Gala Soirée & Silent Auction – Celebrating the B.C. Binning & Dorothy Somerset Studios

Open to all UBC alumni and friends.

UBC’s Theatre Program and the Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory present

B.C. Binning and Dorothy Somerset
Gala Soirée & Silent Auction
Celebrating the B.C. Binning and Dorothy Somerset Studios

Located in Hut M-17 & M-18 on University Blvd. at West Mall, UBC Point Grey Campus
Tickets: Students, Seniors – $10, Regular – $35

During Alumni Weekend at UBC the Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory join Theatre at UBC to host a gala evening event which is open to the public to celebrate two great pioneers of the arts. Join our alumni and faculty – nationally and internationally renowned in the visual and performing arts – as well as our current students in the recently renovated B.C. Binning and Dorothy Somerset Studios(formerly known as Huts M-17 & M-18). You’ll enjoy a cocktail reception and hors d’oeuvres, performances, exhibitions and more. It’s our great pleasure to invite you into our shared creative laboratories in these two adjoining buildings newly named after Bertram Charles Binning [1909 – 1975] and Dorothy Somerset [1900 – 1991] who were visionary leaders in their respective fields, artists, educators and passionate advocates for the arts.

We had much in common…felt the social and spiritual change of the atmosphere…realized we must find new forms to express this…we set out together to find these new forms with a creative spirit we had not felt for more than three hundred years”  – B.C. Binning on the artists and architects of emerging modernism

From the early 1930’s through the mid-1970’s B.C. Binning was in the vanguard of West Coast modern art and architecture, exerting a seminal influence on what was still a small community. His wit, experience, and energetic commitment to a new approach to art galvanized the potential in a young city that was discovering the world. In 1949 he joined the faculty of the new School of Architecture at UBC and became head of the university’s fledgling Fine Arts Department in 1955 where he taught and painted until his death in 1975.

Man is us, each individual one of us. How much does it mean to us that we shall remain free and responsible? Who shall interpret us to ourselves? There are many directions in which we might seek, if not for answers, at least for intimations. For myself I must turn to theatre.”  –Dorothy Somerset to the UBC graduating class of 1965

Dorothy Somerset became the first permanent staff member of UBC’s newly established Dept. of Extension in 1937 which offered UBC’s first training in drama. Within two years she established an impressive list of theatre services which included a play-lending library, short drama courses, a correspondence course, an evening class in playwriting, a radio series called the University Drama School and went on to found UBC’s Summer School of Drama. Somerset fostered the early talent of legions of Canada’s internationally renowned theatre elite. Of her many accomplishments, one of her greatest was making theatre an accepted academic discipline at UBC in 1958. She remained Theatre Department head until her retirement in 1965. More at