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Your Gifts at Work


The OCAD U annual design competition is considered by students to be one of the most influential experiences of their time at the University. This year students were asked to envisage Grange Park as an urban oasis designed for everyone. The 5-day competition, finished with two teams tied for first place, each receiving a $1,500 prize.

One of the winning teams created “Making Moments: Gather. Play. Transit. Repose.” which transforms the park into a culturally vibrant spot for community-oriented events and activities; the other winning team created “Sense. Play. Engage.” which incorporates sensitivity and an awareness of the diversity of all people in their experiences of a space.

OCAD U is home to some of the most fertile and productive young minds in the country – and having the resources to encourage their activities is of central importance. This is just one example of the type of initiative that private support can inspire. Initiatives like these make me proud to represent OCAD U.

Sarah M. McKinnon, PhD
Vice-President, Academic

For information on 2011 gifts to the University, please click here, or to view the OCAD U Foundation Accountability, click here.

New Mentoring Program


In collaboration with Alumni Relations and Career Development at OCAD University, Campus Life is proposing that a third level of student engagement be added to its current Student Mentor Program.

As part of this pilot “tri-mentoring program”, fourth-year (graduating) students would be given the opportunity to be matched with a volunteer Alumni Mentor, who, living and working in the Toronto area, with a minimum of five years experience practising in the field related to their area of study, would:

� be matched with a fourth-year (graduating) student
� maintain regular contact and build trust
� listen and be a sounding board for ideas
� share experiences, both positive and negative
� share expertise and give constructive feedback
� attend program events

The alumni mentoring experience will help students in the process of decision making and their transition to the world of work after graduation. It is also a chance for Alumni Mentors to give back to the community and be recognized professionally for their skills and experience. Alumni Mentors from both Faculty of Art and Faculty of Design would be welcome.

If this a program you would be interested in participating in, and to allow us to assess how much interest there would be from alumni, please help us by completing a brief survey which will take less than five minutes to complete.

Focus on Finance Series

Focus on Finance

How to Gain Financial Superhero Status

By Diana Bahr

Welcome to the second issue of "Focus on Finance"! This month, it’s all about empowering yourself by knowing your numbers!

First, how did you do last month on this quiz? Whether you graduated from OCAD U in 2012 or 20 years ago, are you feeling financially fit today? Are you a savings Superman, a Gladiator goal-setter or a Wonder Woman with a budget? Or perhaps you’re not the Incredible Hulk in investing quite yet? Don’t despair! You will become the financial superhero you were meant to be!

The first step is knowing exactly where you stand (with or without cape flapping in the wind). Using paper, a spreadsheet or the Know Your Numbers worksheet in Do What You Love: Financial Planning for Artists & Designersfollow these steps to determine your personal net worth:

Step 1 � Record all your assets
(what you own)

  • List the balances from all your savings, chequing and investment accounts (including RRSPs, pensions and stocks in Marvel Comics). Include the approximate value of your car, home or business.

Step 2�� Record all your liabilities
(what you owe)

  • Total up the balances you owe to student loans, credit cards, lines of credit, mortgages, and, ugh, your in-laws.

Step 3�� Calculate your net worth
(what you own minus what you owe)

  • Subtract your liabilities from your assets. Is your number positive or negative?

Step 4�� Analyse, Act and Track

  • Analyse the areas you want to improve. Need to boost savings? Debt dragging you down? Don’t hang up your cape yet.
  • Act! There’s plenty you can do to change things around. Keep reading this column and check out the resources below to learn more.
  • Track changes in your net worth and exchange financial flab for money muscle! I personally monitor the growth in my net worth every month and it’s extremely motivating to see my financial wealth increase!

You can also use these steps to determine the net worth of your art or design practice. When you are done, you will have a to-the-penny financial snapshot of your superhero status today! Why is this important? Because when you know where you stand now, you can make better decisions about where to fly next. So Which Superhero Are You?

Learn more:

from Investor Education Fund

Gail Vaz-Oxlade’s Networth Statement worksheet

Retirehappyblog’s Calculate Your Net Worth

CREATiveFund$: OCAD U’s personal financial planning website for art and design students

Follow us on Twitter: FinAidOCAD

Upcoming Events


Event Spotlight:

Project 31 Art Auction

March 29 | 100 McCaul| Great hall
6: 00 P.M. - Artwork Preview

7:00 P.M. - Live Auction

Project 31 is a live art auction, offering up stunning paintings, photography, limited edition prints, sculpture, textiles and fibre, illustration, jewellery and digital media by OCAD U faculty members, and a few specially-invited guests. Project 31 pairs the support of donating faculty members with specific areas of need at the University. Since its inception, Project 31 has raised more than $150,000 to support OCAD University students. Click link to preview work!

March 6 - 30

The Gladstone Hotel | 2nd Floor |Toronto

2012 Alumni Exhibition

The Alumni Exhibition features over 40 OCAD U alumni from a wide variety of disciplines. The art works were juried by Tobi Bruce (Senior Curator/ Historical Canadian Art at the Art Gallery of Hamilton), Simon Glass (Associate Dean, Faculty of Art, OCAD University) and Tony Taylor (Multidisciplinary artist).

Thursday March 22

6:30 PM - 8 PM | OCAD U Auditorium

2012 Nomadic Residents Artists: Ghada Amer & Reza Farkhondeh

The Faculty of Art presents the 2012 Nomadic Residents Artists, Ghada Amer and Reza Farkhondeh. During their one week residence the artists will give a free public talk.

Friday March 23

6:45 PM - 8 PM | OCAD U Auditorium

President's Speaker Series:
Lev Manovich

How to compare one million images? Visualizing patterns in art, games, comics, cinema, web, and print media. The explosive growth of cultural content on the web including social media, and the digitization work by museums, libraries, and companies make possible a fundamentally new paradigm for the study of cultural content. Manovich calls this paradigm Cultural Analytics.

Saturday, May 5

11 AM - 2 PM | 100 Mccaul
Alumni Day

With the theme of "Celebrating 135 Years of Imagination", Alumni Day is open to all alumni and their families, and coincides nicely with the 97th annual Graduate Exhibition.

Join us for this fun event, featuring: Alumni welcome from OCAD U President, Dr. Sara Diamond, Outdoor BBQ, Guided tours of the Medal Winner’s Exhibit, Fun activities for kids & More! The Alumni Association is also holding a reception beginning at 4 pm.

Alumni Career Events

Friday, march 30

3 pm - 5 pm |100 McCaul

Career & Networking Event:

Start Your Professional Practice

Please join us for moderated discussion with a panel of OCAD U alumni from various disciplines around the theme of starting a professonal practice. Panelists will first speak on their career path since graduating. There will be an open floor Q+A session, followed by a time for participants to mingle and network.�RSVP required.

Wednesday, april 18

6 PM - 8 PM | 100 Mccaul

Career & Networking Event:

Building Your Creative Career

Alan Kearns, Head Coach & Founder of CareerJoy, will deliver an inspiring keynote address and then moderate a panel of OCAD U alumni from various disciplines around the theme of building a creative career. There will be an open floor Q+A session, followed by a reception for panelists and attendees to mingle and network.�RSVP required.

Alumni Networking

Savvy OCAD U alumni have been steadily joining our official LinkedIn group --we now have 1,287 members-- but few are likely aware of a powerful new networking tool built into the site called LinkedIn Alumni.

Launched in October 2011, LinkedIn Alumni connects you quickly with other OCAD U alumni. You can use it to find people who attended OCAU U, and can narrow the search for other alumni by years attended, class year, current location, industry and company. These extra features allow you to find alumni that meet a specific or focused networking need.

LinkedIn Alumni searches for LinkedIn members based on information you listed in the "Education" field of your profile. You will first see profiles of other OCAD U alumni to whom you're already connected. Then, LinkedIn Alumni shows those who attended during at least part of the time you did (if you've listed a class year in your profile) and with whom you share at least one connection. Alternatively, you can pull down the "Years Attended" menu to search by Graduation Year.

Most importantly, using the blue horizontal bars, LinkedIn Alumni enables you to search by Employer, Job Function, or Location to narrow your results and focus your networking activity. Start using LinkedIn Alumni!

Alumni News

Starting this month we are now featuring updates from alumni about their careers, professional accolades, or upcoming exhibitions on the Alumni Relations website.

We update these pages regularly so check back often to see how OCAD U alumni are making an impact and leading creative careers:

Click here for Alumni News

Click here for Alumni on View


Alumni Travel



Art & Life In Italy

November 7-18, 2012

Join a small group of art lovers, amateurs and enthusiasts on this art and architecture tour to Venice, Florence and Rome. Artist and Art Educator and alumna Maggie Broda (AOCA, 1972) leads this exploration, joined by local artists and art historians on site.

This trip is limited to 16 participants. Open to OCAD U Alumni and Friends. Please contact Kerry to reserve your spot: 1-800-387-1483 or travel@WorldwideQuest.com.

Alumni Profile: Garus Booth (BDES, 2009)

The French aviator and author Antoine de Saint-Exup�ry is credited with writing, "A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away." A few months ago, Garus Booth (BDES, Graphic Design, 2009) faced a design challenge that put his OCAD U education to the test. As a founder and creative director of PriceMyRide.com, Booth needed to create a dynamic website that would allow users to calculate the monthly expense of potential car ownership by inputting key data such as insurance, fuel, ownership costs, and personalize those expenses to their driving lifestyle.

A major challenge for designers in the online entrepreneurial space is creating great user experiences while building a modular, minimum, viable product. In this case Booth faced an additional hurdle--with so many disparate sources for car information, the numerous calculations involved in a car purchase can be cumbersome and sometimes difficult to understand. Since the purpose of the site was to enable users to know their all-in cost before purchasing, the end design had to deliver the most accurate number with the fewest number of user inputs. For Booth, the project was as much a user-experience problem as it was a number-crunching exercise. Ultimately, unlike most entrepreneurial projects--and most automotive sites--the design and user-experience was incorporated into the site from the ground up.

Booth’s approach for the look, feel, and flow of site was critical in defining the product. His background in motion graphics is evident in the user-experience, allowing user input and complex calculation to feel smooth and fluid. Booth’s design strength lies in the simplification of complex ideas - in this case distilling a wall of numbers into something simple and easy to understand. As a result, PriceMyRide.com is enjoying positive press, with recent features in the Toronto Star, on CTV, and CBC Radio.

Booth is also art-directing a cutting-edge WebGL platform for children called "Story Planet", set for release in mid-2012. This collaboration with TVOntario encourages young users to create their own stories in a gaming environment imagined by some of Canada's most exciting children's authors. For Booth it's yet another exciting creative challenge that reflects his design philosophy: "To me design is about discovering the simple and clear function of something, finding its larger purpose — who it's for, how it feels, what it communicates, why it really exists — and elegantly bringing these concepts together." Surely Saint-Exup�ry would approve.

50+ Years Reunion May 5

Did you graduate in 1962 or earlier?

Alumnus Jack R. Dixon (AOCA, 1960) would like to gather OCA alumni who graduated 50+ years ago for a reunion at 100 McCaul as part of the Alumni Day celebrations on May 5.

This would be an informal event, with an opportunity to meet fellow alumni, current students, and see the work of the Class of 2012 as part of the Graduate Exhibition.

If you are interested in attending and/or helping to plan a 50+ Reunion please contact alumni@ocadu.ca or contact Stacy Kelly at (416) 977-6000 Ext 459.

Alumni Benefits

Home and Car Insurance



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