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Laurentian University is the largest university north of Toronto, and its BFA program is the only university-based centre for the study of art & culture in Northern Ontario.
The BFA program at Laurentian considers each of its disciplines primarily as a means of artistic expression, and is therefore more practice-based than theory-based. Essentially, students are prepared for careers as professional artists. In addition, students are not only provided with a solid foundation in the history and traditions of their chosen disciplines, but with the tools to navigate the financial and commercial aspects of their careers. The disciplines within the BFA program allow for the examination and creative expression of our intellectual, emotional, and physical worlds. In doing so, students in the BFA program develop skills in communication, aesthetics, interpretation, critical thinking, management, organization and leadership.
Telephone: 705.675.1151 ext. 4201
Motion Picture Arts option
The Motion Picture Arts option of the Fine Arts program was made available in September 2013. The priority of the Motion Picture Arts Production option is to prepare students for traditional careers in the production of theatrical features, TV programs, and in advertising. Until recently, the platforms for this traditional media was limited to movie theatres, broadcast TV, and home-video. With the introduction of the communications revolution brought about by the Internet, new platforms are constantly being introduced, such as smartphones, tablet computers, etc. Each of these platforms then generates demand for supplementary content, thus generating more opportunity for employment for motion picture artists.
Furthermore, an education in Motion Picture Arts Production prepares students for careers in the production of video games, webisodes, and all other media implementing motion pictures. The constant expansion of 21st century digital media gives graduates more points of entry into the motion picture arts industry, such as social-media platforms like Facebook, YouTube, etc.
Essentially, students of the Motion Picture Arts option are prepared for careers as 21st century motion picture artists: creatively independent writer-director-producers who are equally comfortable analyzing the aesthetics, and application, of production design, cinematography, picture editing, and sound design. For more specific information about the Music and Theatre options of the Fine Arts program, please see the Music (BA) and the Theatre Arts (BA) programs.
As a region, Northern Ontario is home to three quarters of a million people, and Greater Sudbury, one of the largest cities north of Toronto with a population of over 161,000, is its facto capital. Northern Ontario is fast becoming a regional hub for the motion picture industry. Since 2004, for example*, Northern Ontario has benefited from $100+ million in direct/indirect spending on 72+ theatrical and/or TV projects which created 3,500+ jobs.
Theatre, Motion Picture Arts Production, and Music, the three arts disciplines of study offered as a Specialization by the BFA program, are well established in the city.
With regard to Theatre, Greater Sudbury is home to two prominent professional stage companies: the English-language Sudbury Theatre Centre (STC), and the French-language Théâtre du Nouvel-Ontario (TNO).While the STC has its own theatre venue downtown, the TNO stages its productions at La salle André Paiement, a venue located on the campus of Collège Boréal. Numerous other theatre companies thrive in Greater Sudbury, including The Encore Theatre Company, which performs at the Ernie Checkeris Theatre at Thorneloe University, situated on the Laurentian University Sudbury campus.
With regard to Music, Greater Sudbury’s most successful artists have predominantly been in the country, folk and country-rock genres. These include Robert Paquette, Kate Maki, Nathan Lawr, Gil Grand, Kevin Closs, CANO, Jake Mathews, Loma Lyns, Alex J. Robinson, Chuck Labelle, and Ox. The rap metal band Project Wyze is also based in Sudbury.
In addition to Laurentian’s Fraser Auditorium as a venue for large audiences, the Sudbury Community Arena has hosted a variety of national artists, like Blue Rodeo, and international artists, like Elton John. For summer music bookings, Bell Park’s outdoor Grace Hartman Amphitheatre is a popular destination. Smaller touring indie rock bands, as well as local musicians, are featured at The Towne House, while local bands play a number of small music venues across the city. Greater Sudbury is also home to many annual music festivals, including Sudbury Summerfest, the Northern Lights Festival Boréal, La Nuit sur l’étang, and the Jazz Sudbury Festival. With regard to classical music, the local Sudbury Symphony Orchestra performs six annual concerts.
Motion Picture Arts Production in Northern Ontario, and specifically Greater Sudbury, has established itself as a regional hub for film and TV production. Productions in the city have included the Canadian cult classic Roadkill (1989), the CBC-TV feature Shania: A Life in Eight Albums (2005), the American thriller The Truth (2012), Queen of the Night which featured Ryan Reynolds (2013) and the Canadian comedy Men with Brooms (2002). Television series filmed in the city include TV Ontario’s Hard Rock Medical (2013), the Canadian sci-fi Dark Rising: Warrior of Worlds (2013), and TFO’s French-language Météo+ (2008-2011), and Les Bleus de Ramville (2012). March Entertainment’s studio in Greater Sudbury has produced a number of animated TV series, including Chilly Beach (2003-2008), Maple Shorts (2005-present), The Very Good Adventures of Yam Roll in Happy Kingdom (2006-present), and Dex Hamilton: Alien Entomologist (2008-present). Sudbury is also home to the Science North Production Team, an award-winning producer of documentary films and multimedia presentations for museums all around the world. Cinefest Sudbury International Film Festival, Canada’s 4th largest film festival after the Toronto International Film Festival, Montreal World Film Festival, and Vancouver International Film Festival, celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2014.
With regard to the arts outside of the disciplines within the BFA program, Greater Sudbury has two prominent art galleries: the Art Gallery of Sudbury, and La Galerie du Nouvel-Ontario. Both are dedicated primarily to Canadian art, especially artists from Northern Ontario. In addition, many notable works of literature themed or set primarily or partially in Greater Sudbury, include Robert J. Sawyer’s Neanderthal Parallax trilogy (2002-2003), Alistair MacLeod’s novel No Great Mischief (1999), Paul Quarrington’s Logan in Overtime (1990), and Jean-Marc Dalpé’s play 1932, La ville du nickel (1984), and his short story collection Contes sudburois (2001). Greater Sudbury is also fictionalized as “Chinookville” in several books by American comedy writer Jack Douglas. Noted writers who have lived in Sudbury include playwrights Jean-Marc Dalpé, Sandra Shamas and Brigitte Haentjens, poets Robert Dickson and Margaret Christakos, fiction writers Kelley Armstrong, Sean Costello, Sarah Selecky and Jeffrey Round, journalist Mick Lowe and academics Richard E. Bennett, Michel Bock, Rand Dyck, Graeme S. Mount and Gary Kinsman.
The philosophy behind the BFA program is that art makes us aware of our problems, and an arts education helps to solve them. Years of research proves that an arts education is intimately linked to precisely what we say we want for our children, and demand from our schools: social and emotional development, civic engagement, academic achievement, and equitable opportunity.
Studies from around the world unanimously indicate that student involvement in the arts is associated with gains in verbal skills, reading, math, cognitive ability, and critical thinking. Furthermore, an arts education can improve motivation, concentration, confidence, and teamwork. For example, a 2005 report by the Rand Corporation, a U.S.-based not-for-profit, claims that the intrinsic pleasures and stimulation of the art experience “can connect people more deeply to the world and open them to new ways of seeing.”
It has been proposed that the philosophy behind an education is threefold: to prepare students for the job market, to be citizens, and to be human beings who can enjoy the deepest forms of beauty. If you agree that the latter is as important as each of the former two, then you agree that an arts education is essential.
*Statistics provided by Music and Film in Motion, a not-for-profit organization based in Greater Sudbury.
For Current Students
The degree options listed below are for the upcoming academic year, not the current academic year. If you are a current student looking for which courses to take in order to complete your degree options from a previous academic year's curriculum, please consult with an academic advisor.