If a career in acting or a related field interests you, it could be beneficial to earn a degree in a relevant field before entering the workforce.
Getting a degree from a reputable acting school will help you learn more about the business, make you more marketable to future employers, and strengthen your resume.
Carefully consider your options when picking an acting program. There are many aspects to evaluate, such as the curriculum, the availability of student services, and the condition of the physical campus.
Many prospective students put a premium on proximity to home when choosing a university to enroll at.
There are many excellent acting schools in Canada, making it an attractive option for aspiring actors both from within Canada and from outside the country who wish to remain in their home countries for university.
Here, you’ll find a list with 10 of Canada’s top acting programs and some fundamentals about each.
Keep reading to find out what great acting schools offer their students in terms of degree programs, performance opportunities, student resources, and more.
Best acting schools in canada
Canadian College of Performing Arts
When it comes to acting programs in Canada, the Canadian College of Performing Arts is among the best. They have a diploma program that takes six months to complete and two certificate programs that take a year to complete.
There are roughly 60 first- and second-year students. After a successful first year, some students may be invited to apply for the Enriched Performing Arts Certificate.
Many of the program’s alums have gone on to prominent acting careers, with credits at the Stratford Shakespeare Festival, the Charlottetown Festival, and elsewhere in the world’s theater scene.
Students in their first and second years can participate in a wide variety of programs, including acting, voice, dance, musical theater, and professional development classes, as well as special events, master classes, and more.
The third-year students in a theater club, under the tutelage of the invited directors, staged three productions.
National Theater School of Canada
The National Theater School of Canada, founded in 1960, is one of the few professional theater training institutions in the world to offer instruction in both English and French. It’s one of the top acting programs in all of Canada.
About 160 students are taught and advised by approximately 200 full- and part-time professionals in the industry, with class sizes capped at 12.
As part of the annual Journées de la culture celebrations, the National Theater School hosts an open day on the last Saturday of September.
Prospective students have the opportunity to attend school-sponsored events, interact with current students, and network with school alums. The following community day is scheduled for September 29.
Toronto Academy of Acting and Film & Television School
One of the most prestigious film schools is the Toronto Academy of Acting and Film & Television School. Diploma programs in film acting and television production are provided.
One of the best film schools in Canada is the Toronto Academy of Acting for Film & Television, the only film school and acting school with access to all film and television projects across Canada.
Courses in film acting, digital filmmaking, and vocational programs like Full-time diplomas in film acting and film television production are provided in a welcoming and stimulating environment at film and acting schools.
Red Deer College
In 1964, shortly after its founding, the university offered its first undergraduate degree. Working on a real set for a current production is acceptable during the fourth year. You won’t find a better acting program in Canada than this one.
Production can go in two distinct directions; these can be researched in the performance or productions sections, respectively, where you’ll find information on acting, producing, directing, scriptwriting, listening methods, commercial and professional careers, cinematography, sound, digital editing, and production management.
Film and television studios that offer graduate and undergraduate programs taught by working professionals in the field allow students to integrate classroom theory with hands-on experience in production.
The transition from being a student of these professionals to joining their teams as a worker is also straightforward.
Simon Fraser University School for the Contemporary Arts
Downtown Vancouver is home to one of Canada’s best schools for the performing arts: Simon Fraser University’s School for the Contemporary Arts.
The SCA was established in 1965 and is home to a wide variety of degree programs focused on the performing arts.
Dance, film, visual art, music & sound, stage performance, and stage production & design are all offered at the undergraduate level through the School for the Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser University.
A master’s degree in contemporary arts, a master’s degree in interdisciplinary arts, and a doctorate in contemporary arts are just some of the graduate degrees available at the SCA.
The innovative curriculum at the SCA provides students with a well-rounded understanding of the performing arts through a combination of studio-based training in practical skills and academic, theoretical study and inquiry.
Vancouver Film School
The Vancouver Film School is a post-secondary institution with 15 different degree programs available to students interested in pursuing careers in the performing arts.
The VFS environment mimics the working world, providing students with opportunities in the local animation, gaming, design, and film industries.
VFS was established on the pedagogical premise that students, with only one year of intensive work experience under the guidance of knowledgeable industry experts, can become capable of producing professional-quality portfolio content.
In order to prepare students for careers in the entertainment industry, the school’s curriculum strikes a balance between academic theory and practical, hands-on experience.
Many of the city’s top educators, professionals, and experts in the entertainment arts are within easy reach of VFS’s urban campus, and they frequently visit as guest speakers to share their knowledge and experience with the students.
University of British Columbia
The University of British Columbia is a major research university with a thriving theater arts training program for students interested in pursuing careers in the performing arts. The university routinely places in the top 20 of the world’s best public universities.
Vancouver and Okanagan serve as the primary locations for UBS’s campuses. Over 56,000 graduate and undergraduate students study at the Vancouver campus, and another 11,000 attend classes at the Okanagan campus.
When these two numbers are added together, the total number of UBC students is 68,498.
UFC is well-known for its extensive list of prestigious degree programs, one of which is a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting. Other undergraduate majors at UFC also focus on the performing arts.
Graduate programs in filmmaking, film studies, theater studies, and stagecraft are among them.
The legendary comedy company known as “Second City” got its start in a long-running Chicago improv and sketch comedy troupe. If you want to learn more about comedy, sketch writing, improv, stand-up, or storytelling, then you should definitely check out this school’s Toronto location. This could be the place for you if you’ve ever fantasized about performing on Saturday Night Live or creating and starring in your own sketch comedy series.
Although the Second City Training Centre’s Conservatory Program is just one of many intensive workshops available to both kids and adults, we’ll be focusing on it here. This foundational course offers six distinct tracks that teach students various improvisational techniques. Students must re-audition after completing Levels 1 and 2 in order to move on to Level 3. Students at all levels are expected to put on a short performance for the public at some point during the semester; by the end of the sixth grade, they will have completed four 15-minute previews and an eight-week run of performances.
When compared to full-time degree programs, the time commitment for this program is manageable: each Conservatory level meets once a week for three hours over the course of an eight-week term. When it comes to developing comedic, sketch, and improv actors, few places can compare to Second City. If you’re interested in learning more about the acting industry, you needn’t look any further.
Capilano University School of Motion Picture Arts
Certificate and Diploma programs in Acting for Stage and Screen are offered by CapU. The Diploma program spans three years, requires an audition and interview for entry, and provides a comprehensive curriculum in acting.
Full-time, four-year BFA programs in acting are available at Ryerson University. Coursework for this degree includes acting, voice, and movement classes that focus on both canonical and experimental works by Canadian playwrights. This Toronto institution offers a unique blend of rigorous classroom study and hands-on experience.
George Brown College of Applied Arts and Technology, located in the heart of Toronto, was founded in 1966 and is a public, nationally recognized institute of applied arts and technology. The college has three main campuses and several other locations that put students in the heart of the city, including the St. James Campus, the Casa Loma Campus, and the Waterfront Campus, and has been named to CourseCompare’s list of the best film schools in Canada.
The Distillery District in Toronto is home to the Young Centre for the Performing Arts, where students from George Brown College’s Theatre Arts program receive training and stage time. Located in an old part of Toronto’s east end, this 44,000-square-foot building is a hub for performances, workshops, and community events. Soulpepper Theatre, a prestigious classical repertory theater, also performs there. This space is also rented by other businesses, so students can network with actual professionals. Smaller class sizes at George Brown College make it possible for students to get the most out of their time in the theater program.
In their final year of study, students in the Theatre Arts program produce a season at the Young Centre for the Performing Arts under the guidance of guest directors and with the assistance of professional theatre technicians.
George Brown’s Acting for Media program equips students with the acting technique, movement, voice, and script analysis skills necessary to work in the modern entertainment industry. Master the art of public speaking by studying screen acting, gaining on-camera experience, and familiarizing oneself with proper audition protocol. Graduates will have a deep understanding of the industry’s background, organizational structure, and professional norms. The skills necessary to be a successful actor in the field are taught through workshop simulations, on-camera exercises, voice-over demonstrations, green-screen training, and training in motion-capture suits.
In this lesson, students will learn the fundamentals of interacting with virtual worlds and other cutting-edge technologies.
York University in north Toronto was established in 1959 and is now one of the largest and most prestigious universities in all of Canada. Acting students at the school, taught by award-winning professionals in the field, have access to internships, field placements, and partnerships with companies and organizations in the creative industries and the arts ranging from Facebook to the Canadian Stage.
Classes at the theatre school average just 10–15 students in their third and fourth years, down from a maximum of 25 in the first year. Those who choose to major in theatre at the university can earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts Honours in Acting Conservatory after three years of study.
All aspiring thespians must first enroll in the Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Studies (Specialized Honours) program, where they will take a broad range of introductory courses in Acting, Production/Design, and Performance Creation/Research. After the first year, students can specialize in either the Acting Conservatory, the Production/Design Conservatory, the Playwriting & New Play Dramaturgy Conservatory, or the Performance Creation & Research Conservatory.
Acting-Theatre is a four-year program that provides students with comprehensive training in both on-stage and off-screen performance. The last three years of your degree will be spent studying voice, movement, and acting, where you will learn a wide variety of advanced skills and put them to use in real-world performance projects. Scene study, script analysis, and character development are all heavily emphasized in the Acting Conservatory’s curriculum. The mainstage season at Theatre@York features classic masterpieces and contemporary plays from Canada and around the world that have been selected because of their ability to address significant cultural and political debates.
In order to enroll in the program at York University, prospective students are required to audition.
If you want to become an actor and get the training necessary for a long career, you can do so in Canada. According to our findings, there is a wealth of excellent, in-depth, and professionally-oriented education available beyond the four walls of a university. There is a wealth of excellent training available at these specialized institutions, whether one is aspiring to join ‘Company C’ or to become a sketch comedy genius at Second City. If you’re interested in combining your acting training with a degree, the schools we’ve listed at the bottom of this article are a good place to start looking.