Overlooking the Bow River and the downtown skyline, ACAD is close to Calgary’s light rail transit, which can easily give the students access to the museums and galleries of the city. Its building is adjacent to the Jubilee Parkade and the Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium and in front of the SAIT Campus Centre. The college’s studios have a lot of spaces, with a small student-to-teacher ratio that encourages more one-on-one interaction. In 2010, ACAD will introduce a mandatory laptop computer program to keep the students in step with the advances of digital technology and practices. This will require all incoming students to own or lease a laptop computer during the first year of their enrolment.
The ACAD Student’s Association (ACADSA) is the student’s advocate and representative. It runs the Marion Nicoll Gallery that gives students the opportunity to exhibit their works. Twice a year, the ACADSA also arranges a Show and Sale that helps students finance their education. ACADSA also manages and operates the cafeteria.
Students can access the athletic facilities of the campus. SAIT Wellness Centre provides students a 35-metre swimming pool, aerobics/dance studio, weight training room, four squash courts, four racquetball, hockey rink, a multi-purpose gymnasium, a diving area, and a 15-person hot tub. In addition, the Wellness Centre also organizes open recreational activities, activity classes, sports clubs, and recreational activities. Student-Athletes who are interested to compete on SAIT intercollegiate teams in the Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference can take up ice hockey, soccer, basketball, volleyball, and cross-country running. Students who want to eat can go to the Arthole, which offers specialty coffee in the morning and alcoholic beverages after 4:00 pm. The Mastication Station shows the culinary expertise of Chef Dan, while the SAIT has a number of establishments in the campus which are run by professional chefs and students of the University.
The Alberta College of Art and Design offers the following programs to students: ArtStream (The program provides artistically talented students the opportunity to study at the University even if they do not meet ACAD's academic or English proficiency requirements); Bachelor of Fine Arts (Ceramics, Drawing, Fibre, Glass, Jewellery + Metals, Media Arts + Digital Technologies, Painting, Print Media, and Sculpture); and Bachelor of Design (Photography, Visual Communication Design). It also offers Post Diploma Degree Programs.
Some of the most notable graduates of the University are: Don Simmons, Don Mabie, Derek Michael Besant, Christopher Willard, Kay Burns, Susan Menzies, Katie Ohe, Mary Scott, Dick Averns, Don Kottmann, Alan Dunning, Mitch Kern, Mark Dicey, Laura Vickerson, Rita McKeough, and Joanne Bristol.
Calgary's population currently exceeds one million people and is located in the foothills of Alberta's Rocky Mountains, at the junction of the Bow and Elbow Rivers. It is the third largest city in Canada and covers and area of over 700 square kilometers. Despite being a large metropolitan city, Calgary also boasts many regional parks. In regards to education, there are more than 400 K - 12 schools and 17 public libraries.