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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 and Douglas 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 two 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 two-partner consortium of Capilano University and Douglas 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 bachelor’s degree.
The prerequisites for the BPA are a total of 87 credits of course work as follows:
60 credits (min) of lower level performing arts
6 credits of English
9 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
Sunshine Coast | 5627 Inlet Avenue, Sechelt, British Columbia Canada V0N 3A0 Tel: 604.885.9310
Capilano University is named after Chief Joe Capilano, an important leader of the Squamish (Sḵwx̱wú7mesh) Nation of the Coast Salish people. We respectfully acknowledge that our campuses are located on the territories of the Lil’wat, Musqueam, Sechelt (shíshálh), Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations.