OCAD University announces new Chair and Vice-Chairs of Board of Governors

Monday, November 13, 2017

OCAD University’s Board of Governors has elected Jaime Watt, Executive Chairman, Navigator Ltd., as Chair of the Board of Governors for a one-year term as of November 11, 2017. He succeeds outgoing Chair Dr. John Semple.

Dr. Myrna Francis, President, Mfran Enterprises Inc., was elected First Vice-Chair, and Dr. Claude Galipeau Chief Revenue Officer of Torstar Corporation, Second Vice-Chair. Both will serve one-year terms. Outgoing Vice-Chairs David Holland and Sharifa Khan will continue to serve on the board.

“The university benefits enormously from the varied expertise and exceptional leadership of our Board of Governors,” said Dr. Sara Diamond, President and Vice-Chancellor. “I thank Sharifa Khan and David Holland for their hard work in their roles, and of course Dr. Semple for his insightful guidance over the past two years.”

Watt has been deeply involved with equality and human rights issues, and has received numerous awards for his service to the community, including Out on Bay Street’s Leader to be Proud of Award and the inaugural recipient of Egale’s Lifetime Achievement Award for equality rights. He is a sought-after public affairs commentator who specializes in public strategy issues. Watt joined the board in 2015.

"I am so thrilled to have been elected as Board Chair at OCAD U, the largest and most comprehensive art, design and digital media university in Canada. Make no mistake, OCAD U’s time has come. Just watch how the Creative City Campus (CCC) project will revitalize and expand the institution’s core creative spaces on McCaul Street,” said Watt. 

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

Dr. Gerald McMaster named Canada Research Chair

Photo of Dr. Gerald McMaster by Sebastian Kriete
Tuesday, February 9, 2016 - 3:00pm

Groundbreaking curator, author, artist and educator Dr. Gerald McMaster has been named Tier 1 Canada Research Chair (CRC) in Indigenous Visual Culture & Curatorial Practice at OCAD University.

 “My position will enable me to be part of a uniquely vibrant community of students, researchers and creators,” said McMaster. “I am looking forward to learning from and working with them as I seek to expand knowledge of the ways transnational contact has affected artistic expression among Indigenous people, as well as the influence of those expressions on non-Indigenous societies.”

McMaster has held prestigious curatorial positions at the Canadian Museum of Civilization, the Art Gallery of Ontario and the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian. In 2006 he was appointed Officer of the Order of Canada.

“We are grateful to the Government of Canada for supporting us in this unprecedented scholarship of Indigenous art history told through Indigenous voices,” said Dr. Sara Diamond, President and Vice-Chancellor. “To be the first art and design university to receive a Tier 1 CRC appointment is recognition of OCAD University’s strong research agenda.”

McMaster’s work will examine the ways in which cultures interact, influencing and inspiring one another. How can Indigenous artists engage with the non-Indigenous world while maintaining their difference? How does the vitality of Indigenous voice express and contribute knowledge to the global conversation on climate? How did Indigenous artists and cultures view their colonizers in the context of their art?

Born near North Battleford, Saskatchewan, McMaster (Plains Cree/Member of the Siksika First Nation) studied at the Institute of American Indian Art and the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, receiving his MA in Anthropology at Carleton University, Ottawa. He completed his doctorate at the University of Amsterdam School for Cultural Analysis, Theory and Interpretation under renowned cultural theorist Mieke Bal. 

McMaster served as Canadian Commissioner for the Venice Biennale and Artistic Director of the Biennale of Sydney, Australia. He is currently collaborating on three major international projects in Europe, South America and Australia.

McMaster also teaches undergraduate courses in OCAD University’s Indigenous Visual Culture program (INVC) and leads a graduate seminar in exhibition issues in the Criticism & Curatorial Practice program.

OCAD University would like to thank the Canada Foundation for Innovation for providing infrastructure support for McMaster’s lab.