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A unique nine-month degree completion program for performing arts students
Students form a production company which creates, develops and mounts its own full production
This year's production at the 2015 PuSh International Performing Arts Festival
There is still time to apply and audition to become part of the next cohort starting in May 2015
This degree is conferred by Capilano University, Douglas College and Langara College.
The program is currently being hosted at Douglas College. For a complete description of the program and its admission requirements, and to apply to be admitted the program, please visit the Douglas College website.
The Bachelor of Performing Arts (BPA) program is unique in Canada. Nowhere else in the country have four academic arts institutions partnered to offer a cross-disciplinary performing arts degree that has, at its heart, a commitment to collaboration and self-generation – elements which are crucial to young artists’ future success.
The program’s primary objective is real-world training. It is ideal for those who want to practice as a professional performing artist, arts manager, administrator or cultural entrepreneur, or those who wish to continue on to graduate studies in the performing arts. The program offers students the unique opportunity to create original multi-disciplinary shows while developing the entrepreneurial skills necessary to make a self-directed performing arts career feasible. The BPA is designed to address a gap in most performing arts education: serious consideration of how students will develop the means to put their training to use once they graduate. There are many ways to do so, and most require the ability to create one’s own opportunities, often in collaboration with peers. Culture is always changing, and BPA graduates will be encouraged to define the nature of that change. The program runs May – January, with classes during the summer and fall semesters, and the capstone Interdisciplinary Production (project) each January. If you are interested in the program, please contact the BPA office for more information.
The Bachelor of Performing Arts is a
full-time, cohort-based capstone program that enrols 25 students in a
fourth year. Students earn the last 33 credits of a 120-credit
bachelor’s degree over nine months. The degree is conferred by the
four-partner consortium of Capilano University, Douglas College, Langara
and Vancouver Community College. To be eligible for admission,
applicants will have some post-secondary education and training in at
least one performing arts discipline.
In the BPA program, students examine the historical and cultural
context of the performing arts in Canada and around the world. They
investigate, critique, and challenge the sociopolitical and cultural
environment of the performing arts industry – what gets made, why, and
how. Students will also extend their experiential knowledge of one or
more performing arts disciplines beyond their specific discipline. At
the same time, students do practical coursework in fundamental business
skills, such as grant writing, founding an arts organization, and
individual career development. While doing so, students also form a
production company which creates, develops and mounts its own full
production – an original, interdisciplinary performance event designed
to reflect the creative interests and formal skills of the company
members themselves. The program’s 12-credit production phase challenges
students to explore, master and apply the interdisciplinary performance
theory and skills they have studied, putting it to highly practical use.
There will be considerable variety in the individual educational
pathways students follow to be eligible for the BPA program. The program
itself is the final (capstone) year, contributing 33 credits towards a
The prerequisites for the BPA are a total of 87 credits of course work as follows:60 credits (min) of lower level performing arts6 credits of English9 credits of Breadth (non-performing classes)12 credits at the Upper Level (breadth or performing arts)It is possible to apply for PLA (Prior Learning Assessment) to gain
credit for some work/professional experience or education. It is also
possible for students to begin the program with one or two qualifying
courses outstanding, so long as you can demonstrate a plan to complete
these remaining credits. However, the majority of course prerequisites
should be met prior to application.The BPA degree will be
awarded to students who, in addition to the admission requirements
listed above, complete the additional 33 upper-level credits in the
capstone year, thereby bringing their total credits to at least 120, at
least 45 of which are at the upper level.
BPA info and alumni news
"One of the program's most important aspects is its ability to offer a degree to the many performing arts students who receive their professional training in diploma and certificate programs, it will open up a whole new world for many of them in terms of their future prospects."Meg Stainsby Dean of Language, Literature and Performing Arts Douglas College
"The program offers students from a wide variety of backgrounds the unique opportunity to create original multidisciplinary shows while developing the entrepreneurial skills necessary to make a self-directed performing arts career feasible."Marcus YoussefArtistic Director Neworld Theatre
Capilano University | 2055 Purcell Way, North Vancouver, British Columbia Canada V7J 3H5 Tel: 604.986.1911
Squamish | P.O. Box 1538, 1343 Winnipeg Street, Squamish, British Columbia Canada V8B 0B1 Tel: 604.892.5322
Sunshine Coast | 5627 Inlet Avenue, Sechelt, British Columbia Canada V0N 3A0 Tel: 604.885.9310