Alexander Honoured at Film Festival

September 28, 2009 - Campus Bulletin

Lincoln Alexander, U of G’s chancellor emeritus, was honoured at the first annual Canadian Black Film Festival. Alexander, who served as Guelph’s chancellor for an unprecedented 15 years, attended a tribute ceremony in his honour Sunday in Toronto.

A film on Alexander’s life, A Linc in Time, was also shown at the festival’s closing-night gala. The documentary, directed by Nicole Brooks, has aired on OMNI television. It details how Alexander’s defining early years led him to his groundbreaking career in Canadian politics and beyond.

“Working on this film has been a true privilege and an honour,” said Brooks. “This is such an important story in Canadian history, an important story for all Canadians. We are so lucky that we are able to hear this story straight from Mr. Alexander himself, not to mention all the other influential people who have agreed to speak to us about this extraordinary man.”

Alexander’s life is often described as one of exemplary firsts. Among them, he was the first person in his family to attend university, Canada’s first black member of Parliament, the first black chair of the Workers’ Compensation Board, the first visible minority to hold the post of lieutenant-governor and the first person to serve five terms as U of G’s chancellor.

A Linc in Time includes comments about Alexander’s contributions from a range of people, including U of G president Alastair Summerlee; Pat Case, director of U of G’s Human Rights and Equity Office; former Ontario premier David Peterson; and Mary Anne Chambers, Ontario minister of children and youth.

More than 30 films were shown at the inaugural festival, the only Canada-wide event dedicated to celebrating film and media works of African-Canadians and those works of African-diaspora content.

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