The Best Acting Schools in Canada of 2024

By:
Last updated February 13, 2024

While there are no formal educational requirements for actors, getting training in the performing arts can provide a solid foundation and is a great place to build confidence and a network of contacts that can include seasoned working actors and directors who could one day help you land your first role. Obtaining a diploma, bachelor’s degree or Master’s in Fine Arts is a more informed path when considering entering the profession from college or university, and acting schools, universities and colleges across Canada offer many educational opportunities.

It used to be that the dream of being an actor came with the expectation that only a few would rise to the top in film, TV or theatre, but with the broadening of performance arts in areas such as video game production and other digital entertainment platforms, actors have so many more opportunities to use their talents in the entertainment industry today and to make a good living.

Thanks to technological advancements within the film industry, actors are being called upon to portray characters in new and exciting ways. The amount of work in voice-over and motion capture performance for the gaming industry has increased significantly over the last few years. For example, video game companies in Canada generated about $3.6 billion in revenue annually in 2021, according to the Entertainment Software Association of Canada.

Becoming an actor requires rigorous training and includes a combination of classical training balanced with liberal arts education alongside innovative approaches to voice work and other in-demand skills for today’s digital entertainment industry. Many theatre and drama schools also offer basic business management courses that provide a solid foundation to help you manage your career.

University bachelor’s degrees can range from three-to-four years in length. Meanwhile, college diploma and film school programs focus more on acting techniques, including training for screenwriting, producing, casting, and voice-over acting for film, television, video games and more, and are typically one-two years in length.

A well-regarded acting program should expose students to the tools, talents and mentorship required to succeed throughout a career spanning decades. Acting graduates can also go on to direct, teach and create a wide variety of work within the Canadian theatre industry and in other professions and on other new and emerging platforms. The following programs demonstrate that the academic component of an acting diploma or degree can provide a strong foundation for many professional pursuits.

1.

Canadian College of Performing Arts 5/5

Read more

2.

National Theatre School of Canada 5/5

Read more

3.

Randolph College for the Performing Arts 5/5

Read more

4.

George Brown 3.55/5

Read more

5.

Humber College 4.7/5

Read more

6.

Capilano University 4/5

Read more

7.

York University 5/5

Read more

8.

Toronto Film School 4.6/5

Read more

9.

University of British Columbia 5/5

Read more

10.

Sheridan College 4.5/5

Read more

11.

Concordia University 5/5

Read more

12.

Toronto Metropolitan University 5/5

Read more

13.

Dalhousie University 5/5

Read more

14.

University of Alberta 4.5/5

Read more

15.

Simon Fraser University 4.5/5

Read more

16.

University of Winnipeg 4.5/5

Read more

17.

University of Windsor 4/5

Read more

18.

Seneca College 3.45/5

Read more

19.

Canadore College 4.8/5

Read more

20.

Fanshawe College 4.3/5

Read more

21.

Niagara College 4.8/5

Read more

22.

The Second City 5/5

Read more

23.

Vancouver Institute of Media Arts 5/5

Read more
1

Canadian College of Performing Arts

canadian-college-of-performing-arts-acting-school
$ $ $ $

The Canadian College of Performing Arts offers three conservatory-style training programs for aspiring actors as “intensified skill-based alternatives to academically-oriented university programs.”

Founded in 1998, the Victoria, British Columbia college has over 650 alums who have successfully entered the industry as performers and active artistic leaders. The Casting Workbook recognizes the school as one of Canada’s Top Canadian Acting Schools, and 85 per cent of graduates reported working professionally or continuing studies one year after graduating.

What Students Are Saying

Canadian College of Performing Arts is a world-class theatre school in Victoria. As a student, you get opportunities to perform in many live shows -- a highlight for me during my years here. Work hard preparing for your audition, and good luck!

Andrea Lown, Performing Arts Diploma

What You’ll Learn

The two-year conservatory-style Performing Arts Diploma program is designed to train students in acting, voice and dance. The technical training is complemented by maximized performance opportunities and career management courses starting in the first term, with direct links to opportunities in the theatre, recording and film industries.

A one-year Performing Arts Certificate program is designed for working professionals or those that have completed a relevant post-secondary program and want a one-year intensive program tailored to their experience and needs. This program offers 31 weeks of intensive training in acting, singing, dance, and career management, customized for each student according to their previous experience and skill level. Applicants to this program require a special application, including references from industry professionals and/or successful completion of a post-secondary qualification in a related field.

The program offers advanced instruction in the performing arts (acting, singing, dancing) and focuses on career development with direct links to opportunities in the theatre, recording and film industries.

A one-year Applied Performing Arts Diploma is a 21-week intensive program where students develop and mount three productions as part of a theatrical collective. Students continue in dance classes, private and group voice studies, acting, and career management workshops while being mentored by working professionals in all areas of production and design. This program is open to graduates of the Performing Arts Diploma and Performing Arts Certificate programs, with auditions occurring in early spring.

The Applied Performing Arts Diploma program offers an opportunity to expand a student’s repertoire. The cohort, referred to as the ‘Company C’ Studio Ensemble, will gain a full grasp of a collaborative ensemble environment through hands-on rehearsal, production, and performance experience. Ensemble members will take one or two roles per production onstage and backstage. Mentorships will be assigned to fit the program and the guest director’s vision and meet production needs for each show.

Locations

Victoria, British Columbia

2

National Theatre School of Canada

acting-school
$ $ $ $

Founded in 1960, the National Theatre School of Canada (NTS) in Montreal has been recognized as a leading educational institution for those seeking a career as a playwright, director, actor, set and costume designer, or production professional. The NTS offers high-level training programs in all aspects of the theatre arts, in both French and English.

The school’s state-of-the-art facilities were designed specifically for theatre, including five performance spaces: an 800-seat proscenium theatre, the historic Monument-National campus, spacious light-filled rehearsal spaces, a sound studio, a lighting lab, a professional fly system, professional set and costume workshops, and the most extensive bilingual theatre library in Canada, which holds thousands of original scripts.

What Students Are Saying

These people are family. This is a serious no nonsense theatre school that will inspire you to grow as not only an actor but as a human being. I owe much of my success to the start I got at NTS. Thank you, merci.

Al Bleviss, Acting

What You’ll Learn

The Acting program is a rigorous and immersive training program that exposes the emerging artist to a wide array of theatre styles and approaches. Through core training in voice, movement, text, and music the actor builds a personalized process to support the development of a resilient and sustaining artistic expression. In an intimate setting, students are guided and challenged by influential artists of contemporary theatre. The acting program supports artists by developing each actor’s awareness of their own unique artistic process.

The school has partnerships with theatres such as the Stratford and Shaw Festivals, as well as professional artistic organizations across the country. Students are taught by working professional artists who share their theatre experience. NTS has an overall ratio of two instructors per student.

Locations

Montreal, Quebec

3

Randolph College for the Performing Arts

acting-schools-randolph-college-for-the-performing-arts
$ $ $ $

Based in Toronto, Randolph College for the Performing Arts is a private career college focused on singing, dancing and acting. It was founded in 1992 by George C. Randolph Jr. during the evolution of the “mega musical” in Canada. It is located within 5 km of Canada’s largest theatre district. With over 35 years of experience in the arts and arts education, George Curtiss Randolph Jr. is considered the pioneer of “Triple Threat” training in Canada, which refers to performers who can sing, act and dance.

Under pathway agreements, graduates of Randolph College are eligible to apply to pursue a BMus (Hons.) through a credit transfer agreement with Wilfrid Laurier University or master’s degree opportunities with the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland or Guildford School of Acting. (Applicants must earn admission to the programs through the normal audition procedures and be subject to the same terms and conditions as any other student.)

What You’ll Learn

Coursework is undertaken in three academic years and completed over 24 months. Each academic year is two terms of study, each 14 weeks long. Students spend an average of 27 hours per week in classes and related activities. A total of 40 credits is required to earn the Private Career College Diploma in Performing Arts.

Acting Foundations utilizes techniques and practices from a range of contemporary theatrical pedagogies, exercises, practices and projects focused on training the actor’s presence, reactivity, impulse, imagination, mind-body connection and complicity as an ensemble. Scene Study covers techniques of character and text work, emotional grounding and connection, and arc of play.

Improvisation courses cover the form and skills of Gaulier Clown as well as Scenic Improv. In Voice and Text, students will explore techniques that amalgamate vocal, physical and emotional expression with text by discovering the work of Moshe Feldenkrais, Jacques Lecoq, Rudolf Laban, Jerzy Grotowski, and more.

In Movement, students learn somatic, conditioning and improvisational practices emphasizing the interrelatedness of the mind, body, and identity. The RCPA Shakespeare course leads students through exercises exploring text analysis and performance skills using sonnets, monologues, and scene study.

Film classes cover acting for the camera, including the more technical aspects of the filmmaking process. Acting courses also include professional development workshops in seeking representation and culminate in a contemporary play production during the final year.

In vocal classes, students are encouraged to work on repertoire that suits their natural vocal talent and style through weekly individual singing lessons and learn the importance of group singing in a college-wide chorale. Integrating acting into a vocal presentation is introduced and expanded in the Vocal Division’s signature course Music Theatre Presentation. Students also undertake a thorough exploration of the origins and genesis of musical theatre in Musical Theatre History, while the fundamentals of music training and theory are covered in Musicianship.

Musical Theatre Lab immerses students in the process of creating a new piece of musical theatre by writing dialogue and song lyrics in collaboration with their fellow students. The training culminates in a musical production during the final year with a professional director, music director, and choreographer.

When it comes to dance, students receive training in ballet, jazz, and tap in the Dance Division. Students are assessed and placed in one of six levels of each dance discipline, ranging from pre-beginner to intermediate to advanced.

Locations

Toronto, Ontario

4

George Brown

george-brown-acting-school
3.55/5
$ $ $ $

Established in 1966, the George Brown College of Applied Arts and Technology is a public, fully accredited college of applied arts and technology located in downtown Toronto. The college has been named to CourseCompare’s list of the best film schools in Canada, and has three main campuses and several other locations that place students in the heart of the city — St. James Campus, Casa Loma Campus and the Waterfront Campus.

What You’ll Learn

George Brown College Theatre Arts students train and perform at the Young Centre for the Performing Arts in Toronto’s Distillery District. The 44,000-square-foot facility serves as a performance, training and outreach centre nestled in a historic area of Toronto’s east end. The facility is shared with Soulpepper Theatre – a renowned classical repertory company. Other companies rent this space, meaning students mingle and interact with working professionals. George Brown College offers more classes than any other public-sector theatre school, with small class sizes for more focused learning.

Theatre Arts students perform a season at the Young Centre for the Performing Arts in their third and final year, working alongside guest directors and professional theatre technicians.

George Brown’s Acting for Media program provides the training needed to succeed as a screen actor in today’s entertainment industry: acting technique, movement, voice and script analysis. Learn to articulate through screen characterization, on-camera experience, audition etiquette, and standards. Graduates will have a solid industry knowledge base, including its history, structure and hierarchy and professional standards. Workshop simulations, on-camera exercises, voice-over demonstrations, green-screen training and training in motion-capture suits provide the skills needed to be a successful actor in the field.

Students will be given a basic understanding of using new technology and immersive environments.

Locations

Toronto, Ontario

5

Humber College

acting-school
4.7/5
$ $ $ $

With over 33,000 full-time students on three campuses on the Greater Toronto Area, Humber College is the largest college in Canada. Humber has a strong track record of helping students find work placements and hands-on work experience. About 87 per cent of graduates are employed within six months of graduation.

What You’ll Learn 

Humber’s Acting for Stage and Screen diploma is a two-year program that trains you to be an actor in the modern era. You will learn the basics of acting through scenes, exercises, and projects; and work with experienced actors and directors in theatre, film, TV, and multimedia. You will also learn the business and professional aspects of acting, such as auditioning, branding, and freelancing. You can explore your creativity and use technologies that enhance your performance. In your final semester, you will choose to focus on either stage or screen, and attend workshops on topics like motion capture, voice-over, virtual production, and more.

In addition to traditional stage, film and television opportunities, graduates of the program are ready to work in a wide range of multimedia, including webisodes, virtual reality and gaming videos, as well as voice overs for cartoons, commercials, narration and audio dialogue replacement (dubbing). 

Locations

Toronto, Ontario

6

Capilano University

capilano-university-acting-school
$ $ $ $

Founded in 1968, Capilano University attracts students from around the world. CapU enrols approximately 11,600 students each year, 8,300 in for-credit programs and 3,300 in non-credit courses.

The University is named after Chief Joe Capilano, an important leader of the Squamish (Sḵwx̱wú7mesh) Nation of the Coast Salish people. The campuses are located on the traditional and ancestral territory of the Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh, Musqueam, Lil’wat and Sechelt (shíshálh) Nations.

CapU grads are sought after in the creative industry, largely due to the extensive hands-on training provided. With a state-of-the-art theatre space, rehearsal halls and scene shops, students build sets, perform in theatre productions and play alongside award-winning musicians.

What You’ll Learn 

At the School for Performing Arts at Capilano University, the three-year Diploma in Acting for Stage and Screen provides students with the skills to begin a professional acting career in theatre, television and film.

The first year of the program is comprehensive and introduces students to acting for stage and screen, improv, voice, movement, history, and backstage work. In the final two years of the program, students concentrate on performance and professional skills as well as directing, acting in film projects and in theatre department mainstage productions. The faculty are professional theatre and screen artists so the combination of this comprehensive training and studying with working professionals will increase the chances of success for the graduates of this program.

Capilano University also offers diplomas in Musical Theatre, a Bachelor of Performing Arts Degree, and related diplomas in other areas of the entertainment industry.

Locations

Vancouver, British Columbia

7

York University

acting-school
$ $ $ $

York University was founded in 1959 and is one of Canada’s largest and most respected universities, located in north Toronto. Guided by award-winning teaching professionals with real-world experience, acting students at the school gain practical experience, build relationships with prospective employers through field placements, internships and the school’s partnerships with creative industries and arts organizations ranging from Facebook to the Canadian Stage.

With small classes of 25 students in the first year, to 10-15 students in the third and fourth year, the theatre school allows for strong mentoring by an internationally recognized faculty. The university’s theatre program offers a three-year Bachelor of Fine Arts Honours degree in Acting Conservatory for students enrolled as theatre majors going into second year.

What You’ll Learn 

All theatre students start as Specialized Honours BA Theatre Studies students and study a general first year that introduces them to all aspects of theatre, including Acting, Production/Design, and Performance Creation and Research. At the end of first year, students choose their path to enter Performance Creation & Research, Devised Theatre, Playwriting & New Play Dramaturgy, Production/Design, and Acting Conservatory.

The four-year Acting-Theatre program offers students rigorous, integrated training in acting for the stage and screen. You will study voice, movement and acting over the three final years of the degree, acquiring knowledge and a range of high-level skills that are then applied in performance projects. The Acting Conservatory takes students deep into scene study, script analysis and character development. Upper year Conservatory members are cast in Theatre@York’s mainstage season, which features classic masterpieces and contemporary plays from Canada and around the world, chosen to address significant cultural and political debates.

Students of the program must audition to be admitted to the program at York University.

Locations

Toronto, Ontario

8

Toronto Film School

toronto-film-school
4.6/5
$ $ $ $

Located across three campuses in downtown Toronto, Toronto Film School offers a hands-on, collaborative learning opportunity covering all aspects of filmmaking. The school offers small classes with plenty of one-on-one instruction and mentoring. You will build relationships with fellow students and a professional network while in the program and out in the field as you study at Toronto Film School’s studio campus, which opened in 2019.

What Students Are Saying

The absolute best decision I have ever made, was joining the TFS family. I graduated just last month from the Acting program, and I miss it more and more every day. The learning experience was like none other, we were taught not only everything about acting, and the business behind it, but also every other aspect of film making. If you're debating applying, stop debating, do it.

Emily Larman, Acting for Film, Television and Theatre

What You’ll Learn 

The Toronto Film School knows that aspiring actors need professional training that is both skills-oriented and industry-based. The Acting for Film, TV and the Theatre diploma program covers all areas of acting, from the artistic and technical to the business side as well. The comprehensive, 18-month on-campus program offers small class sizes, and instruction from working actors. You’ll also be provided with networking opportunities with directors and casting agents. Students graduate with the knowledge needed to land a variety of creative roles, including film or TV actor, theatre actor, voice-over artist (for TV, film, radio and video games), screenwriter, filmmaker, director and producer.

Students learn the foundations of acting for the camera and on stage. The small classes are taught by experienced actors, and you will graduate with a demo reel of work ready to go to auditions. Graduates  will also leave with eligibility for their first ACTRA credit.

Toronto Film School graduates have gone on to act in a variety of film and television shows such as The Man from Toronto, The Murdoch Mysteries, The Expanse, and more.

Locations

Toronto, Ontario

9

University of British Columbia

acting-school
$ $ $ $

The University of British Columbia has two main campuses situated in Vancouver and in Kelowna in the Okanagan Valley. It is consistently ranked among the top 20 public universities in the world.

Founded in 1915, UBC has more than 70,000 students across its two campuses attending undergrad and graduate studies.

What You’ll Learn 

The BFA Acting program in the Department of Theatre and Film at UBC combines professional acting training with a solid grounding in theatre history and a liberal arts education. The BFA Acting program focuses on the development of the actor and as they progress through their degree they will study and develop their own acting styles and disciplines.

Admission into the BFA Acting program at UBC is limited and based on each individual’s audition and supplemental application information.

In the first two years, students pursuing a degree in acting will focus on storytelling, improvisation, scene study, movement and voice. In their third year, students study and practice acting styles including Commedia dell’arte, Chekhov and Shakespeare. The fourth-year incorporates screen acting, auditioning, solo creation, singing, voice-over and stage combat. Additionally, the courses are fully integrated with theatre productions and students will have the opportunity to act in shows and work with guest artists and industry professionals.

Locations

Vancouver and Kelowna, British Columbia

10

Sheridan College

acting-school
4.5/5
$ $ $ $

Theatre and Drama Studies is a unique partnership in theatre training, offered jointly between the University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM) and the Sheridan Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning.

The focus of Theatre, Drama and Performance Studies at UTM, both curricular and extra-curricular, is the Erindale Studio Theatre and the Multi-Media Studio Theatre or MiST. Erindale Studio Theatre is used for performances of Theatre Erindale, the production company of the Specialist Program. The MiST is used for teaching, performances by Theatre Erindale, co-curricular and extra-curricular performances by all programs, and the UTM Drama Club.

What You’ll Learn

The program combines the professional training of an acting school with the academic studies of an honours-level drama degree program and includes the intensive professional training of an acting school with the academic preparation of an honours-level drama degree. Theatre, Drama and Performance Studies offers three program options including Theatre and Drama Studies, offered jointly between Sheridan College and UTM, Theatre, Drama and Performance Studies (Major) or Theatre, Drama and Performance Studies (Minor).

As a Theatre and Drama student, you will receive expert practical training in acting, balanced with a thorough exploration of dramatic history, theory and literature in this longstanding program. Graduates are well versed in the craft and business of acting in small class sizes.

Students in the program are given the opportunity to earn a two-year (equivalent) conservatory diploma in professional actor training from Sheridan in combination with a specialist program focused on performance history, theory, and dramatic literature from UTM. This intensive combined program provides a foundation for a career in the professional theatre and for advanced theatre studies.

Locations

Toronto and Oakville, Ontario

11

Concordia University

acting-school
$ $ $ $

Concordia University is an English-language public research university located in Montreal, Quebec. Founded in 1974 following the merger of Loyola College and Sir George Williams University, Concordia is one of the three universities in Quebec where English is the primary language of instruction.

What You’ll Learn 

Concordia’s Bachelor of fine Arts Acting for the Theatre program trains students to be adaptable performers with skills applicable to many forms and genres of contemporary theatre and live performance.

As students move through the program, they explore more advanced techniques and specialty skills, such as stage combat, theatrical biomechanics, viewpoints, singing, dialects, audition and camera, among others. They then progress from acting styles rooted in psychological realism to range-expanding techniques based in psychophysical and non-realistic approaches. Students apply their growing skillset by performing in productions of plays by great contemporary playwrights and iconic writers from the past as well as create and perform original work.

Throughout the program, you will gain exposure to the professional theatre scene in Montreal and beyond. You may do a supervised internship with an organization such as the Segal Centre, the Centaur Theatre, Geordie Theatre, and Bread and Puppet Theater. You may also have the chance to participate in an international exchange program or field schools. Recent opportunities have included programs in Chinese opera in Beijing, and post-dramatic theatre in Germany.

Acting for the Theatre students begin by taking core theatre courses with all theatre students. As you progress and your skill base grows, you will take classes in specialty performance areas and advanced techniques. You may also choose from courses that cover all practical aspects of theatre, including stage management, production, and dramaturgy.

Locations

Montreal, Quebec

12

Toronto Metropolitan University

acting-school-canada
$ $ $ $

Originally founded in 1948 and formerly known as Ryerson University, Toronto Metropolitan University (TMU) is one of Toronto’s largest and best-known universities for providing hands-on learning taught by professionals who are leaders in their fields. The Creative School at TMU is a dynamic faculty made up of Canada’s top professional schools and transdisciplinary hubs in media, communication, design and cultural industries. The Creative School offers students a global experience in the heart of downtown Toronto.

What You’ll Learn

TMU’s four-year Bachelor of Fine Arts Performance: Acting degree is a full-time program Students train with talented actors from diverse backgrounds and learn to build artistry in acting through a deepened understanding of theory, text analysis, technique, movement, and voice for a wide variety of performance opportunities. Learn the business side of performance and gain a global perspective working with internationally acclaimed guest directors and professional companies. All in the heart of Toronto, home to the third-largest English language theatre district in the world and a North American hot spot for television and film production.

The Performance program at The Creative School is now offering students the opportunity to learn 21st-century skills in motion capture training and voiceover acting as a way to provide students a pathway into the exciting world of video game acting careers. You will also learn the business side of acting and gain a broad perspective as you work with internationally acclaimed guest directors and professional companies.

 

Locations

Toronto, Ontario

13

Dalhousie University

dalhousie-school-of-performing-arts-acting-school
$ $ $ $

In July 2014, the former departments of Music and Theatre joined together to form the Fountain School of Performing Arts. Funded by a $10 million donation by the Fountain family, it is the only university performing arts school east of Montreal and brings a range of new opportunities to students of music, theatre and cinema and media studies.

This year will see the opening of a new building extension, with the state of the art 300-seat Joseph Strug Concert Hall, rehearsal spaces, teaching and practicing studios.

What You’ll Learn 

The four-year program centres around in-studio courses in Acting, Movement, and Voice and Speech that build towards a Bachelor of Arts with Honours degree in Theatre.

Students are provided with a series of performance opportunities throughout the degree program, including four mounted productions in which they collaborate with industry professionals, faculty and students in the school’s other threatre programs (Costume studies, Stage Design and Technical Theatre, Theatre Studies). Past students have supplemented their acting studies with minors or double majors in a range of topics to personalize their education.

The first-year acting class is open to any student, regardless of experience. However, entrance into the next three years of the Acting Program is by audition only. Students may secure a spot by auditioning either before they enroll in their first year at Dalhousie or upon completion of their first year.

Locations

Halifax, Nova Scotia

14

University of Alberta

acting-school-ualberta
4.5/5
$ $ $ $

The University of Alberta in Edmonton is home to one of the most northern metropolitan campuses in Canada. It is a top five Canadian university and one of the top 150 in the world. About 41,000 students attend programs at five separate campus locations.

In the Faculty of Arts, Department of Drama, small class sizes allow for in-depth engagement between students and professors and encourage collaboration among students. There are about 12-14 actors in the three-year Bachelor of Fine Arts Acting program in each year. The school claims to offer more hours of professional actor training than any other university theatre program in Canada. The intensive, three-year conservatory training program provides in-depth study of acting, movement, and voice combined with a university degree.

Faculty at the University of Alberta include an extensive roster of specialized guest artists and teachers and an experienced team of theatre administrators and production technicians.

What You’ll Learn

The program covers physical and vocal flexibility and stamina to tackle any style of playing in today’s theatre.

Students learn theoretical and critical analysis of contemporary and classical texts, and a variety of approaches to make them come alive. Graduates also acquire a solid practice that develops all the actor’s tools to create a centered, intuitive, and exciting on-stage presence.

Students will also learn:

  • to create a vibrant character with extended physical, psychological, imagistic, and vocal qualities.
  • to fill the stage and reach the audience in a variety of performance spaces.
  • to work in an ensemble to ensure respect for the work, the partner, and the self.

Preparation for immediate entry into the professional workforce, including extensive audition preparation for both and stage and film.

Locations

Edmonton, Alberta

15

Simon Fraser University

simon-fraser-acting
$ $ $ $

Consistently ranked among Canada’s top research-intensive universities, Simon Fraser University (SFU) is globally recognized for excellence in research, innovation and sustainability. It has campuses in British Columbia’s three largest cities — Burnaby, Surrey and Vancouver.

SFU’s Vancouver campus opened in 1989 and today it is known as the intellectual heart of the city. It encompasses nine sites that include a multi-venue arts and culture space. The university’s international faculty consists of practicing contemporary performance makers and scholars. The area sessional instructors and lecturers are artists embedded in the Vancouver live art sector. The performance area develops and presents many events throughout the academic year, from “black box” experiments to larger mainstage productions.

What You’ll Learn 

In the Theatre Performance Bachelor of Fine Arts program, students explore a range of genres and forms, including devised theatre, live art, and social practice. The degree program deviates from traditional theatre training by experimenting with contemporary processes of performance, unconventional narrative styles, expanded dramaturgy, experimental forms, new media and creative research. Students examine how the fundamentals of performance—time, space, body, text, movement — help enact necessary social interventions, and advance the broad aesthetic fields of contemporary art.

Locations

Burnaby, Surrey, and Vancouver, British Columbia

16

University of Winnipeg

$ $ $ $

The University of Winnipeg offers a diverse range of programs across six faculties — Arts, Science, Business & Economics, Kinesiology and Applied Health, Graduate Studies, and Education — and many unique research and learning opportunities.  The professors, small class sizes and personal attention are geared to help students succeed.

UWinnipeg’s Department of Theatre and Film is one of the largest and most respected programs in Canada, offering undergraduate and pre-professional training for theatre and film artists. The program includes the opportunity to obtain a BA (General) or a BA (Honours) in one or more of six different areas of study: acting/musical theatre/directing; design; drama in education; filmmaking; playwriting; and stage management/production. Coursework encompasses a full range of practical and theoretical study in all areas.

What You’ll Learn 

The Department of Theatre and Film at the University of Winnipeg’s faculty of working professionals has established a reputation as the go-to centre in Manitoba for training in the practical aspects of making both theatre and film.

Students can enroll in either a three-year General BA in all streams, a four-Year Honours BA in most streams, and a Minor. Degree programs are offered in Filmmaking, Acting, Theatre Production and Stage Management, Directing, Playwriting, Design, and Drama in Education.

Locations

Winnipeg, Manitoba

17

University of Windsor

university-of-windsor
$ $ $ $

The University of Windsor is a public research university in Windsor, Ontario. It is Canada’s southernmost university and has about 12,000 full-time and part-time undergraduate students and 4,000 graduate students. The university offers 190 undergraduate programs, 65 graduate programs and six professional programs.

What You’ll Learn 

The four-year Acting Bachelor of Fine Arts program at the University of Windsor’s School of Dramatic Arts aims to balance conservatory style classes, performance, and academic course work. Designed to prepare graduates to pursue careers as professional actors, this internationally recognized acting program provides the opportunity for students to learn from faculty members who are professional actors and directors, and from guest artists who are working theatre professionals serving as visiting professors, directors, and artists in residence. Small classes and easy access to professors provides students with personalized attention and an individualized approach to studies to enhance learning. Courses include acting technique, scene study, Shakespearean performance, voice, improvisation, movement, theatre history, other electives in dramatic art, and courses in the liberal arts.

University Players, the acting company of the School of Dramatic Art, plays a vital role in the training as students take their place among the company members. Courses include Introduction to Acting and Improvisation for the Theatre, Movement for the Actor, Voice for the Actor, Introduction to Theatre and Performance Studies. An audition is required.

You will learn to identify and apply specific acting exercises and techniques essential to the development of a theatre artist as well as learn to embody the principles of flexibility, strength, and endurance as they apply to the development of the theatre actor. Students are also taught to communicate articulately, effectively, and efficiently by incorporating voice and movement techniques into the creation of a role.

The program had 19 graduates in 2020 and a graduation rate of 87 per cent.

Locations

Windsor, Ontario

18

Seneca College

3.45/5
$ $ $ $

Founded in 1967, Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology is a multiple-campus public college in the Greater Toronto Area, and Peterborough, Ontario. It offers full-time and part-time programs at the baccalaureate, diploma, certificate and graduate level.

What You’ll Learn 

Seneca’s two-year Acting for Camera and Voice diploma program offers hands-on learning in film and voice acting. Students learn techniques to build a strong foundation of stage acting, movement, voice and camera acting.

This program includes how to research roles, how to create audio and video demo reels, how to write scripts and business management skills necessary to succeed in an acting career. You will also learn to:

  • Develop and apply a personal, positive creative process for the creation and performance of a believable character appropriate to the requirements of each media discipline.
  • Prepare for and deliver a believable performance appropriate to the recorded media discipline, convey character to the camera with appropriate emotional depth and clarity.
  • Maintain a character’s physical and emotional continuity over the course of production.
  • Work effectively with agents, casting directors, producers, directors and film crews.
  • Describe the roles and hierarchy of “in–front–of–the–camera” and “behind–the–camera” workers in the film and television industry.
  • Effectively employ improvisational skills for problem–solving.
  • Use creativity and imagination to demonstrate through individual performance an understanding of character development and scene awareness and how it affects the overall production structure.
  • Create dialects and adjust the voice for various mediums by utilizing all components of the speaking voice and manipulating each of these components as required to achieve the desired result.

When students graduate job opportunities can range from: actor for film, television, and stage as well as voice-over narrator for audiobooks, radio and television commercials, radio plays, animation and video games.

Locations

Toronto, Ontario

19

Canadore College

canadore-college-acting
4.8/5
$ $ $ $

Located in North Bay, Ontario, about three-and-a-half hours north of Toronto, Canadore College is a school of applied arts and technology. It was founded in 1967 as a campus of Sudbury’s Cambrian College and became an independent institution in 1972. Canadore College has three North Bay campuses and one in Parry Sound, Ontario.

Students in the Acting for Stage and Screen program gain experience with stage productions and student films. The abundance of film and television productions in the North Bay area also allows students to get involved and perform alongside recognizable talent while gaining valuable experience. Did you know that many of the popular Hallmark Channel movies are filmed in and around North Bay? The city and surrounding areas have become another Hollywood North hot spot, attracting film and TV productions since 2009. Prime Video’s The Lake scripted series was also shot in the area.

What You’ll Learn

Canadore’s Acting for Stage and Screen provides tools of the trade necessary to be successful in the worlds of theatre, film and television in this fast-paced program. Students train under professionals currently working in the industry and have the opportunity to act in Digital Cinematography student movies. This three-year program culminates with a graduate contemporary theatre company where graduates can perform in one or more live productions.

Courses in the program include acting techniques, voice and singing, movement, speech, stage combat, film and television performance, and theatre history. Actor training culminates at the end of the third-year term with Rep 21, the mainstage production series showcasing the talents of each graduating class.

Additional learning opportunities include:

  • Performing dramatic roles in various styles, from classical to contemporary, in multiple theatre mediums.
  • Self-producing and creating original works.
  • Performing non-classical, vocal material – solo and choral – and executing basic dance steps and choreography as required by musical productions and classical plays.
  • Applying acting skills such as voice, speech, movement, stage combat and clowning to various performance works.
  • Adapting performing style to the electronic media, working for the camera (film, television and video production) and the microphone in various aspects of radio broadcasting/ and character voice-over work for animation.
  • Interpreting theatre history and genre knowledge to prepare for roles.
  • Managing the business of acting.
  • Managing job stress, enhancing work performance and maximizing professional opportunities, including self-employment.
  • Working cooperatively with other theatre arts professionals (e.g., technical production crews, designers, directors, stage management, and arts administrative staff).
  • Providing services as a drama resource for community theatre, recreational programs, children’s programs and private teaching.
  • Completing all work to a professional standard and in compliance with relevant laws, standards, and organizations affiliated with professional acting.

Locations

North Bay, Ontario

20

Fanshawe College

fanshawe-college-acting
4.3/5
$ $ $ $

Fanshawe College is a comprehensive college serving the greater London region. One of Ontario’s largest colleges with four campuses in London, Simcoe, St. Thomas and Woodstock, Fanshawe serves almost half a million people. The college offers more than 200 degree, diploma, certificate and apprenticeship programs to 43,000 students each year, helping people find their way to success in a variety of disciplines including applied arts, business, health care, human services, hospitality and technology.

What You’ll Learn 

Fanshawe College’s Acting for Screen and Stage program inspires students to pursue their acting talents and lays the groundwork for a career in performance-based media. The two-year diploma program centres on collaborative media-based projects with other Fanshawe programs that simulate real-world working environments. During the first year of study, students learn the foundations of acting involving stage performance. In the second year, students perform in films, motion capture and green-screen work and experience virtual set performance. You will also learn to do voice work for animation, film and games and combat for stage and screen. The program culminates in a showcase evening presented by students, a mix of live and projected work.

Students learn in dedicated lab and theatre spaces at Fanshawe’s campuses, including the largest green-screen TV and film studios outside of Toronto. Guest speakers and field trips round out the program and provide insight into the professional world of entertainment. Graduates end the program with a professional portfolio of work to show employers, including an on-camera demo reel, voice demo and recorded monologues that can be used to find acting jobs and representation by agents. Other skills include screen and stage characterization, script analysis, voice work, motion capture, technical knowledge and creativity in acting.

Locations

London, Ontario

21

Niagara College

niagara-college-acting
4.8/5
$ $ $ $

Niagara College provides higher education to more than 9,000 full-time students on campuses in Welland and Niagara-on-the-Lake. The college’s focus is on jobs, innovation and economic development. Students gain skills and knowledge in more than 130 two-year diploma, three-year advanced diploma, certificate, graduate certificates, and four-year degree programs.

What Students Are Saying

Well recognized college in western Canada. I studied applied data analytics and really enjoyed it. I had to fill in some gaps in theory by studying on my own but BCIT gave me the job skills I needed to switch careers when I was in my early thirties. Haven't looked back.

Charles, Great applied education for today’s workforce

What You’ll Learn 

Niagara College’s Acting for Film and Digital Media two-year diploma program in the School of Media offers courses in voice, speech, movement, scene study and auditioning for film and television. Niagara College is also one of the few Canadian post-secondary institutions that offer direct instruction in the Meisner Technique, one of the foremost acting techniques taught today. With the rise of more entrepreneurial web content, students also study film editing, screenwriting, stunt training, voiceover acting, self-marketing and acting with technology (e.g., green screen).

The program includes extensive hands-on experience taking scene study and short film projects from script to screen using the latest technology. The instructors work with industry professionals in the Toronto region and across Canada. The school is recognized by the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists (ACTRA), with graduates granted immediate ACTRA apprentice status.

Highlights of the program also include:

  • The opportunity to establish a professional portfolio, including a resume, headshots, demo reels, and voiceover demo that reflects your style and acting technique.
  • Collaboration with future directors and producers in Niagara College’s Broadcasting – Radio, Television and Film program on short films, commercials and music videos.
  • Interacting with working industry professionals (instructors, directors, actors and producers) through the ‘Up Close and Personal’ series.
  • Niagara College is recognized by the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists (ACTRA), with graduates granted immediate ACTRA apprentice status.

Locations

Welland and Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario

22

The Second City

the-second-city-acting-classes
$ $ $ $

Drawing on the well-known work of The Second City and the many legendary performers who have played on its stages, the organization best known for its development of comedians and actors generally, the Second City has become the largest school of improvisation and sketch comedy in the world. It first opened its doors in Canada in 1973 as a small comedy cabaret and has grown to become the first name in improv and comedy, with theaters and Training Centers in Chicago, Toronto, and Hollywood. Second City has been home to legends such as John Candy, Eugene Levy, Martin Short, Catherine O’Hara, Gilda Radner, Colin Mochrie and Mike Myers.

Second City welcomes amateurs looking to try something new, and advanced players looking to hone their craft. The Second City Training Center offers classes both in person and online. It recently opened its new flagship 28,700-square-foot home in Toronto at One York Street in the heart of the entertainment district featuring three theatres, nine training centre studios for student classes and partner workshops.

What You’ll Learn

The Acting program at Second City provides students with the skills to take responsibility of their own growth and learning as an actor. This program offers a unique method of acting that enables students to discover skills found in the physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual aspects of the human condition. Each level of the program builds upon the skills achieved from the previous one. Auditioning and working in the business will also be examined. This program is great for beginners or for actors who have been out of the classroom for a while.

Some courses are available on-demand through the Second City website including Voiceover 101 and Acting 101 Fundamentals. This class teaches a solid, fundamental approach to acting that can be applied to any style or genre of material. After establishing a core process, put it immediately into practice by tackling different styles of scripts each week. Students learn and discuss key elements in scripts, as well as submit self–taped assignments with direct feedback from the instructor.

Live one-on-one student/teacher checks-ins can be requested with your instructor by appointment if needed. Hone your process and then put it into practice through multiple genres.

Locations

Toronto, Ontario

23

Vancouver Institute of Media Arts

van-arts-institue
$ $ $ $

The William Davis Centre for Actors’ Study at VanArts has a strong team of experienced professional actors working directly with students to prepare them for the world of acting in the film and television industry. Students receive personal mentoring, small class sizes to ensure individual attention and focus, and the opportunity to collaborate with other faculties in photography, visual effects and animation production.

The VanArts’ Acting Department was founded in 1989 by William B. Davis, one of Vancouver’s most recognizable faces. Davis played the infamous cigarette-smoking man on The X-Files throughout 11 seasons and is a legendary figure in the Canadian film industry. He still teaches scene study classes to students during the year.

Today the acting program is overseen by Chilton Crane, a veteran performer on film and television shows like Supernatural, Once Upon a Time and iZombie. Considered one of Canada’s most intensive conservatory acting programs, it is designed for aspiring actors who are dedicated and passionate about their craft.

What You’ll Learn 

The Vancouver Institute of Media Arts Intro to Acting program is designed for students with little or no previous acting experience. If you are passionate and dedicated to the serious study of acting, this one-year conservatory program is designed to challenge and nurture aspiring actors. Students learn from professionals in the industry for 30 hours of class per week, receiving intensive practical training in Acting for Film, Television and Voiceover.

Term 1 is devoted to building strong foundation skills in acting. In these first 12 weeks, your mind, body and imagination are challenged while exploring text and story. This intensive foundation prepares you for the challenges that await you in the upcoming terms, with most classes held in a dedicated studio space. The second term is dedicated to the actor’s individual process and character development as you emerge into public spaces for location shoots and showcases. Through an intensive scene study and a short film project, as an actor, you are challenged to use yourself and your foundation skills to advance your personal exploration into story and character.

By the final term, students participate in two intensive projects: a short film shoot and a full-length play in a professional theatre space. The last two months of the program are committed to the business of creating demo reels. Voiceover and audition skills are critical to landing work. Many guest speakers and instructors are brought in to pass on their expertise — including professional actors, directors, casting and talent agents who have worked extensively across North America.

Locations

Vancouver, British Columbia

CourseCompare Editorial Team

CourseCompare is Canada's marketplace for education. Its editorial staff consists of award-winning journalists, visual storytellers, data analysts and web developers working together to help prepare people for the future of work.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *