arts and culture, social services, and healthcare.

Theatre – and the performing arts in general – is one of Ada Slaight’s enduring passions. Organizations that have greatly benefitted from her generous and thoughtful philanthropic support and volunteer commitment include: OCAD University, Young People’s Theatre, National Theatre School of Canada, Soulpepper, Toronto Artscape, Royal Ontario Museum, Evergreen Brick Works, Vital Toronto Fund, National Ballet of Canada, VIBE Arts, Mount Sinai Hospital, and the Harbour Island Day Nursery in the Bahamas.

From 1990 to 1998, Slaight served with distinction on the Board of Governors of the Shaw Festival in the roles of Governor, National Governor and Honorary Governor. Partly in recognition of her many contributions to the Shaw Festival, in 2009, the Academy at the Shaw Festival was re-named the Slaight Family Academy (the repertory theatre’s professional training, play development, publishing and public education wing).

A long-time supporter and advocate for OCAD University, Slaight served as a highly engaged and effective member of the volunteer fundraising cabinet for the “Ideas Need Space” capital campaign that resulted in the iconic Sharp Centre for Design. Recent benefaction to OCAD U has created the Ada Slaight Chair of Contemporary Painting and Print Media, the Ada Slaight Entrance Scholarships, the Ada Slaight Studios, and the Ada Slaight Galleries.  




Photo of graduands at Roy Thomson Hall

Cape Dorset/Papunya

Cape Dorset/Papunya

  • To systematize the art and artist of Cape Dorset
  • To understand and articulate the persistence of identity in the face of external pressures
  • To understand Inuit “servivance” in an extreme environment as a distinct culture
Cape Dorset/Papunya - INVC Research Centre - OCAD University
Tuesday, March 21, 2017 - 12:00pm

Arctic Amazon



  • To understand who the Arctic and its inhabitants were viewed by early Europeans
  • To catalogue early European explorers and their purpose; as well as their successes and failures


Arctic Amazon | INVC Research Centre | OCAD University
Tuesday, March 21, 2017 - 12:15am

Symposium: SOUTHERN SCENE - Inuit Disenchantment

Image of a snowmobile
Tuesday, September 15, 2015 - 1:30pm to 3:30pm

Indigenous Visual Culture’s annual Fall symposium will draw attention to Inuit artists who live and practice in the "south” as they are forgotten or deleted from the conversation and discourse around Inuit Art and ‘northern’ expectations. Dr. Heather Igloliorte will discuss and introduce the issue and lead a conversation between the panelists including Barry Pottle, Beth Kotierk, Geronimo Inutiq and Britt Gallpen.

Keynote and Moderator:

Heather Igloliorte is a Concordia University Research Chair in Indigenous Art History and Community Engagement and an Assistant Professor of Indigenous art history from Nunatsiavut, Labrador, who resides in Montreal. Heather's teaching and research interests center on Inuit and other Native North American visual and material culture, circumpolar art studies, performance and new media art, the global exhibition of Indigenous arts and culture, and issues of colonization, sovereignty, resistance, resilience and resurgence. 


Beth Kotierk was born in Iqaluit, Nunavut and grew up in Ottawa. She studied Sculpture and Installation and Indigenous Visual Culture at OCAD University. In 2009, she was awarded the inaugural Norval Morriseau Fine Arts Bursary. Today her work is multi-disciplinary ranging from performance, video, painting to design.

Barry Pottle is an emerging Inuk artist from Nunatsiavut in Labrador (Rigolet), now living in Ottawa. He has worked in and with the Ontario Aboriginal arts community for many years. He believes that the concept of Urban Inuit is relatively new and for the most part unexplored (compared to other Urban Aboriginal groups in Canada). As an emerging artist, he is trying give voice and reality to this concept. 

Geronimo Inutiq considers himself amongst other things a self-taught and independent electronic & electro-acoustic musician, and multi-media artist. Having been exposed to strong traditional Inuit cultural elements in his youth, as well as the exciting worlds of modern art, and broadcast & media. Through close members of his kin, he has been able to weave those reference points into his practice.

Britt Gallpen is a critic and emerging curator based in Toronto, Canada. She is currently completing an M.A. in Art History at York University, specializing in contemporary Canadian art and curatorial studies. Her current project includes the Arctic Noise Project. http://www.arcticnoiseproject.com/

Image: Idle No More by Barry Pottle

Venue & Address: 
Open Space Gallery Meeting Room 51 McCaul St 

Faculty Sabbatical Talks

Photograph of carnival scene
Image of a building at night
Wednesday, January 28, 2015 - 8:00pm to 10:00pm

Join the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Sciences & School of Interdisciplinary Studies (LAS/SIS) to learn about two of our faculty members' research experiences during their sabbaticals:

Quipucamayoc: A Cusco/Buenos Aires Performative Communications Network
Dr. David McIntosh is Associate Professor of Media Studies. His primary research fields are globalization and the political-economies of audiovisual spaces; network theories and practices; new media narrativity; mobile locative media; game theory; digital documents; Latin American media studies; and queer media. In 2008, McIntosh was the recipient of the first OCAD University Award for a Career of Distinguished Research and Creation. In 2012 he was
awarded a SSHRC Insight Research and Creation grant to undertake Quipucamayoc. This Sabbatical Talk will address a range of research and creation activities in relation to Quipucamayoc, as of year 2 in its 4 year process, including: adaptation of historical sources for contemporary digital interactive constructions; trans-local collaboration; charette as creative process; interaction and narrative building across art disciplines of analogue and digital movement, sound and wearable creation; interactive digital network construction and contextual application of platforms including Kinect Point Cloud, Skeletal Kinect and a variety of body sensors.

Towards an Inuit School
Dr. Marie-Josée Therrien is Associate Professor of Design and Architectural History. In addition to her academic career, Therrien has worked for museums, television and new media as well as for government research agencies. A heritage activist, she has successfully led two campaigns to protect the integrity of the Toronto Dominion Centre in Toronto. Her research explores design and the built environment in the context of the North American car culture, and she has also published on Canadian embassies and shopping malls. This Sabbatical Talk will address her recent work on the architecture of the post-residential schools in the Arctic. Starting in the late fifties, the oldest schools of the Eastern Arctic established by the different religious were replaced by modern facilities planned by the federal and subsequently by the territorial government. Since then, schools have been built at a fast pace, responding to the process of sedentarization, and reflecting the government’s intentions to standardize the education system. This presentation examines the design of a few schools that testify as much to the evolution of pedagogical orientations as to the sociopolitical and environmental changes since the late fifties.

Venue & Address: 
205 Richmond Street West Room 7315, 3rd Floor