The Visiting Artist

Each year Augustine College invites an artist to spend time with the students and the wider Augustine College community. The artist also puts on public events, such as a concert, an exhibition, a reading, or a performance.

Past Visiting Artists

Visiting Artist | 2010 – 11

Wesley Warren, professor of the history of Music at Augustine College until this year, is Music Director of the Church of St. Barnabas, Apostle and Martyr, and organist for the orchestra of the National Arts Centre.

On Friday, December 3, he presented a lecture on and recital of organ works by Johann Sebastian Bach.

The works chosen for the recital alternate between large-scale Preludes and Fugues and shorter chorale-based pieces. The various moods are a meditation on the themes of the liturgical year. The programme includes some of Bach’s most well known organ works: Toccata and Fugue in D minor (BWV 565), Chorale Prelude on “Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme” (BWV 645), and the Fantasia and Fugue in G minor (BWV 542).

The lecture, following the recital, briefly outlined Bach’s life and work, giving a view of Bach’s faith and Christian witness.

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Visiting Artist | 2007 – 08

Father Theodore Koufos is a Greek Orthodox priest who has worked for many years as an icon painter. Among the many churches he has painted are Sts. Peter and Paul Melkite Catholic Church in Ottawa and Holy Trinity Orthodox Church in Kansas City. Father Koufos lives in Toronto.


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Visiting Artist | 2005 – 06

John Terpstra was the winner of the CBC Radio Literary Competition for Poetry in 1992 and the Bressani Prize for poetry in 1988 and was shortlisted for the Governor General's Literary Award in 2004. He has published seven books of poetry, including Disarmament (2003), Devil's Punch Bowl (1998), and The Church Not Made with Hands (1997) and was the Writer-in-Residence at McMaster University in 2005-06.

For more on John Terpstra click here

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Visiting Artist | 2004 – 05 / 1997 – 98

Michael O'Brien was our first visiting artist, and returned again in 2004. He is an author, editor, and artist. He has written several books including the best-selling novel Father Elijah. Formerly the editor of the magazine Nazareth Journal, O'Brien writes and lectures widely on the topic of faith and culture. His articles have appeared in numerous journals and he has been a full-time artist for 20 years with paintings and murals displayed in churches and museums across North America. He lives with his wife Sheila and their six children near Combermere, Ontario.

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Visiting Artist | 2003 – 04

In 2003-2004 we combined our Visiting Artist and Weston Lecture programme were Professor Jeremy Begbie presented a four day event.

Professor Begbie is Associate Principal of Ridley Hall, Cambridge, Professor of Theology at St. Andrew’s University, Scotland, and Director of the international research project, Theology through the Arts. Jeremy Begbie is an acclaimed musician, an Anglican minister and a renowned theologian. He is also an inspiring lecturer and brilliant performer and brings a pastor’s heart to his remarkable ministry. Founder and Director of Theology through the Arts, Professor Begbie studied music and philosophy at St. Andrew’s University and theology at the universities of Aberdeen and Cambridge. Jeremy Begbie is a professional musician and has performed extensively as a pianist, oboist and conductor. He has taught and lectured widely in the UK, South Africa and in Canada at Regents College. His research has focused on the interplay of theology and the arts. He is author of many books and papers, including Music in God’s Purposes (Handsel), Voicing Creation’s Praise: Towards a Theology of the Arts (T. & T. Clark), and his latest book, Theology, Music & Time (Cambridge University Press).

It is likely that the arts are going to play an increasing role in the way people learn the Christian faith… ‘Theology’ is another name for this process of learning.  It is ‘faith seeking wisdom’.  Theology can be done not only by academics, but by anyone who thinks seriously about the Christian faith. The Theology Through the Arts project is about allowing the remarkable power of the arts to help us do theology better.... Unfamiliar themes in Christianity can be opened up, familiar ones known in fresh and intriguing ways, difficult matters clarified.  You begin to hear ‘a music that you never would have known to listen for’ (Heaney).  And in the process, theology is refreshed as well as deeply challenged.

For more visit:
Theology Through the Arts
Institute for Theology Imagination and the Arts

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Visiting Artist | 2002 – 03

Phil Irish has had numerous exhibitions over the years. In 2001  he was at the Salon International du Flou, L'Oeil de Poisson in Quebec City, the Jeux de la Francophonie Painting Competition at National Gallery of Canada, Lake Wow! at Loop. Toronto and Art of Love at the Kor Gallery, Kitchener.


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Visiting Artist | 2001 – 02

Jason Hildebrand is an actor and writer and has performed in theatre, film and television. He received an Honours B.F.A. in acting from York University in Toronto.

Jason came twice during the 2001-02 year to talk to students about his mission in the performing arts. His visits included two public performances: the life of David, and Job Alive.

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Visiting Artist | 2000 – 01

Wesley Warren holds a Master of Music degree from the University of Michigan and a Bachelor of Music from the University of Toronto. He is a graduate of the Royal College of Church Music, London (U.K.). Other musical distinctions include being a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists and an Associate of the Royal Conservatory of Toronto. He serves currently as organist and choirmaster at St. Barnabas Anglican Church (Ottawa), as organ continuo in the National Arts Centre Orchestra, and as instructor in organ at Carleton University. We are also privileged to retain him as a faculty member of Augustine College, teaching Music & Culture in the Christian West.

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Visiting Artist | 1999 – 2000

Maria Gabankova was born in Prague in 1951 and immigrated to Canada in 1968 after the Soviet invasion. She studied at the Ostrava Art School in Prague, and at UBC in Canada. In 1977 she graduated in printmaking from the Vancouver School of Art, and in 1983 she moved to Toronto where she teaches at the Ontario College of Art.

Both her parents were artists in Prague, having met at the Academy of Fine Arts there. They continued to paint in Canada, and during her schooling in the 1970s she apprenticed herself to them, feeling her instruction in figurative art to be lacking. This is when Maria became absorbed by the figure.

In some of her works Maria deals with Christian and classical themes, as well as seeks the invisible beneath the visible, and the uniqueness of the human personality.

For more on Maria Gabankova click here

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Visiting Artist | 1998 – 99

Mezzo-soprano Sandra Graham has established a worldwide reputation after winning top prizes in the International Vocal Competitions of s'Hertogenbosch in Holland, the Montreal International Competition, and the Toulouse, France International Vocal Competition. She also received first place in the Canadian Opera Company Mozart Competition and the Montreal Symphony Orchestra Competition, and was awarded the Canada Council Virginia P. Moore award for these accomplishments.

Miss Graham has appeared in concert and on the operatic stages of Germany, Canada, United States, Holland and China. She has performed and recorded with Helmut Rilling, Christoff Penderecki, Charles Dutoit, and Vladimir Ashkenazy, appearing with the Cleveland Symphony, the Toronto Symphony, the Montreal Symphony, the National Arts Centre Symphony Orchestra, the Oregon Bach Festival, the Canadian Opera company, the Welsh National Opera, the Arizona Opera, and the Deutsche Oper am Rhein.

At Staatstheater Stuttgart Sandra Graham has been a guest artist since 1992, returning again this season, where she has performed in Hansel und Gretel, Cenerentola, Tristan und Isolde, Ariadne auf Naxos, and Cavalleria Rusticana. The distinguished mezzo's recordings include Raminsh's Songs of the Lights with the CBC Vancouver Symphony , Mozart's Requiem and Haydn's Lord Nelson Mass with the Slovak Philharmonic, Harry Somer's The Fool, and Prevost's Ahimsa. She is featured in a DVD of Jon Vickers, and the PBS biography special about Vivaldi in which she performs the lead role in the opera Orlando Furioso.

Miss Graham teaches voice and directs the Opera Workshop at the University of Ottawa.

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