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. 

-30-

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

OCAD U Chancellor co-hosts #LOVEWINS

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Chancellor Salah Bachir, in partnership with Kate Alexander Daniels, is hosting a public event at Toronto City Hall in support of the city's LGBTQ community, its allies and the family and friends of the victims of the LGBTQ killings in this city. Part vigil, part celebration, the event is a way for everyone to come together and offer support to the community that has been left vulnerable and uncertain. 

The #LOVE WINS event features performance by:

  • John Alcorn
  • Jim Creegan, Kevin Hearn & Tyler Steward of the Barenaked Ladies with Carole Pope
  • Kayla Diamond
  • Forte Toronto Gay Men's Chorus
  • Elijah Woods, Jamie Fine & Poesy from CTV's The Launch
  • Thelma Houston
  • Molly Johnson
  • Billy Newton-Davis
  • Jackie Richardson
  • Theo Tams
  • Toronto All-Star Big Band 
  • and more...
Poster: 
Graphic features the same text as in the body of this story, lists performers

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.

Bios

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.  

 

 

 

Poster: 
Photo of graduands at Roy Thomson Hall