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Queen’s Reads author to visit Kingston

Program organizers are preparing to welcome Katherena Vermette to campus, and announce winners of  creative  contest.

Queen’s Reads held a well-attended discussion panel in November about The Break in November, featuring professors and students providing their perspectives on the book. (Supplied Photo)
Queen’s Reads held a well-attended discussion panel about The Break in November, featuring professors and students providing their perspectives on the book. (Supplied Photo)

If you have yet to pick up your free copy of this year’s Queen’s Reads book, The Break, there is still plenty of opportunity to be a part of the conversation.

Students have been invited to participate in a creative contest on the themes of identity and resilience, and the common reading program is hosting author Katherena Vermette for a talk and book signing session. Ms. Vermette will be discussing The Break at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre on Wednesday, March 7 at 7 pm. The event is being hosted through a partnership between Queen’s and Kingston Writer’s Fest. All tickets for the event went quickly, including seats reserved for students, but there is a waitlist

“We are very excited to welcome Ms. Vermette to Kingston and to learn more about her work and writing process,” says Lindsay Heggie, an organizer with Queen's Reads. “Queen's Reads has been tremendously successful, with 4,200 books already distributed and many events which have allowed the Queen’s community to explore questions of identity, overcoming adversity, and some of the challenges faced by Canada’s Indigenous Peoples.”

Following the talk, the Agnes is encouraging guests to stay and visit Kent Monkman’s Shame and Prejudice art exhibit.

In 2017, The Break was a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award, shortlisted for CBC’s Canada Reads, and received the Amazon First Novel award. This bestseller is an important new work of Canadian literature that tells an intergenerational story of a Métis family as they navigate the effects of trauma.

Queen’s Reads is a common reading program that aims to engage the Queen’s community in a dialogue. The initiative aims to explore themes around difference and diversity in connection with identity, reflecting on stories of resiliency, identifying the internal and external skills, strengths, and resources that members of the Queen’s community draw on in overcoming adversity.

As part of this year’s campaign, students are invited to submit an original work on the theme of “Identity and Resilience”. Submissions may include writing, media, and art, and are due to student.experience@queensu.ca by end of the day on Monday, February 19. The top three entries will be featured on the Queen’s Reads blog and the winning authors will each receive a $100 gift certificate for the Queen’s Bookstore.

This year, Queen’s Reads was extended beyond its previous focus on first-year students to include the broader Queen’s community – undergraduates, graduate students, faculty, and staff. Visit queensu.ca/studentexperience/queensreads to learn more about Queen’s Reads.

‘A powerful voice in promoting awareness and action in human rights’

The second annual Isabel Human Rights Arts Festival brings a diverse series of events to the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts.

After making a successful debut in 2017, the Isabel Human Rights Arts Festival is back for a second year with a diverse lineup that includes concerts, films, multimedia exhibitions and a trial for Canada’s first prime minister, Sir John A. Macdonald.

Isabel Human Rights Festival
The Isabel Human Rights Festival opens Monday, Feb. 26 with the Art of Time Ensemble’s A Singer Must Die – The Words & Music of Leonard Cohen featuring singers, clockwise from top left, Steven Page, Sarah Slean, Gregory Hoskins, and Tom Wilson. (Supplied Photo)

“The arts are a powerful voice in promoting awareness and action in human rights,” says Tricia Baldwin, Director of the Isabel. “We are privileged to partner with diverse artists and human rights activists who have dedicated their lives to create a fairer and inclusive future for humanity. Nothing could be more important in this challenging political world climate, in which we are now immersed, than to inspire people to actively participate and create a political and legal environment that will protect world citizens from prejudice, hatred, and violence.”

The festival opens Monday, Feb. 26 with the Art of Time Ensemble’s A Singer Must Die – The Words & Music of Leonard Cohen, featuring singers such as Sarah Slean, Steven Page, Tom Wilson, and Gregory Hoskins performing some of the Canadian music legend’s best-known works.

Then on Friday, March 16, CBC Radio’s Ideas will host Sir John A. Macdonald on Trial for a national broadcast. Jean Teillet, a renowned Métis lawyer, founder of the Métis Nation of Ontario, and the great-grandniece of Louis Riel, will act as prosecutor, while Frank Addario, an award-winning criminal defence lawyer as well as vice-president of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, will act as Macdonald’s legal defence. The event was initiated with the support of Barbara Crow, Dean, Faculty of Arts and Science.

Young talented women filmmakers will be in the spotlight during Flip the Script – Women, Cameras, and Justice. Features include: The Judge, directed by Erika Cohn (Thursday, March 8); The Hunting Ground, directed by Kirby Dick (Friday, March 9); An Evening of Indigenous Short Films, with four short films (Thursday, March 22); and Marlina the Murderer in Four Acts, directed by Mouly Surya (Friday, March 23).

At the same time, the multimedia exhibition Voices – a multi-disciplinary showcase of painting, sculpture, costumes, and poetry that highlights and strengthens the marginalized voices that exist within the Queen’s community – will be hosted in The Isabel Art and Media Lab March 5-8.

On Saturday, March 17, the African Caribbean Students’ Association will present its annual Culture Show, with Queen’s students taking the stage with dance, spoken word, musical and theatrical expression and fashion. The event is also part of the group’s Black History Month celebrations.

A few days later on Tuesday, March 20, works by artists such as k.d. Lang, Billy Strayhorn, Rodgers & Hart, Ani DiFranco, Stephen Sondheim, and more, will be featured in Songs of Resilience, a concert by the Queer Songbook Orchestra.

The festival then concludes with H’art Centre’s A Gift from Martadella, with more than 40 local performers, most with developmental disabilities, in performances that showcase their talents as actors, musicians, and in the visual artists.

Full details and schedules are available online.

Tickets are available at The Isabel’s website or at 613-533-2424 (M-F, 12:30-4:30 pm). 

Learning Indigenous languages

Practice your “Boozhoo” (how the Anishinaabe say “greetings”) and “Miigwetch” (“thank you”) and learn about Indigenous cultures in a new Queen’s program.

Mishiikenh (Vernon Altiman) leads an Anishinaabemowin class. (University Communications)
Mishiikenh (Vernon Altiman) leads an Anishinaabemowin class. (University Communications)

A new certificate program will provide students with an introduction to three Indigenous languages, while also deepening their knowledge of Indigenous cultures.

Launching this fall, a new Certificate of Indigenous Languages and Culture will provide an introduction to Mohawk, Inuktitut, and the Anishinaabe language – known as Anishinaabemowin, meaning ‘language of the people’.

The certificate brings together existing Indigenous language courses at Queen’s plus new Anishinaabemowin training into a program which can be completed through full-time studies in one year, or part-time over two years. The existing language training tends to attract both Indigenous students seeking to learn more about their history, and non-Indigenous students hoping to better understand Indigenous culture.

“Offering this type of program helps us respond to both the needs of our community and the broader responsibilities we have as an institution,” says Jill Scott, Vice-Provost (Teaching and Learning). “This certificate will assist in revitalizing Indigenous languages and fostering greater understanding of Indigenous cultures and ways of knowing.”

Professors in this program include Mishiikenh (Vernon Altiman), an Elder-in-Residence and Cultural Counsellor at Four Directions Aboriginal Student Centre, who teaches Anishinaabemowin; Thanyehténhas (Nathan Brinklow), Lecturer and part-time Chaplain at Queen’s, who teaches the Mohawk language; and Noel McDermott (PhD'15), an Assistant Professor who teaches Inuktitut.

In addition to helping students recognize the three languages and grasp them at a beginner level, the certificate will also include exposure to Indigenous ceremonies, traditions, and contemporary issues. For instance, weather permitting, each Anishinaabemowin class begins with a smudging ceremony held outside Kingston Hall. 

Students introduce themselves in Anishinaabemowin to start each class. (University Communications)
Students introduce themselves in Anishinaabemowin to start each class. (University Communications)

The creation of this certificate program supports the recommendations of both the national Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) report and Queen’s own TRC task force report, both of which call for the creation of “credentialed Indigenous language programs” at post-secondary institutions.

In the future, the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures is working with Tsi Tyonnheht Onkwawenna Language and Culture Centre (TTO) to launch a Mohawk language certificate within the Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory. The two-year program would intensively focus on language instruction and would aim to help revitalize the language among the Indigenous community as well as their understanding of the rich Mohawk culture.

“I am very excited by the recent unanimous Senate approval of this new certificate program, and by the prospect of the collaborative certificate in Mohawk Language and Culture,” says Kanonhsyonne (Janice Hill). “I am very happy to see the university taking up the Call to Action and the recommendation in our very own Extending the Rafters report through the further development of Indigenous language offerings. Further, ensuring these programs are credentialed by the university ensures student eligibility for financial assistance and makes these important programs more accessible.”

Applications for this certificate program will open in May. It is expected to attract approximately 10 to 15 students annually. 

Black History Month looks to the future

The theme for February’s celebration of African and Caribbean culture is the resilience of black people throughout history, and how that resilience continues today.

This year’s Black History Month at Queen’s will examine the struggles faced and overcome by black people both here at Queen’s and throughout the world. It will also look at how their collective strength through those moments has shaped their present and future.

The African and Caribbean Students’ Association (ACSA) and the Queen’s Black Academic Society (QBAS) will be working together to organize an opening ceremony on Sunday, Feb. 4 at Renaissance Event Venue in downtown Kingston.

Organizers, speakers, and some attendees of Black History Month 2017. (Supplied Photo)
Organizers, speakers, and some of the attendees of Black History Month 2017 gather in Robert Sutherland Hall. (Supplied Photo)

QBAS will be holding talks on diversity and mental wellness within the black community, exploring structural sources of mental wellness obstacles for persons of colour and ways in which the community can work together to eliminate obstacles for individuals seeking resources and help.

They will also be hosting a social mixer, and running a unique campaign within the Queen’s community centred on one of its most prominent black alumni, Robert Sutherland.

“His story is carved into the very structures of Queen’s University and it lives through the black excellence and resilience of Queen’s black students and alumni,” says Asha Gordon (Artsci’18). “Through a media and tabling campaign called “I Am Robert Sutherland”, we hope to show his story is both a narrative of the past and of the present. The faces of the Robert Sutherland legacy are all around us.”

ACSA will also be looking at the history of black people within the Queen’s context, and highlighting their story of resilience. As one example, they will be hosting Queen’s employee and former journalist Edward Thomas (Sc’06, MSc’11) who, on the one-hundredth anniversary of the event, has investigated the expulsion of black medical students in 1918, and what happened to them after Queen’s.

“We chose the theme of resilience because black people have gone through so much and have come out stronger than before,” says Elorm Vowotor (Artsci'18). “Another focus this year is on bringing the community into our celebrations, so everyone – Queen’s students and the broader Kingston community – is welcome to join us at our events. We are inclusive and want to welcome everyone to learn more about the history of black people in Canada.”

The group will also host a dance workshop, and an event celebrating African and Caribbean food, with traditional dishes such as Jamaican jerk chicken, West African jollof, and Guayanese pholourie.

Both QBAS and ACSA received grants from the Alma Mater Society and the Deputy Provost (Academic Operations and Inclusion) to help fund this year’s activities. The two groups will be regularly providing updates and photos throughout the month through social media.

Planning for Black History Month began last semester, and involves both students and members of the Kingston community. For more information on the launch of Black History Month at Queen’s, please stay tuned to the Kingston Black History Month Facebook page.

To learn more about the history of Black History Month in Canada, please visit the Department of Canadian Heritage’s website.

Concert honours Marjan Mozetich’s career

Special event at the Isabel will feature works by the retiring faculty member who is one of the most performed composers in Canadian classical music.

After 27 years as a continuing adjunct lecturer in theory and composition at Queen’s, Marjan Mozetich is retiring.

Marjan Mozetich
A special concert at the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts, the second in the Faculty Concert Series, will recognize the work of Marjan Mozetich. (University Communications)

Long a valued resource and respected educator at the Dan School of Drama and Music, Mozetich is also one of the most performed composers in Canadian classical music and a Juno Award winner.

In recognition of all he has given his colleagues and students, a special concert of his music is being held at the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts on Sunday, Jan. 21.  The event is the second in the 2017-18 Faculty Artist Series.

While his music has been performed countless times by musicians around the world, the significance of the upcoming concert isn’t lost on Mozetich.

“It’s quite an honour to have a whole concert dedicated to my music,” he says. “Normally you don’t get that kind of thing. The school didn’t have to do a whole event just on my work. It’s a tremendous honour.”

Faculty performers presenting some of his most expressive chamber music and songs include: violinists Gisèle Dalbec-Szczesniak and Karma Tomm; cellist Wolf Tormann; mezzo-soprano Colleen Renihan; and pianists Julia Brook, Adrienne Shannon and Cynthia Tormann. A string orchestra, conducted by Gordon Craig, will perform Mazetich’s Postcards from the Sky, and his Bassoon Concerto, featuring Katie Legere as soloist.

For his colleagues the event will be bittersweet – an opportunity to perform some of his most recognized pieces but with the knowledge that he will soon be moving on.

“The great thing about being a composer is that your music can go on to be performed long after you hang-up the teaching gloves. Thankfully Marjan has a large body of music that he continues to add to so I am sure his pieces will be programmed on many future concerts,” says John Burge, Professor of Theory and Composition at the Dan School. “What will be missed though, is the gentle guidance and nurturing that he has provided to our senior composition students each year. Earlier this fall I was copied on an email from one of his former students who had just received her Doctorate in Composition from the University of British Columbia and she stressed how much his teaching has inspired her through all her subsequent studies. We have been lucky to have him on faculty.”

While he is retiring from the university Mozetich will continue to compose. He currently has commissions for the National Arts Centre Orchestra and the Kingston Symphony Orchestra.

The concert starts at 2:30 pm.

This concert is now SOLD OUT. Please note that the next Faculty Artist Series concert is the Isabel String Quartet on Sunday, Feb. 25, at 2:30 pm.

Funding boost an ‘affirmation’ for the Agnes

The Agnes Etherington Art Centre sees support from the Canada Council for the Arts nearly double for contemporary art programming.

Sunny Kerr leads a tour of the Shame and Prejudice Exhibition
Curator of Contemporary Art Sunny Kerr, left, leads tour guides through the Shame and Prejudice exhibition currently on display at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre.

The Agnes Etherington Art Centre will see its funding for contemporary art programming nearly double for the next three years.

The funding from the Canada Council for the Arts is increasing to $200,000 a year from the previous $105,000.

As a result, explains Agnes Director Jan Allen, the gallery will be able to extend its capacity to bring “creative modes of presentation and interpretation to the work of artists, and to develop inventive forms of participation.”

For the current three-year funding cycle, the Canada Council for the Arts introduced a new application model, one that was more competitive and that challenged galleries to engage with artists and audiences. The requests were to be “aspirational,” Ms. Allen says, and provided a rare opportunity for galleries to be bold with their exhibition planning.

Gallery staff prepared their funding application, outlining their vision for the next three years. The result was “affirming,” Ms. Allen says.

“This is not a small jump in support. It is a really significant boost,” she says. “This funding is recognition of our leading role nationally, and is an affirmation of the direction of our contemporary art programs.  (The Canada Council for the Arts) has embraced the vision that we put forward for the next three years for our engagement, both with contemporary artists and audiences, the various communities, and the partners, with whom we work.”

The increase, Ms. Allen adds, also recognizes the work being done by the staff at the Agnes, especially Curator of Contemporary Art Sunny Kerr.

The funding will strengthen the Agnes’s role as an accessible meeting place for learning and art experience on multiple levels, Mr. Kerr explains.

“In particular the increased funding enables us to be more responsive to our publics through programming that animates exchange between artists and our local communities,” he says. “I am especially excited about the renewed potential for artists to work with us on the ground – and with Queen’s and Kingston partners – for longer durations, ensuring artistic engagement with students, faculty and Kingston community members and partner organizations. Contemporary art offers a bridge across different disciplines, working as an interpreter and mediator of current urgencies.”

Helping the Agnes in its funding request is that the gallery has demonstrated it can work in a challenging fashion with positive results. Over the past five years, Ms. Allen points out, annual attendance at the Agnes has doubled. At the same time, the number of Queen’s academic courses hosted by the gallery, utilizing collections and exhibitions at the gallery, has increased greatly.

The increased support will foster further growth for active participation and reinforce the gallery’s work with diverse cultures. It also highlights the Agnes’s strength in contemporary art, matching the quality of its historical collections, including European, Canadian and African art.

“What this increase in funding really reinforces, I think, is that we are recognized for our contemporary art programming,” Ms. Allen says. “In total, the overall vision of the gallery is to make these program areas work together in a way that is really dynamic and it’s something that, for a gallery of our scale, we do extremely well. We have this unique resource of high-quality collections in these different areas, supported by specialist expertise. So they are not just passive collections but they are very actively used, interpreted, researched and used for teaching.”

Visit the Agnes Etherington Art Centre website to learn more about its collections, programs and upcoming events.

New season at Agnes to feature Shame and Prejudice exhibition

Among the many interesting art exhibitions at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre this season is a provocative exhibition from Indigenous artist Kent Monkman.

A new exhibition of Indigenous paintings and artifacts at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre is sure to draw interest and help visitors reflect on Canada’s history this winter.

Created in response to the country’s sesquicentennial celebrations, Shame and Prejudice: A Story of Resilience by Indigenous artist Kent Monkman casts a critical eye on the history of interactions between Indigenous peoples and Canadian settlers over the years. Monkman is a renowned Canadian artist and curator of Cree ancestry.

"We're tremendously proud to present this profound exhibition at the Agnes,” says Jan Allen, Director of the Agnes Etherington Art Centre. “Kent Monkman has created a critical tour-de-force that powerfully blends a devastating history with rapier-like wit. This is the not-to-miss exhibition of the season."

Paintings capture scenes such as children being taken from their families to be sent to residential schools, and the rights of Indigenous leaders being signed away before their eyes. Mr. Monkman’s paintings employ parody, using familiar scenes or famous paintings and a traditional 19th century European painting style combined with a twist that is designed to shock and surprise viewers.

The exhibit also includes artifacts such as the moccasins of Chief Pîhtokahanapiwiyin (Poundmaker), and traditional cradle boards which were used primarily by Indigenous women as a baby carrier.

This circulating exhibition was produced by the Art Museum at the University of Toronto in partnership with the Confederation Centre Art Gallery, Charlottetown, and has been made possible in part by the Government of Canada and the Ontario Arts Council. The lead sponsor of the exhibit was the Donald R. Sobey Family Foundation. The exhibit’s appearance at the Agnes was made possible by The George Taylor Richardson Memorial Fund, Queen’s University.

  • Kent Monkman, The Scream, 2017, acrylic on canvas. Collection of the Denver Art Museum, Native Arts acquisition fund. (Supplied Photo)
    Kent Monkman, The Scream, 2017, acrylic on canvas. Collection of the Denver Art Museum, Native Arts acquisition fund. (Supplied Photo)
  • Kent Monkman, The Daddies, 2016, acrylic on canvas. Private Collection. (Supplied Photo)
    Kent Monkman, The Daddies, 2016, acrylic on canvas. Private Collection. (Supplied Photo)
  • Poundmaker’s Moccasins, 1875-1890, glass beads, painted rawhide from parfleche container, smoked brain-tanned buffalo hide. Collected by Walter Gouin from Chief Poundmaker, c.1875-1880. Canadian Museum of History. (Supplied Photo)
    Poundmaker’s Moccasins, 1875-1890, glass beads, painted rawhide from parfleche container, smoked brain-tanned buffalo hide. Collected by Walter Gouin from Chief Poundmaker, c.1875-1880. Canadian Museum of History. (Supplied Photo)

Shame and Prejudice will be at the Agnes until early April. Due to space limitations, the entire exhibition will not be on display. See a preview of the exhibit and learn more about related events on the Agnes Etherington Art Centre’s website.

The Winter 2018 Season Launch at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre will be held Thursday, Jan. 18 at 6 pm. For more information, visit the Queen's Events Calendar.

Faculty members recognized with Mayor's Arts Awards

Three Queen’s faculty members were among those recognized in the inaugural Mayor’s Arts Awards.

Professors Armand Garnet Ruffo (English; Languages, Literatures and Cultures) and Matt Rogalsky (Dan School of Drama and Music) received Creator Awards while the Limestone Arts Legacy Award recognized David Kemp, the former head of the Department of Drama at Queen’s, who passed away in April.

The Mayor’s Arts Awards, administered by the City of Kingston in collaboration with the Kingston Arts Council (KAC), celebrate artistic achievement and recognize extraordinary contributions in and to the arts, while at the same time enhancing the cultural vitality and civic identity of Kingston.

Creator Awards
The Creator Award recognizes living artists, artistic collectives, or arts organizations. The award honours artistic merit and/or innovation that advances the arts in the city, contributes to the development of the art form and expresses the cultural vitality of Kingston.

Armand Garnet RuffoArmand Garnet Ruffo
An Anishinaabe scholar, filmmaker, writer and poet, Mr. Ruffo is the Queen’s National Scholar in Indigenous Literature and teaches creative writing and Indigenous literature. He has received numerous awards for his writing and filmmaking. He has published five books, including the biography Norval Morrisseau: Man Changing into Thunderbird, on the innovative and controversial Ojibway painter, and a poetry collection, The Thunderbird Poems, inspired by Morrisseau’s work. Mr. Ruffo has also written three plays and has written, directed and produced a short film and a feature film.

“The recognition that Armand’s work has received and his ongoing support of other artists and the literary community, inspire other creators, particularly Indigenous artists,” reads the city’s release announcing the award winners.

Matt RogalskyMatt Rogalsky
Matt Rogalsky is an assistant professor in theory and composition at the Dan School of Drama and Music with areas of research including histories, reconstructions and new performances of late 20th century electronic and experimental music.

Mr. Rogalsky has composed, created and performed locally and across North America and Europe. A founding member of the band The Gertrudes, he is also involved with the Tone Deaf Festival of Experimental Sound and numerous smaller performance series such as Musical Chairs and is a key member of the board of Kingston’s Skeleton Park Arts Festival.

“Talented and widely respected, Matt provides his technical and artistic expertise and encouragement to an enormous range of art activities in Kingston, spanning visual and performance art, storytelling, classical to experimental music, film and theatre,” reads the city’s release.

Limestone Arts Legacy Award
The Limestone Arts Legacy Award recognizes individuals from the past whose sustained and substantial contributions have built the artistic vitality of the city, nurturing and enabling forms of creation, participation, presentation and enjoyment, whose leadership has inspired others, and whose influence has been felt in the region and beyond.

David KempDavid Kemp
David Kemp was a professor and the former head of the Department of Drama at Queen’s, and was cross-appointed to the Faculty of Education, where he served as associate dean. Mr. Kemp was an accomplished playwright, theatre artist and educator who advocated for theatre education for all ages. He was very active within the local arts community, serving as artistic director of the Frontenac Children’s Teachers Theatre Company, which performed children’s theatre at local schools, and co-founded the Artists in Community Education program (ACE).

“In co-founding the Artists in Community Education program (ACE), which provides practicing artists with the teaching tools they needed to pursue classroom, community outreach and arts leadership careers, he has inspired successive generations of youth while integrating artistic practices in all disciplines with community life, making Kingston a leading centre for arts education,” the city says in its release.

Visit the City of Kingston website for video profiles and more information about the 2017 Mayor’s Arts Awards.

The Isabel celebrated for design excellence

  • The Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts gleams in the morning light. (Photo: Doublespace photography)
    The Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts gleams in the morning light. (Photo: Doublespace photography)
  • The Isabel overlooks Lake Ontario. (Photo: Doublespace photography)
    The Isabel overlooks Lake Ontario. (Photo: Doublespace photography)
  • The Isabel's bright interior welcomes guests to a performance. (Photo: Corey Forster, ArtSci’17 and MSc’19)
    The Isabel's bright interior welcomes guests to a performance. (Photo: Corey Forster, ArtSci’17 and MSc’19)
  • The 566-seat performance hall offers world-renowned acoustics. (Photo: Doublespace photography)
    The 566-seat performance hall offers world-renowned acoustics. (Photo: Doublespace photography)
  • Large windows and open space give the Isabel an impressive feeling of grandeur. (Photo: Physical Plant Services)
    Large windows and open space give the Isabel an impressive feeling of grandeur. (Photo: Physical Plant Services)

The 2017 Livable City Design Awards celebrated buildings across Kingston, including the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts, which won an Award of Excellence for its building project design.

“Queen’s is honoured to receive this award from the City of Kingston. Given the strong field of great projects that were nominated, the recognition is particularly exciting,” said John Witjes, Associate Vice-Principal (Facilities). “In addition to being one of the premier buildings on campus for our staff and students, The Isabel has become a wonderful local venue for world-class performing arts. Our facilities team is very proud of the role we played in helping to create it.”

The Isabel was judged by a jury of professionals, based on criteria including significance to the city and community, innovation, context, execution, sustainable design, and accessibility.

To learn more about The Isabel, and about their upcoming programming, visit The Isabel’s website.

New lecture series to celebrate John Meisel

The John Meisel Scholar Series in Contemporary Political Controversies to hold its inaugural event on Thursday, Nov. 23.

  • The John Meisel Scholar Series in Contemporary Political Controversies was announced during his 94th birthday party at the University Club. Helping unveil the poster were, from left: Keith Banting (Political Studies, Smith School of Business); Barbara Crow, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Science; Zsuzsa Csergő, Head, Department of Political Studies; and Tom Hewitt Chief Development Officer, Advancement.
    The John Meisel Scholar Series in Contemporary Political Controversies was announced during his 94th birthday party at the University Club. Helping unveil the poster were, from left: Keith Banting (Political Studies, Smith School of Business); Barbara Crow, Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Science; Zsuzsa Csergő, Head, Department of Political Studies; and Tom Hewitt Chief Development Officer, Advancement.
  • Professor Emeritus John Meisel reacts to the announcement of The John Meisel Scholar Series in Contemporary Political Controversies. The inaugural visiting scholar, Debra Thompson from the University of Oregon, will host a lecture Thursday, Nov. 23 from 4 to 5:30 pm in the Agnes Etherington Art Centre.
    Professor Emeritus John Meisel reacts to the announcement of The John Meisel Scholar Series in Contemporary Political Controversies. The inaugural visiting scholar, Debra Thompson from the University of Oregon, will host a lecture Thursday, Nov. 23 from 4 to 5:30 pm in the Agnes Etherington Art Centre.
  • The Queen's community celebrated the 94th birthday of Professor Emeritus John Meisel with a special event Oct. 20 at the University Club.
    The Queen's community celebrated the 94th birthday of Professor Emeritus John Meisel with a special event Oct. 20 at the University Club.

A lot has changed across this country since John Meisel first took up residence here at Queen’s in 1949 as a lecturer in Political Studies. But one thing that remains a constant is the existence of political controversy and the need for scholars, policy makers, and the public to explore and address it.

This is where a new annual lecture series at Queen’s will come in. The John Meisel Scholar Series in Contemporary Political Controversies is set for Thursday, Nov. 23 from 4 to 5:30 pm in the Agnes Etherington Art Centre. The inaugural visiting scholar will be Debra Thompson from the University of Oregon and the title of her lecture is “Trump, Race, and Time”.

“This scholar series is an ideal way for the university to celebrate John’s incredible career and the contributions he has made to Queen’s and Canada in his roles as a professor, public servant, and public intellectual,” says Zsuzsa Csergő, Political Studies Department Head. “He was an important voice in many of this country’s most important debates over many decades, including discussions over the future of Canadian culture and arts, and battles over the constitution, to name a few.”

Professor Meisel was also a pioneer in research into political behavior and he wrote widely on Canadian elections, political parties, Quebec politics, science policy, and cultural policy. He was the founding editor of two prestigious academic journals, the Canadian Journal of Political Science and the International Political Science Review. From 1980 to 1983 he was Chair of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission and later served as president of the Royal Society of Canada.

Recently he celebrated his 94th birthday at the Queen’s University Club where members of the Political Studies department unveiled the scholar series founded in his honour. The event will also highlight the important contributions of Queen’s Political Studies to scholarship and public engagement both nationally and internationally.

The lecture is open to the public and is being sponsored by the Faculty of Arts and Science with support from alumni.

For more information visit the Queen’s Political Studies website

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