Nina Leo will be speaking at the 2016 TransCultural Exchange Conference: Global Worlds

2016 TransCultural Exchange Conference: Global Worlds Logo
Thursday, February 25, 2016 - 5:00am to Saturday, February 27, 2016 - 5:00am

Nina Leo will be speaking at the 2016 TransCultural Exchange Conference: Global Worlds, hosted by Boston University, Harvard University and MIT, February 25th - 27th in Boston, Massachusetts. Nina will be presenting her current work and research and participating, along with collaborator Moez Surani, on the panel: Bashed on the Head: Global and Local Tensions in the Life of an Artist, moderated by Jean-Yves Coffre, Director of the Camac Art Centre, France.

Venue & Address: 
Boston University, Harvard University and MIT in Boston, Massachusetts

Black Fractals: Call & Response Conference

Event poster with yellow text
Sunday, February 7, 2016 - 7:00pm to Monday, February 8, 2016 - 2:00am

Lead Presenter: Black Future Month 3016
Partner: Onsite Gallery

Black Fractals is the official Black History Month program at OCAD University, celebrating the self-repeating spirit of creating and the ingenuity of people of African ancestry. This one of a kind conference is a FREE opportunity for community engagement for all ages to analyze how art can be used as a tool of activism, liberation, decolonization and community development.

2:00 p.m.: Workshop with Black Quantum Futurism
3:30 p.m.: THE ORBIT Afrofuturism Panel discussion
5:30 p.m.: Call of the Drums (drumming performance)
6:05 p.m.: Art presentation by Black Kirby Collective
7:00 p.m.: Keynote presentation by Rasheedah Phillips of The AfroFuturist Affair
8:05 p.m.: Live performances featuring: Moor Mother Goddess, Zakisha Brown, Chop-Z and more

Vendors will be on site selling goods.
FREE meal provided by ChicPeas Vegetarian Cuisine.

Onsite Gallery is pleased to partner with Black Future Month 3016 to present this year’s Call & Response Conference, as part of their Onsite/Insight/Incite programming.

Onsite Gallery, OCAD University’s public gallery and exploratory platform for art, design and curatorial practice, aims to foster social and cultural transformation. Now is an exciting time for Onsite, as they are preparing to launch their new gallery location at 199 Richmond Street West, opening May 2017.

While Onsite is working towards the opening of their new purpose built gallery, the gallery is remaining active through Onsite/Insight/Incite, a series of programming convening cross-disciplinary conversations addressing how we can affect change with public spaces.

Venue & Address: 
100 McCaul St., Room 190 (Auditorium)
416-977-6000, Ext. 456
Event poster with yellow text

Associate Professors Sandy Kedey & Ann Urban speak at the RGD Design Educators Conference

Saturday, November 14, 2015 - 5:00am

Associate Professors Sandy Kedey & Ann Urban (Advertising Faculty) recently spoke a the RGD Design Educators Conference 2015
Submission: Category: “Transmission”


Perception versus reality: Qualitative research exploring the intersections between design education and an evolving industry
As design educators and professional practitioners ourselves, we understand the challenges surrounding the subjects of currency, relevancy and authenticity in design education today.
Technology and workforce demands have impacted not just the classroom but the boardroom, and both sides are scrambling to understand and address the ever-changing implications.
We surveyed 100 students, graduates—and the CD’s, CEO’s and clients who employ them, to gain a better understand of the expectations and needs of all stakeholders in this shifting landscape.
Comparing and contrasting the conflicting voices of the stakeholders has proven to be a study in opposites: opposite needs, opposite expectations, including:
• Entitlement vs. reward for accomplishment
• Creative indulgence vs. professional discipline
• The need for on-going input vs. the need to work independently
• Confidence/ego vs. collaboration
• Portfolio vs. personality
• Internships vs. job security
• Realistic vs. idealistic expectations around salaries, work-life balance, starter jobs and how the industry works.
Applying this research to the new advertising stream at OCAD University has resulted in a more collaborative teaching model bringing clients and “real world” perspectives, projects and feedback, right into the classroom.
Were we successful? Student participants anonymously graded the course value and learning as 100% across all key measures.
We are at an intersection where both industry and academia are simultaneously working along parallel paths to address change. What better time to gain a deeper understanding of the changing landscape and us this as a catalyst to re-evaluate how we teach and inspire new techniques?

Financial Aid & Awards Hosts OASFAA conference at OCAD U

Wide shot of attendees at OASFAA event
Tuesday, May 26, 2015 - 4:00am

The Financial Aid & Awards office hosted the Ontario Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (OASFAA) at OCAD University May 20 – 22.  OASFAA is an association made up of both colleges and universities and is concerned with scholastic and need-based assistance programs available to students of its member institutions. OASFAA works closely with the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities in support of student financial assistance.  

OCAD U broke the record of any host institution for registered attendees. OCAD University President Dr. Sara Diamond and Associate Vice-President, Students, Deanne Fisher welcomed OASFAA. Attendees were treated to a surprise visit and speech by the Assistant Deputy Minister of Post-Secondary Education, David Carter-Whitney.

The Financial Aid and Awards department placed their focus on financial literacy for students across Ontario and how to better educate students on this topic.  Andre De Freitas, Manager of Financial Aid & Awards presented on OCAD U’s successful financial literacy program, CreativeFunds.  A third year OCAD U student, Madison Leeson, presented to OASFAA providing a student’s perspective on the impact of early financial literacy education.

Faculty of Design instructors to share research presented at UK conference

Monday, March 16, 2015 - 4:00am

On Thursday, March 19, 2015, OCAD University Faculty of Design members Nancy Snow and Saskia van Kampen will share their experiences with and insights into the integration of writing in the design process. This talk will be based on a paper Nancy and Saskia presented at the Designing Critical Messages Symposium, recently held at Plymouth University in the United Kingdom.

Titled Learning through and from Process: Studying the Benefits of Reflective Studio Practice, Nancy and Sakia’s paper described a framework developed for a study underway at OCAD U in Communication Design 2. This research project – a collaboration among Nancy, Saskia and Emilie Brancato (ELL Specialist, Writing and Learning Centre) – examines whether a more holistic inclusion of writing in the design process can help students engage more critically with their making and help them to conduct more purposeful critiquing of their peers’ work. Nancy, Saskia and Emilie are documenting students’ perceptions of themselves as writers and makers as they embark upon theoretical and empirical research, peer-to-peer criticism and self-reflection. The project is part of OCAD U’s Writing Across the Curriculum initiative.

When: Thursday, March 19, 2015 (12 p.m. to 1 p.m.)

Where: Sharp Centre for Design, Room 530, 100 McCaul St.

Feminist Art Conference

FAC round logo with red text
Thursday, September 24, 2015 - 4:00am to Sunday, September 27, 2015 - 4:00am

Feminist Art for Social Justice

The third annual feminist art conference will provide an opportunity for feminist issues to be explored and communicated artistically in a unique and creative space that encourages sharing, creating and discussion.

Our Vision

The mission for the Feminist Art Conference (FAC) is inspired by attacks on women’s and transgender rights in Canada, the US and abroad. Issues such as rape culture, trans phobia, racism, violence, media and political representation, cultural appropriation, online harassment, environmental degradation and impact on Indigenous lands, missing and murdered Indigenous women, and Islamophobic policies are areas of deep concern. These infringements on our right to agency and independence have been occurring in alarming numbers in our governments, in the media and in our communities. This conference provides an opportunity for these issues to be explored and communicated artistically in a unique and creative space that encourages sharing, creating and discussion. In the centuries old tradition of people organizing we believe that by coming together and communicating about these issues through our artistic practice, that we can initiate progressive change and spark collaborations accross disciplines.

Our Mission

We are looking for multidisciplinary art and workshop submissions including: visual art, film, theatre arts, music, dance, design, spoken word and literature. We will create a space that is celebratory,positive, intellectually engaging and provocative. We are committed to this space being trans inclusive, anti-racist, and intersectional. Furthermore, by providing an opportunity for feminist artists to meet and share their work, we believe we can provide opportunities for networking and future artistic collaboration that can inspire social change and empowerment. We have the vision that the ripple effect from this type of artistic sharing and learning can provoke positive transformations in both our communities and our minds.

Venue & Address: 
OCAD University, 100 McCaul Street, Toronto

Diasporic Intimacies event is first of its kind

Image shows mannequin covered by butterflies made from pieces of visual porn
Friday, February 6, 2015 - 5:00am

Diasporic Intimacies is the first explicitly queer Filipino/a event in North America. Co-organized by OCAD University’s Robert Diaz, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences, the event brought together artists, scholars and community workers to discuss the contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Filipinos/as to Canadian culture and society.

From the well-attended reception at OCAD U’s Open Gallery, to the day-long OCAD U conference panels that extended into the evening to accommodate all the speakers, Diaz and co-organizers, artist Marissa Largo and students Karlo Azores and Fritz Pino, were encouraged by the enthusiasm of the 250 participants..

Says Diaz, “The most innovative leaders in settlement work, academia, and the art scene are often Filipino/a and LGBTQ identified. We wanted to create a space for these individuals to share their creativity and to celebrate their work with the general public.”

Diasporic Intimacies is based on Diaz’s research at OCAD U. His interviews with LGBTQ Filipinos/as in Toronto (focussed on their everyday struggles and strategies for empowerment) inspired him to create a forum to encourage LGBTQ Filipinos/as to share their experiences, insights and art, as well as build networks between mainstream and Filipino/a  LGBTQ Communities in Canada.

During the conference, panelists and participants addressed such question as:

  • How might queer Filipinos/as in Canada contribute to our understanding of indigeneity and collectivity?
  • How do regional policies on labour, migration and multiculturalism influence queer Filipino/a Canadian lives?
  • How might Filipino/a lesbian and transgender communities reimagine social formations that have come to be attributed to Canadian queer oral histories?
  • What forms of resistance and resilience do queer Filipinos/as practice as they inhabit multiple spaces within Canada?

As well as the conference, a three-week long exhibit, Visualizing the Intimate in Filipino/a Lives, co-curated by the organizers, highlights the work of community-based artists and OCAD U alumni. Examples of visual culture, new media, community-based and critical work by Filipino/a artists are on display at Open Gallery from January 23 to February 15. Installations explore what is sometimes called the third space — where issues of identity and community are not considered fixed, but fluid and hybrid. In the case of Visualizing the Intimate, representations of immigration, gender and colonialism suggest how queer identity is neither universally understood nor expressed.

According to Diaz, “The issues, concerns, and contributions that LGBTQ Filipinos/as have made enrich how we see ourselves as Canadians. These events allow us to recognize the hard work of those who strive to make Canada a better and more equitable society, while also highlighting the areas we can still improve upon.”

Visualizing the Intimate in Filipino/a Lives art exhibition runs until February 15, 2015, at OCAD U’s Open Gallery, 49 McCaul Street. 

Diasporic Intimacies: Queer Filipinos/as and Canadian Imaginaries

Image of butterflies
Friday, January 23, 2015 - 2:00pm to Sunday, February 15, 2015 - 10:00pm

Art Exhibit: Visualizing the Intimate

This groundbreaking series of events brings together academics, artists, activists, and community members as they discuss the contributions of queer Filipinos/as to Canadian culture and society.

January 23, 2015. 9 am – 7 pm
100 McCaul Street, Room 190

January 24, 2015. 6 pm to 9 pm
The 519 Church St Community Ctr.

January 23 – February 15, 2015.
Hours, 9am - 5pm
Open Gallery, 49 McCaul St.

Venue & Address: 
Open Gallery, 49 McCaul Street

Multiple Li(v)es of Art/ists &...Disciplinary Fuzziness and the Future(s) of Art Criticism

Image of Keynote Presenters Dr Sarah Thorton and Brendan Fernandes
Friday, March 27, 2015 - 4:00am to Saturday, March 28, 2015 - 4:00am

Multiple Li(v)es of Art/ists &...
Disciplinary Fuzziness and the Future(s) of Art Criticism

OCAD University, Toronto, Canada
March 27-28, 2015

The Contemporary Art, Design and New Media Art Histories (CADN) MA program at OCAD University is pleased to announce that Dr. Sarah Thornton and Brendan Fernandes are the Keynote presenters of the 2015 CADN Conference.

Multiple Li(v)es of Art/ists &... seeks to investigate projects that actively destabilize binaries, permeate borders, and foster interdisciplinary engagement to trouble the transitory spaces that condition contemporary society. This conference aims to address ways art (or Art) and its many disciplinary iterations continue to morph and change. By providing an armature onto which scholars and artists might graft semblances of understandings gained through the ex/interchange of knowledge and ideas, the conference leverages productive energies of discourse and critique to tease out the questions which necessarily accompany exploration of the contemporary.


Keynote Speaker

Credibility & Confidence: Behind the Scenes with Artists Today
In conversation with Dr. Sarah Thornton

Friday, March 27

10:00 - 11:30 AM, Auditorium 190
OCAD University, 100 McCaul
Free Admission with registration:

Thornton is the author of 33 Artists in 3 Acts, published in English last autumn and forthcoming in six translations, as well as Seven Days in the Art World, an international bestseller available in sixteen languages. She is joined in conversation by Francisco-Fernando Granados, a Toronto-based artist, writer, and educator working in performance, drawing, and multidisciplinary critical practices.


Keynote Performance

Encomium - Durational Performance by Brendan Fernandes
Friday, March 27 - Opening Reception

6:00-9:00 PM, 230 Richmond St West
OnSite Gallery, OCAD University

Brendan Fernandes is a nationally and internationally recognised Canadian artist of Kenyan and Indian descent. His recent work considers the transitional nature of identity through the complex language of dance. The work "Encomium" is inspired by Plato's "Symposium", a classical text in which love is examined through speeches of praise. In the work, Fernandes explores the way in which codes of language are articulated through classical ballet, and the way dance acts like any other language form, creating barriers that allow for understanding within specific groups and communities. ________________________________________________________________________________

More information on these events and the Multiple Li(v)es of Art/ists &... Conference

On March 27-28, this conference presents research by artists and scholars that investigates the active destabilization of binaries and the permeability of disciplinary boundaries. Providing opportunities to leverage productive energies and direct forms of critique through discussion about practices and perceptions, the conference engages the need for contradiction in how art and artists are presented and appreciated in the world, and supports fresh methods that (re)ask important questions.

Venue & Address: 
OCAD University, Toronto, Canada

Intersection: Entrepreneurship & Indigenous Art Conference

Poster with red and yellow arrows intersecting
Saturday, November 15, 2014 - 2:00pm to Sunday, November 16, 2014 - 10:00pm


INTERSECTION will be a unique gathering of Indigenous artists, entrepreneurs, experts and students, relating success stories and lessons learned by entrepreneurial arts organizations in Canada.

The keynote speaker is Dr. Jessica Metcalfe. Stemming from a social activism history, Dr. Metcalfe will speak about the Indigenous fine art market, the challenges of small businesses, and how entrepreneurship can address local and global social issues.

Three distinct panels will expand discussions on emerging business ideas and social innovation approaches. A series of practical workshops on the themes of Navigating the Entrepreneurial Space, and Arts and Leadership, including two workshops on design thinking and business model canvas, will allow attendees to test their ideas for scaling up and sustainability.

Keynote: Dr. Jessica Metcalfe

Dr. Jessica R. Metcalfe (Turtle Mountain Chippewa) earned her Ph.D. in American Indian Studies from the University of Arizona. She wrote her doctoral dissertation on Native designers of high fashion, and is in the process of editing her dissertation for a book manuscript.

She is the main author of the website, Beyond Buckskin, which focuses on all topics related to Native fashion, and is the owner of the Beyond Buckskin Boutique, which promotes and sells Native American-made couture, streetwear, jewelry, and accessories.

She has taught courses in Native studies, studio art, art history, and literature at tribal colleges and state universities. She has presented at numerous national conferences, lectured at museums, and co-curated exhibitions. Her current work focuses on Native American art, clothing, and design from all time periods, with an emphasis on contemporary artists.

The conference will:

  • Highlight successful examples of Triple bottom line (Financial, Social, Environmental) enterprises
  • Provide practical tools and workshops for students and aspiring entrepreneurs
  • Provide success stories of income generation for organizations looking for ways to replace government funding
  • Address intersections and breakdown barriers between creative and business type

Elder Garry Sault of the Mississauga New Credit, will offer the opening prayer 

Venue & Address: 
OCAD University Auditorium, Room 190 100 McCaul Street
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