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Keeping Time:
UVic Millennium Festival Marks the Momentum of a Moment


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By John Threlfall (BA ’96)

“Know the three reasons why most time capsules fail?”

I shake my head, giving Judi Warrington the chance to count the answer off on her fingers. “Secrecy, poor planning and thievery.” It’s lunch hour at Victoria’s Richmond elementary school and Warrington, a teacher, is telling me about what’s been keeping her so busy. As the principal co-ordinator of the Millennium Time Capsule project, Warrington (BEd ’82, MEd ’88) is quick to tell me that “it only gets bigger each day.” She smiles. “All these ideas, they’re keeping me up at night.”

Later that same day, I hear a similar happy exhaustion in the voice of János Sándor. The artist-in-residence, music director and conductor of the UVic Orchestra and Chorus, fills me in on the daunting task of mounting two performances of Gustav Mahler’s Symphony of a Thousand. “It’s of course a great amount of work, but it’s a joy. I enjoy the busy.” He waves his hands, as if to make vanish the complications of bringing over 400 people together on a single stage, and the man who also does double (triple?) duty as the music director of the Greater Victoria Youth Orchestra smiles the wide Hungarian smile that comes so readily to his face. “I can’t really complain,” Sándor laughs, “since it was my idea.”

For Warrington and Sándor, and dozens of others just like them, things seem to be a lot busier here in the year 2000. At least it is at UVic, where the millennium really comes together on April 1. That’s the day university and community kick off the much-anticipated, and much-planned for, Millennium Festival. With events ranging from the simple to the splendid, this April 1-7 week of cultural and academic celebration on campus marks not only the accomplishments of the past but also looks ahead to the promise of the future.

While the Festival may not officially get under way until April 1, the Maltwood Gallery’s March 16 – April 5 retrospective of famed Kwakwaka’wakw artist Francis Dick (BSW ’91) is no small prelude. Internationally recognized and highly collected, the Maltwood show, curated by anthropology professor Andrea Walsh, features 35 works handpicked by the artist herself—from paintings and prints to furniture, jewelry, masks and paddles. “What’s interesting about Fran showing at UVic is that that’s where she got her BSW.” Walsh, who describes the spiraling path of her 12-year friendship with Dick as “DNA like”, zips through our conversation. “It’s great that she could come for the Millennium Festival. As a curator, I find her work quite interesting not because she uses a particular style but for the content. You can see a woman’s life documented in her art, art that’s usually associated with group representation and not the individual.”

It’s more than just an art show, however. Dick and four generations of her family will be presenting a cultural performance of Nax’ Wida Gyax Xux (Let There Be Light) on April 3. Named for UVic’s motto, the 90 minute-plus dance performance will feature many of the exhibit’s masks. “It’s not her interpretation of UVic, however,” Walsh clarifies, “but what ‘let there be light’ means for her as a person.”

Following this visual celebration of one of Canada’s finest aboriginal artists, the stage will be set for the Maltwood’s April 6 – May 3 Honorary Graduate Exhibition, a rare opportunity to see the work of Michael Snow, Ulli Stelzer and Mary Pratt side-by-side with Ted Harrison, Bill Reid, Myfanwy Pavelic and an original oil painting by HRH Prince Philip.

All alumni are invited to the April 4th reception at the Royal BC Museum. In addition to the curious pleasure of staring at the woolly mammoth while having a drink, attendees can network, nosh and see the RBCM’s much-acclaimed Out of the Mist exhibit for free (you’ll find your invitation in this issue). “We want a feel-good kind of night,” alumni affairs director Don Jones tells me. “Meet them, welcome them, let them know the alumni association is there for them.”

Also don’t miss the dinner theatre performance of Norm Foster’s Wrong For Each Other, April 4 and 5 at UVic’s Dunsmuir Lodge. Foster, considered by many to be Canada’s Neil Simon, is exactly what director and UVic graduate student Peter McGuire had in mind for the Millennium Festival. “I wanted something entertaining,” says McGuire, “and it came to mind right away. Anyone who’s ever been in a relationship will like it.” Starring 3rd year BFA students Jennifer Ault and Chris Martin, this production will also count as McGuire’s MFA thesis. After half a decade as an agent plus years of working as a production and stage manager, McGuire began reinvestigating why he got into theatre in the first place. “I did my BFA at UVic long ago,” he muses, “and then started thinking, ‘Where was I most happy?’ That was Victoria.”

Add to the schedule a special series of lectures and displays and we’re right back to it being quite a busy week.

Busy enough in fact that Judi Warrington’s been trying to figure out how she can save time—literally. Her best time capsule advice? “Don’t think in a box.” Good call. Like most of us, to me a time capsule is something small, solid and square. The design for the Millennium Time Capsule, like the project itself however, is far more ambitious. Twelve feet of stainless steel, carved wood, plexi and tempered glass locked in a geometric shape, it seems more sculptural than practical, and it certainly isn’t small. “I wanted a room-sized time capsule,” Warrington says, “but the university didn’t want anything that big.” Understandably; the project, aimed at preserving life as a child in this space between centuries, could easily fill an entire museum—let alone its permanent home in the lobby of the MacLaurin building.

“It’s a tribute to my love of teaching,” Warrington admits, her passion for the task obvious. While she describes herself simply as “a little old lady schoolteacher with a vision,” Education alumna Warrington is exactly the type of person Malcolm Taylor, UVic’s first president, had in mind back in 1964 when he said that “one of the surest guardians of [the university’s] freedom is the community that supports us and in which we live.” A life-long learner whose heart never really left the campus, Warrington calls the community’s response to the project enormous. The list of donations includes: graduation gowns, digital photos of body piercings and tattoos, toys with written descriptions of what makes them special, detailed diaries, a concert pianist’s first music book, a CD version of a song entirely written and performed by three of her students, e-mail letters, 100 years of Girl Guide uniforms, locks of hair, the moulted skin of a female tarantula… you get the idea.

Volume is also on János Sándor’s mind, but for him it’s the volume of sound. Not how loud a symphony can get, mind you, but how big. In order to orchestrate UVic’s largest symphony ever, it turns out you need as much orchestra as possible. Fortunately, he’s also the director of the Greater Victoria Youth Orchestra which, like Judi Warrington, is simply Sándor’s way of giving back to the community. “The Youth Orchestra is put together with very different types of young people. The ages range from 12 to 26, and from high school to university.” Tucked away in the rabbit-warren of rehearsal studios that is MacLaurin’s basement, Sándor’s office resonates with the cacophonous tones of disconnected instruments every time our conversation pauses. “This is very special, yes, and also the charm of getting them together.”

The strong accent and large gestures help fill in Sándor’s Budapest background for me while he talks about the joys and difficulties of bringing Mahler’s Symphony of a Thousand (Symphony No. 8 in E flat) to the Millennium Festival April 1 and 2. “I played it in orchestra when I was beginning my career, but to find enough sources as a conductor is very rare.” He nods his head to show he’s serious. “I’m very proud.” Sándor confirms for me what I’ve come to already believe: mounting Mahler won’t be easy. “After the Mahler, you can’t get more ambitious. The Chorus is split into two-120 person choirs, each singing a different thing at the same time, and the first movement is in Latin while the second is in German. It’s as difficult as it can be.” I watch his hands as they conduct the conversation, stretching out some points and cutting others off as soon as they begin.

“The UVic Chorus normally is about 160-180 people but for this occasion we had a special audition, and I’m pleased to say we’ll have 60-70 new members, almost 240 people.” I start to add it all up—240 plus the 130 strong UVic/GVYO combined orchestra, a 45-member children’s choir, 8 soloists—but Sándor beats me to it. Hurrying to his briefcase, he retrieves a little calculator and taps out the total. “423.” I’m impressed, of course, but Sándor waves my enthusiasm down. “I’ve worked with more.” He looks thoughtful, then smiles with palms and teeth. “But this is a special occasion. It’s a great project for the university orchestra and the GVYO to play the symphony for the millennium. It’s very rare for them all to have the same director.”

Almost as rare as a new millennium.


For more info on the Millennium Festival, visit the UVic web site at www.uvic.ca or call 721-UVIC, the 24-hour campus events line.
Judi Warrington and students from Richmond Elementary
János Sándor, artist-in-residence, music director and conductor of the UVic Orchestra and Chorus
“Wiuma” by Francis Dick, one of 24 of the Kwak-waka’wakw artist and UVic alumna’s pieces featured in “Francis Dick: A Retrospective.”
Mary Pratt
Pat Martin Bates
Robert Davidson
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Eleven for the Millennium

They bridge the centuries. UVic Senate has selected these 11 honorary degree recipients based on their impact on 20th century life and the expectation that their influence will last into the future. Their degrees are to be awarded at a special millennium convocation, 3:00 pm, Friday, April 7.

A limited number of free tickets to the Millennium Convocation ceremony will be available to members of the public begining March 17. Call (250) 721-7446. The convocation address is to be given by Madam Justice Arbour.
Louise Arbour

Supreme Court Justice Louise Arbour is a gifted advocate, prosecutor and judge. Her recent work for the United Nations as prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunals in the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda has redefined the limits of international law and justice in the areas of human rights and prosecution of war criminals. Born and educated in Quebec, she taught for 17 years at York University’s Osgoode Hall Law School before being named to the Supreme Court of Ontario and later the Court of Appeal of Ontario.

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Maude Barlow

Political activist, author and policy critic Maude Barlow is an outspoken defender of citizen’s rights through her work as volunteer chair of the Council of Canadians, a non-profit, non-partisan public interest group. She is also founding chair of the Action Canada Network, a coalition of more than 50 groups working for social change, and she’s a member of the planning committee of the International Forum on Globalization, a network advocating democratic control of the global economy. Barlow has authored 10 books on public policy issues and is a frequent contributor to other books and journals.

Dr. Helen Caldicott

Trained as a physician, Australian-born Dr. Helen Caldicott has dedicated her life to raising awareness of the dangers of nuclear war and the need to preserve the resources of the planet. In 1979 she revived the activist group Physicians for Social Responsibility and served as its president for four years, meeting with heads of state and campaigning extensively for nuclear disarmament. Her efforts earned her a Nobel Peace Prize nomination in 1985; she has four books to her credit and her efforts were the subject of the Academy Award-winning documentary, If You Love This Planet.

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Adrienne Clarkson

Before becoming Canada’s 26th Governor General last October, Adrienne Clarkson led a rich and distinguished career in broadcasting, journalism, the arts and public service. Among her many roles: first Agent-General for Ontario in Paris; president and publisher of McClelland & Stewart; host, writer and producer of several CBC-TV programs, including Take Thirty, Adrienne at Large and The Fifth Estate; writer of three books and numerous newspaper and magazine articles; executive producer, host and writer of Adrienne Clarkson’s Summer Festival and Adrienne Clarkson Presents; and honorary patron of a number of artistic and charitable organizations.

Dr. Paul Gabias

As one of Canada’s leading advocates for the blind, Dr. Paul Gabias has helped redefine what it means to be a blind person in Canadian society. He has made outstanding contributions at the technical level as a psychologist and recognized expert in the field of perception, and at the social level as a pioneer in the quest for equality and empowerment of blind people. He is founder and past president of the National Federation of the Blind: Advocates for Equality and has served as president of the National Association of Guide Dog Users since 1992.

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George Heller

George Heller has combined an illustrious career in the Canadian retail industry with a distinctive record of public service. He has served as president, CEO and chairman of companies around the world and in Canada has headed Bata Industries, K-Mart and Zellers. He is currently CEO of the Hudson’s Bay Company. He is best known in Victoria as CEO of the successful 1994 Commonwealth Games where he set a new standard for corporate participation and volunteer support, and paved the way for a $60 million legacy of sport and community facilities in the region.

Dr. Myer Horowitz

One of Canada’s most eminent scholars in the field of education, Dr. Myer Horowitz capped a successful career in academe with a 10-year term as president of the University of Alberta. He was a classroom teacher in Montreal before joining the faculty of education at McGill University. After moving to the University of Alberta, his interests expanded to include international education, education for children with special needs, and curriculum development. Students at U of A renamed the Student Union Building theatre after him to mark his retirement from the university.

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Dr. Mo Im Kim

Dr. Mo Im Kim, Minister of Health and Welfare in Korea, is considered the architect of Korea’s primary health system and ‘the mother of Korean nursing.’ After graduate and post-graduate education at Johns Hopkins University, she returned to Yonsei University in Seoul to guide its nursing program. In 1981, she became a member of Korea’s parliament and made the legislative changes required to build the health care model she envisioned. She has a deep commitment to the global community of health care, as illustrated in her work with the World Health Organization and the International Council of Nurses.

Susan Point

The work of Coast Salish native artist Susan Point is part of treasured art collections in public buildings and private homes across Canada and abroad. Her stunning, large-scale wood and glass carvings and etchings greet visitors to Vancouver International Airport and her sculptures, paintings, and banners grace hospitals, corporate offices, colleges and universities. Point’s carved and painted kneeling stool is part of UVic’s convocation furnishings. In whatever medium she chooses, Point incorporates the traditions of Coast Salish art, reviving an art form that was nearly lost after European contact.

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Dr. Amartya Sen

Health economist and 1998 Nobel Prize winner Dr. Amartya Sen has changed the way countries regard poverty and set welfare policy. By helping to clarify the conditions that permit the individual values attached to different welfare alternatives to be aggregated into values for society as a whole, Sen defined more accurate poverty indexes. In 1981, he challenged the common view that food shortage is the most important explanation for famine, arguing for analysis of the influence of social and economic factors. By combining economics and philosophy, Sen has restored an ethical dimension to the discussion of vital economic problems.

John Walton

Throughout his career John Walton has combined corporate leadership with community commitment. After graduating from McGill University in civil engineering, he spent nearly 30 years, often as CEO, with some of the country’s major oil, gas and mining companies. Walton was founding president of the Victoria Hospice and Palliative Care Foundation; raised $200,000 in arts funding for Greater Victoria; and for seven years chaired the Victoria Commonwealth Games Society, working with governments and sports governing bodies to secure the success of the games.


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Festival Calendar of Events

Tuesday MARCH 7

“Phyllis Serota’s Studio Group Exhibition” includes paintings developed over the course of three years by group members that include UVic faculty, staff, students and alumni. McPherson Library Gallery. Closes April 6. 721-6562.

Wednesday MARCH 15

“Francis Dick: A Retrospective” featuring 24 of the Kwak-waka’wakw artist and UVic alumna’s prints. Maltwood Art Museum & Gallery, University Centre. Monday through Friday, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Closes April 5. 721-6562.

Saturday APRIL 1

University of Victoria Millennium Book Signing. Various locations on campus. Continues all week. 472-4309.

Poster Display covering a broad area of research by faculty members and students of the department of psychology. Cornett Bldg. Continues until April 6. 721-7525.

10:00 am – 4 pm Engineering Open House, with tours of research and lab facilities along with displays of student and faculty research in mechanical engineering, computer science and electrical and computer engineering. Engineering Lab Wing. 721-8677.

2:00 pm Millennium Time Capsule Exhibition opens. A. Wilfrid Johns Exhibition Hall, Faculty of Education. MacLaurin Bldg. Items on display through April 7. 721-7896.

8:00 pm Mahler’s 8th “Symphony of a Thousand.” UVic Chorus and Orchestra, Greater Victoria Youth Orchestra, and mass choirs. Director: János Sándor. University Centre Auditorium. Tickets $20/$15/$10. 386-6121.

Sunday APRIL 2

2:30 pm “Mahler’s 8th “Symphony of a Thousand.” UVic Chorus and Orchestra, Greater Victoria Youth Orchestra, mass choirs. Director: János Sándor. University Centre Auditorium. Tickets $20/$15/$10 386-6121.

Monday APRIL 3

School of Child & Youth Care display of research and distributed learning. Open for viewing. Human and Social Development Bldg. 721-6475.

8:00 pm Aboriginal Cultural Evening “Nax’ wida gyax xux” (Let there be light). A Performance by the family of Francis Dick. UVic Centre Auditorium. Tickets $18/$10. 386-6121.

Tuesday APRIL 4

2:30 pm ”Women’s Status in the Year 2000: Taking Stock”—a lecture by Dr. Katie Cooke, life-long activist, women’s advocate and UVic honorary graduate. 1996 Classroom Bldg, Room C122. 721-7578 or 721-8600.

6:15 pm “Education: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.” Dinner and address by Dr. Myer Horowitz, honorary degree recipient. Faculty Club. Tickets $20. 721-7757.

6:30 pm Dinner Theatre at Dunsmuir Lodge. Wrong for Each Other by Norm Foster. Directed by UVic graduate student, Peter McGuire. Tickets $50. 656-3166.

7:30 pm UVic Alumni Celebration at Royal BC Museum “Out of the Mist” Exhibit. Free admission for UVic alumni members. RSVP by March 27. Limited number of tickets available. 721-6012.

Wednesday APRIL 5

6:30 pm Dinner Theatre at Dunsmuir Lodge. Wrong for Each Other by Norm Foster. Directed by UVic graduate student, Peter McGuire. Tickets $50. 656-3166.

7:00 pm UVic Authors Night Reception, displays and readings. University Bookstore. By invitation. 721-8314.

8:00 pm “Gardens of Oxford & Cambridge.” Lecture by Dr. Ted Irving. Human and Social Development Bldg, Room A240. Presented by the Friends of the UVic Finnerty Gardens. 721-7636.

Thursday APRIL 6

“Juncture: An Exhibition at the Crossroads of Time” features the art of UVic’s honorary dgraduates, including Myfanwy Spencer Pavelic, Carole Sabiston and HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Until May 3. 721-6562.

Noon – 1:30 pm Faculty of Business/Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce luncheon with keynote speaker Buzz Hargrove, Canadian Auto Workers national union president. Faculty Club. Tickets $25. 472-4139.

2:00 pm – 4:30 pm “The Economic Future for British Columbia.” Faculty of Business CEO millennium panel discussion. Tickets free. 472-4139.

1:00 pm – 4:00 pm “Celebration of Nursing.” Public address by Ms. Mo Im Kim, School of Nursing honorary doctorate recipient, followed by theatrical performance by Christine Upright-Letaine and reception and tea. Chief Dan George Theatre, Phoenix Bldg. 721-7954.

8:00 pm Black Tie Gala concert and reception to pay tribute to the millennium convocation honorary degree recipients. Tickets available to the public beginning March 17. 721-7446.

8:00 pm – 9:00 pm Climenhaga Observatory tours and telescope viewing. Elliott Bldg, meet at front door. Call 721-7699 to reserve space.

Friday APRIL 7

3:00 pm UVic Millennium Convocation, University Centre Auditorium. Convocation address by Madam Justice Louise Arbour. Limited number of tickets available to the public beginning March 17. 721-7446.

All events free unless otherwise noted. Listings also available at www.uvic.ca or by calling 721-UVIC.


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