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Canadian College Of Performing Arts Seeks Canada's Contemporary Storytellers


UPDATE: Heather Burns flies solo to Alberta as Jacques Lemay is unable to attend. She will lead the auditions in Calgary on Feb. 22 and Edmonton on Feb. 23. Burns and Lemay will lead the Victoria auditions together on Feb. 25. 


Canadian College Of Performing Arts Seeks Canada's Contemporary Storytellers This time thirty years ago Canadians were flocking to Calgary to celebrate the Winter Olympics. Jacques Lemay, Artistic Director and Senior Choreographer of the Opening Ceremonies, was telling the story of contemporary Canada to a global audience. The nationally renowned director returns to Calgary this February to gather young Canadians who wish to continue telling Canada's story as singers, actors, and dancers.

Lemay will hold auditions for the Canadian College of Performing Arts (CCPA) on February 22 at 5:30 p.m. at Alberta Theatre Projects Rehearsal Hall (220 - 9th Ave SE). Lemay and Janis Dunning founded CCPA, a post-secondary training institution for performing artists and cultural leaders. Lemay and Dunning are back to celebrate the College's 20th anniversary year.

CCPA embarks on its annual National Audition Tour every February. The College will audition in major cities across the country from February 9 to March 11. Managing Director Lemay will lead the Calgary auditions alongside Artistic & Education Director Heather Burns.

"We bring Canadians from all regions of our country to one place to work together and create together," explains Lemay, "As a result our students develop a national awareness of the Canadian theatre scene and create nationwide bonds with their peers which will assist them in their future careers."

CCPA believes in providing affordable education for deserving students. The College is owned and operated by the Canadian Heritage Arts Society (CHAS), a not for profit charitable organization. Canadian students receive a tuition subsidy from CHAS, totaling nearly half the cost of the training.

"Often students can't afford to travel to auditions," says Lemay, "so we travel to them. It also gives us the opportunity to meet our potential candidates in their environment and discover the wealth of talent in our country."

Lemay recalls one young man who auditioned many years ago: "He was at a career crossroads. The interview portion of the audition was essential to his decision to join the College. He decided to come, somewhat reluctantly, with the intention to complete just one year. Well," says Lemay, "he was so impressed by the quality and intensity of the program as well as the highly respected faculty that he stayed for the second year. He's now a professional actor and director. I recently had the great fortune of seeing him in a lead role in the Citadel Theatre's production of Shakespeare in Love in Edmonton."

Many other graduates have gone to Broadway, London, Toronto, Stratford, Shaw, and Charlottetown, and have done films, television, and recordings. Alumna Carly Rae Jepsen described her time at CCPA as one of the "best memories of my life."

CCPA offers three intensive programs with high-calibre instruction that is aligned with the needs of the industry: Enriched Performing Arts Diploma, Performing Arts Certificate, and "Company C" Studio Ensemble Diploma. The curriculum is designed to give students a strong foundation for a career in the performing arts. "Company C" graduates may transfer to Douglas College for an additional year to complete a Bachelor of Performing Arts. Visit to book an audition.

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