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Creativity will be at the centre of a new school combining theatre and visual arts at the University of the Fraser Valley.

The UFV Theatre department and the Visual Arts department have united to form the School of Creative Arts (SoCA) within the UFV College of Arts.

All Theatre and Visual Arts courses and programs continue to be offered. Students from the two areas will benefit from increased opportunities for dynamic interdisciplinary and collaborative learning, inside and outside of the classroom. SoCA will hold a public launch celebration on Fri, Sept 27, at the Abbotsford campus. Admission is free and the public is welcome. Registration starts at 5:30 pm, with festivities following at 6 pm.

Come and participate in a free interactive evening offering art and performance lessons led by UFV faculty members. Some of the lessons that will be offered are beginner drawing, printmaking, stage fighting, media art, and art history.

Celebrate with community members while enjoying UFV Alumni wine and catering by Frankie’s Italian Kitchen & Bar. This event also features a gallery exhibition and DJ music by CIVL Radio.

Dr. Heather Davis-Fisch has been named Director of the new school. She was previously department head of the Theatre program from 2016 to 2019 and joined UFV in 2011 as associate professor.

“I’m very excited about this opportunity,” noted Davis-Fisch. “Combining theatre and visual arts into a new school gives us a chance to think consciously about what our vision and values will be and what we as an interdisciplinary school can do for our students and the Fraser Valley community. Coming from a theatre background myself, I am very excited about working with visual arts and art history faculty. Even my own background is actually quite interdisciplinary, combining theatre, history, and English, so I know the benefits of dissolving boundaries between programs.”

SoCA will combine digital technologies and media with traditional arts practice and performance. Merging the two departments positions UFV to become a cultural hub and centre of creative innovation in the Fraser Valley. SoCA places a high value on experiential learning and preparing students for careers valuing flexibility, innovation, and creative problem-solving.

“Having all the disciplines together in one school will give us some exciting potential to grow our Bachelor of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Media Arts in some very innovative directions. And there will be some very creative collaboration between the different areas. For example, our first theatre production this year will be located in the S’eliyemetaxwtexw art gallery on the Abbotsford campus. It’s about a man who buys a pure white painting and tries to justify it as fine art to his friends.”

The new school builds on the Visual Arts and Theatre departments’ long histories of leading engagement in art and performance. SoCA combines resources to promote an excellent student learning experience.

The Editor

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