Gala marks retirement of University Professor Emerita Joyce Zemans

The Seymour Schulich Buildiing, home of the Schulich School of Business

Members of York University’s Schulich School of Business held a virtual gala recently to mark the retirement of Joyce Zemans, former director of Schulich’s Arts, Media & Entertainment Management (AM&E) program.

Joyce Zemans
Joyce Zemans

Zemans retired in 2020, and spent 25 years at York as a senior scholar, a University Professor and dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts (now called the School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design). She was also previously Chair of the Department of Visual Arts at York University, where she was honoured with a University Professorship.

Schulich faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends gathered virtually on May 3 for a special gala led by AM&E program co-directors Trina McQueen, O.C., and Kenneth Rogers. The event also featured remarks from Dean Detlev Zwick, Dean Emeritus Deso Horváth and a special keynote address on “The Future of Creativity” by Tricia Baldwin (MBA ’86).

“The Schulich community was very proud to pay tribute to Joyce Zemans for a distinguished career filled with numerous accomplishments and honours,” said Zwick. “Joyce was the driving force behind Schulich’s Arts, Media & Entertainment Program for more than a quarter century. She is a Canadian icon and left a lasting legacy at Schulich that will carry on in the scholarship fund created in her name.”

Memories and best wishes were also shared by community members, including Tracey Pearce (MBA ’96), Laura Michalchyshyn (MBA ’93), Michael Murray (MBA ’07), and Georgiana Uhlyarik, as well as heartfelt stories shared by Zemans’ siblings and children.

Upon Zemans’ retirement, a scholarship fund was established in her name. The Joyce Zemans Scholarship Fund supports the creation of new awards recognizing AM&E students and their academic achievements, leadership skills, and dedication to the arts, media and cultural industries. To support the creation of this scholarship fund, visit this page.

Zemans was a member of the Order of Canada, and is the former director of the Canada Council for the Arts. Her research was focused on cultural policy, curatorial practice and 20th century Canadian art, with a particular interest in Canadian cultural policy, the development of abstraction in Canada and the work of Canadian women artists.