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T H E U N I V E R S I T Y O F K I N G ’ S CO L L E G E A LU M N I M AG A Z I N E | W I N T E R 2 0 1 4


CHAPEL CHOIR RELEASES CD Celebrating our 225th Anniversary King’s has a new chancellor Introducing our first MFA class

Join the celebration

TIDINGS Winter 2013


Cheryl Bell GUEST ED I TOR

Adria Young (BAH ’10) EDITORIAL BOA R D

Tim Currie (BJ ’92) Kyle Shaw (BA ’91, BJ ’92) Greg Guy (BJH ’87) Adriane Abbott DESI G N


Tidings c/o Alumni Association University of King’s College 6350 Coburg Road Halifax, NS, B3H 2A1 (902) 422-1271 KIN G’S W EBSI T E EM A I L * * * * Stories in this issue were written by students and alumni of the University of King’s College. Submissions were also provided by faculty members. Tidings is produced on behalf of the University of King’s College Alumni Association. We welcome and encourage your feedback on each issue. Letters to the editor should be signed. We reserve the right to edit all submissions.

TABLE OF CONTENTS Letters from the Alumni Association president and the guest editor


Letter from Dr. George Cooper


Campus news Events in brief from the past semester


Athletic news


Lives lived Calvin Headley


Chapel news Music of the soul


All the world’s a stage The King’s Theatrical Society


Installation of the new chancellor of King’s College


Master plans The new MFA in non fiction


Lives lived Alex Colville


Alex Fountain Memorial Lecture Michael Ondaatje


FYP lecture Sibyl, T.S. Eliot, and Dante


King’s: A moveable feast


Alumni profiles David Heti, Lorraine Vassalo, Medical Students


Concert in the Quad


Anniversary weekend plans


Do you know these alumni?





The King’s College Chapel Choir sings Choral Evensong every week during term time in the chapel. Photo by Jesse Blackwood (BAH ’04)

The views expressed in Tidings are expressly those of the individual contributors or sources. Mailed under Publications Mail Sales Agreement # 40062749




EVERY YEAR, I FIND MYSELF thinking back to my time as a first-year student at King’s, and I have to admit I’m always a little bit envious of the people who are experiencing it now. Perhaps you have a similar feeling from time to time. I like to think that the work of the Alumni Association and the leaders of our fine college make the King’s experience a little bit better and more meaningful for the new group of future King’s alumni. In addition to being a time when we embrace the New Year and plan for what lies ahead, at this time of year we reflect on change. Change was certainly a feature of 2013.

We bade farewell to our 13th chancellor, the Honourable Michael Meighan, QC, who served the college exceptionally for 12 years, as we welcomed our new chancellor, the Honourable Kevin Lynch, PC, OC. I attended the installation for Dr Lynch and in my remarks, I stated my view that it is high time the Cape Bretoners started to take over King’s and it might as well be from the topdown. We are honoured to have Dr Lynch lend his talents in support of King’s and we’re looking forward to working with him. We also bid farewell to departing members of the Alumni Executive, Matt Aronson, Terra Duncan-Bruhm, and Chris MacNeil,

the latter of whom will continue to serve as the head of our London/European branch. I’d like to thank them all for their generous service to the association and to King’s. And I’m thrilled to welcome the new members of our executive, Lindsay Cameron Wilson, Jen Laurette and Thomas Ledwell. We are looking forward to continuing our work with such a great team. As news, this year’s Annual Alumni Golf Tournament was the most successful in the history of the event. I hosted the dinner following the tournament and I can confirm first-hand that our participants and sponsors had a great time. More money was raised for entrance awards than ever before, due in large part to our dedicated organizer, Larry Homan, his committee, and the steadfast efforts of the staff in the King’s Advancement Office, led by Kathy Miller. Finally, I ask that you mark your calendars for 27–29 June 2014, for a weekend reunion to celebrate the 225th anniversary of King’s. It is shaping up to be a fantastic event with something for everyone. Please consider including a trip to King’s as part of your travel and vacation plans for this coming spring. See old friends, catch up on how your college is doing and, if you haven’t been by in some time, marvel at all the ways King’s has changed since you were last here and, more importantly, all the ways it hasn’t. I hope to see you there. Happy New Year!

Bob Mann (BA ’01)

L E T T E R F R O M T H E G U E S T E D I TO R “TIME DOES NOT EXIST except for change,” Aristotle once said, very long ago. And this simple truth of the experience is easy to observe. I’ve been on campus many times since graduating from King’s, and every time, it feels the same: I am welcome, familiar, and at-home. And if it were not for the change in me and of me since 2005, it would feel as though I never left. This is the power of time, and the beauty of anniversary. We celebrate what we still are and what we still belong to, despite the multitude of change around us. This issue



of Tidings celebrates those changes: from the King’s Theatrical Society (page 14) to the Chapel (page 13), from those who touched our spirits eternally (Calvin Headley, page 11) to those who craft our spirits dutifully (Alumni profile: Lorraine Vassalo, page 34), to honour the memory (Fountain Lecture, page 26) and to anticipate the future (King’s MFA, page 22). What we see in each issue of Tidings is the way King’s continues to change and grow and shape lives. What we also see in each issue of Tidings is how much it stays the same. It belongs to us, because we belong to it.

For 225 years as an institution of higher education, King’s has been perfecting our notion of time and change. Time can be of the essence, and it can catch up; we won’t let it slow us down. But time does stop when we walk into the quad after any number of years and feel that rush again: the energy of possibility, the invigoration of friendship, and the sense of self that has no beginning or end, only variations. Join us in congratulating King’s and our times together. Adria Young, BAH ’10, MA ’11


DEAR KING’S ALUMNI AND FRIENDS Welcome to our 225th anniversary year! This is a great milestone for King’s and I look forward to marking it with you at the many events and celebrations that lie ahead. Even before our anniversary year began, we already had much to celebrate. We began the autumn term with record enrolment numbers. This is no small feat given declin-


ing student numbers across Canada. It is a testament to the quality of the liberal arts and journalism programs our faculty offer and to the accomplishments of our students and alumni who contribute enormously to our reputation. The perfect bookend to this successful term was the announcement of a $2 million gift from Canadian businessman, philanthropist, and King’s honorary doctor, Donald Sobey. This gift, which is the largest made by an individual in our 225-year history, will create the Donald R Sobey scholarships. These scholarships will help to ensure that King’s receives a steady supply of some of the finest young minds in the country. Starting in September of our anniversary year, three scholarships of a minimum of $10,000 will be awarded to students. Both the number of scholarships and the amount awarded will grow over time. Like King’s itself, Donald Sobey is a champion of the study of the liberal arts in Canada and his gift will have a transformative impact on our university. We have also been busy behind the scenes, setting our house in order and building a solid foundation for future success. After months of collaborative conversations with

all members of the King’s community, we have published our strategic plan, which is available on our website. More detailed documents called for under the strategic plan, such as academic, research, and space plans, are now underway. New governance documents have also been finalized and approved this term. On a personal note, as you will see from the photo of my grandchildren above, I am doing my part to ensure that King’s has a steady supply of fresh, young — and lively — academics! I invite you to share our good news with the young people you know. We are grateful to you, our alumni, as you are the best ambassadors King’s could have. In this, our anniversary year, we invite you to come home, with your feet and in your heart. Happy New Year one and all.

Dr George Cooper President and Vice-Chancellor




H I STO R I C S O B E Y G I F T WI LL C RE AT E NE W SC HOL ARSHI PS IT WAS STANDING ROOM ONLY as students, faculty, staff, alumni, and the media squeezed into the KTS Lecture Hall on 5 December 2013 to hear President George Cooper and Rob Sobey announce the largest individual gift to King’s in the 225-year history of the college.

KING’S HAS CHAMPIONED THE STUDY OF THE LIBERAL ARTS IN CANADA FOR OVER TWO CENTURIES. Rob Sobey, president and CEO of Lawtons Drugs, made the announcement on behalf of his father, Canadian businessman, philanthropist, and King’s honorary doctor Donald R Sobey (DCL ’13) who has made a gift of 4


$2 million to establish the Donald R Sobey Scholarships at King’s. “Don Sobey’s magnificent gift to King’s honours our reason for being: our students,” says Dr Cooper. “We already attract some of the best liberal arts and journalism students in Canada, and the Donald R. Sobey Scholarships will ensure that we continue to do so. Everyone at King’s — faculty, alumni and especially students — is thrilled with this strong vote of confidence from one of Canada’s leading business people”. “I wanted to make a gift that would have a transformative impact on King’s fundraising capacity, particularly for this upcoming historic anniversary year,” Donald Sobey says. Starting in 2014, the scholarship fund will initially provide for three scholarships of a minimum of $10,000. It is anticipated that both the number of scholarships and the amount awarded will grow over time. The scholarships will be open to Canadian students, with an emphasis on those from Atlantic Canada, who will be entering a full-time undergraduate program at King’s.

To qualify, candidates must demonstrate a record of academic excellence and provide evidence of proven leadership skills and involvement in school and/or community activities. “King’s has championed the study of the liberal arts in Canada for over two centuries,” says Donald Sobey. “I am delighted to be able to support and strengthen that mission. In every field of endeavour today — business, medicine, law, government, education — success depends on people who understand the achievements and failures of our past and have the intellectual flexibility to deal with the unknown challenges of our future. The study of the liberal arts produces such people.” Chair of the King’s board of governors Dale Godsoe, says, “Exceptional students from across the country have always been drawn to King’s. This visionary gift will strengthen our position and help us to continue to attract the best. We are tremendously grateful to Mr Sobey for his endorsement of the work we do at King’s.” µ

CAMPUS NEWS DAL E GO D S O E TAK ES T H E T I LLE R OF T HE KI NG ’S BOARD OF G OV E RNORS Q: You have served on the King’s board for several years and you are also the parent of an alumna. Can you talk a bit about your relationship with King’s? A: I think my relationship with King’s goes back further than serving on the board or having a daughter as an alumna because I lived in this neighbourhood as a child and always walked this way while going to play or skate, or run down a hill on a sleigh or whatever. Up until 10 years ago I could see King’s from my back porch. It was always in my view. When John Godfrey came to town in the 1970s — he was a friend of my husband’s — we started to get involved and to focus on King’s as an academic institution rather than just a place to walk through or observe. That was quite an exciting time academically, with the introduction of FYP and flags going up here and there and bagpipes and mar-

tini parties. I was younger then! When my daughter — who now has her PhD in history and women’s studies — suggested she might go to King’s, I was very glad because I knew that she would suit it and that it would be the right university. I’m sure it laid the foundation for her continuing in academia. There is no question that it prepared her well for her future studies. Q: You worked at Dalhousie as VP external from 1996 to 2006 where you were responsible for advancement, alumni, marketing and communications. Will that background influence the part you hope to play on the King’s board? A: Two things struck me about King’s while I worked at Dal. I was always amazed by the atmosphere here and the ease with which decisions were made — or so it appeared! Secondly, every time I went to a convocation,

King’s students were receiving the medals and awards and honours. They were distinguished graduates. By the time I joined the King’s board it was familiar to me — although I still had lots to learn. I’ve served on two university boards and then worked at a university, so I understand better how universities work than if I hadn’t done those things. And I don’t mean just at the decision-making level, but how they build and interact with community. Because of my marketing and communications role at Dal, I was also chair of the community relations committee and I worked with King’s on that. As the result of this experience, I think I understand that there are many ways to get things done. The universities I have worked with — Mount Saint Vincent, Dalhousie, and King’s — are very different institutions, but there are certain basic principles that under-



CAMPUS NEWS for ensuring that the strategic and academic plans are implemented and monitored. And secondly, they need to ensure that the longrange strategic planning committee that is being discussed at board and staff level does its work in a way that will position King’s for the future. It’s not going to be a fast solution. We need long-term solutions to restore fiscal vitality to this university. This is no different from other universities. We have our own unique problems, but we are part of an overall system of higher education that has some problems. However, that doesn’t mean that we can’t look at it from our own perspective and see what we can do to change things. Q: As a parent of an alumna, what do you feel King’s offers students that is particularly good and noteworthy?

pin all universities, which is respect for the academy and the students, learning and research. This is the essence of a university and that’s why a university board feels different. It’s not a car manufacturer. We have a vitally important public duty to our universities. Q: You serve on many different boards and committees. How do you see this experience playing into your role as chair of the board? A: Any experience helps you guide an enterprise. But I think you need to be aware of making too many comparisons. You have to step back and look at what is actually happening rather than think you can apply a model. You have to be clear about your principles and values, which is why I think our new governance document has modernized

what we do. It also allows the board to do its job better and understand its job better, not only by clarifying its role but ensuring that the right information comes at the right time so that decisions can be made in a timely way. King’s has always had a collegial relationship between the college and the board and its committees. But times change and that is why we have a new strategic plan and faculty are working on new academic and research plans. These plans will allow us to ask ‘Is this working now?’, because we have different problems and different challenges in 2013 than we did in 1972. We will need to be both agile and flexible, while retaining our core purpose and values. Q: What do you see as the key issues or challenges that lie ahead? A: Money. Enrolment management.



Q: What do see as the board’s role in dealing with these issues? A: Strategic leadership and an understanding of the sources of revenue, being helpful in government relations, ensuring good projections on enrolments so that we don’t encounter any risks or problems, giving, being philanthropic and involved in raising money through advancement and any campaigns. But overall, the board is responsible

A: A community of learning that also has good teaching. It’s more than just classrooms, it’s everything we do. I worry — and I don’t know whether this worry is founded — whether our local students have as good an experience of King’s as students from away who automatically become part of the life of the community through the residences. This isn’t unique to King’s — Dalhousie has the same struggles, which are more difficult there because of its size. We will be looking at ways to integrate all students as we work toward implementing our strategic plan. Q: What are your thoughts on a King’s education and the big bad world of work that awaits students after they graduate? A: I think it’s a wonderful beginning. It teaches students how to think, read, and write, to analyse critically the challenges that life will present. That’s true whether they go right into the world of work or whether they go on to further education. I think that university is the same as school. They say that the first five years are the most important for a child and I think the first year or two of university are the most important for the foundation of a good life. And an undergraduate degree from King’s is an amazingly excellent way to prepare yourself for the world. Q: King’s takes great pride in maintaining connections with its alumni. How would you

CAMPUS NEWS like to see alumni being involved in the ongoing life of King’s? A: There is nobody on the board who is not an alumnus/alumna or somebody who has had a close affiliation with King’s. At my first board meeting as chair, a lot of the new board members spoke of their affinity with King’s — as a graduate, an honorary degree recipient, or as the parent of a child — often two or three of the above! There is a great sense of belonging to King’s. So I think the stronger the affiliation is, the wiser the decisions and the greater the commitment to making the enterprise work. With small budgets it is hard to do a lot, but I think if you give alumni the opportunity to organize themselves and give them support, then in an institution like King’s, which is small, I think the chances of having success are much greater than in a large institution. Q: King’s celebrates its 225th in 2014 — we have been in existence since 1789. What are your thoughts on achieving this milestone? A: King’s has evolved again and again and again and again. It will continue to evolve, which is why it is a wonderful place to be, and although it loves tradition, it also understands that progressive good change is part of its coping strategy. King’s is not ashamed of its traditions. And it opens them up to people of different beliefs and traditions. I was impressed by the lessons and carols brochure, which has an explanation of Hanukah on the back of it. I thought that was wonderful. It’s often the small things that we love and celebrate.

challenges. We don’t always know what is ahead. Who would have dreamed about FYP in 1960? It transformed King’s. King’s might have continued to be a residence for Dal, as it has been from time to time, if it wasn’t for the academic heartbeat that keeps things alive and changing.

Q: Any final thoughts? A: In the time that I’ve been on the board, I’ve watched pretty complex problems being worked through, and it has always been done in a respectful and civil way. That gives me the surety that this is how it will work in the future. µ ­— Cheryl Bell

NE W BOOKS F ROM FAC U LT Y King’s professor Dr Gordon McOuat is the co-editor, with Bernard Lightman of York University and Larry Stewart of the University of Saskatchewan, of The Circulation of Knowledge Between Britain, India and China: The Early-Modern World to the Twentieth Century. In this book, 12 scholars examine how knowledge, things, and people moved within, and between, the East and West from the early modern period to the 20th century. It looks at the ways and means that knowledge circulated, first in Europe, and then in India and China.

Journalism professor Stephen Kimber’s latest book, What Lies Across the Water: The Real Story of the Cuban Five explores the events leading up to the arrest of the Cuban Five, five Cuban anti-terrorism agents who were arrested and convicted of “conspiracy to commit” espionage against the United States. In response to decades of deadly attacks by Miami-based, anti-Cuban terrorist organizations, Cuba sent five agents to Florida to infiltrate and report on these terrorist groups and reported on the groups’ illegal activities to the FBI. But instead of arresting the terrorists, the FBI arrested the Cuban Five in 1998.


Q: This is a crystal ball question. A few years down the road, when you look back on your time as chair, what do you hope will give you pride? A: I like to hope that in my role as chair I can allow the space for the good minds at King’s — whether they be faculty, students, other board members, or alumni — to chart their own future. My role and the board’s is simply to help steer. I think we have many of the tools in place and it’s now a matter of keeping up the momentum from the strategic plan and making sure it breathes and lives. We also need to be open to changing it as we explore some of the future opportunities and

Our beloved HMCS King’s Wardroom claimed gold in The Coast’s “Best Student Hang” category in its “Best of Halifax 2013” competition. Thanks to everyone who voted.




Delegates of the King’s-hosted symposium, Isaac Newton’s General Scholium to the Principia: Science, Religion and Metaphysics (Photo: Stephen Snobelen)

O N T H E S HOU LDE RS OF A G I ANT King’s hosts international Isaac Newton symposium Ian Kenny (BAH ’14)

THE UNIVERSITY OF KING’S College hosted an international conference at the end of October on the works of Sir Isaac Newton, one of history’s most enlightened figures. In conjunction with a variety of organizations, including Dalhousie University, the symposium celebrated the tercentenary of Newton’s General Scholium, an introductory essay to the second edition of his famous text, De Principia Mathematica, published in 1713. Organized in part by Dr. Stephen Snobelen, professor in the History of Science and Technology Programme and founder of Newton Project Canada, the symposium brought together experts on Newton and his seminal works in order to highlight Newton’s prominence as an early modern natural philosopher. Newton scholars from around the world traveled to King’s from Duke University, the University of Toronto, University of 8


Burgamo and Cambridge University. “We are celebrating the three hundredth anniversary of the second edition of the Principia; that was the first time the General Scholium was added on,” says Dr. Snobelen. It reappeared in a 1726 edition of the Principia

“What I envisioned at the very beginning was that this conference would be a great fit for King’s because of our interdisciplinary focus,” Snobelen says. But the symposium also highlighted that Newton was not a scientist, but a philosopher. In fact, the General Scho-

ONE OF THE GOALS HOST IS INTERESTED IN IS THE CONNECTION BETWEEN THE HUMANITIES AND THE SCIENCES. NEWTON DOES THIS IN A SINGLE PERSON. with some amendments and revisions. The topics of the Scholium, an essay that addresses Descartes, Leibniz, and other contemporaries, are wide-ranging, with just over half of it dedicated to theological topics.

lium is so broad in scope that the symposium took place over a series of 16 sessions, from which a publication of the presented works will be produced by an academic publisher in 2015.


The first edition of Newton’s General Scholium from 1726

Along with the symposium, the King’s and Dalhousie Archives coordinated an exhibition of Newton’s texts. Notable was a first edition of the Principia. There were also a number of texts contemporaneous to Newton, including works by Galileo, Boyle, Locke, and Spinoza. Academics discussed and featured the importance of the General Scholium, which Dr. Snobelen identifies as an under-researched and imperfectly understood work compared to Newton’s other texts. Snobelen, who has dedicated most of his career to digitally preserving Newton’s works and understanding him, says that Newton is very different from a modern scientist, even though his theories are foundational to our understandings of physics and mathematics. “One of the goals HOST is interested in is the connection between the humanities and the sciences,” he explains, “Newton does this in a single person.” Through Newton Project Canada, Snobelen works to make Newton’s publications widely accessible and available. “A part of the project is to bring a richer

SNOBELEN, WHO HAS DEDICATED MOST OF HIS CAREER TO DIGITALLY PRESERVING NEWTON’S WORKS AND UNDERSTANDING HIM, SAYS THAT NEWTON IS VERY DIFFERENT FROM A MODERN SCIENTIST, EVEN THOUGH HIS THEORIES ARE FOUNDATIONAL TO OUR UNDERSTANDINGS OF PHYSICS AND MATHEMATICS. and fuller picture of Newton to the public: his interest in history, biblical studies, and alchemy are all interconnected with his other interests. Newton was a humanist, who did what we now call science. This may be difficult for people to get their mind around, but this is an accurate way of describing his mindset,” he explains. With the Early Modern Studies Programme at King’s, with Classics and Religious Studies at Dalhousie, and with the help

of the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada among many other sponsors, King’s had the opportunity to host an invaluable conference that honoured the works of Newton and his continuing legacy. The plenary lecture, “Isaac Newton, philosopher”, and all the symposium talks on Isaac Newton’s General Scholium are now available on YouTube: http://isaacnewton. ca/general-scholium-symposium/. µ



AT H L E T I C S N E W S Graeme Benjamin (BJH ’15) and Adria Young (BAH ’10)


The first-ranked UKC Women’s soccer team received their first loss of the season at the wrong time. The Blue Devils entered the ACAA (Atlantic Canada Athletic Association) playoffs undefeated with a 9-0-3 record, but were unable to get past the fourth-ranked Holland College Hurricanes, losing 1-0 in the semi-finals. The Hurricanes went on to win the ACAA title. Midfielder Monique Comeau led the league with 16 goals on the season and was awarded the ACAA Women’s Soccer Player of the Year. Comeau, along with midfielders Adele van Wyk and Delaney Hoyle were named first team all-stars. Defenders Allison Avis and Adrienne Schmalz were named CCAA (Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association) Academic All-Canadians. Despite the loss, the team is recognized for its skill and strength this season.




The UKC Men’s soccer team’s season ended much like the Women’s as the third-ranked Blue Devils lost to the second-ranked Holland College Hurricanes 1-0 in the semifinals of the ACAA playoffs. The team entered the playoffs with a respectable 7-3-2 record, with their two ties coming to none other than the Hurricanes. The Blue Devils have ended the season as the third-ranked team for the past two years in a row. Defenders Kieran Hooey and Anders Jorgen were named first team all-stars, while midfielders Leo Sanchez and Jacob Che were named second team all-stars. It appears Holland College is the ultimate UKC rival.


It was another season to forget for the UKC women’s rugby team, as they lost all four of the regular season games and were unable to make it to the ACAA Championships. The Blue Devils were outscored 26-272 in the four games. Fly-half Kate Parkinson, inside-centre Robin Brace and outside-centre Hannah Muhajarine were named ACAA all-conference award winners.


A gift from an anonymous alumna has moved the King’s gymnasium weight room from the well-used basement to the airy and bright second-floor of the building. Hoping to make weight-room access and usage more inclusive for female athletes, the new weight room boasts new equipment in a larger space. Since opening in September, weight room usage has increased.


CALVIN HEADLEY (1955-2013) King’s basketball star and coach lovingly remembered Jonna Brewer (BJH ’87)


ON MACLEAN MET Calvin Headley when he arrived at King’s in 1986. He played basketball. “I was 18. Calvin was ... how old was Calvin?” The question triggered a roar of laughter in the packed Alumni Hall where people gathered to remember Calvin on July 23, 2013. MacLean said Calvin was ageless. He’s right. It explains why Calvin seemed to move effortlessly between generations, eras, and places, making friends with everyone along the way. Calvin Headley was born on May 2, 1955 to the late Joshua and Dorothy Brewster in Glace Bay. His family describes him as a proud Cape Bretoner who loved his family and was “the spark that kept the fire burning, that kept us all alive.” He was a joker; a storyteller so skilled it was difficult to figure out what was fact and what was fiction. That gleam in his eye was usually the giveaway. When I first met Calvin at King’s in 1983, I assumed he was a student. He was a fixture. At basketball games. At dances. At parties. Wherever people were gathered, Calvin

made an appearance. So it came as a surprise to many of us that Calvin had arrived at King’s nearly a decade earlier. Calvin excelled at basketball and soccer, and was rightfully awarded Athlete of the Year in 1979. “I would have gotten him to chapel if there had been two basketball nets on either end,” said Dr. Gary Thorne, Chaplain of King’s College Chapel. Calvin’s commitment to sport and to King’s continued after his studies, as assistant coach with his beloved Blue Devils from 1979 to 1987. “King’s knew Calvin and King’s loved Calvin. And Calvin knew King’s and Calvin loved King’s,” said President of King’s, George Cooper at his memorial service. That was evident when news of his death was announced. Our King’s “1980s” Facebook page quickly filled with expressions of grief, shock and then reminiscence: “A true character. Wonderful memories of ‘Snake’ from the early 80s at Kings” … “Helen Bianco (receptionist at Alex Hall) told him he’d been around King’s longer than Gregi the cat” … “It makes me appreciate where we collectively went to school. How many other universities had someone like Snake? And gave you the chance to get to know them. That’s what I appreciate about King’s, more and more as the years pass. That’s why I’ll always be grateful I wound up going there, and meeting Snake, and the rest of you.” That’s the “King’s Calvin” we knew. But there was so much more. “Calvin knew more people in more different ways than most of us will be able to do,” says former King’s basketball coach, Bev Greenlaw. Calvin’s years of refereeing at all levels of basketball widened his circle and reputation. He quickly earned the respect of players, coaches and fellow referees alike.“He made me a better person,” says Barb Hamilton Lynch, “Everything he did, he did with perfection. He perfected the art of refereeing.” His work in athletics had a far and deep reach. In the lobby of the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation’s headquarters is a display of its annual report covers. One in particular features staff members who give back to the community through various volunteer ac-

tivities. Among them, Calvin, acknowledged for his dedication to youth through sport. Calvin worked at several NSLC stores in the Halifax area, his last years at the Clyde Street outlet. There he became an iconic fixture, both in the store and in the neighbourhood. The “Mayor of Spring Garden” was hard to miss, with that smile, wink and wave to all. Halifax’s own King of Kensington. That’s where many of us last saw him, piling into “Clyde Street” on our way to a King’s reunion. We invited him to the party and Calvin showed up, in true form, posing for the camera with old friends. “Snake was sincere, reliable, crazy at times, personality plus, loving, argumentative, natural, proud and energetic. This was our brother,” said Floyd Reddick, in an emotional speech at the memorial. His wife Terry shared these words: “Calvin and I were soul mates from the beginning. 24 years. We could drive each other crazy in so many ways but I miss him terribly. We never parted without giving each other a small kiss even if one was just going down the block to the store. He was fiercely protective of his home, family, friends and his cats Holly and Hobbs.”At the conclusion of the memorial, Greenlaw asked, “So what do we do now? I think what we do now is we live our lives with some measure of the zest and the energy and the love of life that Calvin brought to his life and to our lives by being part of it.” Thank you, Calvin, for your presence here. We will remember you. µ



MUSIC OF THE SOUL The King’s College Chapel hosts secular concerts for the community Evey Hornbeck (BJH ’12)

6.00 AM to 7.00 AM when the chapel is free, just before the daily quiet hour that follows. The chapel’s beautiful acoustics and meditative atmosphere certainly make it an attractive venue. Father Thorne believes that it’s no coincidence that it’s sacred space. “Beauty resounds with beauty,” Father Thorne explains, “In particular, the performers play in the space because of its beauty. There’s a resonance, a correspondence. When that happens, when you’re in a beautiful space, there are beautiful sacred objects around, it resonates with the beauty in your own soul, and it builds people up. People say, ‘It just feels good.’” That feeling drew in a particular group of FYP students in 2008. Their band, New Singer Thom Swift is a regular performer during Frosh Week. (Photo: supplied) Providence, was a hit among students and it was active in Halifax from 2008 to 2010. EAUTIFUL MUSIC FILLS the Health (MOSH), are collected. At the Frosh The musicians (which fluctuated between King’s College Chapel on a daily ba- Concert in particular, a talk before the music eight and 12 members) came together in the sis. But between the chapel services teaches students what services they can ac- chapel, first through informal jam sessions, and choral rehearsals, the space also hosts cess, such as mental health counselling. and later by hosting concerts there. moving acoustic secular folk singers. “Reverend Gary explains to the students So far this year, the chapel has welcomed about the support systems in place for them singer-songwriters Amy Campbell, Al Tuck, if they need it,” Swift says, “This is so imporIT RESONATES WITH and Thom Swift for quiet evening concerts tant to let all students know they are not open to everyone on the Dalhousie/King’s alone.” THE BEAUTY IN YOUR campus. Chaplain Father Dr. Gary Thorne is OWN SOUL, AND IT “I love to play in that space,” says Swift, pleased to see the way chapel concerts create a warm, inclusive space. “For many stua well-known Halifax roots-folk performer BUILDS PEOPLE UP. and 2013 Nova Scotia Musician of the Year dents, the frosh concert is their introduction nominee. “When I do the show there, it’s to the chapel,” he says, “One student told me completely acoustic with no sound system. that if it hadn’t been for the frosh concert “It was a really open, welcoming space,” It’s a great-sounding space.” he wouldn’t be coming to the chapel now says Katherine Connolly (BA ’12, BAH ’14), Swift has played a Frosh Week concert in because it showed him that the chapel was an open and friendly space.” the chapel for the past few years. The concert who played with New Providence. “Although welcomes new students into the space and With space at a premium on campus, the we also spent a significant time in other he says it’s a show he loves to play again and chapel administration works to make it avail- places around campus (most notoriously, again. able to the community. Just as medieval ca- Seminar Room 5, above the gym), the chapel “I feel it’s important to connect with those thedrals were a gathering place beyond reli- was much more comfortable and easily had first-year students,” said Swift. “It’s a stress- gious services, so the chapel hosts different the best acoustics on campus.” The chapel ful time for them. They are away from what events to meet the needs of the community. became their home. “We have been increasingly receiving re- “So many people who are a part of the chathey know and care about. Their comfort zone is gone. Through singing and playing quests to record music there,” says chapel pel community were really big supporters of my songs, I feel we connect with something administrator Katie Merwin (BAH ’11). “Local New Providence, so it never felt awkward or solid and grounding.” singer-songwriters (want) to use it for record- weird to be playing non-religious music in a Beyond that moment, the concerts cre- ing space or practice space or performance religious space,” she said. “The King’s community was really generous with their supate a student connection to the community. space, but also theatre companies, too.” Merwin adds that one first-year student Donations for local charities, such as Alice port when we were together and the chapel Housing and the Mobile Outreach Street rehearses her flute in the mornings from is really at the centre of that community.” µ





The King’s College Chapel Choir has just released its first CD under director Paul Halley. Titled Let Us Keep the Feast, the CD features music for the church year, from Advent through to All Souls, with liner notes by Chaplain Gary Thorne. The CD was recorded and released to celebrate the 225th anniversary of the founding of the University of King’s College in 1789 and was released in time for the ‘A King’s Christmas’ concerts in December. Some of the repertoire on the recording was specially

requested by members of the chapel community, while other selections were chosen because they are not often recorded. The music ranges from the 9th century Hymn of Kassia to 20th century French works. The choir recorded the CD over the course of three days in April 2013 at the Cathedral Church of All Saints in Halifax. The cathedral is one of the choir’s homes away from home — it is one of main venues for the choir’s annual King’s at the Cathedral concert series — and the choristers love singing in the beautiful acoustic. At the time of the recording, the cathedral organ was being cleaned following extensive renovation work in the Cathedral, and could not be used for the recording. Paul Halley decided to overdub the organ accompaniment using the organ in the King’s College Chapel — a Rodgers digital organ that sounds for all the world like a cathedral pipe organ. Sound engineer John Adams, a worldclass engineer who happens to live in Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia, (his credits include

10 years of recording for Tafelmusik and many years of teaching sound engineering at the Banff Arts Centre) expertly wove the two sessions together to create the effect of the choir and organ performing at the same time in the same acoustic. Paul Halley hopes Let us Keep the Feast will be the first of many recordings, with others focusing on a particular season or feast day within the church year — such as Advent, Lent, or a particular Saint’s Day. “The chapel choir at King’s is unusual in Canada since all of its members sing at least three services a week,” says Halley. “This generates among the students an understanding of the rhythm of the church year and informs their singing of the magnificent repertoire of our tradition. This recording is essentially a snapshot of the day-to-day engagement of these choristers in the great tradition.” The CD is available from the King’s Co-op Bookstore, —Vanessa Halley (FYP ’99)

GO I NG TO T HE C HAPE L The King’s College Chapel has hosted many weddings throughout its history. Every wedding is special, but there is a particular joy when a couple who met and studied at King’s together chooses to marry in the chapel. Alyssa Feir (BJH ’09) and Matthew Gene Baker (BA ’11) met through rugby, cheered each other on at King’s games, and became fast friends. “To borrow from everyone ever,” Alyssa says, “the rest is history.” After getting engaged, Alyssa and Matt had a difficult time deciding where to get married: they lived in Vancouver and had family in Toronto, British Colombia, New Brunswick, the United States, and New Zealand. In the end, Halifax felt like the perfect place to bring their family and friends together to celebrate their wedding. “Once we decided to have the wedding in Halifax, there was absolutely no question about the venue,” says Alyssa. “King’s was such an important piece of our personal history.” Their ceremony on 13 October 2012 was an ecumenical blend of Catholic and Anglican traditions. Alyssa’s family priest, Monseigneur Harley, from Australia worked with King’s chaplain, the Rev’d Dr Gary Thorne, to make the arrangements for the ceremony.

“I still vividly remember walking down the aisle, surrounded by our friends and family and our history at King’s,” says Alyssa. “We had a small wedding, only 62 guests, but the chapel felt full.” The acoustics of the space were also ideal to highlight their friend’s violin playing during the ceremony. “The sound was gorgeous,” remembers Matthew. “It was peaceful and intimate.” When asked what they would tell other

couples who are thinking about using the King’s College Chapel as a venue for their wedding, Matt says, “They should do it! It is a great space on a great campus.” If you or someone you know would like to find out more about weddings, vow renewals, or baptisms in the King’s College Chapel, please contact Katie Merwin at —Katie Merwin (BAH ’11)

Photo: Layton Reid Photography TIDINGS | WINTER 2014


ALL THE WORLD’S A STAGE The unique opportunity to join the King’s Theatrical Society prepares King’s students for vibrant careers in professional theatre. by Natascia Lypny (BJH ’13)

From Vingoe-Cram’s production of An Ideal Husband (Photo: Rachel Chisholm).


VEN WITH EXPERIENCE as an actor with the Canadian Stage Company and Theatre Revolve, Hannah Rittner (BAH ’11) had no idea she would end up at King’s. In her senior year of high school, she had signed up for slots at Ryerson and York universities, hoping to secure a spot in one of the performing arts programs. She was confident she could get in. But Rittner’s mind kept turning to Halifax, a smaller city with a less developed theatre community. When it came to her studies, her high school creative writing teacher had encouraged her to “expand her mind and not focus in on something so fast.” To Rittner, “that seemed the most natural: taking knowledge and putting it towards your art. Everything outside of that seemed counterintuitive.” That’s how Rittner wound up at King’s in 2007. She planned to “expand her mind” in Contemporary Studies and English while indulging in “one of the oldest theatrical



societies in North America” — the King’s Theatrical Society (KTS). During Frosh Week, Rittner auditioned for Classics in the Quad’s Bacchae — the annual event of classical Greek theatre on the library steps. She didn’t make the cut, and the KTS served up its first lesson: how to deal with rejection. But Rittner more than recovered. She would go on to act in three KTS productions and direct two, not to mention lead workshops for fellow directors. After graduating in 2011, Rittner went on to work with theatre companies in Toronto, Halifax, and New York City, where she’s currently working on a master of fine arts in dramatic writing at New York University. On stage and screen, she has worked alongside industry heavyweights. Varied and impressive, Rittner’s résumé shares one humble line with many other emerging theatre artists in Canada: the

King’s Theatrical Society. She’s one in a long line of theatre professionals who got their start producing two seasons a year with little to no formal guidance and only the leadership of older and wiser peers, some pocket money from the King’s Students’ Union, and the forgiving blank slate that is the Pit — the underground black box theatre beneath the King’s Chapel. These were the resources. Simon Bloom (BAH ’10) was sick of theatre. He had just graduated from an Ottawa arts high school and was burnt out. He planned to focus on English and philosophy. That is, until he acted in Peace by Aristophanes. He then directed three plays, cowrote another, and produced the King’s Infringement Festival, so named after the original King’s Fringe Festival received cease and desist orders over the use of the name. “Slowly, through the KTS, I started to fall in love with (theatre) again, specifically directing,” he says, “For me, it was really, really

pivotal in figuring out my career trajectory.” fearlessness common in many of its alumni. Bloom lives in Toronto and is co-artistic “There was no fear of the work being IT’S A PLACE WHERE director of Outside the March Theatre Com- bad or the consequences if the work was pany, which was founded in 2009, with KTS bad,” says Bloom of the KTS, “Because there PEOPLE CAN alumnus Mitchell Cushman (BAH ’08). wasn’t that sense (of fear), it actually made DISCOVER WHAT “We always say that it’s like painting slats the work much, much better.” Bloom says the in the Pit together,” says Bloom. The pair KTS manages to maintain a balance between SORT OF ARTIST has been on parallel paths ever since: Bloom the inclusiveness of a school club and highTHEY WANT TO BE. snatched up one of only two coveted places calibre productions, without its participants in the University of Alberta’s MFA directing feeling like they have to fulfill a particular program, following Cushman’s recommen- standard of “theatre.” dation to take the degree after he completed For that reason, the KTS “is definitely the work — an incredible trajectory for a the program himself. a place of tremendous inspiration, it’s a Renaissance project with a Pit provenance, With no theatrical training beyond high place where people discover how far they and a production that, in Barker’s own adschool, Bloom credits the KTS with endow- can go,” says Roberta Barker (BAH ’96). mission, wasn’t that spectacular. ing him with the practical skills he needed “I think it’s a place where people can dis- “(The KTS) is a place where you can take to succeed in his MA. From offering an unof- cover what sort of artist they want to be.” risks: you can go out there, you can fail and ficial crash course in directing and improv- Since 2001, Barker has been an associate you have a supportive, loving community,” ing his communication and teamwork skills, professor in the Dalhousie Theatre Depart- says Barker, who regularly advises students to learning how to juggle multiple projects ment. She started out much like Rittner and on productions with the KTS, offers anasimultaneously, Bloom says the KTS is to Bloom: a theatre- and opera-loving teen who lytic introductions before shows, and is a thank for his being well equipped to answer came to King’s in 1992 to study English and devoted audience member. “That opportutough admissions interview questions. classics while simultaneously falling into the nity to learn from both your successes and Bloom graduated last spring and has arms of the KTS. She participated in the first your mistakes is rare,” she adds, emphasizing since poured himself into Outside the March, ever Classics in the Quad, acted in several that this freedom is virtually unheard of in which has won a Dora Award for Best Inde- other productions, directed three, and was “product-focused” venues looking to turn a profit. Rittner agrees. pendent Production and four Toronto Critics secretary of the society. “Anything that fosters creation because Directing The Duchess of Malfi by John Circle Awards. He says that both his work with the company and at the University of Webster at King’s proved to be pivotal to people are passionate about creating the Alberta reflect that the KTS taught him how her research on the performance of litera- work and not because there’s a producer to bring people passionate about theatre ture. Barker wrote her PhD thesis on the play, breathing down your neck telling you how together toward a common goal. More than turned the thesis into a book, and recently we’re going to make money from this, let’s that, the KTS imbued him with a creative completed yet another academic article on make profit, is a really stunning place that

FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Simon Bloom (BAH ’10), now co-artistic director of Outside the March (Photo supplied). Clare Waqué (BAH ’09) is managing director of the Bus Stop Theatre (Photo: Clare Waqué). Dr. Roberta Barker (Photo: supplied)



Hannah Rittner (right) on the set of her 2010 KTS production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Photo supplied).

needs to be preserved and is the heart of where any form of storytelling comes from,” she says, “And that’s why the KTS for me is incredibly vital.” In that sense, the KTS offers an atmosphere that the Dalhousie Theatre lacks. It’s not uncommon for King’s students to transfer into the theatre program after discovering (or rediscovering) their passion for the art form with the KTS, but they maintain that the learning experiences both have to offer are complementary yet in sharp contrast to each other. Laura Vingoe-Cram (BAH ’13) knows both worlds well. A KTS veteran with two directing gigs, an executive position and multiple acting roles, she says that the Dalhousie program offers students participation in massive productions with resources and budgets that rival those of the Stratford and Shaw theatre festivals. The resulting productions are impressive, says Vingoe-Cram, but working in theatre doesn’t always give you ample budgets and resources. “What the KTS does, even though there are certain structures in place and it is sort of comfortable to do a show in the KTS because you have space, you have certain materials and a budget that’s just handed to you, you’re working with limited resources. You have to be a lot more imaginative about how you do things.” It’s that necessity for imagination that led Vingoe-Cram to commission plastic costumes for her rendering of An Ideal Husband 16


(Oscar Wilde) to keep costs low. And it led her to put on a play in her living room this summer for the same reason. In the suffocating heat of July, Vingoe-Cram squeezed 30 spectators over three nights into her “hot as hell” house for Mr. Marmalade, a dark comedy that explores pop culture’s influence on a four-year-old girl and the imaginary friend she conjures. Vingoe-Cram is hoping to make a career of theatre and says the KTS provided her with direction: “In terms of not just acting but feeling like I could be a creator and a theatre maker, I think the KTS was absolutely formative in that.” She also credits the KTS with introducing her to a network of “passionate theatre makers.” Mr. Marmalade was formed entirely through KTS connections and emerging artists in their own right. At her side was Karen Gross, a current King’s student who isn’t waiting to graduate to make inroads in the


The Bus Stop Theatre on Gottingen Street in Halifax’s north end (Photo: Clare Waqué).

Halifax theatre community: she works with perience with the KTS provided her with 2b theatre company as student representative, technical skills and a shoestring mentality of connecting with other KTS alumni in local “what it would be to run a theatre on nothing.” theatre, including Clare Waqué (BAH ’09), She is, in all senses, a theatre entrepreneur. managing director of the Bus Stop Theatre. Like many KTS-ers, Waqué thinks the A black box performing arts space in the society has a “huge but largely understated north end of Halifax, much like the Pit but influence” on the theatre community in Haliwith a lower ceiling and no choir practice fax. Still, it’s hard to ignore how its members’ above, as she describes it, the Bus Stop was talents are increasingly shared between the created to provide a low-cost, community- Pit and other more auspicious theatre centres on the East Coast. The Atlantic Fringe oriented venue for emerging artists. “I took over running the Bus Stop Theatre Festival, the Bus Stop Theatre, 2b theatre with the hope that we’d be able to integrate company, DaPoPo Theatre and Zuppa Thethe wonderful work of universities and the atre Co. are but a few prominent outlets for forward thinking that happens there with the art form in Halifax that were either crethe rest of Halifax through a sort of cultural ated by or have involved KTS alumni. exchange on stage,” says Waqué, whose ex- The society has been reaching out to

LOVE THE PIT? Put your name on a chair

these companies more and more recently, strengthening the ties between the amateur group and the professional scene. “I think you really can’t overestimate the important of the KTS in the Halifax theatre community in the last number of decades. First it has been the place where a number of theatre artists have emerged from,” says Barker. “But I think perhaps even more importantly it’s a place where a lot — like a huge number — of young people are inspired with wanting not only to make theatre but watch theatre, and that’s incredibly important for the Halifax arts community.” From Halifax and Toronto, to New York City, Rittner says with a grin, “People are starting to hear about us.” µ

LOVE THE PIT? The Fire Marshal seems to think the Pit is in need of new portable staging and seating and the backs of these new padded chairs are waiting for you. An anniversary gift to the Pit of $225 will name your chair. Like the audience spirit of productions past, we’d like to have 100 chairs proudly playing the role of alumni who care. Please support the Pit today, because the show must go on! Contact Paula at 902 422 1270 x 128, paula.johnson@ or visit to make your gift on-line.




FOUNDATIONS FOR A CHANGING WORLD “From the perspective of those involved in higher education, Dr. Lynch’s support for universities and their mission will not soon be forgotten. While in government, he was responsible for developing a national “knowledge-economy agenda,” which included changes to framework policies and new approaches to research that gave rise to the Canada Foundation for Innovation and the Canada Research Chairs. These and other initiatives continue to aid universities in their quest to form citizens who will not only increase Canada’s global competitiveness, but indeed, attune their souls to the call of public service. For Dr. Lynch, as for the ancient Sumerians and their successors, education is neither luxury nor mere tool, but the sustaining lifeblood of a flourishing society.” — Dr Peter O’Brien (BAH ’90), in his citation at Dr Kevin Lynch’s installation, 9 September 2013 18


Dr Lynch delivered the following speech at his installation.


MINENT FORMER Chancellor Michael Meighen, who served King’s so ably for more than a decade; President and Vice-Chancellor George Cooper, a distinguished leader in so many fields; Chair of the Board of Governors, the Honourable Dr. John Hamm, Members of the Board of Governors, Members of the Faculty, Students of this distinguished university, Honoured Guests. Let me begin by thanking the University of King’s College — Canada’s oldest chartered university, two hundred and twenty five years young next year, and still setting the standard for a liberal arts education and

Photos: Kerry DeLorey (BA ’76, BJH ’80)

why it matters — for the honour of serving as your 14th Chancellor. It is a privileged position in a wonderful institution that means a great deal to me as a proud Nova Scotian, one who believes deeply in the value of a liberal arts education. And, it is a trust that I take very seriously, given the standards set by my predecessors and the expectations set by our students, alumni and faculty. Today, we live in a profoundly changing world, a challenging world, a world of opportunity and uncertainty, a world quite unlike the one when I graduated over forty years ago. Today, we are experiencing an unbelievable integration of global markets; a virtual collapse of distance and time; the tumultuous promise of “internet 4.0”, the internet of everything; a collective aging of Western

countries and societies; the uncertain and unsettling consequences of climate change; and, the tectonic gravity shift towards Asia. Quite simply, change is going to be our constant. A new multi-polar world is unsteadily emerging, one where economies, societies, politics and power are inexorably shifting towards a future that is anything but preordained. These drivers of change are transformative, creating a new world order. But they are also, by their very nature, disruptive, unsettling. And they can appear to be disrespectful of what was, throwing together people and cultures with different ideas about fundamental things like the sanctity of the individual, sovereignty, due process of law, the role of women, the meaning of human

rights, and attitudes toward the environment. This changing world provides an opportunity for Canadians, particularly our next generation of leaders being moulded today in universities like King’s, to shape the future. To create tomorrow’s sustainable economy through innovation today. To connect cultures and people, not just continents and markets. To tear down barriers between societies, not accept the divides that separate us. To see the common humanity among nations, not just our historical differences. To help make Canada an even stronger nation, and in a better world. We are blessed. Our country is a vibrant democracy. Our society is one of the world’s most pluralistic and multicultural. Our geTIDINGS | WINTER 2014





ography is one of the world’s great environmental treasures. Our contributions to knowledge shine from science to medicine to literature to culture. Our people are well educated, and our values are worthy. These are our endowments, not to rest on, but to build upon. In all this, our capital is much more than traditional concepts of bricks and mortar. It is anchored in our human capital, our intellectual capital, our innovation capital. It is reflected in our natural resources, whether it’s pristine beaches or agriculture or fish or oil and gas in a world that desperately needs them. It includes our institutions of democracy, law and civil society. But its glue is our talent — the quality of our workforce, the entrepreneurship of our business sector, the dedication of our public servants, the values we embody as Canadians, the wisdom and knowledge of our educators, and the excellence of our educational institutions.

Simply put, educational institutions matter, greatly, to our future. Canada’s educational institutions are dear; some like King’s have been carefully developed and nurtured for longer than we have been a country, others are much more recent. They all represent our collective capacity to build great talent, to conduct great research, and to develop great ideas. Make no mistake, in a world of profound technological change, a liberal arts foundation is as important today as it was when Newton was conceptualizing gravity, when Lincoln was writing his extraordinary Second Inaugural address, when Martin Luther King was formulating his dream of what a just and equal society really meant. A strong liberal arts foundation shapes leaders, and in these changing and uncertain times, leadership is so critical. Leaders must have the capacity to create a sense of urgency to embrace change not the status

quo, the courage to reject the tyranny of short-termism and build for the next decade not just the next quarter, and the wisdom gleaned from the past to see the future in a different light. Reflecting on the nature of leadership, Theodore Sorenson (who authored many of President Kennedy’s great speeches) once observed: “those who wish to stand up and stand out and leave something enduring behind must build new institutions, not new images ... they must look to the next generation not merely the next election ... they must talk in terms of fundamental values not merely costs ... they must appeal to our hopes as well as our needs, ... to what we long to be and what we know is right. That’s leadership.” How right he was. We need that leadership today, and from all segments of society. King’s is part of building that leadership infrastructure. Our unique Foundation Year

Programme, our Journalism program for a world where both the medium and the message are changing, our old world traditions and our new world history. We are in the business of preparing leaders, many for a Canada which has incredible potential in this changing world, but it is just that, potential, not entitlement. To realize it, to prosper economically and socially, we need to be clear about our strengths and weaknesses, and even clearer about our national interests and our collective ambitions. And that is what a King’s education should prepare you to think about, to write about, to speak about. To help frame our national interests and collective ambitions, government matters, and it needs leaders, both elected and nonelected. Government is not a burden on society, nor a necessary evil. It is essential, a shaping force, a reflection of society’s values, aspirations, ambitions and accommodations.

While government can always be better, it can only be as good as the strength of our institutions, the leaders who stand for elected office, the quality of our public servants, the depth of our journalists reporting on it, and the engagement of our citizens in civic life. Good government is about making a difference: it should be ambitious for the country, and we should hold it to that account. To conclude, a good education is about always challenging the status quo in the way we think and in the way we act. In the words of George Bernard Shaw: “You see things; and you say, ‘Why?’ But I dream things that never were; and I say ‘Why not?’”. Where is progress without such dreams? Where might our future take us with King’s graduates at the forefront of asking “why not?” Thank you again for the honour of being your Chancellor. µ



MASTER PLANS The first class of the new MFA offers fresh challenges to seasoned pros Nastacia Lypny (BJH ’13)

The first class of the new MFA at King’s on the A&A steps in August (Photo by Michael Creagan).


JUST KIND OF FELT the universe was telling me something and I felt it was the right challenge for me at the right time,” says Pauline Dakin. At 49 years old, with 12 of those spent in the national newsroom, this CBC reporter was ready for a new direction in her work. Last winter, Dakin — CBC’s health and medical desk and the host of Maritime Morning — was completing the Knight Fellowship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology just outside of Boston when a peer mentioned Harvard University’s creative nonfiction program. She jumped at the idea — but not the price tag. Then, she received an email from King’s. Beginning this past August, the master of creative nonfiction is a brand new twoyear, limited residency program at King’s, with stints in Halifax, Toronto, and New York City, and includes one-on-one tutor-



ing with mentors. The residencies combine learning the craft of writing with lessons in how to navigate the publishing industry. The mentorship portion, meanwhile, guides students through drafting a book proposal and manuscript for eventual publication. Joining Dakin is a crop of journalists and other professionals midway through careers, looking to tackle something bigger, something different, and something much more challenging. They leapt at the chance to enroll in the first creative nonfiction master’s program of its kind in Canada, as did the writing mentors. Students are now halfway through the first semester of a program that aims to produce all-but-finished book manuscripts on manageable schedules. “The way the news business is going, everything is more about quantity and file often and churn out more and more and more,”

Dakin says, “So I just felt that this would be a great opportunity to pull back from that a bit and slow down my writing and try writing in a new way.” Richard Levangie also felt the opportunity of the new MFA. A King’s journalism grad and former staffer at the now-defunct Halifax Daily News, Levangie suffered from serious medical complications as a result of a brain tumor. When he was finally back on his feet, he had a realization: “It really was a feeling that if I’m going to do something with my life it’s now, that I’m not going to have many more chances to start over,” he says. So he re-enrolled at King’s. For its first year of enrollment, the MFA program received about 45 applications; 19 students are currently enrolled, and there are seven students who have deferred until next fall. Current students include CBC reporters, King’s alumni, and freelancers with

as varied backgrounds as the Liquor Control Board of Ontario and The Walrus circulation room. The project topics are just as diverse: Paul Bernardo, multiple sclerosis, Syria, investor angels, and parental kidnapping. Like most of the program’s students, a book is new territory for someone like Dakin, who is used to producing news on a daily basis. She is working on a memoir about a family member’s life experiences, but won’t reveal more. Aside from the taxing task of drafting a book manuscript, students face the challenge of time; most are continuing to work full-time while completing the program. Luckily, Stephen Kimber is on hand and

CREATIVE NONFICTION IS THE FASTEST GROWING LITERARY GENRE OR SUB-GENRE. knows a thing or two about juggling a book with other responsibilities. The King’s journalism professor is the author of eight nonfiction books, including this year’s What Lies across the Water: The Real Story of the Cuban Five. He’s also half the mastermind behind the MFA program. In 2001, Kimber graduated from a creative nonfiction program at Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland. He hoped to bring a similar program to King’s but the vision “didn’t seem very realistic,” he says, because the university didn’t have any graduate programs at the time. But in 2009, the King’s Journalism staff and faculty started developing ideas for what is now the master of journalism program. Meanwhile, Kimber teamed up with Don Sedgwick, a long-time Canadian publishing industry heavyweight, who, with his newlyacquired MBA, matched Kimber’s writing craft with practical expertise. When the two finally proposed the program, it was so well received that Kimber says the degree and all of the details were accepted in “record time.” Industry folks also embraced the idea, so

much so that Kimber and Sedgwick now have a pool of mentors from which to draw for the program’s second year this September. Kimber stresses that the program was seeking not only people with a history of writing and publishing creative nonfiction, but with a proven track record of teaching. Aside from the limited residency, which allows predominantly middle-aged students (the average age is 42) to avoid moving and to continue working, the mentorship aspect of the MFA is a central focus, says Sedgwick, in that it provides direct and oftentimes daily contact with successful, professional writers. The benefits of a close and long mentorship can be just as rewarding. David Hayes is no stranger to mentoring. He’s taught feature and magazine writing at Ryerson University’s School of Journalism in various capacities since 1987 and is the author of four books. Over his years of teaching, many students have sought his advice on their works post-graduation, but the MFA mentorship at King’s is his first formal role. Hayes describes mentoring as supporting the MFA candidates “like a colleague, not like a prof and a young student.” He also articulates that to mentor is not to act like an editor, but as a guide for experienced writers who are being introduced to a new craft and form of expression. A mentor also moves projects along faster, says mentor Ken McGoogan. The author of four award-winning narrative nonfiction works on Arctic exploration and the recently published Fifty Canadians Who Changed the World, McGoogan says mentors offer students the opportunity to “touch base with someone who has been around for a while, who understands what the challenges are,” he says, laughing. But mentorship, however, isn’t entirely selfless. McGoogan says he’s found it “gratifying” to help other writers advance their craft and has been imbued with a “sense of giving something back.” He also says that through teaching he’s come to a deeper understanding of how he goes about his own work: “I’ve been forced to explore my own processes and biases and methods, so in that way it helps me become a better writer.” The program is designed to introduce students to the sometimes cut-throat pub-

MEET THIS YEAR’S MFA MENTORS Marq de Villiers: Author of 14 books, winner of the Governor General’s Award for Non-Fiction and former faculty at Ryerson University’s School of Journalism. David Hayes: Author of four non-fiction books and former assistant professor at Ryerson University from 1995 to 2002 and now teaches in the Continuing Education division. Lori A. May: Author of five books and an MFA handbook and a writing instructor at Macomb Community College (Michigan) and Fanshawe College in London (Ontario). Ken McGoogan: Author of eight books, editor, a teacher of nonfiction writing for 12 years and recipient of a teaching award from the University of Toronto. Lorri Neilsen Glenn: Author and editor of 13 collections of nonfiction and poetry, former Poet Laureate of Halifax and faculty at Mount Saint Vincent University (Halifax). Candace Savage: Author of over 20 books, fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, and an instructor in creative nonfiction at St. Peter’s College (Muenster, Sask.) since 2007. Alisa Smith: Lecturer and author of the 2007 bestseller, The 100-Mile Diet, and co-host of television show, The 100-Mile Challenge, which aired in more than 30 countries. Harry Thurston: Author of more than 25 books, former faculty at Saint Mary’s University (Halifax) and King’s College, and writer-in-residence at various universities.



TOP: President George Cooper welcoming the class. BOTTOM: Future best-selling authors (Photos by Michael Creagan).

lishing industry and the practical exercise of working on a book proposal and the related manuscript. “We knew that people wanted to get help and structure to write a book project, but we also knew that people wanted to take it a step further: they wanted to get these projects published,” says Kimber. Residencies in Toronto and New York City are especially publishing-focused, as students meet with various industry professionals and undergo 24


mock-interviews. It’s these practical elements that attracted many seasoned writers to the program. Take Beth Hitchcock, for instance. With years as editor of Canada’s Chatelaine and House and Home under her belt, she says she likes that she’ll leave the program with a master’s degree, a book proposal, and a significant portion of a finished manuscript. This is her first attempt at writing a book and she appreciates the structure, roadmap,

discipline, and mentoring the program offers. “I already feel like I’ve made so much progress on my project since August,” she says. If Hitchcock was toiling on her own, Hayes says the whole process would be much more difficult; with cutbacks in the publishing industry, agencies don’t have the same amount of time or resources to invest in writers or projects, and offer little guidance or motivational support. “They’re much less inclined to make longterm investments in a writer. So what’s taken that place is creative nonfiction programs, where, basically, books are developed to such a degree that in the end publishers can practically buy almost-completed books.” Kimber adds that the popularity of creative nonfiction is part of the reason why, despite decreases in book sales, this MFA program makes sense in 2013: “Creative nonfiction, not just in Canada but in North America, is the fastest growing literary genre or sub-genre,” he says. Not even two months into the program, the MFA saw its first book contract. “I look at the projects that people have suggested and the quality of them as writers and I think we’ll (get) four or five book deals before they graduate, maybe more,” says Kimber. Regardless, students are already thrilled with what they’ve taken from the program. “I feel so excited that we’re doing this, that this is the first program in Canada and I get to be a part of it,” says Dakin, adding that she’s experienced a bit of the ‘guinea pig syndrome’ of the program as it irons out kinks, but even that process of “what makes a good program” is fun. “It’s really inspiring,” says Hitchcock, of being able to work alongside such an eclectic group of writers and mentors in terms of age, experience, and the projects they are tackling. “This sounds sort of corny but it’s really changed me at this point in my life, the whole experience, and I know we’re just at the beginning of this journey,” she says, “So it’s amazing what an effect it’s already had on me and what I think about writing.” µ


ALEX COLVILLE (1920–2013) The colorful palette of one of Canada’s most important visual artists Alison Hugill (BAH ’09)

Alex Colville with the 3rd Canadian Infantry Division on January 6, 1945.


NGUS JOHNSTON FIRST met Alex Colville (DCL ’94) in 1968 at a meeting of the Mount Allison Philosophy Club. The former Foundation Year Programme director launched the discussion with a brazenly straightforward question: Why art? And Colville replied. “His answer was that his work and art more generally had the aim of accomplishing what ancient Egyptian art had,” Johnston recalls. “I have thought about that discussion all my life and we spoke of his answer a number of times. I took it this way: art is to express what is substantial and do that in the context of time and memory.” His answer was decidedly traditional, in line with a philosophical discourse that sees art as the embodiment of historical truth and the shared essence of a given community. Colville himself regularly championed conservative ideas, as a card-carrying Tory with a love of fine cars and a patriotic streak. His reflection came, no less, in 1968, at the height of student unrest and a ‘revolution’ in socially engaged art practice throughout Europe and North America. Colville’s provocative response revealed his attentiveness to the role of art and the artist on the world-historical scale, as what he considered both the means and the bearer of history. His personal representations of history —

often from a rural, ‘hometown’ quotidian perspective and shying away from grand narratives — have continuously contributed to the making of Canada’s national myth. For an artist whose iconic works are often considered paragons of the Realist tradition, Colville was no stranger to abstract thought. The precision and stillness of his expertly painted, pastoral narratives belie a deeply critical understanding of life and art. Colville moved to Amherst, Nova Scotia in 1929. In the midst of the Second World War and following his graduation from Mount Allison University, he enlisted in the Canadian army and was deployed as a war artist in 1944. He witnessed the war first-hand, from the D-Day landing to the liberation of Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. The events made a profound impression on Colville, and were reportedly the source of a lifetime of restless reflection. “I do have a fear of chaos and a strong sense of the fragility of civilization,” Colville remarked in 1983. The docility of Colville’s paintings, rendered with meticulous geometric precision, mark an attempt to harness the trauma of this lived experience. There is an anxiety in his work and his tranquil subjects often seem to sit on the precarious brink of collapse, existing in a kind of impossibly calm stasis. His well-known

painting To Prince Edward Island (1965) is particularly haunting in that respect: the woman’s binoculars, focused on the viewer, suggest the presence of an unknown element, as though she might be seeing something within us of which even we are not aware. The painting, like many of his works, is at once light-hearted and deeply disconcerting. The aesthetic merit of Colville’s work is unparalleled and his international critical acclaim leaves no question about his place in the art historical canon. According to Johnston, Colville’s artistic oeuvre has an affinity to the philosophical approach espoused at King’s College: “When I think of Alex Colville and his relation to King’s, the image that defines it best for me is his work French Cross (1988). A young woman rides a horse along a wire fence but turns and looks back at this magnificent iron cross in its marked-off sanctuary. The horse proceeds so simply and directly. We humans have to look around. We have to look back, back at the history of the French and British, at religious meaning in the midst of secular curiosity, at the European enlightenment ‘legacy’ as our problem and our passion. And we keep riding.” When viewed from the perspective of a Hegelian reading of history as a progressive, teleological movement (a guiding theme in the Foundation Year Programme), it is possible to regard Colville’s work as an extension of this philosophical discourse. Colville’s friendship with Angus Johnston and his ties to King’s were strengthened throughout his life, as he was asked to speak on several occasions at the college. More recently, he gave a guest lecture in the Halifax Humanities 101 Programme, a series of philosophy classes for ‘non-traditional’ students in Halifax. Colville’s paintings have an almost literary quality; they succeed at expertly reproducing snapshots of the everyday, enriched by a larger narrative that seeps through in spite of their innocuous nature. ‘Realism,’ then, is not merely about reflecting one’s reality but about analyzing it, too. Colville achieved that fine balance between analysis and aesthetics that characterizes great art. For that, he has been and will continue to be an inspiration to the King’s community. He passed away on July 16, 2013 at the age of 92. µ TIDINGS | WINTER 2014


ALEX FOUNTAIN MEMORIAL LECTURE 2013: MICHAEL ONDAATJE Reflections from a memorable night

All photos by Kerry DeLorey (BA ’76, BJH ’80) unless otherwise indicated

WHAT STAYED WITH ME was the notion that writers are influenced by all of the arts they blend and crash together throughout the writing process. His emphasis on the importance of one’s sense of place and the role of time and landscape in creative work resonated with me because these themes are present in my own films and writing. It was serendipitous that I had the great pleasure of giving Mr Ondaatje a tour of my show, Excavation: A Site of Memory, at the Dalhousie Art Gallery prior to his King’s lecture.” — Dr Sylvia D Hamilton, journalism professor



THE LECTURE WAS PERSONAL and subtle, but it was also very accessible and perfect for the audience because it was a testament by a successful master of writing about the way he saw language and his art. Fame gets people in the room, and sometimes we are disappointed. Not this time. In Ondaatje’s talk and reserved manner you could sense the reason for his reputation.     The event was successful not just because of his talk, which was excellent, but also by the way the audience interacted with the speaker, who clearly loosened up as he proceeded. It’s as though he could tell he was being attended to, and leaned out to the audience accordingly. So this was the kind of talk where the audience could sense it played a role by listening carefully, by responding. You can’t get this reciprocal response by television or over the internet. Only by being in the

room do you find out that you too have a role to play. This reciprocal response is a great thing for students to experience, though they will know about this from their own professors, especially in Foundation Year. Ondaatje’s explanation of the writing process was fascinating. Because of our schooling, many people believe you must write using a well-developed plan. But here was a different approach, where the writer worked from what he had to hand, and developed his material through thoughtful accretion. That means, for many beginning writers, that you can start to write today, and develop form and meaning out of what you yourself write. It is not an easy process, but it is an alternative. That was great for students to hear.” — Dr Bill Barker, professor of English and former president of King’s

THE LECTURE WAS VERY FITTING for a King’s crowd. It covered music, art, dance, and theatre, all of which are great interests here. Apparently Michael Ondaatje had not heard of King’s when he was asked to speak here, but when he started talking to people in Toronto he discovered that lots of them had sons and daughters and nieces and nephews who came to King’s and he got excited about coming here. Being able to go out to dinner with him afterwards was such a thrill and we were able to talk with him more about finished versus unfinished stories and where he was when he heard that The English Patient had been mentioned on Seinfeld! I think he got more than he signed up for by coming to King’s. As students, we really appreciated that the focus was on us and that we had priority seating in Alumni Hall.” — Haydn Watters, vice-president communications, King’s Students’ Union.

THE ‘MONGREL’ IN THE TITLE of the lecture attracted me. There is a notion of hybridity in critical theory and science studies in which ideas have no strict home or meaning. I was interested to hear him explore this theme. His take on the act of story-telling also intrigued me, the idea that “a well-told lie is worth a thousand facts”. I found this cultural approach unnerving when I first started my work in India, but after a while you begin to realise that you are being given something wonderful in the story -- the story telling matters. I was so pleased that the students took precedence at the lecture, including getting us professors to sit in Prince Hall. Bizarrely, watching the lecture on the screen, as opposed to being in Alumni Hall where it was taking place, was a surprisingly intimate experience. The fact that students invite the speaker and are such a part of the event is astonishingly unique to King’s and I think it speaks to the intellectual engagement of our students and the equality of the dialogues that engagement makes possible.” — Dr Gordon McOuat, HOST and CSP professor



THIS WAS A PERFECT LECTURE for King’s students. There was a palpable energy in the room as we were waiting to go into the hall. As King’s students, it is easy to get lost in the structured interdisciplinarity of the programme. The lecture was about living in those moments of intersection. It was an honour to meet Michael Ondaatje and to teach him about King’s. I think he was pleasantly flabbergasted by the school and to find that what he had to share with us through his lecture was mirrored here. What really spoke to me was when he talked about the process of discovery in his writing. As students, we are accustomed to planning and structuring our essays and thoughts. It was wonderful to hear about writing that discovers itself as it is being written. It was an awe-inspiring moment in which it was possible to rediscover the magic of writing. The KSU students enjoyed going out to dinner with him afterwards. Michael Ondaatje ordered the same dish as me and at one point he reached over and plucked a potato from my plate and ate it. I will never forget that potato!” — Anna Dubinski, fourth year Early Modern Studies and English student and president of the King’s Students’ Union



THROUGH SCHOLARSHIP and reading we develop great friendships with great writers and you will go anywhere with them, even if the journey isn’t what you expected. Michael Ondaatje is one of those writers for me. His lecture demystified the process of writing in part by talking about how his writing leads his research. The story-telling comes first, the importance of a well-told tale. I used to live in the same neighbourhood in Toronto as Michael Ondaatje. He was a great walker and he always had a camera with him. That visual sense comes through in his writing and the influence of jazz and film that he talked about in the lecture. In the Q&A he admitted to insecurity as a writer and showed that there are many points of entry into literary expression. I think this would help to make the life of the writer accessible to students.” — Dr Sarah Clift, FYP and CSP professor

photo by Kim Kierans (Journalism Diploma ’76, BA ’82, HC ’83)




‘Roomies’ (from left): Marian, Nancy, Sharon and Marilyn. “One night we got brave and decided to sneak out after hours,” says Marilyn. “We weren’t meeting guys or anything like that — we just walked around near King’s. We simply wanted to prove that we could do it. If we had been caught, it would have been really embarrassing!”


T STARTED WITH THE REUNION of 2014 is already being planned. age.” There were mini reunions along the 1989. King’s was celebrating its 200th Of course, the group’s story began many way, but it wasn’t until the 200th anniversary anniversary and a group of King’s alum- years ago. It was in the old Alexandra Hall — reunion at King’s that the whole group sat ni from the 1960s decided that they didn’t now Cochran Bay — that many of the group down and plotted the big trip to Bermuda. want the fun to end. met, lived, partied, and forged friendships in So, what has kept them meeting up all “It was a marvelous reunion,” says Char- the early 1960s. The initial core of the group, these years? At the core of the group are lotte (Graven) Cochran, “And we really didn’t Marian and Marilyn and Nancy and Sharon, two sets of roommates, Marian and Marilyn, want it to be over and to have to say good-bye. were roommates and neighbours. “We were and Nancy and Sharon, whose 50th birthA group of us went down to Chester after- best friends,” says Marilyn, “and when other days provided the catalyst for the 1990 trip wards, reminisced some more, and hatched girls came in after us, we made friends with to Bermuda. And it is probably significant them, too.” a plan.” that all the women in the group are alumni. Four women in the group — Marian (Hug- “There were fewer than 30 women “We are incredibly lucky that nobody has gard) Lines, Marilyn (Lingley) Dewis, Nancy on campus in those days,” says Charlotte. divorced and nobody has died,” says Char(Brown) Davies, and Sharon (Green) Spen- “Very few of us took classes at King’s, but lotte. “We are retired teachers, lawyers, and ce — were set to celebrate 50th birthdays in we did everything else together: had meals, doctors. There is no common profession — 1990. Marian and her husband Roland, both played sports, and held bay parties. We were what brings us together is King’s.” King’s alumni, invited the group — a total of brought together by the physical closeness of A love of golfing helps, which the non13 alumni and five non-King’s husbands — to living at King’s.” Marilyn agrees. “We never King’s husbands also share. “The spouses gather at their home in Bermuda in 1990. fell out or had power struggles, even when have become as fond of King’s as the rest we were students,” she says. “We were like of us,” says Charlotte. “And of course we And so a tradition was born. The nine couples returned to Bermuda peas in a pod.” know each other’s children and grandchilto celebrate again in 2000 and resolved at The friendships — and romances — that dren.” Sharon Spence’s husband, Jack, is the that point to meet more frequently. “We began at King’s grew even stronger in the group’s photographer, and he has been capdecided that we were all getting older and early years after leaving the quad. “Some turing brunches, dinners, golf games, trips we didn’t want to wait another 10 years to of us had summer jobs together, we shared and gatherings since 1990, often turning apartments, celebrated birthdays, and trav- his photographs into calendars and other get together,” says Charlotte. Several trips followed: Calgary/Banff to elled to Europe,” says Charlotte. “We have mementoes for the whole group. congregate at the Davies’ home, Amherst all been in touch over the years,” adds Sha- As the 225th anniversary in 2014 draws Shore, PEI, and Cape Breton. In between ron Spence. “Jack and I reconnected with closer, Charlotte says that the whole group the big gatherings when all 18 get together, Charlotte and Jamie one summer when we hopes to be there and she is looking forward smaller groups of local alumni meet up for ran into each other at Green Bay beach and to being one of hosts of the 1960s drinks dinner, brunch, golf, and weekends away in then we began to meet up every summer with party, just one of the “drinks by decade” gathChester and Bridgewater. A trip to PEI in our children, who were roughly the same erings that will be taking place. µ



MEMBERS OF THE 1960S REUNION GROUP: Marian (Huggard) Lines (BA ’63) and Roland Lines (BSc ’61), Bermuda Carole (Cassidy) Christie (BA ’62) and Garth Christie (BSc ’61), Fredericton, NB Nicki (Howes) Campbell (’60) and Lloyd Campbell (BA ’60), Bridgewater, NS Marilyn (Lingley) Dewis (BA ’62) and Fraser Dewis (’63), Halifax, NS Nancy (Brown) Davies (’63) and Reg Davies, Calgary, AB Linda (Crowe) Fraser (BA ’63) and Gregor Fraser, Chester, NS Sharon (Green) Spence (BA ’62) and Jack Spence, West LaHave, NS Elizabeth (Bayne) Sodero (BA ’63) and Peter Sodero, Halifax, NS Charlotte (Graven) Cochran (BA ’63) and Jamie Cochran, Halifax, NS






N AN ESSAY THAT T.S. Eliot published in 1929 (simply entitled “Dante”), Eliot particularly emphasizes the quite unexpected allusion to Jason’s great ship the Argo, which occurs in the final Canto (of the total 100) in Dante’s Divine Comedy. Jason’s renowned feat was to secure “the Golden Fleece” from the kingdom of Colchis, located on the far reaches of the Black Sea. The extraordinary thing about the Argo, according to Greek “prehistory,” is that Jason’s vessel (with 50 oars) was the first ever “to plough the seas” (as the Roman Ovid, among others, confirms). Not only was it the first ship ever to dare such a voyage, it was also consecrated for its purpose by the goddess Athena, who assisted with its construction. Athena also secured, for the Argo’s prow, a sacred oak (taken from the grove of Dodona, where oracular pronouncements could be heard as the wind rustled through the trees). This amazing and brief allusion to the Argo just 50 lines from the end of the entire Comedy is singled out by Eliot because, in coming to terms with the final “divine vision,” Dante allows himself, in a sense, to rehearse the whole history of mankind. This first voyage of Jason’s miraculous vessel was so awe-inspiring that even Neptune (Poseidon) had to sit up and take no-



tice. Within this one the “leaves” of the Sibyl, blown around in stanza, Dante also shambles (whenever the cave door opens), manages to inform are finally fixed properly, and in order, all us that Jason’s cel- together in the pages of “a single volume ebrated expedition bound,” an image which almost serves as a took place 25 centu- “stand-in” for the Divine Comedy itself. ries earlier. The Argo of Canto 100 links the reader (in If we remem- a surge of her oars) with the whole of human ber that the dramat- history (past and even future), the epic voyic date of Dante’s ages of Jason and Ulysses, and the sense of Comedy is the year an odyssey and a homecoming (nostos) after 1300, then, in dates a long, perilous, and sublime quest. But it also reminds us of the “shipwreck” that are rounded off, Christ’s death with which the Comedy begins. That first (see Inferno Canto epic voyage of the Argo is a world-renowned xxi, lines 112-114) success, whereas the last voyage of Ulysses stands at the mid- (described in Inferno, Canto xxvi) ends in way point between “catastrophic” failure and loss of life. the epic voyage of In ancient Greek drama, the “catastrophthe Argo and Dante’s ic” refers to a reversal of fortune. We think mid-life “shipwreck” of this reversal solely in terms of tragedy, with which the Comedy begins. In the 1st but the Greek understanding also allows Canto of his Comedy, Dante describes him- the possibility of a reversal for the better. self as gasping for breath, having escaped The Comedy begins with a “shipwreck”, and “the perilous water,” as he emerges “forth a survivor who is washed up on a deserted out of the deep onto the shore.” beach; in Dante’s “crossing” — described as Dante’s skill is in employing every his- comedic — the reversal is from shipwreck to torical or classical allusion so as to drive his an eventual recovery of the home port. All of readers forward, even as they are made — si- this and more is suggested by this allusion to multaneously — to recapitulate all that has the voyage of the Argo right at the conclusion gone before. At the very end of the Comedy of Dante’s own “odyssey.” the allusion to the Argo is itself a review of T.S. Eliot has singled out this one tiny refthe whole of human history, but also a sly erence at the zenith of the Comedy to praise further honouring of Vergil, whose Aeneid Dante for his unsurpassed ability “of estabis never neglected. Vergil’s epic serves Dante lishing relations between beauty of the most as a model both for poetic “odyssey” and diverse sorts.” homecoming. May I be allowed to flatter (sincerely) Just a few stanzas before the name of our Foundation Year Programme tutors as the Argo is anchored into this description the pilots who guide the vessels entrusted of the “divine vision,” Dante makes a more to them in establishing precisely these reladefinitive reference to the oracular foliage tions. After 40 years of FYP, and 225 years of a of prophecy; Dante alludes to the prophetic utterances of the Cumaean Sibyl — whose classical tradition into which our study of voice Eliot also records on the title page Dante at Kings can be embedded, we trust of The Waste Land. The Sibyl’s prophecies that we shall be able to continue our voca(according to Book iii of The Aeneid) are tions as navigators for the fabulous voyages inscribed on the scattered leaves stored in which King’s is permitted to launch. her cave. Please remember that in Vergil’s We are committed to the secure sea lanes Aeneid, it is this Sibyl who acts as Aeneas’ that Vergil and Dante (and Eliot) have estabguide into the afterlife, even as Vergil himself lished, and hope to be able to sail on them adopts the same role in Dante’s Comedy. In for many years to come. µ Dante’s concluding vision, he tells us that


David Heti, philosopher-comic (Photo: A. Korolj)


By Kathleen M. Higgins (BA ’12) REFLECTING ON HIS OWN education in philosophy, comedian Steve Martin once said that “if you’re studying geology, which is all facts, as soon as you get out of school you forget it all, but philosophy you remember just enough to screw you up for the rest of your life.” I happen to know this because when I

asked comedian David Heti (FYP 2002) how his time at King’s has influenced his comedy, this is one of the first things he said. Heti left King’s to continue his studies in Toronto and Montreal before getting his start in comedy, but he is the first to tell you how his time as a Foundation Year student has influenced his style and approach to the art form. After completing the Foundation Programme at King’s in 2002, Heti received an honours degree in philosophy from the

University of Toronto, followed by bachelor of civil laws and bachelor of laws degrees from McGill. He began performing comedy after his move to Montreal, and continued stand-up after a move to Toronto in 2011 where he was articling with the Department of Justice. Heti spent his days arguing cases in Small Claims Court and litigating for the federal government, and he spent his nights honing his stand-up skills around the city. His work gained notice, not just with comedy audiences, but also with some folks a little…higher up. “Only a couple of months after starting my position, Ottawa sent me a letter saying that they didn’t appreciate my humour. A little bit later, I lost my job.” Rather than a set-back, Heti saw this as an opportunity to spend his year of unemployment writing and performing comedy fulltime. After a recent move to New York City, he returned to his old stomping grounds in October to open for comedian Todd Barry at this year’s Halifax Pop Explosion. Heti’s comedic style is heavily influenced by his interest in philosophy and ethics, and his time at King’s. Dark and often confrontational, his work interrogates identity and morality, and demonstrates a curiosity and critical perspective he turns upon himself as much as he does others. His podcast, I Have a Problem, invites friends and comics to explain and discuss grievances they have with him, while his web series, What Went Wrong With Last Night’s Show is a painfully honest and occasionally misanthropic dissection of his own stand-up sets. He approaches comedy with the same mix of frustration and pleasure that inspired him at King’s. Understanding that there “was a lot I wasn’t getting, there would always seem to be other layers which I could simply never get” was “a little bit exhausting”, but exciting nonetheless. “I think that comedy is, at its best, something deeply critical, in that it ought to destabilize and question and…King’s exposing me to so many different ways of attempting to understand oneself, and thinking itself, is helpful for what I hope to achieve through my comedy. If nothing else, how could second-guessing oneself at every turn not be good for a comic?” µ You can hear Heti’s podcasts and watch his stand-up comedy online at TIDINGS | WINTER 2014



By: Afton Aikens (BJH ’10) Wine has been Lorraine Vassalo’s (BA ’79) passion ever since she was young. She was always intrigued by how it tasted one way on the first sip and tasted another way just a few minutes later. It’s a complex hobby, to be sure. Vassalo’s interest in wine began at the family dinner table and has taken her on hiking and cycling trips through European wine country. “It’s surprising what you can learn hiking through a vineyard communicating with someone whose language you don’t share, but you share that passion,” Vassalo says, “It was something that I really wanted to do — grow really good grapes.” If the recent second anniversary celebration of Avondale Sky Winery, owned by Vassalo and her husband, Stewart Creaser, is any indication, she’s doing just that. Since Vassalo and Creaser opened Avondale Sky in 2011, they’ve been overwhelmed by community support — not just from within the Avon Peninsula (near Windsor), but from Nova Scotia and Canada as well. “People will walk up to the tasting bar and (ask for) a merlot. In Nova Scotia, we can’t grow merlot, and people listen as to why,” Vassalo says. “In my experience, people seem to have gone away from wanting the tried and true to having a sense of adventure to support small producers and (try) something different.” Like her customers, Vassalo also seems

Award-winning wines (Photo: Avondale Sky Winery) 34


Lorraine and her husband, Stewart Creaser (Photo: Sherman Hines).

to enjoy adventure. She took the leap into entrepreneurship after 28 years with Correctional Service Nova Scotia Department of Justice in a variety of roles, including helping to create the Justice Enterprise Information Network — at one time Canada’s most comprehensive integrated justice computer network. It was worth it to chase her dreams. Vassalo says Avondale Sky, like any startup, is a lot of work. It is actually three separate year-round, full-time businesses, she explains: the vineyard, winemaking, and sales. For their last harvest, she and Creaser almost doubled wine production from 2,700 cases to more than 5,000, which is about where they hope to stay. Vassalo says to get bigger

isn’t necessarily better. “We’re looking for quality of life and quality product. We do most things by hand — plant, harvest, label, fill — that way we can do quality control,” she further explains, “Five to six thousand cases are about 72,000 bottles. We’d have to automate if we went over that. Then there’s no one there to see if perhaps the top of the bottle is chipped. We’re a small boutique winery and we want to treat it way.” The quality-focused business model has been a success. Avondale Sky has won awards from different organizations in areas such as food and beverage, environmental stewardship and heritage, and international wine awards. “We’re really happy we can contribute something back to the rural community,” Vassalo says. “The wine industry is like King’s in that it’s small and the way to thrive is to cooperate. You couldn’t have a fight with someone and then have to go to Prince Hall for breakfast.” Vassalo, who also holds a master of criminology from the University of Ottawa and a master of business administration from Saint Mary’s University, says King’s is with her today. “King’s was the beginning of my adult life, but in real terms, King’s was the beginning of my life. It was the first time I was on my own, the first time I could make my own decisions, make my own mistakes, and I made fabulous friends, people who are still my friends.” µ





Chelcie Soroka unites arts and sciences in medicine (Photo: Jeff Harper)

K ING ’S ST U D E N TS IN M ED S C H O O L Humanities and arts give medical students an edge By: Leah Lipsett (BMus ’14)

It is an old misconception that there is only one route to medical school: hard science. But changing perceptions of the humanities have given arts students the edge in the tight competition for limited medical school places. Now, King’s alumni fill those seats. Rather than being a disadvantage compared to other medical school applicants, Chelcie Soroka (BJH ’12) feels that her bachelor of journalism degree made her application unique. “It’s not common for journalists to apply to medical school,” she explains. Soroka is currently in her second year of her medical degree at Dalhousie University, hoping to specialize in child and adolescent psychiatry in her residency. Only a year above her in Dalhousie’s MD program, Isaac Siemens (BAH ’10) agrees. 36


“Having done something that you are passionate about and that you didn’t just fall into makes you stand out,” he says, citing his combined honours degree in CSP and history as being a unique degree among the hundreds of applicants with “more popular” biology and kinesiology degrees. In his case, Siemens reflects, “CSP was perfect for me.” Who knew that King’s offered a competitive edge? “Half of the MCAT is reading and writing, which was a joke compared to even a basic class at King’s,” Siemens says. Now in his third year, the “clerkship” stage of medical school, he says that “having close relationships with your professors is one of King’s famous strengths.” He points to King’s emphasis on small classes and individual student-professor communication as especially valuable to his future in medicine in terms of an enhanced bedside manner. David Jerome (BScH ’09) is now in his second year of the MD program at Memorial University and agrees that King’s was crucial for personal skills development. “At King’s, there was an expectation that students could present and defend their

ideas and opinions both inside and outside of class. In medicine, this is actually a critical skill,” he says. Not only that, but this skill is growing in demand across Canada. “Most medical schools are placing an increased emphasis on small group work. There is a lot of evidence to show that tutorials and small groups — like those presented in FYP throughout the years at King’s — are where ideas get flushed out, and where students build a deeper understanding of the concepts being taught,” he explains. Medical school itself isn’t the only place medical students need such “critical” communication skills. Now, more than ever, medical practitioners are focusing directly on the patient: “Canadian medical schools are all seeking out applicants they expect will appreciate the value of, and excel in, ‘patient-centered medicine’,” says Jerome, describing this as “putting emphasis on the importance of the art of medicine.” Does he feel King’s instilled this art in him? Absolutely. “This aspect of medicine comes out of an appreciation for the fact that each patient is a unique individual with their


Isaac Siemens, originally from Ottawa (Photo: supplied)

own narrative,” he explains, “Understanding each individual’s personal narrative is an important part of making an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan with the patient.” Along with interpersonal growth, the writing skills necessary for an arts degree are now in high-demand in scientific circles. Soroka is the editor-in-chief of the Dalhousie Medical Journal, and Siemens edits papers at a lab. This skill has mobility. Gwenith Cross (BAH ’07), a graduate of the History of Science and Technology (HOST) programme, is completing a PhD in the history of medicine at Wilfred Laurier University. She has presented at many conferences in a discipline that shows the strong ties between the arts and the sciences. In her field, she says, “The history and the science are inseparable.” The emphasis on primary texts encourages actual understanding of the technology and theory and instills the belief, rare among so many programs treating the field as solely “social history”, that, “I cannot understand the significance of the history of medicine if I do not also understand the medicine I am studying,” she explains.

Dave Jerome in Newfoundland (Photo: supplied)

Dr. Ian Stewart, director of HOST, also believes in this inextricable synthesis of the sciences and history. King’s method of study “prepares students beautifully for further study in the health professions. The emphasis on the place of nature in FYP and the upper year programmes at King’s is crucial for success in such professions. The medical establishment is increasingly learning to be more open about what nature discloses about us, both as individual bodies and collectively as social beings,” he says. According to Stewart, “THAT is the future.” His course “The Beginnings of Western Medicine: The Birth of the Body” explores the interconnectivity of disciplines. “The unique relationship between Dalhousie and King’s means students are able to simultaneously take advantage of two worldclass institutions,” says Jerome. King’s students can access the college’s full range of finely tuned arts-centric programs — which he calls “second-to-none in their ability to promote critical thinking”— while also getting a strong introduction to the sciences through Dalhousie. Jerome compares the two:

“Dalhousie gave me a foundation for learning the science of medicine (making and understanding a diagnosis), while my experiences at King’s provided a strong foundation for learning the art of medicine (building a long-term therapeutic relationship with my patients).” The flexibility of a King’s degree makes it possible for an aspiring physician to gain the grounding in science needed to get into medical school while still allowing them to pursue their other interests — passions that may, in the end, make them an especially skilled and competent medical practitioner. It’s the perfect union. While an arts degree may not be the most common undergraduate study for pre-med students, it’s been the right choice for some King’s alumni. From interpersonal relationships to strong written and oral skills, an arts degree gives prospective physicians an edge, and brings the nature of ‘human’ and ‘humanity’ together. µ



CONCERT IN THE QUAD Adria Young (BAH ’10), Photos: Evan McIntyre (BJH ’14) On Friday, 6 September 2013, King’s College became a stadium for the annual Frosh Week Concert in the Quad, organized by the King’s Students’ Union. For some frosh, the event was an introduction to Halifax music with performances by Quivers, Monomyth, The Wayo, and Cold Warps, all of which feature current students or alumni. For some bands, it was a memorable return to King’s. Monomyth’s Josh Salter (BA ’09), whose songs nod to literature and philosophy, recalls his favourite FYP texts: “I always 38


gravitated towards the poetic works. Lyrical Ballads and The Waste Land were both devastating for me. But my favourite reading was certainly Baudelaire. I loved the way he inverted traditional concepts of beauty and morality.” With Seamus Dalton (FYP ’06-07) on guitar, Monomyth’s psychedelic rock and roll dealt a subtle hand of intellectualism to new King’s students. That night, the King’s quad was a showcase for the diverse musical talent of King’s alumni.

OPPOSITE PAGE TOP: Monomyth. “I was reading a lot of Joseph Campbell when we named the band,” says Salter. BOTTOM LEFT: Seamus Dalton (FYP ’06-07) of Monomyth. BOTTOM RIGHT: Josh Salter (BA ’09) of Monomyth. THIS PAGE TOP LEFT: Cold Warps warms the crowd before some moshing. TOP RIGHT: Charlotte Wilson (FYP ’11) of The Wayo. MIDDLE LEFT: The Wayo also played The Halifax Pop Explosion in October. MIDDLE RIGHT: Dom Taylor of Cold Warps, a current Dalhousie MLIS student. BOTTOM: A picture speaks a thousand words: thumbs up.





ANNIVERSARY WEEKEND A message from Tia Cooper

photo: Kerry DeLorey (BA ’76, BJH ’80)


RECENTLY ATTENDED A 50th wedding anniversary and the couple’s daughter sang the praises of her parents for keeping in touch with everyone through the years — old friends and family — and for continuing to forge new friendships as they approached their 80s. A good way to live one’s

life. …And a spirited Maritime celebration at King’s will help you to do the same! Now is a wonderful time to be part of King’s. It’s a time to be thankful for our shared history and past successes and to look forward to 2014 — a year full of great promise. We invite you to be a part of it! Come home to King’s. Visit old friends — make new ones. Revisit the Wardroom, the Pit, the Library, the chapel, the residences or the gym. Wherever. Hobnob with your former profs, mix and mingle, or find a quiet corner to reminisce and drink it all in. It’s a celebration you won’t want to miss. The steering committee has hatched a program that will knock your socks off. You’ll be able to meet King’s authors in the Library, watch a performance in the Pit, hear a top notch lecture, or turn up for a faculty debate. There will be tours and plenty of time to enjoy the Wardroom’s offerings, cross-campus receptions by decade, a feast in Prince Hall, and lots of music. And, by popular demand, the all-important dance in the gym. For the early risers, there’s a Godfrey Cup Run on Saturday morning. And, yes, by all means

bring your children — we have special programs planned for them (guaranteed to make them want to come to King’s). The registration will soon be going live and you’re welcome to attend any or all of the planned events, as your time allows.   Both of my children are King’s graduates, so I know that alumni are grateful for the life of the quad and for the education (of all kinds) that they received at King’s, but I wager to say, if my kids are typical, it’s the friendships, in the end, that matter most. Seize the chance to catch up with yours and to hang out once more with former faculty, dons, and tutors. Come on, COME HOME! See you soon.

Tia Cooper Chair, Steering Committee 225th Anniversary Weekend (And proud honorary member of the Middle Bay Gentleman’s Dining Society!)

KING ’S 225 TH AN N I V E R SARY WEEKE N D STEERING C O M M I T T E E Tia Cooper, Chair Steering committee members: Mary Barker (BA ’67, HF ’97) Jane Bailey (BA ’71) Rae Brown (BA ’99) Lindsay Cameron Wilson (BA ’95, BJ ’99) Chère Chapman (BScH ’94) Charlotte (Graven) Cochran (BA ’63) Katie Merwin (BAH ’11) Cynthia (Smith) Pilichos (BA ’68, ’HF ’01) Tim Rissesco (BA ’93) Elizabeth Ryan (BA ’69) We are grateful to all the alumni, faculty, staff, and students who are contributing ideas, feedback, and wise counsel to the steering committee and our anniversary preparations. You have sent us your King’s treasures and memorabilia. Now we look forward to seeing you. See who is coming at kings

FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Vidhya Elango (BSc ’17) models a King’s wool cardigan donated by Joan Morrison (BA ’53); Alex Bryant (BAH ’16) models a King’s leather jacket donated by Lisa Stewart (BJH ’93). Another King’s leather jacket was donated by Scott Clish (BAH ’86); Jesse Laufer (BJH ’16) models a King’s hockey jersey from 1977-1978 donated by Stephen Mader (BA ’80); and Michaela Sam (BAH ’15), in front, models a 1960s blazer donated by Charlotte (Graven) Cochran (BA ’63, HF ’92). A second King’s blazer was donated by Nancy (Clark) Violi (BA ’62, MSW ’64).



YO U ’ V E I D E N T I F I E D YO U R S E LV E S . . . OUR MOST RECENT “Can you identify these alumni?” was clearly quite challenging. Catherine Emmerson (1976), Jennifer (Bassett) MacLeod (BA ’78), and Paul Theuerkauf (’73) were the only brave souls to take a stab at identifying the people in the photograph, which appeared in The Record in 1975. Even with their combined efforts, we don’t have a complete line up. Here are the names they were able to come up with: Back row (left to right): Mary (Wetmore) Bohun (’76), Lorna (Milford) MacPherson (BA ’78), Patricia Wade (?) or Alberta Schaap (’76), Rosalie Courage (BA ’76) (in a flowered top, holding a teddy), Marjorie Wall (?) (far right with white blouse and glasses) Front row (left to right): Moira (MacDonald) Conway (BA ’78), Marianne Campbell (sitting behind the big white bear) If these names prompt any more memories and you have additional names, please let us know! Our thanks go out to Catherine, Jennifer, and Paul.

. . .C A N YO U I D E N T I F Y T H E S E A L U M N I ?

If you know who these alumni are, please send your answers to tidings@ 42


A L U M N OT E S 70 s John Nowlan (JDip ’72) retired from CBC Television several years ago, where he was executive producer of Switchback and Street Cents, and embarked on a new career as a travel writer. He and his wife have travelled to and written about all seven continents. Their articles and photographs have appeared in newspapers and magazines across Canada, the United States, Britain, and Australia.


From left: Stephanie Nolen, Kim Kierans, Amber Caseley. Photo by Nadia Sussman.

Darcy Rhyno (BA ’82) is the manager of the Osprey Arts Centre in Shelburne and the part-time executive director of the Shelburne County Arts Council. He also teaches grad courses in popular culture, media, and literature part-time at Mount Saint Vincent University and writes articles, short stories and YA fiction. “I live with my family in an old house on 15 acres near the ocean at the end of a dirt road near Lockeport, my hometown,” he says. “I keep a vegetable garden and cut my own firewood.” John Paul Westin (BA ’82) and his wife Carolyn have recently moved from St John’s (where they lived happily for 12 and a half years) to Saint John, NB. JP has taken up a new post as rector of the Stone Church in Uptown Saint John. Tom Regan (BA ’84) received the Rich Jaroslovsky Award at the 2013 Online Journalism Awards in October 2013. This award is given to an individual who has “significantly advanced or made lasting contributions to the field of online/digital journalism”. The award is only given when merited and is not an annual award. “So it was kinda cool to get it,” writes Tom. Tom was the co-editor of the original King’s Watch in 1978-79 and editor of


ism programs and laid the foundations for partnerships with two institutions in Sao Paulo and two in Rio de Janeiro. Other King’s alumni in attendance were former Nova Scotia premier Darrell Dexter (BJ ’83), Globe and Mail Latin America bureau chief Stephanie Nolen (BJH ’93, DCL ’09), who was reporting on the event, and Amber Caseley (BJH ’10), senior communications officer with the Government of Prince Edward Island.

the Dalhousie Gazette in 1979-80. “I put the Halifax Daily News on the web in 1994, the first newspaper in Canada on the Internet. I was head of the team that built The Christian Science Monitor’s website in 1995. I’m currently the senior editor of Middle Eastern websites for GDIT in Rockville, MD.

together with his co-author Teresa Scassa of the University of Ottawa, for their book Electronic Commerce and Internet Law in Canada, which was first published in 2004 and recently updated.

King’s alumni were part of the Council of Atlantic Premiers delegation to Brazil in October. Brazil is one of the fastest growing economies in the world and the delegation was there to explore possible collaborations with Atlantic Canada. King’s vice president and journalism professor Kim Kierans (DipJ ’76, BA ’82, HC ’83) visited a number of educational institutions that have journal-

Scott Slipp (BA ’85) retired this autumn after 23 years as the owner of Scott Slipp Nissan in Kentville, NS.

Michael Deturbide (BJ ’86), law professor and associate dean, academic, of the Schulich School of Law at Dalhousie University, is the co-recipient of this year’s Walter Owen Book Prize, presented by the Foundation for Legal Research. Michael was recognized,

Iain “Tex” Christie (BScH ’87) joined the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada as executive vice president in June. He will play a key management role and be responsible for policy files relating to small business, defense, procurement, and space. Prior to his appointment, Iain spent 22 years with Neptec Design Group, a specialist spaceflight engineering firm. He has also worked at NASA’s John Space Center training astronauts, including Canadian Chris Hadfield, and in the Space Shuttle Mission Control Center. TIDINGS | WINTER 2014


A L U M N OT E S DORIAN GEIGER TAKES MANHATTAN Dorian Geiger (BJ ’13) took his passion for journalism to New York, where he is now studying for a master of science in journalism at Columbia University. “Columbia is hectic and wonderful,” he writes. “It has been an enriching, dynamic experience. There are people from over 30 countries in my program, my professors work for places like NPR and The New York Times, and our dean Steve Coll was on the Colbert Report a few weeks ago. Shared the elevator with him the other day. So it has been pretty surreal to say the least. It is on par with my King’s experience, except for the fact that there are more students and faculty and the program is a little bigger. This has its pros and cons in comparison with King’s. I miss the smaller community atmosphere of King’s but am definitely embracing the larger international community.” After a boot camp, similar to the first eight weeks at King’s, Dorian wrote weekly stories for his reporting class on topics as diverse as transgender homeless youth, the NYC mayoral election, and the NYC Marathon. “Now I’m taking a video class and a writing for the ear class covering the city’s ethnic neighbourhoods. Based on my recent Southeast Asian travel, I opted to choose Cambodians in the Bronx for my beat, and am now following Cambodian refugees’ reaction to the current UN trial of Khmer Rouge officials in Phnom Penh. I’m also working on a masters project on the subject of prison writing in NYC,” he says. One of Dorian’s classmates at Columbia is Katie Toth (BAH ’13). Dorian and Geordon Omand (BJ ’13), who was visiting for the weekend, had a random encounter with fellow BJ classmate Eric Mutrie (BJ ’13) on Broadway. Dorian is also revelling in the NYC music scene. “A different favourite band or musician of mine is playing here every



week.” Despite the non-stop pace, Dorian says he loves every minute of it. “NYC has captured my heart and soul!” Dorian is also enjoying career success. This autumn he had his first piece published in The New York Times on the topic of Internet ordained ministers, and the BBC recently

contacted him through YouTube to purchase a video clip he shot for The Commoner and The Chronicle Herald on a rare blue lobster. It will be seen on a nature documentary series being aired in early 2014.

Columbia University was founded in New York City in 1754 as King’s College by Royal Charter of King George II. The first classes were held in a new schoolhouse adjoining Trinity Church. The American Revolution in 1776 forced the suspension of instruction and the Rev Charles Inglis, who refused to

leave out prayers for the royal family, was ousted from Trinity Church. In 1789, Charles Inglis, now the first Bishop of Nova Scotia, founded King’s College in Windsor. Back in New York, King’s College reopened in 1784 with a new name — Columbia.

A L U M N OT E S Janice Landry’s (BJH ’87) book The Sixty Second Story, was published in the autumn of 2013 by The Pottersfield Press. It pays SixTy Second homage to first respondSTory ers, particularly her late Janice Landry father, Basil (Baz) Landry, who was a veteran Halifax firefighter and a Canadian Medal of Bravery recipient.

ily Hamper on piano. A second recital took place at the Opéra National de Paris in Paris on 11 January 2014. Photo by Mathieu Bourgois.


When Lives are on the Line

Christopher Richardson’s (BJH ’87) film “Regret” was screened at the 2013 Atlantic Film Festival and premiered nationally on the Documentary Channel in November 2013.

90 s Michael Melski’s (BA ’91) play Eighteen, written when he was playwright in residence at Neptune in 2011, was performed at Neptune Theatre Scotiabank Studio in May 2013. His comedy, Hockey Mom, Hockey Dad, was performed at the same location in October 2013. Roger Thompson’s (BA, HC ’91) second book, Lessons Not Learned: The US Navy’s Status Quo Culture, has been endorsed by the noted aircraft designer and military reformer Pierre M Sprey.

Keith Bonnell (BJH ’00) is now the city editor for the Ottawa Citizen.

Chatelaine food editor and freelance food and travel writer Amy Rosen (BJ ’94) has signed a book contract for Toronto Cooks, a book of 50 of Toronto’s best restaurants in cookbook form. Ken Lima-Coelho (BJ ’96) is vice president of communications and financial development at YMCA Calgary. Dorian Stuber (BAH ’97) is now associate professor in the English Department of Hendrix College in Conway, Arkansas. He continues to serve as the president, secretary, and treasurer of the Little Rock chapter of King’s alumni.

The State of Arizona, the latest documentary to be associate produced by Jordi Valdés (’89-91), was broadcast on PBS’s Independent Lens series on 27 January 2014. http://

Caitlin Patrick (BAH ’00) completed her PhD at Durham University in the UK in 2007 and completed a three-year post doc at University College Dublin. She is now working as the research methods coordinator for King’s College London’s Social Science Doctoral Training Centre. Writer and translator Jessica Moore (BAH ’01) has had a busy year. Her translation of Jean-Francois Beauchemin’s Turkan Boy was published in the spring by Talonbooks and her debut book of poems, Everything, Now, was published in the autumn by Brick Books. Jessica also writes songs and plays the banjo in her band, Charms. Its self-titled album came out in 2010. Journalism grad Jennifer Thornhill Verma (BJH ’02) now works for the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Innovation as the director of its Innovation and Improvement program. She previously worked in the Department of Quality and System Improvement at Eastern Health, the largest regional health authority in Newfoundland and Labrador. Jennifer holds a master of science in medicine in applied health services research from Memorial University.

Author and journalist Randi Druzin (BJ ’92) published her book, Between the Pipes: A Revealing Look at Hockey’s Legendary Goalies, in October 2013. The book contains interviews with current and former NHL coaches and players, family members, and the legendary goalies themselves. After eight years as director of marketing and communications with Rugby Canada, Nick Taylor (FYP ’92) has taken up an exciting new role with the Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation in Toronto. You can contact Nick at

Laura MacDonald (BJH ’00) has taken up a lectureship in musical theatre at the University of Portsmouth in the UK. She previously spent three years teaching American studies at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. She looks forward to connecting with King’s alumni at London gatherings.

Zach Wells (BAH ’99) has had three of his poems adapted into a suite of operatic libretti, “Waypoints”, by composer Erik Ross. The poems were performed at a recital in December at the Jane Mallett Theatre in the St Lawrence Centre for the Arts in Toronto, with baritone singer Phillip Addis and Em-

John MacLean (BJH ’03) is president of the Canadian Bar Association’s Nunavut Branch for 2013-14. He is legal counsel in the Legal & Constitutional Law Division of the Nunavut Department of Justice in Iqaluit. Colin Donegani (BA ’04) has completed his MAEd in educational psychology at Mount Saint Vincent University. In his thesis, he explored the relationship of emotions and self-regulation as predictors of how adolescents handle conflict. TIDINGS | WINTER 2014



KING’S ALUMNI CREATE A NEW JOURNAL: BEYOND BORDERLANDS A group of King’s alumni, spearheaded by Benjamin Mitchell (BAH ’08), has collaborated with a team of academics, artists, and other professionals to create a new peer-review journal and online forum called Beyond Borderlands: A Critical Journal of the Weird, Paranormal, and Occult. The new open access journal was launched in May 2013. “The in-



spiration for Borderlands came in part from the approach to a number of occult topics that the staff encountered during their time at King’s, taking courses in HOST and EMS on science and religion, alchemy and hermeticism, as well as witchcraft and folklore,” says Benjamin. King’s students, teachers, and alumni are invited to submit papers, reviews,

and creative work to the journal. Professors are also invited to participate as peer reviewers or to serve on the board of editors. Photo: Coren Pulleyblank (BAH ’09), Ruth Trainor (BAH ’08), Micah Anshan (BAH ’11), Dani Pacey (BAH ’10), Sam Zucchi (BAH ’11), Asher Nehring (BAH ’10), Benjamin Mitchell (BAH ’08)

A L U M N OT E S Thorfinn Stainforth (BAH ’04) received his MA in European studies at UBC following King’s and is now working in Brussels at the European Commission’s Directorate for Climate Action.

shine Coast. They met when they were both studying for the one-year BJ at King’s. Kate and Erik now live in Ottawa where they both work for Canada’s Foreign Service.

Jon Paul (JP) Brooker (BAH ’05) is a natural resources attorney and policy analyst who specializes in fisheries law. He works for the Ocean Conservancy in St Petersburg, Florida, and Washington, DC. HOST grad Sebastian Gil-Riano (BAH ’05) successfully defended his PhD thesis at the University of Toronto in early December and in July 2014 he will take up a two-year postdoc at the University of Sydney as part of Warwick Anderson’s “Race and Ethnicity in the Global South” research project. Greg Hughes (BJ ’05) will complete a masters in information systems and design at the University of Toronto in June 2014. Jessica Davey-Quantick (BJH ’07) has returned to Canada after five years as editor of several publications in Qatar, most recently for Time Out Doha. She is now studying for her masters in cultural studies at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. Arwen Kidd’s (BJH ’07) independent documentary short film, Smell No Taste, has recently been named a finalist in this year’s PovertyCure International Short Film Festival and is also up for a $3000 Audience Choice Award.

Jamie Lee (BJH ’08) and Darcy MacLean (FYP ’04) were married on 30 June 2013. Currently living in Toronto, Jamie is working freelance in public relations and Darcy works as a healthcare technology consultant.

After being nominated for a Canadian Society of Cinematographers award (CSC), Liam Hyland (BJH ’08) won the CSC’s Roy Tash Award for Spot News for his coverage of Hurricane Isaac. Liam also received an award from the Los Angeles Press Club at the Southern California Journalism Awards for a feature on William Shatner. This year he also covered the birth of the royal baby and the typhoon in the Philippines. He continues to be happily married and now has a second dog named Rocky. Liam can be contacted at Gwenith Cross (BAH ’07) is in the final stages of her PhD at Wilfrid Laurier University. “Although I am in the history department and not HOST/HPS,” she writes, “I am still studying the history of medicine and my dissertation looks at midwifery and obstetrics in Canada and England in the first half of the twentieth century.” In the summer of 2012 she spent two months doing research at the Wellcome Trust and the National Archives in London, UK, and this past summer she returned to do more research at the Wellcome and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. Wanda Taylor (BJ ’08) has been accepted into a PhD program in Atlanta, Georgia, starting in January 2014. She will also be writing a book for Nimbus Publishing on the Home for Coloured Children.

Kate Churchill-Smith (BAH ’06, BJ ’08) and Erik Mjanes (BJ ’08) were married on 3 August 2013 at Roberts Creek on BC’s Sun

big plan these days,” Alison says, “is to corner the “market” (ha!) of writing for architects. There are, of course, some highly capable architects who write about their own work, but largely it is an overlooked mode of expression in the field that I see potential to work on.” Alison has written the article on Alex Colville in this issue of Tidings.

Alison Hugill (BAH ’09) completed a masters in art theory at Goldsmith College, University of London in 2011. Since then, she has been working as a freelance writer, editor and curator. She has recently been working for Berlin Arts as its editor and has reviewed a number of shows in Berlin. “My

Jessica Lee (BAH ’08) is completing her PhD at York University and will be spending next autumn as a visiting scholar at the Max Planck Institute for History of Science in Berlin. Christina Macdonald (BAH ’09) has moved on from the Advancement Office at King’s to Saint Mary’s University. “I’m working in Enrolment Services at SMU so I’m interacting directly with students, which I really love,” she writes.

William Stewart’s (BA ’09) film Touch was screened at Cannes to a full house this summer. It also picked up a buyer in London and William was able to secure funding for two short films. The first will be shot in Alberta with a script written by Robert Richard (BAH ’06). In February 2014, he will head to India to direct a horror film called Black August and produce three other short films. “In June I formed a production company with Indian director Prateek Payodhi called Payodhi-Stewart Productions. We plan to make films that challenge and push the boundaries of Indian cinema. Black August is the first film to be made under this partnership,” says William.




MIXTAPE MAGAZINE LAUNCHED A group of enterprising young King’s journalism alumni have taken a student project and turned it into a professional quarterly Canadian music publication with help from a major grant under Nova Scotia’s Emerging Music Business Program. Mixtape Magazine gives the Canadian music industry and fans 48


an insider’s guide to the best coverage across the country. It showcases influential new artists, fashion trends, and industry insights with stunning photography, infographics, exclusive columns, and in-depth reporting. The team behind Mixtape includes Jonathan Briggins (BJ ’12) editor-in-chief and

co-publisher, Bill McEwen (BJ ’12), copublisher and business manager, Evelyn Hornbeck (BJH ’12), managing editor, contributing editor Nicole Feriancek (BJH ’12), creative director Hilary Creamer (BJ ’12) and photographer Scott Blackburn.

A L U M N OT E S 10s

Hilary Ilkay (BAH ’13) spent the autumn in New York City as the sixth King’s graduate to intern at Lapham’s Quarterly. Her essay “Weaving the Great Web: Helen’s Poetic Perspective in The Iliad”, claimed first prize in the junior category of the Canadian Classical Bulletin undergraduate essay competition. Tiffany (Pottie) Bottomly (BA ’11) received her bachelor of education in secondary studies from Mount Saint Vincent University in May 2013 and married Donald Bottomley of Halifax on 22 June 2013. Trevor Howlett (BJH ’11) has been promoted to news/sports editor at Fort McMurray Today. Griffin McInnis (BAH ’11) is now settled in Paris and working towards his masters of science at the School of Experimentation in Arts and Politics under the umbrella of the Institut d’études politiques de Paris or Sciences Po. “The program is the brainchild of philosopher/sociologist/anthropologist Bruno Latour,” writes Griffin. “Latour made a name for himself as a sociologist of scientific research and laboratories, then later as a philosopher and the developer of ‘actor-network theory’, a sort of model for sociological and anthropological research, but which also has things to say about philosophy, politics, art, etc. So this particular school is one method among some other relatively small projects of his (and others) that serves as a means of experimenting with the practices and implications of his theories.” Griffin would be delighted to hear from friends and classmates at

Hannah Rittner (BAH ’11) is currently studying for an MFA in dramatic writing at New York University. She is enjoying her program, living in New York, and has made lots of new friends. “I am writing a play,” she says, “that I started last spring, now called The Offering. It is set in Ancient Greece and is about the poet Sappho, and how this young woman named Delphine spins her life around. I am very excited about it, the piece is highly theatrical, and demands much of my poetic language, which I deeply enjoy.” Lia Milito (BAH ’12) returned to Rhode Island following months of travelling in Nepal. After a summer stint working in a deli, she embarked on a new adventure: a year with Americorps as a teaching fellow. “You can kind of think of Americorps as the domestic version of Peace Corps,” she writes, “with a one year commitment instead of two.” Lia works at The Learning Community, a public charter school in a small city just north of Providence, where she teaches computer programming, English language development, and after-school STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) classes. “75% of the kids speak Spanish at home and 90% qualify for free or reduced lunch. Even though it’s a really high-poverty school, it’s out-performing all the state averages on standardized achievement benchmarks, so that’s pretty great. I thought the experience would help me narrow down what kind of programmes I might be into for grad school, but it is doing totally the opposite. Alas.”

Patrick Blenkarn (BAH ’13) and Bryn McLeod (BAH ’12), who are also known as the talent behind Wheelwright, performed their travelling theatre-music show, If One Night: a Collodion Remedy, in both Toronto and Halifax this autumn. “I’ve had a very busy summer being selected to participate in and attend three major art festivals across North America,” says Patrick. Laura Hubbard (BJH ’13) spent part of the summer after graduation studying how to be a foreign correspondent in Prague, Czech Republic. She returned to Canada and is now working full time as a multimedia reporter at The Casket newspaper in Antigonish. Laura can be contacted at Mick Côté (BJH ’11, MJ ’12) has joined the Montreal Gazette as its new digital editor. He previously worked at Spundge. Charles Bourne (BAH ’12) published a coauthored paper in Medicine Studies in July 2013. He wrote “War medicine as springboard for early knowledge construction in radiology” with Rethy K Chhem. Charles is an intern at the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna.


Kristin Slaney (BAH ’12) was accepted into Columbia University’s MFA playwriting program, just one of 10 playwrights worldwide who was selected.

Journalism instructor Dick Miller produced a series for CBC this summer on the human brain and how it works. The 10 half-hour shows of Think About It: A User’s Guide to the Brain talked about cutting edge neuroscience, the nature of intelligence, the way memory works, and brain-computer interfaces for art, fun, and to help those who have been paralysed or lost a limb. A number of King’s alumni helped Dick to pull the series together by gathering interviews and being interviewed, and by providing feedback: Julia Pagel (BJ ’12), Julian Brown (BJ ’13), Dan Campbell (BJ ’13), and Evey Hornbeck (BJH ’12).




Should we vaccinate boys against HPV?

ABOVE, FROM LEFT: Harley Rustad, Cynthia Spring, and Calum Agnew. RIGHT: The January/February 2014 issue of The Walrus was the first one Calum, Cynthia, and Harley worked on. Photo courtesy of The Walrus.

THREE KING’S ALUMNI INTERN AT THE WALRUS The Canadian magazine The Walrus has scooped up three King’s alumni as interns. Calum Agnew (BAH ’13), Harley Rustad (BJ ’12), and Cynthia Spring (BAH ’10) began work at “Canada’s best and most awarded magazine” in October. “It is unusual for us to have three editorial interns from 50


the same university at the same time,” says Kyle Carsten Wyatt, managing editor of The Walrus. “It was a coincidence this round, and a reflection of their shared commitment to long-form journalism and intellectual rigour. We’re happy to have them.”

Alice SPeCIaL WINTe> DOUBlE Munro’s big ?\?\

? i s s u E ?\?\?

t h e wa l r u s . c a · published by the walrus foundation Inside

A criminologist investigates





ja n ua ry / f e b r ua ry 2 014

IN MEMORIUM Ira D. Abraham (BScH ’67) 28 July 2013 Dr Donald. D. Betts (BSc ’50) 23 October 2013 Rev. William M. Bishop (LTh ’47, BA ’51) 2 September 2013

Dr. Shirley (Hodder) Debow (MSW ’65) 25 March 2013

Steven W. McLuskie (BJ ’83) 20 May 2012

Rev. Canon Emery G. Harris (BA ’52, BSL ’54, BDiv ’68) 2 February 2013

Verna Munro (special friend) 20 August 2013

Mary Beth Harris (BA ’54) 4 March 2013

Palmira D. Boutillier (BJ ’11) 19 August 2013

Marion R. Haviland (BA ’75) 9 August 2013

Dr. Lawrence M. Buffett (BSc ’58) 2 October 2012

E. Ian Howard (special friend) 6 February 2013

Thomas Hugh R. Byrne (1954-1955) 2 March 2013 James S. Carfra (BA ’61) 17 September 2012 Dr. Eric Cleveland (BA ’41) 27 August 2012 Hon. Alex Colville (DCL ’94) 16 July 2013 Dorothy Coons (BA ’53) 1 September 2013 Ian M. Crystal (BAH ’89) 14 November 2012

Calvin G. Headley (1975-1978) 3 July 2013

Dr. Leslie Jaeger (special friend) 19 August 2013

Cecil W. Moore (1946-1947) 16 June 2012

Janice M. (Flinn) Nourry (BA ’69) 1 June 2013 Rev. Eldie Richard (1973-1975) 24 May 2013 Marilyn E. (Lee) Rockwell (1951-1952) 21 October 2013 Janice D. Smith (BSc ’98) December 2012

Phyllis M. (Gardner) Kennedy (BA ’32) 28 January 2013

Rt. Rev. John R. Sperry (STh ’55) 11 February 2012

Daina M. Kulnys (BA ’78) 22 December 2012

Robin Taylor (special friend) 12 June 2013

John J. Lemoine (BA ’41) 8 September 2013 Heather N. MacDonald (BA ’99) 29 June 2013

Rev. Canon Donald F. L. Trivett (BA ‘50, LTh ’52) 8 October 2013 Dr. Kraft von Maltzahn (Inglis professor) 2 April 2013 Linda Whitehouse (2003-2004) 18 June 2013

Our ‘Parting Shot’ photo on page 60 of the summer issue elicited a flurry of phone calls, letters, and emails. Dr Avery McCordick, who submitted the photo, is very grateful for the additional information. In the photo, his father, Dr E R McCordick (Honorary Fellow ’54, DCNL ’60) is shown planting a tree on campus. We understand that the tree was the Class of ’52’s gift to the university and would probably have been planted in the spring of that year by the executive members of the class. FROM LEFT TO RIGHT:

Don MacQuarrie; Bill Sitland; Kitchen (‘Doc) Hayman (holding the piece of paper), president of the Class of ’52; Don Smith; Don Trivett (BA ’50) (wearing the hood), Senior Student; Bert (holding the tree), handyman at King’s Our thanks to Arthur Cuzner, Doc Hayman, Charles Johnston, Earle Ripley, Bruce Ross, Bill Skinner, and Don Trivett for providing information.




THANK YOU! The generous support of our sponsors, players, and prize donors at the Alumni Association 20th Annual Golf Tournament will enable 20 students to attend King’s in 2014. We couldn’t have done it without you!



CBC Clearwater Fine Foods Inc. Coastal Restoration & Masonry Ltd. Duffus Romans Kundzins Rounsefell Architects Ltd. EastLink

Grant Thornton LLP Greco Pizza Halifax Glass & Mirror Ltd. MacGregor Brown Plumbing & Heating Maritimes & Northeast Pipeline

Marvin Windows and Doors McInnes Cooper Rector Colavecchia Roche

Scotiabank Commercial Banking Scotia Cleaning Services Inc. TC Transcontinental Printing

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We kick off our 225th anniversary year with the launch of the King’s College Chapel Choir CD, Let Us Keep the Feast, which features music from the church year, from Advent to All Souls. The CD is available from the King’s Coop Bookstore, www.


Tidings - winter 2014  

The winter 2014 edition of the University of King's College alumni magazine.

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