Alberta College of Art and Design

Alberta College of Art + Design | Calgary, Alta. | Founded 1926


Alberta College of Art and Design Students

Creativity is everywhere at ACAD. With its focus on the studio experience, the Alberta College of Art + Design is particularly well-known for its complement of design and fine crafts programs, including character design, jewellery and metals, fibre and ceramics. Responding to calls from students, ACAD formally separated from SAIT Polytechnic in 1985 to become the only stand-alone art and design college in the Prairies. “Every day, ACAD transforms itself, not for the sake of change, but simply because creativity and innovation must be in constant flux to properly thrive,” explains president Daniel Doz. Classes are small and there is an emphasis on one-on-one instruction. The liberal arts are also well-integrated, and first-year programs include courses on culture and art history. Perched on top of the city’s North Hill, the campus overlooks the winding path of the Bow River and Calgary’s welcoming urban skyline. Unfortunately, once turned around, students are reminded that the building itself is drab and utilitarian, but plans are under way to significantly update the main mall. The single campus building houses textile, glass and photography studios, as well as a metal shop and foundry. Downtown Calgary, with its galleries, museums and cultural events, is easily accessible via the C-Train, and the Rocky Mountains are only an hour away by car.

READ: What it’s really like attending ACAD

Standout Programs

Media Arts: Explore arty fundamentals using new and emerging technologies in the media arts program. Students have the opportunity to create art using media such as 3D printers, interactive environments and video games.

Jewellery and Metals: This fine-crafts program is one of ACAD’s most renowned. Graduates leave with strong metalsmithing techniques, sculptural abilities and project management skills.

Visual Communications Design: This practical program trains students to join the professional worlds of advertising, graphic design, illustration, animation and character design.

Cool Courses

Performance and Installation: This course is an extensive study of the practices of performance and installation, with emphasis on conceptual and logistical concerns. Students explore performance and installation in site-specific, political and social contexts, and also study the relationship of performance and installation to interdisciplinary practice.

Drawing—Social Issues: In this course, topics including social change, war and peace, art of conscience, propaganda art and the response of artists to poverty, hunger and catastrophic events are explored through the medium of drawing.

Minimum entering grade Tuition Undergraduate students Residence spaces
Arts: 60% (plus portfolio) $5,483 Full-time: 926
Part-time: 261
Not offered

More Schools: Southern Alberta Institute of TechnologyBow Valley CollegeMount Royal UniversityEmily Carr University of Art + DesignUniversity of Calgary


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