Essay: Canadian Cinema Video Art

Written By: Kalil Haddad

Canada has a history of cinematic transgression. Properties that would later fuel the rise of video art and the adjacent radical scene, at one time bolstered a different kind of subversion. With his 1965 film Winter Kept Us Warm, director David Sector brought to screen one of the most nuanced, if not heavily closeted, depictions of homosexuality ever put to film. While less visibly radical than queer work to come, the film nevertheless remains political for its address of homosexuality; at the time defined as not only a mental illness, but illegal in Canada. Depicted so subtly, many in the cast failed to recognize they were in such a film, the piece went on to be the first Canadian feature to ever screen at Cannes; a tentpole for not only Canadian cinema, but queer cinema as well (Hays, 6). Following the lives of two male university students, the film played into the coded, obscure vernacular of  “romantic friendships” (Brown, 83). Politically, a film no institute would have funded in the mid-sixties, the work serves as a benchmark for the power of accessible film technology. Funded by a then-twenty-two-year-old Sector, the film was independent in every sense of the word— empowering fellow creators over the coming decade, including a young David Cronenberg (Hays, 10). While little known today, the film is a testament to the inherently political power of personal technologies. Without the safeguard of the American studio systems or the National Film Board of Canada, the power of creation and self-expression was put into the hands of the people. Blossoming technologies—first film, then tape—created accessibility for smaller filmmakers, empowering smaller causes— the marginalized. Both feminist and queer filmmakers began creating work, using it as a tool to combat the oppression of the period.

Read More

Dance Bag 101!

Written by: Sadie Cahill

A dance major’s guide to packing for a successful day!

As a dance major, your day can not only consist of plies, tendus, and double bounces, but also long hours in lectures and the library. Having a variety of activities planned throughout the day can be challenging when you’re out of the house for a long time, but this guide will help you better understand what to pack for your day so you can succeed physically, and academically!

Let’s get packing!            

Read More

The Collective Art Exhibition

Written by: Vaiva Slapsys

Featuring the works of the students in the 4090 painting and installation classes, the Collective focuses on the exploration of contemporary questions and concerns regarding the body, the environment, urbanity, and cross-cultural overlays. A space for experimentation and new discoveries, the Collective invites you to ask critical questions of the art and of yourself and open up to a collection of work that is both completely unique and yet wholly connected. 

the Collective is hosted in the Gales and Special Projects galleries, February 4th-14th.  Please join the artists at the closing reception on February 14th from 12:30-2:00pm for refreshments, engaging discussion, and celebration.

Theatre Grad Aaron Jan talks goals, gets real about ego & shares moments at YorkU that changed his life and path

Written by: Aida Oquendo Peña

Career and Creativity Path

Two years after graduation Aaron Jan (BFA ’16) has already reached his first personal milestone — making a living as a freelance playwright, director and dramaturg.

Photo of Aaron Jan by: Graham Isador

Photo by: Graham Isador

He has worked with many of Toronto’s most successful indie theatre companies like Cahoots, Fu-GEN, Canadian Stage, Factory Theatre, Native Earth Performing Arts, Tarragon Theatre and Theatre Aquarius.

While those companies have done a lot to build out his resume, he is still best known for his work with Silk Bath Collective, a company he co-founded with fellow alumna Bessie Cheng (BFA ’16) and Gloria Mok, a collaborator they met through Fu-Gen. The collective’s work has been shown at the Toronto Fringe, the Next Stage Theatre Festival and most recently with Soulpepper Theatre Company who presented the world premiere of their new show Yellow Rabbit.

Read More

Theatre @ York Presents: Noise

Written By: Brooke Dalton

The semester is flying by with Halloween almost upon us, and everyone has been working so hard; why not take an opportunity to breathe and take in some Theatre at York? I had the opportunity to talk to Jayna Mees, an assistant director of the upcoming theatre production titled Noise, performed by the third year acting conservatory class. The play is split into two companies. Company one is directed by MFA directing student Lindsay Bell and assistant directed by undergraduate student Jake Heisler. The second company is directed by MFA directing student Margaret Muriel Legere and assistant directed by undergraduate Jayna Mees. Read More

Beat the Midterm Blues

Written by: Vaiva Slapsys

Welcome back everyone!

September has come and gone, our first ever Fall reading week has passed, and now we find ourselves in mid-October, sandwiched between midterms.  Although there’s always lots to do, it’s important to take a break from our studies and our hard work from time to time and go enjoy ourselves!  Our brains and our bodies need a break, and here are some cool things you can do to destress and restore some energy.

  1. Winters College is hosting free yoga classes! Classes are in the Senior Common room, 021 Winters College. Classes are Mondays from 10:00-11:00am and Fridays 2:00pm-4:00pm.  Go revive and rejuvenate your body and mind!
  2. DIY Halloween crafts and costumes by Winters!  Get festive and spooky just in time for the big day!  Materials will be provided to help you bring your costume ideas to life. Pop in to get crafty, or just to hang out! Tuesday, October 23rd from 1:00pm-5:00pm in the Junior Common Room (012), Winters College.
  3. Toronto also has exciting news on the museum front. Ever since September 22nd, Toronto is now home to the Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto. With student pricing listed at $5.00., this is a great place to check out and get inspired!  Check out what’s going on here:


  4. If you’re into seeing live theatre, TOnight has a way to get $5 tickets as a student. Download their app and go onto the Hiptix page to see what professional shows you can see at an extremely discounted rate.
  5. The Toronto Cinesphere at Ontario Place is screening iconic films on weekends over the next few months, transforming classic movies into an experience unlike any other.  Starting with Back to the Future this weekend and next, films like Ghostbusters, Blade Runner, and Die Hard will be played, too! Find a full list of films, as well as buy tickets, here: result for toronto cinesphere
  6. imagineNATIVE Film and Media Arts Festival is happening this weekend until October the 21st.  imagineNATIVE is the world’s largest presenter of Indigenous screen content, supporting Indigenous artists and boasting excellence and impact on even larger festivals such as TIFF and Hot Docs.  With many events — some of them free — it’s easy to get involved and become a part of the initiative. The events are not only limited to this weekend: they go on all year long!  Learn more about the Festival imagineNATIVE at
  7. Art Toronto is happening October 26-29: Canada’s international contemporary and modern art fair.  With a speaker series, a free West-End Gallery Hop, and countless exhibiting galleries from around the world, there’s no better place to check out some great contemporary art!  Find more information here: Toronto

So go out and have some fun this fall before the cold really sets in!