SCA News

Posted on 29 Apr 2015 in

- Loungin’ Around

The new MA lounge is now open for business... and some serious lounging!

Located just out the SCA office on the way to the computer labs, the furniture was kindly donated by Ricardo Basbaum, our Audain artist in residence last fall. To make it ever-so-cozy, a kettle has also been acquired. So, drop by and check out the new space and have a cuppa with your fellow MA students!

Posted on 15 Apr 2015 in

- Call for Submissions


Minah Lee and Terence Grigoruk perform an excerpt from "We'll Need a Piece of Cake Before We Die" at LAUNCH 2014! 

LAUNCH! Festival is one of Vancouver’s most exciting opportunities for emerging artists!  Contemporary artists in the genres of performance, media arts and new forms from across the Lower Mainland are now invited to apply for the 2015 festival.

Application deadline: May 20, 2015, 5pm. No submission required.

Presented by 149 Arts Society Vancouver, BC

What does the winning artist receive?

They will present their work at SFU’s Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, a state-of-the-art facility to an audience of hundreds, on June 19, 2015.

In addition:
- Receive live feedback from a panel of industry professionals
- Attend an industry networking party on festival night
- Receive media coverage, marketing, and publicity of their work
- Receive a professional performance fee: 

$400/Single performer
$1000/Group performers/musicians of more than three

All applicants, whether chosen for the showcase or not, are invited to attend a day-long career-building workshop on Saturday, June 20, led by industry experts, focusing on: how to survive in the arts, developing a “plan B’ strategy, financial planning, marketing, and building your resume and online profile.

Posted on 13 Apr 2015 in

- Emiliano Sepulveda’s Directed out the window following the light

SCA Office Gallery Exhibit

Directed out the window following the light, the current exhibition at the School for the Contemporary Arts office, is an installation of mixed media assemblages by Emiliano Sepulveda, a first-year MFA student. The exhibition is based around the phenomenological perception of light, and is composed of elements such as photographs, contrast filters, mirrors, and hand-drawn text. Through the use of reflective surfaces and obliquely placed 4×6” photos, the installation creates a disorienting sensation within the context of the office space.

The SCA Office (GCA 2860) is located on the second floor of SFU Woodward’s. The current exhibition is open to the public during office hours (9:30am - 4:00pm) until April 17.

by Curtis Grahauer
Courtesy of The Peak

The Peak: In your artist statement for the exhibition, could you elaborate on your description of “the built environment as an active agent in creating perception?”

Emiliano Sepulveda: What we perceive is influenced by what we expect to perceive when we know we’re going to encounter a particular thing around a corner, what we actually perceive, what we think we perceive, and what we remember perceiving. It’s all constantly in flux and full of gaps.

P: Within the context of Woodward’s as an institutional space, how do you see your work altering the way in which the built environment of the office creates perception?

ES: It is easy to focus on how institutional spaces are oppressive, but I am more interested in trying to carve a nurturing space out of that, something that is more generous. A couple people have mentioned to me that they saw the piece working very strongly as institutional critique, which was heartening because it seems to me that there is a potential for creating a criticism of a space that leaves room for other experiences.

P: Because your work involves light, how would you describe the light of Vancouver?

ES: The light in Vancouver is definitely a very particular thing. It has its own personality and idiosyncrasies. It lends this soft focus to everything, even in the summer. All the glass condos downtown interact with it in a very imagistic way that turns so many things into a picture.

P: Your work incorporates material elements such as pink cord and foil emergency blankets that call to mind outdoor survival, or at least outdoor preparedness. Are you using these materials in reference to their intended purpose?

ES: The safety materials have a connection to well being, and maintaining health, and often materials that have this emergency or safety purpose also have a certain relationship to light. In the case of the emergency blanket, it literally reflects infrared light from your own body back at you to keep you warm. The common pink of the cord and the filters is something I find really beautiful. In my drawings I tend to only draw with black or magenta.

P: What qualities do you look for in the photos to include them within your work?

ES: I look at what sort of relationship to light they represent, for example, the visible flashes of light and light leaks. These are moments where the light does not behave as to how we intend it and becomes this sticky elemental and untamable power that resists our desire to order it. I like these photographs because they resist being images, which means functioning as narratives and they function more as objects. This is something I have been thinking about for a long time: how a photograph can exist as sculpture.

Posted on 09 Apr 2015 in

- SCA Grad Profiled: Angela Ferreira

Ferreira, a recent graduate of SFU’s Master of Fine Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies (MFA) program, chose the program for its interdisciplinary approach, which allows students to explore collaboration and grow their artistic practice.

Article courtesy of In the City blog, SFU Vancouver
by Justin Wong

High school drama class is often one of the only opportunities one gets after childhood to immerse themselves in an imaginary world.  

For Angela Ferreira, that experience transformed into a lifelong passion for theatre; where she could allow audiences to be fully immersed into a world that she has created.

“My passion for theatre stems from its ability to allow you to be in an imaginary world where you are able to create your own rules,” explains Ferreira. “That passion transformed into acting, directing, producing and writing.”

Ferreira, a recent graduate of SFU’s Master of Fine Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies (MFA) program, chose the program for its interdisciplinary approach, which allows students to explore collaboration and grow their artistic practice.

“What I was missing was the true understanding of ensemble and collaboration through all the work I’ve seen from the people I knew. I really wanted to be a part of the MFA program because I wanted to engage in a collaborative environment. Now, more than ever, I am open and in-tune to the creative process—I learned how to embrace people whose skills are varied by working collaboratively,” Ferreira shares.

Although graduated, Ferreira still holds close ties to SFU.

She currently works at SFU Vancouver’s Registrar & Information Services office, just a short walk from where she would spend hours honing her craft at SFU Goldcorp Centre for the Performing Arts.  

To current students, Ferreira offers the following advice:

“I feel that I am a lifelong learner even when I am not in school. Take as many classes as you can that are varied. Carve out a portion of your time dedicated to learning different aspects of your practice… I think it is a gift to have the time to spend on yourself [to reflect and learn].”

For Ferreira, her appreciation for the investment and sharing of time stems from her mentors at SFU’s MFA program.

“I am more appreciative now of people’s time…. I am always thankful for people who are willing to contribute their own personal time to a project that I am creating.”

Ferreira’s own projects include writing and directing The Peaceful Sea, a play that explores Ferdinand Magellan’s three-year exploration around the globe. Presented by the rEvolver Theatre FestivalThe Peaceful Sea runs May 21-24 at The Cultch (1895 Venables Street).

Posted on 08 Apr 2015 in

- SFU Service Awards

Deadline to apply - April 15

Every year, Financial Aid and Awards accepts applications for the SFU Service Awards. The SFU Service Awards recognize service to the University and/or the community at large, leadership and volunteer work.

Applications are accepted every year between March 23 and April 15, 2015. Successful applicants are notified in May.

Information on what the eligibility requirements are to be considered, instructions on how to apply, and the list of Service Awards available (PDF) is online:

Posted on 08 Apr 2015 in

- Interdisciplinary approach taken with The Three Cornered Hat

Profile on MFA student Barbara Adler

Interview courtesy of The Peak
Published April 7, 2015
By Tessa Perkins

The Three Cornered Hat 
Scotiabank Dance Centre
April 9 - 11

SCA students are also invited to attend the preview performance of The Three Cornered Hat on Wednesday, April 8 at 7:30 pm. Admission is by donation (suggested donation $15).

Barbara Adler’s work doesn’t fall neatly into one genre. She’s working on her masters of fine arts in interdisciplinary studies at SFU, and regularly collaborates with other artists on a variety of projects. “The things we make are hard to pin,” she says.

Even within the interdisciplinary studies program, it is difficult to find a concrete definition of the field. “It’s a big question and we talk a lot about that, but never come to a consensus,” Adler notes.

Adler isn’t the only one involved in this show with a connection to SFU. Dancer Billy Marchenski graduated from the acting program, Mascall’s partner John Macfarlane teaches lighting design and technical direction, and composer Stefan Smulovitz is a staff member who also teaches music.

Focusing mostly on music and text-based mediums of poetry, prose, and spoken word, Adler was given the opportunity to explore the intersection of text and movement when she was invited to be a research participant with MascallDance. “There are intersections and commonalities, but there are also challenges with text. The audience tends to interpret the movement as a literal interpretation of the text,” she says.

During her creative process, Adler attended rehearsals at MascallDance and improvised with the dancers. Artistic director Jennifer Mascall wanted Adler to have sense of how dancers improvised, and there was a lot of back and forth among them during the collaboration.

Adler describes Mascall’s choreographic style as always pushing the dancers to the limit of what they’re comfortable with in terms of improvisation. “It’s one thing that makes it exciting to work with her — it’s exciting to be a little terrified all the time,” laughs Adler.

Adler is also interested in improvisation in her own artistic practice. She refers to her improvised moments of storytelling as a form of banter with the audience. “It’s all about conversation and less about bodies and space,” she explains.

MascallDance began working on this project almost two years ago, collaborating with many artists from a variety of disciplines. The Three Cornered Hat is a culmination of that work. The show was presented last year as part of the Dancing on the Edge festival, and this year it’s being remounted in its new evolved form.

Studying movement, space, and human interaction, The Three Cornered Hat studies the moments we might otherwise miss. “One of [Mascall’s] concerns is setting up movement that allows people to see spaces that they usually don’t notice,” says Mascal. For example, the space between people’s lips as they are about to kiss becomes very noticeable in that moment, but it is usually not given any thought. According to Alder, Mascall wants to find ways to make these unnoticed spaces legible and noticeable.

The show is humorous yet profound, and it presents intricate scenes of various abstracted human interactions. There is also plenty of audience engagement, and stacks of ubiquitous red notebooks are used as versatile props that become stools, stepping stones, and even a mop. This updated version of the show will be presented in a larger venue than last time around; it’s an intelligent work that deserves the larger audience.

The Three Cornered Hat will be presented by MascallDance April 9 to 11 at the Scotiabank Dance Centre. For more information, visit

Posted on 02 Apr 2015 in

- BAC Wants You!

Student collective to produce summer show

The Burnaby Arts Council is seeking a collective of four SCA students who, over the course of this summer, will create, produce, perform, and tour an original contemporary theatre work.

Through a Canada Summer Jobs federal grant, the Burnaby Arts Council hires emerging performance and theatre students to write, direct and present a new play, free to audiences throughout the Lower Mainland. It means that audiences of all ages get the chance to experience live theatre in unexpected places. This special community outreach program has had a 30-year history in the community.

Since 2013, this opportunity has been offered exclusively to students of the SFU Contemporary Arts program. For the past two summers, students have been collaborating to develop and perform an interdisciplinary work for twelve paid weeks between May-August. 

The first collective in the summer of 2013, Tiny Asteroid Company, presented The Boy Who Fell from the Sky. A children’s play, it was a story of a young boy’s journey on finding the meaning of home and friendship. The group was made up of Nazli Akhtari, Carmine Santavenere, June Fukumura, Megan Fox, and Jessica Hood who brought skills ranging from dance, opera, puppetry, costume design, and prop making. Last year, saw students, Rachel Helton, Katie Gartlan-Close and Danielle Lavallee present another family-friendly show, Ellery Zephyr and The Whispering Winds. This story took audiences into the magical world of the winds, where the unpredictable forces of nature collide to teach Ellery to find her courage and overcome her fears. The performers brought singing, dancing and humor to the stage.

It’s an amazing opportunity to produce-from-scratch an original and interdisciplinary work in the space of 12 weeks and present it to live audiences in the lower mainland, all while developing new skills and learning first hand how to present and tour.

Contact Chelsea Hunter, Professional Development Advisor (EMAIL) for more information about the program and how to apply. The deadline to submit a one page show proposal is Friday, April 10, 2015 at 4PM. 

Posted on 01 Apr 2015 in

- Shift-ing Expectations

Profile on Emmalena Fredriksson

- By Ian Bryce, courtesy of SFU Vancouver's In the City blog

From April 1 to 4, SFU’s School of Contemporary Arts presents Shift – the 2015 Spring mainstage dance performance with new choreographed works from four Masters of Fine Arts students Gioconda Barbuto, Amber Funk Barton, Vanessa Goodman, Emmalena Fredriksson. We caught up with Fredriksson to get a sneak peek into her upcoming work in Shift as well as her MFA project pieces.

For Shift, Fredriksson explains, each choreographer had seven sessions with the SCA dancers to see what they could make. Because Fredriksson’s MFA project encompasses more solo work, working with 13 dancers provided her with an intriguing challenge: “how can we make a group piece where each individual can be seen and what is it like to be individuals together?”

By playing with games (where Fredriksson’s title draws inspiration from) and perspective, Fredriksson worked with the dancers to create nine different variations of the same movement sequence. Fredriksson then cut and reordered those sequences.

“The result,” Fredriksson notes, “[is that] you get these movements or phrases that are in some ways unpredictable and each individual has a different movement sequence.”

Fredriksson is originally from Sweden but has been across Europe, New Zealand and Canada following her dance career. Fredriksson moved to Vancouver to pursue her MFA in dance at SFU’s School for Contemporary Arts.

“I was really attracted to the interdisciplinary approach,” Fredriksson explains. “When I thought about doing a Masters, I thought it’d be more interesting to be in a more open situation and to see how that would benefit my practice.”

Fredriksson is specifically interested in expanding her ideas around dance and challenging how dance can be seen. For her final MFA project, Fredriksson is creating dance performances in gallery format: “[I’m] looking at dance as an exhibition-based practice rather than a performance-based practice. I’m interested in how to set the conditions for dance to happen.”

“I asked the dancers to describe a job that they do outside of their dance careers but I asked them to describe it in a way as if it was a dance.” Fredriksson then works with her dancers to deconstruct the tasks and movements and then put the sequence into a loop. Having the dancers in gallery spaces and performing in loops creates a unique experience not just for the audience but for the performers as well – it plays on who is performing for whom as audiences initially seem to make space for the performers but then relax as they realise the performance is looping.

You can see Fredriksson’s upcoming works at the InterUrban Gallery from April 10-11 and her MFA project DANCE WORK / WORK DANCE  at the Audain Gallery noon- 5:00pm, May 21 - 23.

SHIFT runs from April 1 - 4 at the Fei & Milton Wong Experimental Theatre, Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, 149 W. Hastings St. Doors at 7:30, Show at 8:00pm. Tickets are $15 for general admission and $5 for students, staff and faculty.