Vladimir Kabeik – Best Wishes in your Retirement – Sheridan will Miss You

I can remember the exact moment we ruined Vladimir Kabeik.

Vlad the enforcer, Vlad the Impaler, whom Sheridan parents threatened their children with if they did not go to bed or misbehaved. Vlad from FILM AND TV SCHOOL OF ACADEMY OF PERFORMING ARTS IN PRAGUE (FAMU) who was the guardian of everything precise, professional and on time. For 27 years he led quality control at Sheridan, until we ruined him.

Her name was Natalie. She was young. She had red hair with the personality to match. She like Vlad, was a rebel. One day, Natalie stood up on the long desk in S235 and proceeded to chastise the essence of the Professor Kabelik experience using quite rebellious language.

Crisis! What to do!

Some time afterwards, Sandy and Vlad and I met with Natalie in A100 to discuss this outburst, trying to reach some accommodation between these two– the demanding professor and the entitled student. They were both resolute and immoveable in their positions. So for the sake of peace in our time, we found a solution. After that he was never the same. It was the beginning of the end. He knows whom to blame of course, and he reminds me of this in the documentary course we have been teaching together now for three years. My personal purgatory continues with this speech, which is my great pleasure to give today, the task of saying a few words about my incomparable teaching and professional colleague, my mentor and my great friend– Vlad Kabelik.

30 years

60 terms

12,600 classroom hours

How many hours developing a student’s vision, guiding the workflow and the quality of a student work, standing on sets, advising in the editing room, listening in the audio studio?

How many students taught and mentored and then guided into the most competitive of industries?

How many colleagues, past and present– here I am thinking of Richard Leiterman and Gary Freedman–did he work and generously collaborate with, advise and befriend?

What has Vlad contributed to Sheridan in 30 years?

How do you quantify the excellence and reputation and integrity to Sheridan resulting from his enormous contribution?

It can’t be assessed in “SWFable” dollars, so I will list some of his character traits and let you sum it up for yourselves.

Vlad is visionary and demanding. Many students over the past 30 years have initially feared his cold analysis and criticism. They then learn to value his insights and crave his approval. They respect him and appreciate his honest efforts to challenge them to achieve excellence. Vlad is an artist. Visual self-expression drives him. His film and photographic work and the humanity he brings to the work speak for itself. Vlad is a rebel. He questions authority in any form that carries little or no vision, or soul or nuance. But he helped construct Sheridan film and television; he is a foundation voice and co-creator to Sheridan’s future media endeavours. Vlad is opinionated and stubborn, principled and kind. No student can easily fail on his watch; no former student with a bipolar disorder can be abandoned and left to starve in the streets because of jurisdictional rules. This is a life philosophy. So in this way, Vlad is opinionated and stubborn. The idea of such a situation, of walking away is not an option for him.

Students, faculty and staff know he possesses such positive values and we are better because of this. Cheryl Verlander said to me today that she met him only two weeks ago but felt she knew him well, so great was his reputation and admiration in our community. Vlad has been my good friend for many years and he has taught me and so many of us a wonderful life and professional lessons. And he is a funny guy.

I don’t know how this can be quantified except to say the Sheridan community is grateful for Vlad Kabelik. Thank you Vlad.

I wish him and Eva every happiness in this new juncture of their lives.

You know of course Vlad will continue to teach in the graduate film program so again, this is not goodbye but a new direction, I think.


-Jean Desormeaux

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