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Chair's Welcome

Robert Ott
Robert Ott

Message from the Chair

Creativity is...
...sharing new ways to look at the world.

Welcome to Image Arts in The Creative School for the 2021-2022 academic year.

If you are just entering the School of Image Arts, you are taking the first step towards building a positive and meaningful career in image-making and storytelling. If you are a returning student, you are already well-versed in the business and culture of film, photography, and digital media. In either case, you crave to study with the best. You possess the passion and the talent; we provide the environment and support. The faculty and staff are here to encourage and guide you as you pursue your goals at Ryerson*. We are committed to maintaining the standards of excellence of the programs while providing you with opportunities to express yourself creatively and develop a professional work ethic grounded in principles of inclusion, equity, diversity, integrity, and mutual respect.

It is going to be a different year - again, but I am confident it will be a great year. Faculty and staff have worked very hard over the summer to re-envision your program where, in addition to online learning, you will also have the opportunity to participate in in-person classes. Our school is one of very few programs at the university taking a hybrid course delivery approach. Your health, safety, and well-being are of upmost importance to us. Fall 2021 will be a transitional semester in anticipation of a full return to campus in Winter 2022. Thank you for your confidence, patience, and encouragement as we together navigate the new academic year.

If you are a parent, alumni, donor, partner, industry professional, community member, or image-maker and storytelling enthusiast of our school, you are witnessing bright minds unleashing their quest to challenge norms, make a positive difference, and share their vision. Your interest and support mean the world us.

The school is recognized as a national and international centre for creative innovation in the study, production, exhibition, and research of film, photography, and digital art.

Our two undergraduate programs (BFA) in Film and Photography are augmented by the exciting Integrated Digital option that combines and extends aspects of film and photography, including motion graphics, animation, VR/AR, creative coding, multi-channel video, projection mapping, digital media installations, and 3D modelling among many other modes of creative digital production.

In addition, our two graduate programs are highly regarded and one-of-a-kind in Canada. The MFA in Documentary Media is one of very few such master’s programs in the world connecting traditions to new, innovative ways of producing documentary work. The MA in Film and Photography Preservation and Collections Management (F+PPCM) explores solutions to the challenges that institutions and organizations face in managing and developing object- and digital-based collection. A unique residency program places students throughout the world.

Faculty members are trailblazers in their fields by advancing society’s understanding of visual and media arts through their film productions, exhibitions, and scholarly publications.  The Ryerson Image Centre, external link is a world-class photography and related media centre hosting an exceptional calendar of openings, artist talks, and exhibitions and serves as a premier venue for exceptional student work.

Students bring vibrancy to our Image Arts community and I encourage you to get involved in the numerous activities and events in and outside of our school. And, don’t forget to celebrate our students’ work throughout the year featured in our online publication Function, external link and exhibit spaces, including our external gallery, Artspace, external link, which is located at 401 Richmond, and at the Ryerson University Film Festival, external link (RUFF) Maximum Exposure, external link (MaxEx), and DocNow. Join us in continuing to challenge norms, making a positive difference, and sharing new ways to look at the world.


Robert Ott, Chair

* The Standing Strong (Mash Koh Wee Kah Pooh Win) Task Force has recommended the university change its name. We respect the conversations taking place within our community about the name of the university and the history it represents to our Indigenous community members.

We acknowledge that Toronto is in the 'Dish With One Spoon Territory’. The Dish With One Spoon is a treaty between the Anishinaabe, Mississaugas and Haudenosaunee that bound them to share the territory and protect the land. Subsequent Indigenous Nations and peoples, Europeans and all newcomers have been invited into this treaty in the spirit of peace, friendship and respect.