2024 Winter Newsletter Dev



“In the dark times
Will there be singing?
There will be singing
Of the dark times.”
~Bertolt Brecht, Svendborg Poems (1939)


As we navigate through the greys of this Toronto winter, I reflect on the profound challenges of this moment. In times of global conflict and uncertainty, it is easy to feel enveloped by what Brecht called the dark times.

Writing from exile in Denmark en route to the US, Brecht’s poems from Svendborg continue to resonate today. In the heart of metaphorical winter and amid ongoing global conflicts, we are reminded of the fragility and preciousness of human connection and understanding. Across the arts and design, in all their myriad forms, can serve to remind us of our shared humanity, transcending borders and barriers.

At the School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design (AMPD), we are deeply committed to nurturing this transformative power of the arts. Our community of artists, scholars, and designers continues to explore and expand the boundaries of expression and collaboration. Behind all of our students’ works, there is a story of perseverance and determination.

In the midst of winter, yet on the cusp of Black History Month and the Lunar New Year, this edition of our newsletter is a celebration of our vibrant community. I am again pleased to share stories of our triumphs and achievements, of the faculty, staff, students and alumni who are boldly sharing their ideas, images and technique in the world. Each story is a reminder that even in the most challenging of times, we are buoyed by our collective creativity and collaboration.

I am also pleased to recognize the partnerships and collaborations that amplify our impact beyond the campus. These alliances are crucial in our mission to make art an accessible and inclusive experience for all. They enable us to reach wider audiences, engage in meaningful conversations, and participate in global movements that advocate for change and understanding.

As we look ahead, I am continually inspired and delighted by the accomplishments and commitments of our students. They are undaunted in their pursuits and I have no doubt will be successful long after they have left our University. Thank you very much for reading and I wish you all the best in this winter as we move toward the inevitable spring that will one day come.

With warm regards,
Sarah Bay-Cheng
Dean, School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design York University

AMPD Alumni Premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival

September signals back-to-school for many, but for cinema buffs in Toronto, it marks the beginning of film festival season. The 46th annual Toronto International Film Festival is just around the …


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January 29, 2024

Final Mile Club: Strategic Thinking for the Creative Mind

In the newest installment of the Final Mile Club podcast, award-winning strategist, documentary producer and AMPD Theatre alumnus Shayna Haddon shares her expertise in the field of creative strategy and …



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January 22, 2024

Justice Fund announced gift to AMPD for Black, Indigenous students’ arts education

A $100,000 donation from the Justice Fund will provide financial support for 14 Black and Indigenous students to attend York University’s School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design (AMPD).



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January 19, 2024

Department of Dance and the Harriet Tubman Institute hosted a screening of the biographical documentary MABOUNGOU: Being in the World

During Florent Nikiéma’s guest artist residency at York University from October 14 to November 3, a screening of the biographical documentary MABOUNGOU: Being in the World was hosted by the …



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January 19, 2024

Dance Innovations 2023: York University Unveils Infinite Corners, a Dazzling Showcase of Creative Resilience

Dance Innovations 2023: Infinite Corners, ran from Nov. 22 to 24 at the McLean Performance Studio and featured 25 new choreographic works by York University fourth-year Bachelor of Fine Arts …



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January 19, 2024

York Alum’s Documentary ‘To Kill a Tiger’ Nominated for Oscar in Documentary Feature Category

“To Kill a Tiger” The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has recently unveiled the shortlists for several categories for the upcoming 96th Oscars ceremony, including Documentary Feature. Among …



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January 19, 2024

Royal Canadian Mint Selects Coin Design by AMPD Alum Jai Paek

The Royal Canadian Mint has unveiled the latest addition to its fine silver Lunar Year series with the release of coin #3, designed by Jai Paek, a York University alum …



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January 11, 2024

AMPD Alum Appointed Executive Director of Toronto Fringe

In advance of the 36th Annual Toronto Fringe Festival, the non-profit charitable organization has announced the appointment of York University Theatre Alum Rachel Kennedy as the new Executive Director and …



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November 30, 2023

Hands-on green screen course an AMPD hit

An intensive five-week course called Shooting the Set offered 30 students valuable experience working with a green screen, taking advantage of York University’s Motion Media Studio (YUMMS), which is based …



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June 13, 2023

AMPD alum named new imagineNATIVE festival director

Kahstarohkwanoron Lindsay Monture, who graduated York with a bachelor of arts in film and media studies, has been named the new festival director of the imagineNATIVE Film + Media Arts …



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York University Leads Ontario in Culturally Diverse Performing Arts Education, Study Reveals

Elevating Inclusivity: AMPD’s Leading Role in Performing Arts Education. In a new research report conducted by Community Researchers, the York University School of Arts, Media, Performance & Design (AMPD) has …


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January 26, 2024

Councillor Amanda Yeung Collucci Announced New Scholarship for Creative Technologies Program at Markham Campus

Councillor Amanda Yeung Collucci, Ward 6, Councillor for Markham, has established a scholarship award for students studying Creative Technologies at York University’s Markham Campus. Councillor Collucci’s Markham Spring Gala event …



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January 22, 2024

$40K donation from Nick Nurse supports AMPD high school initiative

Fifty high school students had the rare opportunity this summer of learning from Juno-winning artists at York University’s School of the Arts, Media, Performance and Design (AMPD), thanks to a …



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November 3, 2023

AMPD Launched New Virtual Tour

Virtual Tour 360 Prospective students worldwide can now experience AMPD 24/7, 365. The School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design (AMPD) has unveiled a new virtual tour resource to …



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October 27, 2023

AMPD hosted National Portfolio Day for second year in a row

For the second year in a row, the York University School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design (AMPD) has been chosen to host the only Ontario event for National …



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September 21, 2023

AMPD Championed Creativity at Nuit Blanche 2023

AMPD Championed Creativity at Nuit Blanche  York University’s School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design (AMPD) champions creativity and positive change at Nuit Blanche Toronto this Saturday, September 23 …



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June 1, 2023

Congress 2023 attendees got a taste of the arts at York

By Elaine Smith York University is known for its vibrant, diverse arts programs and the Arts@Congress Showcase  bring Congress 2023 a sampling of this creativity. “The arts are one of our …



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Shaking Up Shakespeare: New Podcast Examines Shakespeare’s Role in Canadian Theatre

In a new initiative set to launch on Monday, January 15, 2024, a ten-episode podcast series titled “Shaking Up Shakespeare” promises to redefine the conversation around William Shakespeare’s influence on …


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January 22, 2024

New online database makes York’s art collection accessible

The Art Gallery of York University (AGYU) recently announced the official launch of the York University Art Collection Online, a searchable database providing students, scholars and the public with access …



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December 7, 2023

AMPD professor Ali Kazimi inducted into the 2023 Royal Society of Canada (RSC)

York filmmaker Ali Kazimi elected as a Fellow to the Royal Society of Canada 2023 Ali Kazimi, a professor in the Department of Cinema & Media Arts in the School …



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November 30, 2023

York U Motion Media Studio a hub for future creative talent

The York U Motion Media Studio (YUMMS), supported by Cinespace Studios, continues to see growth as it offers courses, workshops, talks and critical hands-on experiential education for those in the …



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November 21, 2023

YorkU research team led by Prof. Shital Desai joins forces with Australia’s QUT to bridge generational gaps through Innovative Technology

To help families stay connected through innovative technologies such as mixed reality interactions while making positive impacts on both groups, a team of researchers from York University and Australia’s Queensland …



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September 15, 2023

Eight new faces joined the School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design

The York University School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design (AMPD) welcomes eight new faculty members this fall. Dean Sarah Bay-Cheng “It is always a pleasure to welcome new …



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June 7, 2023

Project champions audiovisual heritage of minoritized communities

Archive/Counter-Archive (A/CA): Activating Canada’s Moving Image Heritage is a seven-year research-creation project focusing on preserving the audiovisual cultural heritage of Indigenous Peoples (First Nations, Métis, Inuit), Black communities and people …



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