Lisa de Wilde and Mitch Podolak to be recognized at BU’s Afternoon Convocation with Honorary Doctorates

April 30, 2015

Brandon, MB – The afternoon ceremony for Brandon University’s (BU) 2015 Spring Convocation on May 29th at the Healthy Living Centre will honour two prominent individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the Canadian arts and media scenes.

Lisa de Wilde

Lisa de Wilde

As a well-known Canadian media executive who was born in Manitoba, Lisa de Wilde is a leader of innovation and transformative change. Since 2005, she has served as the Chief Executive Officer of TVO, Ontario’s digital learning organization. She is an advocate of making educational broadcasting a key part of the knowledge architecture of digital media and ensuring Canadian leadership in this medium in a globally-connected world. Ms de Wilde has served as legal counsel for the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission, as Astral Television’s President and CEO, and is currently Chair of the Board of Directors of the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). Ms de Wilde also serves on the Board of Directors of TELUS and EnerCare Inc. She was awarded the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2013, and was recognized in 2009 with the WXN Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Award. Ms de Wilde is originally from Winnipeg and has a Bachelor of Arts and law degree from McGill University. Brandon University recognizes Lisa de Wilde for her contributions to Canadian media, her dedication to supporting scientific literacy and her work as an advocate for the arts and culture.

Mitch Podolak

Mitch Podolak

Mitch Podolak is a prominent fixture in the North America folk music world and is the creator and past founding artistic director of the Winnipeg Folk Festival, the Vancouver Folk Music Festival, Winnipeg’s West End Cultural Centre, The Winnipeg International Children’s Festival and Home Routes/Chemin Nous, North America’s only house concert network. He is also the co-creator, founding artistic director and team mentor that founded the Stan Rogers Folk Festival in Canso, Nova Scotia. Since 1974, Mr. Podolak has developed and led in the evolution of folk festival culture across Canada, and his efforts have seen hundreds of thousands of folk music fans come together in a common cultural cause. His methodological approach to structuring and motivating a volunteer corps in the art of running a festival has become the Canadian standard. His work is motivated by a love of folk music, of which his knowledge is extraordinary, and by a social view paralleling that of Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie, Mr. Podolak’s strongest influences. In 2014, he received the Unsung Hero Award, the peer-driven lifetime achievement award of the Canadian Folk Music Awards, and will be inducted into the Order of Manitoba this year. Mr. Podolak has had huge influence on the provincial and national cultural funding institutions that now all support folk music. Brandon University is recognizing his work with an honorary doctorate.

“I am pleased to recognize Lisa de Wilde and Mitch Podolak for their contributions to arts and culture as well as the creative industries on the national and international stage,” said Dr. Gervan Fearon, BU President and Vice-Chancellor. “Both have used their talent, leadership, and commitment to excellence to showcase the music, films and ideas of others. They inspire us all to find opportunities to strive for excellence in our own endeavours and to find opportunities to contribute to the success of others on whichever stage we perform.”

The conferring of an honorary Doctor of Laws (honoris causa) at Brandon University bestows honour upon a deserving candidate who has made an outstanding contribution in one or more designated categories including the University, society, professional life, public service and the advancement of knowledge. Nominations are received from both the Brandon University and greater Westman communities.

Brandon University, founded in 1899, promotes excellence in teaching, research, and scholarship, and educates students so that they can make a meaningful difference as engaged citizens and leaders.


For more information, please contact:

Dr. Gervan Fearon
President & Vice-Chancellor
(204) 727-9714

Amy Wyntjes
Communications & Campaign Officer
(204) 571-8547