OCAD University to install Salah Bachir as Chancellor at Convocation

Harriet Burdett-Moulton, Kent Monkman and Ada Slaight to receive honorary doctorates

TORONTO, June 5, 2017 /CNW/ - OCAD University will formally install Salah Bachir, president of Cineplex Media, as Chancellor at the university's convocation ceremonies at Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto on June 9, 2017.

The university will also award Bachir an honorary doctorate alongside three other outstanding individuals who have made significant contributions to Canadian culture, art and design: architect Harriet Burdett-Moulton, artist Kent Monkman and Ada Slaight, one of Canada's leading philanthropists.

OCAD U celebrates these honorary degree recipients for their contribution to Indigenous knowledge and culture in their creative fields, for their passionate belief in the importance of visual arts and for their spirit of philanthropy in the cultural sector and beyond.

A successful entrepreneur, publisher and media executive, Bachir is a passionate patron of the arts whose diverse art collection features many works of Canadian artists, both emerging and established. He is a strong supporter of numerous cultural events, organizations and programs.

"Salah Bachir is a wonderful addition to the OCAD University community as our new Chancellor, taking on the important role of the university's chief ambassador," said Dr. Sara Diamond, President and Vice-Chancellor. "Not only does he have a passion for art and phenomenal success in the field of digital media, his personal values of diversity, equity and inclusion are deeply embedded in our DNA, which makes him the perfect fit for this role."

OCAD University celebrates the graduation of almost 800 of its students this year. The university's 22 medal winners in their respective programs will receive their awards, and faculty members will be honoured for their contributions with teaching awards.

The new Chancellor will be installed during the first ceremony at 10:30 a.m. which will recognize graduands from the Faculty of Design with Bachir and Burdett-Moulton receiving their honorary doctorates. The second ceremony, at 3:30 p.m., will honour graduands from the Faculty of Art, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences and School of Interdisciplinary Studies, and Graduate Studies. Monkman and Slaight will receive their honorary doctorates at the afternoon ceremony.

OCAD University's Board of Governors is pleased to award the title of Chancellor Emerita/us to past chancellors Rosalie Sharp, the Honourable James K. Bartleman and Catherine (Kiki) Delaney to pay tribute to their ongoing support of the university.

"The title honours and celebrates these past Chancellors and their work with OCAD University, and it acknowledges their ongoing relationship with the institution. From time to time we will call upon them for their sage advice and counsel to the university," said Dr. John Semple, Chair, OCAD University Board of Governors.

Bios

Salah Bachir, CM, is an entrepreneur, magazine publisher and the president of Cineplex Media. He is one of Canada's most influential philanthropists and patrons of the arts.

Bachir has provided extensive financial support to numerous galleries, including the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Oakville Galleries, and numerous Canadian university galleries. He has also donated important works to major Canadian institutions and has lent his extensive collection of art for exhibition to many galleries.

Bachir has been a long-time supporter and patron of the LGBTQ community, sponsoring film and theatre festivals and The 519 Community Centre. He has also helped raise funds for AIDS research and Toronto-area hospitals.

Harriet Burdett-Moulton is a Métis architect with primarily Inuit & Montagnais roots. She was born in Cartwright, Labrador and was raised "in a nomadic family deeply tied to seasonal hunting and the fishing cycle of the region."

Formerly a school teacher, she returned to university to complete her architecture degree (1972-1976). Burdett-Moulton and her husband, a mechanical engineer, established the first architectural and engineering firm in the Eastern Arctic. Throughout her career, she has applied her knowledge to "respond with ingenuity" to the needs of the Arctic communities with whom she shared her understanding of the land.

Kent Monkman is well-known for his provocative reinterpretations of romantic North American landscapes. Themes of colonization, sexuality, loss, and resilience - the complexities of historic and contemporary Native American experience - are explored in a variety of mediums, including painting, film/video, performance, and installation.

Monkman has created memorable site-specific performances at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, The Royal Ontario Museum, The Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian, Compton Verney, and most recently at the Denver Art Museum. His work has been exhibited internationally and is widely represented in the collections of major museums in Canada and the United States.

Ada Slaight (née Mitchell) is one of Canada's leading philanthropists. For many decades, Ada Slaight's generous gifts to organizations in Toronto and elsewhere have supported education, arts and culture, social services, and healthcare, including the Royal Ontario Museum, the National Ballet of Canada and Mount Sinai Hospital, among many others.

A long-time supporter and advocate for OCAD University, Slaight served as a highly engaged and effective member of the volunteer fundraising cabinet for the "Ideas Need Space" capital campaign that resulted in the iconic Sharp Centre for Design. Recent benefaction to OCAD U has created the Ada Slaight Chair of Contemporary Painting and Print Media, the Ada Slaight Entrance Scholarships, the Ada Slaight Studios, and the Ada Slaight Galleries.  

About OCAD University (OCAD U)
OCAD University (www.ocadu.ca) is Canada's university of the imagination. Founded in 1876, the university is dedicated to art, design and digital media education, practice and research, and to knowledge and invention across a wide range of disciplines.

SOURCE OCAD University

For further information: Media may attend the convocation ceremonies or arrange interviews by contacting: Christine Crosbie, Manager, Media & Communications, OCAD University, 416-977-6000 x4890, Cell: 647-473-7778, ccrosbie@ocadu.ca

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http://www.ocad.ca

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