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Brock News

Groundbreaking for Zone expansion to be held Wednesday

Thu, 2019-04-18 10:13

MEDIA RELEASE: 18 April 2019 – R00069

The next step in a project to significantly expand Brock University’s fitness centre will take place next week.

A groundbreaking ceremony for the Zone Fitness Centre expansion will be held Wednesday, April 24 at 10 a.m. in the Walker Sports Complex courtyard, which will soon be closed off to allow for the construction work to get underway.

The existing Zone, opened in 2001 when Brock’s enrolment was significantly lower than it is today, is the smallest of any Ontario university. Unlike when it opened and students had to purchase memberships to use the space, all Brock students now have access to the fitness centre through the Brock University Students’ Union (BUSU) Student Life fee.

Last year, students voted in favour of funding the project, which will see the Zone triple in size from 4,300 square feet to 15,500 square feet.

It will be funded through a $17-per-credit fee for all full- and part-time undergraduate students over a period of five years, starting in September 2020, when the expansion is completed.

Wednesday’s groundbreaking will include comments from past and current BUSU presidents, Brock officials and others, along with a photo opportunity. Light snacks and refreshments will be served.

 

What: Zone Fitness Centre Groundbreaking

When: Wednesday, April 24, 10 to 11 a.m.

Where: Walker Sports Complex courtyard, Brock University

 

For more information or for assistance arranging interviews:

* Dan Dakin, Manager Communications and Media Relations, Brock University ddakin@brocku.ca, 905-688-5550 x5353 or 905-347-1970

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History of black railway workers the focus of public Brock event

Tue, 2019-04-16 13:33

MEDIA RELEASE: 16 April 2019 – R00068

Eighty years ago, a group of Black railway workers took their fight for fair treatment all the way to the Prime Minister. In doing so, they made a major contribution to immigration policies, human rights legislation and employment equity in Canada, says Tamari Kitossa, Brock Associate Professor of Sociology.

The story of those sleeping car porters is documented in They Call Me George: The Untold Story of Black Train Porters and the Birth of Modern Canada by renowned author, scholar and activist, Cecil Foster.

The Brock University President’s Advisory Committee on Human Rights, Equity and Decolonization (PACHRED) Anti-Racism Task Force will host a public reading and book signing with Foster at the central branch of the St. Catharines Public Library on Saturday, April 20. “Sleeping Car Porters and the Making of Modern Canada: an afternoon with Cecil Foster” is an opportunity for the community to engage with the author about his work.

“The contributions of people of colour tend to get erased from Canadian history,” says Kitossa, but Foster has shone a light on this “hidden history.”

They Call Me George demonstrates that “the sleeping car porters and domestic workers from the Caribbean really struggled hard to open up immigration and employment equity for all,” says Kitossa, effectively laying the foundation for Canadian multiculturalism and human rights legislation.

Their fight for social justice continues to resonate today. According to Kitossa, contemporary social statistics show that African Canadians, next to Indigenous populations, are worse off relative to other immigrant groups in terms of education, health, employment, income and wealth.

“It’s ironic that this community did so much to open space for others, but their grandchildren are falling behind relative to all the other groups,” he says. “Something very clearly is happening in terms of public policy, which is basically anti-blackness in civil society.”

In recent years, a number of community organizations from African-Canadian communities across the country have been meeting with politicians in Ottawa demanding that Canada fulfil its obligations to them, says Kitossa. “The irony is these meetings are taking place 70 to 80 years after the sleeping car porters’ meetings. We need history to remind us that, in some respects, we have forgotten the path that some folks have been walking.

“That’s what Cecil’s work is calling us to do — to pay attention to history in the context of the contemporary situation,” Kitossa says.

As a sociologist, Kitossa considers himself a consumer of history and someone who relies on archival researchers like Foster to provide a sense of “historical continuum” that contextualizes his contemporary sociological work. Foster’s work, he says, is “archival work done well.”

“We often imagine that history books are stodgy and boring, but this is rather exciting stuff,” Kitossa says. “It’s hard to put down.”

Sleeping Car Porters and the Making of Modern Canada: an afternoon with Cecil Foster happens from noon to 3 p.m. in the Mills Room of the St. Catharines Public Library. The event is free, but guests are encouraged to register as seating is limited.

The public event is sponsored by a number of Brock groups, including the PACHRED Anti-Racism Task Force, Master of Arts in Critical Sociology, Human Rights and Equity, and the departments of Political Science, Labour Studies, Sociology, Canadian Studies and Modern Languages Literatures and Cultures.

Event details:

What: Sleeping Car Porters and the Making of Modern Canada: an afternoon with Cecil Foster

When: Saturday, April 20 from noon to 3 p.m.

Where: St. Catharines Public Library, Central Library Branch, 54 Church St.

The free event is open to the public. Seating is limited. Register online through Eventbrite.

For more information or for assistance arranging interviews:

* Dan Dakin, Manager Communications and Media Relations, Brock University ddakin@brocku.ca, 905-688-5550 x5353 or 905-347-1970

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Brock’s community observatory to host discussion on municipal reform

Thu, 2019-04-11 13:00

MEDIA RELEASE: 11 April 2019 – R00067

It’s a discussion that has an urgent deadline: How to address questions related to decision-making and service delivery in Niagara and other Ontario municipalities with two-tier systems.

David Siegel, Professor of Political Science at Brock University, will be presenting his policy brief, Under the Knife & Under the Gun: An Overview of Regional Government in Niagara at a workshop to be held at Brock Tuesday, April 16.

The workshop comes one month before the Ontario government’s deadline for feedback from residents on issues related to municipal reform such as amalgamation and cost savings.

“The purpose of the workshop is to provide factual information to inform the discussion on this important issue,” says Siegel, whose brief was recently released by Brock’s Niagara Community Observatory (NCO).

“Ultimately, this policy brief and the discussions following from it are aimed at positioning the Niagara community to potentially influence the direction of governance reforms,” says NCO Director Charles Conteh. “We hope to provide a platform for separating facts from fiction in envisioning a governance reform that is tailored to the needs of the region.”

Opening the workshop will be Niagara Regional Chair Jim Bradley, with closing remarks from Debbie Zimmerman, Niagara’s first female Regional Chair.

The event is open to the public, but an RSVP is required by emailing cphillips3@brocku.ca

What: Public presentation of Under the Knife & Under the Gun: An Overview of Regional Government in Niagara policy brief

When: Tuesday, April 16, 9:30 to 11 a.m.

Where: Pond Inlet, Mackenzie Chown Building, Brock University

Who: David Siegel, Professor of Political Science with remarks from Jim Bradley, Niagara Region Chair and Debbie Zimmerman, Niagara’s first female Regional Chair

For more information or for assistance arranging interviews:

* Dan Dakin, Manager Communications and Media Relations, Brock University ddakin@brocku.ca, 905-688-5550 x5353 or 905-347-1970

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Brock’s new Law Plus program an introduction to wide range of careers

Wed, 2019-04-10 13:33

MEDIA RELEASE: 10 April 2019 – R00065

Starting in September, undergrad students studying in any Brock University program will be able to concurrently lay the foundation for a law-related career.

The University has launched Law Plus, a new four-year, non-credit program that will help students gain pre-law knowledge and hands-on experience. It’s modelled on Brock’s highly successful Med Plus program, which has been running for 20 years and a 92 per cent success rate for students landing careers in health-care.

“Similar to Med Plus, being in the Law Plus program will open students’ eyes to a variety of career paths that will use the skills and experiences they’ve gained,” said Cara Krezek, Director, Co-op, Career and Experiential Education. “It’s also about preparing them to write the LSATs, enter law school, and so much more.”

With the Law Plus program set to begin this September, the enrolment deadline for the inaugural year is coming up Monday, April 15. To ensure students get a personalized and enriched experience, the first cohort will be limited to 30 people.

“During their first year, students will begin to network with a variety of career professionals and gain exposure to volunteering with different populations,” said Law Plus Consultant Stacia Heaton. “In future years, they will build on their skills and experiences with continued exposure to law-related professions, job shadowing, ethics forums and more.”

In addition to their undergrad studies, the Law Plus students will spend between five and seven hours each week attending skill-based workshops, learning from guest speakers and participating in volunteer placements with community organizations.

“We’re preparing them for careers they’re passionate about and helping them develop the skills and knowledge they require,” said Krezek.

Like Med Plus, Law Plus is open to all Brock students, regardless of which undergraduate degree they’re working toward.

“The program aims to have students from all Faculties who will bring a variety of interests to the table, which will enrich the experience for everyone,” Heaton said.

Advising Brock on the new program has been an industry panel that includes lawyers, community organization representatives and faculty members.

“Having the industry so invested and enthused about Law Plus is fantastic. They’re helping to shape the program and move it forward,” Heaton said. “They will also have the partnerships and relationships that will help us develop placements that students will be able to engage in.”

For more information on the new Law Plus program, visit Brock’s Co-op, Career and Experiential Education website.

For more information or for assistance arranging interviews:

* Dan Dakin, Manager Communications and Media Relations, Brock University ddakin@brocku.ca, 905-688-5550 x5353 or 905-347-1970

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Student-made app aims to improve the lives of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities

Tue, 2019-04-09 15:45

MEDIA RELEASE: 9 April 2019 – R00064

Tackling any task can often be made easier by focusing on one step at a time.

Brock student researchers have used this logic to develop an app meant to improve quality of living for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDDs).

StepByStep Tasks was launched by Computer Science students Javon Luke and Tianyuan Zhang, under the guidance of Senior Lab Demonstrator and Co-ordinator Poling Bork. The app, through which Luke and Zhang have been working with staff and clients of Community Living Haldimand, is part of a study aimed at increasing the community participation and independence of people living with IDDs.

The project is a collaborative effort that began with Bork consulting with Associate Professor Kimberly Maich in the Faculty of Education at Memorial University of Newfoundland. Bork then connected Luke and Zhang with PhD student Courtney Bishop and Associate Professor Tricia Vause, both in Brock’s Department of Child and Youth Studies, Assistant Professor Priscilla Burnham-Riosa, in the Department of Applied Disability Studies, and stakeholders from Community Living Haldimand.

An under-represented community, individuals with IDDs account for one to two per cent of the population. Many people with IDDs not only struggle with a wide range of limitations, including difficulties with perceptual reasoning and verbal comprehension, but are also at a higher risk for social exclusion than their non-disabled peers.

These individuals often rely on assistance from support workers to complete everyday tasks and errands. By introducing the app, the team hopes to make significant contributions to improving the quality of life for many.

Just as its name suggests, the StepByStep Tasks app instructs users on how to complete a task, one step at a time.

Instructions can be presented through a variety of audio and visual prompts, with options ranging from instructional videos (most prompting) all the way to simple text instructions (least prompting). The amount of prompting, however, is completely up to the user and their specific needs.

Customizability allows for users to modify the format in which they receive each instruction. For example, if someone was interested in learning how to do laundry, they could start off with a video accompanied by audio or text that explains how to complete each step from start to finish. As the user gains confidence in their abilities, they can begin fading out the amount of assistance they receive at each step. They can go from requiring a video or picture to completing that step independently.

The hope is that users can eventually learn to complete the entire task with little to no prompting.

Before introducing the app to users, the research team had to first teach Community Living support staff how it works. Through a behavioural skills training program, staff are taught how to properly use the app, set up tasks and fade their support using principles of applied behaviour analysis.

They then work with the individual to identify skills to focus on and compile a list of tasks. Once the tasks and steps have been uploaded, staff provide a demonstration and explanation of the app to the individual. Staff participants then use most-to-least prompting to fade their own supports.

“It’s working really well,” Bishop said when asked about the results the team has received. “When we first started, people were needing anywhere from 60 to 100 per cent support from their staff and we’re now seeing many of those drop down to zero.”

Over the course of the year, the research team will grow the app’s user base by introducing more participants into the study. Currently, 12 people are actively using the technology. That number will nearly triple to a total of 35 by the end of the project’s second phase in April 2020.

Unparalleled in its ability to fade levels of prompting, members of the developmental services field are growing increasingly interested in the app and how it can be implemented into their work.

With such an opportunity to grow, StepByStep Tasks is now available for free in the Apple App Store.

“None of this would be possible without the help we received from the Department of Computer Science and Poling Bork,” Luke said. “She came up with the idea for the app and played a vital role in this project by connecting Tianyuan and I with Courtney and Community Living Haldimand.”

Bork also met regularly with the students and representatives from Community Living to ensure the initiative was on track.

“It brings me great pride to see students from our Faculty making a difference in the community,” said Ejaz Ahmed, Dean of the Faculty of Mathematics and Science. “I applaud their efforts and would like to thank Poling Bork for guiding them through this endeavour.”

Later this month, Luke and Zhang will further promote their work as they attend Connect 2019, Canada’s largest educational technology conference. The pair will provide demonstrations and discuss the process they took to develop the app with fellow conference delegates.

For more information or for assistance arranging interviews:

* Dan Dakin, Manager Communications and Media Relations, Brock University ddakin@brocku.ca, 905-688-5550 x5353 or 905-347-1970

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Brock in talks with University of West Indies to create Institute for Canada-Caribbean Studies

Tue, 2019-04-09 13:32

MEDIA RELEASE: 9 April 2019 – R00063

After years of partnering with one another on various initiatives, Brock University and the University of the West Indies (UWI) are now considering the creation of the Institute for Canada-Caribbean Studies.

The schools came together on Brock’s main campus Friday, April 5 to renew two existing memorandums of understanding and to sign a new MOU that will see them begin talks related to the proposed institute.

“The signing ceremony at Brock University is a testament to the relationship we’ve built together over many years, and commitment to the future of Canadian-Caribbean studies,” said Sir Hilary Beckles, Vice-Chancellor from UWI. Beckles highlighted the new agreement and recognized Brock University President Gervan Fearon in his opening remarks at the UWI Gala in Toronto on Saturday, April 6.

Establishing the Institute for Canada-Caribbean studies would provide a focal point for multi-disciplinary research and teaching to deepen and improve the multi-faceted relationships between Canada and the Caribbean and examine issues affecting the Caribbean diaspora communities in Canada.

At Brock, James Mandigo, Vice-Provost, Enrolment Management and International, will serve as the institutional lead to help facilitate the development of the Institute. His counterpart at UWI, Richard Bernal, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Global Affairs, will lead a similar process at UWI.

“Establishing an Institute for Canada-Caribbean Studies would be a true reflection of Brock’s global commitment to fostering a culture of intercultural understanding,” Fearon said. “We will also be welcoming scholars from across Canada to be active participants and members of the Institute to collaborate and lead projects related to Canada-Caribbean issues. Our vision is to harness the expertise of the academic community across Canada and the Caribbean to help address important topics that are relevant to those who live, study and work in these regions of the world.”

Established in 1948, UWI has campuses in Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and Barbados, and an open campus, which provides post-secondary opportunities to students in 16 other Caribbean nations. It is the largest higher education provider in the English-speaking Caribbean. UWI was recently ranked in the Top 5 per cent of universities in the world by the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings in 2019.

Canada has played a key role in the development of UWI, including funding support to build residences on the Jamaican and Trinidad and Tobago campuses, and a $20-million grant to support the creation of UWI’s open campus.

Brock’s rich history with UWI includes presenting an honorary degree to Sir Hilary Beckles, professor and pro-vice chancellor and principal of the University of the West Indies in 2014.

Brock is also the first university in Canada to be led by a Caribbean descendant. Fearon underscored the commitment of Brock to building strong ties with the Caribbean during his first international trip as President and Vice-Chancellor of Brock University to the Caribbean in May 2018, visiting Antigua, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and Grenada.

During last week’s meeting with Brock officials, Beckles and other dignitaries from UWI were joined by Canada’s High Commissioner to Jamaica, Bahamas, Turks and Caicos, and Cayman Islands, Her Excellency Laurie Peters.

In addition to the MOU related to the development of the Institute for Canada-Caribbean Studies, the signing ceremony renewed two MOUs already in place between Brock and UWI.

Together, they promote international and intercultural understanding, academic linkages and enrich the cultural understanding of both universities.

More specifically, the agreements continue to provide mobility opportunities for faculty, staff and students between institutions.

Faculty from across Canada and the Caribbean will be able to collaborate on joint research activities and participate in seminars, meetings and professional development opportunities. General staff, such as administrative and technical support, along with students from both institutions will also be able to gain valuable international experience through an exchange or short-term program.

More information on Brock University’s international partner institutions can be found on the Brock International website.

For more information or for assistance arranging interviews:

* Dan Dakin, Manager Communications and Media Relations, Brock University ddakin@brocku.ca, 905-688-5550 x5353 or 905-347-1970

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Grad students have three minutes and one slide to sum up complex research

Mon, 2019-04-08 15:37

MEDIA RELEASE: 8 April 2019 – R00062

Final round for annual Three Minute Thesis competition set for Thursday, April 11

How the construction of a house relates to mitochondrial-mediated cell death may not be clear to most people, but that’s the analogy Jennifer Wilkinson used to explain her research in simple terms during Brock University’s Three Minute Thesis (3MT) preliminary round.

Eight graduate students from five Faculties participated in the competition last week that challenges students to present their complex research to a general audience in no more than three minutes and using only one slide and no props.

Event judges Cassie Price, Venture Development Co-ordinator for the Goodman Group, Cathy Majtenyi, Research Communications Specialist for the Office of Research Services, and Brad Clarke, Director, Student Life and Community Experience, selected three master’s students to advance to the challenge finals on Thursday, April 11 at Brock.

Joining Wilkinson, a student in Applied Health Sciences, are Alicia Azzano from Applied Disability Studies and Rachel Richmond from Applied Health Sciences.

“Selecting the finalists was much more difficult than I had imagined it would be,” said Price. “There were so many factors to take into consideration — presentation style, slide design, audience engagement and comprehension of the subject. It was a wonderful experience to learn about the fascinating research students are doing on campus from such a wide variety of disciplines.”

Wilkinson said she decided to participate in 3MT to enhance her research communication skills.

“I know it’s an important skill and part of my graduate degree to learn how to translate my knowledge for anyone to understand,” she said.

Wilkinson and the other finalists will compete for the title of Brock 2019 3MT Champion during a midday break of the Mapping the New Knowledges (MNK) Graduate Student Conference April 11 at Brock.

The winner of the challenge will represent Brock at the Ontario 3MT Competition, hosted by McMaster University on Wednesday, April 17. Presentations will be livestreamed and a winner will be selected to represent Ontario at the national finals, where 11 finalists will be competing for the title of 2019 Canadian 3MT Champion.

Now in its 14th year, the MNK Conference is a daylong showcase of graduate student research happening at Brock, with more than 165 students presenting either oral or poster presentations.

The day will kick off with a keynote address from Tek Thongpapanl, Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies in the Goodman School of Business, who will discuss his role as a mentor to students and his own personal journey with mentorship over his career.

The conference, being held in Brock’s Plaza Building and the Cairns Family Health and Bioscience Research Complex, is free and open to the public.

Mapping the New Knowledges conference highlights:

8:30 a.m. — Keynote address

11:45 a.m. — 3MT final round

12:15 p.m. — Presentation of Marilyn Rose Graduate Leadership Award, Michael Plyley Graduate Mentorship Awards and Jack M. Miller Excellence in Research Awards

For more information or for assistance arranging interviews:

* Dan Dakin, Manager Communications and Media Relations, Brock University ddakin@brocku.ca, 905-688-5550 x5353 or 905-347-1970

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Brock welcomes thousands of families to campus for Spring Open House

Mon, 2019-04-08 15:36

MEDIA RELEASE: 8 April 2019 – R00061

For Ashley Michaud, the more than eight-hour drive to Brock University was entirely worthwhile.

The trek to St. Catharines for the University’s annual Spring Open House on Sunday, April 7 affirmed for the 17-year-old Timmins resident that Brock is everything she hoped it would be.

“It’s really homey here and everyone has been so welcoming,” said the Grade 12 student, adding Brock is her No. 1 choice to pursue studies in Psychology. “We planned this whole trip around Brock and so far, I’m really impressed.”

Michaud was among 4,600 visitors to campus for Sunday’s annual event, which gave prospective students and their families a taste of what life at Brock is like.

The day was enough to solidify Jacob Moon’s decision of where to head in September.

Alongside his mother Jeanne, the Mississauga resident made his way to Brock’s admissions office to accept his offer to study Sport Management (SPMA) at the University.

“I’m excited,” Moon said of the big step in his educational journey.

The school came highly recommended by his stepsister, but it was a visit by Brock’s recruitment team to his school that gave Moon the insight he needed to choose a path.

While mom Jeanne is nervous about her son heading off to university in the fall, having the chance to tour campus and speak with faculty from the SPMA program helped to ease those worries, she said.

In addition to touring campus and meeting with faculty, Open House guests had the opportunity to meet with students and senior administrators, attend program-specific presentations, learn about student services and research opportunities, and take in a first-year lecture. Residences, research labs, athletic facilities and the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts in downtown St. Catharines were also buzzing with activity throughout the day.

“I’m so proud of our University community,” said Beth Natale, Brock’s Director, Recruitment, who described the energy on campus Sunday as “off the charts.” “Everyone truly stepped up to make this the best Open House event ever, with incredibly varied programming and unique ways to experience Brock that spanned the entire campus.”

The crowds at Open House complement a series of strong early indicators the University is seeing for fall enrolment, which show an increasing number of students shortlisting Brock as their possible destination for 2019-20.

Among those figures, compiled by the Ontario Universities’ Application Centre, is a more than 15 per cent increase in those listing Brock as their No. 1 pick.

Natale said the University’s admissions team has extended more offers to date in this recruitment cycle, which runs from September to September, than in all of the 2017-18 cycle.

“The numbers say it all; the demand for a Brock degree is evident and the momentum around our brand is growing in leaps and bounds.”

For more information or for assistance arranging interviews:

* Dan Dakin, Manager Communications and Media Relations, Brock University ddakin@brocku.ca, 905-688-5550 x5353 or 905-347-1970

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Community event to explore the craft business model

Thu, 2019-04-04 09:13

MEDIA RELEASE: 3 April 2019 – R00060

From craft beer to artisanal products, more and more companies are taking a niche approach to business.

Understanding this business model will be at the centre of a panel discussion held at Brock University next week.

Business Matters: Crafting the Brand, being held Wednesday, April 10, is the fifth in a series of panel talks organized by Brock’s Goodman School of Business. Previous Business Matters discussions have focused on women in business, the music industry, corporate social responsibility and innovation.

This year’s panelists will look at what it means to follow a craft or artisanal approach to business, and why it has become a successful business model. They will also discuss the role that factors such as authenticity play.

Panelists will draw on their extensive experience operating their own craft businesses in the food and beverage industry. The event will be moderated by Todd Green, Associate Professor of Marketing at Goodman.

Panelists include:

  • Conrad Davies, General Manager at Breakwall Brewing Company
  • Geoff Dillon, President of Dillon’s Small Batch Distillers
  • Tamara Jensen, Brand Strategist for Form & Affect and proprietor of Dispatch restaurant
  • Nadia Senchuk, Co-founder of Leaning Post Wines

This marks the first time Goodman is able to host Business Matters in its own facilities, with the recent completion of the new Goodman School of Business building. The School is excited to welcome the community to Goodman, said Dean Andrew Gaudes.

“The topic is exciting given our region,” he said. “We are having a conversation that is relevant and authentic to who we are and where we are located in the heart of Niagara.”

This is a free community event, however space is limited and people are requested to register online.

Business Matters: Crafting the Brand is supported by the Wilmot Foundation and is part of the D.G. Wilmot leader series.

What: Business Matters presents: Crafting the Brand panel discussion

Who: Panelists and craft business operators Conrad Davies, Geoff Dillon, Tamara Jensen and Nadia Senchuk

When: Wednesday, April 10 from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

Where: Goodman School of Business Atrium, Brock University

For more information or for assistance arranging interviews:

* Dan Dakin, Manager Communications and Media Relations, Brock University ddakin@brocku.ca, 905-688-5550 x5353 or 905-347-1970

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Community event to explore the craft business model

Wed, 2019-04-03 16:42

MEDIA RELEASE: 3 April 2019 – R00060

From craft beer to artisanal products, more and more companies are taking a niche approach to business.

Understanding this business model will be at the centre of a panel discussion held at Brock University next week.

Business Matters: Crafting the Brand, being held Wednesday, April 10, is the fifth in a series of panel talks organized by Brock’s Goodman School of Business. Previous Business Matters discussions have focused on women in business, the music industry, corporate social responsibility and innovation.

This year’s panelists will look at what it means to follow a craft or artisanal approach to business, and why it has become a successful business model. They will also discuss the role that factors such as authenticity play.

Panelists will draw on their extensive experience operating their own craft businesses in the food and beverage industry. The event will be moderated by Todd Green, Associate Professor of Marketing at Goodman.

Panelists include:

  • Conrad Davies, General Manager at Breakwall Brewing Company
  • Geoff Dillon, President of Dillon’s Small Batch Distillers
  • Tamara Jensen, Brand Strategist for Form & Affect and proprietor of Dispatch restaurant
  • Nadia Senchuk, Co-founder of Leaning Post Wines

This marks the first time Goodman is able to host Business Matters in its own facilities, with the recent completion of the new Goodman School of Business building. The School is excited to welcome the community to Goodman, said Dean Andrew Gaudes.

“The topic is exciting given our region,” he said. “We are having a conversation that is relevant and authentic to who we are and where we are located in the heart of Niagara.”

This is a free community event, however space is limited and people are requested to register online.

Business Matters: Crafting the Brand is supported by the Wilmot Foundation and is part of the D.G. Wilmot leader series.

What: Business Matters presents: Crafting the Brand panel discussion

Who: Panelists and craft business operators Conrad Davies, Geoff Dillon, Tamara Jensen and Nadia Senchuk

When: Wednesday, April 10 from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

Where: Goodman School of Business Atrium, Brock University

For more information or for assistance arranging interviews:

* Dan Dakin, Manager Communications and Media Relations, Brock University ddakin@brocku.ca, 905-688-5550 x5353 or 905-347-1970

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Brock proposal sees a new era for the arts in downtown St. Catharines

Tue, 2019-04-02 17:56

MEDIA RELEASE: 2 April 2019 – R00059

Brock University is committed to advancing its pledge to help grow vitality and development in downtown St. Catharines. The University and community partners are therefore exploring a plan to preserve historic Rodman Hall, provide modern space for the Rodman Hall art collection, and help create a new arts and culture hub in downtown St. Catharines.

The plan is based on commitments that would give the local arts community expanded space and long-term stability in modern, climate-controlled facilities that are conducive to storing and showing works of art, this despite the University needing to find more than $15 million in budget savings after the province announced tuition cuts on Jan. 17.

The new plan being considered would:

  • Locate Rodman Hall’s permanent collection into class-A certified storage and display space at Brock’s Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts (MIWSFPA) in downtown St. Catharines
  • Offer 2,000 sq. ft. of gallery space at the MIWSFPA
  • Transfer the Rodman Hall art collection to a community transition group, who would display the collection throughout Niagara
  • Create a new downtown “culture commons” with up to 7,000 sq. ft. for arts organizations and community partners
  • Negotiate with a heritage property company to operate Rodman Hall under the restrictions that protect the historical integrity of its architecture and grounds, and with the potential to include a dedicated art gallery space
  • Work with partners from the arts community to enhance cultural activities and outreach in downtown St. Catharines

The University has no plans to sell Rodman Hall or its art collection.

The centre piece of the plan would be the downtown arts and cultural commons. With a footprint of 5,000 to 7,000 square feet, it would offer arts groups a dynamic space for administrative offices, as well as meeting, studio, teaching, workshop, exhibition and display space. Brock would provide financial support throughout its contractual obligations to Rodman Hall until 2023.

University officials say they could also collaborate with and support other arts projects to make downtown St. Catharines a vibrant arts and culture hub in Niagara. Brock looks forward to working alongside arts organizations on these efforts.

As for Rodman Hall, the University is having exploratory discussions with a company that envisions a commercially viable redevelopment, while strictly preserving the character and history of the facility. Brock envisions a commercially sustainable Rodman Hall, while preserving the character and history of the estate, which is protected by a historical designation under the Ontario Heritage Act.

In 2003, the University agreed to take on Rodman Hall from a community group in an effort to save the struggling gallery from closing its doors. The property was transferred to Brock for $2.  While it is not selling the property, the University is looking for solutions to help it meet serious fiscal challenges while protecting the core of its academic mission.

Brock pays $750,000 a year in operating costs for Rodman Hall, and since 2014 has paid about $300,000 for studies to develop a divestment plan for Rodman Hall. It has also, since 2003, invested $500,000 into the facility’s capital needs. Studies show further capital investment of at least $1 milion a year will be needed in the future.

Last month, the University’s Board of Trustees approved the transfer of Rodman Hall’s art collection to a community transition group, with a mandate to explore ways to maintain the collection and display it across Niagara.

Brock President Gervan Fearon said supporting and helping sustain the local arts community is a key priority for the University.

“A vibrant arts culture is crucial to the health and vitality of the entire Niagara region,” said Fearon. “Brock made a major commitment to this when the Marilyn I. Walker school moved downtown, and now we are pleased to partner and explore this initiative that will give artists and arts organizations more space and better space.”

Located on a hilltop overlooking Twelve Mile Creek in central St. Catharines, Rodman Hall is a mansion and wooded estate that has functioned as an arts centre and museum since the 1960s.

When Brock took over the facility in 2003, it envisioned a University presence downtown as well as work and gallery space for its arts programs. Those needs were superseded in 2015 when Brock moved its MIWSFPA to downtown St. Catharines, into a $46-million venue of new construction and restored industrial space not far from Rodman Hall. Besides providing modern facilities for a wide range of the arts, the project has also helped energize the city centre by relocating hundreds of students downtown.

These developments were being completed as universities entered an era of operating under growing financial strains and competition for students. The Ontario government’s recent 10 per cent tuition cut leaves Brock with a $15.4-million budget shortfall, which officials are working to mitigate before the fiscal year starts on May 1.

An arts and culture hub would give Brock students more opportunities to engage with the city’s growing arts scene, and strengthen the downtown revitalization taking shape in St. Catharines.

For more information or for assistance arranging interviews:

* Dan Dakin, Manager Communications and Media Relations, Brock University ddakin@brocku.ca, 905-688-5550 x5353 or 905-347-1970

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Brock expert says women’s pro hockey league failure sets the stage for stronger future

Tue, 2019-04-02 09:04

MEDIA RELEASE: 2 April 2019 – R00058

A day after the Canadian Women’s Hockey League (CWHL) announced it would cease operations, a Brock University professor of Sport Management says she hopes the best is yet to come for professional women’s hockey in North America.

The CWHL launched in 2007 and had been operating with six teams spread across the country. In a media release Sunday, the league said it had to fold because the “business model that has been the foundation of the League is not sustainable financially.”

Associate Professor of Sport Management Julie Stevens, a recognized expert in the governance and organization of women’s hockey, says she believes the dynamics that have unfolded will change the landscape.

“The CWHL’s not-for-profit model was unique as it emphasized developing hockey and serving the broader good of the female game,” she says. “The National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL) model was based upon private ownership and a return on investment. The way revenue is used in each model differs, but there is one similarity — each model must have money to survive.”

Stevens says the closure of the CWHL is a catalyst for other key actors to enter the scene — which has happened many times in the past in men’s professional hockey leagues where leagues have come and gone over time.

“You have to hope there is some kind of strategy behind all these changes,” she says.

Stevens says leadership for the two leagues had been discussing working together since the fall, while the National Hockey League and NHL Players Association announced the formation of a Female Hockey Advisory Committee last month.

“I believe there is more to come on this issue,” she says. “The closure of the CWHL has created a vacuum and something must fill the space. There are simply too many elite female hockey athletes in need of a place to play. This is an opportunity for women’s hockey to move forward.”

Associate Professor of Sport Management Julie Stevens is available for interviews on the issue.

For more information or for assistance arranging interviews:

* Dan Dakin, Manager Communications and Media Relations, Brock University ddakin@brocku.ca, 905-688-5550 x5353 or 905-347-1970

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Brock University ready to welcome thousands to annual Open House

Mon, 2019-04-01 15:11

MEDIA RELEASE: 1 April 2019 – R00057

With early signs indicating Brock continues to rise as a top choice for high school graduates, campus is expected be buzzing for the University’s annual Spring Open House this weekend.

The entire Brock community will join together to welcome thousands of potential undergraduate and graduate students and their families Sunday, April 7.

Running from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Open House aims to give visitors a taste of all that Brock has to offer. In addition to a comprehensive information fair, prospective students will have the chance to tour campus, meet students, senior administrators, faculty and staff, attend presentations related to programs of interest, learn about student services and research opportunities, and even take in a first-year lecture.

Tours of residences, research labs, athletic facilities and the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts downtown will also be available, and welcome sessions will be introduced to help visitors make the most of their time on campus.

“The day will be action-packed, allowing for a ‘choose your own adventure’ style experience that meets students’ personal interests and passions,” said Beth Natale, Director, Recruitment for Brock University. “Open House is one of the best ways to solidify that Brock is the right choice for your future. It allows you to try us on for size and learn how you can shape your Brock experience to fit your own priorities and goals for your future.”

One of the most important days on the recruitment calendar, Spring Open House comes on the heels of promising early signs for the University’s fall enrolment.

Last September, Brock welcomed a record number of students to campus, taking enrolment past 19,000 for the first time. Recent figures compiled by the Ontario Universities’ Application Centre (OUAC) indicate that trend may continue, with an increasing number of students shortlisting Brock as their possible destination for 2019-20:

  • Ontario high school students who put Brock in their Top 3 universities are up nearly 12 per cent over a year ago.
  • Those listing Brock as their No. 1 pick shot up more than 15 per cent.
  • In Brock’s home communities, applications from students across Niagara region are up nearly 10 per cent.
  • Globally, Brock has nearly 4,000 applications from international students, up 22.5 per cent over the same time last year. (This number reflects both students applying from overseas, as well as international students currently studying in Ontario high schools.)

It will be a few months before universities know where students ultimately register, but the strong numbers combined with early interest in Brock’s Open House are promising.

“We are seeing indicator after indicator that shows Brock is definitely in demand,” Natale said. “Our reputation as a career starter and place of interest for students is gaining serious momentum.”

Online registration and a full schedule for Spring Open House can be found at discover.brocku.ca/openhouse/

Natale and other Brock officials will be available for interviews at the event.

What: Brock University Spring Open House
When: Sunday, April 7 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Where: Information fair to begin in Ian Beddis Gymnasium on Brock’s main campus

For more information or for assistance arranging interviews:

* Dan Dakin, Manager Communications and Media Relations, Brock University ddakin@brocku.ca, 905-688-5550 x5353 or 905-347-1970

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Brock University offering free London shuttle to Open House

Fri, 2019-03-29 08:50

MEDIA RELEASE: 29 March 2019 

As Brock’s annual Spring Open House nears, the Niagara region University is hoping to make travel to campus easier for potential students in Southwestern Ontario.

This area is well represented and an important part of the Brock student community. More than 89 per cent of applicants from the region already have their Offers of Admission in hand. As a result, Brock is providing a free shuttle to and from London and St. Thomas for Open House on Sunday, April 7.

Prospective students may bring up to two guests along for the ride. The free shuttle will pick-up and drop-off at Parkside Collegiate Institute in St. Thomas and Oakridge Secondary School in London. Registration for the bus is mandatory and can be done at: discover.brocku.ca/openhouse/bus/

Running from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Open House aims to provide a taste of all that Brock has to offer. In addition to a comprehensive information fair, visitors will have the chance to tour campus, meet students, senior administrators, faculty and staff, attend presentations related to programs of interest, learn about student services and research opportunities, and even take in a first-year lecture.

Tours of residences, research labs, athletic facilities and the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts downtown will also be available, in addition to welcome sessions to help visitors make the most of their time on campus.

“The day will be action-packed, allowing for a ‘choose your own adventure’ style experience that meets students’ personal interests and passions,” said Beth Natale, Director, Recruitment for Brock University. “Open House is one of the best ways to solidify that Brock is the right choice for your future.”

Online registration and a full schedule of the day’s events can be found at discover.brocku.ca/openhouse/

For more information or for assistance arranging interviews: 

* Dan Dakin, Manager Communications and Media Relations, Brock University ddakin@brocku.ca, 905-688-5550 x5353 or 905-347-1970

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Brock policy brief explores governance options for Niagara municipalities

Thu, 2019-03-28 15:46

Media Release: 28 March 2019 – R00056

To merge or not to merge? That is one of the many questions Niagara and eight other Ontario regions will be grappling with as the province studies how to make municipalities more efficient.

Two advisors appointed by the Ontario government are addressing nine questions related to how decisions are being made, and services being delivered, in two-tier systems. Residents have been asked to provide feedback by April 23, and the advisors’ report is expected to be submitted early this summer.

To help Niagara navigate the issues, Brock University’s Niagara Community Observatory (NCO) has released its policy brief, Under the Knife & Under the Gun: An Overview of Regional Government in Niagara.

“The purpose of the brief is to provide factual information to inform the discussion on this important issue,” says David Siegel, Professor of Political Science and author of the policy brief.

Niagara’s 13 municipalities elect 126 councillors, a number that many have criticized as being too high. Although the brief doesn’t endorse a particular system or number of representatives, it warns “too many councillors frustrate meaningful discussion around the council table; too few councillors weaken citizen access to councillors.”

It also cautions against making councils too small, as that would reduce diversity of gender, race, ethnic background and other characteristics.

On the issue of service delivery, the brief says service duplication isn’t generally a problem in Niagara, as most key services such as police, social services, fire and recreation are clearly distributed between Niagara Region and area municipalities.

Areas that are shared between the two jurisdictions include economic development, planning, public transit and roads.

The policy brief wraps up with the ‘elephant in the room,’ amalgamation. The brief argues that past amalgamations have not saved costs or reduced taxes, but there are reasons other than cost savings why area municipalities might wish to merge.

“Ultimately, this policy brief and the discussions following from it are aimed at positioning the Niagara community to potentially influence the direction of governance reforms,” says NCO Director Charles Conteh.

“We hope to provide a platform for separating facts from fiction in envisioning a governance reform that is tailored to the needs of the region,” he says.

Siegel and others from the NCO will be holding a workshop at Brock University April 16 to discuss the brief and possible ways forward for Niagara.

For more information or for assistance arranging interviews:

* Dan Dakin, Manager Communications and Media Relations, Brock University ddakin@brocku.ca, 905-688-5550 x5353 or 905-347-1970

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International Partnership of Business Schools adds Brock as its only Canadian partner

Wed, 2019-03-27 16:28

MEDIA RELEASE: 27 March 2019 – R00055

The International Partnership of Business Schools (IPBS) has added Brock University’s Goodman School of Business as the only Canadian partner in its network.

The consortium of 13 globally-oriented, leading business schools in Europe, North and Latin America all grant double degrees, which require study in two countries and promote language and cultural fluency along with business aptitude.

“This partnership will literally open up a world of opportunity for our students and faculty,” said Goodman Dean Andrew Gaudes. “It means we are now part of a group that holds the same values of including international experience as well as incorporating work placement in a student’s business education.”

The papers were signed March 15 at the IPBS annual meeting, hosted by Universidad de las Américas Puebla in Mexico. The partnership provides Goodman students and faculty access to opportunities in Brazil, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States.

IPBS President Robert Robinson said that Brock’s introduction as Canada’s partner school strengthens the presence of the network in North America.

“Brock brings to the consortium a freshness, vigour and dynamism that will serve to enhance our reputation and quality. We look forward to fostering a deep and lasting strategic alliance in the coming years,” he said.

Goodman currently offers double-degree options with three of network’s partners, providing students the opportunity to earn degrees from both Goodman and the partner institution while gaining co-op experience in both Canada and abroad.

As a result of this partnership, Goodman is near finalizing additional double-degree opportunities with new network partners, giving more students the opportunity to benefit from gaining a global business education.

Other partners in the consortium are: Dublin City University, Elon University, Fundação Getulio Vargas, Lancaster University, Neoma Business School, North Carolina State University, Northeastern University, Reutlingen University, Universidad de las Américas Puebla, Universidad Pontificia Comillas (ICADE), Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (UCSC) and the University of San Diego.

For more information or for assistance arranging interviews:

* Dan Dakin, Manager Communications and Media Relations, Brock University ddakin@brocku.ca, 905-688-5550 x5353 or 905-347-1970

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Expert advisory: Brock prof expects massive sales for Ontario cannabis retailers

Wed, 2019-03-27 16:27

MEDIA RELEASE: 27 March 2019 – R00054

Ontario’s cannabis retailer lottery could mean hitting the jackpot for the 25 companies set to open legal dispensaries starting Monday, April 1.

Michael Armstrong, Associate Professor in Brock University’s Goodman School of Business, says he thinks legal retail stores in this province could each average more than $1.25 million a month in sales.

The big question is what that translates to when major expenses such as buying the produce from the provincial wholesaler is factored in.

“They should do pretty well,” says Armstrong, who recently wrote an opinion column about the issue for The Conversation Canada. “The Quebec stores average nearly $900,000 a month in sales and they charge lower-than-average prices.”

Of the first 25 stores cleared to open starting next week, one is in the north end of St. Catharines and one is in Niagara Falls.

Armstrong points out that cannabis consumers overwhelmingly seem to prefer in-store shopping over buying online. In the last quarter, brick and mortar stores accounted for 80 per cent of legal cannabis sales in Quebec, 94 per cent in Nova Scotia and 95 per cent in New Brunswick.

“Because of this, provinces such as Alberta, Manitoba and the Atlantic provinces with more stores per capita tend to have more legal sales per capita, and have taken more market share from the black market,” says Armstrong.

Only about 13 per cent of cannabis sold in Ontario last quarter was legal. The Canadian average is 15 per cent while Alberta and Nova Scotia lead the country at 29 per cent.

“Product shortages, especially of dry cannabis, remain the biggest drag on legal sales nationwide,” says Armstrong.

He says Ontario’s decision to go with a private retail sales model versus an LCBO-style public model will mean a widely varying customer experience from store to store.

“Every store will have a different management style and décor. The Yorkdale one, for example, could be high end. The St. Catharines store will likely be your neighbourhood pot shop.

“From a business perspective, I think it’s a good thing,” says Armstrong. “We don’t really know what the best retail approach is yet for selling cannabis so the private sector will try different things. They will likely all succeed, but in different ways.”

For more information or for assistance arranging interviews:

* Dan Dakin, Manager Communications and Media Relations, Brock University ddakin@brocku.ca, 905-688-5550 x5353 or 905-347-1970

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Lights out for Earth Hour at Brock University

Tue, 2019-03-26 15:16

MEDIA RELEASE: 26 March 2019 – R00053

The illumination of Schmon Tower at Brock University will switch from Badger red to earth green Saturday, March 30, but from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. the lights will go out entirely.

It’s part of Brock’s annual recognition of Earth Hour, when Canadians turn off the lights as a show of support in the fight against climate change. In addition to the tower lights going dark, other lighting on the main campus and in the downtown Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts will also be dimmed or turned off.

But beyond simply flipping a switch once a year, when it comes to environmental sustainability, Brock University is a post-secondary leader.

Brock’s waste diversion rate was 71.8 per cent in 2017, putting it nearly 12 per cent higher than the Ministry of the Environment’s 60 per cent diversion rate guideline.

When it comes to saving water, the University installed an additional seven bottle-filling stations in 2018, bringing its total to 57. In 2018 alone, 930,343 bottles were filled and that number is expected to cross 1 million bottles for the first time in 2019. Since the bottle station program began five years ago, nearly 4.5 million bottles have been diverted from landfills through the use of reusable containers being filled on campus.

On a wider level, Brock’s Facilities Management established an Environmental Sustainability Policy in 2016 which includes objectives and actions that contribute to the goal of Green House Gas emissions reductions of 37 per cent by 2030 and 80 per cent by 2050.

Other ongoing programs include:

  • Numerous projects aimed at improving the efficiency of the heating and cooling systems.
  • Working toward converting florescent lighting to LED across the University.
  • The ongoing District Energy Efficiency Project (DEEP) Phase 1 and 2, which will provide substantial energy savings through newer and more efficient power-generation engines.

For more information or for assistance arranging interviews:

* Dan Dakin, Manager Communications and Media Relations, Brock University ddakin@brocku.ca, 905-688-5550 x5353 or 905-347-1970

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Record crowd pours in for Cuvée Grand Tasting

Tue, 2019-03-26 08:51

MEDIA RELEASE: 25 March 2019 – R00052

It was another packed event this year as the 31st annual Cuvée Grand Tasting brought almost 900 guests together to celebrate excellence in the thriving Ontario wine industry.

Organized by Brock University’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI), the record crowd came to Scotiabank Convention Centre in Niagara Falls Saturday, March 23 to sample from the largest selection of Ontario wines under one roof and taste unique culinary dishes from local chefs.

“This is the largest event of its kind and the strong turnout of guests year after year truly showcases the importance of our grape and wine industry and the strong level of support it garners from our community,” said Cuvée manager Barb Tatarnic.

The Grand Tasting also honours the talented people who work in the $4.4-billion Ontario grape and wine industry.

The Tony Aspler Cuvée Award of Excellence, presented to the individual or institution that best furthers the aims and aspirations of Ontario’s wine industry, was awarded to Doug Whitty and 13th Street Winery. Whitty is a third-generation Niagara grape grower and was the 2017 Grape King. As he called Whitty to the stage to receive the award, Tony Aspler credited him and 13th Street Winery with “enhancing the winery experience with art and sculpture and, of course, butter tarts.”

Whitty called Aspler a “pioneer in this industry.”

“He was there right from the beginning supporting us,” he said. “It is really a great honour for me to win this award, I am very humbled and thankful.”

The Winemaker of Excellence Award winner was Bruce Nicholson from Inniskillin, who was selected for his contributions to the industry, his commitment to excellence and his mentorship to winemakers across Canada.

This year’s Cuvée Vineyard of Excellence Award went to Martin Schuele, a grape grower in Beamsville. Sponsored by BASF Canada Inc., the award recognizes a grape grower who promotes excellence in vineyard practices.

“The Cuvée Grand Tasting is a great opportunity for BASF to not only celebrate Ontario wines with our grape customers, but to also introduce those customers to some of the future industry leaders from Brock University and Niagara College,” said Scott Hodgins, Crop Manager, Horticulture for BASF Canada Inc.

Schuele and his family, who grow for Arterra Wines Canada, have about 120 acres of vineyards and it’s been a family-owned operation since they arrived from Germany in the early 1980s.

“Schuele vineyards have long been associated with vineyard excellence,” said CCOVI Senior Scientist Jim Willwerth. “Martin’s Chardonnay block was pristine with high quality fruit even in the tough 2018 vintage.”

Cuvée also celebrates the next generation of winemakers and grape growers by providing scholarships to Brock University Oenology and Viticulture undergraduate and graduate students through the Cuvée Legacy Fund.

The Cuvée Scholarship winners are:

  • Cuvée Hosting Award for Academic Excellence: Marnie Crombleholme
  • Cuvée Award for Academic Excellence: Jessica Oppenlaender
  • Cuvée Award for Academic Excellence in OEVC: Jeffrey Moote
  • Cuvée Graduate Scholarship: Jennifer Kelly

“We are so pleased to provide these scholarship opportunities and industry recognition for the very deserving students of Brock’s Oenology and Viticulture programs,” said CCOVI Director Debbie Inglis. “The Cuvée Grand Tasting is a full-circle celebration of excellence in our industry, honouring the best and brightest in the business today, and looking forward to those who will shape the industry in the future.”

For more information or for assistance arranging interviews:

* Britt Dixon, Communications Officer, Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute, Brock University bdixon@brocku.ca, 905-688-5550 x4471

* Dan Dakin, Manager Communications and Media Relations, Brock University ddakin@brocku.ca, 905-688-5550 x5353 or 905-347-1970

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Brock String and Wind orchestras to hold final concerts of the season

Mon, 2019-03-25 14:55

MEDIA RELEASE: 25 March 2019 – R00051

Media preview Wednesday: George Cleland and the Brock University String Orchestra will open up its Wednesday, March 27 dress rehearsal in the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre Recital Hall to the media. The conductor and players will be available for interviews at 6:30 p.m. and photos and recordings are permitted to be taken at the start of the rehearsal, beginning at 7 p.m.

The Brock University Wind Ensemble and String Orchestra will conclude their seasons with popular repertoire and world-premiere performances in two upcoming recitals.

Presented by Brock University’s Department of Music, the Wind Ensemble will host its recital, A Touch of Latin, on Tuesday, April 2 in Partridge Hall of the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre (PAC).

The Orchestra’s recital, A Spring Serenade, will take place on Wednesday, April 3 in the PAC’s Recital Hall.

Conducted by Zoltan Kalman and George Cleland, respectively, the Wind Ensemble and String Orchestra bring Brock University students together with members of the community to perform for the public. These performances are a key part of the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts’ (MIWSFPA) mandate of building connections between the Niagara community and the breadth of talent and creativity at Brock.

At A Touch of Latin, Kalman said concertgoers will be treated to an evening of brilliant works from a range of composers such as George Gershwin and John Mackey.

“Our show will also feature an intriguing mix of different musical styles and three soloists — Mark Roberts, Rebecca Heathcote and myself — performing a world premiere under the baton of Sarah McKean,” he said. “From the high energy Redline Tango, to the splendid melodies of Cuban Overture and the grandiose Music for a Festival, our repertoire will highlight the versatility and brilliance of this dedicated group and offer non-stop entertainment for all ages.”

Cleland said he is looking forward to the String Orchestra’s concert because preparations for the recital showcased a great period of growth for the players.

A Spring Serenade will feature a performance of Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for Strings, which Cleland said is “one of the most popular pieces in the string orchestra repertoire, loved for its beautiful melodies and sensitive use of the tone colours of the orchestra.”

Guests will also hear Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis, which is “a rich and intricate work, playing with antiphonal sound by breaking the ensemble into a string quartet and two string orchestras,” Cleland added.

Tickets to A Touch of Latin and A Spring Serenade are available for purchase from the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre Box Office by phone at 905-688-0722 or online at firstontariopac.ca

For more information about the concerts or other music programming, visit brocku.ca/music

For more information or for assistance arranging interviews:

* Dan Dakin, Manager Communications and Media Relations, Brock University ddakin@brocku.ca, 905-688-5550 x5353 or 905-347-1970

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