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Media Arts grads celebrate ties that bind

Media Arts grads celebrate ties that bind

June 15, 2016

People have been known to travel a fair distance to attend their college reunion, but alumni of Sheridan’s Media Arts program came from as far as Iceland to join their former classmates and faculty last month.

Over 200 graduates from across Canada and the U.S., including Vancouver, New York, and San Francisco, joined present and retired faculty on May 28 to relive an important part of their academic lives.

The overwhelming interest in the event was not surprising to current Professor, Tom Dinadis, one of the many faculty in attendance. “Media Arts has always felt like a second family. The students feel a real bond to the department.”

That sentiment was echoed by 1992 grad Michael Nunan, now Senior Manager of Broadcast Operations at Bell Media. “The Media Arts program was more than just a beginning to my career; it’s acted as a thread running through the last 25 years of my life. The power of the Sheridan Media Arts alumni community is evident in the number of personal and professional relationships which continue to play an important role for me,” added said Nunan, who won two Canadian Screen Awards this year. “While the specific knowledge I learned at Sheridan has since been eclipsed by the relentless advance of technology, the spirit of discovery and passion for excellence which Sheridan instilled in me continues to shape my life.”

Returning alumni and faculty reminisced about those technological changes and other shifts in the industry during tours and film presentations that were part of the celebrations at the Trafalgar campus. Among the current and retired faculty who came to celebrate were Stephen Barden, Jim Cox, Souren Dermentjian, Vlad Kabelik, Michael Kennedy, John Kneller and Frances Rustom.

Launched in 1970, Sheridan’s Media Arts program was one of the longest running film and television training programs in Canada. Media Arts grads have gone on to produce exemplary work which has received countless accolades and awards both at home and abroad, including Emmy, Cannes and Canadian Screen Awards.

“One of the keys to the success of Media Arts is that we proposed new courses and facilities as part of the emerging curriculum,” said retired faculty, Jim Cox. “I was able to start a lighting course, acting and directing for media, history of popular music, and other courses.”

The Media Arts program has always kept up with new developments in the Canadian film and television industry, ensuring students had the skills to be successful in their chosen field, said Maija Saari, Associate Dean, Film Television & Journalism.

To that end, 2016 marks the final year for the Media Arts program which has transformed into the Honours Bachelor of Film and Television program.

Pictured L to R: current faculty, Stephen Barden; retired faculty, Jim Cox, Frances Rustom and Vlad Kabelik. Click here for photos

Learn more about Sheridan’s Honours Bachelor of Film and Television