Articles by author: dvivian

  • Dramatic Arts alumna honoured with Faculty of Humanities Distinguished Graduate Award

    Brock alumna and puppeteer Sarah Argue will be giving a talk about her business at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts on Friday, Sept. 15, before being honoured at the Alumni Recognition Reception on Saturday, Sept. 16 as part of Homecoming weekend.

    (Source: The Brock News, Wednesday, September 13, 2017 | by Alison Innes)

    With a little felt and a lot of talent, Sarah Argue (BA ’06) has created a career for herself in the world of puppetry.

    Through her business, Rock the Arts, the Brock dramatic arts alumna has been touring across Canada with her crew of unique characters sharing shows about compassion, enjoying the little things in life and the power of choice.

    She will return to her alma mater Friday, Sept. 15 to share insight into her professional puppet company. The presentation will take place at 1 p.m. in Studio A of the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts. All members of the Brock community are invited to attend.

    Argue is in town to receive the Faculty of Humanities Distinguished Graduate Award, to be presented on Saturday, Sept. 16 during the Alumni Recognition Reception held as part of Brock’s Homecoming weekend.

    It has been seven years since Argue launched her successful business after quitting what she described as a “normal job” — working as a program co-ordinator for the City of Ottawa — to pursue her passion.

    She taught herself how to make the felt creations and began taking her show on the road.

    Argue now has a roster of 80 puppets that she uses to perform shows in schools, libraries and theatres. She has also produced a children’s CD and currently has multiple projects on the go, including a film, children’s book and book to support other artists wanting to build their own careers.

    Argue credits the diverse theatre experience she received at Brock — where she performed in The Crucible and directed a Norm Foster play, among other productions — for preparing her for the stage.

    “I didn’t realize at the time what a gift it was,” Argue said of her Brock degree. “I didn’t realize what a well-balanced degree I was getting in theatre.”

    Her time as an undergrad had her touch on lighting, acting, directing and costuming — all beneficial to her career. That experience gave her the confidence to walk into any theatre and comfortably speak to the techs in charge about how her show is set up.

    Argue’s love for creating puppets is matched only by the experience of giving them a voice and watching them evolve into life-like characters.

    Turning her passion into a business hasn’t always been easy, but Argue has relied on the support of other artists. Puppeteer Noreen Young, from Under the Umbrella Tree, has been a mentor to Argue, helping her learn how to pitch to networks and encouraging her to keep going when times get tough.

    Workshops with puppeteer Trish Leeper of Muppets fame have introduced Argue to the idea of puppetry on camera, guiding her toward more film work, including the #IHopeFor awareness campaign for childhood cancer.

    “You need a lot of support from other artists to keep going,” Argue said, while expressing her desire to pay that sentiment forward.

    Carol Merriam, Dean of the Faculty of Humanities, said the Faculty is pleased to recognize Argue with the Distinguished Graduate award.

    “The skills that she learned in her studies in dramatic arts and the creativity, enthusiasm and drive that were fostered at Brock have led her to create her own niche,” she said. “Hers is the kind of success we hope and expect from graduates of Brock.”

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    Categories: Alumni, Announcements, Current Students, Department/Centre News, News

  • Visual Arts Professor Amy Friend exhibits in Provence, France.


    “Amy Friend est une photographe canadienne. «Dare alla luce» («apporter à la lumière») est un travail où l’artiste mêle vieux clichés familiaux et photos glanées au hasard de ses promenades. Une fois perforées et rétro-éclairées, la lumière révèle une seconde fois le cliché. Grâce à ce procédé, Amy peut donner une seconde vie à ses photographies. Des notions telles que l’histoire intime, la mémoire, la présence et l’absence traversent tout son travail.”

    Amy Friend is a Canadian photographer. In “Dare alla luce” (bringing to light), she collects old family portraits and photos gathered in her walks. Once perforated and backlighted, the light reveals the images a second time. Through this process Amy gives a second life to her photographs. Notions of privacy, memory, presence and absence cross-pollinate her work.
    [translation by C. Parayre]

    for more information and to see her work:

    Récits Photographiques
    August 24 > September 30, 2017
    Abbaye De Silvacane, La Roque D’Antheron
    Les Terrasses Du Chateau, Lauris
    Provence, France

    Assistant Professor Amy Friend holds a BFA honours Degree and BEd from York University and an MFA from the University of Windsor. She has received grants from Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council. In 2015 Amy was awarded the Clarke Thompson Award for Sessional Teaching at Brock University.

    For more information about her creative and research work see her faculty profile.


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    Categories: Announcements, Department/Centre News, Faculty & Instructors, In the Media, News

  • MIWSFPA participates in Culture Days 2017

    On Saturday, September 30th the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts will be opening its doors to the public in celebration of Culture Days! We welcome you to stop by every hour on the hour from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. for a guided tour of our new, state of the art facility. Not looking for a guided tour? Feel free to pick up a campus map and explore the spaces on your own! Representatives will be waiting for you at the David S. Howes entrance, adjacent to the Performing Arts Centre! Continue to check for an updated list of events!

    Also, be sure to stop by our art gallery to view this exhibit:

    Awakening the Spirit

    Select works from the Suzanne Rochon-Burnett Collection
    VISA GALLERY – Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts

    Opening Reception September 7th, 2017

    An exhibition of one women’s journey to empower and support Indigenous arts in Canada and Globally through a collection of paintings, mixed media, sculpture, and personal objects. Never before exhibited original works including: Norval Morrisseau, Daphne Odjig, Carl Beam, Roy Thomas, Vince Bomberry, Simon Brascoupe, Bruce King, and more

    Samuel Thomas is the guest Curator for this very special exhibit.

    For more information about the exhibit and the Curator please see:

    Check-in closer to the date for programming updates for CultureDays 2017!

    The MIWSFPA is happy to work alongside the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre in the celebration of Culture Days. Make sure to stop by the FirstOntario PAC on Saturday Sept. 30 between 10 am and 3 pm to check out their free programs for the day!

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    Categories: Alumni, Announcements, Current Students, Events

  • Brock University welcomes Dr. Rachel Rensink-Hoff!

    Brock University welcomes Dr. Rachel Rensink-Hoff to the Department of Music at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine & Performing Arts.

    Dr. Rachel Rensink-Hoff is the newly appointed Director of Choral Activities and Assistant Professor of Music Education at Brock University. She has also been named Artistic Director of the Niagara-based Avanti Chamber Singers.

    Former conductor of the McMaster University Choir and founder of the McMaster Women’s Choir, Dr. Rensink-Hoff completed her Doctorate and Master of Music degree at Western University, pursuing additional studies at the Eastman School of Music Conducting Institute, the Voice Care Network of St. John’s University, Minnesota, and the University of Toronto. She has engaged in master-classes under conductors Helmuth Rilling, Joseph Flummerfelt, Anton Armstrong, Dale Warland and the late Sir David Willcocks.

    Vice-President of Programming for Choral Canada, Rachel Rensink-Hoff is the 2014 winner of the prestigious Leslie Bell Prize for Choral Conducting awarded by the Ontario Arts Council. In 2015, her McMaster Women’s Choir was awarded first prize in the National Choral Competition for Amateur Choirs of the CBC and Choral Canada. That same year she was nominated for the Excellence in Teaching Award at McMaster University.

    She publishes regularly in the Choral Journal of the American Choral Directors’ Association as well as in Choral Canada’s Anacrusis and The Canadian Music Educator. Rachel works frequently as guest conductor, adjudicator, conference presenter and workshop clinician. Current engagements include a session on Canadian and American women choral composers at the 2017 national conference of the American Choral Directors’ Association in Minneapolis, Minnesota and a presentation on Canadian choral music at the 2017 World Symposium on Choral Music in Barcelona, Spain. She also looks forward to serving as guest conductor of this year’s 2017 Nova Scotia Provincial Youth Choir.

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    Categories: Announcements, Department/Centre News, Faculty & Instructors, News

  • Concrete Cloud: A Brock Sculpture Class Mobile Exhibition.

    Professor Donna Akrey’s Visa 2F05 sculpture class is mounting an exhibition titled Concrete Cloud: A Brock Sculpture Class Mobile Exhibition at the Niagara Artists’ Centre.

    July 5 > 21
    345 St. Paul Street

    On July 5th, 2017, students from the Marilyn I Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts will be sharing their exhibition Concrete Cloud, on the streets of downtown St Catharines. Between 10am and 1:30pm students will be transporting their interactive sculptures to the Niagara Artists Center (354 St. Paul Street East) where they’ll be on display until July 21 2017.

    see the route map for the travelling exhibit on July 5 between 10 am and 1:30 pm here

    Several stops will be made along the route, as students hope to engage with the public through their sculptural works. Everyone is invited to enjoy Concrete Cloud as students tour their artworks from the MIWSFPA to NAC, by paths both playful and responsive, to anyone they encounter. This combination of performance and art walk will conclude with an opening reception at Niagara Artists Center, on July 5th from 2-5pm. The works will then be on display for the next two weeks; the exhibition is open to everyone, and gallery hours are Noon to 5 PM, Wednesday through Saturday. 

    Concrete Cloud is a collective of works from 16 artists, focusing on themes of information, the ‘natural world’, and public art. The sculptures are made from a diversity of materials, including wood, metal, plaster, cardboard, textiles, and found materials.

    Participating student artists are: Rachel Anderson, Ahmed Bader, Renz Baluyot, Christian Bebis, Tom Denton, Syerra Jasmin, Michaela Laurie, Jess McClelland, Madison Mcfayden, Jill Newman, Anna Podvalni, Victoria Ridley, Chardon Trimble-Kirk, Amber Lee Williams, Jiahui Xu, and Jingwen Zhang.

    See the Facebook event for more documentation about the mobile exhibition.

    Read the article by art critic Bart Gazzola.

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    Categories: Alumni, Announcements, Current Students, Events, News

  • Singing to National Success!

    Dr. Brian Power is seen here (wearing a red bow tie, centre-right) singing with Pax Christi Chorale at the Christmas concert for 2016.

    Dr. Brian Power, Associate Dean of the Faculty of Humanities, Professor in the Department of Music and tenor in the Pax Christi Chorale (Toronto) sung to national success when the Pax CC Chamber Choir won first place in the chamber choir category of the 2017 CBC Choral Competition, announced Sunday.

    Says Dr. Power, “Some of Canada’s finest choirs participated in this event. The competition was stiff and the rules were strict, so we’re feeling quite satisfied with the result.”

    The biannual National Competition for Canadian Amateur Choirs  is ‎a project of Choral Canada in partnership with the CBC and the Canada Council. A treasured Canadian choral tradition, the National Competition for Canadian Amateur Choirs inspires choirs to strive for excellence, provides visibility for amateur choirs of all ages, and encourages the creation and performance of Canadian works. The Competition is open to all Canadian amateur choirs and attracts diverse participants from coast to coast. The finalists and winners are selected by a national jury of esteemed Canadian choral conductors. Each choir that enters the Competition must perform an original Canadian piece and prizes are given for the Best Performance of a Canadian Work and the Best Performance of a Canadian Contemporary Work. Cash prizes are awarded for the top performances in each category. The national jury may also award special accolades to outstanding choirs. Seventy choirs from across the country participated in the 2017 competition.

    Pax Christi Chorale is known for presenting dramatic choral masterpieces, performing with passion, conviction and heart. Past Artistic Director Stephanie Martin’s imaginative programming engages audiences with dramatic story-telling through oratorio and rarely-heard masterworks. Since its inception in 1987, the choir has grown to over 100 singers, and has performed ambitious works including the North American première of Parry’s 1888 oratorio Judith and Elgar’s masterpiece The Kingdom at Koerner Hall, Berlioz’s L’enfance du Christ, and Britten’s Saint Nicolas. The Pax Chamber Choir also participated in R. Murray Schafer’s monumental 1000-performer extravaganza Apocalypsis at the 2015 Luminato Festival. Martin’s final concert, capping 20 years at the helm of Pax Christi, took place in April, 2017: the Canadian première of Elgar’s The Apostles. Stephanie Martin is an Associate Professor in the Department of Music of the Faculty of Arts at York University.

    The intense recording project by the Pax Christi Chorale was prepared by Stephanie Martin over a period of many months and submitted to the jury in March, 2017. The winning entry featured “How sweet the moonlight sleeps” (text from Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice), a new work by emerging Toronto-based composer Jared Tomlinson. Recordings made by the Pax Christi Chorale for the 2017 competition can be heard on their Soundcloud channel. Winners were announced on CBC Radio 2’s Choral Concert on June 25th, 2017.  Choral Concert, hosted by Katherine Duncan, presents great choral music from the Renaissance to the present day, sung by the top choirs from Canada and around the world.

    BRAVO! To Dr. Brian Power and the Pax Christi Chorale!

    prepared with material supplied by Choral Canada, Pax Christi Chorale  and CBC Radio 2.

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    Categories: Faculty & Instructors, In the Media, News

  • Brock University shines brightly at the 2017 St. Catharines Arts Awards

    2017 Arts Awards Recipients photographed following the evening presentations.

    The Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing arts celebrates the nominees and award winners of the 2017 St. Catharines Arts Awards.

    The evening of June 03, 2017 brought the arts and culture community together for the presentation of the awards in a special ceremony at the Cairns Recital Hall of the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre. This is an annual celebration of the arts of St. Catharines, a night to say thank you, to honour excellence and to reflect on the many achievements of local artists and cultural
    workers. All of this year’s Arts Awards nominees are helping to build a dynamic, inclusive arts community in our city that will thrive for years to come.

    The Rodman Hall Art Centre of Brock University was nominated for the Arts in Education Award, sponsored by the Pen Centre. This award celebrates an individual, collective or organization that has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to engaging St. Catharines residents through arts education activities.

    The team at Rodman Hall Art Centre.

    The team at Rodman Hall Art Centre

    Serving Niagara since 1960, Rodman Hall Art Centre was designated a national exhibition centre for the Niagara region in 1975. The Gallery has received seven Ontario Association of Art Gallery awards and two St. Catharines Standard Readers Choice awards since 2010. The talented staff at Rodman Hall Art Centre, led by Acting Director and Curator Marcie Bronson, connect our community with contemporary art through a year-round program of thought-provoking exhibits, special events and art classes for all ages. They are the leading centre for visual arts education and creative expression in St. Catharines. Rodman Hall’s arts education programs promote art making as a healthy activity that cultivates and enhances an appreciation for the arts. Their programs and community partnerships have inspired creativity in thousands of children and adults and helped to develop the talent and skills of Niagara residents. Congratulations, Rodman Hall Art Centre!

    Kasia Dupuis

    Kasia Dupuis

    Also nominated for the Arts in Education Award was Kasia Dupuis. Kasia is an educator, artist, mother, wife and arts advocate who blends art, creativity and education. Kasia studied Arts and Culture at Brock University and successfully completed her diploma in Primary Education at the University of Edinburgh. She has led adult workshops and community projects including Art Night events at local schools. Kasia has been spreading her love of art with this community since 2011, when she opened the 4Cats St. Catharines Studio. She has been a part of Culture Days, offers educational workshops with the DSBN and happily organizes birthdays, scouting, and guiding group art activities. 4Cats remains a hive of creativity under her leadership where she encourages all students to “love what you do and make good art.” Congratulations, Kasia!

    Sponsored by the St. Catharines Downtown Association, the Making A Difference Award celebrates a St. Catharines arts entrepreneur, arts administrator, arts organization, arts animator or volunteer in the arts whose leadership and innovation have significantly contributed to the growth and development of arts and culture in St. Catharines. The 2017 award was presented to Marcie Bronson, curator of the Rodman Hall Art Centre of Brock University.

    Marcie Bronson

    Marcie Bronson

    Marcie has played a central role in the transformation of Rodman Hall Art Centre into the nationally recognized institution of excellence that residents of St. Catharines now enjoy. Her curatorial accomplishments — both exhibitions and publications — are outlined in her curriculum vitae, but what cannot be captured on paper is the esteem with which she is regarded in the arts community and beyond. She has steadfastly promoted local artists throughout her curatorial career – half of her exhibitions have been by local artists. She has fought tirelessly for the future of Rodman Hall with her nuanced understanding of how it affects community on many levels and her commitment is evident not only through Rodman Hall but also at Brock University with students and faculty. The excitement expressed by students when Bronson attends and shares her appreciation of their work is important to their growth as young artists. She is a remarkable mentor and highly respected by students and staff alike. Congratulations, Marcie!

    Also nominated for the Making A Difference Award was Gregory Betts, Professor in the Department of English Language and Literature.

    Gregory Betts

    Gregory Betts

    The poet and author has been publishing cutting edge literature for 18 years and has released seven books and 18 chapbooks from the best avant-garde presses across North America. Not only is he a successful author, Betts is a genuine activist for the literary community in St. Catharines. Since arriving in 2006 to teach at Brock University, Betts has organized events that have brought hundreds of the best authors from around the world to St. Catharines. Gregory has been a tireless advocate for literature and has helped to foster and create a robust literary community in the city, working as an artist, volunteer, and organizer of all things cultural. His work has culminated in the establishment of a new literary festival of which Betts is artistic director. The Festival of Readers is a three-day literary extravaganza that brought over 40 authors to the city in October 2016 and attracted over 400 people. With this festival, not only has he built a stage for the best literature in the country, but he has insisted that the focus of that stage be for developing and encouraging readers in the city of St. Catharines.

    Gregory was awarded the Jury’s Pick Award, presented at the Jury’s discretion to an individual, collective or organization nominated but not receiving an award in any other category. This individual, collective or organization must have demonstrated an exceptional commitment to the arts in St. Catharines, and cannot have received an Arts Award in the past. It is the Jury’s choice to determine, on a yearly basis, whether or not the Jury’s Pick Award will be presented. Congratulations, Gregory!

    Danielle Wilson

    Danielle Wilson

    Professor Danielle Wilson of the Department of Dramatic Arts was nominated for the Established Artist Award sponsored by Meridian Credit Union. This award is presented to a professional St. Catharines artist in any discipline who has received recognition for excellence in their art practice in St. Catharines and beyond.

    Danielle holds an MFA in performance and a graduate Voice Teaching Diploma, both from York University. She is a full-time faculty member in the Department of Dramatic Arts (DART) teaching voice and performance. Danielle is an actor who has worked across Canada with such companies as Repercussion Theatre, Manitoba Theatre Centre, Magnus Theatre, Tarragon Theatre and The Georgian Theatre Festival. She is co-founder and co-Artistic Director of Stolen Theatre Collective, collaborating on the company’s shows The Diaries of Adam and Eve and The Nona which toured to the London Fringe Festival. Danielle directed The Dumb Waiter by Harold Pinter and recently, she co-created and performed in the original production of The Ash Mouth Man which was re-mounted for the In the Soil Arts Festival in April. For the DART, she has directed Blood Relations by Sharon Pollock, Lion in the Streets by Judith Thompson, codirected Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare with her colleague Gyllian Raby and directed Good night Desdemona (Good morning Juliet) by Ann-Marie MacDonald. Congratulations, Danielle!

    Gordon Cleland

    Gordon Cleland

    Also nominated for the Established Artist Award was Gordon Cleland. Principal cellist of the Niagara Symphony, Gordon has performed across North America. He has appeared as soloist with the Niagara Symphony (Schumann Concerto in A minor and Vivaldi Double Concerto in G minor with Gisela Depkat), for the Debut Series in Montreal, and with Mercredi Musique (Boccherini Bb Major). He has extensive experience as a chamber musician, has broadcast frequently for CBC FM Radio and has performed on
    TV5, the international French television network. Gordon teaches cello at Brock University and is an instructor with Suzuki Niagara and the Niagara Youth Orchestra. He has been a featured performer for the Concertino Program of Jeunesses musicales, whose artists are carefully chosen for their pedagogical skills and their ability to communicate with young people. His strong interest in contemporary and Canadian music is reflected in the repertoire he performs. Congratulations, Gordon!

    Twitches and Itches Theatre

    Twitches and Itches Theatre

    Twitches and Itches Theatre shared the Emerging Artists Award with comedian David Green. For this award two emerging St. Catharines artists working in any discipline are recognized, celebrating current accomplishments and future potential. The award is sponsored by the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts, Brock University.

    Colin Bruce Anthes and Tom DiMartino founded Twitches and Itches Theatre in 2009. The company includes alumni of Brock University’s Department of Dramatic Arts. In September of 2014, Twitches and Itches began a new initiative called Open Creation Labs (a series of workshops guided by Anthes) that became a way to introduce St. Catharines theatre artists to accessible, yet challenging devising methods. From The Creation Labs emerged a core ensemble that began creating two shows: Once (2015) and Time, Again (2016). Both pieces premiered at St. Catharines’ In the Soil Festival to glowing praise and large audiences. In 2015, Twitches and Itches led a 24-hour play creation as part of the Culture Days celebration, and hosted a free vocal workshop in 2016. Twitches and Itches has just completed its most recent show, The Bacchae and will premiere an original piece, September Songs, this fall. Congratulations, Twitches and Itches!

    Jo Pacinda

    Jo Pacinda

    Other nominees for the Emerging Artist Award include Jo Pacinda and Lauren Regier. Jo has a degree in Dramatic Arts with a Concentration in Production and Design from the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts, Brock University. Recent credits include Costume Design Assistant for The Fighting Days, Poor and Falling: A Wake with Essential Collective Theatre (ECT). Jo has served as Wardrobe Assistant on ECT’s The Drawer Boy, Yellow Door Theatre’s The Little Prince and The Foster Festival’s Halfway to the North Pole. Jo designs custom costumes and clothing for select individuals and regularly works or volunteers as a designer and assistant designer for many local theatre companies, demonstrating her commitment to her artistic practice and to local St. Catharines arts. Congratulations, Jo!

    Lauren Regier

    Lauren Regier

    Lauren Regier graduated from Brock University’s Visual Arts program in 2014. Interested in the dynamic relationship between nature and machines, she investigates this subject though photography, video, performance and installation art. She participated in the annual STRUTT Wearable Art Show in 2011 and 2013. In 2012, she participated in a two-week social justice trip in Peru volunteering in a children’s art class . Her experience was later channeled into a performance piece at St. Catharines’ Market Square in the show, Time and Space. In 2015, Lauren was hired by Rodman Hall to provide gallery assistance on weekends, she currently assists with exhibition and historical tours for visitors and groups. Lauren has exhibited her work at various venues throughout St. Catharines including Mahtay Café and Market Square and has been featured in both the Brock News and The Sound. Congratulations, Lauren!

    First presented in 2005, The St. Catharines Arts Awards recognize and celebrate excellence in all areas of artistic creation. The Arts Awards seek to increase the visibility of St. Catharines’ artists and cultural industries, honour cultural leaders and their achievements, and cultivate financial and volunteer support for the arts sector. Arts Award recipients demonstrate St. Catharines’ breadth of talent and commitment to the arts. Since 2005, fifty-one awards have been given to artists, businesses, individuals and organizations to recognize their contributions to the cultural vitality of our community. The City of St. Catharines produces the Arts Awards, which are supported by the St. Catharines Arts & Culture Advisory Committee and produced by staff from the Parks, Recreation and Culture Services department.

    The Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts congratulates all the faculty, staff, students and alumni recognized for their profound contribution to arts and culture in St. Catharines!

    Information about the awards, the nominees and the award winners was gleaned from these sources:

    City of St. Catharines Arts Awards

    St. Catharines arts community in the spotlight: Awards handed out at FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre.“ Niagara This Week – St. Catharines: WhatsOn June 06, 2017 by Melinda Cheevers,

    Rodman Hall curator wins St. Catharines Arts Award.” The Brock News. June 12, 2017 by Danny Custodio

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    Categories: Alumni, Faculty & Instructors, In the Media, News

  • Doors Open comes to St. Catharines on June 24th and the Marilyn I. Walker School will be open!

    Doors Open St. Catharines is one of the city’s Canada 150 signature events. It is a day when local treasures are open to the public free of charge. The event has something for everyone: it features buildings, infrastructure, cultural centres and open spaces that have defined our community and that have helped to shape St. Catharines and secure its vibrancy.

    Brock University’s Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts opened in 2015 and is an architectural triumph of adaptive reuse of a 19th-century industrial site. This setting creates a compelling education environment and features a 235-seat theatre, digital media studios, photo darkrooms, music rooms and other specialized facilities that support students in dramatic arts, music and visual arts.

    Brock Ambassadors will be onsite at the Marilyn I. Walker on Saturday June 24th to provide tours and answer your questions from 10:00 to 3:00 pm. Tours start on the hour: 5 Tours lasting 45 minutes will be offered throughout the day. The last tour begins at 2:00 pm. Each tour welcomes up to 25 guests.

    Visits to specific studios and the theatre will be by supervised tour only – public are welcome to roam the halls and visit the Visual Arts Gallery on their own. Refreshments will be available. The venue is accessible.

    Come have your photo taken with Artsy Boomer (the School’s Mascot Badger) between 10:00 am-1:00 pm. A graduate of the Department of Music, Negin Rezaeiasl, will perform an open recital in the Piano Suite from 1:00-3:00 pm.

    See the Doors Open website for more information and plan your day.

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    Categories: Events

  • Award winner stresses mountains worth climbing to capture dreams

    (Source: The Brock News, Friday, June 09, 2017 | by Maryanne Firth. Photo caption: “Jessica Vickruck, Aniqah Zowmi, Annika Mazzarella and Grant Yocom were each honoured with a Board of Trustees Spirit of Brock award during Friday’s faculties of Humanities and Math and Science Convocation ceremony.”)

    Annika Mazzarella’s university years were filled with many ups and downs, all which contributed to an important life lesson.

    When the 22-year-old St. Catharines native focused her studies on History of Art and Visual Culture, as well as Medieval and Renaissance Studies, she encountered people along the way who were discouraging, some even disapproving, of her chosen career path.

    It was her time at Brock that taught Mazzarella the importance of striving to achieve her dreams, regardless of any obstacles in her way.

    The naysayers she encountered were offset by the optimistic community at Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts and at Rodman Hall Art Centre, where Mazzarella always felt included and supported to pursue her career ambitions.

    The experience caused her to develop a new sense of self-confidence, refusing to back down from the goals she has set for herself.

    That determination, among other impressive qualities, earned Mazzarella the Board of Trustees undergraduate student Spirit of Brock award for the Faculty of Humanities, presented during Friday’s Convocation ceremony — a joint celebration for the faculties of Humanities and Math and Science.

    The morning event also saw Grant Yocom recognized as the Humanities graduate student Spirit of Brock recipient, and Aniqah Zowmi and Jessica Vickruck honoured as the undergraduate and graduate student recipients respectively for Math and Science.

    Mazzarella said her Brock experience, both inside of and beyond the classroom, provided her with a “solid foundation” to support her future career path as an art curator.

    In addition to studying abroad in Italy last spring through International Plus, Mazzarella joined several Brock organizations, including Brock Dance, Brock Niagara Lifesaving Club, Brock Niagara Masters, Brock Student Leadership Network, and Brock’s Medieval and Renaissance Society.

    She also represented the University as a student delegate at the 2016 Canadian Conference on Student Leadership.

    “With each involvement I had different experiences, however, they proved to me that you can do anything you put your mind to and that there is always something new to learn,” she said.

    Mazzarella plans to move to Ottawa this fall to pursue her master’s degree in Art History with a concentration in Art Exhibition and Curatorial Practices.

    Her advice for incoming students, in the words of Henry David Thoreau, is to “go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you imagined.”

    For Zowmi, earning the Spirit of Brock designation meant accomplishing her final university goal.

    “I have been fortunate to have had so many great opportunities,” said the passionate advocate of youth civic engagement, who is known as a leader in the Brock community.

    “One of the best things about Brock is that it is a small community and you feel very much supported,” Zowmi said. “It is also a place that encourages you to develop yourself both professionally and personally.”

    Zowmi is the first Brock student to win a 3M National Student Fellowship Award for her efforts to empower youth and encourage equality in education.

    She served on the University’s Human Rights Task Force, was a member of the Canadian Youth Delegation to the Commonwealth Youth Forum in Malta, where she addressed more than 700 youths at the UN Headquarters, and was a Youth Advisor to the Canadian Commission to UNESCO.

    Zowmi, a National Youth Ambassador for Passages Canada, also co-founded BrockU Talks, a speaker’s series for students to promote their engagement on global issues such as peace and sustainability.

    Both Spirit of Brock graduate recipients were also recognized for their hard efforts on and off campus.

    Yocom has been a leader among graduate students of the new PhD in Interdisciplinary Humanities in its formative years.

    He twice served as the graduate student representative on the council in order to provide a student voice as the program structured its regulations and established the format for its comprehensive examinations.

    Described as an inspirational leader, Yocom brought students together and has helped to make the PhD in Interdisciplinary Humanities the exciting and innovative program that it has become.

    Vickruck has demonstrated exemplary leadership in her research group and among graduate students in Biological Sciences.

    Her Master’s of Science produced three published manuscripts on pygmy carpenter bees, and her PhD will produce four major papers on the subject.

    She has also worked with a research scientist at the Canadian National Insect Collection in Ottawa, a collaboration that led to offers from scientists at several other Canadian and American universities.

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    Categories: Alumni, In the Media, News

  • RBC Foundation Music@Noon – March 7

    RBC Foundation Music@Noon
    Our Tuesday Music@Noon series is generously sponsored by the RBC Foundation. This free concert series takes places most Tuesdays at noon throughout the academic year. Held in the acoustically excellent Cairns Recital Hall, FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre, our Music@Noon series provides ample opportunities for artists to display their creativity.

    Performing: Walker String Quartet: Vera Alekseeva and Anna Hughes, violins, Andrée Simard, viola, & Gordon Cleland, cello

    The Walker String Quartet (WSQ) is the Department of Music’s quartet in residence. The group gives prominence to the department through public performance and working with students in high school string programs to share in the joy of music and promote Brock’s music program.

    Quartet members include Music instructors Vera Alekseeva (first violin), Andrée Simard (viola), and Gordon Cleland (cello), along with second violinist Anna Hughes who hails from Guelph. All members of the WSQ are also regular players in the Niagara Symphony Orchestra.

    WSQ workshops with secondary school students over a number of weeks, developing closer ties between the schools and Brock while working together towards a public performance.

    “With this high-level ensemble we are able to bring a new energy to our performing presence in the region, on top of the vital work they are able to do in high schools with students, giving them a sampling of what Brock has to offer,” explains department chair Professor Karin Di Bella.

    “Prospective students will have the experience of having worked with their future teachers, and once they are at Brock they know they will receive the very best instruction possible.”

    In 2016 members of the quartet worked with music students from Laura Secord and Sir Winston Churchill Secondary Schools. At both schools the quartet performed a short program of standard repertoire, talked about Brock and its music programs, and distributed music parts to the students to work on in their classes. A number of weeks later, the quartet returned to the schools and held sectional workshops with the students to work on their parts.

    Finally on November 25, 2016, the high school students came downtown for a day of workshops and tours at the Marilyn I. Walker School of the Fine and Performing Arts, followed by a combined rehearsal and short public performance in Cairns Recital Hall. The gathered audience was appreciative, and the initiative forged closer ties between the two schools and the Department.

    The WSQ also held a similar event with Ridley College students, with a performance by the quartet, combined rehearsals, and a public performance.

    Concert performances are another important aspect of the quartet’s activities. In November, paired with strategic timing of the invitational workshop, the WSQ performed as part of the Department of Music’s Encore! Professional Concert Series in Partridge Hall at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre.

    The WSQ was formed in 2016 through funds from the Walker Cultural Leaders Series endowment. The series brings leading performers, artists, practitioners and academics to the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts.

    Discussions are underway to build on this success for the 2017-18 season, when the quartet will expand their activities further afield into the Hamilton/Burlington region.

    The Walker String Quartet’s performance takes place on Tuesday, March 7th from 12 noon to 12:50 pm in Cairns Recital Hall, FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre. This is a free community event!

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