Culture & Lifestyle / Canada’s First: Centre Of Media & Celebrity Studies

Canada’s First: Centre Of Media & Celebrity Studies

Culture & Lifestyle Aug 20, 2013

On Thursday, 29th August 2013, Centre for Media and Celebrity Studies (CMCS) opened its doors to the public.  Dr. Samita Nandy launched Canada’s one and only research and production centre that focuses on fame. The launch took place at The Inner Garden located at 401 Richmond (Suite 384) in Toronto, Canada. Doors opened at 7:30 pm. Based in the Greater Toronto Area, the centre brings together award-winning scholars, artists, and intellectual public. CMCS also has an international Advisory Board that supports development of publications, lectures, courses, media workshops, and trailblazing performances. The Advisory Board includes Anita Krajnc, Mira Moshe, Louis Massey, Radha Maharaj, Robinder Sehdev, Tushar Unadkat, Yaya Mori and Founding Director, Samita Nandy.  She has also been featured along with Global Television’s Daytime and prime-time show First Local on Rogers Television, CBC News, The Globe and Mail, Watch magazine, ATN Television Network; CINA 1650 AM, Rivaaj, Starbuzz Weekly, Cineblitz, Mississauga News, and India Journal. She is also the Director of Communications at Nouveau iDEA (International Dimensions of Entertainment and Arts) that has over 8,000 members and 80,000 online readers.
Here is what Dr. Nandy had to say about her experience conceptualizing and launching this centre:

What is the inspiration that led to the creation of the centre?
In both academia and arts, there has been a huge demand to critically focus on fame-based practices, include creative practitioners, and create industrial links between higher education and the creative arts sector. I observed a specific need to understand fame, its social impact on artists, and role of higher education in popular culture as well as in public arts.  I saw this demand and an urgent need to bridge existing gaps between arts and higher education. I started to think about these needs prior to my PhD. I was also honored to be on the board of arts organization Nouveau iDEA.  At this time, I produced my first documentary about the life and journey of Tushar Unadkat. The documentary was well received and shown on Rogers Television.  It was during my teaching and film production that I realized a need to represent talent in ways that were equal and in a socially just manner. In Australia, I received strong encouragement from faculty members and was grateful to receive grants valued at $120, 000.  I received valuable feedback from my supervisors Helen Merrick and Matthew Allen, faculty members John Fielder and Alzena MacDonald, and my external examiners Rob Shields and David Marshall. Their feedback supported the completion of my research on celebrity culture and the vision of Centre for Media and Celebrity Studies (CMCS).

 How does the centre aim to support academics, artists, public, and the media?
The centre aims to empower merit-based talent and provide media literacy skills in academia, arts, and public spaces. It will provide commentaries to broadcast and print media producing content in popular culture.  The centre will support artists so that they do not feel compelled to simply conform to industrial standards of fame and overlook their unique talent.  Instead, they can focus on their distinctive talent that is essential to recognition of self in popular culture and in everyday life. Our goal is to empower distinctive talent and be critically aware of practices and processes of fame in which talent often emerges. The centre is inclusive, provides resources, and offers supports to free one’s self from social conditions and develop unique talent. As a South Asian, I have seen that artists can be often affected by ethnic conditions and they tend to follow dominant cultural practices. I think the best way to develop talent is to listen to your self and follow your path that is different from others.
What are the forthcoming events that we can look forward to at the centre?
Well, the most recent event is the launch and we are also working on a feminist performance art called The Sacred Eco-Feminist Move. The forthcoming events, performances, seminars, workshops, and exhibitions will officially begin in 2014.
More information on the Centre for Media and Celebrity Studies (CMCS) is available at
We look forward to the grand opening and congratulate Dr. Nandy on the upcoming launch! 

Feature Image & Source: Samita Nandy/Supplied Photo and


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