The Walker Cultural Leader Series 2014-15


The Walker Cultural Leader series brings leading artists, performers, practitioners and academics to the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts at Brock University. Engaging, lively and erudite, these sessions celebrate professional achievement, artistic endeavour and the indelible role of culture in our society. Please join us.

This educational program is generously funded by Marilyn I. Walker.



Brett Polegato

Brett Polegato is a renowned Canadian baritone, celebrated for his musical artistry and rich, nuanced voice.

For Niagara-born Polegato this is a homecoming…on two counts! Growing up in Niagara Falls, as a teenager he studied with Brock University voice instructor Deborah Linton, before going on to the University of Toronto for his undergraduate degree. In ‘coming home’ to Niagara, he will not only perform An Evening of Song for the public, but will also coach a private masterclass for Linton’s students, as well as a second masterclass for invited performers from the region.


Sept. 25

  • Group Coaching with Voice Students: Music students, 3–5 pm, TH 147 (closed session)

Sept. 26

  • Public Performance: An Evening of Song, 7:30 pm, Sean O’Sullivan Theatre
    (free to MIWSFPA students; adults $15.04; seniors and students $8.85;
    eyeGo high school program $5; prices do not include HST)
    Tickets available at the Centre for the Arts Box Office
    905.688.5550905.688.5550 x3257 or visit

Sept. 27

  • Voice Masterclass: Music students, 10 am–12 noon, Sean O’Sullivan Theatre (closed session)
    MIWSFPA students are invited to attend as audience members.

CONTACT: Prof. Karin Di Bella, Music,

Brett Polegato’s artistic sensibility has earned him the highest praise from audiences and critics: The New York Times has praised him for his “burnished, well-focused voice,” which he uses with “considerable intelligence and nuance.” He appears regularly on the world’s most distinguished stages, including those of Lincoln Center; La Scala; the Opéra National de Paris; Lyric Opera of Chicago; Houston Grand Opera; the Teatro Real; Roy Thomson Hall; the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall. He has collaborated with conductors such as Yannick Nézet-Séguin; Andris Nelsons; Bernard Haitink; Seiji Ozawa; Jeffrey Tate; Marc Minkowski; and Martyn Brabbins. Polegato can be heard as soloist in the Grammy Awards’ Best Classical Recording of 2003 – Vaughan Williams’ A Sea Symphony (Telarc)with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of Robert Spano. His official biography can be found at





Janet Werner

Janet Werner is an acclaimed Canadian painter with an international reputation who teaches at Concordia University. 

Werner will develop a project for senior Visual Arts students based on the portrait. From the works submitted she will select works to be exhibited in the upcoming exhibition From likeness to fiction: the portrait inside out. During her visit, Werner will give a public presentation entitled Painting the Imaginary Portrait.



Mar. 5

  • Public Presentation: Painting the Imaginary Portrait, 7 pm, Rodman Hall Art Centre,
    109 St . Paul Cres., St . Catharines, ON (free community event)

Click here to view on the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts Event site

Apr. 1 – 26

  • Exhibition: From likeness to fiction: the portrait inside out, Rodman Hall Art Centre,
    109 St . Paul Cres., St . Catharines, ON (free community event)

Click here to view on the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts Event Site

May 24 –June 6

  • Exhibition: From likeness to fiction: the portrait inside out, Exhibition Hall, Department of Creative and Festival Arts,
    The University of The West Indies, St . Augustine, Trinidad W.I.

CONTACT: Prof. Shawn Serfas, Visual Arts,

Born in Winnipeg, Janet Werner lives and works in Montreal where she teaches in the Department of Studio Arts at Concordia University. She holds an MFA from Yale University and a BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art. As a participant in Oh, Canada staged at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art in 2012-13, Werner’s presence and the impact of her portraits signaled her as one of our leading painters. “In Werner’s current practice […] an argument erupts between beauty and the grotesque and the figure itself becomes the site of contest.” (“Janet Werner: Earthling,” Parisian Laundry, 2012) Werner has shown widely in Canada at public and private galleries as well as artist-run centres. Selected solo shows include the SBC Gallery, Montreal; Art Gallery of Windsor; Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver; Ottawa Art Gallery; and the Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art, Winnipeg. Internationally, her work has been featured in solo presentations in Cape Town and Cologne. Her work can be found in the collections of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Musée du Québec, Musée d’Art Contemporain, Owens Art Gallery, Leonard and Bina Ellen Art Gallery, Mendel Art Gallery, Winnipeg Art Gallery and numerous corporate collections. Her biography can be found at

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Categories: Events, Walker Cultural Leader Series