Subjects that Matter

Faculty of Arts, Mount Royal University

The Phoenix, mythological and immortal creature of surviving and thriving, is emblematic of the Humanities, Social Sciences, and Creative Arts at Mount Royal University.
Phoenix offers an ongoing programme of engagement and support in celebration and advocacy for the Humanities, Social Sciences, and Creative Arts.


Event updates

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Play's the Thing: Phoenix Invites You to Come and Play!

The Phoenix Rising working group is thrilled to extend an invitation to you for an exciting and engaging event on March 21, 2024 at Wild Rose Brewery from 2:30 - 8:30 pm. Save the date!

Our upcoming event centers on the theme of “Fun & Play.” We are inviting you to delve into these concepts within the context of your specific field. Perhaps you are exploring playful language in literature, unearthing the historical significance of leisure activities, investigating the role of play in human cognition - however you wish to approach this topic through your discipline, your insights are invaluable and will contribute to a vibrant and fun event! 

There will be food and a cash bar (alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages will be available).

We are asking for your participation in the event for the following activities:

1- First Lightning Talk Panel (3:30 pm):  Share a 5-6 minute response to the provocation: ‘Play: It’s Serious' from your distinctive perspective.

2- Second Lightning Talk Panel (6:45 pm): Contribute a 5-6 minute response to the following provocation: “ All Work and No Play…”  from your particular perspective.

3- Interactive Performance (7:30):  Calling on all artists, musicians, poets, and performers! Bring your creativity to the stage and be part of an interactive celebration of the Arts!

4- Student Poster Exhibition: Students are invited to participate in the event. If you can integrate the theme of Fun/Play into your teaching and your students can create posters, we would like to showcase their work during the event.

Submission Deadline: February 23, 2024

Email your proposals and indicate your preferred activity to For any inquiries feel free to contact the same email address.


Tentative Schedule:

2:30-3:30 p.m.: Refreshments and a cash bar.

3: 30 p.m.: Lightning Panel: Play It’s Serious.

5:00 p.m.: Keynote Speaker.

6:00-6:45 p.m.: Food and socialization.

6:45 -7:30 p.m.: Lightening Panel: All Work and No Play.

7:30 p.m.: Open Mike.

We look forward to your enthusiastic participation!


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Phoenix Celebrates New and Rising Faculty

Please join us to celebrate our new and rising Faculty of Arts colleagues at the first Phoenix Rising event of the year. A panel of new and newly-promoted faculty will present on their research and scholarship achievements.

October 5, 2023
4:00-6:00 p.m.
Where: Ideas Lounge (EL 1270)
Riddell Library and Learning Centre
Pizza and Refreshments

All warmly welcome

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Environmental (De)Evolutions and Recoveries

Speakers: Dr. Rob Boschman, Dr. Ranjan Datta, Dr. Tim Haney, Dr. Emily Hutchison; Dr. Caroline McDonald-Harker

This panel of five MRU Faculty of Arts experts will explore the human-environment impact in the twenty-first century. As we face the uncertainty and chaos of our destabilised environment, and the traumas that ensue, how do we respond and strive for resilience and stability?

Details: 25 January 2023
4:00-5:30 pm, Ideas Lounge, Riddell Library and Learning Centre, (EL1270)
In person
Card bar
All warmly welcome

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Pandemics: Self and Community

Speakers: Dr. Dan Devoe, Dr. Janet Miller, Dr. Duane Bratt, Dr. Nathaniel Wagenaar, Dr. Corinne Mason, Dr. Kenna L. Olsen

This panel of six MRU Faculty of Arts experts will explore the conceptions of, and intersections between, the self and community in response to expectations, policies, and experiences related to pandemics and the societies that experience them.

Details: 16 February 2023
4:00-5:30 pm, Ideas Lounge, Riddell Library and Learning Centre, (EL1270
In person
Card bar
All warmly welcome

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(Up)Rising: A Mount Royal Performance

This event has been postponed. 

In the spring of 2013, it was announced MRU would be losing its theatre program along with several other diploma and certificate programs. Ten years later, an audience will return to one of Mount Royal’s beloved performance spaces. For one night only, the proverbial curtain will be raised, a spotlight will return to the Dramatic Arts, and an audience will journey in time and space to reflect on one of the oldest forms of storytelling.

Christopher Grignard, Looking Up: Points of Entry
Jaime Waucaush-Warn Performance-Based Installation
Current MRU Students (English 3309: Theatre from 1900 to Now): from The Extractionist
Imajyn Cardinal and Arielle Curtis: To Be or Not To Be Friends
Jason Mehmel The Role of the Director and his Theatre Work in Calgary
Alanna Bluebird-Onespot: from O’kosi
Brianna Johnston: from Cymbeline
Matthew McKinney: from Legislating Love: the Everett Klippert Story
Amanda Simon, Ava Simon & Deajah Simon: Rising Up - Healing from Education
Natalie Meisner: from Speed Dating for Sperm Donors


Post-performance discussion and Q&A with audience



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Programme of Events and Registration

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Phoenix Rising — Subjects that Matter Launch Schedule of Day
Taylor Centre for the Performing Arts

 10:00 - 10:15

Welcome and Opening Remarks, TransAlta Pavilion
 10:15 - 11:45 Rising Arts Faculty: Subjects that Matter, Panel I, TransAlta Pavilion.
Registration not required
 1:45 - 3:15 

Rising Arts Faculty: Subjects that Matter, Panel II, TransAlta Pavilion.
Registration not required

  3:30 - 5:30

Phoenix Rising – Subjects that Matter Reception, TransAlta Pavilion.
Registration encouraged. See reception programme and registration below.

Reception Programme:

- Phoenix Launch Opening remarks, Elder Miiksika’am

- Liberal Arts at MRU Video Public Launch

- “RUN TO THE STACKS” - a poem for Phoenix by Calgary poet-laureate and MRU Professor Dr. Natalie Meisner

- periodic performances by students of the MRU Conservatory

- scholarship highlights of MRU Arts Faculty

Complimentary parking is available from 3:30 - 6 p.m. in lots 7 and 8. 



Your ideas for Phoenix events and initiatives are eagerly sought.


Phoenix Co-Convenors

Prof. Kenna Olsen

Dr. David Clemis

Support the Arts at Mount Royal through supporting Phoenix.