York U to award honorary degree to Sandra Faire and Ivan Fecan at spring convocation


TORONTO, June 13, 2008 -- York University will confer a joint honorary doctor of laws degree on film and television producer Sandra Faire and broadcast executive Ivan Fecan, during its spring convocation ceremonies, Monday, June 16, 2008.


“Ms. Faire and Mr. Fecan are towering figures in Canadian broadcast media,” said President and  Vice-Chancellor Mamdouh Shoukri. “Their philanthropy and dedication to York, coupled with their distinguished bodies of work in the arts, are an inspiration for our Fine Arts graduates.”


In 2005, a generous donation by Faire and Fecan to the University made possible the construction of its 325-seat proscenium theatre at the Accolade East building.


Sandra Faire is president and chief executive officer of SFA Productions and a renowned writer and director.  She is best known for her variety specials and for successful Canadian network series, including Comedy Inc., Comedy Now and the upcoming So You Think You Can Dance Canada. 


Faire is also a vice-chair of the National Ballet of Canada and a cabinet member of Grand Jeté for the National Ballet School.  She is the recipient of two Gemini awards.


Ivan Fecan is a self-made broadcasting maverick known for his creative flair for programming and for his keen business sense.  He is the president and chief executive officer of CTVglobemedia and CEO of the CTV Television Network. 


Born in Toronto, Fecan attended York University, receiving a BA in Fine Arts. His early work at the CBC led to a job as vice-president of creative development at NBC for two years in the mid-80s.  He then returned to Canada and the CBC where he became director of television programming in 1987.


Fecan is largely credited for ushering in a legendary era of programming at the CBC that featured the shows Degrassi High, Road to Avonlea, The Kids in the Hall, Royal Canadian Air Farce and This Hour Has 22 Minutes.


Fecan left CBC and joined Baton Broadcasting in 1994, eventually becoming its president and CEO. Under his stewardship, Baton purchased CTV affiliates and renamed the company CTV, making it an important player in Canada's cable television industry.  In 2000, CTV was purchased by Bell Canada Enterprises. BCE merged CTV with The Globe and Mail to form Bell Globemedia, later renamed CTVglobemedia, of which Fecan became president and CEO.


Fecan and Faire will receive their honorary doctor of laws degree Monday during the 3 p.m. convocation for the Faculty of Arts and Faculty of Fine Arts.


Convocation ceremonies are held on York's Keele Campus, 4700 Keele Street, in the convocation pavilion located between Osgoode Hall Law School and the Atkinson Faculty of Liberal and Professional Studies. For a campus map, click here.


For a complete listing of the ceremony schedule, click here. York University’s spring convocation ceremonies will be streamed live over the Internet.


York University is the leading interdisciplinary research and teaching university in Canada. York offers a modern, academic experience at the undergraduate and graduate level in Toronto, Canada’s most international city. The third largest university in the country, York is host to a dynamic academic community of 50,000 students and 7,000 faculty and staff, as well as 190,000 alumni worldwide. York’s 11 faculties and 24 research centres conduct ambitious, groundbreaking research that is interdisciplinary, cutting across traditional academic boundaries. This distinctive and collaborative approach is preparing students for the future and bringing fresh insights and solutions to real-world challenges. York University is an autonomous, not-for-profit corporation.





Keith Marnoch, Media Relations, York University, 416 736 2100 x22091 / marnoch@yorku.ca