Fall into fall

Now that the new academic year is well underway with the inevitable whirl of start-up activities behind us I thought I would take to my blog to bring you up to date on recent happenings.

First, here’s a recap of September’s special events. My office has been involved in the following events: Welcome event for new students; welcome reception for new international students; faculty and staff long service ceremony; external meetings with the Council of Nova Scotia University Presidents, Association of Atlantic Universities, MOU meeting with NS University Presidents and the Provincial Government.

I also attended the announcement of the finalists for the Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia’s Masterworks Art Award—congratulations to the three finalists: Steve Higgins, NSCAD part-time faculty, for his sculpture, Beyond the Terminating Vista; Jason Buxton, NSCAD alumnus, for his feature film Blackbird; and 2b Theatre for the play When It Rains. You will recall that NSCAD professor Kim Morgan was the winner of this prestigious award last year.

I also attended two major fund- and friend-raising event. The first, ROAR: An Art Auction for NSCAD, was entirely organized by our dedicated folks in University Relations. I will not repeat the details on the event, as you have already received full debriefings from communications, except to say this was a premier event which exceeded our expectations in every way. All around it was a great evening for NSCAD. Thanks again to the folks in University Relations, the artists and the cast of volunteers who gave generously of their time and talent to showcase the university.

Karen Koppernaes’ body language demonstrates the excitement of live bidding during ROAR: An Art Auction for NSCAD. (Steve Farmer Photo)

The second event was also special—a dining and design extravaganza called Dine By Design East. This event, which encompassed both public viewings and a gala evening, selected NSCAD as the benefactor for the event in memory of Amber Harkins, the former creative director at Metro Guide Publishing. NSCAD’s room “Unravelled” was curated by recent NSCAD graduate Heath Simpson and featured the President’s Dinnerware Collection, a set of eight different place settings made by eight prominent NSCAD ceramics alumni. For the gala, NSCAD was paired with the restaurant Gio and chef David Woodley; Gio served “unravelled” versions of comfort food staples—wieners and beans, peanut butter and jam sandwiches, grilled cheese and Neapolitan dessert— as you’ve never tasted them before. Spectacular! The food was served on small ceramic tasting dishes that Heath and friends made especially for the evening.

The Gio chefs are kept busy during the gala evening for Dine by Design East on Thursday, Oct. 3 at the Olympic Community Centre. (Marilyn Smulders Photo)

You will know from previous blog posts that we are still awaiting the final completion of the Affiliation Study. Since I wrote last we have finally come to terms with the consulting firm on the work remaining to be done. The completion date is January 31. The space study is complete and will be reviewed by the Board of Governors at a special meeting to be held in early November.

Also on the planning front, the Strategic Planning Committee under the lead of Vice Chair Julia Rivard Dexter has selected the firm Novita, a very experienced group with loads of experience working in the arts and culture fields, to lead the process. Early planning is underway and you should expect more detailed information on the approach which will be used. Briefly, the approach will contain numerous opportunities for input and advice from our various stakeholder groups as we attempt to fashion our future vision together. All combined, we have a very busy fall planned so stay tuned.

On the staffing front I am happy to report that our Academic Dean Dr. Christine Holzer Hunt has returned from sick leave and is easing back to full duties. Welcome back Christine. Jason Blackburn, with the Office of Research Services, remains out on sick leave as does Linda Hutchison, director of University Relations, who only recently became ill. We wish Jason and Linda speedy recoveries.

Finally, we have been advised recently that Fran Cameron, Senior Secretary for Governance will be retiring at the end of October. While her announcement came as a surprise I am sure everyone will join me in wishing Fran, a major player at NSCAD, our very best wishes.

Talk soon,


Hello September

Welcome back everyone! Though there have been summer classes, it’s been fairly subdued this summer at NSCAD and I’m looking forward to having the hallways full of students again and Sam’s back in the cafeteria.

I always look forward to this time of the year—it’s a time of fresh beginnings, a new academic year, new challenges, a fresh page in the sketchbook. We at NSCAD begin the term with optimism. Enrollments are looking good in terms of new and returning students. And, we’ll embark shortly on a strategic visioning exercise to give concentrated thought about how we define ourselves and goals for the future.

Beyond the Garage Doors - A highlight of the summer was attending the end of year exhibition at the NSCAD-Lunenburg Community Studio Residency. Craig Budovitch, Hangama Amiri and Andrew Maize talked animatedly about their experiences living in Lunenburg.

While it’s been quiet, we’ve been busy. We have seen early drafts of the space utilization and affiliation studies and I expect to be able to report on them soon.

The folks in University Relations are getting ready for two major fundraisers that are on the horizon this fall. The first is called ROAR: An Art Auction for NSCAD; the name is inspired by the stone lions on Granville Mall. The auction takes place Friday, September 27, 6:30 p.m. at the Port Campus. There will be ceramics, jewellery, paintings, prints, sculpture, textiles, and even a conceptual art piece that you can bid on. This is an event for anyone who loves art or anyone who loves NSCAD—preferably both! Funds raised from the auction will go to NSCAD’s Annual Fund.

To find out more about ROAR: An Art Auction for NSCAD, please check the website at www.nscad.ca/roar. If you don’t see anything that strikes your fancy, check back. New works are being added all the time.

The second fundraiser is quite unique. Presented by the magazine East Coast LivingDine by Design East is a showcase of 10 dining rooms by 10 design teams, including NSCAD. There will be public viewings of the rooms at the Olympic Community Hall, 2304 Hunter Street, from October 2 to 6. Then, on October 3, there will be a special gala evening during which you can sample gourmet creations that have been inspired by the room designs.

Credit for bringing the Dine by Design concept to Halifax goes to Jonathan Legate of Jonathan Legate Interior Consultation and Suzanne Saul (BFA 1987) of Attica Furnishings. Proceeds from the event will go to support design education in the name of Amber Harkins, a former editor of East Coast Living.

So that’s it from me for now. I hope to see you in person for the Welcome Reception on Wednesday, September 11 at the Port Campus.


P.S. A note about the beautiful painting at the top of this post. Ocean Wave is by Craig Budovitch, one of the three artists with the NSCAD-Lunenburg Community Studio Residency. Craig, along with Hangama Amiri and Andrew Maize, recently took part in an end-of-year show at the Lunenburg studio.