Media Releases

Norman Jewison Stream for imagination and the arts created at Victoria University

October 14, 2010

TORONTO, ON — Victoria University, in the University of Toronto, announced today the creation of the Norman Jewison Stream for Imagination and the Arts, a new stream of study in the unique Vic One program for first-year university students at U of T. The stream is made possible through the generous gift of $1 million from Blake Goldring, chairman and CEO of AGF Management Ltd.

The establishment of the Norman Jewison Stream for Imagination and the Arts is inspired by the creativity and vision of renowned filmmaker, and Victoria University’s 12th chancellor, Norman Jewison. His work has continually elevated the public consciousness of pressing social issues. Jewison’s 1967 film In the Heat of the Night, about an African American detective investigating a murder in a racist Southern town, was a watershed moment for civil rights in the United States. His other movies, such as …And Justice for All, A Soldier’s Story, The Hurricane and The Statement, to name a few, further exemplify Jewison’s use of cinema to address issues of racism, prejudice and equality, and matters of truth and honour.

“It’s a great privilege to recognize the remarkable life and work of one of Victoria’s most distinguished graduates in this way. Bright, creative young people will be motivated by Norman Jewison’s exemplary commitment to the arts and social justice,” says Victoria University president Paul Gooch. “We are very grateful to Blake Goldring for providing the means to make this special experience possible for students.”

Streams of study within Vic One explore ideas and events from a multidisciplinary perspective in small classes of only 25 students. The Norman Jewison Stream for Imagination and the Arts will provide students with the opportunity to study how the arts play an integral role in confronting the social problems of the time, and to develop an original creative work addressing a social issue.

“The Norman Jewison Stream for Imagination and the Arts is quite simply a fantastic way to recognize an iconic Canadian, particularly given Norman’s commitment to education as chancellor of Victoria University and as the founder of the Canadian Film Centre,” says Blake Goldring, a graduate of the Victoria College class of 1981. “I also deeply believe in the value of a liberal arts education and the foundation it provides for a person’s career prospects after university. Vic One is a premier program for students to learn and challenge their analytic and creative skill set. The addition of the Norman Jewison stream to Vic One is a marvelous way to nurture creative young minds, and is a great credit to Vic and U of T as preeminent institutions.”

In recognition of Goldring’s generous gift, the Blake C. Goldring Professorship will be established within the Norman Jewison Stream for Imagination and the Arts in Vic One.

The Norman Jewison Stream for the Imagination and the Arts is planned to be available for the 2011-2012 academic year, pending final university approval of the course curriculum. It joins four already established streams of study within Vic One: the Northrop Frye Stream for Humanities, the Lester B. Pearson Stream for Social Sciences, the Augusta Stowe-Gullen Stream for Life Sciences and the Egerton Ryerson Stream for Education.

Vic One students enroll in two program-specific courses and a co-requisite course, with their remaining two courses drawn from those offered by U of T’s Faculty of Arts & Science. Also exclusive to the Vic One program is a weekly series of guest lectures by noted scholars, thinkers and public figures. Vic One students complete their first year of university having developed strong research, presentation, writing and critical thinking skills that serve as an important foundation for their future studies.

Victoria University launched Vic One in 2003 as part of its efforts to transform undergraduate university education and create a more personalized academic experience. The program has grown from an initial offering of two academic streams of study, in the humanities and in the social sciences, to include options for study in the life sciences and education fields. Student demand for Vic One has also increased, with the recent fall 2010 intake receiving more than five qualified applicants for each of the 150 program spaces.

Norman Jewison was installed as Victoria University’s 12th chancellor on May 13, 2004. He concluded his term of office on October 13, 2010.

Victoria University, founded in 1836 as Upper Canada Academy in Cobourg, Ont., federated with the University of Toronto in 1890. It comprises Victoria College, an arts and science college of the University of Toronto, and Emmanuel College, a theological college. Included amongst Victoria’s graduates are literary critic and scholar Northrop Frye, Nobel laureate and prime minister Lester B. Pearson, pioneering doctor Augusta Stowe-Gullen, Nobel laureate and co-inventor of the laser Arthur Schawlow, authors Margaret Atwood, John Bemrose, David Gilmour and Elizabeth Hay, artist Robert Bateman, poet Dennis Lee, actor Donald Sutherland, the Honourable Bill Blaikie, former ambassador Kenneth Taylor and filmmaker Norman Jewison. Victoria celebrates its 175th anniversary year from October 2010 to October 2011. For more information, visit www.vicu.utoronto.ca.

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For more information, please contact:

Jennifer Pugsley
Communications Officer
Alumni Affairs and University Advancement
416-585-4489
jennifer.pugsley@utoronto.ca