This site requires Javascript. Please enable Javascript in your browser for this site.

Alberta College of Art & Design

School Overview

    • Founded:
    • 1926
    • Size:
    • Small (<5000 students)
    • Type:
    • Public
    • Category:
    • Universities, colleges
      Art institutes
    • Specialization:
    • Art and Design School 1
    • Climate:
    • Cold (Continental)
    • Location:
    • 1407 - 14 Avenue NW, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
    • Phone:
    • +14032847600
    • Setting:
    • Urban

The History of Alberta College of Art & Design

The Alberta University of the Arts (AUArts), formerly known as Alberta College of Art + Design (ACAD) (before January 2019) and as the Alberta College of Art, is a publicly funded Canadian degree-granting art and design university located in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. The university's beginnings date back to the founding of the Provincial Institute of Technology and Art (PITA) in 1916. Beginning with evening and Saturday classes, day classes were offered starting in 1926 with Lars Haukaness appointed as the first Head of the Art Department. In 1960, PITA was renamed the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) and the Art Department was renamed the Alberta College of Art (ACA).
 In 1973, after eight years of planning and construction, the Alberta College of Art moved into a brand new purpose-built building designed by architectural firm Cohos, Delesalle and Evamy, on the edge of Calgary's North Hill, next to the Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium.
 The Alberta College of Art gained autonomy from SAIT in 1985, and in 1995 amended its name to become the Alberta College of Art and Design.

Academic Highlights

As a college, the institution had the authority to grant certificates and diplomas. In 1995 the Alberta Government-authorized granting the degree of Bachelor of Fine Arts and in 2000 gave authority to grant the Bachelor of Design degree. The Master of Fine Arts in Craft Media was launched in 2015 with the inaugural class receiving their degrees in May 2017.
 In March 2018, ACAD was named a university by the Minister of Advanced Education. It is the only institution in the province to offer and confer university-level undergraduate and now, graduate degree programs in art, craft, and design. On January 17, 2019, the Government of Alberta announced that ACAD was to become the Alberta University of the Arts (abbreviated as AUArts). The transition began on the same day while the name and university status became effective formally on February 1, 2019.

Life in Alberta College of Art & Design

Life on campus is also about being a part of something bigger. It’s about joining a global conversation about art, design, and its impact on the world. With visiting artists, travel programs for students, and a rich and active research culture that fosters new ideas and collaboration, AUArts is a hub of arts and culture events all year round

School Ranking


Notable Alumni

Joni Mitchell
 John Byrne (comics)
 Alex Janvier
 Brittney Bear Hat
 Elaine Cameron-Weir
 Faye HeavyShield
 Katie Ohe
 Richelle Bear Hat
 Fiona Staples
 Bee Kingdom
 Leah Kugel
 Carissa Baktay

Acceptance Rate



Other Campuses
No other campus yet.



No records.

People who this school

None as of the moment.