The Alberta College of Art & Design was founded in 1926 as part of the Provincial Institute of Technology and Art. The Alberta College of Art, as it was then known, became an autonomous board-governed institution in 1985. The College was further acknowledged as a centre of excellence in art and design education in 1995, when it received Alberta Government approval to grant the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree and officially added "Design" to its name. The College was acknowledged again in 2000, when it received approval to grant the Bachelor of Design degree. ACAD is one of only four accredited, public visual arts and design colleges in Canada and the only one in the Prairie Provinces.
The College is located on Calgary's North Hill, overlooking the Bow River and the downtown skyline, in a building designed in 1973 specifically as an art college. The central mall is a thoroughfare, meeting place, and exhibition space for artwork. The college is the home for two galleries, the public Illingworth Kerr Gallery and the student-run Marion Nicoll Gallery. It also has an outstanding collection in the Luke Lindoe Library of books, slides, and periodicals on contemporary and historical art. Other on-site facilities include an art supply/bookstore and a cafeteria.
A connecting Light Rapid Transit station offers ACAD students easy, inexpensive access to the wide world of Calgary, including museums, galleries, theatres, the zoo, public libraries, and the University of Calgary. ACAD students may participate in a variety of public service projects and practicum placements throughout the city. In addition, the College offers a student exchange program, which permits students to pursue a year of study at other institutions in Canada, North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia.
ACAD faculty members are highly motivated, practicing professional artists and designers who bring commitment, enthusiasm, and a wealth of practical experience to the classrooms and studios. They emphasize studio instruction with a focus on individual growth and development through hands-on experience with a wide range of techniques and approaches. Students learn how to look at art and how to critique each other's work. Studios are spacious and the classes are small. The College's student/space and student/faculty ratios are among the best in the country.
The curriculum encompasses a wide range of majors in visual arts and design. Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) majors are offered in the following studio disciplines: Ceramics, Drawing, Fibre, Glass, Jewellery & Metals, Media Arts & Digital Technologies, Painting, Printmaking, and Sculpture. A Bachelor of Design (BDes) is offered in Visual Communications Design and Photography. All students must complete First Year Studies before moving into an area of concentration. First Year Studies provides students with a variety of studio experiences, contemporary theory and practice, art history, and liberal studies to ensure that students gain broad exposure and a well-rounded education.
While ACAD does not operate a residence, students may apply to live in residence on the SAIT Campus adjacent to ACAD. Further information about the SAIT residence may be obtained from the SAIT Web site or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The University of Calgary's Student Union maintains a housing registry on the Web site, which lists numerous accommodations available near the campus. Students are advised to begin to locate housing in May and June. Students should expect to pay at least $600.00 to $800.00 for a one-bedroom apartment. The Housing Registry Network is a project of Connect Calgary, one of Canada's 12 SMART Communities funded by Industry Canada. ACAD students can access the housing list on the Web site. A printed copy is also posted outside of Student Services and updated weekly.
At the beginning of each semester, Student Services provides a New Student Orientation to introduce new students to College staff and facilities. During Orientation, students have the opportunity to meet other new students and to tour the ACAD campus. Personal and career counselling, as well as study skills assistance, is available to all ACAD students.
ACAD students can participate in a variety of sports and physical activities at the SAIT Campus Centre. Connected to ACAD by an enclosed walkway, the Campus Centre offers excellent athletic and physical recreation facilities. These include a 35-metre salt water swimming pool and diving area, a multi-purpose gymnasium, a hockey rink, handball and squash courts, a fully-equipped weight training room, plus men's and women's locker and steam rooms. The Campus Centre coordinates intramural sports and open recreational activities, as well as a full range of activity classes and sports clubs. ACAD athletes may also be eligible to compete on SAIT intercollegiate sports teams.
Through the ACAD Students' Association, students have opportunities to form clubs in areas of interest. The SAIT Campus Centre also coordinates recreation and sports clubs.
Computing & Technical Services provides students, faculty, and staff with Computing, Digital, and Audiovisual support and services. Its staff of specialists develops, maintains, and operates purposed facilities and processes, both physical and virtual, in support of academic programming and the global ACAD community.
The IOLAB offers a variety of digital output options including film writing, and laser and wide format inkjet printing. Colour copier services are also available, as well as CD writing and self serve film scanning.
Audiovisual Services (AVS)
Audiovisual Services provides audiovisual equipment and assistance in support of curriculum delivery on campus. AVS operates a well-equipped photography studio specifically for the photography of artwork using both film and digital means. AVS also provides an equipment loan system, photography services, slide duplications services, off-campus photo lab services, technical support, and special services to College programs and departments.
The AV suite supports audio and video digital recording and capture from a variety of sources. The design supports effect workstations, sound recording, final rendering, and both analog and digital print to tape.
General Access to Computers
General access to computing is available to the global ACAD community. A variety of computer stations and devices are available including flatbed scanning and network laser printing as well as access to IOLAB output services. All stations have a word processor and browser and most have recent version software applications.
The ACAD campus features two art galleries. The Illingworth Kerr Gallery is a highly recognized public gallery, which hosts exhibits of national and international acclaim. The student-run Marion Nicoll Gallery provides opportunities for students to exhibit throughout the academic year.
Students with Disabilities
Students who have special needs should identify those needs when applying. Appointments will be arranged to discuss the accommodation of their needs. ACAD Student Services provides personal and academic counselling and can provide assistance for students with learning disabilities. The College is wheelchair accessible.
Bow Valley College and Alberta College of Art & Design jointly offer the Artstream Program.
The College has an active student exchange program and is a member of the international Student Mobility Program. Both offer students an opportunity to spend their third year studying at other art colleges and institutions in North America, England, Finland, France, Germany, New Zealand, Norway, Scotland, Sweden, and Australia.
Open House & Portfolio Days
The best time to see the College at work is during Open House & Portfolio Days on Friday, October 22 and Saturday, October 23, 2004 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. In conjunction with our Open House, we will conduct portfolio reviews. Prospective First Year Studies applicants are invited to bring their portfolios. Faculty members will be available to discuss portfolio development. Reviews will be on a first-come, first-served basis. Guided tours are offered during Open House & Portfolio Days. Call (403) 284-7617 for information or to book a group tour.
Information Sessions are held throughout the year. These sessions provide prospective students with information regarding ACAD programs, the application and admission process, and career opportunities in arts and design.
Information sessions are at 1:00 p.m. on the following Saturdays:
October 23, 2004
January 22, 2005
February 26, 2005
Information sessions are held in the ACAD Stanford Perrott Lecture Theatre. No appointment is necessary.
College tours are provided for prospective students and are available throughout the year. Tours visit all studio areas, and provide admission and program information. Guided tours are offered during Open House or by appointment.
Scheduled tours are at 2:00 p.m. on the following Fridays:
November 5, 12, 19, and 26, 2004
December 3 and 10, 2004
January 14, 21, and 28, 2005
February 4, 11, 18, and 25, 2005
March 4 and 11, 2005
To inquire about Information Sessions or to book a College tour, contact the Admissions Office at (403) 284-7617, TTY (403) 284 7643, or call toll free in North America at (800) 251-8290.