Thursday, November 26, 2009

  • Craft sale and other notes for today
  • Artists' rendering of Ontario land claims
  • More comments on 'homeland' project
  • Editor:
  • Chris Redmond
  • Communications and Public Affairs

Craft sale and other notes for today

The staff association's annual pre-Christmas craft sale is taking place today and tomorrow in the Davis Centre lounge. It feels as though this event is a tradition that goes back to the dawn of time, but apparently it's only (only?) the 16th annual [Basketwork]sale of its kind. (That's the 2002 sale pictured at right.) As in past years, a share of the proceeds go to student assistance, including the staff association's own bursary. "All items are handcrafted," writes Sue Fraser of the kinesiology department, the long-time leader of the association's social committee. For example? "Christmas sewn crafts and ornaments; knitted items; numerous wood crafts and tole painted items; homemade chocolates; scented/aroma bears; candles; stained glass; seashells; custom jewelry, cloth snowmen/santas/angels; quilted and felted items; stained glass/original paintings; pressed floral art, handmade cards, fleece blankets . . . plus much more."

The UW International Spouses group will be meeting today, says a note from Elena Ceccheto, one of the organizers: "Come and join us for our fabulous international potluck lunch. We normally enjoy a fantastic meal with a variety of dishes from around the world. Bring some food to share (a recipe from your home country would be wonderful). We will also give you valuable tips on surviving a Canadian winter. Our last two winters were extremely severe with record amounts of snowfall, so get ready, and with adequate preparation you can actually enjoy the winter. Children are welcome." The event starts at 12:45 at the community centre of Columbia Lake Village, off Columbia Street West.

But be careful what you eat if you're allergic to things. The definitive word on that issue comes from Mark Greenwald, a University of Toronto medical professor specializing in allergies, asthma and rheumatology, who will give a guest lecture at the School of Pharmacy tonight as part of its Health and Healing series. His topic: "Anaphylaxis: What Is It? Who Is at Risk? How You Can Make a Difference". Admission is free, and the talk is "geared to the general public", but the Pharmacy lecture hall has only 160 seats, so anyone interested should phone ahead to ext. 84499 to reserve one.

The School of Accounting and Finance (SAF) has announced this year’s six winners of the Deloitte Tax Scholarship, recognizing “outstanding, well-rounded students who display the core competencies of a successful tax professional”, namely “strong communication, analytical, creative and time-management skills”. The winners — Joanne Toporowski, Jenny Cao, Angela Li, Emma Jing, Connor Kingston and Linda Lam — “were selected from a group of over fifty applicants, all of whom expressed an interest in a professional career in tax,” says Stan Laiken,director of the school’s Deloitte Centre for Tax Education and Research. The scholarship is worth $2,500. Says the school’s director, Jim Barnett: “This year’s winners have showcased a keen interest in the area of taxation. We are proud of them and what they have accomplished academically and through their community and extracurricular activities.”

The undergraduate Mathematics Society is on its third president for this term, or so I learn from reading the newsletter MathNews. As a result of various procedural regulations and political ambitions (or “unnecessary drama”, an anonymous commentator wrote in MN), the president who led off in September, Will Sellier, left office to be succeeded by Edgar Bering, and he’s now been succeeded by Andre Magalhaes. Beyond that, elections were recently held, and MathSoc has announced that Sarah Pidcock will be president for the winter 2010 term, and Maria Greco for the spring term.

One final fund-raiser for the United Way is under way: the silent auction of a pair of gold-and-garnet earrings that's under way in the information systems and technology "CHIP" until Monday, November 30. Anyone interested can get more information, or place a bid, by dropping in at Math and Computer room 1052 or phoning ext. 33191.

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Artists' rendering of Ontario land claims

excerpts from publicity material issued by Render, the UW art gallery

Back in 2007, Render commissioned artist/curator Jeff Thomas to develop an new exhibition/research project in response to several land disputes along the Grand River that are focussed on the land granted to the Six Nations by the British Crown in 1792. The resulting project, titled "Home/land & Security", features new works by a dozen artists all reflecting on complex issues of home, identity, place and security.

Artists include Barry Ace, Sara Angelucci, Mary Anne Barkhouse, Michael Belmore, Ron Benner, Rosalie Favell, Lorraine Gilbert, Jamelie Hassan, Pat Hess, Penny McCann, Wanda Nanibush, Shelley Niro, Bear Thomas and Eric Walker. The exhibition runs November 5, 2009, through February 12, 2010, and will be accompanied by a series of discussions and events.

With Home/land & Security, Thomas offers a distinct response to the land disputes that have erupted along Ontario’s Grand River valley on land defined as the Haldimand Tract. Initially developed out of a consideration of the ongoing conflict between members of the Six Nations and building developers in the town of Caledonia, Thomas’s project has expanded to embrace broader concepts of home and security and to explore the divisions between native and non-native communities.

The project embodies a hybrid artist/curator approach, with Thomas producing a new body of work that forms the basis of a dialogue with other artists. Thomas’s goal is to encourage cross-cultural dialogue and a deeper understanding of the history of the region.

The Six Nations were granted the Haldimand Tract by the British crown in 1784 following the American Revolution. Originally encompassing all of the land six miles back from each shore of the Grand River, the tract was reduced over the years through land transfers (many disputed) and government intervention, leaving the Six Nations with only a small reserve located between Brantford and Caledonia. Challenges to the loss of land have been ongoing since the late 18th century; in recent years these have become more high profile and confrontational with the recent standoff at the Douglas Estates near Caledonia being a prime example. Much of the original Haldimand Tract is now the site of established towns and cities, including Waterloo, Kitchener and Cambridge, and areas of these communities are the focus of additional land disputes.

[Overlooking the river in downtown Galt]Home/land & Security represents a considered extension of Render’s interdisciplinary research approach and further expands on the critical links between the university and surrounding community by engaging with a complex issue that will actively define the future of the region.

In addition to the exhibition in Render’s gallery space in East Campus Hall, works will also be installed at Waterloo Architecture (photo) and at the Grand House in Cambridge. Home/land and Security has received the support of The Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council.

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More comments on 'homeland' project

Says Thomas about the project done for Render: “When I define the words ‘home’, ‘land’ and ‘security’, the history of Brant comes to mind through the stories my elder Emily General told me when I was a child visiting the reserve with my grandmother Clara Thomas. Making our way from Buffalo to the reserve, I would think about the land of my ancestors as I caught glimpses of the Grand River and passed through small towns with names like Cayuga and Dunville. Today, the Six Nations Reserve is only about 5 per cent of the original Haldimand Tract.

“Our journey always began and ended with a stop at the U.S./Canada customs booth at the Peace Bridge. When asked our citizenship we always answered ‘Six Nations’. This is where my definition of home, land and security begins. When the land issue erupted in the town of Caledonia in 2006 and the people from the adjacent Six Nations community stopped construction of a residential subdivision known as the Douglas Creek Estates on a disputed piece of land, news reports flashed images of groups from Six Nations and Caledonia hurling insults at one another and violence eventually ensued. The view through the television screen transported me right back to the Wild West movies I watched as a kid, with the Indians still portrayed as the bad guys.

“When Andrew Hunter approached me with an offer to curate an exhibition of my choice on the theme of Caledonia, I thought about the world Brant and his followers envisioned after dealing with land-hungry Americans and the ancient Iroquois concept of negotiation, acceptance, peace/understanding and respect. It was codified in a document called the Two Row Wampum Belt and with that in mind, I began to assemble a group of artists from my life, whose work I respect and felt confident they could join me in this conversation on home, land and security.

“As part of my research for this exhibition, I made two road trips along the banks of the Grand River with my son Bear, tracing it from its humble beginning as a small creek flowing through a cow pasture to the place where it empties into Lake Erie. I envisioned that these photographs would become part of the conversation about home, land and security.”

Says Jamelie Hassan: “Prior to my conversations with Jeff Thomas about his Home/land & Security project, I had been in an antique market in St. Jacobs and saw a fragment of a wooden fence with black text that read CROWN LAND BEWARE on it. I bought the fragment to consider it in a future work.

"Later a group of us involved in the Home/land & Security exhibition met in Cambridge with Jeff Thomas and Andrew Hunter. Laura Knap was at the meeting and suggested we make a visit to Grand House Student Coop to consider this location as well for a potential exhibition site. I was struck by the Grand House site, in particular the ‘ghost’ steps. I had been thinking about the use of wooden survey sticks, which are white with red tops, and I kept coming back to this idea as Jeff talked about surveyors a lot & mapping — public space, private property and land issues. I was thinking of ways to use the survey marker sticks within a structure somehow on the obsolete steps at the student’s housing co-op. I decided to create a gate-like barrier/screen with wooden sticks that I painted red and white and install this structure at the based of the steps. The structure includes the found CROWN LAND BEWARE fragment and also a half wheel wooden fragment that I found in a flea market in London. This structure was built with the technical assistance of Ron Benner.

“Three original found survey marker sticks are installed at Render, situated with a photo from family archives and photographs I took of the National Museum of Beirut, with a soldier guarding this site. In Lebanon the security barriers that continue to be in use, are painted red and white. There is an obvious link with security measures.”


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Link of the day

US Thanksgiving

When and where

Nutrition and health awareness series: “Beverages” presentation 12:00 at REVelation, Ron Eydt Village; 5:00 at Mudie’s, Village I.

Music student recitals today, Monday and Tuesday, all 12:30 p.m., Conrad Grebel UC chapel, admission free.

Joint Health and Safety Committee 1:00, Commissary room 112D.

Lions magic benefit show 1:00, 5:30 and 8:00, Humanities Theatre.

Career workshop: “Getting a US Work Permit” 4:30, Tatham Centre room 1208. Details.

Novelist Shani Mootoo reads at St. Jerome’s University 4:30, StJ room 3027.

Alternatives Journal presents “The Antarctica Challenge: A Global Warning” 7:15 p.m., Princess Cinema.

Information systems and technology professional development seminar: Peter Carr, management sciences, “Mobile Learning Using BlackBerrys” Friday 9:00, IST seminar room.

Knowledge Integration seminar: Thomas Homer-Dixon, Balsillie School and faculty of environment, “The Climate-Energy Challenge” Friday 1:30, Siegfried Hall, St. Jerome’s U.

Think Pink weekend of activities at Warrior athletic events, proceeds to Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, Friday-Sunday. “Waterloo’s Got Talent” dance show Sunday 6:00, PAC main gym.

Beyond Borders dinner and silent auction fund-raiser, sponsored by 2008-09 alumni of the St. Jerome’s U international service-learning program, Friday 6:00, University Club, tickets $50, phone 519-807-3303.

Taiwanese Student Association talent show Friday 7 p.m., Humanities Theatre.

Computer Science Club “code party” Friday 7 p.m., comfy lounge, Math and Computer building. Details.

Benjamin Eby Lecture: Laura Gray, “The Idea of North: Sibelius, Gould, and Symbolic Landscapes” Friday 7:30 p.m., Conrad Grebel UC chapel.

Trailer Park Party: The Randy & Lahey comedy show, Friday, Bombshelter pub, Student Life Centre, doors open 8:30, $15 at door.

Warrior Weekend events in Student Life Centre, Friday and Saturday evenings. Details.

‘Down the Rabbit Hole’ costume ball sponsored by off-campus dons Friday from 9 p.m., Federation Hall, tickets $5 at Federation of Students office.

Laurier Marketing Conference co-sponsored by Speech Communication Ambassadors Program, “From Trough to Prosperity”, Saturday 8:30 to 4:30 at WLU. Details.

UW Choir concert: “Remembrance, Peace, Joy”, music by Rutter, Bach, Mozart, Chilcott and others, Saturday 8 p.m., St. Peter’s Lutheran Church, Kitchener, tickets $10 (students $8).

East Campus Hall electrical power shut down Sunday 5 a.m. to 10 a.m.

UW Stage Band end-of-term concert Sunday 2 p.m., Conrad Grebel UC great hall, tickets $8 (students $5).

Engineering Jazz Band “With Respect to Time” charity gig supporting Ride to Conquer Cancer, Sunday 5 p.m., Festival Room, South Campus Hall, tickets $10.

UW Chamber Choir, “A Baroque Noel” featuring works by Marc-Antoine Charpentier, Sunday 7:30 p.m., St. John the Evangelist Church, Kitchener, tickets $10 (students $8).

Web content management system information session for the UW community, Wednesday 11:00, Davis Centre room 1302. Details.

Catharine Scott, associate provost, retirement reception Wednesday 3:30 to 6:00, Festival Room, South Campus Hall, RSVP ext. 38425.

PhD oral defences

Combinatorics and optimization. David Pritchard, “Linear Programming Tools and Approximation Algorithm for Combinatorial Optimization.” Supervisor, Jochen Konemann. On display in the faculty of mathematics, MC 5090. Oral defence Monday, December 7, 10:00 a.m., Math and Computer room 5158.

Electrical and computer engineering. Lin Cai, “Design and Analysis of Medium Access Control Protocols for Broadband Wireless Networks.” Supervisors, Sherman X. Shen and Jon Mark. On display in the faculty of engineering, PHY 3004. Oral defence Monday, December 7, 10:00 a.m.., CEIT room 3142.

Management sciences. Christopher Robin Poile, “Asymmetric Dependence and Its Effect on Helpful Behaviour in Work Groups.” Supervisor, Frank Safayeni. On display in the faculty of engineering, PHY 3004. Oral defence Monday, December 7, 10:00, Engineering II room 1307G.

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