Academy students are expected to want to challenge themselves and we hope that you will find some of these interesting. If you can spend a bit of time increasing your cultural knowledge before you come, please do! Here are some suggestions regardless of your disciplines – it is equally important to gain a grounding in art forms you aren’t as familiar with. Of course this is a subjective list, and by no means exhaustive. For all academy students, you should have a notebook in which you write your thoughts, sketches, responses to things you see or hear, things that inspire you, anything you want. There are no right or wrong ways to keep a sketchbook as long as it is your own responses to the world and the art you see around you.

Take a look at UbuWeb to see experimental films, music, etc.

See a live professional play if one is playing in your community.
Read at least 2 of the following plays (available from your local or school library)

  • The Crucible by Arthur Miller
  • Copenhagen by Michael Frayn
  • Any play by Daniel MacIvor
  • Any Play by Tennessee Williams
  • Billy Bishop goes to War by Eric Peterson and John Gray
  • Rez Sisters or Dry Lips by Thompson Highway
  • American Buffalo by David Mamet
  • Cloud Nine by Caryl Churchill
  • Bonjour la Bonjour by Michel Tremblay
  • Doll House by Ibsen
  • Three Sisters by Chekhov
  • Hamlet by Shakespeare

See some of the following films (if available from your local library)

  • 7th Seal by Ingmar Bergman
  • Modern Times by Charlie Chaplin
  • The Godfather by Francis Ford Coppola
  • Annie Hall by Woody Allen (mature themes)
  • Citizen Kane by Orson Welles
  • Rear Window by Alfred Hitchcock
  • Lawrence of Arabia or Bridge on the River Kwai by David Lean
  • Sunset Boulevard by Billy Wilder
  • Some Like it Hot by Billy Wilder
  • Metropolis by Fritz Lang
  • A Hard Day’s Night  by the Beatles
  • Singing in the Rain
  • High Noon
  • The Great Escape
  • Exit through the Gift Shop
  • The Shawshank Redemption
  • Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing (*warning* very strong language)
  • On the Waterfront
  • The Bicycle Thief
  • The Grapes of Wrath
  • Philadelphia Story
  • Amelie
  • Hugo
  • 2001: A Space Odyssey
  • Jesus de Montreal
  • Away from Her

See a piece of professional dance if available in your community.
Watch videos online of contemporary dance from the following list:

Visual Arts
Look through Art history books or online at:


Graphic Novel
Read your choices of:

  • Frank Miller’s Batman
  • Darwyn Cooke’s Catwoman
  • 20th Century Boys by Naoki Urasawa
  • anything by Brian Vaughan
  • Maus by Art Spegelman
  • Persepolis by Marjan Satrapi
  • Riel by Chester Brown
  • Essex County by Jeff Lemire

Read the Globe and Mail for a few days, and read columns or articles by Ian Brown and Stephanie Nolan
Go through the lists of winners of the Booker Prize (, the Giller Prize ( the Pulitzer Prize and choose at least one and read it.

  • Read any of the plays on the theatre  list
  • Read a sampling of poetry by three of the following WB Yeats, Stevie Smith, George Eliot Clarke, Ted Hughes, TS Eliot, Maya Angelou, Seamus Heaney
  • The Dubliners by James Joyce
  • Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
  • The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz by Mordecai Richler
  • The Virgin Cure by Ami McKay (*warning* adult themes)

Go to a concert if you can.
Listen to concerts on demand online – choose at least two concerts of different musical styles and listen to them.
At CBC /On National Public Radio




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