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La Scena Musicale - Vol. 13, No. 4 December 2007

Arts Education Programs in Canada

by Graham Lord / December 13, 2007

Arts Administration Programs in Canada

Philanthropist and businessman Seymour Schulich, well known for his recent $20-million gift to McGill University’s Faculty of Music (now called the Schulich School of Music), has made significant donations to a number of schools and faculties across the country. One of these programs, the Schulich School of Business at York University, offers a unique specialization in its Master of Business Administration (MBA) program: the MBA in Arts and Media Administration; established in 1969, the program is one of the oldest of its kind. In addition, the school also features a hybrid three-year degree program, which leads to a joint MBA and MFA (or MA) in fine arts. The fine arts specialization component of this program can involve visual arts, art history, theatre, music, dance, or film. Clearly, Montreal and McGill aren’t the only places where Seymour Schulich’s considerable philanthropic gestures are working towards an investment in the arts.

Montreal, however, boasts the other major arts management graduate program in the country. HEC (École des Hautes Études Commerciales) Montréal, the business school affiliated with the Université de Montréal, currently offers the Graduate Diploma in Management of Cultural Organizations. The intensive program takes a minimum of one full year for full-time students (up to four years for part-time) and includes courses in marketing for cultural organizations, cultural politics, the study of the global artistic market, and more.

Canada also is home to an accredited undergraduate program in arts administration, based at the University of Toronto’s so-called “co-op campus” in Scarborough. It is a Bachelor of Arts degree, formally known as the Undergraduate Specialist (Co-operative) Program in Arts Management. The co-op component of the program assists students in finding valuable work experience related to their areas of interest while studying. Students continue to major in one of the Scarborough campus’s arts programs (drama, music, art studio, art history) while fulfilling the specialist requirements of the arts management component; normally, the degree takes four to five years to complete.

Meanwhile, Concordia’s Graduate Diploma in Administration geared for non-profit management has suspended admissions for the 2007-2008 year.

For more information on all of these programs, as well as their accredited American counterparts, see the Association of Arts Administration Educators (AAAE) website at www.artsadministration.org

SFU’s School for the Contemporary Arts at Woodward’s

Simon Fraser University’s downtown campus, roughly 45 minutes from the main campus on Burnaby Mountain, has been steadily increasing its operations over the last few years; now, that trend is continuing as the university’s School for the Contemporary Arts will relocate to the historic Woodward’s site in the 100 block of West Hastings Street. The City of Vancouver has been investigating ways to use the iconic downtown site since they purchased it from the Province of British Columbia in 2003. Residential, commercial, social, recreational and, in this case, cultural uses for the site have been discussed; the School for the Contemporary Arts will operate a facility of roughly 120,000 gross sq. ft. The school’s site will include an experimental black box theatre with numerous stage configuration options, two studio theatres (one optimized for dance productions, one for theatre), a World Art Performance Studio (to be used by the school’s Indonesian gamelan orchestra and ideal for a variety of music, dance, and puppet-theatre endeavours), a 350-seat cinema/lecture hall, and a teaching gallery to accommodate contemporary visual art exhibitions. All told, it should be a huge boost for the performing and visual arts at the university as well as for the city of Vancouver.

Bill Moggredge, Design Innovator, Joins Emily Carr Institute

The man responsible for designing the world’s first laptop computer is joining the faculty at one of Canada’s most highly regarded art schools. Vancouver’s Emily Carr Institute recently announced that Bill Moggredge, who is also a co-founder of IDEO, is now an honorary professor in the school’s design department. Moggredge founded IDEO, independently ranked by business leaders as one of the most innovative companies in the world, alongside other established design leaders David Kelley and Mike Nuttall. He has taught at the Royal College of Art, the London School of Business, and Stanford University.

Danses buissonnières features top recent graduates

of Montreal schools

The Tangente dance series includes a kind of rite of passage for promising talents in the city who have recently graduated from well-respected dance schools. In this, the 11th annual edition of Danses buissonnières, audiences saw seven top-notch choreographers, screened through a rigorous selection process, strut their stuff at Tangente’s home studio at the Agora de la danse over a series of performances in September and October. This year’s class included recent grads from Concordia, UQAM, and LADDMI. Tangente artistic director Dena Davida was quoted as saying that “there is no dominant aesthetic school” in the current climate, which remains ever competitive. The experience gave these young artists a springboard into the professional world of dance, exposure to a broader audience, as well as an opportunity to network with each other and members of the dance community at large. The Danses buissonnières class of 2007 consists of: Emmanuelle Calvé (Concordia), Lampe intérieure, Dany Desjardins (LADDMI), Shitoi et dordur, Caroline Dubois (Concordia), Moi, pensez-vous vraiment?, Milan Gervais (Concordia), 37?, Émilie Poirier (UQAM), C Difficile, Myriam Tremblay (UQAM), Mouche de velours sur joue fardée, and Jonathan Turcotte (LADDMI), Corde au corps.

Concordia University’s film school to launch PhD program

The Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema, Concordia University’s film school, will be offering a unique degree program in Film and Moving Image Studies at the doctoral level. To be accepted to this academic program (no studio component), applicants are expected to have a Master of Arts in Film Studies. The school’s website describes this field of study as a highly interdisciplinary one, since studies in Film and Moving Image will draw on a variety of other artistic disciplines such as art history, literature and philosophy. The program will focus primarily on theory, history, and aesthetics within the field; it will also contain a research component on contemporary cultural theory as it relates to the medium of film. The program’s first year will begin in September 2008; the application deadline is February 1. For more information, see the school’s website at cinema.concordia.ca n

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