Upper Canada College has its first two arts captains, who will play a similar promotional role to what the Blue Army generals do in raising awareness and enthusiasm for athletics.
Six IB2 students applied and were interviewed for what was originally supposed to be one position, but Jacob Gotlieb and Nicholas Czegledy so impressed the committee charged with making a decision that they were named co-captains.
“The two of them were so outstanding that it was hard to decide and we also thought that two people could create more energy together,” says arts chair and theatre coordinator Judith Macdonell, who was one of the five people representing the school’s arts department, the Arts Booster Club (ABC) and the student body who decided on the two boys.
The concept of creating an arts captain came from students, and the ABC executive collaborated with Macdonell, art department head David Holt and music department head Tony Gomes to make it a reality.
“The arts captains will exemplify school spirit and provide creative, inspirational leadership to the school in the field of arts by working with the board of stewards, faculty and administration, and the ABC to promote and highlight the outstanding artistic activities at the College,” says Macdonell.
“They’ll work to creatively inspire and motivate through existing channels, as well as find new and innovative ways to raise awareness in and encourage participation and attendance at events such as arts assemblies, Nuit Bleue, theatrical and musical performances, film festivals, modern language events, literary publications and a variety of other artistic performances throughout the year.”
Gotlieb and Czegledy have both been involved with sports as well as the arts at UCC and they’ve taken it on as a mandate to encourage fellow students to take part in both and eliminate any potential siloing of interests and aspirations. They also want to make sure that smaller arts-related groups, clubs and events receive the attention they deserve while still spotlighting the marquee shows and performances that take place throughout the year.
“We were really inspired by listening to these boys, who had considered that there was a lot happening and we just had to find ways to let people know what was going on and that they can get involved,” says Macdonell. “You don’t necessarily have to take classes in it, but you can be involved in a co-curricular sense.”