Welcome to spring! The Winter term at Hart House was busy, as always, with so many activities and meaningful programs. I am happy to share a few highlights.

Though Black History Month is in February, we celebrate and recognize with our Black Futures programming starting in Fall 2023. Our Black Futures programming, spanning arts, dialogue and wellness engagement with the students and the community, thrived over the Winter term.

A film about The Honourable Dr. Jean Augustine

In November (2023), we had a highly anticipated film screening of Steadfast: The Messenger and the Message directed by Fahim Hamid Ali. This is a movie about a Canadian icon: The Honourable Dr. Jean Augustine, a trailblazing politician, social activist and educator. The film screening was led by Hart House Student Debates and Dialogue Committee.

The Wealth Building Series, a five-week program (January to February) presented by Hart House Black Futures, empowered students from equity-seeking groups and the BIPOC community with the ability to navigate barriers and understand their personal finances. The University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM) was a key partner on this.

Rest is Residence

For Black History Month, “Rest is Residence” ran as part of the Well Being Collective @ Hart House. Here, we offered rest time and space in the Hart House Fitness Centre. This included meditations, affirmations and more.

The Division of University Advancement’s Black History Month Luncheon, held in the Great Hall, was an important annual event for the entire University. Hart House was honoured to be the choice of venue. Although I wasn’t able to attend the Luncheon after all (sick child), I was so pleased to be able to join online via the livestream with my daughter. The energy and enthusiasm of the event was emanating from the speakers and performers. Hearing from former Governor General of Canada, the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, was inspirational. She spoke of the power of voice and the impact it can have on others. A big thank you to all the teams involved in the planning and delivery of the day to make sure it was such a success for all attendees and participants!

Left to right: Jessica Au Yeung, Vanessa Treasure and me, Dave Kim


Keeping active and actively involved in Hart House events is important to me. In February, together with Director, Fitness, Wellness and Recreation Vanessa Treasure and Physical Activity and Aquatics Programs Supervisor Jessica Au Yeung, I participated in Hart House’s Recreational Athletics and Wellness Committee’s triathlon. It was a wonderful day.



It's Bigger Than Hip Hop II

March 8 marked International Women’s Day. There was so much to celebrate! Let’s start with the certificate course, ‘It's Bigger Than Hip Hop II: Celebrating 50 Years of Women and Gender Expression in Hip Hop,’ which ran from February 7 to March 6. This was a five-week course led by Dr. Francesca D’Amico-Cuthbert and featuring special guests who focused on the history of Hip Hop culture and the role that women have played in its development since its inception 50 years ago.

Feminisms & Film: Inspiring Women’s Inclusion in Sport” was another key event through which Hart House celebrated International Women’s Day (IWD). On March 7, Hart House and the Faculty of Kinesiology & Physical Education hosted a screening of the short film "She Carries On," which focuses on the cultural tradition of stickball within Cherokee communities in North Carolina and Indigenous women’s engagement with and reclaiming of the sport. The film screening was followed by a discussion with a panel of academic and organizational leaders (including our very own Director of Fitness, Wellness & Recreation, Vanessa Treasure!) with KPE Professor Caroline Fusco and Hart House Senior Director, Co-Curricular Education & Chief Program Officer Michelle Brownrigg moderating.

The panel discussion focused on women and gender identity in sports and the importance of resistance and strength in community, among other topics. The collaborative event, in celebration of International Women's Day, was such an excellent experience! Watching the film and hearing the panel speak was incredibly moving and many of us continued the conversation throughout the rest of the day. It's also a really important reminder that we should be having these conversations beyond IWD, and in the words of Professor Gretchen Kerr, Dean of KPE, we really “can’t take our foot off the gas.”

The following day, also as part of International Women’s Day, we held Find Your Fit with partners Kiki Chambers and Dee Gray in the Hart House Fitness Centre. This included Pilates and candlelight yoga in Studio A and the Hart House Gymnasium.

If you haven’t visited Hart House lately, please come and check out our Information Desk, which has been revitalized with enhanced accessibility for staff and visitors. The same welcoming and friendly staff will help you to learn more about what Hart House offers for you.  When you are here, please make sure you also visit our Hart House Camera Club 102nd Annual Exhibition of Photography on the second floor. This show will run until April 26.

Don’t forget to stop by The Arbor Room! This February, it saw record highs for visitors, no doubt responding to our newsletter that encouraged students to come visit and try the great food with great service. Since taking over the food service in The Arbor Room (March 2023), we have set a new record high for number of guests we served in one week. The week of February 5 to 9, we served close to 2,800 guests. If you want to experience firsthand the wonderful service and the exceptional food, come visit us!

In closing, I encourage you to check out the engaging stories in this issue of the Hart House Quarterly:

Again, I would like to take the opportunity to wish everyone a great Spring term. I look forward to sharing more news in the Summer edition of the Hart House Quarterly.

Best wishes,