Summer Institute '19: Spotlight on Indigenous Filmmaking with Suzanne Morrissette

Thursday, June 13, 2019 - 6:00pm to 10:00pm

Join us for a Spotlight on Contemporary Indigenous Filmmaking! The evening begins with a talk featuring curator Suzanne Morrissette (OCAD University) and artists Lisa Myers and Fallon Simard, followed by stunning outdoor projections of short films against the walls of the historic Jacob Stong Barn at sundown.

FREE + open to the public!

6:00 - 7:30 PM - Curator Talk, York University, Nat Taylor Cinema N102 Ross Building

9:00 PM - Outdoor Projections, York University, Jacob Stong Barn

The program includes works by Richelle Bear Hat, Thirza Cuthand, Louis-Philippe Moar, Caroline Monnet, Lisa Myers, Jessie Short, and Fallon Simard:

In Her Care (dir. Richelle Bear Hat), 10 min.

Reclamation (dir. Thirza Cuthand), 13 min.

Kick It Now (dir. Louis-Philippe Moar), 3 min.

Portrait of an Indigenous Woman (dir. Caroline Monnet), 16 min.

And from the on we lived on blueberries for about a week (dir. Lisa Myers), 7 min.

Wake Up! (dir. Jessie Short), 6 min.

Land Becomes Ghost (dir. Fallon Simard), 1 min.


Suzanne Morrissette is a Metis artist, curator, and scholar from Winnipeg researching reactions to Indigenous political thought and curatorial strategies for centering Indigenous knowledge.

Archive/Counter-Archive is a SSHRC project led by Janine Marchessault, dedicated to researching and remediating audiovisual archives created by women, Indigenous Peoples, the LGBTQ2+ community, and immigrant communities. Political, resistant, and community-based, counter-archives disrupt conventional narratives and enrich our histories.

2019 Summer Institute: Archives/Counter-Archives is convened by Philip Hoffman, Janine Marchessault, and Michael Zryd. Free and public screenings, panels, and master classes will be held at the TIFF Bell Lightbox and York University, and will feature special guests such as Matthias Müller, Ali Kazimi, Yvonne Ng, and Suzanne Morrisette. Visit here for details:

Venue & Address: 
York University, Nat Taylor Cinema, N102 Ross Building
Spotlight on Contemporary Indigenous Filmmaking Poster

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

Métis artist Christi Belcourt honoured with Premier’s Award

Thursday, October 6, 2016 - 4:00am

Premier Kathleen Wynne celebrated the winners of the 10th annual Premier's Awards for Excellence in the Arts at an event at the Art Gallery of Ontario on October 5.

Christi Belcourt, a visual artist from Espanola, Ontario, won the Individual Artist Award. The majority of her work explores the beauty of the natural world. Her large-scale paintings are inspired by the traditional beadwork patterns of Métis and First Nation women.

Belcourt’s paintings are found in the permanent collections of the National Gallery of Canada, the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Indian and Inuit Art Collection, Parliament Hill and Canadian Museum of Civilization, First People’s Hall, among other prestigious institututions.

Administered by the Ontario Arts Council, the Premier’s Awards are open to artists and arts organizations engaged in professional practice in the province.

The winning artist receives a $35,000 prize and selects an emerging artist who receives a $15,000 prize. The winning arts organization is awarded $50,000.

Christian Chapman, an Anishinaabe visual artist and filmmaker from Fort William First Nation, was honoured as Emerging Artist of the Year. 

A Different Booklist, an independent bookstore and literary cultural destination in Toronto, won the Arts Organization Award. 

After receiving the award, Belcourt stated she would be donating the prize money to Onaman Collective, an “Indigenous grassroots land-based art initiative sharing traditional knowledge and language with youth.” Belcourt co-founded the collective in 2014 with Isaac Murdoch and Erin Konsmo.

Belcourt’s father, Tony Belcourt, is the founding president of the Métis Nation of Ontario and was appointed to OCAD U’s Board of Governors in 2012.  

Christi Belcourt

Art Creates Change: Dylan Miner Public Talk

Art installation with three decorated bicycles
Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Art Creates Change
The Kym Pruesse Speaker Series
Presented by the Faculty of Art

Dylan Miner’s artistic practice, based on social relationships and an interdisciplinary sensibility, explores issues of migration, mobility, labour, economics, individual and collective identity, as well as Indigenous and community history. Miner, is a Wiisaakodwinini (Métis) artist and scholar who exhibits widely. He is founding member of Justseeds and was awarded an Artist Leadership Fellowship from the National Museum of the American Indian. Miner is Associate Professor at Michigan State University and curator of Indigenous Art at the MSU Museum. He states, “I come to my work as an artist from my position as an activist. I am unapologetic about making my work political.”

Art Creates change is a two-part speaker series. Devora Neumark will be giving a public talk on Tuesday, March 3, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. 100 McCaul St., Central Hall (room 230) Toronto, ON

Art Creates Change is sponsored by Faculty of Art Faculty Innovation Fund

Co-programmers: Richard Fung & b.h. Yael

All events are open to the public
Wheelchair accessible

Venue & Address: 
100 McCaul St., Auditorium (room 190)
416-977-6000 ext 330

OCAD University and the Métis Nation of Ontario establish endowment to support Métis students

Monday, August 23, 2010 - 4:00am

(Toronto — August 23, 2010) The Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO), in partnership with OCAD University (OCADU) is thrilled to announce the establishment of the Dr. Tony Belcourt Endowment Fund for Métis in the Arts.

“It is an honour to be in partnership with such a successful and acclaimed University. Because of the introduction of this fund, Métis students will have greater opportunities for future careers in the arts,” said MNO President Gary Lipinski. “It is important that we encourage our youth to grow and to learn and to support them in all their endeavours.”

The award will be established in recognition of the Métis Nation of Ontario’s founding president, Tony Belcourt’s more than 40 years of service to the nation and Métis people. It will serve as acknowledgement of Dr. Belcourt’s invaluable role and continued leadership excellence across Ontario and Canada.

“OCAD University is strongly committed to building an Aboriginal Visual Culture Program”, said Dr. Sara Diamond, President of OCAD University. “We’re honoured that the Métis Nation of Ontario has chosen to support OCADU students of Métis descent in recognition of their founder. The Dr. Tony Belcourt Endowment Fund for Métis in the Arts will provide support for a Métis student to undertake research and creation that is rooted in their culture. The Endowment Fund is a welcome addition to our existing student funding, and aligns with OCADU’s deep commitment to Aboriginal culture and diversity.”

Once established, the bursary will be open to Métis students residing in Ontario who are pursuing arts and design related careers through OCADU’s superior programs.

Belcourt would like to see the endowment fund not only have enough revenue to support bursaries for Métis artists but also enough to support a scholarship, especially for further studies on Métis history and Métis art in history.

“The MNO’s contribution has been the building block to help this fund grow. My hope is to give back by holding fundraising events,” said Belcourt. “I’m very grateful to MNO for making this possible. It’s truly an honour to me personally but it is going to be a tremendous benefit to Métis people who want to consider art as a career.”

Belcourt’s three children are all involved in arts careers and were part of the reason that OCADU was chosen for the bursary. “President Lipinski brought the idea to my attention several months ago and after considering other institutions, my kids all said, ‘it’s gotta be at OCADU, dad.’”

Belcourt hopes that the introduction of the endowment fund will create a greater profile of Métis art at OCADU.

About the Métis Nation of Ontario
The Métis are a distinct Aboriginal people with a unique history, culture, language and territory that includes the waterways of Ontario, surrounds the Great Lakes and spans what was known as the historic Northwest. The Métis Nation is comprised of descendants of people born of relations between Indian women and European men. The initial offspring of these unions were of mixed ancestry. The genesis of a new Aboriginal people called the Métis resulted from the subsequent intermarriage of these mixed ancestry individuals.

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:

Rebekah Wilson, Registry and Communications Assistant, Métis Nation of Ontario
613.798.1488 Ext. 109

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


OCAD University appoints Tony Belcourt and Dr. John Semple to Board of Governors

Friday, June 15, 2012 - 4:00am

(Toronto—June 15, 2012) OCAD University has appointed Tony Belcourt, a leader in Canada's Métis and Aboriginal communities, and Dr. John Semple, Chair in Surgical Breast Cancer Research at Women's College Hospital and an alumnus of OCAD U, to its Board of Governors.

"On behalf of the Board of Governors, I welcome our new members into the OCAD University community," said Ian Tudhope, OCAD University Board of Governors Chair. "OCAD U's Aboriginal Education Council has already benefited for the last four years from Mr. Belcourt's wisdom and advice, and we look forward to working with him in this new capacity at the Board level. Dr. Semple's leadership in mobile health delivery, and his experience as an OCAD U alumnus, will no doubt greatly impact our many students and faculty already working with researchers across Ontario's health sector."

"Our new strategic plan renews OCAD U's commitment to developing the creativity of our students, graduates and faculty - uniquely equipped entrepreneurs and innovators who can address the world's significant challenges," said Dr. Sara Diamond, President of OCAD University. "Mr. Belcourt and Dr. Semple are exemplary leaders in their respective fields, and will share their insights and expertise in areas such as our Aboriginal Visual Culture program, and OCAD U's ongoing health and wellness research projects."

Mr. Belcourt and Dr. Semple will begin their three-year appointments this month.

A complete list of members of the Board of Governors and their biographies is available at



Tony Belcourt
Over Tony Belcourt's distinguished career, he has established a strong reputation as a successful corporate leader, innovator, entrepreneur and communications specialist.

Mr. Belcourt has been one of the foremost business leaders and political figures within Canada's Métis community. A well-respected negotiator, Mr. Belcourt has played a key role in establishing a national voice for Canada's Métis and Non-Status Indians. His efforts were an important contributing factor in the Métis being recognized, in the Constitution Act in 1982, as one of the Aboriginal peoples of Canada. He has represented the Métis Nation in high-level talks at the United Nations and the Organization of American States and has made presentations to the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, the World Summit on Information Society, the International Telecommunications Union and the World Conference Against Racism.

Mr. Belcourt was founding President of the Native Council of Canada in 1971 and recently founded and served as President of the Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) until early 2008.

Mr. Belcourt is currently President of the Indigenous Commission for Communications Technologies in the Americas. He has been a member of OCAD University's Aboriginal Educational Council since its inception in 2008. In early 2008, Mr. Belcourt was appointed to the post of Métis Nation Ambassador for International Issues by the President of the Métis National Council. In 2006, Mr. Belcourt received a National Aboriginal Achievement Award for public service. Mr. Belcourt received an Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree from Lakehead University in 2010.

Dr. John Semple
As chief of surgery at Women's College Hospital, Dr. John Semple has been instrumental in establishing the hospital as home to one of the country's top centres for breast restoration. He put Women's College on the map as a leading centre for breast reconstruction some years ago by developing and pioneering new surgical techniques in breast restoration. Previously, as director of the Advanced Regenerative Tissue Engineering Centre at the University of Toronto and Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, Dr. Semple led a group of scientists, engineers and surgeons in producing new technologies for soft tissue regeneration and reconstruction following cancer surgery. He is a professor in the department of surgery at the University of Toronto and former president of the Canadian Society of Plastic Surgeons.

In March 2010, Dr. Semple was named chair in surgical breast cancer research by the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation - Ontario Region. The chair is based at Women's College and was the first endowed chair in the hospital's department of surgery. Dr. Semple's appointment, Women's College's first such appointment in surgical breast cancer research, placed him as a core scientist at Women's College Research Institute (WCRI). He and his team explore improvements in reconstructive surgery techniques including the use of autotransplantation of a patient's own lymph nodes to treat and prevent the formation of lymphedema - a painful side-effect of breast cancer treatment that can cause severe swelling in the arm. Dr. Semple graduated from OCAD University in 1975.

About OCAD University (OCAD U)
OCAD University ( is Canada's "university of 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 document.

Media are invited to attend. To RSVP or for more information, please contact:

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