OCAD U's commitment to support new grads: extended access to Adobe Creative Cloud

Friday, June 14, 2019

As OCAD U celebrates the accomplishments of its newest graduates at today’s convocation ceremonies, the university is also proud to announce a bold new commitment to support these graduates with extended access to key career-related services and supports for the first year after they receive their degree.

NEW! Adobe Creative Cloud access extended by one year
The Adobe suite of software tools are key for creatives. OCAD U will now provide eligible graduating students who were enrolled in the Laptop Program with an additional 1-year extension to their Adobe Creative Cloud license. 

"Adobe's Creative Cloud suite of software is vital for all students coming out of the university,” said Zev Farber, Director, Centre for Emerging Artists & Designers. “Retaining access to these tools as our graduates make early inroads into their professions allows them to hit the ground running, creating and making at exactly the level they need to, right from day one beyond their studies at the university.”


“We’re very proud to be able to build out our commitment to graduates to provide them with the support, resources and tools that they need to succeed in launching their creative careers,” said Deanne Fisher, Vice-Provost, Students & International. “The Adobe Creative Cloud access is a keystone benefit we’re proud to be able to offer, in addition the vastly expanded new programming we’ve added this past year to career development and experiential learning, delivered by the Centre for Emerging Artists and Designers.” 

In addition to the extended Adobe Creative Cloud access, recent grads are invited to come work, collaborate and create in the Centre for Emerging Artists & Designers at 115 McCaul St., third floor. Think of it as an extension to your studio, office or other workspace —one that is in close proximity to networking opportunities, wifi access, meeting space, career advising, and mentorship via the Creative Professionals-In-Residence program. 

But there’s even more! OCAD U has collaborated with FreshBooks, an all-in-one invoicing and accounting solution made for budding entrepreneurs to offer our graduates a free 1-year subscription. FreshBooks does all the heavy lifting and time-consuming tasks for you, leaving more time for doing the work that you love. Our commitment also includes significant discounts on annual Format portfolio subscriptions, MOO business card and promotional materials, and continued access to tools like the Talent Network student and alumni job board, Career Launcher opportunities, networking and mentorship opportunities, career advising, workshops and industry events, career transition support, and so much more. Read more about our commitment to our new and recent graduates by visiting ocadu.ca/commitment

Extended access to Adobe Creative Cloud for one year beyond graduation

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.

OCAD U announces 2018 honorary doctorate recipients

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

On June 12, OCAD University will confer honorary degrees upon four prominent Canadians: fashion journalist Jeanne Beker, filmmaker David Cronenberg, visual artist Jamelie Hassan and Dr. William Reichman, CEO of Baycrest Health Sciences.

This year’s convocation ceremonies will take place at Roy Thomson Hall, celebrating the graduation of some 700 students. Medal winners in 23 academic programs will be presented with their awards, a number of faculty members will be honoured with teaching awards for their exceptional contributions and honorary degrees will be conferred. 

“It is a great pleasure to present these degrees to four phenomenal people who have made a tremendous impact on society through the arts and sciences. They are role models in their disciplines, and their work reflects the wide range of learning that takes place at OCAD University, including in the areas of design for health, integrated media, material art and design, and art for social change,” said Dr. Sara Diamond, OCAD University President and Vice-Chancellor. “We look forward to hearing from our honorary doctorate recipients as we celebrate this cohort of graduating students.”

The first ceremony, at 10:30 a.m. will recognize graduands from the Faculty of Design, with Jeanne Beker and Dr. William Eric Reichman receiving their honorary doctorates. The second ceremony at 3 p.m., will honour graduands from the Faculty of Art, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences and School of Interdisciplinary Studies, and Graduate Studies. David Cronenberg and Jamelie Hassan will receive their honorary doctorates at the afternoon ceremony. 

The Honorary Degree Committee, chaired by Chancellor Salah Bachir, selected the recipients from a list of nominees. 

Jeanne Beker, CM
After studying acting in New York and Paris, Jeanne Beker moved to St. John’s Newfoundland in 1975 to cover arts for CBC radio. Three years later she landed a job at Toronto’s CHUM radio, and helped launch the groundbreaking series The New Musicon CITY TV. A founding member of MuchMusic, Beker launched the legendary Fashion Television, which she presented in over 130 countries for 27 years. 

Editor-in-chief of FQ and SIRmagazines from 2003 to 2008, Beker has also authored five books. She’s been at the creative helm of numerous fashion lines under her own eponymous label, and since 2015 has been Style Editor and host for The Shopping Channel. In 2014 she was named to the Order of Canada. 

David Cronenberg, CC, O. of Ont. FRSC
Director David Cronenberg’s reputation as true auteur his firmly established by his uniquely personal body of work that includes ShiversRabidThe BroodScannersVideodromeThe FlyCrasheXistenzA History of ViolenceEastern PromisesA Dangerous Methodand Maps to the Stars

In 2006, Cronenberg worked with the Art Gallery of Ontario as a guest curator for the exhibition, Andy Warhol/Supernova: Stars, Deaths and Disasters, 1962–1964. 

Lauded as one of the world’s greatest and most influential directors, Cronenberg has earned critical praise and recognition internationally. In 2006, he was awarded the Cannes Film Festival’s lifetime achievement award, the Carrosse d'Or. He was appointed Officer to the Order of Canada in 2003, Companion of the Order of Canada in 2014, and in 1990 was invested in France’s Order of Arts and Letters and the Légion d’Honneur in 2009.

Jamelie Hassan 
Artist and activist Jamelie Hassan’s work is personal and political, exploring worldwide concerns about cultural interactions, the subjection of women, colonialism, racism and political conflict. Using traditional or contemporary cultural artifacts, she works in a visual language of cultural cross-references.

Based in London, Ontario, Hassan is also a lecturer and independent curator. Her installation works involve highly diverse sites including most recently, Nur, installed in the library of the Great Mosque of Xi'an, China; the Ottawa Courthouse and Land Registry; and the London Regional Cancer Clinic.

A survey exhibition, Jamelie Hassan: At the Far Edge of Words, organized in 2009 by Museum London and the Morris & Helen Belkin Art Gallery at the University of British Columbia toured in Canada through to 2013. She is a recipient of the Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts.    

Dr. William Eric Reichman
Dr. William E. Reichman is an internationally known expert in geriatric mental health and dementia care. He is president and CEO of Baycrest, one of the world’s premier academic health sciences centers focused on aging, seniors care and brain function. Dr. Reichman is also Professor of Psychiatry in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Toronto. 

His academic interests have included Alzheimer’s drug development and testing, behavioural changes in dementia, and the character and quality of dementia and mental health services delivered in congregate geriatric care settings. He has advised government in the United States, Canada and China on the impact of an aging society on healthcare demand.  

Dr. Reichman is a recipient of a Bronze Telly award for a documentary film that he co-created and hosted, entitled Reflections of Memory Lost: Understanding Alzheimer’s disease. 


OCAD University celebrates these honorary degree recipients for their contribution to knowledge and culture in their creative fields, for their passionate belief in the importance of visual arts and design, and for their spirit of philanthropy in the cultural sector and beyond.

Since 2003, OCAD University has conferred honorary doctorates on notable figures including Piers Handling, Nobuo Kubota, Carole Condé and Karl Beveridge, Anita Kunz, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Margaret Atwood, Charles Pachter, Dan Donovan, Bill Buxton, the Rt. Hon. Adrienne Clarkson, Karim Rashid, Will Alsop, Daphne Odjig, Claude Gidman and Kent Monkman. 

About OCAD University
OCAD University (www.ocadu.ca)is Canada’s university of the imagination. Founded in 1876, the university is dedicated to art, design and digital media education, practice and research, and to knowledge and invention across a wide range of disciplines. 


Media may attend the convocation ceremonies or arrange interviews by contacting:
Sarah Mulholland
Communications, OCAD University
416-977-6000 Ext. 1327

OCAD U celebrates 2017 graduates!

Four people posing for photo
Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Nearly 800 OCAD U students were joined by family, friends and faculty members to celebrate their graduation at two convocation ceremonies on Friday, June 9.

Graduates from the Faculty of Design, honoured at the morning ceremony, were also fortunate to see the installation of OCAD U’s new chancellor, Salah Bachir. President of Cineplex Media, Bachir was also awarded an honorary doctorate alongside three other exceptional 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.

The honorary degree recipients were recognized 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.

The ceremony for the Faculty of Art, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences and School of Interdisciplinary Studies and Graduate Studies took place in the afternoon.

In her remarks to graduating students, Dr. Sara Diamond, President and Vice-Chancellor, encouraged artists and designers “to act as transformative social, economic, environmental and cultural agents.”

The university’s 22 medal winners were presented with their program medals. Graduate Kyrie Joy Vala-Webb received the Governor General’s gold medal for academic excellence and Mary Katherine McIntyre received the silver.

Faculty members Lewis Nicholson and Johanna Householder received the teaching excellence awards for tenured faculty, while Maria-Belen Ordonez and Jennie Suddick received the non-tenured faculty awards.

In tandem with the university’s commitment to acknowledging Indigenous people and culture in Canada, graduates and guests were treated to performances by renowned artists Sadie Buck and Cheryl L’Hirondelle. Chief R. Stacey Laforme of the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation addressed the graduates at both convocation ceremonies.

Photography by Christina Gapic


Salah Bachir speaking at podium
Graduands seated at Roy Thomson Hall
Cheryl L'Hirondelle singing
Young woman pumps fists as she crosses stage

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

2020 Honorary Degree Nominations

Winsom Winsom accepting an Honorary Degree from OCAD U; Photo: Christina Gapic
Monday, January 6, 2020 - 9:00am to Friday, January 31, 2020 - 5:00pm

The nomination period for OCAD University’s 2020 Honorary Degree is now open, and we invite you to submit your ideas.

Every year at Spring Convocation, OCAD University confers an Honorary Degree upon outstanding individuals who have made a significant contribution to the fields of art, design, and culture; to education; and to the ideals of our University. Submit your suggestions for this, the highest honor offered by our institution.

All members of the OCAD U community, including faculty, staff, students and alumni, are invited to submit a nomination. Please see the nomination form link on this page, as well as a list of past recipients. You may drop the forms in person at 230 Richmond West, Level 11, Office of the President during normal business hours, or via email at jnorthwayfrank@ocadu.ca. Digital signatures will be accepted.

Nominations are due on January 31, 2020 at 5pm EST.


416-977-6000 x300

OCAD Spring Convocation

Thursday, June 5, 2008 - 4:00am

OCAD will honour the class of 2008 and present honourary doctorates.

Venue & Address: 
Roy Thomson Hall 60 Simcoe Street, Toronto, Ontario

OCAD University honours leaders in Black and Indigenous art

Image of Dr. Montague standing in front of a painting and bookshelf
Portrait of artist Alex Janvier
Thursday, June 2, 2016 - 4:00am

Artist, activist and teacher Alex Janvier and art collector and curator Kenneth Montague were awarded honorary doctorates at OCAD University’s convocation ceremonies on June 10.

Janvier is widely known as a pioneer of modernist Indigenous art with his paintings rendered in bright colours and imbued with spirituality. A survivor of the residential school system, Janvier pursued formal art training at what is now the Alberta College of Art and Design, where he graduated with honours. Janvier’s prolific work has influenced generations of Native artists.

Montague is sometimes described as a “Renaissance man” whose passion for art and philanthropy match his renowned dentistry skills. In 1997, Montague founded the non-profit Wedge Curatorial Projects, which promotes themes of culture and identity in art – particularly within the diasporic African and Black communities – through exhibitions, lectures and discussions.

“It is so fitting for Alex Janvier to receive this degree from OCAD University, which he had hoped to attend as a young man. His amazing body of work, from monumental murals to dazzling watercolours, has made a lasting impact on Canada’s visual culture,” said Dr. Sara Diamond, OCAD University’s president and vice-chancellor. “Kenneth Montague’s curatorial projects explore important issues of identity in art and society, whether in his own home here in Toronto or at galleries as far flung as London’s Tate Modern.”


Alex Janvier, from Cold Lake First Nation in northern Alberta, is one of Canada’s most acclaimed contemporary painters. His 50-year career is distinctively informed by his Indigenous heritage and modernist abstract painting style. His Morning Star mural painted on the domed ceiling of the Canadian Museum of History’s Grand Hall is seen by hundreds of visitors every day.

Besides being an influential artist, Janvier is a major figure and significant contributor to Indigenous visual culture. He was an art instructor, a cultural adviser and a member of the ground-breaking Professional Native Indian Artists Inc., also known as the Indian Group of Seven. 

Janvier received multiple honours, awards and honorary doctorates; among them, the Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts, the National Aboriginal Lifetime Achievement Award and the Order of Canada. This fall, the National Gallery of Canada will present a major exhibition of his work.

In the 1950s, Janvier applied to study at the Ontario College of Art (as OCAD University was then known) and was accepted. Due to government policy, however, he was not granted permission to leave the reserve to attend. On June 10, OCAD University will proudly recognize Janvier’s extraordinary accomplishments and welcome him into the university community with an honorary doctorate.

Kenneth Montague is a Toronto-based art collector and the founder and director of Wedge Curatorial Projects, a non-profit arts organization. Since 1997, Montague has been promoting both emerging and established diasporic African and Black artists via exhibitions, lectures and workshops. His focus is on contemporary art that explores Black identity, and he showcases these works in his Wedge Collection.

Montague is also a practising dentist who graduated from the University of Toronto's Faculty of Dentistry. He has repeatedly been voted "Best Dentist" in NOW Magazine readers’ polls, and his innovative downtown Toronto clinic provides dental care for many artists, designers and musicians. Montague is a founding member of the Association for the Advancement of Blacks in Health Science, and its Summer Mentorship Program for high-school students from African and First Nations communities has become a city-wide success. He has also established the Dr. Kenneth Montague African Diaspora Scholarship at the University of Windsor, where he began his post-secondary education.

Montague has served on the Africa Acquisitions Committee at Tate Modern, London (2012–2015), as well as the Advisory Board of the Ryerson Image Centre (2011–2014) and the Photography Curatorial Committee of the Art Gallery of Ontario (2009–2012). He is currently an AGO trustee and chair of the gallery’s Education and Community Engagement Committee. 

OCAD University honours esteemed arts mentors at convocation ceremonies

Photo of artist and activist Winsom Winsom
Photo of artist and academic Margaret Priest
Thursday, June 4, 2015 - 6:15pm

This year, two outstanding artists will receive honorary doctorates at OCAD University’s largest convocation ceremony to date: Professor Margaret Priest, artist, educator, and philanthropist; and Winsom Winsom, an arts activist and mentor to young people in marginalized communities.

In a two-ceremony event at Roy Thomson Hall on Thursday, June 11, 650 undergraduate and graduate students will be presented with their diplomas. As the university has become more diversified, with many students being the first generation in their families to complete post-secondary education, more seats are required so that students may invite family and friends to celebrate their success.

“Winsom Winsom’s lectures for OCAD University’s community arts practice courses demonstrated to students the ways that the arts enrich and empower communities in Toronto and in Belize,” said Dr. Sara Diamond, President and Vice-Chancellor of OCAD University. “Margaret Priest is one of Canada’s leading Canadian conceptual artists and has created single works, installations and major public commissions. She was deeply engaged with OCAD University as advisor to the Academic Council, active in planning our graduate programs and a passionate Board of Governors member. We are honouring these two artists not only for their creative achievements, but also for what they have brought to this institution.”

The first ceremony, at 10:30 a.m. will recognize graduands from the Faculty of Design, with Priest receiving her honorary doctorate. The second ceremony, at 3 p.m., will honour graduands from the Faculty of Art, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences and School of Interdisciplinary Studies, and Graduate Studies. Winsom will receive her honorary doctorate at the afternoon ceremony. 


Margaret Priest was educated in England, where she completed an MA at the Royal College of Art and a Dip.A.D (BFA equivalent) at the Maidstone College of Art. She has worked in Canada most of her adult life as an artist and as a Professor at both the University of Guelph and the University of Toronto. She is currently professor emeritus, University of Guelph, and is a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts. Margaret is a former member of the Board of Governors of OCAD University.

Margaret has received many honours and award over the years both as an artist and as an academic. Her art career includes solo exhibitions at public and private galleries as well as inclusion in group exhibition sin institutions as diverse as the Power Plant, RISD, and Plug In ICA in Winnipeg. She is represented in public collections such as the Tate Gallery, London, and the Canadian Centre for Architecture and in corporate collections in Toronto, Montreal, New York and San Francisco. Within the arts community, she is a strong advocate for artists. She regularly participates in selected addresses, panels, workshops and juries. Margaret is deeply engaged in academics. Her contributions to the community through lectures and appearances as a visiting speaker or critic encourages artists to be the best they can be so they can advance their careers. Simulating and mentoring the minds of young, budding artists is Margaret’s pursuit in life.

Margaret played an important role in the recent evolution of OCAD University. She was instrumental in establishing OCAD’s Graduate programs and was deeply engaged with the Academic Council. Margaret played a significant role in OCAD’s transformation from a college to a university, providing advice to the Academic Council and as an advocate of university level curriculum. As well, she was very involved in the creation of the Onsite Professional Gallery. As a Board of Governors members she supported OCAD through fundraising activities at her home.

Over her career, Margaret has played an important role in the arts community within Canada. Margaret is an outstanding individual who continues to enrich the lives of many by her presence in the art and academic world.

Winsom Winsom is a long-standing and well-known Canadian–Jamaican Maroon artist, arts educator and mentor who initiates and develops programs in the arts, arts education and culture to address community needs. She has had a significant and direct impact on the lives of hundreds of young people, first in Jamaica, later in Canada and now in Belize, where she established the Winsom Foundation. Her foundation trains and develops young people in the arts and education, as well as helps them to chart a path of sustainability. Winsom’s efforts and those of her foundation are carried out with few and scarce resources and art infrastructure must be created from scratch. Community cultural enhancement through the arts, the arts in education (as a tool of empowerment, creative collaboration and community development), cross-cultural dialogue and spiritual enrichment are some of the Winsom Foundation’s achievements to date.

Winsom’s position in equity-seeking groups is best assessed when it is understood that most artists from these communities are mentored, as opposed to coming up through art school. By means of her visibility as an artist, Winsom is an inspiration to many people, while her work creates paths and spaces for young people to dream and motivates them to embark on meaningful lives. In Belize, Winsom assists young people to get to and through high school and on to college or university by advocating on their behalf though the education system. She also provides training and other forms of support to a number of local emerging artists in order to help them establish a career in the arts. One of Winsom’s main visions is to help bring art and design education into the Belize school system. In Toronto, her mentorship and teaching in the Fresh Elements and Fresh Arts programs were important contributions to the emergence of several Canadian artists. Winsom’s status as an elder, along with her dedication to the arts as integral to the production of cultural voice, societal engagement and citizenship, has created new spaces for dialogue within and across marginalized communities. She is also tecognized for her ambassadorship in the arts, longstanding work in bridging cultures and providing opportunities for others.