Eric Metcalfe in 1965. (Michael Long photo) Eric Metcalfe, 80 receives an honorary doctorate from the University of Victoria with a virtual ceremony on June 8. (Ben Wilson photo)

Eric Metcalfe in 1965. (Michael Long photo) Eric Metcalfe, 80 receives an honorary doctorate from the University of Victoria with a virtual ceremony on June 8. (Ben Wilson photo)

Oak Bay-raised artist among those to receive University of Victoria honorary doctorate

UVic issues doctorates to Eric Metcalfe, Bruce Poon, Marvin Storrow, Dr. Pauline van den Driessche

An artist who grew up in Oak Bay and crafted his foundation in Greater Victoria is among the recipients of honorary doctorates at the University of Victoria this year.

Eric Metcalfe, 80, attended St. Christopher’s school, St. Michaels school and Oak Bay High, then earned a bachelor of fine arts with distinction from UVic. His many awards and accolades include a Gov. Gen. Award for lifetime achievement in 2008 and a 2015 honorary doctorate of letters from Emily Carr University of Art and Design, where he taught for seven years.

The awards signify a key element for the multi-platform artist.

“I’m respected by peers which is the most important thing,” he said in a phone interview from his Vancouver home.

READ ALSO: UVic researcher uses theatre to empower marginalized voices, fight climate change

Metcalfe’s choice of secondary school was wholly intentional.

“I heard that Oak Bay High School had a good art teacher by the name of Bill West, recently from the Vancouver School of Art,” Metcalfe said. He scored mostly Cs and Ds with A+ only appearing in art. Despite the grades, he became president of the jazz club and graduated in 1959.

“I was a terrible student. I was an oddball and an artist.”

While growing up in Greater Victoria was great, he left for the mainland in the 1970s in a bid to evolve as a person and an artist.

READ ALSO: Canadian consumers lose trust in big brands during pandemic, finds UVic study

Since the late 1960s, his art practice has crossed and merged disciplines including painting, drawing, sculpture, printmaking, performance, video and film. In 1973, he co-founded Western Front, an artist-run centre in Vancouver.

Notable works include a 2005 mural in the lobby of UVic’s Fine Arts Building and the 2014 large work in the lobby of the Burrard Building in Vancouver. He was also commissioned by the Cultural Olympiad to work with American composer George Lewis to create an interactive sculptural sound installation for 2010.

While not currently with a gallery, he mentors young artists and does small tours in B.C. and the prairies (when travel is endorsed).

“If you want to get into the art world it’s very murky. It’s not glamorous, it’s work. You have to play it.”

During a June 8 online ceremony, UVic will issue honorary doctorates to Metcalfe (fine arts), Bruce Poon, (laws), Marvin Storrow (laws), and Dr. Pauline van den Driessche (science).

Metcalfe is pleased to see the university acknowledging artists who came through its system.

“I had a very good education in Victoria. I had some great teachers who helped me through my dyslexic problems.”

Learn more about the artist at ericmetcalfe.ca.

READ ALSO: University of Victoria receives $1.875 million donation for environmental journalism


Do you have a story tip? Email: c.vanreeuwyk@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

oak bayUVic

Just Posted

Staff member Lena Laitinen gives the wall at BoulderHouse a workout during a media tour on June 16. (Rick Stiebel/News Staff)
BoulderHouse raring to rock Langford

Popularity of bouldering continues to climb across Greater Victoria

The Sooke Potholes is a jewel in the community's crown. Transition Sooke hosts a town hall meeting on community growth on June 26. (Courtesy: Sooke News Mirror)
Sooke forum tackles community growth

To Grow or Not to Grow online town hall meeting set for June 26

General manager Lindsey Pomper says Sidney’s Star Cinema cannot wait welcome audiences when it reopens June 18, amid an easing of public health measures. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Sidney’s Star Cinema raises curtain for the first time after months in the darkness

Iconic theatre to reopen at half capacity for Friday night showing

A screenshot of the First Peoples Cultural Councils First Peoples’ Map. (First Peoples Cultural Council)
Online resource blends B.C.’s Indigenous language, art and culture

North Saanich advisor says initiative supports urgent need to preserve Indigenous languages

A dogs in parks pilot study unanimously approved by Saanich council will evaluate how park space can best be shared between dog owners and non-owners alike. (Photo by Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)
Saanich to study park-sharing strategy between those with and without pets

District-wide People, Parks and Dogs study to produce recommendations by fall

Maxwell Johnson is seen in Bella Bella, B.C., in an undated photo. The Indigenous man from British Columbia has filed complaints with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission after he and his granddaughter were handcuffed when they tried to open a bank account. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Heiltsuk Nation, Damien Gillis, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
VIDEO: Chiefs join human rights case of Indigenous man handcuffed by police in B.C. bank

Maxwell Johnson said he wants change, not just words, from Vancouver police

Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Chief Rosanne Casimir stands outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School after speaking to reporters, in Kamloops, B.C., on Friday, June 4, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Kamloops chief says more unmarked graves will be found across Canada

Chief Rosanne Casimir told a virtual news conference the nation expects to release a report at the end of June

A woman wears a vaccinated sticker after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. ranks among highest in world in COVID-19 first-dose shots: health officials

More than 76% of eligible people have received their 1st shot

An artists conception of the new terminal building at the Pitt Meadows Regional Airport.
Air travel taking off in B.C., but lack of traffic controllers a sky-high concern

There will be demand for more air traffic controllers: Miller

Canadian Armed Forces experts are on their way to North Vancouver after a local homeowner expressed worry about a military artifact he recently purchased. (Twitter DNV Fire and Rescue)
Military called in to deal with antique ‘shell’ at North Vancouver home

‘The person somehow purchased a bombshell innocently believing it was an out-of-commission military artifact’

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz have set their wedding date for February, hoping that more COVID-19 restrictions will have lifted. (The Macleans)
B.C. couples ‘gambling’ on whether COVID rules will let them dance at their wedding

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz pushed back their wedding in hopes of being able to celebrate it without the constraints of COVID-19

A plane is silhouetted as it takes off from Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C., May 13, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Report calls for airlines to refund passengers for flights halted due to COVID-19

Conclusion: federal help should be on the condition airlines immediately refund Canadian travellers

Green party Leader Annamie Paul speaks during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, June 15, 2021. Paul has survived another day of party strife after a planned ouster shifted course, leaving her with a tenuous grip on power ahead of a likely federal election this year. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Green Leader Annamie Paul blasts ‘racist,’ ‘sexist’ party execs who sought ouster

Fallout has continued, with two of the federal council’s members resigning

Most Read