WE CALL art exhibition preview and reception on April 27
WE CALL: Upper Canada College
Curated by Vesna Krstich
Join us for an exclusive opportunity to meet Vancouver-based artist Cathy Busby who created a work especially for UCC as part of “Truth and Reconciliation Week” from Monday, April 23 to Friday, April 27. The piece contains abridged excerpts from specific Calls to Action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, and serves as an opportunity to engage with Indigenous communities and engage with the process of reconciliation.
Friday, April 27
Exhibition preview and reception, student centre, 5 to 6 p.m.
Artist’s lecture, questions and answers, Laidlaw Hall, 6 to 7 p.m.
This event will be produced for the Lind Visiting Artist Program in collaboration with UCC’s Amnesty International Club and its visual arts department.
See registration information here.
Truth and Reconciliation Overview
Students from UCC’s Amnesty International Club, led by Vlad Chindea and Shaan Hooey, have engaged in trailblazing efforts to raise awareness about Indigenous rights in Canada over the past two years. They teamed with visual arts teachers Vesna Krstich and David Holt and English teacher Celia Bowker at the beginning of the 2017-2018 academic year to spread that message through contemporary art.
Busby was invited to work with the students as part of the Lind Visiting Artist Program, and to develop a set of three large, colourful text panels containing abridged excerpts from the “94 Calls to Action” from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, specifically for UCC
The process of selecting the Calls to Action was based on a lengthy consultative process that involved members of the Indigenous community, former and current students, faculty and staff members. Students met with members of the Dodem Kanonhsa’ Native Canadian Centre of Toronto and the Centre for Social Innovation. They engaged in consultation with Elder Cat Criger and Indigenous artist and curator Gerald McMaster, a professor at the Ontario College of Art and Design (OCAD), and undertook archival research at UCC.
The final Calls to Action were determined during a UCC Reconciliation Council meeting at UCC on Jan. 29. The meeting consisted of current students, faculty, members of senior leadership and Old Boys. They included Indigenous rights lawyer Derek Ground ’81 and Barry Hill ’62 (Mohawk Nation). The process was led by Criger.
Busby’s artwork, titled WE CALL: Upper Canada College, will hang in the student centre to serve as the mandate for the school’s ongoing commitment towards truth and reconciliation, and pluralism, as evidenced by the formation of a UCC Council for Reconciliation. The council will ensure an ongoing dialogue and a multi-year action plan, holding us accountable to the Calls to Action.
Schedule of Events
Monday, April 23: Principal’s assembly, Laidlaw Hall
Gerald McMaster, OCAD professor of Indigenous Visual Culture and Critical Curatorial Studies, will deliver a keynote address to students during the principal’s assembly.
April 23 to 27: Norval campus
Year 8 students will work with artist and OCAD professor Shannon Gerard and artist Brianna Tosswill at Norval to create and publish a newspaper in response to the Calls for Action as part of the ongoing Mountain School Bookhouse project. This publication will be entirely written, drawn and published by UCC students who will act as reporters, illustrators, editors and designers. Students will report on their adventure activities at Norval and will examine their relationship to the Treaty 19 land that the Norval Outdoor School occupies. The newspapers will be distributed widely throughout the UCC community at the conclusion of Truth and Reconciliation Week.
Busby will install her panels in the student centre and engage in conversations with students about her work throughout the week.
Thursday, April 26: 9:55 to 10:50 a.m. (house advising, various locations)
Amnesty International Club will host a series of workshops during house advising. Barry Hill from Seaton’s, Derek Ground from Howard’s, Alain Bartleman ’07, Prep teacher Peter Gray, Journalists for Human Rights, and others will engage students on subjects relating to Indigenous people. Each house will have a different presenter in order to leave room for an interactive and intimate learning experience.
Friday, April 27: Student’s assembly, Laidlaw Hall
Barry Hill, who graduated as head of Seaton’s House in 1962, will deliver a talk about his experiences as an Indigenous student at UCC at the conclusion of Truth and Reconciliation Week.