Photos from Theatre@York's 2016 pan-faculty production of The Birds.

“It is possible to carry our past
And move forward Transformed”

— from The Birds by Yvette Nolan

At AMPD, students gain professional training and academic expertise in their discipline and then use those strengths as the springboard to create boundary-breaking art across the disciplines. Our 2016 production of The Birds, one in a series of productions exploring indigeneity, was the ultimate collaborative experiment, bringing together more than 100 students and nearly two dozen faculty members from across AMPD theatre, dance, digital media and music under the direction of Michael Greyeyes.

As today’s students prepare for jobs that have yet to be imagined,  creativity is their single most valuable asset. Our society needs well-trained artists who are also thinkers, makers, collaborators and innovators, able to invent new opportunities, launch new industries and drive economic growth. These are the kinds of leaders we’re preparing at York University’s School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design.

This is the impact of AMPD.

The world is imagining a creative future; AMPD is defining it. Through Impact: The Campaign for York University, we are building a next-generation arts school that combines strong disciplinary training with a focus on interdisciplinary collaboration, experimentation and invention.

The Birds Dress Rehearsal
The Birds Dress Rehearsal
The Birds Dress Rehearsal
The Birds Dress Rehearsal

Canada needs creative leaders, thinkers, makers, collaborators and innovators.

Studying, practicing and appreciating the arts makes our communities and our community leaders stronger. The arts stimulate creativity, innovation and daring. They inspire us to contemplate our identity, advocate for change, celebrate history and tradition, explore alternative pathways and plan for our future. They are a fundamental part of our social progress and economic growth. In Toronto, the cultural industry generates $9 billion of the city’s GDP and employs about 130,000 people. And it’s growing fast—more than twice as fast as the overall labour force.

York AMPD has an important role to play in fuelling Toronto and Canada’s cultural economy and educating creative leaders to ignite bold new ideas and devise innovative solutions for global challenges.

AMPD is Canada’s first and Ontario’s most comprehensive school of the arts, and we’ve been in the vanguard of arts education for almost half a century. Within our world-class facilities, more than 3,500 students a year study cinema, dance, design, digital media, music, theatre and visual arts, and explore opportunities to blur the boundaries between the arts and other fields. Our 16,000 alumni are gamechanging artists and leaders in the arts, business, politics and communities around the world.

Photos from Theatre@York's 2016 pan-faculty production of The Birds.





Faculty and Staff




In Research Funding


Degree Program


Research Chairs

Sarah Bay Cheng, Dean

arts incite/insight change

The faculty and students at AMPD recognize that the talents and skills of artists have become the fuel of an innovative and experience-based economy. Creativity is the most valued and sought-after skill in our evolving world, and not just in the arts. It’s an asset in critical demand across all industries, including engineering, technology, business, health, education, and public service.

For over 50 years, students, faculty and staff have come to the School of the Arts, Media, Performance and Design (AMPD) at York University because we share a passion for the arts and the conviction that they can transform our world. We are a premier destination for diverse creative talents, who use our original programs in dance, design, digital media, film, music, theatre, and the visual arts as springboards for ground-breaking work. Our AMPD alumni and colleagues are award-winning artists, cutting-edge researchers, cultural leaders, innovative entrepreneurs and more.


The history and foundation of the AMPD community is what propels us forward, emboldening us to pose new questions, devise new methods, and test new limits. This spirit of experimentation and improvisation found throughout our faculty is the difference between keeping up with today and leading the way into tomorrow.

I’m delighted to welcome you to AMPD’s dynamic community of makers, thinkers, teachers and learners. I look forward to working with you to do what has not yet been done.

— Sarah Bay Cheng, Dean


York University is leading a $500 million campaign

to enhance student experiences and learning, and enable them to be leaders of tomorrow. Impact: The Campaign for York University is both a celebration of our first 50 years and a promise that, together, we will drive advances in the classroom and in communities around the world.

AMPD is an important cornerstone of Impact: The Campaign for York University. We are raising $20 million to realize our vision for the future of creativity.

Gifts will support three priority areas:

Preparing Engaged Global Citizens

AMPD is preparing the next generation of creative thinkers to ignite bold new ideas, invent transformative experiences and develop innovative solutions for global challenges. Campaign gifts will benefit students at all stages of their journey with critical financial support.

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Building Stronger Communities

Creativity thrives in AMPD because of the growing number of innovative programs and opportunities aimed at encouraging collaboration and experimentation. Your support will allow us to foster more opportunities for world-class visiting artists and scholars, launch new industry partnerships and nurture a community of artists who are redefining creativity in never-before-seen ways.

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Mobilizing New Ways of Thinking

Impact: The Campaign for York University will support an innovative reimagining of the classic endowed research chair by creating a new generation of shorter term, rapidly cycling appointments and teams of thinkers and makers to reflect, create and engage our campus and community in innovative pursuits across the arts and beyond. Gifts will include assistance for students, postdoctoral fellows, conferences and travel.

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Join us today in building a next generation arts school.

Donate Now

We stand on the threshold of a dramatically new
and radically different kind of future

where the communication of our ideas and their physical and virtual expression have extraordinary value.
With your support, AMPD will become the place where creativity thrives. 
We will attract and support artists and scholars to invent, create, experiment, mentor and inspire.
We will prepare students to ignite bold ideas and apply their creative talent
as agents of artistic, social, business and political change.

This is our opportunity to define a future that impacts us all.
This is your opportunity to make an impact.


Thank you for supporting
Impact: The Campaign for York University