Fine Arts Festival celebrates the arts in the heart of the GTA

York University’s Faculty of Fine Arts celebrates the next wave of outstanding young talent in the visual and performing arts with the York Fine Arts Festival, running March 9 to April 1, 2007. This year’s festival features more than 40 public events packed into a three-week period. All the fine arts are represented: dance, design, film, music, theatre, visual arts and interdisciplinary fine arts cultural studies.

Building on the success of last year’s festival celebrating the opening of the Accolade buildings, the York Fine Arts Festival showcases the resident talent and the extraordinary scope and diversity of one of North America’s premier centres for professional training in the arts.

Below are highlights of the festival’s events.

Visual arts, design & cultural studies, March 9-30

The festival kicks off with an open house and group show by 25 young artists in York’s Graduate Program in Visual Arts and runs the gamut from new media installations to an art history symposium.

  • March 9: Exhibition Here is Where we Meet by master of fine arts students opens and runs to March 16.
  • March 9-10: See Here! is a visual arts open house featuring work in all media by emerging young artists.
  • The Department of Visual Arts showcases three other group exhibitions: 720 by 840 (time-based art, March 12-16); Print Media (March 19-23); and Photography (March 26-30).
  • The Graduate Program in Art History presents an international symposium on Performative Histories of Art (March 9).
  • Windows on Fine Arts Cultural Studies offers interactive exhibitions, new media presentations and intercultural performances (March 10 & 12).
  • The Department of Design presents Palette of Ideas, an exhibition of applied communication design (March 19-30).

Music, March 9-April 1

The music department’s offerings of classical, contemporary, jazz and world music spans eight centuries and five continents.

  • March 12-16: World Music Festival spotlights global musical traditions, from West African drums, Chinese orchestra and steelpan to flamenco, Celtic and Klezmer music. Eight different programs!
  • March 20-23: The Jazz Festival turns up the heat with performances featuring the York U Jazz Orchestra led by Al Henderson, four jazz choirs, and 15 small ensembles directed by the likes of Mike Murley, Lorne Lofsky, Kelly Jefferson and Mark Eisenman.
  • March 29: The York University Symphony Orchestra directed by Mark Chambers presents a concert of soloists featuring some of Music Department’s top young talent.
  • March 30: A spirited concert by the 85-voice York U Gospel Choir led by Karen Burke, backed by a live rhythm and horn section.
  • April 1: Lisette Canton directs the York U Concert and Chamber Choirs in Handel’s Coronation Anthems.
  • The Department of Music rounds out its program with evening concerts by the Chamber Choir (March 19) and Women’s & Men’s Chorus (March 27) and a series of afternoon performances including the Brass Ensemble, Medieval & Renaissance Ensemble, Chamber Strings, Wind Symphony and Percussion Ensemble.

Film, March 15-23

Talks and screenings showcasing leading Canadian film artists as well as outstanding emerging talent.

  • March 15: Director Nettie Wild inaugurates the Jewison Speaker Series with her riveting documentary Fix: The Story of an Addicted City.
  • March 19: York Shorts – The Reel Thing! featuring award-winning student productions in fiction, documentary and alternative film.
  • The Department of Film also presents indie filmmaker Karen Walton with her thriller Ginger Snaps (March 22) and scholar William Boddy in a second Jewison Speaker Series event, a talk on The History & Future of Digital Cinema (March 23).

Theatre, March 18-31

The next generation of outstanding Canadian theatre artists takes centre stage in two Theatre @ York productions running in repertory.

  • March 18-29: Michel Tremblay’s landmark play Les Belles-Soeurs, directed by Miroslaw Polatynski.
  • March 21-31: The Canadian premiere of Grapes of Wrath, adapted by Frank Galati from John Steinbeck’s Pulitzer Prize-wining epic, directed by Glen Gaston.

  • The Department of Theatre also presents Scenes by Design, an exhibit of original costumes, theatre props, stage drawings and maquettes (March 28-31).

Dance, March 21-30

Canada’s oldest and largest university dance program presents two original programs showcasing up-and-coming choreographers and performers.

  • March 21-24: Dance Illuminations, directed by Holly Small, offers a double bill of provocative works exploring the nature of dance and light.
  • March 28-30: The Department of Dance continues its leap into the limelight with Darcey Callison’s playful new work, Reinventing John (as in Travolta!).