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Arts retirees in 2019

Tue. Sep. 17, 2019

As we approach the new academic year, you may notice changes in some areas. People who were once the face of the department or who played an important role in it, have retired. Things will be different; they will be missed.

Here, friends and colleagues of our retirees share some of their thoughts.

Professor Shelagh Carter, Department of Theatre and Film

Shelagh Carterphoto supplied

Professor Tim Babcock, former Chair of the Department of Theatre and Film, shared his thoughts as follows:

Shelagh Carter came to Theatre and Film at the University of Winnipeg with an MFA in Directing from the internationally renowned Actors Studio Drama School and is a Lifetime Member of the Actors Studio as an actor and director. She is also a graduate of the Canadian Film Centre's Directors' Lab in Toronto.

As a filmmaker and director, Shelagh has many years of creative and internationally award-winning work behind her. She won the National Screen Institute Drama Prize for "Night Travelers," only her third short film, and since then has sold a feature film to HBO, and won numerous awards at international film festivals ranging from Houston, Texas to winning Best Director at the Milan International Film Festival. Her most recent completed project, a revisionist Chekhovian drama called "Into Invisible Light," features Jennifer Dale and recently received nationwide theatrical release. And on top of all of this, she has two more upcoming feature-length projects yet to be released.

Shelagh has also been recognized personally as a recipient of the Women in the Director's Chair Career Advancement, in collaboration with the Vancouver International Women in Film Festival (VIWFF).

These are all extraordinary achievements for any Canadian director. What makes them all the more remarkable is that she has maintained a fulltime teaching schedule at the UWinnipeg throughout.

Shelagh has brought commitment and enthusiasm to her classes and fostered it in all of her students. She has taught at every level of our core program and has brought her professional training and expertise to virtually all of our senior Honours acting students over the past 20 years having directed them in no fewer than 14 of our major public productions. 

We have indeed been fortunate to have had the benefit of Shelagh's experience and talent when she could easily have concentrated more fully on her professional career as a filmmaker. We are grateful that her love of teaching and dedication to her students has kept her with us over these many years. And we look forward to seeing many more of her movies!

Professor Howard Curle, Department of Theatre and Film

Howard Curle photo supplied

Fellow professor of film in the Department of Theatre of Film, Professor John Kozak, offered the following:

Howard Curle already had a long and distinguished teaching career, going back to 1981 at the University of Manitoba, when we had the good fortune to welcome him to our Department in 2005, bringing with him a wealth of experience. Howard has a substantial list of publications and is known for his encyclopedic knowledge of film. He has always been deeply involved in the local film community, whether through collaboration with the Winnipeg Film Group, "Prairie Fire" Magazine, the Winnipeg Art Gallery, or crewing and acting on local film shoots, but it is his extraordinary dedication to teaching for which he is most celebrated.

Howard inspired generations of students with his passion for the subject and his tireless commitment to teaching. Before and after class Howard was always willing to engage in discussion with his students. He would devote hours of his time visiting student film shoots to offer encouragement and support, and students recognized his sense of commitment and caring and reciprocated with enthusiasm and respect. Howard taught the highly popular Introduction to Film course for 14 years which, under his tutelage, saw the addition of a second section to accommodate the demand by students, and it is no surprise that Introduction to Film was voted "Favourite U of W Course" in a poll of University of Winnipeg students by "The Uniter" in November 2017.

In addition to his excellence as an instructor, Howard has also been a generous, compassionate, kind and astute colleague. His warmth and intelligence have made him an important contributor to our department’s governance and morale. For all these reasons Howard will be greatly missed by both faculty and students and we wish him all the best in his retirement, where it is certain that collaborators will continue to seek Howard out for his wealth of knowledge and experience.

Professor Sheila Page, Department of Rhetoric, Writing, and Communications

Sheila Page Photo credit: Tari Muvingi

Dr. Tracy Whalen, Acting Chair of the Department of Rhetoric, Writing, and Communications, and Dr. Jaqueline McLeod Rogers, Department Chair (on leave), offered their thoughts:

The Department of Rhetoric, Writing, and Communications will not be the same now that Sheila Page has retired. Joining what was then The Writing Program over thirty years ago, Sheila was instrumental in the collaborative process behind its governance structure and curriculum. A dedicated teacher and mentor, Sheila oversaw for eight years the Writing/Tutoring Centre, whose practices informed her papers and workshops on peer tutoring and reflective learning. Sheila's unique expertise in our department—an MBA and work experience in government—was invaluable to the design and delivery of our curricula for Business students. In the words of Department Chair and friend Jaqueline McLeod Rogers, Sheila is a "committed idealist" who "stands out as an advocate for ethical practices, whether lobbying to protect the elms on Spence or requiring colleagues to deliver clear outlines and transparent grades." I personally have been grateful for and strengthened by Sheila's judgement, experience, perspective, and warmth—not to mention her quick and quiet humour. I shall miss her tremendously. Sheila's character and ethical core, I suspect, have been enriched and informed by a longtime interest in narrative. I wish for Sheila a retirement rich in new narratives that bring much joy, attunement to life, and fulfillment.