The 10 Best Acting Schools in Canada

If you have a passion for acting or any other occupation relating to the entertainment industry, then you might be wise to consider pursuing a degree relating to the field before you start your career. 

Obtaining a degree from a reputable acting school will help you develop your understanding of the industry, set you apart from other candidates to potential employers down the road, and make your resume considerably stronger. 

It is important to choose the acting school you will attend with great care. There are many factors to consider, including the programs and courses offered, the resources the school has to offer its students, and the quality of facilities. 

For many students, location is an essential factor – perhaps even the most critical – for selecting the college they will attend. 

For aspiring acting students who live in Canada and want to stay in the country for college, as well as students who live in a different country but are interested in experiencing what the Great White North has to offer, there are many stellar acting schools in Canada.

Here, we have compiled a list of 10 of the best acting schools in Canada, along with some basic information about each. 

Read on to learn more about the degree programs, performance opportunities, student resources, and other perks that these great acting schools provide for their students. 

Langara College Studio 58 (Vancouver, BC)

Langara College
Underbar dk, Langara College, CC BY-SA 4.0

Beginning in 1965 as a theater course at the King Edward Campus of Vancouver Community College, then moving to Langara College in 1970, Studio 58 is a prestigious acting school named for the room number of the college’s theater space. 

The school offers aspiring professionals in the entertainment industry two options for degree programs. 

The acting program is a full-time, three-year program intended for those who want to pursue careers as professional actors on television, film, or in theater. The production program is also a full-time course with a three-year duration, but it is aimed toward those who are seeking careers behind the scenes doing technical work. 

Each year, Studio 58 hires several professional designers and directors to assist in creating and producing four full-length productions and two indie-style shows to be put on at the school’s theater. 

Students at the school get the opportunity to perform or otherwise participate in these productions, which are open to the public and regularly attended and reviewed by Vancouver media representatives.

Canadian College of Performing Arts (Victoria, BC) 

Founded in 1998, the Canadian College of Performing Arts is an acting school that takes a unique approach to post-secondary performing arts education. The College offers three different intensive, conservatory-style programs for aspiring performers. 

Intended to provide students an alternative to other university programs that focus heavily on academics, the College of Performing Arts emphasizes the importance of skill-based training for the purpose of honing technical ability to make students well-rounded and prepared to enter the professional world.

The College’s courses are taught by faculty and guests who are highly-acclaimed industry professionals.

As one of Canada’s most unique, premier performing arts training schools, the College draws in a great number of elite educators, trainers, and coaches.

Located in Victoria, the capital city of British Columbia, the College is advantageously poised to serve as a nexus at which aspiring performers can forge valuable networking connections with actual industry professionals and experts.

Simon Fraser University School for the Contemporary Arts (Vancouver, BC)

Simon Fraser University
JeanFrankso, Simon Fraser University, CC BY-SA 4.0

Located in downtown Vancouver, the Simon Fraser University School for the Contemporary Arts is one of Canada’s top-rated performing arts colleges. 

Founded in 1965, the SCA offers numerous options for degree programs relating to the performing arts.

Undergraduate degree programs at SFU’s School for the Contemporary Arts include dance, film, visual art, music & sound, theater performance, and theater production & design. 

The SCA also offers a handful of graduate degree programs, such as an MA in contemporary arts, an MFA in interdisciplinary arts, and a Ph.D. in contemporary arts.   

The SCA’s innovative curriculum combines practical, skill-based training during studio classes with academic, theoretical study, and inquiry to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of performance arts that will serve them both inside and outside of the classroom. 

Vancouver Film School (Vancouver, BC)

An internationally acclaimed post-secondary institution for performing arts education, the Vancouver Film School offers 15 different degree programs for students who want to pursue a career in the performing arts. 

The VFS experience is modeled after the professional world, allowing students to get involved in Vancouver’s animation, gaming, design, and film industries.

VFS was founded on the educational principle that students can become capable of producing professional-quality portfolio content after just one year’s worth of intensive work experience under the guidance of knowledgeable industry experts.

As such, the school’s educational approach balances hands-on, practical learning experiences with study of academic theory, in order to equip students with all of the skills they will need to succeed as professionals in the entertainment industry. 

The school’s urban campus offers students close proximity to some of the city’s foremost entertainment arts educators, professionals, and experts, many of whom visit VFS as guest speakers to offer valuable career advice and insight into the industry. 

National Theatre School of Canada (Montreal, QC)

Located in Montreal, the second largest city in Canada and the fourth largest French-speaking city in the entire world, the National Theatre School of Canada is a small, private theater studies institution for post-secondary education.

With an instructor-to-student ratio of 2: and class sizes of no more than 14 students, the intimate learning environment at the National Theatre School of Canada offers students a plethora of opportunities to benefit from close, individualized instruction and direct attention from faculty, many of whom are successful, working performance artists.

Each year, the school puts on an average of 10 professional-quality performances created and performed by NTS students across all of the school’s programs. These performances allow students to gain valuable practical experience.

NTS boasts a stellar career placement rate, with 97% of graduates securing professional contracts immediately upon completing their degree program. 

University of British Columbia (Vancouver, BC)

University of British Columbia
Public domain photo by Daderot via Wikimedia Commons

Consistently ranking within the top 20 schools among the best public universities in the world, the University of British Columbia is a large research institution that is home to a robust theater arts training program for students seeking a degree leading to a career in the performing arts. 

UBS has two main campuses, located in Vancouver and Okanagan. The larger Vancouver campus is home to over 56,000 graduate and undergraduate students, and an additional 11,000 students study at the Okanagan campus. 

Adding these two figures together, the University of British Columbia has a total enrollment of 68,498 students.

The vast array of well-renowned degree programs offered at UFC includes a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree program in acting, as well as a number of other undergraduate major programs  relating to the performing arts field.

These include theater design and production, theater studies, film production, and several graduate programs. 

Humber College (Toronto, ON)

Humber College
Navjotka, Humber College LRC North, CC BY-SA 4.0

The Humber College Institute of Technology & Advanced Learning, more commonly referred to simply as Humber College, is a public university located in Toronto, Ontario. 

The school was founded in 1967 by provincial legislation to provide accessible professional training so that students will go on to become skilled professionals in the workforce. 

Today, Humber College maintains its industry-focused approach to education, combining academic experiences with experiential learning opportunities to provide students with a well-balanced, enriching education. 

Humber College offers multiple full-time degree programs for students interested in acting or in the performing arts more broadly. Undergraduate major programs include theater arts performance; film, acting & media production; and acting for film & television.

Each of these programs offers students rigorous practical training, teaching students the skills they will need to succeed as professional actors. 

The curriculum includes many workshop simulations, voice-over demonstrations, screen demos, and an annual springtime motion picture showcase, providing students with numerous opportunities to get firsthand acting experience. 

University of Toronto Joint Program with Sheridan College (Mississauga, ON)

Offered through a partnership between the University of Toronto at Mississauga and the Sheridan Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning, the Theatre & Drama Studies Program at UTM is a unique, two-year equivalent conservatory program. 

During the program, students have the opportunity to study the history of performance arts, relevant academic theory, and literature on the subject at UTM. 

On top of that, students in the program are also able to benefit from professional actor training offers at Sheridan, providing them with all of the skills and knowledge that succeeding as a performer requires. 

The theatre and drama studies program is intensive, interdisciplinary, and intended to produce graduates who are well-versed in both practical expertise and industry-related knowledge. 

Working at the Theatre Erindale, students in the program gain worthwhile professional experience in all parts of theater production, from on-stage performance to behind-the-scenes management. 

University of Alberta (Edmonton, AB)

University of Alberta
Viola-Ness, Corbett Hall at the University of Alberta, CC BY-SA 4.0

The Department of Drama at the University of Alberta offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting

This BFA program is a three-year, intensive conservatory training program that offers students in-depth knowledge of acting, movement, and vocal studies.  

Classes are led by the Department of Drama’s many knowledgeable, expert faculty members who are leading specialists in the acting field.

Instructors in this program approach performing arts education from their personal areas of interest, so the course curriculum varies to allow for this interesting diversity of subject matter. 

The BFA in Acting program at U of A boasts more hours of professional acting training than any other university program for acting, so students interested in the performing arts are sure to receive all the practice they could need at this school. 

Toronto Metropolitan University (Toronto, ON)

Toronto Metropolitan University is a public research college located in the Garden District of Toronto, Ontario. The university offers a four-year Bachelor of Fine Arts degree program in acting.

Offered by the School of Performance, the Acting BFA is an intensive, conservatory-style program that allows students to participate in experiential learning activities such as studio and public theater performances.

Through a blend of rigorous academic coursework and practical training, the acting BFA program helps students gain a comprehensive understanding of the acting career, both from the perspective of artists and as future working professionals. 

During each semester of the program, students are trained in movement, voice, creative development, and many other subjects across all areas related to acting.