Crossing Boundaries

The 54th Annual Conference of the International Council of Fine Arts Deans 
Alliance for the Arts in 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.

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

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
proudly sponsored by


Managing Career Trajectory in Higher Education
in the same charming venue and community


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 Harbourfront for the 90-minute drive to Lunenburg at 8:00 a.m. and will depart the Lunenburg Academy at 3:30 p.m.

Please walk to the

5:40 p.m.
Please meet in the hotel lobby for a 5:50 bus departure to the

6:00 - 7:30 p.m.
Welcome Reception proudly sponsored by 

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

7:30 – 8:15 a.m. Early Bird Session
The Halifax Ballroom
The Power of Flexible Acoustics in Academic Settings
This presentation addresses what university decision makers need to know about the programming needs of a multi-use performing arts center (needs that can range from symphony, opera and ballet to highly-amplified concerts and Broadway productions) including instruction from the planning of the initial concept to the final tuning stages. Includes case studies of project work within academic settings, a discussion on tuning, and an inside look at design options for adjustable acoustics that include stage, pit and hall design.
proudly sponsored by

114A Washington St.
Norwalk, CT. 06854
(203) 838-4167 x101
Mobile (203) 984-0171
[email protected]

Mark HoldenPrincipal, Acoustics
Please click here to see the presentation
[email protected]
(203) 838-4167 x101

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
The Nova Scotia Ballroom

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
[email protected]
(773) 991-5199
twitter: @evolutionshift


Landmarks: unfolding the pedagogies of engagement
This panel discussion illuminates the collaborative approaches to studio pedagogy and production of site-specific art works by faculty and students from NSCAD University and Mount Allison University in their response to Landmarks 2017 –  the national project created in commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Canadian confederation.

Dr. Vladimir Spicanovic
Dean, Faculty of Art
OCAD University
100 McCaul St
Toronto, ON M5T 1W1
(416) 977-6000, ext. 331

Lorraine Albert
Meagan Chaput
Sylvan Hamburger 
Steve Higgins
Karen Stentaford
Isabelle Zab

NSCAD Art Bar+Projects

10:00 – 11:00 a.m.
Not Your Grandma’s One-Room Classroom: Collaborative Integrative Teaching Models
Nova Scotia Ballroom

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.

Ivor Shapiro, Associate Dean
Undergraduate Education & Student Affairs
Faculty of Communication & Design
Ryerson University
80 Gould Street (Room RCC-360C)
Toronto, M5B 2K3 Canada
(416) 979-5000 x 3114
M: +1-416-709-4669
[email protected]

Paul Coffey
Please click here to see the presentation
Vice Provost & Dean of Community Engagement
Office of the Provost 
School of the Art Institute of Chicago 
37 S. Wabash 
Chicago, IL 60603
[email protected]

Calvin Williamson, Professor and Chairperson
Department of Science and Math
School of Liberal Arts
Fashion Institute of Technology
(212) 217-3046
[email protected]

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

11:00 – 11:15 a.m.
Morning Break, proudly sponsored by

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 the 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 do we 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 questions 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.

Jeanne L. Narum
Please click here to see the presentation

The Independent Colleges Office, Director
Learning Spaces Collaboratory, Principal
D: (202) 256-8872
C: (202) 528-0305
[email protected]

William Newhouse, Technical Services Manager
emily carr university of art + design
520 East 1st Ave, Vancouver BC V5T 0H2
(604) 844 3084
Mobile: (778) 994 3084
[email protected]

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

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.
Dessert 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
Please click here to see the presentation
(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

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. 

4:30 – 6:00 p.m.
Collaborative Pathways Between Colleges and Universities
Chair Ed Jurkowski
Art Bar+Projects 
The panelists will discuss laddering relationships between colleges and universities.

Edward Jurkowski, Dean
Faculty of Fine Arts
University of Lethbridge

Peter Fielding, Associate Dean
School of Creative Arts
Red Deer College

Susan Lewis, Dean
Faculty of Fine Arts
University of Victoria

Jacqueline Warwick, Director
Fountain School of Performing Arts
Dalhousie University

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

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 “It’s Not Impossible” by Hany-al-Moulia, 21, a Syrian refugee, 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
Learn about a planned addition to the Arts Center

Collaborative professionals at TCC and their architectural colleagues 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.

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 from 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 A. Wright 
Kendall College of Art and Design
of Ferris State University
17 Fountain Street NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
(616) 451.2787 x1203

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

Jeff Elwell, President
Eastern New Mexico University
1500 S Ave K
Portales, New Mexico 88130
(575) 562-2121

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

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

12:30 – 1:15 p.m.
Lunch and Networking, proudly sponsored by

The Halifax Ballroom

1:15 - 2:15 p.m.
Dianne Taylor-Gearing, President of NSCAD University
followed by presentation of the Award for Arts Achievement and Excellence

2:30 – 3:30 p.m.
Political Influence and Our Programs
The 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
[email protected]

3:30 – 3:45 p.m.
Afternoon Break
proudly sponsored by

3:45 – 4:30 p.m.
ICFAD Annual Meeting
Nova Scotia Ballroom C and D


2:30 – 4:00 p.m.
Indigenous Ways of Knowing and the Arts
NSCAD Port Campus, P209

Stephen Augustine, Associate Vice-President Indigenous Affairs and Unama’ki College, Cape Breton University:  “Localizing Indigenization”
Catherine Martin, Mi’kmaq Filmmaker and Social Activist :”Remembering and Reconciliation: Women’s Voices”
Michael R. Denny, Mi’kmaq Singer and Songwriter: “Mi’kmaq Traditional Music”
Coordinator: Gordon E. Smith, Ph.D., Vice-Dean, Faculty of Arts and Science,Queen’s University

4:15 – 6:00 p.m.
Research-Creation in Canada: models and case studies
Chairs Rebecca Duclos and Ann-Barbara Graff
NSCAD Port Campus, P209

Joanna BerzowskaAssociate Dean Research / Vice-doyenne à la recherché, Faculty of Fine Arts, Concordia University
Bruce BartonProfessor and Director, School of Creative and Performing Arts, University of Calgary
Alison McQueen, Director and Professor of Art History, School of the Arts, McMaster University
Sandra Alfoldy, Professor, Art History and Contemporary Culture; Director, Craft Institute

5:00 – 6:30 p.m.
Closing Reception,
The Sable Room
proudly sponsored by

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
Acadia A


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 it's 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 principal 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