Frequently Asked Questions
- Is VADA an accredited school?
Yes. We are a Designated Learning Institution (DLI) #0212566030007 accredited by Private Training Institutions Branch (PTIB) and Education Quality Assurance (EQA).
- Where is the school located?
We are conveniently located in downtown Vancouver, just a few blocks from the Burrard and Canada Line Skytrain stations. Our school address is 900 Helmcken Street, Vancouver BC V6Z 1B3.
- Why should I attend a Short Course, Certificate or Dramatic Arts Program at VADA?
Whether or not you choose to pursue a career in the Film or TV industry, our programs are an unparalleled creative experience that will broaden your horizons on acting, the industry and enhance your future endeavours.
- There are a lot of schools; what makes VADA different from other acting schools?
VADA is a true working actors studio. Our prime focus of education is teaching acting and only acting; and we have been successfully doing so since 2000. We are a school started by an actor, for actors, to work creatively and provide a support community. Our school staff and instructors are also actors who are presently working in the Film and TV industry in North America. Our instructors are eager to mentor students by passing along their knowledge and experience for you to be successful. We have on average 80% placement rate into agencies, where our graduates actively audition for professional Film and TV work and BOOK!
At VADA, students are not only guided in their acting education, but also with the business side of the industry. We guide you in putting together your professional package (head shot, resume, audition tape); Included in your program is a business trip to Hollywood. There are no additional fees for this trip. During the trip you will meet with immigration officials, casting agents, producers, writers and directors in Los Angeles to learn what it takes to work there and how to go about getting there. This is a business trip, not a sightseeing trip. To top things off, we create opportunities for you to meet with industry professionals here in Vancouver (agents, casting directors, producers & directors) by inviting them to our school events, such as ‘Scene Night’ and our ‘Showcase Event’ held twice a year at a major venue. Quite simply, there is no other school in Canada that goes to such lengths to see you be successful.
- I have no acting experience. How will I know which program is right for me?
The school’s offerings are designed to introduce individuals with little or no experience to acting, as well as reinforce good acting techniques for those with prior Film and TV acting experience or training. We have qualified student advisors here who will talk with you, learn more about you, answer your questions, and give you feedback on improving your application to help you get through the application process. Be sure to look through our website in advance and prepare any questions you may wish to ask during your visit.
- I’ve studied traditional stage acting in high school/college. Is acting for Film and Television really that different?
Yes. Techniques, skills and experiences gained as an actor (stage or film) can cross over nicely into the other. However, understanding unique characteristics that separate stage acting from screen acting is necessary to guarantee an actor is prepared. Here are just a few points to illustrate key differences in the two mediums:
Environment: Theatre acting is a nurturing art form that allows for adequate rehearsal time. In contrast, film sets are chaotic places packed with highly-paid artists, supporting actors and extras and this presents several challenges. Firstly, you will receive very little, if any, rehearsal time. Secondly, depending on your role, you may not receive any direction, since actors are hired under the assumption that they will come to the set performance-ready. Lastly, the pace of filming pressures actors to hit their performance quickly.
Venue: A theatre actor’s audience is separated by a relatively short distance, whereas films use a camera to eliminate the distance between performer and observer. A theatre audience needs to see the action and hear the dialogue, so stage actors need to exaggerate movements and speak loudly. However, the presence of the camera, lights, microphones, visual effects and music, enhance a film actor’s performance. Cameras pick up everything and the actor’s goal is to replicate reality, so interacting verbally and non-verbally with other actors should appear as “normal” as possible.
Script: As opposed to the stage, where plays are performed repeatedly around the world and an audience knows what to expect, film and television scripts are usually being produced for the first time. Actors are not able to draw on past performances in researching a role, and the audience has no preconceived ideas of what the character should be like. This gives film actors more freedom in performance since a ‘realistic’ performance is what matters most on camera.
- How hands-on is the training at the VADA?
Extremely. All classes at the VADA are designed to be of immediate and practical use. Teachers work very closely with you to develop your individual style and bring out the innate qualities you each possess as actors.
- What is the average class day like in the Dramatic Arts Program?
Students should expect to be busy five days a week in class. Our Dramatic Arts Program classes are 4 hours a day. Classroom instruction hours range an average of 20 – 25 hours per week. Students will also be expected to make themselves available to spend time outside of the classroom rehearsing scenes together with their classmates. Approximately 12 hours a week is suggested for self-study.
- I am a university student; can I do a short program at VADA during a semester off?
Yes. Many university and college students attend our full time Two Week Intensive Certificate program during semester breaks. Our Intro to Acting Certificate; Audition Class and our Ongoing Scene Study classes are all part-time evening courses, so many students attend these after attending their university or college courses during the day.
- Do you accept international students?
Yes, of course. Students from all over the globe come to VADA to take our programs. The diverse backgrounds of VADA students creates a rich, multicultural community that promotes exchange of ideas and viewpoints. The staff is ready to assist overseas students to attend our programs and answer any questions by email.
- I’m an international student, can I work part time in Canada while attending VADA?
Our Full-time Dramatic Arts Program Diploma is 24 weeks (plus 2 weeks break) making it a total of 26 weeks (6 months) in length. Full-time international students enrolled at Designated Learning Institutions (DLI) can apply for a study visa which will allow them to work part time off campus and full time during scheduled school breaks. In order to be eligible to do this, you must be enrolled in a program of study at least 6 months in length. As a result, our program allows for students to work part time during their studies. Learn more about Study Permits.
- Can I apply for a work visa after finishing my program at VADA?
No. While VADA is a Designated Learning Institution (DLI), an application for a Post Graduate Work Permit (PGWP) would likely be unsuccessful. Most international graduates will take their training received at VADA and return home to work in their home country’s Film and TV industry.
- Where will I live while attending your program?
VADA does not provide accommodations, however there are plenty of third party apartment agents and homestay agents who can assist you in locating safe, convenient, and affordable accommodations options (both shared and private). You must book as early as possible however to secure accommodations within your budget and length of stay.
Craigslist is a great resource to locate accommodations within a budget, both shared or private.
Airbnb is a great option for anyone looking for a more temporary living situation. It’s ideal for anyone taking our On Camera Acting Intensive or any of our other part-time courses.
- What is the minimum age requirement to apply at VADA?
While there is no age restriction, there is an age minimum. High school students will often inquire about applying to VADA during their Grade 12 year, however they cannot begin their program until they provide proof of high school graduation; equivalent GED; or proof that they are 19 years of age (for mature status only). Exceptions are made for students who are 17 years of age, have a high school diploma, or equivalent and parental consent.
- Is there an application fee to apply to VADA?
Yes. There is a $50 refundable application fee when applying to our Dramatic Arts Program Diploma. If you are unable to meet entrance requirements, your application fee will be refunded to you. If you are accepted into our program, and for some reason you choose to cancel your application, then the fee is not refunded. There is no application fee required for Short Courses or Certificate programs.
- When is your next start date?
We have different start dates throughout the year depending on your program of interest. We suggest contacting the school to inquire about the next start date and availability of our programs. As our courses tend to fill quickly, we recommend early application to guarantee a place in your program or course of choice.
- Do I have to pay my whole tuition at up front when I apply?
No. Domestic students can work with our student advisor to discuss various tools available to manage the costs involved in going to school. This may involve creating a payment plan, looking into student loans or utilizing any RESP funds that may be available for this purpose.
International students applying to the Dramatic Arts Program Diploma from outside Canada will need to pay 50% of their tuition fee up front, once they have been informed of their acceptance. If already in Canada when they apply, we can create a payment plan for them.
(Note: There is a $250 administrative fee applied for a payment plan for the Dramatic Arts Program.)
- What is the admissions policy at VADA?
You must have graduated from Grade 12 or equivalent (GED); Post-secondary Diploma or Degree program; or qualify as a mature student (must be 19 years or older); before you can begin your program. Courses are demanding and require maturity, commitment and dedication. You need to be able to work with others and be responsible to them.
Additional application requirements for Diploma programs:
•$50 Application Fee (Refundable if not accepted into the program);
•Completed Application Form;
•300 Word Essay (discussing why you would like to study acting and your reasons for choosing VADA);
•2 photos (one close up and one full body);
•Entrance Interview (with School Director) in person, by phone or Skype. If you pass the interview you’ll be asked to self tape a monologue provided.
International Students (or landed immigrants or permanent residents who did not complete high school in English); all classes at VADA are conducted in English. The stronger your English skills are, the better your prospects for success will be in VADA. As a result, regardless of country of birth or citizenship, ALL international students must provide proof of English Proficiency Test Score.
Acceptable scores are: IELTS (5.5) and TOEFL iBT (65) including passing an oral interview with an Admissions Advisor.
- Is Financial Aid available to VADA students?
Yes. Financial Aid is available to Canadians and Permanent Residents who apply to our Dramatic Arts Program.
Scholarships and bursaries are also available to qualified candidates (Note: Scholarship or bursary are only applicable to those applying to our Dramatic Arts Program and must be accompanied by a program application).
Payment plans are also available for all programs. (Note: There is a $250 administrative fee applied for a payment plan for the Dramatic Arts Program.)
- Do you have campus visits available?
Yes. We love it when people come to visit! During your visit you can discuss your interest in acting and our programs with our Admissions Advisor. You can arrange a visit by calling the office at 604-633-1525.
- May I audit a class before I apply?
Yes. We do allow a student to come an audit a class before applying. You will need to contact the school in advance to make arrangements for auditing a class.
- Do you have Open Houses or Info Sessions?
Yes. We have Open Houses every two or three months (depending on the time of year). We also hold periodic Information Sessions. Contact the school for more detailed information about dates and time of our next Open House or Information Session.
- Do you have any acting camps for Kids or Teenagers during Spring or Summer?
Yes. Please contact the school to learn more about details about our Spring Break and Summer Acting Camp options.
- Can I contact a former student?
We are unable to give out personal information of our students or graduates (for privacy reasons), however you are more than welcome to attend one of our upcoming school events (Scene Nights, Improv Nights, Showcase, Event etc) and speak directly with present and former students in attendance.
Start your Acting Career Today…
Join VADA, no other school gives you better support to kickstart your career after graduation! If you’re ready to hone your professional acting skills then fill out the form on this page to receive more information! Or give us a call at 604-633-1525 to speak to a friendly and knowledgeable VADA Admissions Advisor today.