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The GradEx information forum for graduating students is taking place Thursday, March 30 from 2 to 3:30 p.m.  

Learn what the 108th Annual Graduate Exhibition is all about and how you benefit from 40,000+ people coming to see your work. The forum will cover the schedule of events, how to book equipment, safety and security rules and other essential details you need to know. An info package will be sent to you soon via your student email.

Venue & Address
Auditorium, Room 190, 100 McCaul Street

Graduating this year? Attend this essential info forum!

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Image: OCAD University's 2022 Medal Winners pictured on stage at the Celebrate Excellence reception on May 11. 

Celebrating OCAD University’s 2022 Medal Winners

On the evening of May 11, President and Vice-Chancellor Ana Serrano announced this year’s OCAD University Medal Winners at the Celebrate Excellence reception, a beautiful outdoor event that recognized 23 top graduating students, held in Butterfield Park. 

Annually, one graduating student from each of the University’s undergraduate and graduate programs is recognized with a medal, in honour of their creativity, innovation and technical mastery in their chosen discipline.  

“Tonight is very special – not only because we’re here together in person after two years – but because we’re going to recognize a group of exceptional students who have gone above and beyond expectations in completing their OCAD U degrees – and during a very challenging time,” President Serrano expressed. 

The reception also included a blessing by Elder Dr. Duke Redbird and speeches by medal winners, Emerald Repard-Denniston from the Drawing and Painting undergraduate program and Walter Yim from the Design for Health graduate program. 

“I have so much to be thankful for," remarked Repard-Denniston. "Here at OCAD U we have received a great education thanks to our talented and supportive faculty. We are prepared to move on and to take on whatever challenges and successes come next in our lives,” she continued. 

The bustling party also marked the launch of GradEx 107, OCAD U’s annual graduate exhibition, which showcases the works of over 600 emerging artists, designers and digital media makers across the University’s campus.  

The evening included live art making by three OCAD University undergraduate students, a musical performance by violinist Dr. Draw and his band, a DJ set by OCAD U student Paper Skies and a welcome from Mitch Gillin, Vice-President, Asset Development at Hullmark, representing presenting sponsors Hullmark and BentallGreenOak. 

All this activity took place amidst a crowd of OCAD U community members, many of whom were reconnecting in person for the first time in two years. More than 6,500 visitors attended the opening night festivities.  

The work of all medal recipients are on view during GradEx, May 11 to 15.  

Meet the 2022 OCAD U Medal Winners 
Undergraduate Programs

Maria Naqvi’s South Asian-Canadian background allows her to bridge gaps and think critically when solving issues that address minority communities. Naqvi thrives on challenges and always tries to implement new strategies for communicating stories that go against the status quo. Naqvi believes the future of advertising relies on new perspectives, diversity and inclusion and is excited to be part of it! 

Criticism & Curatorial Practice 
Fabiyino Germain-Bajowa is a Nigerian-Canadian writer, curator and interdisciplinary artist based in Tkaronto/Toronto. Her writing engages Afro-diasporic archives of thought and memory, passed down through oral history, food and acts of care. Her art practice and research centre Afro-diasporic experience to build an understanding of the ways archives of physical and immaterial knowledge are constructed in the Black community through the lenses of care theory, Afro-futurism, and archival studies. Her practice emphasizes community building and support, and her work is often based on her lived experiences as a Black queer woman.  
Cross-Disciplinary Art 
Parastoo Mahmoudi is a Canadian-Iranian visual artist currently living in Toronto. She studied human anatomy and portraits by drawing and sculpting life models and experimenting with different mediums and techniques. Mahmoudi's work is in collections worldwide, including in Tehran, Dubai and Toronto. Currently, she is working on immersive installations, performances, drawings and paintings to explore the relationship between her life experiences and how she became who she is. 
Digital Futures 
Sam Kingston is a designer exploring the relationship between humans and code, building robots that attempt to interpret and imitate thoughtful human interaction. His specialty involves identifying the subtleties in our built environments that are often overlooked during everyday interactions. He uses various 3D printing technologies to build mechanisms that interact with and automate objects which have been designed with people, not robots, as their intended user. 

Drawing & Painting 
Emerald Repard-Denniston is a queer Chinese-Canadian contemporary artist. She is committed to anti-colonial, anti-capitalist politics and activist work. Based in Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh and Musqueam/Vancouver and Tkaronto/Toronto, her practice focuses on the diasporic-Canadian experience through drawing, painting and digital media.  

Environmental Design 
Timothy Soribello is a designer who believes that rethinking the already built environment can unlock powerful possibilities in designing solutions. Soribello's thesis criticizes post-industrial ruins as culprits to the devastation of our environment. Rethinking these ruins, he used the abandoned Hearn Generating Station to magnify his argument's credibility. 
Graphic Design 
Maham Momin is a graphic designer and creative from Tkaronto/Toronto, with a specialization in expressive design. She's particularly interested in editorial and publication design that is speculative, critical and experimental. 

Toko Hosoya creates narrative-based images and objects. Originally hailing from Japan, her practice is currently based in Toronto, Canada. 

Indigenous Visual Culture 
Bert Whitecrow is a Two Spirited, multidisciplinary artist from Seine River First Nation. Their work explores methods of storytelling, through preserving and practicing ancestral knowledge. Indigenous futurisms, the belief of the inherent queerness in nature and their relationship to place are points of exploration throughout Whitecrow’s practice. 
Industrial Design  
Max Fine is a Toronto-based industrial designer student who is interested in the connection between sustainable technology and human behaviour. 

Integrated Media 
Marcella Driver-Moliner is a Toronto-based bilingual new media artist who hails from the Eastern Townships of Quebec. Driver-Moliner's practice is the joy of investigating the process of creating different visual languages and aesthetics to decipher unclear emotions such as loneliness, belonging, grief, self-depreciation and isolation.

Material Art & Design  
Aleena Derohanian is an interdisciplinary artist whose work explores the intersection of alien and UFO folklore, pop culture and the sublime. Her style can be identified through her use of bright colours, organic forms and an amalgam of materials. With a background in jewellery and silversmithing, Derohanian expertly incorporates semi-precious metals and stones into her mixed media sculptures. Currently she is exploring lamp and lighting fixture design with her unique aesthetic. 

Tizzi Tan was born in Yunnan, China. Her works are mostly lens-based, but are not confined to any specific medium. She focuses on the subtle perceptions of human activities and explores the meanings of existence under current social conditions.  

Printmaking & Publications 
Laur Flom is a multidisciplinary artist working mainly in printmaking and book arts. Based in Tkaronto/Toronto, their practice is largely conceptual, exploring themes surrounding identity, queerness and trans masculinity. 

Evgenia Mikhaylova is an interdisciplinary artist working in installation, video, sound, drawing and performance. Her work examines the complexities of perception, communication systems, language and epistemology through interdisciplinary research-based practice that investigates parallels between the ways we experience the world through our senses and the ways we interpret the knowledge we acquire. 

Visual & Critical Studies 
Nadia Spaziani is a Toronto-based researcher and writer. Her area of study is Ancient Greek material culture, specializing in building on existing theories of the period with contemporary ideas of psychoanalysis and feminist theories. Spaziani’s practice is based in the mythology of the Greeks and how the characters shaped societal values. 

Graduate Programs  

Contemporary Art, Design & New Media Art 
Maya Burns is an emerging writer and researcher based in Toronto. Her work explores the critical and pedagogical potential of quotation and appropriation in contemporary art.  

Criticism & Curatorial Practice 
Kalina Nedelcheva is a multimedia artist-researcher, emerging curator and musician, based in Tkaronto/Toronto. She explores the ways in which human consciousness engages in the process of meaning-making and has an interest in writing and film as mediums for theoretical storytelling. 

Design for Health 
Walter Yim has been a practicing dentist in Toronto for more than 30 years. His most recent design work explores how we might innovate healthcare through the lens of compassion, by exploring patient-centred methodologies. 

Digital Futures 
Candide Uyanze is a multimedia, multidisciplinary and multi-hyphenate doer of things based in Tkaronto/Toronto and Anishinābe Akì territory. Her practice explores diasporic storytelling, immersive web experiences, open-source tools, accessible media production, African languages and speech recognition.  

Inclusive Design 
Josephine Guan is a Chinese-Canadian artist that has worked as an illustrator, graphic designer and arts instructor. Her thesis research focuses on using arts-based methods like drawing and writing with brain injury survivors. Throughout all of her work, she’s most interested in facilitating conversations and using multiple ways of communicating. 

Interdisciplinary Master's in Art, Media & Design 
Juka Almeida 

Strategic Foresight & Innovation 
Carly Benson explores new frontiers in disaster risk reduction through human-centered design and foresight 

News Summary
This year, OCAD U celebrated its top graduates with a lively in-person reception in Butterfield Park.
Banner Image
A group of OCAD University graduates standing on stage outside, smiling.

From May 11 to 15, OCAD University’s annual graduate exhibition – Toronto’s largest free art and design exhibition – returns as an in-person and online event to be held across the McCaul St. and Richmond St. West campus.

Presented by sponsors Hullmark and BentallGreenOak, GradEx 107 opens on Wednesday, May 11 with an opening reception in Butterfield Park at 6 p.m., which includes the announcement of this year’s medal winners.

“GradEx 107 is the best place to see the richness and depth of artistic talent and ingenuity that is nurtured at OCAD U,” says President Ana Serrano. “Every year, audiences from across Ontario and beyond are inspired by work that spans the spectrum of creativity from visual art and design to innovative solutions that address real-world problems across a variety of sectors, from housing to health care to education.

Works by more than 600 emerging artists, designers and digital media makers from the University’s Faculty of Art, Faculty of Design, Faculty of Arts and Science and Graduate Studies will be on display at various locations across the campus.

Exhibitors include:

  • Graphic design student Corinna Wyles-Plumley who has used her experience working in an after-school program to design and produce a phonetic puzzle that helps children learn how to read in a fun and engaging way.
  • Digital Futures student Joshua Igwe who has created the video game Black Future, set in futuristic Egypt that celebrates young Black innovators and aims to increase representation of Black people in video games.
  • Industrial Design student Madeleine Simmons Wallin who has designed a dating app for people with visual impairments, connecting people through sound and touch.
  • Drawing and Painting student Rachael Grad, a Duke law school graduate and mother of three who left practising law to study painting full-time, creating works that reflect parenting moments.
  • Environmental Design student Rachel Morris who has designed a glass-free alternative window using clear, see-through wood as part of her eco-friendly dwelling design.
  • Photography student Christian Malong who has captured the presence of nature and wildlife within the urban environment of the GTA.
  • Industrial Design student Xiaozong Tang who has combined the design of apparel with smart safety features for elderly people with an increased risk of injury due to falls. 

Features of this year’s GradEx 107:

  • COVID-19 safety measures, including the requirement that all guests wear masks and limited capacity during the mornings for visitors who want a less crowded experience (pre-registration required);
  • Outdoor student sales in Butterfield Park from May 12 to 15; and
  • Exhibits set up across the campus at 100 McCaul St., 115 McCaul St., 51 McCaul St., 49 McCaul St., and 205 Richmond St. W.

GradEx 107 Hours

Wednesday, May 11:

  • 6 p.m. to 11 p.m.: Opening night celebration and reception in Butterfield Park (enter through 100 McCaul St.), open to the public, no reservations needed

Thursday, May 12 and Friday, May 13

  • 9:30 a.m. to 12 noon: Limited capacity – reserve your space
  • 12 noon to 8 p.m.: All exhibitions open to the public – no reservations required
  • 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.: Student sales in Butterfield Park

Saturday, May 14 and Sunday, May 15

  • 10 a.m. to12 noon: Limited capacity – reserve your space
  • 12 noon to 5 p.m.: All exhibitions open to the public – no reservations required
  • 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.: Student sales in Butterfield Park
News Summary
From May 11 to 15, GradEx 107 will showcase works by Canada’s top emerging artists, designers and digital media makers.
Banner Image
Graphic with square containing nine boxes (orange, black, blue and yellow) with letters spelling out GradEx 107, bordered by colourful images outside of the square. Right-hand side: white letters on black background read, "OCAD UNIVERSITY Annual Graduate Exhibition May 11 to 15, 2022, OCADU.CA/GRADEX, presenting sponsors hullmark and BentallGreenOak

You can now see amazing work by OCAD U graduates on campus and throughout the community thanks to a public outdoor showcase and poster exhibition series, and it’s free!

This year, GradEx 106 continues to showcase amazing work by hundreds of graduates through an online exhibition, making what is traditionally known as Toronto’s largest free art and design exhibition easily accessible to the public.

Free public art showcase

The University is also featuring free public art projections at 10 sites on the OCAD U campus, presenting the work of more than 160 recent graduates, representing a wide range of programs, from now until the end of July.

Produced with the support from presenting sponsors Hullmark and BentallGreenOak, these public activations feature large-scale, outdoor projections from the windows of the University’s properties, and from strategically placed, flat-screen monitors along pedestrian routes.

“We’ve had to find creative ways to bring the wonderful works of art by our graduates directly to the public during this ongoing pandemic. I encourage people to take a stroll on campus at night to view some amazing work that is being projected onto our buildings and throughout the community through various venues,” says Ana Serrano, OCAD U’s President and Vice Chancellor.

Projections are taking place nightly at OCAD U’s main buildings until the end of July:

  • 49 McCaul St.
  • 51 McCaul St.
  • 100 McCaul St. (The Rosalie Sharp Centre for Design)
  • 115 McCaul St. (The Rosalie Sharp Pavilion)
  • 205 Richmond St. W.

Poster exhibition series

An additional component of GradEx 106 is the poster exhibition series, taking place at the sites below in the Toronto Downtown West BIA community, and OCAD U thanks the Toronto Downtown West BIA for their ongoing support of GradEx:

News Summary
The outdoor projections are being complemented by a poster series exhibition in the community.
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OCAD University Faculty of Design proudly present the work of the Graphic Design and Illustration Programs' 2021 Graduates at Fort York National Historic Site.

Running summer-long from June 14th , this open-air exhibition features approximately 100 projects from the 2021 graduating students in the 2D Undergraduate Design programs at OCADU.   

Open in the fresh air, in the heart of Toronto, this exhibition activates public space for people to get safely outside while exercising along the pedestrian pathway. 

Located on the East and South fences of Fort York National Historic Site (100 Garrison Road), this exhibition is free and visible during daylight hours.  Each poster in the exhibit has a unique QR code to link to further information and work by the student. The exhibit is installed along an asphalt pathway that includes a gentle grade change. 

Before your visit, please visit and the Roadmap to Reopen Ontario for information and guidelines. 

When visiting the site, please remember to keep a distance of at least two metres from people you don’t live with and wear a cloth mask or face covering when it is difficult to maintain physical distance. 

For more great Illustration and Graphic Design work visit: and 

 @tohistorymuseums, @ocaduniversity, @ocaduillustration 

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Wednesday, May 5, 2021

2:00 P.M. - 4:00 P.M.

Students in the BA (Honours) Program in Visual and Critical Studies will present their thesis projects in a public symposium. This is an opportunity for students, faculty, and community members to see the exciting work that our graduating cohort are doing at the cutting edge of art history and visual culture.

Register for the Teams Live event:

Or tune in for the OCADU Live Broadcast:

Venue & Address
MS Teams Live with OCAD U Live Broadcast
Digital Screen

Students in the BA (Honours) Program in Visual and Critical Studies will present their thesis projects in a public symposium.

Banner Image
VCS Thesis Symposium 2021
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I am writing to update the OCAD University community on our plans for Grad Ex 105.

First, I would like to thank everyone for their understanding with respect to our original decision to cancel the 2019-20 Graduate Exhibition event that normally runs at the end of the winter term. The onset of the pandemic, the enormous popularity of Grad Ex with the general public, and the challenge of navigating our spaces within an uncertain pandemic context gave us no choice.

Shortly thereafter, I convened a Task Force led by Associate Dean of the Faculty of Design Melanie Hope and former Dean of Faculty of Art, Vladimir Spicanovic. The Task Force membership drew from across the university and included staff, faculty and students who had a passionate stake in seeing Grad Ex move forward in a way that would be possible under the pandemic circumstances we still find ourselves in. The composition of the committee can be found in the report submitted to me on behalf of the Task Force.

The Grad Ex Task Force did a significant amount of work over the summer months to meet regularly, consult with colleagues and students, and think through what form the showcase of our graduating students work might take. There are a number of considerations that have impacted the proposals from the Task Force. Although Toronto is now in Stage Three of the Province’s re-opening plan, physical distancing is still necessary and gathering sizes are still restricted. And we need to be prepared that we may move back into Phase Two at any time. With this reality in mind, we need to design Grad Ex 105 in a way that ensures it is future-proofed and can be safely produced against a resurgence of COVID-19 or even within the current context.

I, in collaboration with my colleagues on the Executive Team, have considered the proposals submitted to me by the Task Force and see an exciting potential for the 2019-20 Graduate Exhibition to move forward with three distinct opportunities for community engagement:

  1. Public Exhibitions: This aspect of Grad Ex will allow the public to view art and design works by graduating students in physical spaces. Members of the Task Force, as well as President Ana Serrano, have been cultivating relationships with public partners who are enthusiastically encouraging us to install the work of our graduates on their sites. Possibilities include storefronts, public projections, public sites outside to name a few. 
  2. Virtual Showcase:  An online platform will be developed that will serve as a presentation hub. This digital engagement platform will provide professional networking opportunities for our 2019/20 graduates and will have compelling and transformative power for graduating students. It will have the potential to be both an exhibition venue and an e-commerce vehicle allowing grads to showcase their work to art and design professionals nationally and internationally, as well as their peers, families and friends. I will acknowledge that some programs have already undertaken this process and developed a web presence for their students. How these sites might be folded into the new platform can be discussed with the production team.
  3. Grad Ex LIVE: This aspect of Grad Ex would feed into the new OCAD U LIVE channel recently communicated by President Serrano.  2019/20 graduates who had final work(s) in-progress, and who were unable to complete their projects due to the constraints of the pandemic, will have an opportunity to present and describe these projects to the public through video segments that will be broadcast on the LIVE channel. This unique venue will allow these students to create an intimate dialogue about their process for the public, and to discuss where they anticipate their art and/or design practice will go in the future.

Each of these distinct and related channels for distribution of the work of our accomplished 2019/20 graduates will require resources. The university is committed to providing these. The Grad Ex Task Force has made recommendations regarding the staffing required to undertake the work of mounting the re-visioned Grad Ex 105. Having looked carefully at these, I am following the recommendations of the Task Force and will create two related streams of support:

i.                    2019/20 Grad Ex Producer: We are committed to retaining production expertise to support the three aspects of the Grad Ex strategy. This position (and/or team) will provide guidance and direction for the Curatorial/Design Team to assist them and students in determining which of the three opportunities for presentation they would most benefit from participating in.

ii.                   Curatorial/Design Team: OCAD University has enormous expertise in Curatorial knowledge and Exhibition Design, among our faculty, students and alumni. The Curatorial/Design team will be comprised of recent graduates and current faculty who will work with the Producer, Chairs, GPDs and program faculty to create a compelling and exciting artistic vision and direction that is characteristic of the excellence we are known for, and maximizes the potential of each of the above formats as well as their synergies.

Additionally, there will be good opportunities for our students to be engaged in this reconceptualization of Grad Ex. As the coordination of the event develops, positions for students will emerge and will be posted. We anticipate graduating students will be very involved in the production of Grad Ex 105. Faculty, in particular Chairs and GPDs, will be engaged much as in the past by helping to organize their programs and guiding students as they make decisions about what they plan to present. The University’s Marketing and Communications  team will lead promotion of this reconceptualized Grad Ex 105.

Given that some part of the re-fashioned event will enable description and discussion of unfinished work, or presentation of new work completed off campus, and given that the pandemic’s continued grip makes it challenging to safely re-open our facilities, we will not be enabling access to the  Fabrication Centre and studios to facilitate completion of any unfinished 2019/20 projects.  This may come as disappointing news, but we have established the safety of our students, faculty and staff as the paramount concern by which to assess re-opening capacities. There are other considerations underway with respect to accessing campus specifically for retrieving unfinished work.

Timeline: As is evident from the description above, mounting this event will be demanding at a time when all of us are working hard to do something else that we have never done before: offer a full term of art and design education remotely. However, the sentiment expressed by the Task Force, and by anyone I have encountered as we have discussed Grad Ex 105, is that there is a deep commitment move forward with an opportunity for our 19-20 graduates to showcase their work in formats that honour their efforts to produce outstanding art and design. Considering the time it will require to identify the teams and staff working on these three formats of display, and the time for graduates to forward work, the event will likely launch in late Fall, and/or early in the new year.

There is much more to be said on this, and I am sure many questions will result from this message, but I wanted to inform the community of our collective commitment to Grad Ex 105 and about the exciting direction this is taking.

In closing, I want to thank the Co-Chairs of the Grad Ex Task Force Melanie Hope and Vladimir Spicanovic for their diligent work with the committee in producing a proposal that assisted all of us in seeing Grad Ex move forward. I want to thank all the members of the Task Force, staff, faculty and students, for their devotion to this event, and for giving their time during this challenging period in all of our lives.




Vice-President Academic and Provost, OCAD University

Final report GradEx 105 recommendations






News Summary
I am writing to update the OCAD University community on our plans for Grad Ex 105. First, I would like to thank everyone for their understanding with respect to our original decision to cancel the 2019-20 Graduate Exhibition event that normally runs at the end of the winter term. The onset of the pandemic, the enormous popularity of Grad Ex with the general public, and the challenge of navigating our spaces within an uncertain pandemic context gave us no choice.

The OCAD University GradEx 105 Task Force will explore options for creating a platform to highlight the work of graduating students who would have nornally participated in this end-of-year showcase for the 2019-20 academic year.

Leading the work of the task force are Vladimir Spicanovic, PhD and Melanie Printup Hope, MFA, who have agreed to serve as co-chairs.  

“We are grateful that Vlad and Melanie have accepted the call to co-lead this very important initiative, providing the experience as well as thoughtful and engaging leadership to support us in determining the best way forward,” said Dr. Sara Diamond, President and Vice-Chancellor of OCAD University.

About Melanie Printup Hope, MFA

Melanie is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Design and joined the University in 2018 as one of five faculty hired through the Indigenous Cluster Hire. She brings a deep knowledge of design and decolonization to this important leadership role as co-chair. She is of Tuscarora and European descent and was raised on the Tuscarora Indian Reservation in New York State.

Melanie earned a BFA in Graphic Design at the Rochester Institute of Technology and an MFA in Electronic Arts at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York. She is an Associate Professor Emerita at The Sage Colleges, Albany and Troy, New York and has also taught at Banff Centre for the Arts and Creativity in Banff, Alberta.

About Vlad Spicanovic, PhD

Vlad is currently on leave as a professor in the Faculty of Art but has graciously agreed to step into the co-chair role to contribute to the University during this very extraordinary time.

As the former Dean of the Faculty of Art for 10 years, Vlad brings extensive experience and involvement on previous GradEx initiatives. Prior to serving as Dean, he was Associate Dean and Assistant Dean within the Faculty. He obtained a BFA from Concordia University and holds an MA and a PhD from McGill University. 

Task Force Members

Members on this task force will include stakeholders from across the institution, including students, deans and/or their designates and faculty members from the three Faculties and Graduate Studies and the Office of the VP Academic and Provost, as well as representatives from the OCAD U Student Union, GradEx 105 Committee, Centre for Emerging Artists and Designers, Indigenous Student Centre, Alumni Association, Office of the President, Advancement and Information Technology.

Details regarding the process of selecting task force members and the consultation process will be shared with the community shortly.




The OCAD University GradEx 105 Task Force will explore options for creating a platform to highlight the work of graduating students who would have nornally participated in this end-of-year showcase for the 2019-20 academic year.

Graduating this year? Attend this essential info forum!

The GradEx information forum for graduating students is taking place Thursday, March 26 from 2 to 3pm.  

Learn what the 105th Annual Graduate Exhibition is all about and how you benefit from 40,000+ people coming to see your work. The forum will cover the schedule of events, how to book equipment, safety and security rules and other essential things you need to know. An info package will be sent to you soon via your student email.

Venue & Address
Auditorium, Room 190, 100 McCaul Street
GradEx 105


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