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Supporting employee wellness through gardening

The Employee Community Garden brings staff and faculty together to release stress and connect with nature. 

  • The Employee Community Garden, a pilot project by Employee Wellness in Human Resources, is located behind Jeffery Hall. (University Communications)
    The Employee Community Garden, a pilot project by Employee Wellness in Human Resources, is located behind Jeffery Hall. (University Communications)
  • A variety of tomato plants are currently growing in the Employee Community Garden. (University Communications)
    A variety of tomato plants are currently growing in the Employee Community Garden. (University Communications)
  • As part of the project's plan, extra produce will be donated to local community organizations to help address food insecurity outside of Queen’s. (University Communications)
    As part of the project's plan, extra produce will be donated to local community organizations to help address food insecurity outside of Queen’s. (University Communications)
  • Employee Wellness Services in partnership with Facilities and Sustainable Queen’s launched an Employee Community Garden as a pilot project. (University Communications)
    Employee Wellness Services in partnership with Facilities and Sustainable Queen’s launched an Employee Community Garden as a pilot project. (University Communications)
  • The pilot initiative was created to promote sustainable gardening practices, provide employees with a way to connect with nature and relieve stress. (University Communications)
    The pilot initiative was created to promote sustainable gardening practices, provide employees with a way to connect with nature and relieve stress. (University Communications)

There is something deeply rewarding about digging your hands into soil, planting a seed, and watching it grow. Gardening has also been shown to actively lower stress levels and improve wellness.

With these benefits in mind, Employee Wellness Services in partnership with Facilities and Sustainable Queen’s launched an Employee Community Garden as a pilot project. The garden consists of two plots located behind Jeffery Hall, where 30 employees routinely gather to water, remove weeds, and maintain vegetables and flowers that were planted in early June.  

Among the plants in the garden are tomatoes, beans, kale, and squash, while there are plans for a third plot in hopes of growing pumpkins in time for Thrive week in October. As a community garden, all employees are encouraged to take what they need, even if they are not involved in the planting process.  

The pilot initiative was created to promote sustainable gardening practices, provide employees with a way to connect with nature and relieve stress. Extra produce will be donated to local community organizations to help address food insecurity outside of Queen’s in the future.

“What started as an initiative focused on employee wellness quickly grew into much more,” says Linda Henderson, Coordinator, Wellness and Engagement, Human Resources. “Following the pandemic, staff and faculty were eager to get involved in a communal activity which could have a positive impact on the wellbeing of those on campus, as well as increasing social connectedness.”

Sharing knowledge and skills

To fund the initiative, Employee Wellness Services obtained a small grant for gardening tools, signage, and supplies. The organizers consulted with the Office of Indigenous Initiatives, and the Sustainability Office to ensure that the project was inclusive and fostered a sense of belonging in the community.

Employee Wellness Services connected with a local association, the Rideau 1000 Islands Master Gardeners to learn best-practices for community gardening and share knowledge on the fundamentals of planting. The expert group recently hosted a workshop on campus to give employees hands-on experience, with another session scheduled for Aug. 3. 

“In addition to getting involved in a stress releasing activity, the skills being taught can be used outside of life on campus,” says Greg Simmons, Coordinator, Wellness and Engagement, Human Resources. “Before getting involved, I didn’t even know tomato plants could get that size, or the benefits sustainable growing practices could have for the community and the environment”  

Sustainability and social impact

The Employee Garden also helps advance social impact at the university by addressing two of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, SDG 2: Zero Hunger and SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities, in connecting with local gardeners and supplying free, accessible, nutritious food to those who need it.

Employee Wellness Services plans on continuing to promote sustainable agriculture by collecting seeds from this year’s garden for future use.

Employees and faculty looking to get involved can register on the HR Intranet for free.

Distinguished Service Award recipients announced

Leslie Dal Cin, Leslie Flynn, Dan Langham, Jim Leech, Donald M. Raymond, and Kimberly Woodhouse are being recognized for making Queen’s a better place through their extraordinary contributions.

2022 Distinguish Service Award recipients
The recipients of the 2022 Distinguished Service Awards are, clockwise from top left: Leslie Dal Cin; Leslie Flynn; Dan Langham; Jim Leech; Donald M. Raymond; and Kimberly Woodhouse.

The 2022 recipients of the Distinguished Service Award are a group of community members and leaders who have each made a lasting, positive impact upon Queen’s University.

Recipients are selected by the University Council Executive Committee. The Distinguished Service Award recognizes exemplary service to the university over an extended period of time. 

“I have always believed that together, we can become and go further than any of us could go, alone. As a national school of choice, we continue to set our expectations high, and we are invigorated by a challenge,” says Executive Committee Vice-Chair Marcus Wong (ArtSci’03). “Without doubt, these six dedicated individuals have gone above and beyond in their service to the Queen’s community and in pursuit of excellence. On behalf of University Council, congratulations and thank you for everything you have done, continue to do, and will do for Queen’s.” 

The 2022 recipients of the Distinguished Service Awards are:

Leslie Dal Cin

Retired, and first female, Executive Director (Athletics and Recreation), respected leader in the national post-secondary sport sector, spearheaded the redevelopment of all athletic facilities across campus, instrumental to the expansion of varsity and recreational programming, who has had a transformative impact on the health, well-being, and success of thousands of student athletes.

Leslie Flynn

Vice Dean (Education, Faculty of Health Sciences), Queen’s alumna, professor, exceptional educator, researcher, mentor, and leader of the pursuit, improvement, and championing of education at all levels, dedicated to the fundamental transformation of medical education, whose accomplishments and legacy will impact students, faculty, and staff for years to come.

Dan Langham

Director of Environmental Health and Safety since 1999, trusted advisor, developer of policies, programs, and services to promote a healthy workplace, champion of health and safety on campus, instrumental in the university’s response to the global pandemic, and provider of steadfast guidance and leadership in navigating the complexities of safety during an unprecedented time.

Jim Leech

Chancellor Emeritus, Queen’s alumnus, former trustee and chair of University Council, enthusiastic presider over convocation, and generous philanthropist, who has profoundly impacted the lives of countless students and enriched the university community with his dedicated and tireless service.

Donald M. Raymond

Board Chair Emeritus, Queen’s alumnus, volunteer extraordinaire, committed to principles of collegial governance who fostered strong relationships with student leaders, resulting in fundamental changes to responsible investment strategies, decarbonization, and climate action at the university.

Kimberly Woodhouse

Former, and first female, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Interim Vice-Principal (Research), professor, innovator, leader of transformational change in engineering education, advocate for cultivating the link between teaching, research, and industry, and instrumental in the vision and realization of world-class research facilities at Queen’s.

Inaugurated by the University Council Executive Committee in 1974, the Distinguished Service Award recognizes individuals who have made the university a better place through their exemplary service and extraordinary contributions. University Council was established by statute in 1874 and is one of the three governing bodies of the Queen’s University. All elective members are elected by and from Queen’s alumni. The University Council serves as both an advisory and an ambassadorial body to the university as a whole and is responsible for the election of the chancellor.

Questions about the Distinguished Service Awards can be directed to the University Secretariat at ucouncil@queensu.ca

New program equips leaders to tackle global challenges

Queen’s launches first-in-Canada Advanced Leadership for Social Impact Fellowship.

[Drone photo of campus]

Queen’s has launched a new program to enable executives and professionals from a variety of sectors to better understand and address complex social and global challenges. The Advanced Leadership for Social Impact (ALSI) Fellowship is a first-in-Canada program that provides the tools, knowledge, and networks participants need to tackle the root causes of social problems – from housing affordability to climate change.

“To confront the significant social issues of our day, we need people with a deep understanding and appreciation of the complexities of how to make real impact,” says Jim Leech, former president and CEO of the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan, former Chair of the Mastercard Foundation, and Chancellor Emeritus of Queen’s University. “Through the Advanced Leadership for Social Impact Fellowship we have the opportunity to foster a community of leaders, from all walks of life, able to drive meaningful solutions for people and the planet.”

Closing a gap

Social issues are complex and must be viewed from multiple perspectives to achieve meaningful outcomes. Leaders must also be equipped with various approaches to initiate or measure progress on impact-driven solutions. The fellowship responds to a gap in the higher education landscape.

The one-year, hybrid program draws from field-leading Queen’s research and industry experts, including environmental biologists, chemical engineers, and international business lawyers. It also applies a human-centric approach to investigate all dimensions of social issues, meaning that stakeholders are involved at all levels of decision-making and can move quickly from theory to practice and project application.

“The Advanced Leadership for Social Impact Fellowship doesn’t look at social problems in isolation or from one perspective,” says Jean-Baptiste Litrico, Director of the Centre for Social Impact at Queen’s and the program’s co-director. “The program is grounded in the belief that real issues are systemic and require a multidimensional leadership approach to inspire tangible solutions.”

[Photo of people walking on Queen's campus]
ALSI Fellowship participants will engage in four on-campus residency sessions as part of the one-year hybrid program.

Commitment to social impact

The fellowship builds on Queen’s reputation as a leader in advancing sustainability and social impact. For two years in a row, the university has ranked top-10 globally in the Times Higher Education Impact Rankings, which measure the institution’s contributions to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.  

In addition to being a Canadian-first, the ALSI program marks a milestone as the first cross-faculty delivered professional program. While co-led by faculty from the Smith School of Business and the Faculty of Education, it draws in individuals from the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, the Faculty of Law, and the Faculty of Arts and Science, reflecting the cross-campus commitment to driving social change.

“At Queen’s, we empower our community to advance social impact through research, teaching, and outreach activities,” says Ted Christou, Associate Dean in the Faculty of Education and co-director of the program. “We can broaden this reach to likeminded leaders through a transformative curriculum focused on a diversity of perspectives and team-based solutions.”

Transformative leadership

In October 2022, the ALSI Fellowship will welcome its first cohort with an initial intake representing a variety of careers and backgrounds. Designed to accommodate those working full-time or with other commitments, the program will combine on-campus residential sessions with online synchronous learning, and a team-based culminating project.

The one-year program includes over 130 hours of curriculum that are divided into three themed semesters: discovery, design, and delivery. Each focuses on a core mindset required to understand drivers of problems and move from theory to practice.

Participants will also network with faculty, mentors, and peers, learning from leading experts in the field with both academic and applied experience.

The Advanced Leadership for Social Impact Fellowship is currently recruiting participants for 2022-2023. For more information on the program, visit the website.

Queen’s community remembers Nicole Dalglish

The Queen’s community is remembering Nicole Dalglish, an administrative assistant in the Office of the Vice-Principal (Finance and Administration) who died March 25 at the age of 50.

Dalglish first arrived at Queen’s as an administrative assistant to the Associate Vice-Principal (Finance) in March 2017 before joining the VPFA a year later.

She was a valued member of the team, described as incredibly kind, caring, and generous, and actively supported a number of local charities, including St. Vincent de Paul, Martha’s Table, United Way, Humane Society and others.

The Queen’s flag was lowered in her memory on Friday, July 15.

A family obituary is available online.

Queen's University hosts PM Justin Trudeau for major regional funding announcement

Prime Minister announces significant new investment in EV battery facility in Eastern Ontario.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at an announcement event at Queen's University's Mitchell Hall.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announces major new investment in Eastern Ontario during an event at Queen's University's Mitchell Hall. (Photo credit: Office of the Prime Minister of Canada)

Today, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced a $1.5 billion investment that will create hundreds of jobs and boost the economy in the Eastern Ontario region. The funding will support the development of a manufacturing facility in collaboration with Belgium-based Umicore — a leading circular materials and electric vehicle technology company expanding its operations in North America.

“Today’s announcement is about creating jobs, cutting pollution and building a stronger, cleaner economy for Canadians,” says Prime Minister Trudeau. “[It] is another major step forward as we make Canada a global leader in producing electric vehicles. This new facility will play an important role in Canada’s clean automotive sector well into the future.”

Creation of the new facility will employ around 1,000 people during the construction phase, and several hundred once in operation. The investment will come from the federal government’s Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF), which supports transformative projects across all sectors with the aim of driving innovation that will benefit Canadians.

The prime minister was joined at the event by federal, provincial, and other dignitaries who spoke, including Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science, and Industry, François-Philippe Champagne; Ontario’s Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation, and Trade, Victor Fedeli; MPP for Hastings-Lennox and Addington, Ric Bresee; Umicore CEO, Mathias Miedreich; and Loyalist Township Deputy Mayor, Jim Hegadorn. Belgium’s Ambassador to Canada, Patrick Van Gheel was also among the event’s distinguished guests.

“This important investment by Umicore will turn Ontario into a North American leader in this high-value segment of the EV supply chain and further connect Northern Ontario’s mineral sector to EV manufacturing in the south,” says Minister Fedeli.

Queen’s Principal and Vice-Chancellor Patrick Deane welcomed the announcement and the opportunity it presents for Eastern Ontario and the university’s faculty and students.

“Queen's university is a committed contributor to the regional economy, and we are excited by this important local investment,” says Principal Deane. “We look forward to seeing the project progress and to making new connections while developing opportunities for research partnerships that will contribute to the health, vibrancy, sustainability, and continued innovation of not only Kingston but beyond."

Guests were welcomed to Mitchell Hall with a land acknowledgement by Kanonhsyonne (Janice Hill) Associate Vice-Principal (Indigenous Initiatives and Reconciliation) and opening remarks by Queen’s Vice-Principal (Research), Nancy Ross.

Read the official announcement on the Prime Minister of Canada’s website or from the Province of Ontario’s official release.

  • Ontario’s Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation, and Trade, Vic Fedeli speaks during the announcement event.
    Ontario’s Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation, and Trade, Vic Fedeli speaks during the announcement event.
  • Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau makes a major funding announcement at Queen's University.
    Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau makes a major funding announcement at Queen's University. (Photo: Office of the Prime Minister of Canada)
  • Prime Minister Trudeau address the audience and media in the main atrium of Queen's University's Mitchell Hall.
    Prime Minister Trudeau address the audience and media in the main atrium of Queen's University's Mitchell Hall. (Photo: Office of the Prime Minister of Canada)
  • Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science, and Industry, François-Philippe Champagne delivers his remarks to the audience and members of the press.
    Canada’s Minister of Innovation, Science, and Industry, François-Philippe Champagne delivers his remarks to the audience and members of the press. (Photo: Office of the Prime Minister of Canada)
  • Umicore CEO Mathias Miedreich speaks about the investment and partnership, sharing that local talent and expertise drew the company to this region.
    Umicore CEO Mathias Miedreich speaks about the investment and partnership, sharing that local talent and expertise drew the company to this region. (Photo: Office of the Prime Minister of Canada)
  • From right to left: MP Mark Gerretsen, Ontario Minister Vic Fideli, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Federal Minister François-Philippe Champagne, MPP Ric Bresee, Umicore CEO Mathias Miedreich, MP Shelby Kramp-Neuman, and Belgium's Ambassador to Canada Patrick Van Gheel.
    From right to left: MP Mark Gerretsen, Ontario Minister Vic Fideli, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Federal Minister François-Philippe Champagne, MPP Ric Bresee, Umicore CEO Mathias Miedreich, MP Shelby Kramp-Neuman, and Belgium's Ambassador to Canada Patrick Van Gheel. (Photo: Office of the Prime Minister of Canada)
  • Minister Champagne greets Queen's students following the announcement.
    Minister Champagne greets Queen's students following the announcement. (Photo: Office of the Prime Minister of Canada)
  • Prime Minister Trudeau meeting event attendees, including Queen's administrators, faculty, staff, and students.
    Prime Minister Trudeau meeting event attendees, including Queen's administrators, faculty, staff, and students. (Photo: Office of the Prime Minister of Canada)
  • Prime Minister Trudeau and Minister Champagne greet Queen's students following the announcement.
    Prime Minister Trudeau and Minister Champagne greet Queen's students following the announcement. (Photo: Office of the Prime Minister of Canada)
  • Prime Minister Trudeau operates a robot during a demonstration by Ingenuity Labs, an engineering group innovating with the technology.
    Prime Minister Trudeau operates a robot during a demonstration by Ingenuity Labs, an engineering group innovating with the technology. (Photo: Office of the Prime Minister of Canada)
  • Prime Minister Trudeau meets Principal Patrick Deane, Vice-Principal (Research) Nancy Ross, and Vice-Principal (University Relations) Michael Fraser.
    Prime Minister Trudeau meets Principal Patrick Deane, Vice-Principal (Research) Nancy Ross, and Vice-Principal (University Relations) Michael Fraser. (Photo: Office of the Prime Minister of Canada)

Help advance employee wellbeing across campus

Employee Wellness Services seeking participants for upcoming focus groups, offering summer wellness programing.

Employee Wellness Services, a new unit within Human Resources, is seeking staff and faculty participants for upcoming focus group sessions. Each focus group will explore one of the following five themes to determine the best way to approach, plan, implement, and evaluate employee wellness on campus moving forward:

  1. Defining Wellness
  2. Leadership
  3. Communications
  4. Work-Life Balance
  5. Appreciation and Recognition

These sessions are the first of many initiatives the new unit is taking to better understand what wellbeing could look like for employees and how it could be achieved in the coming years. The first phase of focus group sessions will take place from July 18 to Aug. 5, with a second phase of sessions planned for September.

Employees interested in participating in one or more of the focus group sessions can email employee.wellness@queensu.ca to register. When emailing, please indicate which of the five sessions you would like to attend based on the above themes. Those who are interested but are unable to join the sessions can email for alternative ways to get involved. 

Summer Wellness Programming

Employee Wellness Services is hosting two upcoming summer wellness events open to all staff and faculty:

Monday, July 25, 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. – Self-Care Webinar (virtual): Taking charge of your total wellbeing has become increasingly more challenging over these past few years. Juggling schedules, taking care of others, and working from home have really changed the way we take care of ourselves. This self-care webinar will be an opportunity for you to learn tactics and strategies to assist with your own personal self-care in several dimensions of wellness. You will also have an opportunity to see what current activities Queen’s offers to assist in your personal self-care. Register online.

Friday, July 29, 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. – Coffee Break/Fika (in-person): To commemorate International Friendship Day, take a break with the Employee Wellness Services team at the newly-opened Employee Community Garden, located in the courtyard behind Jeffery Hall. This coffee break is modeled after Fika, a Swedish tradition in which friends and colleagues take a break together with coffee and snacks. All are welcomed and encouraged to bring their own coffee and snacks.

Additional wellness programming will continue to be developed and released over the coming months. Employees are encouraged to review the Human Resources Intranet for the latest information and updates.

Queen’s welcomes back summer camps

Over 3,000 youth will attend Queen’s camps over the next two months.

Three QCamps students participating in different sports

The scenic Queen’s campus is once again a bustling centre of daily activity as children of all ages participate in the popular Queen’s summer camps.

During the last two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, many Queen’s camps transitioned to online camps or offered free virtual programming to keep youth engaged. Queen’s University is excited to once again be back in person for its summer camp offerings.

Summer camp season kicked off on July 4, with 10 Queen’s camps offering in-person programs — from science to drama, art to eco-adventures, and from math to sports. Together, Queen’s Camps annually welcome over 3,000 youth through the camps and employ more than 100 post-secondary students. These camps are run by both on-campus student groups and the university itself.

“Science Quest has been running since 1988. This is our first year back since the pandemic, and we're very happy to be returning to in-person activities,” says Emily Lind, head director of Science Quest. “Kinder and junior campers are having a great time learning about science through activities like building an elastic-powered car or a balloon-powered rocket. Senior campers can choose from robotics, computing or science/engineering camps. We also have girls-only programming, and are offering the Tyendinaga Bus Program.”

What’s New?

Along with the return of in-person Queen’s camps, there are some exciting new programs being offered.

The Queen's Summer Engineering Academy (QSEA) is offering a QSEA Girls Program, and a QSEA Black Youth in STEM program for the first time this year. Both programs are free and are aimed at reducing barriers for these under-represented groups.

Queen's Athletics & Recreation, the leading camp provider in the Kingston area with their Q-Camps, is offering some new camps including the Gaels Rugby: Junior & Senior Skills, Survivor Camp, and Code, Create & Play with Code Ninjas. Similarly, the Agnes Art Camp has teamed up with Q-Camps for a jointly offered Arts and Sports Camp.

Children playing squash
Q-Camps campers playing squash.

“We’re delighted to see a return of children and youth programming through Queen’s Athletics & Recreation this summer. Our Q-Camps programs offer a wide variety of camps from ages five to 18 with an emphasis on physical literacy and sport for life. We utilize the talents of our Queen’s students and their backgrounds in physical activity, sport, teaching, and instruction along with their own studies and interests, to provide a really diverse and exciting range of activity,” says Sarah Utting, Coordinator Youth Programs and Community Engagement, Queen’s University Athletics & Recreation. “We hope the camps introduce youth in our community to a variety of ways to get active and delivered in a way that encourages a sense and spirit of discovery to build self-esteem, teamwork, and skill.”

Find out more about Queen’s Camps and their offerings here.

Queen’s releases report following dialogues on Indigeneity

Report by external consultant First Peoples Group follows a comprehensive dialogue process on Indigeneity.

Last fall, Queen’s engaged First Peoples Group, an Indigenous advisory firm based in Ottawa, to lead a focused conversation around Indigeneity.

The Indigenous-led, Indigenous-facilitated dialogue featured sessions with staff, faculty, community members, and others, and today, Queen’s released the final report. It collects the thoughts and recommendations that resulted from this consultative process and provides a series of recommendations. As a first step, Queen’s will establish an Indigenous Oversight Council to guide the university on a path forward.

Principal and Vice-Chancellor Patrick Deane and Chancellor Murray Sinclair have issued statements to share their thoughts on the report and the work that lies ahead for Queen’s in its commitment to advancing reconciliation.

Statement from Principal and Vice-Chancellor Patrick Deane:

Queen’s is committed to truth and reconciliation and to fostering a healthy university community. I want to thank the First Peoples Group for their report and for their work over the last year as they engaged our Indigenous faculty, staff, as well as additional Indigenous community members in a dialogue on Indigeneity. I am grateful to Kanonhsyonne Jan Hill for the assistance she provided supporting the dialogue process. This has been a challenging time for Queen’s. The issues raised in this dialogue process have been significant and it has not been an easy process for the institution and those involved.

In principle, the university accepts the recommendations of the dialogue report. They provide us with direction and serve as a starting point for the work that lies ahead. Our immediate response will be to establish an Indigenous Oversight Council to advise the university on matters of Indigenous representation and citizenship. The Council will draw its membership from the land upon which the university stands, along with Indigenous scholars and other Indigenous representatives. The university will rely on this Council for assistance as we work through the report’s recommendations and as we begin to implement a new and more comprehensive approach to Indigenous identity that is fair and equitable.

As our Chancellor, the Honourable Murray Sinclair has rightly noted, there remains much to do but the process is now underway and I am confident that the dialogue that began on our campus will lead us to true and meaningful reconciliation.

Statement from Chancellor Murray Sinclair:

Over the past year, following the concerns raised in the community about the lack of adequate processes around Indigenous identity and Indigeneity of staff and faculty, Queen’s University has undergone an internal review process. 

The report published today following the consultation by First Peoples Group is one step of many to rectify the impacts caused by past processes and systems. Queen’s University— along with all universities and colleges across Turtle Island— must now take significant steps to demonstrate their commitment to reconciliation.

The announcement of the creation of the Indigenous Oversight Council is a move towards a process of confirming Indigenous citizenship that no longer relies solely on self-identification. As I have noted before, self-declaration is an important part of Indigenous identity – but it has proved insufficient in creating a safe, respectful, and inclusive community for Indigenous faculty, staff, and students at Queen’s.

At the same time, it is not the role of a colonial institution like Queen’s to determine who is or is not Indigenous. To that end, the Indigenous Oversight Council provides an avenue through which we can build an Indigenous-led approach to confirming the citizenship and identity of faculty and staff at Queen’s.

These challenges do not start and end simply with hiring processes. Reflecting on the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Queen’s must develop curricula and programming that teaches and centres Indigenous knowledge, traditions, cultures, and histories. All students who come to Queen’s must engage with Indigenous knowledge and experiences, and there is a role to play for Indigenous and settler scholars alike at Queen’s in our work on reconciliation.

In my time at Queen’s, I have seen the strength of the Indigenous leadership and community. I feel confident that the creation of the new Council and the acceptance by the leadership at Queen’s of this report gives us a pathway forward. It is crucial that this work centres the Peoples of this land with community representation from Alderville First Nation, Algonquins of Pikwakanagan, and Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg as representatives of the Anishinaabek; Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte, and Mohawks of Akwesasne as representatives of the Haudenosaunee and Wendake of the Huron-Wendat Nation.

There is much work to do, and these challenges will not be overcome with a single action, but each step moves us along the path towards reconciliation.

The full report can be accessed on the Office of Indigenous Initiatives website

Inspiring musical minds

The latest donation by Bader Philanthropies, Inc., will ensure Sistema Kingston and the Faculty of Education continue to provide opportunities to aspiring young musicians and student teachers.

Grade 2 students participating in Sistema Kingston's end of year concert at the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts.

One of the largest donations ever to the Queen’s Faculty of Education is going to inspire children and help them reach their full potential through the power of music.

A $533,000 (USD) gift from Bader Philanthropies, Inc., will guarantee funding for the next three years for Sistema Kingston – an intensive, after-school music program for elementary students focused on positive social development through the pursuit of musical excellence. Serving children from low-income and marginalized communities, Sistema Kingston is housed at the Queen’s Faculty of Education, which provides administrative support, office and storage space, and student-teacher volunteers. 

“Sistema Kingston uses the music ensemble – strings, choir, and rhythm – as a vehicle to develop important life skills like attentive listening, self-confidence and perseverance.  Through group-centered learning and regular performance opportunities, we foster creativity and personal responsibility, and, of course, our goal is to spark joy,” says Sistema Kingston Director Karma Tomm. “It’s amazing knowing that, with this donation, we have funding for multiple years, and we can focus on supporting children and strengthening connections between the university and the community.”

Tomm says the gift from Bader Philanthropies is the most generous donation the program has ever received. The gift will allow Sistema Kingston to reach more children by expanding its program to the Algonquin & Lakeshore Catholic District School Board – the region’s separate school board – and provide more practicum placements and hands-on learning opportunities for Queen’s Education students. 

Sistema Kingston, which started in 2015, runs from October to May. Beginning in Grade 2, students participate for 10 hours a week, and the program culminates in a year-end concert at the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts. With a goal to eliminate barriers to accessibility, Sistema Kingston provides high-quality music instruction at no cost to families and works with The Joe Chithalen Memorial Musical Lending Library to provide free string instruments. 

The program goes beyond just learning to play the violin, viola, or cello. Sistema Kingston focuses on the whole child by supporting emotional wellness and creating safe spaces for personal expression. It also offers a nutritious food program to make sure kids have the energy needed to thrive.   
 
“At the Faculty of Education, we aim to create spaces where there is room for all to learn and grow. Sistema Kingston helps to build inclusive communities and brings music education, and its many benefits, to children in Kingston,” says Faculty of Education Dean Rebecca Luce-Kapler. “We are honoured by Bader Philanthropies’ gift and grateful for their continued support of music in our community.”  

Sistema Kingston had to scale back programming due to COVID-19 restrictions, yet it highlighted that technology can be a tool to help teach. Reflecting on lessons learned during the pandemic, Tomm says the grant gives Sistema Kingston an opportunity to explore how to balance the benefits of technology and the online environment with the benefits of in-person engagement in an equitable way for students from all economic backgrounds.  

Tomm is thrilled the new funding from Bader Philanthropies ensures the program grows and thrives by expanding to a new school board and providing more opportunities to both aspiring young musicians and student teachers.

“Our goal is to reach more kids,” Tomm says. “I am really touched by (Bader Philanthropies’) confidence in what we do and their confidence in the way Queen’s and Kingston can work together to make our community a better place.”

Founder of Art Conservation program appointed to Order of Canada

Three members of the Queen’s community, including Professor Emeritus Ian Hodkinson, the founder of the Art Conservation program at Queen’s, have been appointed to the Order of Canada, one of the country’s highest honours.

Governor General Mary Simon (LLD’94), announced the 85 appointments, including an alumna Moira Hutchinson (Arts’64, MA’68) and supporter R. Jamie Anderson, on Wednesday, June 29.

Professor Hodkinson was appointed as an Officer of the Order of Canada in recognition of “his pioneering and extensive contributions to the preservation and conservation of Canada’s cultural heritage.”

Professor Hodkinson arrived at Queen’s in 1969 joining the Fine Arts program. In 1974 he founded the Queen’s University Master of Art Conservation Program, which offered interdisciplinary and research-based conservation training. From 1977 to 1979 he served as the Head of the Restoration and Conservation Laboratory at the National Gallery of Canada before returning to Queen’s as Professor of Fine Art Conservation and Program Director. He officially retired in 1995 but remained active in conservation projects across Canada and internationally.

Hutchinson was praised for her work on socially responsible investing, notably through the Taskforce on the Churches and Corporate Responsibility. The coalition of religious communities, founded in 1975, was one of Canada’s leading anti-apartheid advocates. Hutchinson lobbied treasury and pension funds to take responsibility for the social impact of the companies in which they invested, which included encouraging corporations to withdraw investments from South Africa.

Anderson, a senior adviser with RBC Capital Markets, was honoured for his leadership in Canada’s investment banking sector, as well as his volunteer service. He has served as chair for both the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) Foundation and the Loran Scholars Foundation. Anderson, along with his wife Patsy (Artsci’75), have positively impacted their community and Queen’s through volunteerism, leadership, and philanthropy.

The Order of Canada was established in 1967. Queen’s alumnus and Member of Parliament John Matheson (Arts’40, LLD’80) was a driving force in its development. He said the Tricolour Society at Queen’s served as a model for the Order of Canada. Matheson also was a leading member of the multi-party parliamentary committee mandated to select a new flag design for Canada. He and George Stanley (then Dean of Arts at the Royal Military College) collaborated on the design which was ultimately approved by Parliament and by Royal Proclamation and adopted as the National Flag of Canada as of Feb. 15, 1965.

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