Jeremy Dutcher shortlisted for Polaris Prize

Jeremy Dutcher singing and playing a grand piano on stage at Roy Thomson Hall
Thursday, July 19, 2018

First Nations musician Jeremy Dutcher’s performance was one of the highlights of the 2018 OCAD U convocation ceremonies. Now, the composer, pianist and operatic tenor has made the shortlist for the prestigious Polaris Music Prize, presented by CBC Music.

Dutcher’s debut album, Wolastoqiyik Lintuwakonawa (Our Maliseets Songs), features the rearrangement of early 1900 wax cylinder recordings from his community, Tobique First Nation in New Brunswick. He learned of the recordings from an elder and tracked them down at the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau. The music on his album meshes voices from the recordings with classical and electronic music, creating a unique genre of its own. Dutcher says fewer than 100 people speak Wolastoq today.

Albums released between June 1, 2017 and May 31, 2018 can be considered for the Polaris prize. An independent jury of music journalists, broadcasters and bloggers from across Canada determine the Long List and Short List. Eleven people from the larger jury pool are chosen to serve on the Grand Jury. This Grand Jury will convene on September 17, the night of the gala, to select the Polaris Music Prize winner. This year it takes place in Toronto at the Carlu.

Documentary screening: WHEN THEY AWAKE

Film poster depicting a number of Indigenous artists
Tuesday, January 23, 2018 - 6:45pm to 9:00pm

Following in the footsteps of trailblazers like Buffy Sainte-Marie and Robbie Robertson, Indigenous musicians across North America are carving paths into mainstream consciousness, reclaiming their rightful place in contemporary culture, and using music as a gateway for dialogue and reconciliation. 

With intimate access to all the key players, from Tanya Tagaq to A Tribe Called Red and everyone in between, WHEN THEY AWAKE is a music revolution right before your eyes.

About the Director (in attendance for Q & A): 
PJ MARCELLINO is a Toronto-based producer/director with Longyearbyen Media. He was previously a photo-reporter, journalist, author, and editor, and later a political advisor with international agencies, before reinventing himself as a filmmaker, bringing onto the screen a sense of urgency and empathy developed through working on hard-hitting socio-political issues such as migration, human security, and peace-building. He studied Documentary Filmmaking at Toronto's Documentary Film Institute at Seneca College.

In partnership with Indigenous Visual Culture at OCAD U, CULTURE SHIFTS is a documentary series at OCAD that presents documentary media as a catalyst for critical discussions and community action for social change. The series his supported by Art and Social Change, the Delaney Chair in Indigenous Visual Culture, the Faculty of Art and the Integrated Media Program.

For information contact Ryan Rice

Venue & Address: 
OCAD University 100 McCaul St., Toronto Level 2, Room 230

2020 Media Futures

2020 Media Futures is an ambitious, multi-industry strategic foresight project designed to understand and envision what media may look like in the year 2020; what kind of cross-platform Internet environment may shape our media and entertainment in the coming decade; and how our firms and organizations can take action today toward capturing and maintaining positions of national and international leadership.

The purpose of 2020 Media Futures is to use open-source strategic foresight for the benefit of the creative cluster — the book, magazine, music, film, television and interactive digital media industries – to help organizations and individuals “future-proof” themselves and their creative livelihoods. These creative professionals include writers, filmmakers, producers, music label executives, game developers, programmers, and other media franchise specialists. To help them prepare for the future, we employed strategic foresight research methods and practices. You can learn about our strategic foresight research methodology and project structure. But before recounting that material, we present the heart of the project, the narrative and contextual scenarios developed through this consultative, participatory process.

These scenarios are the result of analytical and synthetic work described in the pages that follow: horizon scanning for signals and trends in consumer behaviour and the media industries; collaborative workshops with industry experts and professionals; and sense-making exercises led by sLab team members to understand the data that we gathered.

In many ways, the scenarios were the ultimate goal of the project: four unique visions of possible futures that members of the creative cluster could read, critique and engage with. But as we discovered, the research process that led to their writing was its own reward. Ontario’s creative community is diverse, highly opinionated and innovative.

Through our interactions together we gained experiential learning about the needs of these industries, but also a rich understanding of their hopes and fears for the future. Our participants in turn clearly took advantage of opportunities to establish new network connections with one another at our events. We are grateful for the honesty and energy of their contributions to this project.

–Greg Van Alstyne and Madeline Ashby

Other Partners Include:

  • Achilles Media
  • Association of Canadian Publishers (ACP)
  • Breakthrough New Media
  • Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC)
  • Canadian Media Production Association (CMPA)
  • Canadian Radio and Television Commission (CRTC)
  • Corus Entertainment
  • GestureTek
  • GlassBOX Television
  • Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment Ltd. (MLSE)
  • Marblemedia
  • National Film Board of Canada (NFB)
  • Nordicity
  • OCAD University
  • Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE)
  • Screen Industries Research and Training Centre (SIRT), Sheridan Institute
  • St. Joseph Media
  • Universal Music Canada
  • York University


For more information, please visit

2020 Media Futures: Cover Image featuring title in white font on a purple background with OCADU and sLab logos
Monday, October 23, 2017 - 11:30am
Lab Member: 
Greg Van alstyne
Lenore Richards
Suzanne Stein

Speaking volumes: Lillian Allen guest-curates AGO series

Internationally acclaimed writer, dub poet and a professor in OCAD U’s Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences, Lillian Allen, has guest-curated a four-week series of poetry, music and spoken word at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO).  As part of Toronto: Tributes + Tributaries, 1971-1989, the landmark ‘celebration of the voice’ exhibition showcases an array of established and budding local artists, featuring some of Toronto’s most dynamic spoken word talent.

The AGO Friday Nights in October series offers an opportunity to experience artists who worked during the period the exhibition covers. The final Friday in the series features a performance by Allen, herself, on October 28 (Lillian Allen & the Revolutionary Tea Party with Janet Rogers and Amani). Allen and her band will be re-creating the activism and cultural revolution of her groundbreaking, Juno award-winning album, Revolutionary Tea Party, along with some new content.

Allen describes the 1971-1989 timeframe as a period of “a lot of creativity, a lot of inter-connection from cultural collaboration — a time when people, obviously, were not comfortable with old traditions and some of the dialogue and debates around race and equality.” As she describes it, “the world was opening up; music around the world, and cultures, were coming together to embrace a larger family.”

Allen has been teaching creative writing at OCAD University since 1992.  Inspired by “anything that is energetic, progressive, beautiful and forward-looking,” she credits her OCAD U students for inspiring her with “that kind of creativity, cutting-edge positioning.”

As a writer, vocalist and social activist, she has recorded several albums, including Revolutionary Tea Party (1986) and Conditions Critical (1988), for which she received Juno Awards for best reggae/calypso album.  As one of the originators of dub poetry, 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.

In addition to the performances, visitors can hear Allen’s Revolutionary Tea Party album on the AGO’s fourth floor. 

The exhibition is included in general admission.


Natalie Pavlenko

Guided Tour: Design for the Other 90%

Design for the Other 90%
Thursday, November 27, 2008 - 11:30pm

The OCAD Professional Gallery presents a series free of 20-30 minute discussions of the works on view in the Smithsonian's touring exhibition Design for the Other 90%.

November 27: Ananda Shankar Chakrabarty is an art historian with a strong interest in music, and Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Liberal Studies at the Ontario College of Art & Design.

January 15, 2009: Eric Nay is an architect, design history and theory scholar and an Associate Dean in the Faculty of Liberal Studies at the Ontario College of Art & Design.

Venue & Address: 
Professional Gallery 100 McCaul St., Toronto, Ontario

EveryTING Irie - waves, braids & line-ups

Friday, May 2, 2008 - 4:00am to Saturday, May 31, 2008 - 4:00am

The National Film Board Mediatheque presents EveryTING Irie, including work by alumna Christina Lesile.

Leslie's photographic portraits mimic the jacket covers of Jamaican records and reggae and ska posters from the early 60s and 70s. Leslie's insertion of Jamaican text offers intimate reflections of migration and notions of settlement and a reimagined past. Waves, Braids and Line-ups uses documentary-style photography to explore the shared histories of those who visit the Black barbershops of Toronto.

Part of CONTACT Toronto Photography Festival.

Venue & Address: 
National Film Board of Canada Mediatheque Centre 150 John Street, Toronto, Ontario

Society of Illustrators honours Design professor

Courtney Barnett (by Jody Hewgill)
Monday, January 25, 2016 - 3:00pm

Jody Hewgill’s portrait of Courtney Barnett was recently honoured with an Award of Merit by the Society of Illustrators. The picture appeared in Rolling Stone (March 26, 2015) alongside a review of the Australian singer’s album Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit. Hewgill’s work is currently on display as part of the Illustrators 58 exhibition in New York City.

“I wanted this portrait to reflect Courtney’s gift for turning seemingly mundane subject matter into humorous and clever lyrics,” says Hewgill, an assistant professor in OCAD University’s Faculty of Design. “I chose to illustrate the background scene upside down to reflect her clever observations and unique perspective on the world around her. It’s also a nod to her hometown, Melbourne, which is on the opposite side of the planet from us.” The painting – acrylic on wood panel – measures 10” x 16”.

This is far from Hewgill’s first pop-culture commission. She has been working with Rolling Stone for 15 years and, in 2015, Hewgill received a gold medal from the Society of Illustrators for her painting – Before Midnight – commissioned for Entertainment Weekly.

Film Scores by Sarah Nind

Poster for event with one of Sarah Ninds artworks
Thursday, April 9, 2015 - 4:00am to Sunday, May 10, 2015 - 4:00am

Galerie Youn presents:
Film Scores by Sarah Nind

Preview: April 9, 6 pm - 8 pm

Venue & Address: 
Galerie Youn 5226 St. Laurent Blvd., Montreal, PQ

OCAD University’s 135th Anniversary President’s Speaker Series kicks off with Brazil’s Gilberto Gil

Tuesday, October 11, 2011 - 4:00am

(Toronto—October 11, 2011) Dr. Sara Diamond, President of OCAD University (OCAD U) is pleased to announce that legendary singer, songwriter and guitarist Gilberto Gil will launch the 2011/12 President's Speaker Series at OCAD University with his talk "The Power of the Arts" on Monday, November 7 at 6:45 p.m. (free and open to the public; registration required).

Gilberto Gil is one of Brazil's most influential musicians. Known for his musical innovation and melodic richness, Gil has released 52 albums, five of them platinum, and sold more than four million records, 12 of them gold. Over nearly half a century, his music has incorporated a blend of styles, including bossa nova, baião, samba, reggae and rock, and an eclectic range of influences including The Beatles, Luiz Gonzaga, João Gilberto and Jimi Hendrix.

"Since my childhood, music has been my passion, and to work with passion is a dream," says Gil, whose interest in music as a precocious three-year-old was encouraged by his mother. The year 1963 marked a turning point when he met guitarist and singer Caetano Veloso at the Federal University of Bahia (Salvador, Brazil) and the two began their long-time collaboration with the creation of Tropicalism. The movement was deemed a threat by the Brazilian government during its military dictatorship for its controversial political content, and led to Gil and Veloso's imprisonment, and later exile in England.

Upon Gil's return from London in 1972, he forged his renowned style through a string of landmark albums and performances that garnered international attention, including his legendary show at the 1978 Montreux Jazz Festival. He has won eight Grammy Awards, for albums such as Quanta Live (1999) and Eletracústico (2005), and, most recently, for his latest album, Fé na Festa (2010). He continues to tour, often with his son Bem, bringing his distinctive sound to audiences worldwide.

Gil's work as an environmentalist and politician has paralleled his musical career. In 2003, he was named Brazil's Minister of Culture, a post he held until 2008. Among his many honours, he was named UNESCO Artist for Peace in 1999 and was awarded both Sweden's Polar Music Prize and the French Légion d'honneur in 2005.

OCAD U President's Speaker Series:
Gilberto Gil: "The Power of Art"

Monday, November 7, 6:45 p.m.
Register for Tickets (Free)

OCAD University - 135 Years of Imagination
Auditorium, 100 McCaul Street, Toronto
416-977-6000  |

Gilberto Gil’s talk is generously supported by Partners In Art in conjunction with the Twinning Cities/Twinning Artists exhibition series that launches in January 2012 at Onsite [at] OCAD U's greatly expanded new  venue at 230 Richmond Street West in January 2012.

The President's Speaker Series continues in March with a talk by Dr. Lev Manovich, Professor of Cultural Analytics at the European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland and Professor of Visual Arts, University of California, San Diego.

OCAD University (OCAD U): 135 Years of Imagination
OCAD University ( 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) 

Fear of Punk//Fear of Art

 Art by Dustin McChesney
Friday, August 2, 2013 - 4:00am to Sunday, August 4, 2013 - 4:00am

Opening Party: Friday, August 2, 2013. 7-10 pm

International Punk Art. Curated by Tara Bursey and Ben Needham

An art exhibition featuring Adam Kindred (Halifax), Alex Ratcharge (France), Alexander Heir (NYC), Dustin McChesney (Minneapolis), Emma Maatman (LA), Erick Lyle (NYC), Heather Benjamin (NYC), Jill Pucciarelli (NYC), Leah Wishnia (NYC), Matthew McGarry (Rochester), Nathan Gattis (Chicago), Paul D'Elia (LA), Sam Ryser (NYC), Shiva Addanki (NYC), Spoiler (Montreal), Tara Bursey (Toronto), Weird Luke (NYC) and Yecatl Peña (Mexico)

Punk is everywhere. From malls to museums, the influence and imagery of punk’s past has largely been absorbed into mass culture. Despite this, contemporary DIY punk rock sits firmly outside of the mainstream, and at both regional and global levels is stronger than ever. The visual culture that surrounds it is variably dark, threatening, chaotic, smart, funny, mysterious and questioning.

Fear of Punk / Fear of Art highlights the creative output of current punk artists, bringing their work out of its usual context while exploring intersections between punk rock, art and print culture. The exhibition includes drawing, sculpture and printed matter that draws inspiration from horror, the occult, sex, despair, popular culture, comics, art history and urban life.

For more information, contact:

Presented as part of Zine Dream 6, an annual small press art fair

Art by Dustin McChesney!/events/267288286747509/



Venue & Address: 
Communication Art Gallery 209 Harbord Street Toronto, Ontario