Need money for art school or other studies in the fine and performing arts in Canada? Most Canadian universities and colleges actively recruit international students. Therefore, many schools will work with you to help you find the money you need. You may be surprised at what you can get just by asking!

Awards typically range in value from $250 - $5,000, but may go as high as $16,000 over the course of a four-year degree. Bursaries, however, are based on financial need. Work-study programs involving financial aid for full-time students through part-time work on campus may be another source of money for school.

Student Scholarships and Student Bursaries
Scholarships for fine and performing arts students are usually based on the quality of the portfolio or recorded audition submitted with the application as well as outstanding academic achievement, and are usually also available to international students. Additionally, bursaries may be awarded for a combination of outstanding artistic and academic achievement along with leadership qualities. These awards may be renewable and may be offered by high schools, colleges, professional organizations, local businesses and national chains, and charitable foundations.

  • Start your search by talking to your high school career counsellor to learn what kinds of scholarships and bursaries may be available from your home country. Often high schools will offer awards to the best students or those most involved in club activities, which could include art, drama, or music-oriented clubs.

  • Most fine arts schools or program departments offer entrance awards either directly or through benefactors and foundations that support them. International students should contact an admissions counsellor or academic advisor at the school itself or look on their website to identify the awards that are offered. Some scholarships and bursaries are program-specific and are limited to applicants to particular majors, diplomas or certificates within a fine and performing arts field.

  • Many local businesses and national chains offer some kind of funding, either in the form of scholarships or bursaries, and international students may be eligible for some of these awards.

  • There are many professional organizations in the arts – architecture, interior design, painting, sculpting, graphic arts and more – that will provide scholarships as a way of promoting their profession and ensuring the development of future artists.

  • Art festivals and competitions also provide money for international students looking to continue their arts education.

  • Finally, there are a variety of charitable organizations, both in Canada and internationally, that provide literally millions of dollars of awards to post-secondary students.
For more general information on international student scholarships and financial aid, check out the articles on international student scholarships under each school type.