Ivan Coyote to remain Alice Munro Chair in Creativity for an additional year

The Faculty of Arts & Humanities is pleased to announce that Ivan Coyote will remain the Alice Munro Chair in Creativity for an additional year. Ivan's extension allows them to continue to inspire students to be creative and authentic.

In 2018, the first Alice Murno Chair in Creativity, Nino Ricci, was appointed thanks to the generous contributions of donors. Western University and the Faculty of Arts & Humanities created this Chair to commemorate the achievements of Alice Munro and create a lasting legacy at her alma mater to honour her immense contributions to Canadian literature and Nobel Prize in Literature.

Serving as a mentor and a model to our students, the Alice Munro Chair in Creativity allows us to directly develop and nurture the creative voices on our campus and our community.

In 2020, we welcomed our second Alice Munro Chair in Creativity to the Western family: award-winning author and stage performer Ivan Coyote. Currently beginning their second academic year in the role, Ivan continues to bring their passionate voice to Western, sharing their unique storytelling, and illustrating to us all the importance of empathy and connection.

As of October 14, Ivan is named a finalist for the Governor General's Literary Awards.

Learn more about Ivan Coyote and the Alice Munro Chair in Creativity at Western 

I'm sincerely honoured and thrilled to have one more year to continue to craft and cement my vision for the Alice Munro Chair in Creativity: to bring my passion and love for writing and all forms of storytelling to our campus, and to use the power of story, and the human connections it fosters and feeds, to build a conduit between students and classrooms and a lifelong reverence and respect for all that creativity brings into our lives.  -- Ivan Coyote

Just as Ivan was about to take up the Alice Munro Chair in Creativity, the coronavirus pandemic hit, grinding their busy touring schedule - and the global performing arts industry - to a halt.  Adapting to emergency restrictions on public gathering and travel, Ivan created a gorgeous reading and performance series over Zoom webinars with a superstar cast of performers and artists: John K. Samson and Christine Fellows; Richard Van Camp; Veda Hille; and Cherie Dimaline.  As we all stayed home to stay safe, Coyote's visionary series inspired over 2,100 viewers, starved for the arts in lockdown, around Canada and the world.  It was one of the most successful series of events we have run at the Words Festival, and one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever had as an Artistic Director.  -- Joshua Lambier, PhD student and Director, Public Humanities at Western 

Ivan Coyote is an incredible instructor. I had the privilege of taking their course, Active Voice, last year and can honestly say it was one of the most impactful experiences I've had at Western.  Our classes were never the "standard" classes: it was writings sessions, readings, performances, feedback sessions, or entire events with guest speakers. For me, Ivan pushed me further artistically than I think anyone ever has, giving me the room to evolve my work seriously.  Ivan's attention to student preferences is a large part of what makes them so incredible. I still have Ivan speaking to me every time I sit down to create and I know other students will benefit from having them as the angel atop their shoulder.  -- Matthew Dawkins, 3rd year SASAH/English