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Image: Still from the animation Heart (2021) by Belinda Zhang, a 2021 graduate of OCAD U's Digital Painting and Expanded Animation program. Watch the full animated video here.

OCAD U offers new Experimental Animation program this fall

OCAD University has a long history of graduating successful animators in art and film. Just this fall art director and graduate Karen DeJong released Ron’s Gone Wrong, a computer-animated feature that has generated over $60 million in box office sales since its premiere in the United Kingdom.  

And now beginning in September 2022, the University will welcome its first cohort of undergraduate students in its new Experimental Animation program where they will have opportunities to develop the technical and conceptual skills to thrive in a range of creative industries. 

“OCAD University is the ultimate launchpad to explore innovative ideas, get exposed to diverse creative practices, find a community and develop a fulfilling career,” notes President and Vice-Chancellor Ana Serrano. 

Unique in Canada, the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree will focus on animation as an artistic practice, offering students an exciting alternative to programs in the country that are primarily industry focused. 

“This program is about exploring creativity and curiosity. Students will develop their personal vision and push the boundaries of the art form,” says Philippe Blanchard, who contributed to the program’s vision while in his former role as Chair of Integrated Media and Digital Painting and Expanded Animation. 

“As faculty members we are interested in animation as a focus of critical inquiry as well as a medium that can tackle today's big topics through innovative storytelling in new and powerful ways,” he continues. 

With courses taught by experts in the field, including co-chairs, Associate Professor Wrik Mead and Assistant Professor Veronika Szkudlarek, students will learn to mix traditional and digital animation styles while learning all that is required to develop an animation project from concept to realization. 
“Experimental animation is a powerful contemporary medium. It sits so comfortably within the spirit of our times. It’s a pastiche of playful possibilities - from painting and drawing to movement and sound, to innovative technology and cross-disciplinary collaboration,” notes Szkudlarek.  

Those enrolled in the four-year program will be encouraged to explore a range of techniques and to discover the form of animation they are most passionate about. Whether it’s 2D or 3D animation, stop-motion, game development, augmented or virtual reality, graphic novels, installation art or a combination of approaches, students will be limited only by their imaginations. 

“The question, "what is experimental animation?" is an open-ended one that students will help to answer through their studies and work,” Blanchard says. 

Students will develop strong studio skills, critical thinking and be exposed to a wide range of artistic influences that will position them for careers as filmmakers, game designers, creative entrepreneurs and independent artists.  
Visit OCAD University’s website to find out more about the program and how to apply.  

News Summary
Graduates of the program will possess the technical and conceptual skills to thrive in a range of creative industries.
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A digital graphic of a pond with lily pads and three animated characters.

Welcome Squad: Pitch it!
Presented by Campus Life Fall Welcome Squad and Story Circle

Audience: all OCAD U students welcome

Calling all DPXAs and IMXAs! Join upper-year animation students as they guide you through a super-informative, fast-paced, intensive Pitching Workshop.This workshop is designed to help you learn how to make pitches for animation, and really sell your projects to your professors, to the industry, and beyond! You'll be grouped together with one another to present your cool concepts and sure-fire stories, then pitch it to the others to judge (but you'll be timed— after all, there's only so many minutes in an elevator ride!).

Friday, November 19
12 to 3 p.m.

Guaranteed to be a good time all around: great for networking with your fellow animators and boosting your confidence! Grab something to draw/write/jot notes with and your creative ideas, and let's get together to pitch it better.

Due to limited seating, RSVP is required.
RSVP/register through the following form:

Mask-wearing and social distancing protocols will be in place.

OCAD U strives to provide inclusive, accessible facilities, spaces, and events, with opportunities for everyone in the community to engage fully. To confidentially request an accommodation for this activity, contact Brent E. James in OCAD U’s Campus Life office at

Photography: please be advised that OCAD U-hosted events may be documented through photography and video. These images may be used by the University for promotional, advertising, and educational purposes.

By participating in our events, both on-campus and off-site, you consent to allowing OCAD U to document and use your images and likeness. However, if you do not want to be photographed or included in video, please don’t hesitate to let us know when you arrive at the event.


Venue & Address
100 McCaul Street
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Welcome Squad Pitch it!
Event Display
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Periwinkle Moon I, Digital Painting 2020 (Dreamscape Series) by Courtney Dookwah.

Periwinkle Moon I, Digital Painting 2020 (Dreamscape Series) by Courtney Dookwah.

This fall, Toronto residents will once again be able to safely explore their city neighbourhoods to view large-scale projections of artists’ works on local buildings as part of BigArtTO.

The public outdoor art celebration was an initiative launched last fall as part of ShowLoveTO to connect with neighbours, support local businesses and artists, and allow people to explore their city neighbourhoods to help rebuild the social and economic fabric of Toronto.

Along with the BigArtTO collaborators, the City of Toronto and AVA Animation & Visual Arts Inc., OCAD University is proud to play a role in offering residents an opportunity to explore artwork outdoors, while respecting public health guidelines, with more than 350 hours of illuminated artworks.

Programming begins with three evening activations around the city (September 15 to 18, from 7:45 to 10:45 p.m.), including the work of OCAD U student and visual artist Courtney Dookwah and Enna Kim.

Dookwah’s artwork combines an exploration of the non-material world and expressions of her consciousness. Her body of work channels energies that empower and enlighten the viewer through colour and motion; materializing in the form of oil paintings, illustrations, and digital media work.

  • Dreamscapes by Courtney Dookwah at Lawrence Heights Community Centre,

5 Replin Rd. (Eglinton-Lawrence). Presented in partnership with OCAD University, with special thanks to Lawrence Heights Community Centre and Toronto Community Housing.

  • Red Crowned Crane by Enna Kim

This work was originally presented as part of Movement/Nature: Guided Exercises by Artists, an online project for the Art Gallery of Ontario curated by OCAD University’s Criticism and Curatorial Practice MFA program students.

Location: Toronto Public Library – Parkdale Branch, 1291 Queen St. W. (Parkdale-High Park)

Additional activations presented with OCAD University include:

September 22 to 25, 2021, from 7:45 to 10:45 p.m.

Angular Translucence by Idalina Leandro and “Encuentros/Encounters” by Luis Cisneros.

Location: Projected onto Shepherd Manor Apartment, 125 Bonis Ave. Watch from the North Parking lot of Agincourt Mall. (Scarborough-Agincourt)

September 29 to October 2, from 7:15 to 10:30 p.m.

Navigating the Latent by Arshia Sobhan Sarbandi, Presented with OCAD University

Navigating the Latent is an endeavour to rethink the role of modern technology in the development of Islamic calligraphy in digital media. It explores the latent potentials of this rich art form using machine learning by training state-of-the-art neural networks with thousands of calligraphy data samples, each reduced to its most fundamental visual elements covering all possible alternative forms and elongations within the limitations of the currently available digital tools. 

Location: Building T – Pumping Station/Pumphouse Park, 1091 Eastern Ave. View from Coxwell Ave. at Eastern Ave. (Toronto-Danforth)

Scarborough Made by Alex Narvaez and Sid Naidu, Presented with OCAD University.

Scarborough Made is a social impact art project created by Alex Narvaez and Sid Naidu to document stories of humanity in Toronto’s East. Through BigArtTO, “Scarborough Made” will share a highlight reel of stories that help amplify the powerful voices and narratives found in Scarborough. Originally launched in 2019, the photo and docu-series aims to share stories from the everyday heroes of our communities.

Location: Scarborough Civic Centre, 150 Borough Dr. (Scarborough Centre)

October 6 to 9, 2021 from 7:15 to 10:15 p.m.

Magi System by Tobias Williams, presented with OCAD University and supported by Equinix and Downtown AutoGroup.

Magi System is a three-channel video piece which visually explores the triangular relationship between users’ platforms and algorithms that define the current aesthetic ecosystem of the web.

Location: Equinix Data Centre, 45 Parliament St. (Toronto Centre)

October 13 to 16, 2021, from 7 to 10 p.m.

OCAD University Student Animators

Returning to our best-attended BigArtTO location in 2020, OCAD University students will once again animate the façade of the R.C. Harris Water Treatment Plant. A popular site for the City of Toronto’s Doors Open program, the structure is still an active water treatment plant. This custom and site-specific artwork will take into consideration the building’s history, purpose, and art deco designs.

Location: R.C. Harris Water Treatment Plant, 2701 Queen St. E. (Scarborough Southwest)

October 20 to 23, 2021, from 6:45 to 9:45 p.m.

OCAD University Student Animators

Presented with OCAD University and the Aga Khan Museum.

The west-facing façade of the Aga Khan Museum will be fully illuminated by OCAD University student artists. Watch the activations from the beautiful adjacent park and serene landscaped garden. The aim of the Aga Khan Museum is to foster a greater appreciation of the contributions that Muslim arts and culture has made to world heritage.

Location: Aga Khan Museum, 77 Wynford Dr. (Don Valley East)

November 3 to 6, 2020 from 6:15 p.m. to 9:15 p.m.

OCAD University Student Animators

OCAD University student animators will design site-specific artwork for the Princess Park Clock Tower beside the Empress Walk. The structure was originally built as part of North York’s Ivan M. Nelson Fire Station. The structure was torn down in 1989, but the hose tower was preserved.

Location: Princess Park Clock Tower, 214 Doris Ave. (Willowdale – Ward 18)

OCAD University Student Animators

Guild Park is well-known for the being the home of architectural fragments taken from dozens of demolished buildings. OCAD University student animators will illuminate the grand pillared structure, therefore shining light on some of Toronto’s urban history.

Location: Guild Park, 201 Guildwood Parkway (Scarborough-Guildwood)

November 9 to 13, 2021 from 5:15 to 8:15 p.m.

“it was always more than just the desire to be known” by OCAD U grad Sophia Oppel

“it was always more than just the desire to be known” takes the form of a meditation on the process of rendering a transparent texture in order to consider the larger politics of transparency and legibility in a datafied surround. Centred around a text piece, the work features a series of 3D scans and 3D models with transparent textures applied to them.

Location: University of Toronto Scarborough Student Centre, 1265 Military Trail (Scarborough-Rouge Park)

November 17 to 20 from 5 to 8 p.m.

BigArtTO featuring "Tuesday" by Nelson Wu, "Speaking Fruit" by Farrah Miranda, and "a recipe for a bleeding heart" by Basil AlZeri 

The program features video-based works by artists Nelson Wu, Farrah Miranda, and Basil AlZeri who approach food through bodied, material sites that reflect our relationships to one another, the land, and ourselves. Nelson Wu is a Chinese Canadian artist who creates pixel art and illustration. Graduating from OCAD University, he is currently working in the video game and entertainment industry. He has produced a variety of illustrations, pixel art, and animations. He is inspired by his experiences in Asia; a sense of nostalgia and surrealism are often themes present in the work.

Location: Fairview Library, 35 Fairview Mall Dr., North York

November 23 to 27 from 7:45 to 10:45 p.m.

OCAD University Student Animators (presented with OCAD University and supported by Oxford Properties).

Each of the BigArtTO program's 29 sites will digitally project neighbourhood-specific customized artwork created by Toronto artists onto local buildings or landmarks. The program runs for 11 weeks, with two to three locations per week. Each projection will play on a loop for three hours, Wednesday through Saturday, providing free, temporary public art until November 27.

Location: Richmond-Adelaide Centre, 120 Adelaide St. W. (Spadina-Fort York)

Originally launched in September 2020, BigArtTO, the programming was temporarily postponed in November 2020, in response to the Provincial Government announcement of lockdown.

The BigArtTO event schedule is available on the City of Toronto website

News Summary
Several OCAD U emerging artists will be featured as part of the outdoor public art exhibition.


Animation instructor Iveta Karpathyova finds the merging of design and movement and storytelling an exhilarating combination. She had been drawn to art, fashion and dance throughout her schooling, and eventually established herself in a graphic design career in Paris after receiving a degree in fashion communication. Looking for new challenges, she pursued a master’s degree in design from OCAD University .

Read full article here

Strategic Foresight and Innovation (SFI) Interdisciplinary Master's in Art, Media and Design (IAMD) Inclusive Design (INCD) Contemporary Art, Design and New Media Art Histories (CADN) Criticism and Curatorial Practice (CRCP) Design for Health (DHEA) Digital Futures (DF)
Bringing Movement and Timing Into Digital Life

Calling all animators! Join us for a presentation by Mariam Zaidi, Managing Director of Toronto Animated Image Society to learn more about their residency programs, membership and Anijam call for submissions. The Toronto Animated Image Society - TAIS’s Anijam call features 10-second-long animated films submitted under a theme, which are compiled and screened at the TAIS Annual Animation Showcase. The Showcase Jury’s pick for Best Anijam will be awarded a cash prize and in-kind studio use toward production of a short-animated project for presentation at TAIS Showcase in 2020. The 2019 Anijam is High Tension. Artists are invited to submit 10-second-long mash-up masterpieces, creative never-before-seen combos, or unique universes populated by well-known characters. Deadline: June, 23, 2019 (midnight) More information: ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________ ABOUT TORONTO ANIMATED IMAGE SOCIETY (TAIS) As a non-profit, charitable, artist-run production centre, TAIS is dedicated to exploring and promoting the art of independent animation through production, screenings, workshops, and exhibitions. Founded in 1984, today TAIS’ artistic vision is shaped by support for the ever-broadening multidisciplinary and global context of the animated arts. Annually, TAIS programming seeks to prioritize diverse, intersectional, and progressive artistic and community-based interests that maintain support for the traditions of the discipline while also reflecting an evolving, expanded definition of animation. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

ABOUT THE OCAD U CENTRE FOR EMERGING ARTISTS & DESIGNERS (CEAD) Established in 2013, the Centre for Emerging Artists & Designers (CEAD) sits alongside the other student-focused departments in the portfolio of the Vice-Provost, Students & International at OCAD U. The CEAD is committed to supporting the early-career advancement of all students and recent alumni at OCAD U. Our team delivers specialized programs and services that connect individuals to meaningful opportunities, communities of practitioners, skill-building resources and facilitated learning experiences. The work of the CEAD is delivered across our Career Development and Experiential Learning Program portfolios. We are located on level 3 of OCAD University’s newly renovated Rosalie Sharp Pavilion for Experiential Learning at 115 McCaul Street.

Venue & Address
Centre for Emerging Artists & Designers, Level 3, Rosalie Sharp Pavilion, OCAD University
Toronto Animated Image Society at OCAD U

Earlier this semester, OCAD University's Experiential Learning Program partnered with the Toronto Youth Wind Orchestra on a project to create a series of animations that will accompany the live performance of Modest Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition. Led by Tommy Truong (DPXA Alumni) and animated by a group of talented Digital Painting Expanded Animation students, this final animation will be screened with a live orchestra at the Living Arts Centre as part of their season finale performance.

Pictures Moving at an Exhibition Thursday, May 2, 2019 at 7:30pm Living Arts Centre 4141 Living Arts Dr, Mississauga

DPXA Students to Screen Animation with Live Orchestra
DPXA Students to Screen Animation with Live Orchestra
DPXA Students to Screen Animation with Live Orchestra


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