OCAD University’s Black Sparks initiative receives support from Ford Foundation

Friday, July 26, 2019 - 1:15pm

The Black Sparks fundraising campaign will support Black artists and designers by funding OCAD U’s Black Youth Design Initiative. This initiative includes “Imagine, Make and Connect” workshops for 8–12 year-old Black youth as well as the Design4 program, which provides paid professional opportunities to upper-year OCAD U students.

The Ford Foundation’s commitment of $65,000 is Black Sparks’ biggest donation yet and Dr. Dori Tunstall, Dean of the Faculty of Design at OCAD University, couldn’t be happier to secure it. Said Tunstall, who herself is the first Black and Black female dean of a university or college design faculty, “This spark will help us ignite our Black Youth Design Initiative. The donation will support entrepreneurial efforts in the Design4 program to place nine students and recent alumni within three Black community organizations.”

"Because design is the way humans remake the world, we support OCAD University's efforts to increase capacity in Black communities to remake our worlds so that they are more equitable, just, and expressive of our rich cultures," said Darren Walker, President of the Ford Foundation. 

The Black Sparks fundraising campaign seeks to recruit 100 Black leaders who will commit to contributing $100 CAD a month in support of OCAD University’s Black students, faculty, staff and community partners. It’s a part of the transformational fundraising effort known as Ignite Imagination: The Campaign for OCAD University.

The institution’s first Black Spark came from artist and OCAD U alumnus Gordon Shadrach, who donated one of his paintings to the annual university art auction Project 31, raising $3,600 for the Black Youth Design Initiative.

You can join the Black Sparks movement by donating $100 per month. Please visit ocadu.convio.net/100x100BlackSparks for more information.

OCAD University selects architects for campus expansion

Three male architects
Tuesday, January 10, 2017

OCAD University is pleased to announce the selection of three architectural firms to lead the design and implementation of the Creative City Campus (CCC) project: Morphosis and Teeple Architects, with Two Row Architect.

The CCC project will revitalize and expand the core of the institution’s campus along McCaul Street in Toronto, involving approximately 55,000 sq. ft. of new construction and 95,000 sq. ft. of renovation and repurposing of existing space.

The two internationally-renowned lead firms, Morphosis and Teeple Architects, have previously collaborated over the years, sharing ideas and research. They will work with Two Row Architect, a 100 per cent native-owned and operated firm on the Six Nations in Southern Ontario, to create the Indigenous Visual Culture and Student Centre and to ensure that Indigeneity is embedded successfully throughout the project.

“Our campus expansion in the heart of Toronto’s creative district is aligned with our goal of creating a 21st century, healthy, accessible and creative environment where studio-based, experiential and collaborative learning can thrive,” said Dr. Sara Diamond, President and Vice-Chancellor, OCAD University. “Over its 140 year history, the institution has grown and thrived, and this project is the next step in its evolution.”

In spring 2016, OCAD U received a $27-million investment from the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities for the Creative City Campus project. “The Ontario government is proud to support this renewal project, which will provide OCAD U students with vastly expanded and improved learning facilities,” said Han Dong, Member of Provincial Parliament, Trinity-Spadina.

Leading edge media, technology and state-of-the-art digital fabrication will be integrated throughout the facility to enable pedagogy, as well as social interaction and new ways of thinking, making and doing.

“OCAD University is embarking on a bold campus renewal that will accelerate the university’s continued success in developing the next generation of professionals in the creative sector,” said Leslie Gales, Chair Campaign Cabinet  ̶  OCAD U, Ignite Imagination.

“We are thrilled to be part of the future of Canada’s oldest and largest art, design and digital media university. We look forward to bringing new disciplines, minds and thoughts together to re-imagine the future and collectively answer the questions of tomorrow,” said Thom Mayne, Design Director of Morphosis Architects.

“Rethinking the very nature of learning space at OCAD U is the core challenge of this opportunity,” said Stephen Teeple. “How can it be organized, what spatial qualities might it possess to enhance interdisciplinary discourse and spark the imagination of creative young minds? These are the questions to be explored in the exciting design process that is about to unfold.”

OCAD University’s constant evolution is based in the belief that creativity serves a vital function in society – that imaginations have the unique power to develop real-world solutions to improve and transform lives.

The Globe and Mail covered the announcement. 


Below, Left to right: Ung-Joo Scott Lee, architect Mark Robert, OCAD U board member Helen Kearns, MPP Han Dong, architect Brian Porter, OCAD U board Vice Chair Sharifa Khan, architect Stephen Teeple, architect Thom Mayne, OCADU President Sara Diamond, Ignite Imagination Campaign chair Leslie Gales, MP Adam Vaughan and OCAD U VP, Advancement Carole Beaulieu.

Left to right: Ung-Joo Scott Lee, architect Mark Robert, OCAD U board member Helen Kearns, MPP Han Dong, architect Brian Porter,
Morphosis project - Bill and Melinda Gates Hall
Teeple project - Stephen Hawking Centre
Two Row project - Allegany

OCAD University announces Ignite Imagination campaign

Friday, November 20, 2015 - 5:00am

OCAD University has launched Ignite Imagination – an ambitious six-year, $30 million private fundraising campaign, with an additional $30 million goal for government and public support.

To date, some $15.6 million in private funding has been received, thanks to the generosity of donors such as Rosalie and Isadore Sharp, the Delaney Family Foundation, Ada Slaight and many others. Nearly $5.5 million has been dedicated towards enhancing the student experience. In addition, the university has raised almost 25 per cent of its public funding goal.

“By 2018, OCAD University will be transformed through campus expansion in the heart of Toronto’s creative district and through enhanced student experience,” said Dr. Sara Diamond, OCAD University President and Vice-Chancellor. “With the growth of the creative economy, the explosion of digital media and the challenges and opportunities facing society, imagination is recognized globally as not just a want, but a need. Our mandate is not simply to imagine the future but to help create it.”

Leslie Gales, President and Chief Investment Officer of the Midland Group of Companies, is Campaign Chair. Gales is a committed community volunteer and currently holds positions with the AGO Foundation, the Jewish Federation of North America and the National Arts Centre Foundation. “I am deeply impressed by the commitment and passion faculty and staff bring to helping every student achieve their full potential,” said Gales. “My goal is to open doors to other individuals and organizations that might share our vision and help us to meet the university’s needs.”

The Ignite Imagination campaign has four pillars:

• To enhance the student experience through increased scholarships, exchange opportunities and workplace experience

• To foster faculty innovation by funding research that brings new knowledge and approaches into the classroom or studio and draws world-class faculty

• To enrich academic programming with more experiential learning programs to give students a real-world complement to the critical and historical knowledge they acquire

• To build and renew infrastructure by upgrading existing studios and labs and expanding the campus while defining the university’s civic identity and international image

OCAD University’s constant evolution is based in the belief that creativity serves a vital function in society – that imaginations have the unique power to develop real-world solutions to improve and transform lives. Ignite Imagination will support this evolution and shape the future of Canada’s largest and most comprehensive art, design and digital media institution.