NSCAD University unveils the Academy building
September 12, 2011

As film students began classes a week ago, they entered a renewed, state-of-the-art facility, the Academy building. During a three-year course of study, this is where they learn all aspects of filmmaking—the technical and the creative—everything from how to design titles on their films and send out press kits to directing, lighting and sound design.

“Our government’s investment in post-secondary infrastructure has given NSCAD students and researchers the facilities they need to be global leaders in their fields,” says Scott Armstrong, Member of Parliament for Cumberland-Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley. “This project will allow NSCAD to strengthen its capacity and build on its reputation as a leading institution of higher learning.”

“We nurture the artists that build this vital industry,” says Sam Fisher, associate professor, NSCAD University.

Renovations to the building, located on the corner of Sackville and Brunswick Streets, were made possible due to the generous support of $2 million from the Government of Canada through its Knowledge Infrastructure Program (KIP) and $2 million from the Province of Nova Scotia. The overhaul turned the building into a construction zone over the last year, as workers replaced windows and doors, insulated and updated electrical, heating, plumbing and ventilation systems. While the building’s historic integrity has been maintained on the outside, it is virtually a new building on the inside, sustainable and energy efficient.

“There’s no way we could have tackled those fundamental issues without the KIP funding,” says David Clark, chair of NSCAD University’s media arts division. “Now, the building is safe, secure and it looks beautiful.”

The Academy building—NSCAD University’s third campus in addition to the Granville and Port campuses—boasts new classrooms, screening rooms, editing and sound suites and a spacious studio space, which encompasses the entire third floor of the building. Besides being a base for NSCAD’s film program, the Academy building is also home to CineFlux, an interdisciplinary research centre. Proximity to CineFlux researchers allows students to engage with cutting-edge research projects in cinema and the media arts.

“This project makes NSCAD a hub for new ideas and technologies in cinema and media, preserves an historic building and protects an important film collection,” says Marilyn More, Nova Scotia Minister of Labour and Advanced Education. “Our congratulations to all who supported the redevelopment of the Academy Campus.”

Adds Ann MacKenzie, president and CEO of Film Nova Scotia: "NSCAD University has always played an important role in the growth and development Nova Scotia's audiovisual industry. The renovations that they have made to the Academy building will ensure students have access to top of the line training facilities and will graduate with the skills needed to compete in this vibrant industry. We are thrilled to have NSCAD's programs and facilities in our province." 

 NSCAD University's Academy building occupies the corner of Sackville and Brunswick Streets.
 Students of a film class get to know each other during the first week of the fall semester.
 Students stay after class to speak with Nathan Ryan, film technician, in the refurbished screening room.
The studio on the third floor of the Academy building is  "astonishing by any standard. It’s a space with the size and scope that lets you imagine. It’s absolutely top notch.” – David Clark, associate professor, NSCAD University, and chair of the media arts division.