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    The Agnes receives new support from federal government

    The Agnes Etherington Art Centre is receiving $100,000 in support from the federal government, it was announced on Monday.

    A total of $251,289 from the Tourism Relief Fund will support five recipients as part of an effort to help small tourism businesses and organizations. Kingston and the Islands MP Mark Gerretsen made the announcement at The Agnes on behalf of Filomena Tassi, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario).

    The non-repayable contribution to the Agnes will go towards producing the first Canadian performance of “The Assembly” by internationally-acclaimed video artist and filmmaker Zina Saro-Wiwa in collaboration with local artists and businesses in Kingston. “The Assembly” is a living, evolving performance piece created by Saro-Wiwa in collaboration with local audience-participants to share and express her findings on African sociality, botanicals, spirituality, and science. The event includes a performance lecture, film screening, silent tastings, sound baths, storytelling, academic talks, and food.

    “Our government recognizes that tourism is vitally important to the vibrancy and economic health of communities across southern Ontario,” Minster Tassi says. “I am committed to helping businesses find new and innovative ways to recover and thrive once again. Investments through the Tourism Relief Fund help ensure that the region’s tourism sector will be well-positioned to welcome back visitors today and in the years to come.”

    Also receiving support are Kingston WritersFest, City of Kingston, Downtown Kingston Business Improvement Area, and The Blue Moose B & B Inc.

    Agnes Reimagined comes alive in new renderings

    In 2026, the Agnes Etherington Art Centre will emerge as the largest public university-affiliated museum in Canada.

    Exterior composition of Agnes Reimagined (concept only), showing the new curvilinear addition, left, in conversation with the heritage Etherington House (right). (Rendering by Studio Sang courtesy of KPMB Architects)
    Exterior composition of Agnes Reimagined (concept only), showing the new curvilinear addition, left, in conversation with the heritage Etherington House (right). (Rendering by Studio Sang courtesy of KPMB Architects)

    The transformation of the Agnes Etherington Art Centre is beginning to take shape.

    The galleries are currently closed, as more than 17,000 objects in Agnes’s collection are being packed and moved off site, and after a year of community-engagement, two architectural renderings have been released, giving the Queen’s community its first look at a transformed art centre.

    Director and Curator Emelie Chhangur commends Queen’s for supporting Agnes’s commitment to a community-engaged design process and a close collaboration with the architectural team comprised of the internationally renowned Toronto-based firm KPMB Architects, led by architect Bruce Kuwabara and Indigenous Affairs consultant Georgina Riel.

    “By enacting the values of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, Indigenization and Accessibility (EDIIA) in the very making of Agnes Reimagined, we ensure that we truly transform Agnes, from the ground up, and demonstrate Queen’s commitments to honouring the Truth and Reconciliation Commissions Calls to Action,” Chhangur says.

    In 2026, Agnes will emerge as the largest public university-affiliated museum in this country and a champion of museological change where Indigenous and Western world views sit side by side as equals. 

    Agnes Reimagined would not be possible without the leadership and philanthropic support of the late Alfred Bader (Sc'45, Arts'46, MSc'47, LLD'86), Isabel Bader (LLD’07), and Bader Philanthropies, Inc., who are longtime supporters of Queen’s and the arts. Bader Philanthropies is the lead donor with a total US$75 million transformational gift. The Bader Collection at Agnes is made up of more than 500 works of art and is and the most comprehensive collection of authenticated paintings by Rembrandt van Rijn and his circle in any institution within Canada.

    “Alfred Bader envisioned Queen’s having the finest art museum of any university in Canada,” says Vice-Principal (Advancement) Karen Bertrand (Artsci’94). “The transformative gift from the Baders will build on the initial vision of Dr. Bader and position Queen’s as a premier destination for education and research in the visual arts. Once complete, this world-class art museum will be a tremendous gift to Queen’s, Kingston, and art lovers everywhere.” 

    Agnes Reimagined involves renovating the historic Etherington House and transforming it into a live-in artist residency and community-facing cultural hub. Construction of a new three-floor configuration to the art centre supports a 200 per cent increase in exhibition and alternative programming spaces for curatorial experimentation and public programming and engagement; the first-ever Indigenous self-determination spaces for the appropriate care, ceremony, and access by Indigenous communities of their ancestors and cultural belongings currently residing at Agnes; and new art study spaces, technical art history and art conservation labs — all of which reimagine the entangled civic, social and pedagogical role of a 21st century university museum. 

    “Agnes Reimagined is slowly inching toward other museum temporalities, atmospheres, and attitudes to help us erode systems of categorization and separation, transform institutional limitations that hold onto the past and gatekeep the future, and take seriously what really is at stake to ensure the museums of the future are alive, nimble, and poised to inhabit the world as it is rightfully changing,” Chhangur says. “To change museum culture, we must first change its architectures. I believe it is only within the experimental milieu of the university museum that this kind of radical transformation can take hold.”

    An inside view of Agnes Reimagined
    A ground floor concept shows how Agnes will be transformed into a social space that is permeable, flexible, and welcoming. (Rendering by Studio Sang courtesy of KPMB Architects.)

    The new building will see advanced art teaching and research labs for the art conservation program and enhanced object-based learning for the Department of Art History & Art Conservation leading to greater collaboration between the department and museum. It will create new opportunities for groundbreaking technical art research and experiential art-based learning for art students, as well as a range of other academic disciplines, including engineering, business, health sciences, humanities, and physical sciences. This contributes to the university’s strategic goals by placing a greater emphasis on integrating research into the student experience, strengthening Queen’s presence globally and embedding Queen’s in the community.

    Art History and Art Conservation Department Head Norman Vorano says the new Agnes will enhance education as students spend more time in the gallery doing hands-on learning, thanks to access to more study spaces and labs in close proximity to the art centre’s vast collections.

    “The building is going to fundamentally change the way we study art and art conservation in this country,” Dr. Vorano says. “It gives our professors an opportunity to work with some of the best undergraduate and graduate students using the most advanced equipment in the most innovative teaching lab in North America — with the best university art collection within arm’s reach.”  

    Agnes’s community-engaged design process continues through talking and sharing circles throughout 2023 as the team enters the design phase of the project. Construction is set to begin in spring 2024 and the new building to open in 2026.

    Visit the Agnes Reimagined website for more information. 

    Data that helps define Kingston

    Researchers create a unique, regional, and accessible website that highlights key community information for residents in the Greater Kingston Area.

    Aerial view of Queen's University Campus
    Aerial View of Queen's University Campus

    For the past two years, researchers from Queen’s University’s Department of Geography and Planning have been meeting with municipal partners to investigate the community’s resiliency during the COVID-19 pandemic. Flowing from this collaboration, they have now created and unveiled a new interactive dashboard, called Kingston IN Focus, that highlights a range of community indicators, including information about the local economy, employment, environment, housing, and cultural heritage.

    “Evidence-based decision making is the hallmark of a leading city. The launch of the community data dashboard will be a critical knowledge resource as our economy emerges from the pandemic and as we use the data insights to inform greater resilience for our collective future,” says Craig Desjardins, Director, Strategy, Innovation, and Partnerships, City of Kingston.

    The online platform allows community members to delve deeper into the themes, and compare local, provincial, and national data, and relies on advanced computing techniques to perform automatic updates whenever new data becomes available, allowing site visitors to reference meaningful information when exploring changes in the landscape of the Kingston area over time.

    “We had been looking at this idea of a website through the lens of key indicators like the environment, housing, and public transit,” says Betsy Donald, a professor in the Department of Geography and Planning. “I had been working with Shauna Brail, an associate professor at the Institute for Management and Innovation, University of Toronto Mississauga. She was researching the impact of the pandemic on cities. Our team decided to learn from that, dig deeper, and tap into the Queen’s Centre for Advanced Computing to do some of the behind-the-scenes work and create the Kingston IN Focus dashboard website.”

    Carolyn DeLoyde, a post-doctoral fellow and adjunct assistant professor with the Department of Geography and Planning helped to develop the look, feel, and functionality of the website.

    “It is our regional visualizations that make our dashboard so unique. We have pie charts, line charts, and maps that are customizable, so there is something for every user. Hopefully, we can provide some benefit and help support data driven policy development, while encouraging community participation,” says Dr. DeLoyde.

    “The data behind the chart is available” says Fernando Hernandez of the Centre for Advanced Computing. “Every chart has a button you can click on and contains information. It allows people to verify the data for themselves.”

    Information contained on the dashboard also includes links to Kingston-centric research related to dashboard themes. Data sources for all community indicators are provided so policy makers and community members can explore additional information, independent of the dashboard.

    “What I love about this is that it’s accessible to non-experts,” says Jaime McKenzie-Naish, managing director of the Kingston and Area Association of Museums, Art Galleries and Historic Sites. “Having it in one location is absolutely brilliant. I already have used it to write a grant application. I needed to know exactly what the census numbers of the population of Kingston was, which, in other previous years I have found through much hard effort and looking.”

    The project has been a collaborative effort with the City of Kingston, Kingston Economic Development Corporation, Kingston and Area Association of Museums, Art Galleries and Historic Sites (KAM), the Centre for Advanced Computing (CAC), Office of Indigenous Initiatives at Queen’s University and the Department of Geography and Planning.

    The website has been up and running since last fall, but Jan. 25 marked the official launch of the dashboard. Media were invited to attend a virtual webinar to learn more about the project, and experts were on hand to answer questions.

    The creation of the dashboard was supported by Mitacs through the Mitacs Business Strategy Internship, and draws on research supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Insight Grant (SSHRC).

    Visitors are also encouraged to fill out the community engagement survey at the bottom of the website to reflect on their experience and suggest new data where they see value.

    More information on the dashboard can be found in the introduction video.

    Annual report highlights commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals

    The university has released a social impact report, highlighting its activities in research, teaching, outreach, and stewardship that support advancing the UN SDGs.

    [Report Cover: Queen's contributions to the UN Sustainable Development Goals: Advancing social impact | 2021-2022]
    Read the report: Queen's contributions to the UN Sustainable Development Goals: Advancing social impact | 2021-2022 [PDF Report 10 KB]

    The United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a roadmap for how we can work together to create a better world for people and the planet. Queen’s alignment with the SDGs reflects the university’s vision that our community will solve the world’s most significant challenges with their intellectual curiosity, passion to achieve, and commitment to collaborate.

    For the second year, Queen’s has released a social impact report, highlighting the university’s activities in research, teaching, outreach, and stewardship that support advancing the UN SDGs. A key focus of the 2021-2022 report is recognizing the efforts made by Queen’s faculty, staff, students, and alumni to confront COVID-19 and its unprecedented and unpredictable set of challenges.

    Queen’s contributions to advancing social impact in our local, national, and international communities has been recognized by the Times Higher Education (THE) Impact Rankings, the only global performance tables that assess universities against the UN SDGs. In both 2021 and 2022, Queen’s was ranked among the top 10 universities globally in the THE Impact Rankings.

    This year’s report references a wide variety of Queen’s programs, partnerships, and infrastructure that align with the values of the SDGs. A few examples include the work of the Campus and Community Engagement Sustainability Sub-Working Group to advance SDG 13: Climate Action, Queen’s Women in Science and Engineering (WiSe) student-run organization which is advancing SDG 5: Gender Equality to promote and encourage women to pursue STEM studies, and the launch of the Graduate Inclusivity Fellows initiative aligned with SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities where graduate students and postdoctoral fellows are contributing to strategies and programs to improve the learning experience related to equity, diversity, inclusion, and Indigeneity.

    Housed on the Advancing Social Impact website, in addition to the report, users can find further information on key initiatives and engage with additional images and video that illustrate the community’s action and impact.

    To learn more about Queen’s commitment to the SDGs and to read the report, visit the website

    A musical message of support

    The ‘We Stand with Ukraine’ concert is being held at the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts to raise funds for humanitarian aid.

    Canta Arya School for Strings

    The Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts is hosting an exciting event to raise funds for humanitarian aid for those affected by the war in Ukraine. 

    On Dec. 8, more than 100 Kingston professional musicians and youth ensembles, including the Kingston Symphony, DAN School of Music faculty, PALENAI piano duo, Bridge Wolak Duo, Jan LeClair, and guest Ukrainian soprano, Nataliia Temnyk will be featured. The Maky Ukrainian Dance Ensemble will welcome the audience in the colourful Pryvit dance. Young musicians representing Canta Arya School for Strings, Kingston Youth Orchestra, Cantabile Youth Singers and soloist Mathieu Roberge will also perform in the concert, which supports the Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal Fund through the Ukrainian Canadian Congress and Canada-Ukraine Foundation.

    Photography of Ukraine, Ukrainian art, and powerful images from the war by frontline photojournalists will add a multi-dimensional element to the evening.

    All proceeds from the event will be donated to the Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal Fund of the Ukraine Humanitarian Relief committee – a joint partnership of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress and the Canada-Ukraine FoundationThose who are unable to attend the concert but still wish to donate can donate online, and are asked to quote “Kingston concert” under the ‘private message’ section.

     The benefit is being organized by Drs. Joy Innis and Adrienne Shannon, who have taught as adjunct professors at the Dan School of Drama and Music and were responsible for the creation of the Music & Digital Media program at St. Lawrence College. For the past several months they have been working on a concert to support humanitarian efforts in Ukraine. They say as soon as the Russian invasion of Ukraine began in February, their colleagues, fellow musicians, and local youth ensembles jumped on board.

    “The number of Kingston musicians involved – more than half of them youth – show how the generations are coming together for one common cause. That really is the heart of the event,” says Dr. Shannon.

    Dr. Shannon says interest for the concert comes not only from the musical community, but from those who have experienced the conflict firsthand, adding “there will be many new Ukrainian nationals in the audience, and we get calls every day from others.”

     The two-hour concert takes place Thursday, Dec. 8, at 7:30pm. Tickets are $39 or $10 for students and can be purchased at the door or online through the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts.

    The concert will also be livestreamed.

    For more information, visit the Dan School of Music and Drama at Queen’s University website.

    Woman King is set in Benin but filmed in South Africa - in the process it erases real people’s struggles

    Hollywood undermines Africa’s struggles, creating a false impression of the continent to please western viewers.

    A scene from the new movie Woman King, with three female warriors overlooking the ocean.
    While the story told in The Woman King took place in what is now Benin, the film was shot in South Africa. Image courtesy (Ilze Kitshoff/Sony Pictures Entertainment)

    The latest film by director Gina Prince-Bythewood, The Woman King, is about a legendary all-woman African army in the 1800s, the Amazons of Dahomey. It takes place in what is today the Republic of Benin in west Africa. It wasn’t filmed in Benin, but in South Africa, in the KwaZulu-Natal and Western Cape provinces using locations that look like west Africa.

    The film has had an overwhelmingly positive reception, but some critics have cautioned against ignoring history in favour of crowd-pleasing storytelling. I would like to draw attention to the film’s use of the African landscape, as Hollywood tells new stories while ignoring the struggles of the present.

    I am a curator of African art in Kingston at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre. I arrived in Canada from Cape Town around the time The Woman King was being filmed in the coastal town of Kleinmond in the Overstrand, where I’d lived with my family. I was struck by how the town was depicted.

    The film uses Kleinmond as the site of great battles that glorify Africa’s history. But the town’s actual history is one of struggle and the oppression of black people that lives on to this day. The Woman King shows a pristine version of Kleinmond, digitally altering the landscape to erase black lives and settlements.

    Cheating one film location for another is common practice. Film infrastructure exists in the Western Cape and there are financial incentives that attract international film makers. Not only is the natural diversity of South Africa appealing, it’s also marketable.

    But film locations in Africa are often used as a generic Hollywood backdrop or African cities are easily traded. For example, Blood Diamond is set in Sierra Leone and was filmed in Cape Town. More recently Avengers: Age of Ultron’s battle scenes played out in downtown Johannesburg.

    These distortions are part of the global film industry, but they can also lead to a distortion of a continent and its history. The Woman King’s use of Kleinmond’s setting may seem like just a technical gimmick, but it points to a bigger issue: even when telling African stories, Hollywood reimagines the true history and geography of the continent to serve western audiences.


    Kleinmond bears witness to apartheid town planning. During apartheid, white minority rulers implemented a policy of separate development, and allocated racial groups to different living areas.

    The original town was settled from the 1850s by fisher families who made their living from the Atlantic Ocean. In the 1950s, when it became part of a “white group area”, Kleinmond was bulldozed by the apartheid government, its people forcibly removed to Protea Dorp on the mountainside near the town dump. A letter by a local fisher, Petrus Johannes Fredericks, attests to growing up in Kleinmond harbour and to his family’s forced removal. He writes about the ongoing struggles to secure scarce government fishing quotas.

    Retelling Africa and cinematic erasure

    It’s ironic that Kleinmond was the backdrop for The Woman King’s battle scenes, and appropriated into a story of a glorious, fictitious African past. Frequent violent protests in the area show that the real life struggle for the ocean and the land is still underway. During recent protests for better housing, burning tyres were positioned around an area called Perdekop and it became a true battleground for its inhabitants.

    A moody still of an old port with ships approaching in a rough sea and the sun breaking through the clouds.
    The port of Ouidah in Benin was filmed in South Africa’s Western Cape. (Image courtesy Ilze Kitshoff/Sony Pictures Entertainment)

    In a similar way, Kleinmond’s complexities and its embattled people are erased for the purposes of tourism. According to local authorities, the natural beauty and biodiversity are the “finest example of mountain fynbos in the Western Cape and (the Kleinmond biosphere is) a world-renowned World Heritage Site”. But this heritage has yet to yield enough sustainable jobs, and for many Kleinmond men, the illegal trade in endangered abalone is one of only a few forms of employment.

    The white South African art world also has countless examples of black erasure and distorted storytelling. The apartheid state’s favoured painter JH Pierneef painted empty, detailed landscapes of South Africa that were hung in government buildings across the country. He never showed the conflicted human life inhabiting those landscapes, erasing black people, the original inhabitants. Irma Stern, favoured by white liberals, preferred painting scenes in the Bantustans or black reserves of South Africa to show an “authentic” African life. She ignored the everyday trauma of living under apartheid to capture what she considered the African ideal.

    Pristine Africa

    The Woman King continues this elided narrative by presenting Africa as largely uninhabited and pristine. But what does it mean when the real, battle-worn Perdekop is not acknowledged and becomes part of an elaborate computer graphic of a white settlement instead? Or a graphic of fictional houses is overlaid on the Overhills settlement?

    As a curator, I think about which stories we tell in the present, which stories will endure, but most importantly what shape our collective responsibility takes. Kleinmond is close to my heart, which is perhaps why I’m especially troubled by this new kind of historical erasure, as the African landscape is digitally emptied and its people ignored so that its image can be used as the canvas for a redemptive story.

    All this is not to say that The Woman King does not carefully counter harmful African stereotypes; it does. It presents African women as strong, healthy and independent, Africans as the inheritors of a rich cultural tradition and Africans as majestic purveyors of lost ideals. But at what cost does this fictional black redemption come?

    In erasing the past, the film undermines Africa’s struggles, creating a false impression of the continent to please western viewers.The Conversation


    Qanita Lilla, Associate Curator Arts of Africa, Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Queen's University

    This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

    The Conversation is seeking new academic contributors. Researchers wishing to write articles should contact Melinda Knox, Director, Thought Leadership and Strategic Initiatives, at knoxm@queensu.ca.

    Advisory committee set for next director of the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts announced

    Following the departure of Tricia Baldwin as Director of the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts, and in accordance with the procedures established by Senate, a committee to advise Interim Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic) Teri Shearer on the future direction of the Isabel, and on the selection of the next director has been established.

    Members of the Queen’s University and Isabel communities are invited to submit letters with commentary on the present state and future prospects of the Isabel. Respondents are asked to indicate whether they wish to have their letters shown, in confidence, to the members of the advisory committee.

    Advisory Committee membership:

    • Gordon E. Smith (Chair), Interim Director, Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts
    • Lauren Sharpe (Secretary), Executive Assistant, Office of the Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic)
    • Julia Brook, Director, DAN School of Drama and Music
    • Emelie Chhangur, Director and Curator, Agnes Etherington Art Centre
    • Andrea Haughton, General Manager, Kingston Symphony Association
    • Kanonhsyonne Janice Hill, Associate Vice-Principal (Indigenous Initiatives)
    • Aaron Holmberg, Technical Director, Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts
    • Scott McKenzie, Head, Department of Film and Media
    • Stephanie Simpson, Associate Vice-Principal (Human Rights, Equity and Inclusion)

    Interim Provost Teri Shearer extends her thanks to the members of this committee for their willingness to serve.

    Please send all submissions to the Office of the Provost, via e-mail, to provost@queensu.ca by Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2022.

    Connections beyond boundaries

    This article was first published on Oct. 20, 2022 and is being highlighted again as part of Black Histories and Futures Month.

    Daniel McNeil
    Daniel McNeil (Artwork: Winsom Winsom: The Masks We Wear at the Agnes Etherington Art Centre, 30 July–4 December 2022.)

    When activist Nelson Mandela was imprisoned in South Africa, he took solace and sustenance from the music of African American artists such as Marvin Gaye. In listening carefully to seriously soulful songs emanating from across the Atlantic Ocean, and adapting them to meet his local needs and political climates, Mandela offers us one revealing example of cultures that exceed the boundaries that the modern nation-state has provided for them.

    In October 2022, the new Black Studies program marked its launch with a series of conversations, screenings, and celebrations.

    This fall, more than 100 undergraduate students were enrolled in Black Studies courses, spanning from Black Studies and Liberation to Black Student Activism and Critique, and Globalization and Black Health. The program is also home to three pre-doctoral fellows and a post-doctoral fellow who examine fields such as Black activism, Black student organizing on Indigenous lands, Black feminist thought, and the socio-cultural impacts of social media videos documenting anti-Black police brutality and their representations in contemporary art. Learn more.

    Such cultural and political commitments are at the heart of Black Atlantic Studies, one of the research areas featured by Queen’s new Black Studies program, that prepares leaders and citizens for a global society. Program director Daniel McNeil, who joined Queen’s in 2021 as the Queen’s National Scholar Chair in Black Studies, is one of the experts working in Black Atlantic Studies. He spoke to the Gazette about his research and outreach work.

    How would you define Black Atlantic Studies?

    For many researchers and thinkers, the Black Atlantic is a network of cultures spanning Africa, North and South America, the Caribbean and Europe that was forged, in the first instance, by the transatlantic slave trade. It is a realm of thought, feeling, and action that can help us to step audaciously into the past, and imagine and build more fantastic futures.

    Are you looking at a specific timeframe?

    My teaching engages with the complexities of global Black communities since 1789, but my research tends to focus on the past hundred years.

    My recently launched book, Thinking While Black: Translating the Politics and Popular Culture of a Rebel Generation, focuses on the work of celebrated and controversial critics who came of age in the 1960s and 1970s consuming rebel music, revolutionary film, and other forms of expressive culture created by world citizens and the descendants of enslaved individuals. It pays particular attention to the work and ideas of the prominent British intellectual Paul Gilroy (the author of The Black Atlantic, an extraordinarily influential book that popularized Black Atlantic Studies in academic and artistic institutions), and the notorious American journalist and film critic Armond White.

    [Book cover] Thinking While Black: Translating the Politics and Popular Culture of a Rebel GenerationWhy did you choose to write about these two thinkers?

    To explore how Gilroy combined his career as an academic with a supplementary career as a journalist, it seemed helpful to place his work in dialogue with White, who has had a long career as a journalist and only occasionally taught classes on film history and culture to university students.

    The lives of these thinkers reveal how creative artists and critics have sought to conquer greedy and hostile culture industries with their rebel spirit, on the one hand, and demonstrate how we might smuggle moments of dissidence into academic and media institutions, on the other.

    Is this work somehow connected to your research about multiculturalism in Canada?

    While participating in a panel discussing the art exhibit “Artist and Empire,” Paul Gilroy said that there is a tendency for North American voices to drown out all others in transatlantic discussions. A Canadian participant in the panel immediately suggested this was a US issue, not a Canadian one. But Gilroy challenged that view saying Canada has been “selling multicultural snake oil” to the world for years.

    Gilroy differentiates authentic multiculturalism – or what he calls “convivial multicultures” – from the unconvincing narratives of official and corporate multiculturalism. White is also interested in what he considers authentic multiculturalism as opposed to the shiny multicultural discourse of, say, corporate media outlets. So, Thinking While Black considers how the study of multiculturalism can remain as close as possible to the insinuating rhythms of the street, and not be confined to top-down public policies or corporate statements regarding equity, diversity, and inclusion.    

    Can we tie this into the goals of Queen’s Black Studies program?

    The Black Studies program similarly considers the complexities and capaciousness of global Black communities, and how we can make them legible, audible, and visible to diverse audiences.

    [Graphic image] Black Studies PodcastIs the Black Studies podcast a step in that direction?

    Yes! One of our hopes is to explore intellectual work within, beyond and outside the university. We take seriously the contention of Black Atlantic intellectuals such as C.L.R. James that ordinary people do not need an intellectual vanguard to help them to speak or tell them what to say. We’re striving to cultivate spaces for people to discuss and delve deeper into the nuances and wealth of Black life, livingness, and culture, and compile playlists and reading lists to supplement our conversations with scholars, activists, and artists about racism and resistance.

    It’s wonderfully stimulating to work with students and recent graduates on the podcast and develop social media content that convey politically-infused acts of pleasure. It’s an incredible opportunity to engage with what Black teachers and artists such as Ashon Crawley call the practice of joy in and against sorrow.

    Gordon E. Smith appointed interim director of the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts

    Queen’s University is pleased to announce the appointment of Gordon E. Smith as interim director of the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts effective Sept. 1, 2022. Dr. Smith will also serve as chair of the Search Committee for the next director of the Isabel.

    Dr. Smith, an ethnomusicologist in the Dan School of Drama and Music, has served in a number of administrative roles in the Faculty of Arts and Science, many of which intersect with the creative and performing arts. These include vice-dean in the Faculty of Arts and Science (2013-2021), interim dean (2016-2017), associate dean (2006-2012), and director of the School of Music (2003-2006). His current research examines music and intersectional cultural and social practices in Mi’kmaw communities in Cape Breton, specifically Eskasoni.

    Dr. Smith received his Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts and PhD in musicology from the University of Toronto. He also received the ARCT diploma in piano performance.

    Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic) Teri Shearer offers her most sincere thanks to Tricia Baldwin for her nearly eight-year service as director of the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts. Further information on the search for the next director of the Isabel will be shared once available.

    Search begins for next director of the Isabel

    Tricia Baldwin, Director of the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts, will be stepping down from her role at Queen’s University to serve as the executive director of the Kwanlin Dun Cultural Centre in Whitehorse, Yukon, as of Sept. 19, 2022.

    “Since joining Queen’s in 2014, Tricia has provided outstanding leadership to the Isabel, leading it through its formative years to become a world-class performing arts centre,” says Teri Shearer, Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic). “Her expertise and passion for her work have enabled the Isabel to attract many leading artists, benefitting the Queen’s and local Kingston community immeasurably over the past eight years. We wish her well as she embarks on this new opportunity.”

    In addition to attracting world-class artists to the Isabel, Tricia established the centre for new, socially engaged works, such as those included in the Isabel’s Ka’tarohkwi Festival of Indigenous Arts with curator Dylan Robinson and the Isabel Human Rights Arts Festival. Her leadership has also helped to advance Queen’s academic programs through her work in co-creating Queen’s University’s new M.A. in Arts Leadership program with the Dan School of Drama and Music.

    Under Baldwin’s guidance, the Isabel has become an arts hub for the Queen’s and the Kingston communities and a critical resource to support the next generation of Canadian artists and arts leaders, such a through the Bader and Overton Canadian music competition and the IMAGINE Isabel Arts Incubator, which supports numerous artistic creations by diverse local and national artists.

    “I am especially honoured to have worked with such a talented staff team who are now bringing the Isabel to the world and the world to Queen’s,” Tricia Baldwin says. “This entrepreneurial and expert team of arts professionals worked together during these important formative years to create a strong foundation to fuel an exciting future for the Isabel.  We are all grateful to Isabel and Alfred Bader for the inspiration to create this marvellous arts centre, and to Bader Philanthropies, Joan Tobin and Ballytobin Foundation, the Bernstein family, and the estate of Alexander Murray Jeffery and many others, all of whom have believed in the power of the arts to transform the university and society at large.”

    In her remaining time at Queen’s, Baldwin will work closely with Provost and Vice-Principal (Academic) Shearer and Nicholas Mosey, Deputy Provost (Academic Operations and Inclusion), to assist in leadership transition planning for the Isabel. Arrangements are being put in place for an interim director, and details regarding the search to attract a leading cultural leader as the next director of the Isabel will be communicated in the coming weeks. 


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