Mission, vision and values

ACAD is a leading centre for education and research, and a catalyst for creative inquiry and cultural development. We engage the world and create possibilities.

ACAD's mission and mandate

In 2005, the Alberta College of Art + Design's faculty, staff and students came together in a series of intensive workshops to find a way to better articulate our vision for the College, our mission in our every day work, and the values that we uphold as a community. From this visioning exercise, ACAD's guiding principles were born - principles and values that form the basis for all our work as educators, administrators and ambassadors for the College.

Mission statement

ACAD is a leading centre for education and research, and a catalyst for creative inquiry and cultural development. We engage the world and create possibilities.

Our mandate

The Alberta College of Art + Design, located in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, is a public, board-governed college operating as a Specialized Arts and Culture Institution under the authority of the Post-secondary Learning Act of Alberta. As the only post secondary institution in the prairie provinces devoted exclusively to advanced education, practice, and research in visual culture, design, and associated and emergent fields, the Alberta College of Art + Design offers four-year undergraduate degrees and graduate degrees, preparing learners for careers in visual culture and design.

The College is a centre of excellence in education and research in fine arts, crafts, design, media arts + digital technologies, and related liberal studies, and supports lifelong learning through its credit and non-credit continuing education programming. The College is committed to the principles outlined in the framework of Campus Alberta which calls for an approach to advanced learning in Alberta that is responsive, innovative, high-quality, accessible, and focused on meeting the needs of the learner.

Acting as a local, provincial, national, and international visual culture resource and through research, the College is a producer of original knowledge leading to cultural development. Its public activities are designed to enhance the general awareness of the College and advance knowledge and understanding of the importance of visual culture and design to the economic, cultural, and social life of the communities and society that it serves.

Approved by the Deputy Premier and Minister of Advanced Education and Technology, October 6, 2010. 

Vision statement

Alberta College of Art + Design will be a preeminent catalyst institution for cultural development locally, provincially, nationally, and internationally. We will manifest unconditional excellence in our programs, practices, and policies in a laboratory environment that is committed to unconstrained inquiry and collegiality. As a place of cultural research, we are all colleagues on a journey of discovery while enhancing our leadership role within the cultural field. We aspire only to the highest level of excellence in what we endeavor, measured not by our past accomplishments but by our imaginations and what is humanly possible.

Our values

  • We value the creative process and all that is implied by that.
  • We are deeply committed to experimentation, free inquiry, research, and the evolution of culture.
  • We demand excellence in our practices, our support for our students, faculty, and staff, and our external communities.
  • Our support for human and professional development is reflected in our policies, practices, and programs.
  • We value our role in the society; we seek innovative paths for participation for the College, our students, alumni, and faculty and staff.
  • We value the joy and good humor that derives from being a creative institution; we believe in a celebration of our creative processes.
  • We value calculated risk-taking and entrepreneurship.
  • We are all learners, working together in a transparent environment that is willing to embrace change.
  • We value diversity in all respects, including philosophical, cultural, lifestyle, as well as definitions that are more conventional.