Crossing Boundaries

The 54th Annual Conference of the International Council of Fine Arts Deans 
Alliance for the Arts at Research Universities 
Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design Chief Academic Officer Meeting 
Canadian Association of Fine Arts Deans  

The Halifax Marriott Harbourfront 
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada 
October 18 – 20, 2017

Also in Halifax at the same time: 
Creative City Summit


Please click on any of the sponsor logos on this page, to learn more about the sponsor.

Please click here to register for the Conference. Please note that registration for the Development Workshop or Day in Lunenburg requires a separate registration. Please remember to make your hotel reservations separately, as well. 

Please click here for a printable PDF to use for registration for the Conference. Please note that registration for the Development Workshop or Day in Lunenburg requires a separate registration. Please remember to make your hotel reservations separately, as well. 

The 54th Annual Conference of the International Council of Fine Arts Deans will be held at the:

Halifax Marriott Harbourfront Hotel
1919 Upper Water Street
Halifax, Nova Scotia
(902) 421-1700

$186 Canadian per night when you mention ICFAD

Click here to reserve your room(s) for the Conference.
Please click here to see photos of the Conference hotel.


Tuesday, October 17, 2017
Board of Directors Meeting

International Council of Fine Arts Deans
5:30 - 7:30 p.m. Room P209 at NSCAD University’s Port Campus

Wednesday, October 18, 2017
Sharing Compelling Stories to Ignite Your Fundraising
Arts Deans are invited to share and learn together at a Development Workshop

at The Lunenberg Academy at the top of Gallows Hill in Lunenberg, Nova Scotia


Join us on the bus to this magical maritime village and spend the day on your own, exploring

For centuries, Lunenburg’s affinity with the sea has shaped her destiny.
Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, National Historic District, winner of the Communities in Bloom most beautiful small town in Canada, Prettiest Painted Places in Canada, Port City of the Year and Society of American Travel Writers’ awards. Picturesque Lunenburg lies nestled along the scenic shores of southern Nova Scotia. Experience the Lunenburg way of life as we tour the village’s historic architecture, attractions and amenities in the morning, followed by lunch and a Development Workshop for those who choose this option, or lunch and afternoon on your own.

Buses will depart the Halifax Marriott Harborfront for the 90-minute drive to Lunenburg at 8:00 a.m. and will depart the Lunenburg Academy at 3:00 p.m.

Please click here for more information about the Development Workshop, including online registration.

Please click here for a printable PDF about the Development Workshop, including a registration form to send in with your payment by check.

Please walk to the
6:00 - 7:30 p.m.
Welcome Reception proudly sponsored by 

Dinner on your own
Please click here to see a list of restaurants provided by Destination Halifax. 

Please click here for a printable list of favorite restaurants as shared by colleagues at NSCAD University.

Please ask us about guided tours of Opening Night of RESPONSIVE International Light Art Project Halifax.

Thursday, October 19, 2017
7:30 a.m. – 8:15 a.m. Breakfast and Registration The Halifax Ballroom
proudly sponsored by

8:30 – 9:00 a.m.
Welcome from City of Halifax The Nova Scotia Ballroom

9:00 – 10:00 a.m.
The Concept of Place has Changed Forever
In this presentation, Futurist David Houle looks at the recent phenomenon that humanity has moved from a place-oriented to a space-oriented consciousness and identity. He looks at why this has happened, how it is accelerating and the ramifications and opportunities for higher education. Houle is the Futurist in Residence for the Ringling College of Art + Design.

David Houle
(773) 991-5199
twitter: @evolutionshift


Landmarks Project Panel
Chair Vlad Spicanovic
NSCAD Art Bar+Projects

10:00 – 10:15 a.m.
Morning Break, proudly sponsored by

10:15 – 11:15 a.m.
Not Your Grandma’s One-Room Classroom: Collaborative Integrative Teaching Models
How do we best equip faculty and students to confront challenges with expertise and creative confidence? Institutions that support mutually beneficial interdisciplinary approaches spur new solutions and high-impact innovations. This panel explores multiple models for engaged scholarship and integrative collaborative curricula. Learn about:

  • Ryerson University’s Zone Learning incubators, mixing curricular and co-curricular via experiential learning and venture
  • Fashion Institute of Technology’s winning strategies for incentivizing faculty to work across disciplinary lines, infusing liberal arts in tangible, meaningful ways into all design and business related curricula
  • SAIC’s Shapiro Institute for Research and Collaboration, championing community engaged scholarship at the interface of society and industry

The one-room classroom hasn’t gone away; rather it’s expanded beyond its walls to address the complexities of modern culture, while engaging our students through use-inspired collaborative instruction.

Richard Lachman, Director
Zone Learning | FCAD Research Development | Experiential Media Institute Associate Professor, Digital Media
RTA School of Media
Ryerson University

Helen Maria Nugent, Director
Shapiro Institute for Research and Collaboration Professor and Chair, Designed Objects Programs School of the Art Institute of Chicago

Calvin Williamson, Professor and Chairperson Department of Science and Math
Fashion Institute of Technology

Laurie Baefsky, Executive Director
Alliance for the Arts in Research Universities| ArtsEngine University of Michigan

11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
Envisioning Fine Arts Spaces for the Future
The Halifax Ballroom

Over the past decade, many academic institutions across the continent have imagined and realized remarkable physical facilities for education and research, those serving particular disciplinary communities and those contributing to a campus-wide eco-system of spaces for learning. This is a timely moment to step back and explore what is working now, then to look forward and consider how to embrace the future as next generation of fine arts spaces is envisioned. 

This session will include an iterative conversation, sparked by stories from the Emily Carr University of Art & Design, the Virginia Commonwealth University and the Learning Spaces Collaboratory (LSC) community about what works, and what questions were asked during planning. Participants will be invited to share their recent experiences.

The conversation then continues with a focus on questions for the future, those building on what we are learning from research, practice and personal experience that begin to push the envelope and challenge planners to move out of their comfort zone. 

Questions emerging from within the LSC community will set the stage for further discussion among participants:  E.G. Do spaces (de) motivate learners? How do you manage serendipity? Can “space” go beyond nurturing collaboration to prompting problem-solving and creativity? How do we help form relationships, environments and events that are mind and heart-altering that challenge, refresh, inspire, and transform how learning happens? What is the impact of space on the learner? When students enter into our spaces for learning, what we do hope their response will be?

These and many other questions are being asked by teams of academics and architects now. Fine arts deans are uniquely qualified to tackle these questions in imagining their spaces for learning for their broader campus community. What question do you think should be on the table when envisioning fine arts spaces for the future?  Responses to that question will be gathered and posted for review following this session.

Ron Burnett, President and Vice Chancellor Emily Carr University of Art & Design

Jeanne L. Narum
The Independent Colleges Office, Director
Learning Spaces Collaboratory, Principal
D: (202) 256-8872
C: (202) 528-0305

Matt Woolman, Executive Director
Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship
(804) 827-1868

12:30 – 1:15 p.m.
Lunch and Networking
The Acadia Ballroom (on the first floor)
proudly sponsored by


1:15 – 2:15 p.m.
Desert and Keynote Speaker Michael Singer

Michael Singer will talk about his perspective as an artist -- a creative thinker and problem solver whose work has evolved around questioning assumptions and constantly looking at why things are the way they are, and how they might benefit from different points of view. The presentation will include several examples of built projects representing Michael Singer Studio's integrative design process, working with naturalists, biologists, engineers, scientists, social anthropologists, historians, economists, other professionals and communities. These projects demonstrate how creative design can innovatively address environmental, social, political, and economic concerns, as well as provide solutions that promote regenerative outcomes.

Michael Singer Studio - South
(561) 865-7683 
Mobile (561) 699-3681
Michael Singer Studio - North
(802) 464-2165 

2:30 – 4:00 p.m.
Roundtable Sessions: Timely Topics in the Arts
In the Foyer outside the Nova Scotia Ballroom
proudly sponsored by

You will have the opportunity to attend three, 25-minute sessions (with five-minute breaks for transition, between) on one of the topics listed.

Please click here to read more about the Roundtable Presentations.

4:00 – 4:15 p.m.
Afternoon Break, proudly sponsored by


2:30 – 3:30 p.m.
Indigenous Ways of Knowing and the Arts
NSCAD Port Campus, P209

3:45 – 5:00 p.m.
Research-Creation in Canada: models and case studies
Chairs Rebecca Duclos and Ann-Barbara Graff
NSCAD Port Campus, P209

4:35 p.m.
Please meet at the front door of the Halifax Marriott Harbourfront to join colleagues for a bus tour of the city, departing promptly at 4:45 p.m., eventually arriving at the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 for a reception proudly sponsored by



4:30 – 6:00 p.m.
Collaborative Pathways Between Colleges and Universities
Chair Ed Jurkowski
Art Bar+Projects 

6:00 – 7:30 p.m.
Reception at the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21

The Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21, in Halifax, is Canada's national museum of immigration. The museum occupies part of Pier 21, the former ocean liner terminal and immigration shed from 1928 to 1971. From the 1970s until 1991, Pier 21 housed the Nova Scotia Nautical Institute, a training facility for professional mariners. During the 1990s, the former immigration quarters provided studio and workshop space for artists. The ocean liner pier itself became increasingly used as the Halifax Port Authority's cruise ship dock. Pier 21 is Canada's last remaining ocean immigration shed. The facility is often compared to Ellis Island, an association it shares with the immigration station at Grosse Isle, Quebec. Pier 21 became a museum in 1999, and officially became a National Museum of Canada in 2011.

While in the area, please enjoy Photopolis exhibit entitled “Finding Refugee” by Hany al Moulia, 21, a Syrian refuge, a Regina resident, and now, a celebrated photographer. 

He’s also legally 
blind. But al Moulia’s vision impairment didn’t stop him from capturing striking images of the refugee camp where he once lived. Buses will leave the Museum and return directly to the hotel at 7:30, 7:45 and 8:00 p.m. Guests are welcome to enjoy the Museum until 9 p.m.

You may wish to remain in Downtown Halifax for dinner with colleagues.

Friday, October 20, 2017
7:20 a.m.
Please meet at the front door of the Halifax Marriott Harbourfront to join colleagues for a 7:30 a.m. bus departure for Dalhousie University.
8:00 – 9:00 a.m. Breakfast at Dalhousie University. Our morning Visit to Dalhousie University is proudly sponsored by 

9:00 – 10:00 a.m.
The Many Faces of Diversity

Diversity and inclusion has been a hot topic in academia for a long time. Yet, despite many discussions on this issue and legal battles, statistics show that we are far for achieving success when it comes to recruiting and retaining diverse faculty in institutions of higher education, particularly when it comes to gender and race. This panel is aimed at proposing best practices based on the experiences of the panelists. Sharing of other experiences by the audience will be encouraged so we can put together a document that can be used by ICFAD members to improve their chances for success regarding diversity and inclusion in their institutions.

Aldemaro Romero Jr., Dean and Professor 
Weissman School of Arts and Sciences 
Baruch College, City University of New York 
One Bernard Baruch Way, Box B 8-250

New York, NY 10010-5585 

Michele Whitecliffe, President
Whitecliffe College of Arts & Design
24 Balfour Road, Parnell, Auckland 1052, New Zealand + 64 9 309 5970 ext. 702
+ 64 21 89 0057

Deborah Obalil, President & Executive Director
Association of Independent Colleges of Art & Design (AICAD) 
236 Hope Street

Providence, RI 02906
(401) 270-5991, extension101 

Charles Wright 
Western Illinois University
1 University Circle
Macomb, IL 61455
(309) 298-1549

Vladimir Spicanovic, Dean , Faculty of Art
100 McCaul Street, 
Toronto, Canada M5T 1W1 
(416) 977-6000, extension 331 

Jeff Elwell, Dean
College of Arts and Science 
University of Tennessee Chattanooga 
(423) 425-4635 

10:00 – 11:00 a.m.
Tour Dalhousie University’s Galleries

Dalhousie Art Gallery Director/Curator Peter Dykhuis, Past President of University and College Art Gallery Association of Canada (USAGAC), will introduce us to:

  • The Footsteps of Art: Arthur Lismer and the Halifax Explosion: an overview of the work by Arthur Lismer, influential principal of the Victoria School of Art and Design (now NSCAD University) during his time in Halifax from 1916-19. The focus is specifically on his work as a homeland ‘war artist’ which included his chronicles of the Halifax Explosion on 6 December 1917.
  • Walking the Debris Field: Presented by the Narratives in Space and Time Society, this exhibition reviews past projects of public events associated with the anniversary of the Halifax Explosion and presents new work affiliated with the 100th anniversary.
  • Claire Hodge: The Hydrostone Project: a contemporary, digital photo-essay of all of the residences in the post-Explosion Halifax North End neighbourhood of Hydrostone which was built as a planned community on the site of massive destruction due to the events of 6 December 1917.

Click here for more information about these exhibits.

11:00 a.m.
Morning Break, proudly sponsored by

Learn about a planned addition to the Arts Center

Collaborative professionals at TCC are most of the way through design of an addition to the existing Arts Center at Dalhousie University. An informal meet and greet presentation will share information about this project. In addition to the galleries housed in the 1971 Arts Center, there are practice rooms, rehearsal studios, two studio theatres, the 180-seat Dunn Theatre, and the 1,000-seat Rebecca Cohn Theatre. In early 2017, a team of architects, engineers and consultants began to design an addition. This addition will house a 300-seat concert hall, two rehearsal halls, a green room, practice rooms, three costume teaching studios, wardrobe storage, offices and support spaces. The team also studied the Cohn theatre for acoustic and technical upgrades. Visit with some of the designers to learn how they are solving the challenges in creating an addition to this iconic brutalist structure.

11:20 a.m.
Return to the buses for an 11:30 a.m. departure for an 11:30 a.m. departure to Halifax Marriott Harbourfront

12:30 – 1:15 p.m.
Lunch and Networking
The Halifax Ballroom

1:15 - 2:15 p.m.
Award for Arts Achievement and Excellence and Keynote Speaker

2:15 – 2:30 p.m.
Afternoon Break
proudly sponsored by

2:30 – 3:30 p.m.
CAFAD Indigenous Strategies
NSCAD University P209

Political Influence and Our Programs
Nova Scotia Ballroom 

The world's changing. Arts Deans now find themselves being involved at one level or another with:

  • Guns on campus
  • Faculty responses to being included on watch lists
  • Students posting sex scenes from artistic performances on social media, defying prohibitions
  • Panic switches vs Apps for student security
  • Courses intended to introduce students to the arts include how to handle difficult situations

What additional situations as related to security and / or social media have arisen at your institution? Share with your colleagues in this open forum.

Lucinda Lavelli, Dean
College of the Arts
University of Florida
1389 Stadium Rd., Room 101
Gainesville, FL   32611
(352) 273-1491

3:30 – 4:30 p.m.
ICFAD Annual Meeting
Nova Scotia Ballroom C and D

3:45 – 4:45 p.m.
CAFAD panel presentation

5:00 – 6:30 p.m.
Closing Reception
The Sable Room

Saturday, October 21, 2017

9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
AICAD Chief Academic Officers Meeting
NSCAD Port Campus

ICFAD Board of Directors Meeting with Task Force Chairpersons
Sable B

9:00 – 10:00 a.m.
CAFAD Chair’s Report 

10:00 – 11:00 a.m.
CAFAD Identity Charette

11:00 a.m. – Noon
CAFAD Membership Meeting and Administrative Award
NSCAD University P214


Nova Scotia

If you want an in-depth picture of a place, go to its artists. Artists – be they painters, potters, athletes, chefs or musicians – not only give us a glimpse into their home through its artwork, but through the raw materials they use, and finally through themselves. The Canadian Maritime province of Nova Scotia is home to an incredible collection of artists, and its fascinating to look at how the landscape of their rugged island home shapes them creatively. Click here to see a short video entitled, PORTRAIT OF THIS PLACE: NOVA SCOTIA.


Halifax is an urban centre wrapped in seacoast and history. Attendees of the 54th Annual Conference of the International Council of Fine Arts Deans will experience a friendly and upbeat culture, walkable city and pleasant rural communities. Our Conference agenda will include visits to three universities, and multiple cultural institutions. Click here to see a short video about Halifax.

The 100th Anniversary of the Halifax Explosion

On the morning of Dec. 6, 1917, Halifax and Dartmouth were rocked by a tremendous explosion after two ships — one of them a munitions vessel — collided in the harbour. Halifax’s north end was levelled. Reconstruction took years. 
The deadly blast has had “an extensive and enduring social impact,” and even though federal and provincial governments have helped preserve this part of Halifax’s history “the principle legacy is distinctly municipal.”

A commemorative emblem was developed for use as a visual identity and recognition of many projects surrounding the 100th anniversary. The emblem will reflect the municipality’s commitment to the significance of this commemoration and will be featured at special events, projects and official communications in the year leading up to and during 2017. This anniversary will not go unnoticed by planners of our Conference!

Memorial event, Fort Needham Memorial Park