Campus News

Magazine Section: 
Nota Bene

After federating in 2014, the two distinguished art galleries of the University of Toronto’s St. George campus—the Justina M. Barnicke Gallery and the University of Toronto Art Centre—are now operating jointly under the new, overarching name of Art Museum at the University of Toronto. The Justina M. Barnicke Gallery is located in Hart House, and was built in response to the growing Hart House Art Collection. It first opened its doors in 1983, thanks to a generous gift of Joseph Barnicke in honour of his late wife. The University of Toronto Art Centre is housed in University College and was founded in 1996, enabled by the generosity of the Delta Gamma Fraternity, Toronto Chapter.  Together, the two galleries comprise one of the largest university-based art museums in the country, and the second-largest, museum-standard visual art museum in the city of Toronto.

“Building on the galleries’ exceptional record of achievements, including award-winning public exhibitions, innovative cocurricular educational programming, and a culturally diverse curatorial voice, we celebrate the Art Museum at the University of Toronto in its significantly expanded role,” said Barbara Fischer, Executive Director and Chief Curator. “Supporting the research and educational mission of the University, the Art Museum will become an ever more vital and meaningful cultural resource and destination in the city of Toronto, and internationally.”

The Art Museum also recently received 3 Ontario Association of Art Galleries awards: Exhibition of the Year Award for KWE: Photography, sculpture, video, and performance by Rebecca Belmore; Art Publication Award for Everything is Interesting by Kelly Mark; and honourable mention for Exhibition of the Year for Image Coming Soon #1.

The University College community celebrated some of its most eminent members at the fourth annual Alumni of Influence awards dinner and gala, held on November 19, 2015. More than 220 alumni, students, and faculty of the College—including all 16 honourees or representatives—gathered for an elegant evening in Hart House’s Great Hall. Running the show was master of ceremonies Nora Young (BA 1986 UC), a UC graduate and host of CBC Radio’s Spark. Principal Donald Ainslie gave the opening remarks, encouraging guests to get to know each of the 31 UC students seated among them. Judy Goldring, Chair of Governing Council, brought greetings on behalf of the University of Toronto, while alumnus Arthur Potts (BA 1982 UC), MPP for Beaches-East York, represented the Government of Ontario.

Mark Bonham, the patron and namesake of the Mark S. Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies at UC, received a 2016 Clarkson Laureateship in Public Service from Massey College at U of T, for his advocacy and philanthropy in support of the LGBTQ community.

Brenda Cossman, a Professor in the Faculty of Law, will serve a second term as Director of the Mark S. Bonham Centre for Sexual Diversity Studies (SDS) at UC.  During her first term, she helped to clarify the Centre’s status as an affiliated unit of University College; diversified the SDS curriculum; oversaw unprecedented growth in the Collaborative Graduate Program in SDS; spearheaded the 2014 WorldPride Human Rights Conference; helped to recruit SDS’s first appointed faculty member; and much more.

George Elliott Clarke, a Professor in the Department of English and a UC faculty member, has been named Canada’s seventh parliamentary poet laureate. His responsibilities include composing poetry for occasions of state and sponsoring readings.

More than 100 fashion and theatre enthusiasts descended on UC on January 24, 2016 for Fashion Straight from the Art, a gala auction in support of the Anne Mirvish Performing Arts Scholarship at the Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies. Guests bid on a variety of spectacular vintage gowns belonging to the late Anne Mirvish, wife of the late Toronto theatre impresario and businessman “Honest” Ed Mirvish. The gowns, modeled by students in the Drama program, raised more than $80,000.   

University College alumni and their families were in for a treat—and some tricks—on November 3, 2015 for a (belated) Hallowe’en screening of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets in the East and West Halls. The College was transformed into Hogwarts and guests wore their wizardly best—including UC Principal Donald Ainslie who dressed up as Dumbledore.

Meric Gertler, President of the University of Toronto and a UC faculty member, has been named a Member of the Order of Canada for his research in urban geography and his influential studies of innovation, technology, and development in cities. He was also recently elected to the British Academy.

A group of 30 UC alumni and their families got into the holiday spirit at the Great UC Gingerbread Challenge, held on December 9, 2015. Guests created their own take-home gingerbread houses, inspired by a wonderful (and edible) gingerbread replica of University College that was on display.

Current UC student Eros Grinzato and recent graduate Benjamin Donato-Woodger (BA 2015 UC) helped organize an expedition to Burma to explore how the country has changed since democratization in 2011. The trip, entirely student-led, was part of the international course module program by which students can complement an undergraduate course with a short international learning experience. The student group met with people involved in democracy and peace-building initiatives, leaders of parties representing ethnic minorities, local media and business leaders, as well as students and faculty at the University of Yangon.

Alana Johns, a Professor in the Department of Linguistics and a UC faculty member, has published Utkuhiksalingmiut Uqauhiitigut: Dictionary of Utkuhiksalingmiut Inuktitut Postbase Suffixes. The 700-page book, co-authored by anthropologist Jean Briggs and former U of T linguistics student Conor Cook, details the numerous suffixes used to form complex words in Inuktitut.

Smaro Kamboureli, a Professor in the Department of English and the Avie Bennett Chair in Canadian Literature, has been appointed Acting Director of the UC Canadian Studies program for a term from January 1 to June 30, 2016 while Director Nelson Wiseman is on leave. Professor Kamboureli specializes in contemporary Canadian literature and criticism.

University College faculty member Pia Kleber, a Professor at the Centre for Drama, Theatre and Performance Studies and the Centre for Comparative Literature, has been awarded the Officer’s Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, in recognition of her continued contributions to cultural exchange and cooperation between Germany and Canada.

University College faculty member and Professor of Anthropology Tania Li was elected to the Royal Society of Canada. Li is an expert on economic development in Indonesia.

More than 7,000 people visited the University College quadrangle during Nuit Blanche on October 3, 2015 to take in I've Got Sunshine on a Cloudy Day, a light installation by Catherine Chan which explores the power of love and light to help us through difficult times. The exhibit was named best of the festival by BlogTO for its "playful and positive" impression.

As part of Remembrance Day commemorations in November 2015, a Sopwith Camel fighter plane replica was displayed on front campus, echoing the iconic image of the aircraft in front of University College during the First World War. Last year also marked the 100th anniversary of the poem “In Flanders Fields” by UC alumnus John McCrae (BA 1894 UC). The poem is recited annually at Remembrance Day ceremonies around the world.

The following UC student athletes on U of T varsity teams also excelled academically (AGPA ≥ 3.50) during the 2014-15 academic year: Will Baigent, Angie Bellehumeur, Corinne Bertoia, Eric Cao, Chelsea Cheung, Katrina de Liberato, Kael Deverall, Liam Fox, Andrew Greig, Padideh Hassanpour , Kevin Hu, Yena Lee, Arsalan Mir-Moghtadaei, Evelyn Moorhouse, Aidan Robern, and Jordan Robertson. They were honoured at the Academic Excellence Award Breakfast on November 19, 2015.

University College was once again illuminated in red light for World AIDS Day on December 1, 2015. The gesture was part of a broader campus effort to raise awareness about AIDS, generate discussion within the student body, and inspire others to partake in efforts to combat the illness.

University College students, twin sisters Hilary and Emily Ziraldo, are one of three pairs of sisters on the Varsity Blues field hockey team. The first-year students are also big winners off the field as the recipients of prestigious scholarships. They were both awarded a J.S. McLean Admission Scholarship from UC, while Emily received a U of T scholarship and Hilary received the President's Scholarship of Excellence.