Alumni Relations engages our alumni as active participants, advocates, and contributors


abstract figurative work, predominantly blue
Thursday, October 27, 2016 - 4:00am to Saturday, October 29, 2016 - 4:00am



OCTOBER 7TH - 29TH, 2016



“At what precise moment...

...does an individual stop being who he thinks he is?

You know, I don't like complications.

Cut off my arm. I say, "Me and my arm."

You cut off my other arm. I say, "Me and my two arms."

You...take out...

...take out my stomach, my kidneys,

assuming that were possible...

And I say, "Me and my intestines."

Follow me?

And now, if you cut off my head...

...would I say, "Me and my head" or "Me and my body"?

What right has my head to call itself me?

What right?”

Excerpt from the film “The Tenant”, 1976, by Roman Polanski.


Michael Antkowiak (Warsaw, 1977) is a graduate of the Ontario College of Art and Design, and completed his MFA from the New York Academy of Art in 2003. He has since exhibited in public and commercial galleries in Canada and abroad, including the Queens Museum of Art, in New York City, and Carrie Secrist Gallery, in Chicago, Il. Michael is a recipient of several artist’s grants and residencies, including the Toronto Arts Council Grant, and the Joan Mitchell Foundation Fellowship. Michael lives and works in Toronto, and in addition to his studio practice, teaches as a drawing and painting instructor at OCAD University.



Blue, oil on canvas 12”x16” 2016

Venue & Address: 

URBANI_T + OCAD U + Ryerson Call for Student Designer Participation in Fashion Mobs

Thursday, June 27, 2019 - 9:00am to Saturday, June 29, 2019 - 4:00pm

The summer event will be taking place from Thursday, June 27th to Saturday, June 29th at Nathan Phillips Square. This year we are participating in the Fashion Shows and Moments throughout the three day event. Each day there will be different themes that you are able to participate in and showcase your already created designs/collections.


If you are interested in participating, please fill in the column that you find yourself best fit using the sign-up sheet by Wednesday, April 24th 12:00pm. Once you have signed-up, Sadia Kamran from Ryerson University will be in touch with next steps. Thank you for your participation and interest!!

Venue & Address: 
Nathan Phillips Square
Digital Screen: 

OCAD U grad named Creator of the Year in Montérégie, Quebec

Friday, April 12, 2019

OCAD University graduate Yechel Gagnon was recognized at the end of March as Creator of the Year in Montérégie, QC, a $5000 prize given by the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec (CALQ). The 17th edition of the award gathered more than 80 people from the Monteregian artistic community, along with partners and friends of the culture.

CALQ awards the prize to those whose achievements are distinguished by their quality and outreach. Members of the jury highlighted “the high quality of Yechel Gagnon's work and, more particularly, her fascinating work on texture and materials. This amazing artist, with a rich and original practice, enjoys an important influence, locally and abroad.” 

The artist also recently installed a large-scale public art piece at the Sorel-Tracy waterport, in Quebec, and was very honoured with the prize. 

Born in Longueuil, Quebec, she holds an AOCAD with Honours in Drawing and Painting.

Click here to learn more about Yechel Gagnon and her work.




New childrens’ book illustrated by OCAD U grad Chief Lady Bird

Chief Lady Bird (left) and Sunshine Tenaso (right). Courtesy: Scholastic Books.
Tuesday, April 2, 2019 - 3:15pm

Indigenous artist and OCAD U alumna Chief Lady Bird has illustrated a new children’s book, Nibi's Water Song, about the importance of clean water. Chief Lady Bird completed her BFA in Drawing and Painting with a minor in Indigenous Visual Culture at OCAD University in 2015. Written by Sunshine Tenasco, the founder of Her Braids, an organization committed to advocating for clean drinking water in Indigenous communities, the book will be published by Scholastic Books in July 2019.

Nibi is the Anishinaabemowin word for water. In Nibi's Water Song, an Indigenous girl named Nibi can't find clean water to drink. In the book, with no luck from her tap, or the nearby river, Nibi heads to the next town and starts knocking on doors looking for a safe source of drinking water.

Chief Lady Bird is Chippewa and Potawatomi from Rama and Moose Deer Point First Nations. Her Anishinaabe name is Ogimaakwebnes, which means Chief Lady Bird.  A CBC interview with Chief Lady Bird and Sunshine Tenasco is available online.  


Tuesday, March 12, 2019 - 9:30am

Welcome to OCAD U’s new alumni newsletter! As part of OCAD U’s thriving community, we look forward to sharing with you our latest news, activities and projects. Our campus has grown and our curriculum continues to nurture the minds of artists, designers and innovators.

Our alumni are found in countries all across the globe. Whether you remember it as OCA or the Ontario College of Art and Design, OCAD University is now Canada’s largest and most comprehensive art, design and media university.

Perhaps when you attended, most of your classes were at 100 McCaul St. or across the street at the Annex Building. We are growing!

During the past three years, OCAD U has focused on ensuring that its spaces support increased interdisciplinary learning to enhance our students’ education. Our Creative City Campus project is in full swing, building and renewing infrastructure while putting OCAD U on the map in Toronto’s dynamic downtown cultural corridor.

Rosalie Sharp Pavilion

Most recently, OCAD U officially re-opened the refurbished Rosalie Sharp Pavilion at 115 McCaul St. (Dundas and McCaul streets). Thanks to our generous donors Rosalie and Isadore Sharp, the building is now home to the university’s Experiential Learning Centre and new thesis space. An alumna of OCAD University, artist and designer Rosalie Sharp was the university’s first Chancellor, and purchased the building as a gift to the university in 1998.

We’re thrilled to provide more space for students to engage in the type of practical, hands-on learning that we are known for; to foster innovation, expertise and career success.

The Centre for Emerging Artists and Designers, on the third floor, has a wide scope of activities and opportunities to help students and recent graduates succeed in the working world.

Here, students and recent alumni can find work-integrated learning placements, jobs, attend special career-building events and programs, professional development, mentorship and networking opportunities.


George Reid House Officially Re-opens

OCAD University’s historic George Reid House officially re-opened in September. The dynamic renovation of the building included the addition of Indigenous artwork created by Inuk artist Couzyn van Heuvelen.

George Reid House is the original 1921 campus building of the Ontario College of Art (OCA) and the first building in Canada built specifically for the purpose of the education of professional artists and designers.

The building’s refurbishment includes the modernization of interior facilities, the creation of new event, meeting and program spaces, and the development of an enhanced circulation space with display opportunities.

The Creative City Campus project is funded by the Government of Ontario (through the Ministry Training, Colleges and Universities) and the Government of Canada through the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program (through the Federal Development Agency for Southern Ontario).

Artist Couzyn van Heuvelen, Elder Duke Redbird, President Sara Diamond, Jaime Watt, Chair, OCAD University Board of Governors and student Gabriel Rojas Hruska. Photo by Martin Iskander

 Work by Couzyn van Heuvelen, photo by Martin Iskander

Come visit the Centre for Emerging Artists & Designers

Recent alumni are encouraged to come visit the new home of the Centre for Emerging Artists & Designers (CEAD) on Level 3 of 115 McCaul St. to receive career development services and to participate in a wide variety of activities. Recent alumni can remain involved with the university by:

  • Working from the public 3rd floor space; holding meetings with clients and collaborators
  • Meeting with Career Advisors to talk about their needs and aspirations
  • Attending events such as the OCAD U Design Career Fair (March 2019)
  • Chatting with the two Creative Professionals-In-Residence to ask career-related questions and to talk about their projects and goals

A rendering of the exterior of the Rosalie Sharp Pavilion. The stainless steel scrim, designed by Bortolotto Architects, represents a data visualization of downtown Toronto streets overlaid with arts and cultural institutions.

Ribbon-cutting ceremony at the re-opening of the Rosalie Sharp Pavilion.

Study art in Florence, Italy this spring and summer

OCAD University, Canada’s leader in preparing the next generation of contemporary artists, is pleased to be opening the doors of our Florence studio to the public!

A new set of non-credit courses being offered beginning this spring (2019) is open to the public of all skill levels, creative practitioners worldwide and the OCAD U community. These courses are led by OCAD U faculty members including Anda Kubis and Nicole Collins. You’ll have access to studio space in a quiet shared palazzo in Florence’s San Marco neighbourhood, group critiques, intro Italian lessons and group community events and tours.

Learn more about these courses including sample itineraries, course leader bios and other details.

Ignite Imagination

We have launched phase two of our Ignite Imagination fundraising campaign! The campaign, publicly launched in 2015, had an ambitious goal of $60 million. We’re happy to report that we have surpassed that goal, with $70 million in private and public support! This will support our Creative City Campus and infrastructure projects, our galleries, and our remarkable people and programs. In phase 2, our target is $30 million to achieve our stretch goal – an unprecedented $100 million. You can view our campaign video here.  

Upcoming Alumni Events

Save the Date  - Reunion 2019

Reunion Events Itinerary

  • Alumni Reunion Celebration Reception for all graduate classes ending in ‘4’ or ‘9’ (from 1954 straight through to 2014) is taking place on Friday, May 3, 2019
  • Alumni of Influence Awards – Saturday, May 4, 2019 (click here to nominate an alum)
  • Alumni Lounge at 104th Graduate Exhibition – Friday, May 3 to Sunday, May 5, 2019
  • Special GradEx Tours for Alumni – May 3 and May 4, 2019

For more information on upcoming OCAD University events, please visit the OCAD University Events Calendar  

Keep in touch!

We look forward to keeping you informed and staying in touch. For the latest in OCAD U news, connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.

Aaron Jones: From the Ground Up

Thursday, February 7, 2019 - 11:30am to Thursday, February 14, 2019 - 5:00pm

Aaron Jones is showing his amazing work as part of a group show, From The Ground Up.  Go check it out before it closes on February 14th

Venue & Address: 
Our Gallery 1444 Dupont Street, Unit 31 Toronto, ON
From the Ground Up poster, white text on black background

Design Career Fair - 2019

Design Career Fair 2019 Logo
Tuesday, March 19, 2019 - 2:00pm to 6:00pm

Tuesday, March 19 from 2 to 6pm 
Centre for Emerging Artists & Designers at OCAD University
115 McCaul Street, 3rd Floor, Toronto

Portfolio Reviews! Talent Recruitment! Networking! Industry Insight! All students and recent alumni are encouraged to attend this event!

On March 19 from 2 pm – 6 pm, students and recent graduates are invited to the newly re-opened Rosalie Sharp Pavilion to connect with a wide range of leading employers who are on the lookout for top creative talent. This is an opportunity to connect with industry seeking emerging OCAD U talent, get feedback on your portfolio and build your professional network.

Some of the participating exhibitors include:

Grip Limited
Konrad Group
Loblaw Companies Limited
Norm Li
PwC Experience Consulting
Spin Master
...and more to be announced!

See more at:

Venue & Address: 
115 McCaul Street, 3rd Floor, Toronto
416-977-6000 x 3848

Amanda Roy (MA, 2014)

Monday, March 4, 2019 - 3:15pm

Amanda Roy is currently Sales Manager North America - ALM (archives, libraries, museums) at Axiell, the number one provider of collections management technology in the world. In her capacity as a Collections Technology Specialist, Roy has worked with some of the largest institutions in the world: the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, National Museum of the American Indian, and National Museum of American History, as well as Canadian institutions such as TIFF, Ryerson Image Center, and the Canadian Museum of History.

Martha Robinson (MA, 2014)

Monday, March 4, 2019 - 3:15pm

Martha Robinson is a PhD candidate in the Interuniversity program in Art History at Concordia University. Her doctoral research is rooted in an investigation of the animal—in particular, visual culture addressing birds and avian life, and how contemporary artists adopt strategies of representation (and species) to comment on issues of climate change and extinction in the so-called Anthropocene. She has conducted extensive research on animal art and collections in Canada and the United States, and is currently writing her dissertation.  Building on her Master’s research, her project engages both posthumanist theory and historic and current practices of representation in the discipline of natural history. Robinson has recently developed and taught two undergraduate courses at Concordia: Art and the Animal: Posthumanism, Visual Culture and Art History and The Art of Natural History and the Politics of the Collection. She has also written catalogue essays for Nicholas Crombach, Jannick Deslauriers and Clint Neufeld at Art Mûr.

Social Innovation Design Certificate

Friday, February 8, 2019 - 6:45am

For professionals who want to learn how design can be used as a tool to create social change, this 10-day international course is for you. Learn to apply design thinking and the participatory design process to co-create solutions to challenges faced by local residents in Quepos, Costa Rica.

Find out more here:

Graduates from this course will receive a Social Innovation Design Certificate from OCAD University Continuing Studies.

Costa Rica and continuing studies