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February 28, 2014

Acclaimed theatre director Weyni Mengesha talks about building bridges, parental angst and her Ethiopian roots

Weyni Mengesha is known for directing plays that reflect the experiences of diverse communities, whether it’s Toronto’s Caribbean population (Da Kink in My Hair - the first play Mengesha directed after graduating from York University's theatre program) or the city’s Korean immigrants (Kim’s Convenience). Her latest assignment - Lungs, opening March 4 at Tarragon Theatre - has her staging a work that mirrors the anxieties of a whole generation, said The Grid TO in a profile published Feb. 28 Read full story

February 11, 2014

The Beatles 50 years later

When the Beatles performed on "The Ed Sullivan Show" on Feb. 9, 1964, "it was a transformative moment," Rob Bowman, Grammy-winning pop music historian at York University, told The Toronto Star. Read full story

November 11, 2013

Oscar Peterson award to be handed out at York U gala

Hollywood has its Oscars gala. We now have our gala for Oscar, reported the Toronto Star Nov. 7. That’s the celebration of the Oscar Peterson Scholarship, the annual $40,000 prize given to a first-year York University jazz student. The inaugural gala is being held Friday, Nov. 8 at York University’s Tribute Communities Recital Hall. The scholarship is named for Oscar Peterson, the superstar Canadian jazz pianist/composer who taught through the ’90s at York’s music department before his death in 2007, aged 82. Read full story.

Boys breaking ballet stereotypes

Canada’s National Ballet School has the highest percentage of boys in its entry-level Grade 6 class in its history, wrote Isabel Teotonio of The Toronto Star. Popular TV shows and films are making all dance forms, including ballet, accessible to the general public, says Norma Sue Fisher-Stitt, professor of dance at York University. “Boys, their parents and their teachers are seeing more examples of young men in dance,” says Fisher-Stitt. Boys and young men may initially be attracted to other dance forms, but realize to go further they need more training, which may include ballet, she says. “For all dancers in this day and age, the wider your dance vocabulary, the more opportunities you have in the professional environment,” says Fisher-Stitt. She suspects Ontario’s public school curriculum — dance is now required from kindergarten to Grade 8 — may be piquing the interest of some youngsters. “Those students might decide to carry on with their training — it could be somewhere like the National Ballet School, or an arts high school, or maybe it will be in a university.” Read full story

October 31, 2013

Art History Prof Curates AGO show opening next spring

York University Visual Art and Art History Professor Dan Adler curates a landmark show of painter Francis Bacon and sculptor Henry Moore in an exhibition organized by the Art Gallery of Ontario and the University of Oxford’s famous Ashmolean Museum. Titled Francis Bacon and Henry Moore, the show, opening April 5, 2014, for a three-month run at the AGO in Toronto, will feature more than 60 works by these two titans of 20th-century art, supplemented with photographs and archival materials dating to the Second World War wrote James Adamas of The Globe and Mail Oct. 30, 2013. Read full story

July 25, 2013

Dan Kanter: The man behind the Biebs

As Justin Bieber’s musical director for the past half-decade, York alumnus Dan Kanter (BFA Music '07) has witnessed the "Bieber fever" phenomenon first-hand, reported The Grid on July 25, 2013. When asked what about studying music at York University prepared him for international stardom, he said: "York’s program is very interdisciplinary — in my first year I was working a lot with film majors and dance majors. That really helped me when I started working with Justin because so much of my job as part of his creative team is conceptualizing concerts." Read full story

July 07, 2013

Ins Choi’s smash hit “Kim’s Convenience” snags TV industry interest

Two years after its debut in Toronto, the hit homegrown play Kim’s Convenience – about a Korean-Canadian family and their  convenience store – is still very much open for business, reported The Canadian Press in a story published by CBC News July 7. The "charming stage comedy-drama" by playwright-actor Ins Choi, a Korean-born, Toronto-raised graduate of York University’s theatre school, won the New Play Contest and Patron’s Pick at its 2011 Toronto Fringe Festival debut. After two sold-out runs at Toronto's Soulpepper Theatre and publication by House of Anansi Press, Kim's Convenience is currently on a national tour and is being developed for a TV comedy series. Read full story

May 10, 2013

Kim Dorland: Beautiful stuff

Other ingredients now and then make their way into his art, but more than anything, York visual arts alumnus Kim Dorland (MFA 2003) loves paint. “It’s inherently beautiful....I’m fascinated by the material and how you can make it work, scrape it and move it...” he said in a Canadian Art feature posted May 10. Read full story

May 02, 2013

Canada Post issues stamps celebrating Chinatown gates, two GTA locations included

Two of the GTA’s Chinatown gateway arches are featured in a special edition of stamps issued by Canada Post to commemorate Asian Heritage Month. Albert Ng, who teaches in the Department of Design at York University, was commissioned to illustrate the  gateway of the Mississauga Chinese Centre because of his past work with Canada Post on other stamp designs. “I think it’s quite an honour. I really appreciate the opportunity,” said Ng, in the Toronto Star May 1. Read full story.

April 25, 2013

Film student jets off to Cannes

Mathew Murray has just completed his second year of film production studies at York University. His film, Legs, was chosen by Cannes to be screened in the Short Film Corner, which in the festival’s 65-year history has launched the careers of countless filmmakers, reported Mississauga News April 25. Legs is the story of a promising young track star who is forced to search for passion off of the track after he is paralyzed in a car accident. Read full story.