OCAD University

OCAD University to confer honorary doctorates on

Peter Caldwell, Piers Handling and Nobuo Kubota

(Toronto—May 19, 2011) OCAD University (OCAD U) will present honorary doctorate degrees to community leader Peter Caldwell, cultural icon Piers Handling and artist Nobuo Kubota at the university’s convocation ceremony at Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto on Thursday, June 2.

"Caldwell, Handling and Kubota are three individuals who have each had a profound impact in their respective fields," says Dr. Sara Diamond, OCAD University President. "Peter Caldwell has been a tireless crusader for OCAD University itself, especially in supporting our physical growth through major capital developments and acquisitions like the Sharp Centre for Design and our three southern campus buildings. Piers Handling has put Toronto on the global stage with his leadership in cultivating the Toronto International Film Festival into the world-class event it is today. Nobuo Kubota has left an indelible mark in Canada with his creative energy, innovation and enthusiasm. The qualities of these inspiring individuals are what we want to impart to this year’s graduating class as they go out into the world and make their own impressions."


Peter Caldwell has been a long-standing and passionate supporter of OCAD University in both a professional and personal capacity. As the institution’s former Vice-President, Finance & Administration, a position he held in various iterations since 1994, he served as its Chief Administrative and Financial Officer. In this role, he provided strong leadership and was a key figure in driving forward the university’s physical campus expansion while also supporting the overall academic growth of the institution. Notably, he oversaw the development and construction of the acclaimed Sharp Centre for Design that opened in 2004.
Piers Handling is one of the most successful CEOs within the Canadian cultural community.  Since taking over as the Director and CEO of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in 1994, he has been responsible for building an organization that presents an international event on par with Cannes and other premier film festivals around the world. Under his leadership, TIFF has grown to now include: TIFF Cinematheque; the Film Reference Library and the Canadian Film Encyclopedia online; Film Circuit, which promotes Canadian and independent film in underserviced cities across Canada; Sprockets Toronto International Film Festival for Children launched in 1998; and the TIFF Bell Lightbox. Handling is also recognized for his role in the expansion of the Festival of Festivals into a larger cultural institution with a much broader mandate.

Nobuo Kubota is a Vancouver-born, multimedia artist and former OCAD University faculty member (1970 to 1998) who incorporates his years of architectural experience to make video and film that explore the variety of structural possibilities. Much of his work touches on both his Canadian identity, as well as his Japanese roots. Abandoning his 10-year architectural career in 1969 to fully devote himself to sculpture and music, Kubota received a Canada Council grant to study his passion for art in Japan. Today, he continues to exhibit widely, and in 2009 received the prestigious Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts.

OCAD University’s 2011 Spring Convocation ceremony will take place on Thursday, June 2 at 1:30 p.m. at Roy Thomson Hall, 60 Simcoe Street, Toronto.

Since 2003, OCAD has conferred honorary doctorates to such luminaries as Carole Condé and Karl Beveridge, Anita Kunz, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Margaret Atwood, Charles Pachter, Dan Donovan, Bill Buxton, the Rt. Hon. Adrienne Clarkson, Karim Rashid, Will Alsop, Daphne Odjig and Claude Gidman. Prior to 2003, OCAD U named honorary fellows, including A. J. Casson, Don Watt, Betty Goodwin, Atom Egoyan and Bruce Mau.

About OCAD University (OCAD U)
OCAD University (www.ocad.ca) is Canada’s “university of the imagination.” The university, founded in 1876, is dedicated to art and design education, practice and research, and to knowledge and invention across a wide range of disciplines. OCAD University is building on its traditional, studio-based strengths, adding new approaches to learning that champion cross-disciplinary practice, collaboration and the integration of emerging technologies. In the Age of Imagination, OCAD University community members will be uniquely qualified to act as catalysts for the next advances in culture, technology and quality of life for all Canadians.

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For more information contact:

Sarah Mulholland, Media & Communications Officer
416-977-6000 Ext. 327 (mobile Ext. 1327)

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