Want to attend ACAD but don’t quite meet our academic or English requirements? Artstream could be the choice for you.

Artstream Certificate Program

The Artstream Certificate Program is a collaborative program between Alberta College of Art + Design (ACAD) and Bow Valley College (BVC). It is designed to provide a bridge to an art and design education for applicants who do not meet ACAD’s academic and/or English proficiency requirements for First Year Undergraduate Studies, but who demonstrate satisfactory levels of art portfolio achievement.

The Artstream Program is a bridging program which combines selected ACAD First Year Studies courses with extensive BVC academic and learner support services specific to an art and design education.  The Artstream Program provides concurrent delivery of:

  • Bridging of specific academic skills to a post-secondary level;
  • Specialized courses to complement the objectives of ACAD Liberal Studies courses; and
  • Reduced course load of ACAD studio and Liberal Studies classes.

Students successfully completing the Artstream Program will receive a Certificate from the Alberta College of Art + Design, conferred at convocation, and will be eligible for admission to Alberta College of Art + Design’s First Year Studies. Students should note, however, that completion of Artstream will not provide them with a high school diploma. Rather, ACAD will waive the diploma requirements and high-school course minimum grades - on the basis of the student’s graduation from the Artstream program. For students whose first language is not English and who do not other-wise meet the English proficiency requirement for admission to ACAD, successful completion of the Artstream Program will be considered to be the equivalent of at least one year of full-time study at a post-secondary institution where English is the language of instruction. This will satisfy the English proficiency requirement necessary for admission to ACAD. 

How long does Artstream take?

Artstream is different because each student’s program is unique, built around strengths and weaknesses as determined by an individual academic assessment. Depending on your abilities, Artstream can take anywhere from two to three terms. In general, students spend about 60% of their time at BVC and about 40% at ACAD. Once completed, you will enter First Year Studies and continue towards a Bachelor of Fine Arts or Bachelor of Design degree at ACAD.

Admission Requirements

Admission to the Artstream Program is based on an assessment of academic transcripts, a Statement of Intent, a portfolio, and, if necessary, an academic assessment conducted by Bow Valley College. In order to be considered for admission to the Artstream Program, applicants must be 18 years of age or older and have been out of school for at least one year.

Applicants who hold a General Educational Development (GED), hold a High School Certificate, or did not graduate from high school, require an academic assessment conducted by Bow Valley College.

Preference will be given to applicants holding a High School Diploma.

How do I apply?

Your application to the Artstream program involves the following steps:

  1. Submit your application form and pay your application fee via the Apply Alberta Post-Secondary Application System (APAS) by February 1 ( ).
    • If you currently attend high school within Alberta, ACAD automatically receives both in-progress and official transcripts from applicants from Alberta schools through the application process at APAS.
    • If you currently attend high school outside of Alberta, you’ll need to attach your in-progress transcripts to your portfolio (Step 2) in SlideRoom for evaluation. All documents must be in English. If you need to have your transcripts translated, they will also need to be notarized before you can submit them.
  2. Submit your portfolio of original artworks along with your Statement of Intent to the ACAD SlideRoom Portal ( (Please refer to the “Portfolio Guidelines” section for more information). 
    • If upon review of your academic transcripts and your portfolio your application shows that you are an appropriate candidate for the program, your application to the Artstream program will be approved. If the Admissions team does not have enough information to complete an assessment you will be advised to schedule an appointment for an academic assessment at BVC.
    • If the BVC assessment shows that you are an appropriate candidate for the program, your application to the Artstream program will be approved. At that time BVC can also assess your eligibility for financial assistance. Admission to the program is offered on a first qualified, first accepted basis, so apply early! 

Portfolio + Statement of Intent Guidelines

Your portfolio is a big deal. It reflects you, what you're about, and makes people excited about what you love to do.

Present 12-15 of your best pieces as professionally as possible. The work should be a critical selection of recently produced original artworks that show us the full range of your most skillful and ambitious achievements.

Your portfolio should include a variety of media, some examples might include:

  • Photographs, collage, or mixed media work
  • Observational drawings, paintings or print media
  • Animation, video, or audio recordings
  • 3-dimensional work such as sculpture, textiles, glass, jewellery and ceramics
  • Designs for websites and other forms of digital media
  • Documentation of performance or installation art
  • Sample of creative or critical writing

Statement of Intent Guidelines: Write 500 words about why you would be a great student at ACAD. (It’s up to you to define the criteria.)

Additional Notes:

*Applicants are encouraged to submit PDFs of their process work; sketchbooks, notes etc.

*Applicants are encouraged to fill in the “Details” section about their work

*Applicants are encouraged to present their work as professionally as possible 

Tuition and Funding

Artstream Fees 2017-18*:


Fall 2017


Winter 2018

  Cdn/Perm Res Int'l Cdn/Perm Res Int'l
Tuition to ACAD ($50 per course) $900.00 $3,000.00 $1,350.00 $4,500.00
Tuition to BVC $1,500 $4,181.00 $1,500.00 $3,862.00
Supplementary Studio Fee ($44.24 per studio course) $44.24 $44.24 $88.48 $88.48
Artstream Supplement ($50/ACAD Course) $100.00 $100.00 $150.00 $150.00
Locker Fee $40.00 $40.00 ($30 only if starting in winter/ $0 if started in Fall) ($30 only if starting in winter/ $0 if started in Fall)
Student Assoc. $129.54 $129.54 $129.54 $129.54
Sait Campus Rec $40.00 $40.00 $40.00 $40.00
Student Network Access $62.50 $62.50 $62.50 $62.50
Student Service Fees $30.00 $30.00 $30.00 $30.00
Calgary Transit Pass $140.00 $140.00 $140.00 $140.00
Grad Application $0.00 $0.00 $125.00 $125.00
Total: $2,986.28 $7,767.28 $3,615.52 $9,127.52

*Note that fees are subject to change

Artstream Certificate Graduation Requirements

To graduate from Artstream, students must achieve the following:

·         A minimum of a grade of C in all required BVC upgrading courses

·         A minimum of a grade C in CCST 100

·         A minimum of a grade C in either AHIS.110 or AHIS.120

·         A minimum of a grade C in a 100-level studio course or equivalent, as determined by ACAD's Artstream Director.

Please note – Artstream graduates don’t receive high school diplomas. Instead, Artstream graduates are accepted into First Year Studies at ACAD and are given credit towards their Bachelor’s degrees for all applicable courses taken.

Program start date

You can start Artstream in September however applications are accepted all year round.