Published on Thursday, Nov. 26, 2015
The arts are alive and well at Georgian College, where creativity flourishes in a number of innovative ways. Three Georgian individuals were honoured for their creative spirit at the Barrie Arts Awards.
Dr. Bruce Meyer, professor, University Partnership Centre and Liberal Arts was presented with the Excellence in the Arts Award; Max Lupo, an alumnus of Georgian’s Art and Design Fundamentals and Fine Arts – Advanced programs was recognized as the Emerging Artist of the year; and Mike Stollery, Campaign Chair for Georgian’s Power of Education Campaign was honoured with the Business Award.
The City of Barrie Arts Awards held Nov. 18 highlight the many successes found in Barrie’s arts community. The goal is to recognize artists for their contribution to the city. It also honours local businesses that provide support, both in-kind and financial, to artists or arts organizations to assist with their success.
“The Barrie Arts Awards is a wonderful event that recognizes contributions to the Barrie Arts community,” says Kevin Weaver, Dean, Technology and Visual Arts. “Georgian College is proud to be a part of the arts community and to have three award recipients with ties to Georgian is a testament to that. All nominees and winners should be proud of their accomplishments.”
Dr. Meyer is the author of over 40 books of poetry, short fiction, non-fiction, pedagogy and literary journalism. His publications include Seasons, a collection of poetry that is a tribute to human love.
He has also written A Short History of Yes, The Authors: Portraits of Canadian Writers and Goodbye Mr. Spalding and more than 100 articles, essays and reviews that have been published in Canadian Literature, Homemakers, The Oxford Companion to Canadian Literature, Poetry Canada Review, Waves and The Windsor Star.
Dr. Meyer’s broadcasts on “The Great Books” for CBC’s This Morning are the network’s best-selling audiocassette series. In addition to teaching at Georgian, he has been Director of Writing and Literature at the University of Toronto’s School Continuing Studies; the Whidden Lecturer at McMaster University; a visiting writer at the University of Southern Mississippi; and has taught at several Ontario colleges and universities. He was the inaugural Poet Laureate for Barrie. He is also the recipient of several awards.
“Barrie is a very creative place and it has the potential to be a city that is associated in people’s minds not only with excellence in music, dance, and the visual arts but with literature,” says Dr. Meyer. “I would like to think we can continue to grow a creative community of the written word from the energy this establishes. Georgian has many great authors and I hope this encourages them to stand up and be proud of what they can do.”
Max Lupo is an emerging artist currently enrolled in the Interdisciplinary Master’s in Arts, Media and Design program at the Ontario College of Art and Design. In 2015, he had his first solo exhibition at the Campus Gallery at Georgian. He also had two solo shows at Verso Gallery in Toronto.
Lupo’s work mines feelings of nostalgia and novelty and incorporates humour and irony. Lupo has already received positive critical acclaim, with reviews in publications such as Boing, Boing, blogTO and The Creators Project. Lupo is incredibly skilled in technology and electronics, inventing and fabricating devices such as The Automatic Affirmation Device. Similar to the magic eight ball, the device functions as a personal confidence booster by answering every question with a resounding ‘yes.’
Lupo plays an important role in promoting and fostering the arts in Barrie. He is a founder member of Art in House, a community art gallery that celebrates art, creativity and community. Under Lupo’s leadership, Art in House raises awareness for various forms of artistic expression, promotes local artists by providing exhibition space, as well as presenting art classes to children and youth.
For the past 10 years Mike Stollery, President and Senior Partner of Barrie Ford and Chrysler, has been a foundational supporter of the local performing arts community. Mike has been one of Theatre by the Bay’s (TBTB) most valued patrons, being especially engaged in TBTB’s young artist development and theatre for young audience programs. His business has been the title sponsor for the Stars Come Out, the annual TBTB fundraising extravaganza. He also recognizes the importance that the arts play in developing a vibrant community and has volunteered tirelessly for several arts organizations, as well as providing them with financial support.
Mike is a long-time supporter of Georgian College. He serves as Chair of the Power of Education: Transforming the Student Experience campaign, is a member of the Automotive Business School of Canada board of directors and the auto show advisory board. He is also a major donor to the college, and has sponsored many college events including the Georgian Dream Gala.
Other community and charitable foundations he supports include Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre, Gilda’s Club, Christmas Cheer and the David Busby Street Centre.