May 29, 2023

Art Universities & Colleges

Hello students! In this edition of our blog, we are thrilled to present a comprehensive list on the thriving art universities and colleges in Canada. Whether you're an aspiring painter, passionate graphic designer or have an eye for a career in the fashion industry, Canada offers a wealth of opportunities for pursuing your artistic passions. From the stunning landscapes of British Columbia to the bustling cultural scenes in Quebec and Ontario, this diverse nation is home to numerous institutions that foster creativity and nurture artistic talent. Prepare to embark on an enlightening journey as we explore the renowned art schools that shape the next generation of Canadian artists. Discover their exceptional programs, esteemed faculty, state-of-the-art facilities, and the vibrant artistic communities that surround them. 

1. University of Toronto

The first one in our list is the Department of Visual Studies at Toronto University, a renowned institution known for its dedication to interdisciplinary studies in the history and theory of visuals. At this esteemed department, the focus lies in the evolution of images and visualizations, making it an exceptional choice for students passionate about the visual arts. Offering a diverse range of courses, including art, architecture, film, television, animation, multimedia, and consumer culture, students have the opportunity to delve into various aspects of visual expression. Furthermore, the department offers five distinctive degree programs to choose from. The Art and Art History program provides students with the unique opportunity to participate in joint programs, such as with the Sheridan Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning. Additionally, Art History offers three specialized programs: specialist, major, and minor. Other enticing options include Cinema Studies, Visual Culture and Communication, and Visual Culture Studies. With such a comprehensive and dynamic curriculum, students at the Department of Visual Studies take on an enriching journey of artistic exploration and critical analysis.

2. Alberta University of the Arts

Next one in our list is the Alberta University of the Arts (AUArts), formerly known as Alberta College of Art + Design. Situated in Calgary, Alberta, this publicly funded institution has been providing exceptional art and design education since its establishment in 1973. With a strong emphasis on a studio-based experience, AUArts offers students the opportunity to immerse themselves in the world of fine art, new media, and design. One of the university's notable degrees is the Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree, which is available in various majors including painting, drawing, sculpture, ceramics, fibre, glass, jewelry and metalworking, print media, and media arts and technologies. Whether students choose to pursue their BFA on a full-time or part-time basis, AUArts provides a supportive and enriching environment for artistic growth and exploration.

3. The Emily Carr Institute of Art & Design 

As for a local choice, we have the esteemed The Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design. Established in 1925, it stands as one of Canada's premier universities specializing in art, design education, and research. Its undergraduate programs, leading to a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree, offer students an array of majors to choose from. These include painting, drawing, ceramics, print media, sculpture, illustration and digital arts, animation, film/video/integrated media, critical and cultural practices, fine arts, and creative writing. In addition to the BFA, Emily Carr University also provides a Bachelor of Design (BDes) degree with majors in communication design, industrial design, and interaction design. These undergraduate degrees typically span a duration of four years, integrating art and design theory with practical studio experience. Furthermore, the institution offers a two-year professional program, the Master of Applied Arts degree, designed to equip students for careers in the visual arts, design, media, and other creative industries. The program allows for comprehensive preparation in these fields through focused study and practical application.

4. The Ontario College of Art and Design University

Among the universities in Canada, the Ontario College of Art and Design University (OCAD U) stands out for its extensive range of visual arts and design programs. OCAD U offers a diverse selection of five degrees: Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA), Bachelor of Design (BDes), Master of Arts (MA), Master of Fine Arts (MFA), and Master of Design (MDes).The BFA program at OCAD U features majors in drawing and painting, printmaking, photography, integrated media, and criticism and curatorial practice. On the other hand, the BDes program provides majors in material art and design, advertising, industrial design, graphic design, illustration, and environmental design. These undergraduate programs provide students with a comprehensive foundation in their chosen fields, fostering both technical skills and conceptual understanding. OCAD U's commitment to providing a diverse array of degree programs ensures that students have the opportunity to pursue their artistic and design aspirations in a supportive and enriching educational environment.

5. The New Brunswick College of Craft and Design

On the Atlantic side of the country, we have the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design (NBCCD). It stands as a unique institution in Canada, specializing exclusively in fine craft and applied design education. At this school, the curriculum is built upon a studio-based approach, providing students with hands-on experience and a strong emphasis on entrepreneurship.

A diverse range of programs is offered at NBCCD, including two-year Diplomas in Aboriginal Visual Arts, Ceramics, Digital Media, Fashion Design, Graphic Design, Jewelry/Metal Arts, Photography, and Textile Design. These programs are designed to equip students with the technical skills and artistic vision needed to excel in their chosen craft or design field. In addition to the Diploma programs, NBCCD also offers one-year Certificate programs in Foundational Visual Arts and Advanced Studio Practice. These programs serve as stepping stones for students seeking to enhance their artistic abilities and develop a deeper understanding of their craft.Furthermore, NBCCD provides a four-year Bachelor of Applied Arts (BAA) degree in partnership with the University of New Brunswick (UNB). This collaborative program allows students to further their studies and obtain a comprehensive education that combines craft and design principles with academic coursework. Through its specialized programs and partnerships, the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design offers students a unique and immersive educational experience focused on the intricate world of fine craft and applied design.

6. Concordia University, Department of Visual Arts

Another from the Atlantic side is the Concordia University, Department of Visual Arts. This university, established in 1974 through the merger of Sir George Williams University (1926) and Loyola College (1896), has a rich history and a strong commitment to arts education. Within Concordia University, the Department of Visual Arts offers a comprehensive Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree program. This esteemed degree encompasses various courses, including Art Education Visual Arts, History of Art, Cinema, Design and Communication Arts, and Creative Arts Therapies and Studio Arts. The Department of Visual Arts provides students with a diverse range of artistic disciplines to explore and develop their creative skills.

In addition to the Department of Visual Arts, Concordia University boasts a vibrant Department of Performing Arts. This department offers exciting programs in Contemporary Dance, Performance Art, Theatre, and Music. Students interested in these disciplines have the opportunity to immerse themselves in dynamic practical training, theoretical studies, and collaborative performances. Concordia University's commitment to nurturing both visual and performing arts underscores its dedication to fostering creativity, artistic expression, and interdisciplinary collaboration. Through its esteemed departments, the university provides a supportive and enriching environment for students to pursue their artistic passions and cultivate their talents.

Canada is a hub of artistic education and creativity, offering a multitude of renowned universities and colleges dedicated to the visual arts and design. From the Department of Visual Studies at Toronto University to the Alberta University of the Arts (AUArts), the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design, the Ontario College of Art and Design University (OCAD U), the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design (NBCCD), and Concordia University, each institution brings its unique strengths and programs to the table. These educational establishments provide students with comprehensive curricula, state-of-the-art facilities, accomplished faculty, and a vibrant artistic community that fosters growth and innovation. Whether one's passion lies in painting, sculpture, film, graphic design, or any other artistic field, Canada's art universities and colleges offer an exceptional foundation for aspiring artists to hone their craft, explore new horizons, and shape their artistic journey. The future of Canadian art is bright, as these institutions continue to inspire and nurture the next generation of talented creatives who will leave their mark on the world stage.

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