Canadian Culture

Tom Henighan: Cultural Studies Background

  • Dr. Tom Henighan (Professor of English and now Professor Emeritus at Carleton University) is the author of three important books on Canadian arts and culture: The Maclean’s Companion to Canadian Arts and Culture (2000), Ideas of North (1997), and The Presumption of Culture (1996).
  • In 2008,Tom received the Victor Tolgesy Award for lifetime achievement in the arts in Ottawa.
  • From 2002 to 2009 he served on several juries, including the Canada Council national jury awarding writer-in-residence and reading grants., Ontario Arts Council WIP panel, the City of Ottawa jury for the Ottawa non-fiction prize, and the city arts grants jury, as well as being a judge for the CAA seniors short story contest.  He also spoke, wrote and appeared before Ottawa City Council and the OMB to oppose the creation of a large suburban-style shopping mall in the heart of  his own Ottawa district of Westboro.
  • In February, 2002, he traveled, at the invitation of the Canadian Embassy, to Mexico City and Monterrey, to talk about the place of Canadian culture on the North American and world scenes.
  • In 2001, he was invited to open the Canadian Studies Program at the University of Athens, and to dialogue with Canadian Embassy and Greek officials on the forthcoming Athens cultural Olympics
  • Other contributions to the dialogue on the arts in Canada include an appearance at Professor Desmond Morton’s McGill colloquium on government and arts (with Dr. Shirley Thomson) (1997), a panel appearance at the annual CAPACOA meeting in Ottawa (1998) and a presentation on cultural policy to Treasury Board (1996).
  • Tom was a panel member of Mayor Marion Dewar’s Capital Region Arts Advisory Panel, 1980, and wrote the report on the Arts in Ottawa that resulted in the creation of Ottawa Arts Court.
  • He was Associate Editor of Ottawa Revue, the noted arts magazine, during 1976-79, and was a commentator on the arts on CJOH-TV during 1977-78.
  • He was a member of the Ontario Selection Committee, Canada Council Explorations Program, 1978-79.
  • He was re-appointed as Ontario Selection Committee Member, Canada Council Explorations Program in 1982-83 and represented Ontario at national meetings.
  • He was a member of the Canada-wide Selection Committee (fiction) for Canada Council “B” grants in literature, 1987.
  • He wrote the 1981-82 annual report for the National Arts Centre and presented a paper on arts facilities in Ontario to the Ontario government in 1983.
  • During 1990-94 he wrote twenty-two major speeches for cultural administrators, such as Dr. Shirley Thomson, Director of the National Gallery of Canada, and Allan Gotlieb, Chairman of the Canada Council, Paule Leduc and Roch Carrier, Directors of the Canada Council, among others.
  • His books on the arts have received nationwide coverage, including 40 radio and television interviews, including Pamela Wallin Live and Cross-Country Checkup, as well as many print references.
  • His first two books on culture are listed and mentioned favourably in Blackwell and Stanley-Blackwell, “Canadian Studies: A Core Collection,” Choice, September, 1997. (This is a leading review journal published by the Association of College and Research Libraries, a division of the American Library Association).

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