Glendon - English

Volume 7 - Issue 1 - Spring 2011

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Page 9 of 29

AND NOW, THE ARTS. The purpose of artistic works is to bring people together and stimulate dialogue. The arts play a pivotal role in our mutual understanding. Artistic creation awakens the conscience. It is a source of meditation, inspiration, reflection and comfort. The arts contri - bute to providing balance in an indi vidual’s life, in elevating their soul and allowing us to breathe and to live. Without beauty, without laughter and tears it is not possible to live. The arts define us and help us to understand above all who we are as Canadians and who we are as a society. Culture is the combination of distinct spiritual, material, intel - lectual and emotional characteristics that distinguish a society or social group. In addition to arts and letters, culture encom - pas ses lifestyles, values, tradition and beliefs. Canadian culture stems from the union of different cultures and traditions, each one just as rich as another. Our distinctive traits are enriched by the contribution of Native cultures and the many other cultural influences that were gradually added into the mix. Our way of life is western, North American, and at the same time it is Native, it’s Ukrainian, Pakistani, Senegalese, Acadian, Irish and much, much more. We are a northern country, with extreme cold temperatures and many seasons. Our intellectual environment takes its power from the extraordinary synergy of men and women who come from everywhere to participate in the grand collective project that is Canada. Uniformity is not what defines us, we are diver - sity itself, but we share common values, which are an important dimension of our culture. John Ralston Saul is not mistaken when he emphasized that only Canadian culture could express the uniqueness of our bilingual and multicultural country, profoundly marked by its indigenous roots, the north, the oceans and its own vastness. Therefore we are a new humanity; a huma nity born from the meeting of diverse people and the incredible cultu ral mix that result. “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift; that’s why we call it the PRESENT.” I don’t know to whom I should attribute this quotation, but it has become my motto. Much of my life has been built around my work as an actor performing La Sagouine, a magni ficent piece of writing by Antonine Maillet. But to keep my senses sharp, alive and acute, I have always had to live “in the moment”. If I want to suc- cessfully interpret my character, I need to live my present, my now, every moment. I can’t allow myself to live in a past which no longer exists, nor in the fu-ture, which remains a mystery. Venerable Honorees, Honorable Gra duates… Congratulations! This is your Present. And in more simple words, but not less profound, I would like to conclude with two of my favorite quotations from La Sagouine: “It’s not having a thing that makes a person happy. It’s knowing you’re going to get it.” And then: “Well, a person’s gotta take ‘mself for what he is, ‘n not try to talk ‘n walk like other folks. …Nope, a person’s gotta look like the land that made him ‘n fed him.” Thank you. JULIA DREXLER IS LOOKING FOR YOUR PUBLICATIONS article by: Julia Drexler Dear Graduates, many years ago, when one of the display cabinets at the entrance of the Frost library was empty and forlorn, I gathered a few publi cations by Glendon alumni who had recently published books and articles and displayed them just to fill the void. I also made a list of what I had found. This list was the kernel of what grew and grew to become the "Alumni in Print" bibliography which is now available on the Alumni page. Over the years, after culling old Pro Tem issues, searching the Internet and with the generous help of faculty members, I discovered more and more alumni authors. If your work or those of your friends are not included in this biblio graphy, I would be most grateful if you could let me know what - or who - is missing. And if you find mistakes in the list, please let me know and I will make corrections immediately. If you appear in the bibliography but without a picture, please send me ( your head shot and I will be happy to add it. Have a look at the bibliography and see how many names you recog nize. You will be amazed, just as I was, at the some of the people who appear on it. Have a look at the bibliography and see how many names you recognize. You will be amazed, just as I was, at the some of the people who appear on it. Glendon Magazine 2011 ] 8 [ La Revue de Glendon 2011 Julia Drexler

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