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The Story Arts Centre Celebrates 25 Years!

Story Arst Centre 25th Anniversary cupcakes

On February 13, the Story Arts Centre celebrated its 25th anniversary. The momentous event offered students, faculty and staff the chance to reflect on the school’s rich history, as well as what’s to come. Speeches from Centennial College’s President and CEO, Dr. Craig Stephenson, Vice President, Academic and Chief Learning Officer, Dr. Marilyn Herie, and the Dean of the School of Communications, Media, Arts and Design, Nate Horowitz, offered important insight into the school’s meaningful impact over the years.

In addition to the cupcakes, digital photo booth, and giveaways, singer-songwriter and Music Industry Arts and Performance graduate Kunle performed. He perfectly illustrated the creativity that lives within the school and what’s possible once you graduate. Attendees were also given a comic book, put together by faculty member Anthony Harrison, Nathalie Parham Simon, and Fine Arts Studio graduate Natalie Plociennik, which encapsulated the school and the students within it.

In case you missed out, be sure to watch the video below:

Dean Nate Horowitz wanted to thank the team of faculty and volunteers for making the event happen. He said, “A small team, with Scott Hosmer as the chair, made it all happen and I’m very proud of them.” Regarding the event, he said, “The 25th anniversary is not just about the past, it’s about where we’re going in storytelling and what else we can do in this regard… this is a celebration of the students as they’re going to be the storytellers of the future.”  

In respect to the school itself, he said, “It’s about the intersection of storytellers with each other in different areas and programs that really make sense and that make us unique. When you look at other Colleges and Universities, different aspects of the arts and media are often in different buildings. Here, we’re all together. We’re one school of storytellers and the intersection of these storytellers, even physically in the hallways, enables for strong storytelling possibilities. That’s the real story of the school.”

Regarding the future of the school and storytelling, he said, “I think we’re going to look at a disruptive approach to storytelling. It is not going to be strictly intradisciplinary, rather, we’re going to have people who have a major in media, for example, but minor in the arts, visual arts, and performing arts, which is something we haven’t done before. People say that the media and the arts don’t work together normally, as we usually have people who stay in their own lanes and then work together. We’re saying that individuals can encapsulate all of that and I think that’s one of the futures of storytelling. Becoming multidisciplinary rather than intradisciplinary.”

Julia, a Communications- Professional Writing student this year also had positive things to say about the school. She commented, “It was cool to see the 25th celebration at the Story Arts Centre. Sometimes I forget how many different programs the school offers, and it really is amazing how the campus brings everyone together.” 

Tara, who is in the same program, said, “Centennial’s Story Arts Centre is the perfect place for creativity to flourish. Keeping all the artistic programs together fosters such a beautiful attitude around campus, and I’ve especially loved how eager the school is to encourage storytelling through every medium.”

Nicole, an Advertising- Media Management student, said, “I love the school! Degrassi was filmed here so that’s a bonus, and the program [I’m in] is amazing. It’s a post-grad program so we’re learning in-depth what we’re going to do in our careers, and it’s a one-year fast-track to getting a job. Our classes are awesome and all of our teachers are in the field so they know their stuff inside out, it’s not just textbook stuff.”

Kelly McConvey, a faculty member and program coordinator of the Communications-Professional Writing program at the Story Arts Centre, said, “For many of our students, coming to the Story Arts Centre feels like coming home. Throughout my professional and academic careers, I’ve never come across a place that values storytelling the way we do here. And as a result, our students graduate as empathetic global citizens who are confident in the power of their own voices, which to me is the ultimate goal of higher education.”

Kunle, the performer and alumnus, said, “It all started from how fast my email enquiry about the program MIAP was responded to and how smooth the admission process was. The program director was very quick and helpful in so many ways. That being said, coming to the Story Arts Centre and realizing virtually all I needed to kick start a professional music career and establish myself as an artist-entrepreneur was all within my reach. I was constantly surrounded by stories and inspiration from all other programs. Media, film, journalism, gaming, dance, arts and so on. The diversity in culture and access to faculty and teachers for help was readily available. Irrespective of the workload, which could sometimes be overwhelming, waking up every morning and knowing I would be at the Story Arts campus was always something I looked forward to.”

The entire event was truly a celebration and being able to honour 25 years together, collectively, was a true testament to the connection we have with each other in this school. Here’s to another amazing 25 years!

By: Alexandra Few, Communications - Professional Writing Student