Fair Employment Week is here and we need your participation!
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What's New

Ontario Colleges on Strike

Ontario's 24 Colleges are on strike for issues that are common to all faculty working in post secondary education and largely have to do with the continual casualization of academic labour. Two things you can do to help: click here to send a letter of support, and join the rally organized by OPSEU on Wednesday October 25th, 11am at 900 Bay street, which is the office of Deb Matthews - minister of Advanced Education and Skills Development.

Fair Employment Week

OCADFA will have an information booth in the lobby of 100 McCaul st. on Monday October 23rd. Join us and help by opening conversations with your colleagues and students about academic job precarity.

OCADFA members are partaking in a Flying picket action on Monday Oct. 23 at 9:30 a.m. to honour Fair Employment week and all precarious workers at Colleges and Universities. If you are interested in joining, meet us outside/front of 100 McCaul St. and we'll make our way to GEORGE BROWN COLLEGE – OPSEU LOCAL 556 St. James Campus, 200 King Street E. (between Jarvis & Sherbourne).

Indigenous Views

OCAD University has committed to principles of decolonization that will be manifested through the new Academic Plan. In this spirit, here are two articles by Melanie Lefebvre addressing the responsibility of non Indigenous Canadians to educate ourselves and gain an understanding of indigenous experience and world views.

It's not my job to teach you about Indigenous People - contains a link to a free online course about Indigenous Canada offered by the University of Alberta

The Canada most people don't hear

BIPOC/ Social Justice Caucus

OCADFA members interested in issues pertaining to Social Justice with an anti-racist lens check out the FB group and request to join "OCADFA Social Justice Caucus". The new communication platform for the OCADFA BIPOC/Social Justice Caucus is SLACK: Once registered, the workspace is There is a designated "channel" on SLACK for BIPOC only members and BIPOC members need to message if they identify as BIPOC and want to join this closed "channel". Everyone is automatically part of the workspace and only the BIPOC channel is locked. 

Joint Health and Safety Committee looking for 2 members

This committee is constituted under the Ontario Occupational Health and Safety Act and has the following principal functions:
  • To inspect the work place
  • To meet on a monthly basis to discuss workplace safety concerns and issues
  • To identify and evaluate potential health and safety hazards
  • To recommend corrective action
  • To provide input into University health and safety programs
Committee membership is considered service by the university. Members attend committee meetings (once a month excluding summer), carry out workplace inspections (one or two per term) and may participate in other functions (e.g. work refusals, critical injury investigations etc.)
2 faculty volunteer or nominations are requested to participate on this committee. Please contact Eric Steenbergen at

Member Profiles

Jason Baerg

Assistant Professor, Contemporary Painting and Media Art

Thank you to all faculty and students for the warm welcome. I have thoroughly enjoyed all my interactions so far as a new faculty member at OCAD U!

I have been invited to participate in the Provost's Taskforce on Indigenous Learning, the Social Committee for Drawing and Painting, as well as the Project 31 Fundraiser. I enjoy the weekly ritual of attending the Buffalo Stew lunches every Wednesday at the Indigenous Visual Culture Student Service Centre.
lt has been a busy fall as I have been coordinating my participation in several current exhibitions. Where the Weather Happens at the Niagara Artist Centre is a prime example of the incredible Metis specific contemporary art movement. My solo exhibition entitled Oskâyi Askîy (The New World) has just opened at Wanuskewin in Saskatoon and will run until January 2018. It has also been very meaningful for me to be comissioned to create a new site specific media piece for the exhibition Trauma, Memory and the Story of Canada, on display until December at the Centre for the Arts/Simon Fraser University in Vancouver.

I am also thrilled to have co-curated two projects this fall: OCAD University's Nuit Blanche Program in collaboration with Tak Pham, and Morning Star at the Jackman Humanities Institute at the University of Toronto in collaboration with Darryn Doull. Please contact me if you would like a class tour of this exhibition that runs until June 2018.

ᑭᓇᓈᐢᑯᒥᑎᐣ / Kinanâskomitin / Thank You

OUTDOOR SCHOOL a report by Bogdan Luca

On an cloudy afternoon before Thanksgiving, I joined a group of about 50 people descending into the Highland Creek ravine on the grounds of the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus. The Scarborough Mycological Foray is one of many activities that form Outdoor School: Diane Borsato and Amish Morrell’s complex project engaging with experimental pedagogy, learning outside of the classroom and thinking about the connections between art and everyday life. Diane is an associate professor at Guelph University where she teaches advanced courses including Food and ArtSpecial Topics on Walking, Live Art, and OUTDOOR SCHOOL. Amish is a CLTA professor in the faculty of criticism and curatorial studies at OCAD University where he his cross appointed between the Criticism and Curatorial Practice program in graduate studies, and the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences and School of Interdisciplinary Studies
Mycology is the study of fungi and this foray is the second to take place with the support of the Doris McCarthy Gallery at the UTSC. The duo also organizes an annual Cape Breton mycological foray. Following the overall mission of the outdoor school, these events are about disseminating knowledge, encountering nature outside the classroom and building community. Projects often bring artists together with experts from other fields.
Like everyone in the group, I am here because I am obsessed with mushrooms, in addition to always being interested in the connections between art and life. The foray entails an introduction and delineation of an area of exploration, a time to look for and collect specimens, and a discussion of the findings with the help of mycological expert Alan Gan. Looking for mushrooms is very absorbing. Soon after I break off from the group I am completely lost in the woods. I tell myself that I will start looking for the path after I find an oak tree. I am looking for a specific mushroom that grows only on oaks. It is hard to see anything in the colorful fall foliage that covers the ground between the many fallen rotten trees. Often, only after bending down to pick something that looks like a mushroom, I see more signs of fungal activity. Mushrooms are only the fruiting body of underground organisms whose networks of mycelia often spread for kilometers, connecting the roots of various trees with which they form symbiotic or parasitic relationships. Fungi are also essential agents of decay. Eventually, I hear and follow voices to find my way back to our meeting point where a large spread of weird and wonderful organic objects is arranged by Diane and Alan. I found a something that looks like small jelly ears but I did not find the hen of the woods or Grifola Frondosa I was looking for.
Diane tells the group about how she became interested in mycology. Her story parallels the story that Amish later recounts of John Cage’s obsession with the same. These stories are my story as well: it starts with trying to figure out which mushrooms are edible. In order to avoid getting sick or dead, you need to learn which mushrooms are the poisonous ones. Then you start to learn about all the weird ones. Dead man’s fingers – Xylaria Polymorpha is a fungus whose visible body sticks out of the ground like a group of black fingers. Diane tells us excitedly that sometimes you can find a whole hand! Someone found a Stinkhorn with the very descriptive scientific name of Phallus Impudicus. Finally, something that looks like clusters of small pink bubble gum blobs on a twig. Diane bursts one to reveal a pink ooze to the crowd’s surprised delight. Lycogala epidendrum is actually a fungus, that we learn shares some features with animals: they move in search of more nutritious settings. Its scientific name translates to Wolf’s Milk Slime Mould.
Amish Morrell tells the group about musician and improviser John Cage’s long standing obsession with mushrooms. Cage would take his classes from the New School on mushroom forays in the somewhat unlikely environment of New York City. Cage also co-founded the New York Mycological Society. Asked by Canadian Art magazine in 1965 to write about his experience at the Emma Lake residency, Cage agreed to write a diaristic account that includes some mention of getting lost in the Saskatchewan woods looking for mushrooms, spending the night in the wild and having to eventually be rescued out.
To end a very fun and informative afternoon, we collect all the fungi and return them to the woods where they can continue to make their contribution to the ecology of the site.
Click here for an article by Diane Borsato on why she takes students on mushroom forays. More on the world of fungi here.

News You Can Use


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Ontario College of Art & Design Faculty Association · 248-100 McCaul St. · Toronto, Ontario M5T 1W1 · Canada

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