Former York prof broadened horizons for art in Regina

As the audacious, freewheeling director of the MacKenzie Art Gallery in Regina in the 1960s, Toronto artist and York Professor Emeritus Ron Bloore broadened the horizons for abstract art in Western Canada and left an indelible influence on the Prairie art scene, wrote The Globe and Mail Sept. 12 in an obituary.

Bloore, who died on Sept. 4, was an artist in his own right, known for his austere white-on-white textured paintings that grew out of his background in Chinese archeology and Byzantine art history.

Bloore left Regina in 1966 to teach at York University. “He was not only a significant artist but a great teacher,” said Matthew Teitelbaum, director of the Art Gallery of Ontario. “He was interested in the ecology of the art scene and he connected various worlds. He was very vigorous in his approach. He was not ideological, but as a teacher he influenced generations of students. He was very sequential and very focused in what he thought, and his way of engaging was to help you clarify your own approach to art.”

Bloore created murals for the Montreal international airport in Dorval and for the Confederation Centre of the Arts in Charlottetown, PEI. In 1975 a retrospective of his works toured Canada, and in 1991 the MacKenzie mounted another touring exhibition, Not Without Design, Homage to Ronald Bloore. Bloore continued to teach at York University until 1990. He was named a member of the Order of Canada in 1993.

Incoming Deputy Chief Peter Sloly vows to build safer communities

Incoming Deputy Chief Peter Sloly (MBA ’04) never dreamed, as a young boy arriving here from Jamaica, that he would one day be a second-in-command of Canada’s largest police force, wrote The Toronto Sun Sept. 14.

Sloly, 43, was 10 years old when his parents moved here from Kingston. To help him adjust to his new life, he threw himself into sports and excelled in soccer, eventually turning pro with the Toronto Blizzard, with whom he played in 1986 and 1987 before a knee injury forced him to retire.

But it is in policing that he truly excels. On Sept. 22, Sloly will be appointed one of four deputies under Chief Bill Blair, who has accepted a second five-year appointment. Other deputies are Tony Warr, Kim Derry and Keith Forde.

“I am blessed with good family values that include giving back to the community,” Sloly says. “I realized through sports that I wanted to do something with people.”

He has a master’s in business administration from the Schulich School of Business at York University.

Research into earth observation technologies includes York

The Government of Canada is making a repayable investment of $7.6 million in a $25.5-million research and development (R&D) project being undertaken by PCI Geomatics to develop the next generation of its earth observation technologies, wrote Defence Watch Sept. 12, citing a media background information release. The investment is being made through the Strategic Aerospace & Defence Initiative (SADI).

PCI Geomatics will expand its university outreach and collaborate with several institutions including York University, the Alberta Terrestrial Imaging Center, the Canada Centre for Remote Sensing, Defence Research & Development Canada and the University of Ottawa.

Open House for Hope invoking power of the arts

The Open House for Hope, Sept. 19, combines visual arts, music and dance in an effort to raise awareness and money as part of Oakville’s $Million or More Campaign in support of the Stephen Lewis Foundation, wrote the Oakville Beaver Sept. 11.

York University student Michelle Zetts is working with York and Oakville folks to make it all happen. Admission is by donation.

Community invited to help prevent bullying

With the beginning of a new school year, once again some children and youth throughout the community begin to get nervous and worry about their safety amongst their peers, wrote The Sachem and Glanbrook Gazette Sept. 11.

This concern is warranted, as Canadian researcher Debra Pepler, Distinguished Research Professor of Psychology in York’s Faculty of Health, says bullying on the playground takes place once every 7.5 minutes.

It involves repetition, may last only seconds (on average 37 seconds) but its impact can profoundly affect learning, mental health and a child’s future if it persists without effective resolution. In outlining a framework to promote healthy relationships, Pepler highlights that adult leadership is key in bullying prevention.

Lions devoured by Gryphons, 66-8

After a promising start to the Ontario University Athletics football season, the York University Lions got a rougher ride yesterday, wrote the Toronto Star Sept. 13.

The University of Guelph Gryphons, in their home opener, whipped the Lions 66-8. It was a far cry from York’s three-point loss to the University of Windsor Lancers in its Labour Day opener.

York backup quarterback Dimitar Sevdin threw a six-yard touchdown pass to William Austin with 53.4 seconds left in the game to break the goose egg. Austin, with four catches for 44 yards, also had the two-point convert. Guelph had 603 yards of net offence compared to York’s 242.

Professional development is no help to immigrants

Professional development benefits some employees, but it doesn’t help immigrants get ahead in their careers, according to a new study led by a York University professor, wrote Vancouver’s The Province Sept. 13.

The study, which will appear in the Sept. 18 issue of the International Journal of Manpower, found that immigrant and non-immigrant professionals are equally likely to participate in employer-funded training and development but immigrants don’t reap the rewards of higher pay, promotions or increased job satisfaction reported by their non-immigrant counterparts.

“Our results indicate that there is an urgent need for employers to develop better policies for integrating and leveraging the talents of immigrant professionals,” says lead author Tony Fang, professor of human resource management at York.

The researchers found that on average, immigrant professionals earn less, and generally have lower promotion rates and shorter tenure with their current employer.

New jobs good for dance scene

Andrea Downie (BFA Spec. Hons. ’94) from Vancouver and Arielle Poncelet from Saskatoon are new instructors at the Judy Russell Enchaînement Dance Centre, wrote BC’s Prince George Citizen Sept. 14.

Downie, who has a new daughter, will call Prince George home but she teaches and dances in Vancouver, Toronto and New York on a regular basis. Downie is a certified teacher in the Simonson Technique, a holistic dance method that emphasizes anatomically based principles of body awareness and alignment that ultimately prevents injury.

“If you can move you can dance and, when I call my new students dancers on the first day of class, they are surprised,” said Downie, who sits on the steering committee of Healthy Dance Canada. “The Simonson Technique is a really healthy form of dance. I like to create a safe environment where people feel comfortable to try dance.”

Downie, who is in the midst of getting her master of arts in dance at York University, will teach modern dance, the Simonson Technique and dance conditioning.

Role models show way in leading, good works

Tony Arrell (MBA ’68, LLD ‘08) looks back on a stellar 40-year investment career, and credits two role models – superstar investor Warren Buffett and Bay Street tycoon and philanthropist George Gardiner, wrote The Globe and Mail Sept. 14. While Buffett was his hero from a distance, Gardiner was his lifetime mentor. He died in 1997, leaving a legacy that included Toronto’s Gardiner Museum of ceramic art, the Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise (which he brought to Canada), and a no-nonsense philosophy of buying and holding strong businesses. Arrell, chairman and CEO of Burgundy Asset Management Ltd., explains how he learned the value of good management and good works.

How did you get to know George Gardiner?

He was involved with the Schulich School of Business at York University, where I was an MBA student. I became an analyst, and wrote a report on a company he was interested in, Scott’s Hospitality, where George ended up making a lot of money. [Gardiner was Scott’s major shareholder.] I studied that company and understood it better than anyone at the time. George cottoned on to this work, phoned me up and said “Could I use your report? Could I meet you?” That was really the start of it.

I developed a real rapport with him. I became the president of his firm [Gardiner Watson], and I was pretty young. More important, I started to work on his portfolio. I was very flattered because here was this guy who was a well-known, smart investor.

Careers now ‘boundary-less’ in the new global economy

York grad Rosalie Tung (BA ’72), now a business professor at BC’s Simon Fraser University, has, for the last 30 years, systematically studied international assignments: That is, how do companies select candidates for overseas postings, train them and assess their impact in a foreign setting? wrote The Vancouver Sun Sept. 14

Collecting data used to be easy. A company sends Person A from his or her home country, usually a developed, industrialized place, to a host country, usually an emerging market.

But over the years, especially out of Vancouver, more immigrants from thriving Asian markets have been returning home to take up opportunities, and “it’s much more difficult to tell who is the home country national and who is the host country national,” Tung said.

In 1969, when her family left Hong Kong for Toronto, Tung did her undergraduate degree at York University’s Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies before moving to Vancouver to earn her MBA at the University of BC. Back then, the study of how to conduct international business was just concepts and theories, she said. Actual case studies were a bare bunch, mostly of anthropologists going to remote areas or the musings of expats on short, one-off postings.

Tour aims to help youths rediscover their heritage

Growing up in the city’s east end, Rain Chan has fond memories of Toronto’s downtown Chinatown – the drawing contests, singing competitions, all the festive celebrations and stage shows that put her in touch with her roots, wrote the Toronto Star Sept. 14.

The Spadina Avenue-Dundas Street neighbourhood is part of who the 25-year-old is as a Chinese Canadian. It has taught her a lot about her heritage that isn’t covered in school or history books.

On Saturday, Chan, along with two dozen youth from the community, spent an afternoon wandering around Chinatown rediscovering what is considered the oldest Chinese Canadian landmark in Greater Toronto.

The one-day Chinatown mapping was one of many initiatives by Rice Up, a youth group of Toronto’s Chinese Canadian National Council, to connect the younger generation with their heritage and encourage them to get involved in community development and social justice issues.

“What we all want is to be in touch with our cultural roots,” said Chan, a York University theatre student, whose family came here from Hong Kong when she was 4. “To me this is a place to get in touch with my community and culture.”

On air

  • Bernie Wolf, economics professor in the Schulich School of Business at York University, spoke about Magna International’s purchase of automaker Opel on CBC Newsworld and CTV News Sept.10.
  • Mary Waller, professor of organizational behaviour and industrial relations in the Schulich School of Business at York University, spoke about the issues surrounding the personal use of company computers on CTV News Sept. 11.