Unofficial school motto: ‘I never thought I’d make something like this’
Best place for a nap: The Nest on the fifth floor, or your own personal studio in your third and fourth years!
Best cheap lunch: Sushi BBQ on 16th Avenue. Beware of going before class—the sushi naps are real.
Best hangover breakfast: Eggs benedict at Red’s Diner in Kensington. You can never go wrong with bennies.
Favourite watering hole: The Gateway at SAIT is the closest to home (a.k.a. ACAD), but if coffee is your preference, the Odyssey at SAIT is great too
Perks of living in this town: It’s sunny and we’re close to the Rocky Mountains. Time for a day trip? Go skiing, snowboarding or hiking.
Best place to study: Luke Lindoe Library
Weirdest tradition: That’s debatable. Bring your own, maybe it’ll catch on.
Best campus event: The Valentina Drag Ball of course! Whip out those heels or that fake moustache—or both.
Best giveaway: Free tables of supplies pop up all the time, so keep your eyes peeled—someone might be giving away something you’ve been eager to try
Best live music venue: It depends on what you’re into. I’ve heard Commonwealth Bar is pretty good, as is the Jack Singer Concert Hall and the Palomino. Festivals like X-Fest are amazing as well.
PROFILE: Alberta College of Art + Design | Calgary, Alta. | Founded 1926
University Insider: Brandon Giessmann, 23, Fine Arts—Printmaking
What ACAD lacks in curb appeal, it makes up for in an environment that allows students to explore their interests through art (which basically means however you want). The building features a stairwell dedicated to graffiti that is covered in paint and profanities from the first floor to the fifth, and plain brick walls both inside and out. We also have a bookstore (it sells art supplies, too), wood shop, metal shop, printmaking studio, glass-blowing studio, library and cafeteria. The Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, our lovely next-door neighbour, has a gym, pool, bar and more options for food that you can (or should) take advantage of. You will find art everywhere, except during the holidays, when ACAD essentially becomes a graveyard (so if you come to check us out, come during the school year).
Boasting a population of roughly 1,200, students and professors form relationships beyond the classroom. With 11 undergraduate programs and three degrees—bachelor of fine art, bachelor of design and master of fine art in craft media—you can experiment. Have you really wanted to try blowing into a metal tube with molten glass on the other end? You can do that. In your third and fourth years you get personal studio space where you can work and store all your crap (with the exception of design students—sorry). You can also nap there, which will definitely happen. If you want to be exposed to a wide variety of art and an interesting assortment of people, ACAD is a potential match.
Student-run galleries are common here and give ACAD students the chance to display and share their work. Opening and closing receptions also usually mean free food, and sometimes drinks.
Want to try selling some art? Check out the ACAD Students’ Association’s biannual Show and Sale, where ACAD VIPs and the general public can see and purchase your work.
With a C Train station attached to the building, getting here is a breeze, and heading downtown for a night out is fairly simple, especially with the U-Pass that covers public transit for the semester, which is included in your tuition. There are also several parkades in the area, including one at ACAD (beware: it is expensive), so driving is also an option.
Calgary is a growing cultural hub; we’re not New York or Toronto, but we’re getting better. It’s commonly ranked the sunniest city in the country on top-10 lists, which makes the dry weather more tolerable. People are friendly and interested in the arts, with plenty of artist-run centres, galleries and theatres hosting events. The mountains are a short drive away, making it easy to grab your friends and go skiing or hiking. The nightlife is decent with several clubs, a lot of bars and live-music venues throughout the city.
Check out their site to get a better feel for what ACAD has to offer and ACADSA.ca for info on events and jobs for students.