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AMPD celebrates a ‘Year of the Arts’

AMPD celebrates a ‘Year of the Arts’

From September 2022 to May 2023, the York University School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design (AMPD) will host a Year of the Arts to celebrate the power of imagination in creating positive local and global change.

More than 60 scholars, artists, and designers will run 20+ events, including curated installations, exhibits, performances, and presentations, engaging in meaningful dialogue with diverse communities on York University Campuses, the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), across Canada, and around the world.

“With the return of in-person activities and the resurgence of the arts and design in all forms, now is the time to celebrate the Year of the Arts,” says Sarah Bay-Cheng, dean, AMPD. “AMPD is uniquely positioned to lead this exciting endeavor as one of the most comprehensive schools of arts, design and culture in Canada. AMPD is home to leading faculty members, researchers, and creatives; state-of-the-art facilities; and a thriving landscape for experimentation, exploration, and learning.”

Over 15 community partners will help produce the Year of the Arts alongside AMPD, including the Sensorium: Centre for Digital Arts and Technology led by its Director and AMPD Computational Arts Associate Professor,  Joel Ong. The partnerships range from municipal partners like the City of Toronto and the City of Markham to international institutions like the LAZNIA Centre for Contemporary Arts in Poland.

“Arts-based research is foundational in developing industries, advancing innovation, and creating and sustaining equity across all sectors – not just the entertainment arts & culture industry,” says Ong “With the Year of the Arts, we are bridging the gap between the university and wider society by demonstrating that art, activism, and knowledge are central to creating positive change in communities and society at-large.”

Kicking off a Year of the Arts

AMPD’s Year of the Arts will kick off in time for Nuit Blanche, Toronto’s all-night celebration of contemporary art with a multi-site exhibition, symposium, book launch, and more.

Sensoria: The Art and Science of Our Senses

On September 26 with Sensorium’s multi-site exhibition and symposium, Sensoria: The Art and Science of Our Senses, will launch in partnership with LAZNIA Centre for Contemporary Art (LCCA) in Gdansk, Poland. The project will be held simultaneously in both locations and will include in-depth conversation about the knowledge-creation potential of artists and scientists collaborating in innovative ways.

Nuit Blanche + RUTAS Symposium: A Home for Our Migrations

On September 27, Laura Levin, AMPD Associate Dean-Research and six community partners will host Nuit Blanche + RUTAS Symposium: A Home for Our Migrations, a series of workshops, installations and talks with leading arts equity scholars and creators concerning the integration between emerging artistic practices and growing migration and environmental crises. Running until October 3, the symposium was developed in collaboration with the City of Toronto, RUTAS Festival and Aluna Theatre and Hemispheric Encounters.

Book launch for Holding Ground: Nuit Blanche and Other Ruptures

Also on September 27, AMPD’s Year of the Arts celebrates the book launch of Holding Ground: Nuit Blanche and Other Ruptures, which commemorates the 15-year history of Nuit Blanche through an edited collection of essays and full-colour images by artists, scholars, curators and contributors. Co-edited by AMPD Professor in Cinema & Media Arts, Janine Marchessault, the book brings together historical, contemporary and future-oriented understandings of this large-scale public art event.

Streams ~ Nuit Blanche 2022 by the Art Gallery of York University (AGYU)

As part of Streams ~ Nuit Blanche 2022 organized by AGYU, AMPD’s Year of the Arts will showcase works examining how art can both disrupt and restore how society shares experiences and knowledge at various sites across the city.

Included in the installations are All Vows by Design Assistant Professor, Gabi Schaffzin; On, Around and With Water by Visual Arts alumna, Nicole Clouston; Variations on Broken Lines by Nava Messas-Waxman, Visual Arts PhD student; Fluid States by Holly Ward, assistant professor in Visual Art & Art History; and Emerging from the Water: Asigi’idiwag (Gather) by Mary Bunch, assistant professor in Cinema & Media Arts. Two curated exhibitions are also included as Year of the Arts contributions – Biophilia : Artist and Archive, and the previously mentioned Sensoria: The Art and Science of Our Senses.

Held in collaboration with the Archives of Ontario and the AGYU, Biophilia: Artist and Archive is curated by Marchessault, who is also the principal investigator of the Archive/Counter-Archive project. It features six media art works installed across the York University Keele campus. The event will also see the launch of CineMobilia, a new mobile infrastructure dedicated to digitizing archival moving image material.

For more information on AMPD’s Year of the Arts and a full list of events, visit