University of the Fraser Valley campus in Abbotsford. PHOTO COURTESY OF UFV

UFV launches school of creative arts

New school combines theatre and visual arts

The theatre department and the visual arts department at University of the Fraser Valley have united to form the School of Creative Arts (SoCA) within the UFV College of Arts.

All theatre and visual arts courses and programs continue to be offered.

Dr. Heather Davis-Fisch has been named director of the new school. She was previously department head of the theatre program from 2016 to 2019 and joined UFV in 2011 as associate professor.

“I’m very excited about this opportunity,” Davis-Fisch said.

“Combining theatre and visual arts into a new school gives us a chance to think consciously about what our vision and values will be and what we as an interdisciplinary school can do for our students and the Fraser Valley community.

“Coming from a theatre background myself, I am very excited about working with visual arts and art history faculty.”

SoCA will combine digital technologies and media with traditional arts practice and performance.

Davis-Fisch said merging the two departments positions UFV to become a cultural hub and centre of creative innovation in the Fraser Valley.

SoCA places a high value on experiential learning and preparing students for careers valuing flexibility, innovation, and creative problem-solving.

“Having all the disciplines together in one school will give us some exciting potential to grow our bachelor of fine arts and bachelor of media arts in some very innovative directions,” Davis Fisch said.

“And there will be some very creative collaboration between the different areas. For example, our first theatre production this year will be located in the S’eliyemetaxwtexw art gallery on the Abbotsford campus. It’s about a man who buys a pure white painting and tries to justify it as fine art to his friends.”

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