Community Service Award Recipient 2013

by Faculty Association | Filed under February 2013.

Clem Martini

Department of Drama, Faculty of Arts

Professor Clem Martini is an award-winning playwright, screenwriter and novelist. In his writing there is often a strong aspect of advocacy on behalf of marginalized individuals.

For over two decades Professor Martini worked closely with youths at risk through the charitable organization Wood’s Homes. Wood’s Homes is a large non-profit organization that provides a wide range of therapeutic services for children, youth and their families throughout Alberta and the NWT. At Wood’s Home he developed and ran a series of programs that taught playwriting to young people, and directed and produced the plays they generated. Currently, he is a member of the organization’s 100-year Anniversary Committee. Professor Martini is described as an active and caring volunteer, a spokesperson for mental health and families, and someone who is still thought of by kids who left some years ago.

He has written a number of articles which explore issues related to the treatment and care of those experiencing mental illnesses, and advocate for better facilities and more effective governmental support. This advocacy culminated most recently with the publication of the book, “Bitter Medicine: A Graphic Memoir of Mental Illness.” Following publication, Bitter Medicine went on to win the City of Calgary Book Award, and was selected for the Common Reading Program at the U of C. He has also served as a committee member on the Canadian Mental Health Commission, and in that capacity helped to develop the Canadian Mental Health Strategic Plan.

A further aspect of his advocacy was demonstrated in his work with the Calgary Opera. In 2010 Professor Martini was approached by the Calgary Opera to perform a special initiative. He was asked to interview individuals from across the city who had recently immigrated to Canada, and then, based upon these interviews craft a libretto that reflected their experiences. In the fall of 2012 the resulting opera, “What Brought Us Here” by Clem Martini and composer Arthur Bachman was very successfully produced and presented at the Arrata Opera Centre.

 

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