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OCAD U remembers faculty member Heidi Overhill

Heidi Overhill

Photo of Heidi Overhill via The Globe and Mail.

The OCAD University community mourns the passing of Heidi Ellis Overhill on Feb. 4, 2024, at the age of 68. Overhill taught at OCAD University until 2010.

“I met Heidi at Carleton University in Ottawa in the late 1970s in the architecture and industrial design programs. There were few women in the school at the time, and we found solidarity and common ground in a friendship that went on to span decades,” remembers OCAD U Associate Professor Cheryl Giraudy.

“Over that time, we were engaged on several professional projects and then wonderful speculative ideas for social justice in city housing and placemaking because Heidi was a consummate visionary and problem-solver.”


Heidi Ellis Overhill was a beloved professor at OCAD U, where she was a faculty member until 2010.

Overhill was a senior designer at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa and taught at Sheridan College.

She worked on such projects as the Loring and Wyle and Henry Moore exhibits at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO), the Mesopotamia and Ancient Iran exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM), the former Shania Twain Museum in Timmins, as well as The National Museum of the Philippines in Manila.

She was a painter and a published author, and, through her sickness, she finished a draft of her PhD in the Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto: “Conceptualizing the Western Domestic Kitchen as a Site for 'Information’ ”.

“She brought me to OCAD in 1999 for lectures and supported me as I fostered my own career in teaching. I am forever grateful to Heidi for her mentorship and support,” continues Giraudy.

“She was a remarkable human being, powerfully creative across a breadth of design and art disciplines and she was kind and generous in ways that remain impactful for so many, including her former students at OCAD U and Sheridan. She left us too soon.”

OCAD U extends its condolences to her family, friends and loved ones.

The Globe and Mail
Cheryl Giraudy