Political law journal focuses on Canada’s Constitutional & Governance Challenges after 150 years

The Journal of Parliamentary and Political Law published by Carswell Canada has dedicated a special issue to the proceedings of a conference that took place at York University’s Glendon Campus.

The special issue, titled “Canada’s Constitutional & Governance Challenges After 150 Years,” was co-edited by Radha (Radhakrishnan) Persaud, a professor in the Department of Political Science at the Glendon Campus and at the School of Public Policy and Administration at York University, and York University alumnus Gregory Tardi (DJur ’10), former senior legal counsel in the Office of the Law Clerk and senior parliamentary counsel to the House of Commons in Ottawa.

The conference, Canada’s Constitutional & Governance Challenges After 150 Years, was convened Sept. 29 and 30, 2017 as part of national celebrations of the 150th anniversary of Canada. It brought together some of this country’s leading constitutional minds. The resulting issue of The Journal of Parliamentary and Political Law provides a forum for the growing body of interdisciplinary literature on the subject of “law and politics.” This 244-page special issue of the journal contains papers presented at the conference and includes work by York University Chancellor Emeritus R. Roy McMurtry, Professor Emeritus of Political Science Ian Greene and Persaud, who initiated and chaired the conference.

Organized around three key themes, the conference explored Foundational Values & Constitutional Rights, Democratic Governance and Democratic Processes. The conference proceedings and papers identified challenges facing Canada’s public government and suggested improvements within the organic life of the constitution to enhance national capacity, confirm national self-determination and renew national commitment to stability, justice, respect and inclusion.

Radha (Radhakrishnan) Persaud

“The conference on Canada at 150 at Glendon was indeed a momentous event bringing together leading constitutional minds – from across the country – to share their thoughts and analyses on the constitutional and governance challenges of our great federation after 150 years,” said Persaud. “I am very pleased to say that many of the papers that were presented at the conference are published in this special issue of the journal. Gregory Tardi and I have been working on this publication for the past year.”

The journal includes the following papers:

  • “Introductory Remarks,” by R. Roy McMurtry, former chief justice of Ontario from 1996 to 2007 and Chancellor Emeritus of York University.
  • “Constitutional & Governance Challenges for a Country Based on Incomplete Conquests,” by University of Toronto Political Science Professor Peter H. Russell.
  • “Governing Under the Constitution – Governing the Constitution,” by Louis LeBel CC, puisne justice on the Supreme Court of Canada from 2000 to 2014.
  • “Ceintures fléchées and Wampum Belts: Quebec and Indigenous Peoples in the Canadian Federation,” by Jean Leclair, Fellow of the Trudeau Foundation and professor of constitutional law and legal history at the Université de Montréal.
  • “Beyond Charter Statements: Constitutional Communications in The Parliamentary Context,” by Charlie Feldman, legislative counsel to the House of Commons.
  • “Canada’s Constitutional & Governance Challenges after 150 Years,” by David Onley, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario from 2007 to 2014.
  • “The Supreme Court of Canada and National Sovereignty,” by York University Political Science Professor Radhakrishnan Persaud.
  • “The SCC’s Dilemma: What to do with Interveners?” by Osgoode Hall Law School Professor Richard Haigh.
  • “Accountability for Ethical Governance: Canadian Advances over 150 Years,” by Professor Emeritus of Political Science and University Professor Ian Greene, York University.
  • “Deliberative Constitutionalism in Canada,” by University of British Columbia Professor of Constitutional Law Hoi L. Kong.
  • “Legal and Political Constitutionalism in Canada: The First 150 Years,” by Warren J. Newman, senior general counsel, Department of Justice.
  • “Federalism, Intergovernmental Relations and Assisted Dying: A Case Study of Federalism in Operation,” by Queen’s University School of Policy Studies Professor Kathy L. Brock.
  • “Is Federalism a Feminist Issue? The Gender of Division of Powers Jurisprudence,” by Professor Kerri A. Froc, assistant professor of law, University of New Brunswick.
  • “Canada’s Electoral Democracy At 150,” by Marc Mayrand, past chief electoral officer.

For more information, on this special issue, visit the Carswell website.

Symposium explores storytelling in context of visual and performance arts

Elements of Oz by The Builders Association. Photo by Gennadi Novash, courtesy of Peak Performances at Montclair State University.

A one-day symposium focusing on new forms of storytelling at the intersection of performance, film, mixed media and installation will take place at York University on Nov. 9.

“Intermedial Narrative and Performance: New Approaches,” presented by Sensorium: Centre for Digital Arts and Technology and the School of the Arts, Media, Performance and Design, aims to bridge diverse approaches to media arts.

Elements of Oz by The Builders Association. Photo by Gennadi Novash, courtesy of Peak Performances at Montclair State University.
Elements of Oz by the Builders Association. Photo by Gennadi Novash, courtesy of Peak Performances at Montclair State University

The symposium will explore how artists and collectives working across disciplines engage with technologies – new and old – to experiment with alternative ways of staging self, community and cultural memory. It will ask: how do intermedial artworks – in challenging the methods and expectations proper to discrete art forms – provide a testing ground for unique, and often politically challenging, narrative structures? In what ways do these mediatized explorations of the spaces in between the arts, and in between art and technology, create engaging and at times disorienting audience experiences?

To explore these questions, organizers have invited a group of interdisciplinary makers and scholars from across Canada and the United States to discuss their intermedial creation work in and outside the “black box.”

Through their use of a variety of intermedial methods – virtual, augmented and mixed reality, live projection, interactive and immersive environments, mobile and geolocation technologies and more – these artists trouble conventional perceptions of space, time and boundary. In doing so, their practice-based artistic inquiries offer vibrant and urgent forms of social critique.

Keynote presentations will include:

  • The Builders Association (New York City) – Artistic Director Marianne Weems, Writer and Performer Moe Angelos, Video and Interactive Media Designer Larry Shea; and
  • IRL Labs (Pittsburgh) – CEO, Design and Pedagogy, Ali Momeni and COO, Operations and Development, Aparna Wilder.

Panel 1: Immersive Social Spaces: Nyla Innuksuk (Mixtape VR), Tim Carlson (Theatre Conspiracy) and David Mesiha (sound designer), Michael Wheeler (SpiderWebShow) and  Lisa Jackson (filmmaker)

Panel 2: Intermedial Narratives: E. Luka (Narratives in Space+Time Society, University of Toronto), Alison S. M. Kobayashi (Say Something Bunny, UnionDocs) and Liz Miller (Concordia University)

Read the full schedule on the Sensorium website.

The symposium is free and open to everyone, but please register with Eventbrite to secure your seat. Free registration includes access to the full-day symposium and closing reception. Lunch and refreshments will be provided.

This symposium is sponsored by Canada 150 @ York University, with support from: Sensorium: Centre for Digital Arts and Technology; the Graduate Programs in Cinema and Media Arts, Digital Media, and Theatre and Performance Studies; and the Performance Studies (Canada) Speaker Series.

York, TCDSB launch project to introduce Filipino content in Ontario curriculum

The PASSOC team

A collaborative project between York University and the Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB) to create curriculum content that reflects the cultural identity of Filipino students will mark its launch on March 8 with an event at York’s Keele Campus.

The PASSOC (Philippine Arts and Social Studies in the Ontario Curriculum) project aims to develop new learning materials for Grades 6 to 8 that highlight the Philippines and Filipinos in the diaspora, to support the increasing number of Filipino students in the school system.

The curriculum content is designed to affirm Filipino experiences and identities, and will ‘mainstream’ the Philippines as a topic of study in three subject/grade areas: Grade 6 social studies, Grade 6 to 8 dance, and Grade 8 geography.

The PASSOC team
(Front row): Professor Philip Kelly (geography, LAPS); Jennilee Santican, (St. Maria Goretti); Michelle Aglipay, (St. Brigid); Patt Olivieri, (Curriculum Leadership & Innovation, TDSB); Professor Ethel Tungohan (political science and social science, LAPS); (back row): Marissa Largo, (Mary Ward); Jodelyn Huang (TCDSB community relations officer); Merle Gonsalvez, (St. Ursula); Christella Duplessis-Sutherland (St. Timothy); Professor Patrick Alcedo, (dance, AMPD);  Fredeliza de Jesus, (St. Paul)

Since June 2017, faculty associates from the York Centre for Asian Research, professors from York’s Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies and the School of the Arts, Media, Production & Design, along with teachers and staff from the Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB), have been involved in developing school curriculum material focused on the Philippines and Filipino migrations.

The curriculum materials developed by the project provide classroom-ready material relating to the Philippines and Filipino communities.

This launch event, which runs from 9am to 2pm in room 519 of Kaneff Tower, will feature presentations and demonstrations by the researchers and teachers who wrote the PASSOC curriculum materials.

The PASSOC project is supported by: Canadian Heritage Canada 150 Fund, York University Canada 150 Fund, Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies, York University, and Canada 150 | Unity in Diversity:Fusion of Communities in Canada.

Romani scholars, activists to speak at Centre for Imaginative Ethnography Symposium

A symposium exploring issues of prejudice, discrimination and violence as experienced by Romani refugees in Canada and worldwide will take place at York University Nov. 9 and 10, bringing internationally recognized Romani scholars and activists to the Keele campus.

The Centre for Imaginative Ethnography (CIE) hosts “The Centre for Imaginative Ethnography Symposium: Imagining Canada’s Futures with Romani Refugees & Migrants,” which includes two keynote addresses, a roundtable panel and a workshop for graduate students.

The symposium was curated by Magdalena Kazubowski-Houston, professor in York’s School of the Arts, Media Performance & Design (AMPD).

The keynote addresses will be delivered by Romani scholar Ian Hancock (University of Texas, Austin) and Toronto-based Romani multimedia artist Lynn Hutchinson Lee. The workshop for York’s graduate students will be on the topic of social justice and activism, and it will be led by Hutchinson Lee.

The schedule for the two-day event includes:

Nov. 9: 3 to 5pm, ACE 209
Workshop – The confluence of creation, identity and social engagement: an arts workshop
Lynn Hutchinson Lee
• In a printmaking and assemblage workshop, Hutchinson Lee will work with graduate students to explore identity and their perspectives on social engagement. After an initial group discussion, participants will develop images collaboratively or individually that reflect upon or respond to these issues, followed by the carving of linoleum blocks from the original drawings. The prints, once pulled, will be affixed to a paper garment made by the artist for the workshop, and previously subjected to a process of painting with konnyaku paste and drying, allowing the paper to be distressed, shaped and manipulated. In addition to the block prints, participants will collaborate in writing text or poetry, drawing or otherwise marking the final garment.

Nov. 9: 6 to 7:30pm, York Lanes 280N
Keynote – “Romani reality and the ‘gypsy’ myth”
Ian F. Hancock
• It is still the case that the general public knows very little about the actual Romani people, while having a much more detailed notion of what “gypsies” are. Hancock presents an overview of the Romani studies course that he has taught at the University of Texas for the past 30 years, examining the reasons for the great disparity between the two identities. He will also discuss early and current explanations re: origins, and summaries of the two great Romani tragedies – the five-centuries-long period of slavery and the Porrajmos, the Nazi genocide. He will also briefly address aspects of Romani religion and culture, the emergence of political movements, and the situation of Roma refugees and asylum seekers in the post-Communist period.

Nov. 10: 10 to 11am, York Lanes 280N
Roundtable – Imagining Canada’s futures through ethnography and the arts
• This roundtable will include keynote speakers Hancock and Hutchinson Lee, as well as renowned Romani authors, artists and activists, including Ronald Lee, Jennifer Danch, Ildi Gulyas, Nazik Deniz and Monica Bodirsky. Participants in the roundtable will discuss the role of imagination and the arts in ethnographic and community-based activism. The roundtable chair will offer follow-up questions and facilitate a dialogue between the presenters and with the audience.

Nov. 10: 6 to 7:30pm, York Lanes 280N
Keynote – Poshrat (half/blood): making art in a precarious identity
Lynn Hutchinson Lee
• Drawing from her mixed Romani/non-Romani heritage, multimedia artist Hutchinson Lee deconstructs the skewed identities and cultural influences that mark her social engagement, activism, artistic practice and sense of belonging in shifting and converging communities. Beginning with Five Songs for Daddy, her spoken word poem from chirikli collective’s sound installation at the 2011 Venice Biennale’s Roma Pavilion, she explores a vicarious identity marked by the life of her Romanichal father. With a puppet as “witness” from her ancestral past (made by her father when the family still travelled in England), she examines the practice of “reinventing” oneself, and discusses identity in both cultural practice and broader social context. Finally, she asks what implications these issues have in imagining futures for Romani refugees in Canada.

About the speakers

Ian F. Hancock is an internationally renowned scholar in the fields of Romani Studies, English history, grammar and dialectology, language and identity, African and Afro-Caribbean linguistics, and creolization and language contact. He has taught as a member of the minority faculty at the University of Texas since 1972 and is director of RADOC (the Romani Archives & Documentation Center) at The University of Texas. He has published widely with more than 400 articles, chapters and books authored or edited. In addition to his academic work, he is a human rights activist, having represented the Roma at the United Nations as a member of the UN Economic & Social Council and of UNICEF. He is a North American member of the Vienna-based International Romani Parliament and was a member of the Project on Ethnic Relations’ Advisory Board. He addresses the U.S. Congress and the Council of Europe on human rights issues, and has represented the U.S. State Department at the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in Warsaw, and spoken in Brussels, Geneva and New York before the EU and the UN. In 1998, President Bill Clinton appointed him as the sole Romani member of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council. He was recipient in Norway of the Rafto Foundation International Prize for Human Rights (1997) and of the Gamaliel Chair in Peace and Justice from the University of Wisconsin (1998). In 2015, he was appointed honorary vice-chancellor to the International Roma University in New Delhi.

Lynn Hutchinson Lee is a multimedia artist/writer, daughter of a Canadian mother and Romanichal (English Romani) father, living and working in Toronto. A co-founder of Red Tree and chirikli collectives, she has exhibited in Canada, Latin America and Europe. Her mixed media installation, Shelter, Provisional (Awaiting Permanent Structure), is part of Red Tree’s Enraged, Inertia Ran Off intervention in a Hamilton, Ont. park. She collaborated with Monica Bodirsky, Hedina Tahirovic Sijercic and Riel Brown in Musaj te Dzav (I Must Leave), an installation of multimedia skirts at Gallery 50, Toronto, as part of the Toronto Roma Community Centre’s Opre Roma Festival. Other exhibitions include metanoia, drawings and paintings at Hamilton’s Workers Arts & Heritage Centre; Ololo/ Our natural bodies: mapping and surveillance, and Elemental/ Meditation on Sugar, Privilege, & Acculturation, both site-specific installations with Amanda Hale at Galeria Casa Guayasamin, Havana, Cuba. Her stories, creative non-fiction and poetry are published in: CLI-FI: Canadian Tales of Climate Change (Exile Editions); Romani Women in Canada: Spectrum of the Blue Water (Inanna Press); Romani Folio (Drunken Boat); and other anthologies. Her spoken word poem Five Songs for Daddy was one of four works in chirikli collective’s sound installation Canada Without Shadows at the Roma Pavilion, 54th Venice Biennale, Italy; bak (basis voor aktuelle kunst) in Utrecht, Netherlands (2011); and Romania’s National Museum of Contemporary Art (2013).

All lectures are free and open to the public. For more information on the symposium, email Magdalena Kazubowski-Houston.

The event is sponsored by the Centre for Imaginative Ethnography (CIE), 150 Canada @ York, Department of Theatre, Graduate Program in Theatre and Performance Studies, Performance Studies (Canada) Speaker Series, Dean of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design (AMPD), Centre for Refugee Studies, Faculty of Graduate Studies and the Department of Anthropology.

Workshop to examine politics of memory of Canada at 150

A one-day workshop at York University, running from 8:30am to 5pm on Nov. 3, will explore the topic of “Unsettling Canada at 150: Memory Discourses in Transnational Contexts.”

The event is part of the Canada 150 initiatives at York. It will take stock of both the contemporary politics of memory in Canada and the emerging role of memory in other transnational fields.

Workshop organizers include Daphne Winland (anthropology), Jenny Wüstenberg (politics), Michael Nijhawan (sociology) and Duygu Gül Kaya (sociology).

The day-long event will feature a roundtable on “Memory, Migration and Citizenship: What is at Stake Today?” with Professors Pamela Sugiman (Ryerson), Julia Creet (York) and Karin Vanthuyne (Ottawa).

This will be followed by the first panel discussion, “Commemorating or Resisting Canada150? Ongoing Debates” with discussant Dean Ray (York) and guests.

After lunch, a second panel discussion will take place, examining “Migrant Memories and the Making if Citizenship” with discussant Jasmin Habib (Waterloo) and guests.

The third panel will wrap up the event, investigating “Remembering Canada as a Transnational Actor” with discussant Cara Krmpotich (Toronto) and guests.

A full lineup is available online.

The event takes place in Room 519, Kaneff Tower. Registration is open to the public and can be done online. It is sponsored by Canada150@York, York Centre for Asian Research, the Department of Politics and the Department of Anthropology.

Faculty of Education wraps up Life in the University series with ‘Thinking Together: Identity Studies in the University’

The third and final event of the Faculty of Education’s Life in the University series in recognition of Canada 150 will take place on Friday, Oct. 27.

Titled “Thinking Together: Identity Studies in the University“, the event will bring together faculty and students for a thought-provoking day of conversation about the status of identity in the University.

“In the midst of debates about ‘free speech’ and student protests, we need – more than ever – to think together about the university as an institution as well as a set of practices, feelings, myths, and relations,” said event organizer Professor Jen Gilbert. “We’ll explore some of these questions, and talk about the role of the University in these matters with our guests Robyn Wiegman (Duke Univeristy), Marnina Gonick (Mount St. Vincent University), and Roderick Ferguson (University of Minnesota).”

About the speakers

Robyn Wiegman is professor of literature and women’s studies and formerly the Margaret Taylor Smith Director of Women’s Studies at Duke University. She is the author of Object Lessons (2012), which examines disciplinary fields including gender studies, American studies, and queer studies to explore how identity categories are crystallized in the academy. Her works-in-progress include two book projects: Racial Sensations, on affect and anti-racist aesthetics; and Arguments Worth Having, about key debates in feminist and queer theory.

Marnina Gonick is the Canada Research Chair in Gender at Mount Saint Vincent University. She is the author of Between Femininities: Ambivalence, Identity and the Education of Girls (2003) and the co-editor of Becoming Girl: Collective Biography and the Production of Girlhood (2014). She is also the co-creator (with Noam Gonick) of Voices in Longitude and Latitude (2014), a video installation about girlhood in Canada. Integrating imagery from urban and rural Canada with interviews with teenage girls from four different communities, the video installation explores the possibilities of audio-visual media in social science research.

Roderick Ferguson is a professor in gender and women’s studies, and African American studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He is also the co-director of the Racialized Body research cluster at UIC. Ferguson’s most recent work focuses on the conditions that gave rise to interdisciplinarity and minority studies in American universities in the 1960s and 1970s, and the ways that these fields are now being co-opted, appropriated and regulated. His books include The Reorder of Things: The University and its Pedagogies of Difference (2010) and We Demand: The University and Student Protest (2017). ​

The Life in the University series opened conversations about the challenges, past and present, faced by people inside and outside of the University, including the status of identity studies, debates over purposes of higher education, and changing work conditions.

For the past 58 years, York University and Canada have shared a rich history. York’s faculty, programs and students have helped shape the University to become Canada’s third largest and leading university. The series is generously supported by the Canada 150 @ York Fund.

Jewish studies scholars converge for symposium at York, Oct. 22 and 23

The Israel and Golda Koschitzky Centre for Jewish Studies at York University will host a unique symposium that brings together top scholars in Canadian studies and Jewish studies on Oct. 22 and 23.

The event “No Better Home for the Jews… than Canada?” is a symposium that marks Canada’s Sesquicentennial, and will include a keynote lecture on Oct. 22 and a day-long symposium on Oct. 23.

Prominent Jewish studies scholars – including some of the leading Canadian Jewish studies scholars – will come together and bring their formidable intellects, their range of disciplinary perspectives and their diverse areas of expertise to bear on examining the place of Jews within the Canadian mosaic.

Some scholars will draw out comparisons between specific so-called Golden Age “homes” of Jewish life and Canada; others will approach the question more abstractly or thematically.

The symposium contributes to the Canada 150 celebrations by considering the legacy of Canada’s national project from the perspective of one of Canada’s foremost and original minority ethnic and religious groups.

The symposium’s keynote address, the 2017 Harry S. Crow Lecture, will be delivered by Professor Morton Weinfeld of McGill University. The lecture begins at 6:30pm in the Schulich School of Business, Room 106 with a reception to follow at 8pm in the Schulich Private Dining Room.

The symposium continues Monday, Oct. 23 and runs 9am to 4:30pm in Kaneff Tower, Room 519.

York University Professor David S. Koffman will make the introductory remarks, and the symposium will include essays and arguments from 16 different scholars.

Free tickets are available to both the keynote lecture and the symposium. Free parking passes for the Student Services Parking Garage will be available at the event.

The event is hosted by Koffman and the Koschitzky Centre for Jewish Studies, and is sponsored by the Canada 150 Fund at York; the departments of History, Humanities, and Politics; and by the Robarts Centre for Canadian Studies.

Visit the event website for more information.

York students invited to training on UN Sustainable Development Goals

Vari Hall
Vari Hall

Students of York University will have the opportunity to attend an event designed to mobilize youth to advocate and implement sustainable development goals.

On Thursday, Oct. 26, the Foundation of Environmental Stewardship and the Bachelor in Environmental Studies’ Student Association from York University’s Faculty of Environmental Studies will host the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) Training. It runs in celebration of Canada 150, and takes place at Vari Hall Lecture Hall from 9am to 1:30pm.

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals are 17 goals developed by the United Nations in 2015 which help to better understand and solve a wide range of global environmental challenges, including; climate change, food security, ecological and wildlife preservation, gender equality, economic prosperity, and access to education. By spreading awareness of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, future generations will be inspired to act, and solve the many environmental challenges we face today.

Students will have the opportunity to interact with UN officials, policymakers, and civil society activists who identified, created, and are implementing the Sustainable Development Goals around the world.

Attendees will have opportunity to learn about implementing the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals on a local, national, and international scale, as well as the important role they have in assuring a prosperous environment for future generations.

Participants will also receive a certificate for the training from the Foundation for Environmental Stewardship. All York University students are invited to attend, and can RSVP through Eventbrite.

The keynote speaker for this event will be the Deputy Director, United Nations Environment Program Jamil Ahmad, who will deliver a lecture titled “UN for the most marginalized: How does UN serve the most marginalized: youth, women, children and more?”.

As deputy director of the New York Office of UNEP, Ahmad focuses on liaising with the Permanent Missions to the UN in support of UNEP’s policies and program.

A career diplomat, Ahmad joined the Foreign Service of Pakistan in 1986 and has worked in a number of different duty stations with rich experience of bilateral and multilateral affairs, including acting permanent representative to the UN agencies in Rome and deputy permanent representative to UNEP in Nairobi. He participated in numerous important UN and other intergovernmental meetings, including the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in 2002, sessions of the UNGA, the Commission of Sustainable Development (CSD) and the Governing Councils of UNEP, UN-HABITAT and FAO. He was lead negotiator of the Group of 77 & China for Climate Change under Pakistan’s chairmanship in 2007 culminating at COP13 to UNFCCC in Bali in 2007. He joined UNEP in 2008.

He was also the Secretary for the Governing Bodies of UNEP based in Nairobi, Kenya (2008-14). He directed, managed and coordinated the work of the Secretariat, led the organization of the sessions of the Governing Bodies and was the focal point of UNEP’s external relations.

Ahmad holds a master’s degree in political science.

AGYU welcomes the downtown to uptown in advance of the subway

Nep Sidhu with Nicholas Galanin, No Pigs in Paradise, 2015-2016. Photo: Kikuyama Yoshihiro
Nep Sidhu with Nicholas Galanin, No Pigs in Paradise, 2015-2016. Photo: Kikuyama Yoshihiro

This fall, the Art Gallery of York University (AGYU) welcomes downtown with an exhibition program dedicated to the future of Toronto. Opening Friday, Sept. 15 with a special event that runs from 6 to 9pm, the exhibition Migrating the Margins exemplifies the new conditions of artistic production in Toronto reflective of the vast changes in the city’s culture as a result of decades of immigration and life in the suburbs.

Nep Sidhu with Nicholas Galanin, No Pigs in Paradise, 2015-2016. Photo: Kikuyama Yoshihiro
Nep Sidhu with Nicholas Galanin, No Pigs in Paradise, 2015-2016. Photo: Kikuyama Yoshihiro

Migrating the Margins features commissioned artwork by Erika DeFreitas, Anique Jordan, Tau Lewis, Rajni Perera and Nep Sidhu as well as public art-works by Farrah-Marie Miranda, Sister Co-Resister and Otherness.

Rajni Perera, Vivek, 2015. Courtesy of the Artist
Rajni Perera, Vivek, 2015. Courtesy of the Artist

Migrating the Margins looks at how a new generation of Toronto artists is imagining this place, and picturing its future, by realizing the conditions of the future that exist now—due to the unique situation of Toronto’s demographics. This imagination is the altogether different and unexpected product of the multicultural dream: a cultural synthesis unique to Toronto—now the mixing of cultures and not just their (un)equal representation.

The exhibition is co-curated by Emelie Chhangur and Philip Monk and continues until Dec. 3.

Who needs a Performance Bus when you have a subway?

After 14 years, The AGYU is retiring The Performance Bus. Get on the last-ever Performance Bus with host Kiera Boult, departing from OCADU,100 McCaul Street in Toronto, on Friday, Sept. 15, at 6pm sharp and ride into the opening of Migrating the Margins. The free bus returns downtown at 9pm.

The suburbs strike back

Rajni Perera, Nana, 2016. Courtesy of the Artist.
Rajni Perera, Nana, 2016. Courtesy of the Artist.

First: A weekend of performative discourse in the suburbs.

On Sept. 16 and 17, the AGYU plays host to an Ambulatory Symposium of workshops, discussions, and performances. Anchored by Farrah-Marie Miranda’s “Speaking Fruit” and Sister Co-Resister’s “Walking Salon,” the weekend’s activities migrate between the gallery, the Black Creek Community Farm, and the Stong Farmhouse to activate the histories and geographies of the Keele Campus.

“Speaking Fruit” is a mobile, roadside fruit stand and design studio that feeds the movement for migrant farm-worker rights. On Sept. 16 at Black Creek Community Farm, “Speaking Fruit” brings migrant farm workers and Indigenous food producers together with artists and community organizers. By eating, drumming and dancing, participants consider what comes out of the soil and how; and by participating in growing practices, they will till the soil of the future.

On Sept. 17, in collaboration with Nettie Lambert, Shane Camastro (Titiesg Wîcinímintôwak), Janet Csontos and Lisa Myers, Sister Co-Resister’s Walking Salon works through concepts of belonging, proprietary understandings of land, and Canada’s immigrant paradigm and treaty partnership identity. Artists and academics Syrus Marcus Ware and Gloria Swain from the Faculty of Environmental Studies (FES) guide collective investigations by weaving together a series of interruptions that do not underestimate the divisive lines that suburban boundaries can create and that normalizing notions of belonging can maintain. Suburban Hospitality is co-presented with FES and programmed by Suzanne Carte, Emelie Chhangur, Lisa Myers and Honor Ford-Smith.

Then: A discourse about performing suburbia.

Tau Lewis, Self Portrait, 2016. Mixed media, 2016. (detail) Collection of Michelle Schultz.
Tau Lewis, Self Portrait, 2016. Mixed media, 2016. (detail) Collection of Michelle Schultz

As part of the City Institute’s Global Symposium “Beyond Suburbia,” AGYU convenes a panel that looks at the specifics of curating in suburbia. Taking place from 4:30-5:45pm on Oct. 20 at The Underground Restaurant on York University’s Keele campus, On the Edge of Curating: Toward new practices afield asks: How is “being on the edge” off-centred curating? What special circumstances does the suburban locale offer curating at the level of practice and how does this locale’s social and civic particularities challenge curating’s conventions or concerns? Curated and moderated by Emelie Chhangur (AGYU), the panel features Jordan Strom (Surrey Art Gallery, BC), York U Professor Janine Marchessault, Randell Adjei (RISE, Scarborough), Émilie Renard (La Galerie, centre d’art contemporain, Noisy-le-Sec), and respondents Christine Shaw (Blackwood Gallery) and Alissa Firth-Eagland (Humber Galleries).

Othering AGYU Vitrines

An AGYU commissioned, site-specific work by Otherness (Pamila Matharu + Marilyn Fernandes) borrows from the conventions of advertising and the rhetoric of multiculturalism to turn AGYU Vitrines into lightboxes that frame education as a primary tool of colonial story-telling. A montage of text, found images, and narrative taken from a discarded social science textbook The People We Are: Canada’s Multicultural Society (Gage, 1980), Taking a page… questions the Canadian immigrant paradigm by offering up a historiographical lesson on notions of belongingness.

Audio Out comes inside!

Audio Out, AGYU’s listening post, once located outside the gallery’s front doors, is now a listening bench – located in our newly re-designed lobby! Next year’s program is guest curated by Darren Copeland of NAISA. First up is The City (Sept. 15 – Oct. 22), a tour of Kolkota by Debashis Sinha, but a view from the cosmopolitan version of Toronto. Following (Oct. 23 – Dec. 3), is a radiophonic piece by Parisa Sabet titled “Visiting Grandpa.”

For more information on AGYU Out There: The Better Way, visit www.theAGYUisOutThere.org.

Faculty of Education Summer Institute explores relationships to Canada 150

A two-day conference designed by York University’s Faculty of Education to bring together educators, teacher candidates, parents and community members will focus on the theme “Relationships to Canada 150: Paradoxes, Contradictions and Questions.”

The Faculty of Education Summer Institute (FESI) 2017 will run Aug. 23 and 24 at the Keele campus, and invites various stakeholders to learn from and with one another to engage in relevant and critical conversations involving the achievement and well-being of youth. The annual event works to mobilize for individual and collective action in education by offering a variety of workshops.

The stakeholders include community partners, youth, teacher candidates, parents/guardians, and educators in various capacities and from various schools boards/organizations who will exchange ideas about how they have been working with and meeting the educational needs, interests and aspirations of young people.

This year’s keynote speaker is Mahlikah Awe:ri Enml’ga’t Saqama’sgw

With this year’s theme in mind, the conversations will focus on Canada 150, and participants will be invited to engage in critical discussions about the purpose, impact and quality of education and social outcomes.

Keynote presentations and workshops will consider questions such as:

  • What perspectives and ways of knowing have constituted spaces in which young people engage in educational, social and recreational activities in Canada over the past 150 years?
  • What has been silenced?
  • How might these perspectives and ways of knowing have impacted youth differently over the past 150 years?
  • In considering education more than 150 years ago, and in considering education for the next 150 years, what possibilities exist for resurgence, reconciliation and justice?

Day one, which runs from 9am to 4pm, will focus on “Problematizing Canada’s Relationship with Indigenous Peoples.” This portion of the conference will explore historical and contemporary relationships between Indigenous people and colonial settlers, as well as Canada’s history of cultural genocide.

Participants will have an opportunity to engage in deep learning, unlearning and relearning in workshops such as: The History of Colonization, Treaties and Land, Residential Schools, Inuit Education, Métis Education, Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women, and much more.

Day two, which runs from 9am to 4:15pm, will focus on “Problematizing Canada’s Relationships with various Communities and Considerations for Beyond 150.” On the second day, participants will have an opportunity to further problematize the historical and contemporary relationships of various diverse communities of Canada that have settled in this country for various reasons

As well, participants will engage in current and relevant research that impacts student achievement and well-being. Workshops will focus on promising initiatives and programs working to address systemic barriers.

This year’s keynote speaker is Mahlikah Awe:ri Enml’ga’t Saqama’sgw (The Woman Who Walks In The Light), a Haudenosaunee Mohawk/Mi’kmaw drum talk poetic rapologist, poet, musician, hip-hop MC, arts educator, social change workshop facilitator, performance artist, artist mentor, radio host, festival curator and more.

For more information, visit fesi.blog.yorku.ca.