Celebrating a new era in fine arts

With so much to celebrate in fine arts at York University, Joan and Martin Goldfarb decided it was time to throw a party.

The two long-time champions of York University and the Faculty of Fine Arts hosted a reception in their home on July 10 to mark several important milestones for the Faculty. Item number one: the runaway success of the initial fundraising campaign for the Accolade Buildings – the Accolade Project. The Accolade Project began with a goal of $5 million, but was extended to $10 million as York’s donors quickly stole the show with tremendous and unexpected levels of support through the York University Foundation.

Right: From left, Joan and Martin Goldfarb

The reception also provided the opportunity to acknowledge some of the leading players in the Accolade Project. Attendees bid farewell to retiring Faculty of Fine Arts Dean Phillip Silver who was a driving force for the creation of the new facility and welcomed incoming Dean Barbara Sellers-Young. She will continue fundraising efforts for facilities, Chairs, scholarships and other key initiatives that will ensure the Accolade Buildings are used to their full potential.

Those in attendance took the opportunity to thank their hosts for their leadership and to tip their glasses to Martin Goldfarb as he steps down as Chair of the Accolade Project Campaign Committee. York University President and Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri recalled the Goldfarbs as two of the first people he met upon arriving at York University. “They offered me a warm welcome and have always been there to provide sound advice and counsel whenever I seek it," said Shoukri. "They are good friends to me and to York and we are very grateful for their generous contributions to the Faculty of Fine Arts, the Accolade Project and the York community.”

Left: From left, Martin Goldfarb, incoming dean Barbara Sellers-Young, York President & Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri

Before Accolade, the Goldfarb name was already synonymous with fine arts at York with the naming of the Joan & Martin Goldfarb Centre for Fine Arts at York.

Marshall Cohen, member of York University Foundation Board of Directors and chair of the York University Board of Governors, praised Martin Goldfarb, saying, “Marty had the vision for what the Faculty of Fine Arts could accomplish and it was that vision that helped York University dream big and make it happen.”

Above: From left, Brenda Silver and Phillip Silver, former dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts, and Joan Goldfarb

Thirty years after York launched the first Faculty of Fine Arts in Canada, the Accolade Project brought all the disciplines together under one roof. Accolade includes the Sandra Faire & Ivan Fecan Theatre, a 325-seat proscenium theatre with orchestra pit; the Tribute Communities Recital Hall, a 325-seat recital hall and integrated recording studio; the Price Family Cinema, a 500-seat cinema-lecture hall; the CIBC Lobby; the Gales Gallery, a student-run art gallery; dance studios and specialized music studios, as well as additional classrooms. The building is also home to the celebrated Art Gallery of York University.

Right: Judi Cohen, member of York University Foundation board of directors, Sandie Rinaldo, CTV News weekend anchor and member of 50 to the Power of 50 Group, Joy Gales, supporter of York University

Donations to the Accolade Project support York to the Power of 50, the largest fundraising campaign in York’s history. For more information or to donate, contact York University Foundation at 416-650-8210 or e-mail contact@yorkfoundation.yorku.ca.