At the University of Winnipeg’s (U of W) autumn convocation, on Oct. 22 and 23, honorary degrees will be conferred upon TV and film actor Tantoo Cardinal, along with historian and author Allan Levine. Due to public health restrictions, the ceremony will be held virtually.
“The ceremonies will take place via Zoom webcast and will include an order of proceedings similar to what is normally held,” Kevin Rosen, the U of W’s executive director of marketing and communications, says.
“There will be video remarks from the president, presentation of honorary degrees and greetings from the (honorary degree) recipients,” he says, adding that “graduates will have personalized slides featured on the screen when their names are read aloud for the virtual conferring of degrees.”
“Family and friends of the graduates, as well as the UWinnipeg community, will be able to view the proceedings safely from wherever they are located,” Rosen says.
Levine, who earned his doctorate in history from the University of Toronto in 1985, says he is “truly honored” to be recognized by the U of W.
“I regard it as a significant moment in my close to four-decade career as a historian, writer and educator, one which I can share with my family,” he says. Levine has written 13 books on topics ranging from William Lyon Mackenzie King to the city of Toronto.
“The U of W has always engaged in a positive way with the larger community and embraced its role as a lively and ever-changing educational centre,” Levine, who is currently based in Winnipeg, says. Levine’s latest book, Details Are Unprintable: Wayne Lonergan and the Sensational Cafe Society Murder, is a historical novel about a 1943 murder in New York City.
“Over many years, (the U of W’s) faculty and students have sought to advance learning, debate, literature, science and the arts at the university, but, more importantly, beyond the campus, touching the lives of thousands of Winnipeggers,” he says. He regrets, however, not being able to speak at an in-person convocation due to the pandemic.
Tantoo Cardinal, who is also being honoured, has been in countless television shows, movies and theatrical productions across North America such as Legends of the Fall and North of 60. According to The Canadian Encyclopedia, she has broken “barriers for onscreen representation of Indigenous peoples.” Cardinal is an outspoken activist and a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
“Tantoo Cardinal and Allan Levine are innovators whose works (have) opened us up to new perspectives and enriched our understanding of the world,” Dr. James Currie, U of W interim president and vice chancellor, says.
“The university is proud to recognize their many achievements with honorary degrees,” he says.
Published in Volume 75, Number 06 of The Uniter (October 22, 2020)