SCA News

Posted on 30 Oct 2013 in

- Congratulations Owen Underhill

Elected new fellow to the Academy of Arts for the Royal Society of Canada

For more information on Owen Underhill and the Royal Society of Canada: Read full article.



Owen Underhill was elected by his peers as one of the new Fellows to the Academy of Arts for the Royal Society of Canada (RSC).

Professor Underhill is one of 84 new Fellows elected to the RSC for outstanding scholarly and artistic achievement. As stated by the RSC, “election to the academies of the Royal Society of Canada is the highest honour a scholar can achieve in the Arts, Humanities and Sciences”.

Professor Underhill and the other Fellows will be inducted to the academies on November 16, 2013.

Posted on 25 Oct 2013 in

- MFA student receives Governor General’s Award

Cherry Smiley honoured for work on violence against Aboriginal women and girls

We’re thrilled to announce that SCA student Cherry Smiley has received the prestigious 2013 Governor General’s Award in Commemoration of the Persons Case, in the youth category. In her second year of the Master of Fine Arts program here at the school, Cherry is in the process of conceptualizing her thesis project that tackles the issue of sexual violence against Aboriginal women and girls.

From the Nlaka’pamux (Thompson) and Dine’ (Navajo) nations, Cherry is an emerging leader among Aboriginal women, both on a local and national level. She has spoken internationally on gender equality issues. Her determination to create awareness about violence against Aboriginal women and girls is apparent in her many volunteer commitments, and her focus on educating through art.

The award celebrates individuals who have shown courage and determination to advance equality for women and girls. It was created to honour the five women who fought in Canada’s highest court in 1929 for the historic legal decision to recognize the word “person” included both women and men.

Congrats Cherry!

More info on Cherry and the Governor General Awards

Posted on 04 Oct 2013 in

- Convocation Stories Fall 2013: Remy Siu

With a week to go before graduation,Remy Siu (pictured right) talks about SCA

Remy Siu (pictured right) is a composer who will be graduating on October 10th with an honours BFA in Music. He is a great example of a student who both focuses on his discipline, and collaborates beyond it.

Remy was patient enough to answer some of my questions. Though his last class was in the spring, the collaborative partnerships he formed at SCA are keeping him pretty busy with shows upcoming in December and January, so mark your calendar!

What are you going to do next?

In the immediate future, I'm working with two groups that I co-founded with other SFU SCA graduates and students.

+ Dissonant Disco ( will be collaborating with Quasar (a saxophone quartet from Montreal) for a piece at the Western Front this November.

We're also developing an opera that investigates the creation of the first internet meme and 4chan culture.

+ Hong Kong Exile ( will be working with the JUNO-winning Vancouver group "Pugs and Crows" for a show in January. Our choreographer, Natalie Gan, has a gig with CanAsian dance, so we'll be working on that for a showing in Vancouver and Toronto.


I'm also composing a lot.

+ I've written a piece for Corey Hamm (piano) and Nicole Li (erhu) called "mainland sonata" that will be premiered on December 6th @ the Roy Bernett Hall (8pm). The piece systematically explores all the permutations of the ensemble appropriating piano(violin) and erhu(Yang Qin) repertoire.

+ Currently, I'm working on a piece for grand piano, electric piano, MIDI piano, and erhu called "Hong Kong Density" that focuses on the efforts to gradually phase out the cantonese language.

Any advice for future students?

Come in with an open mind! Practice and practice as much as you can while you're in school.

Is there a central thing you learned at our School?

That an understanding of other disciplines and mediums can inform your own work in ways that you would never expect.

Do you have any fond remembrances of your profs?

I have many, many fond memories of my profs. I remember being told by my high school teachers that university professors "won't care" as much. Well, this is not the case with profs at SFU Contemporary Arts. They really do care. And that's why they'll give you a hard time when you're not doing your best.

Posted on 02 Oct 2013 in

- In the News: Ker Wells

From Globe and Mail October 1st

From the Globe and Mail, October 1st

Ker Wells, who will be joining SCA in January as a faculty member, received a great review recently in the Globe and Mail. Ker directed The Flood Thereafter: the naked truth about seduction which runs in Toronto until October 6th.

The School looks forward to welcoming Ker this January!