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Emily Carr Institute of Art + Design was founded in 1925 and is one of British Columbia’s oldest post-secondary institutions. The Emily Carr Institute of Art + Design is a learning community devoted to excellence and innovation in Visual Arts, Media Arts and Design.

Some of our objectives include:

To promote a learner-centred environment focused on the Arts and Design and to facilitate the development of a milieu of creative engagement, innovation and professionalism; To be innovative, dynamic and self-renewing; To demonstrate professional excellence in all of our areas of specialization and to celebrate and support the importance and centrality of creative practices in all of the arts, media arts and design; To achieve diversity within our curriculum and equity in all student and staffing activities and accountability within every part of the institution; and, To be a leader in the development of new academic programs that respond to the emerging needs of students and society.

The purpose of education and learning in the arts is life enhancing. They contribute to the whole quality of life. This recognition of the purpose of higher education in the development of our people, our society, and our economy is central to our vision. We encourage and enable all students to achieve the highest intellectual and creative potential and to achieve beyond their expectations. We have created a culture which demands disciplined thinking, supports curiosity, challenges existing ideas and helps to generate new ones.

Emily Carr Institute stimulates its students to develop new and innovative ways of thinking and creating. At the same time, we invite students to prepare themselves for life after school. Our curriculum is flexible, personal, multi-disciplinary and based on the learning needs of students. Emily Carr Institute is dedicated to fostering an educational environment that is professional, practice-oriented and at the same time rooted in history and critical theory.


Undergradute Admissions Portfolio Guidelines + Submitting Your WorkEdit

Foundation Portfolio Guidelines

The portfolio is a collection of work and ideas that represents the state of your creative development. It represents your creativity, knowledge, interests and skills. All applicants to Emily Carr Institute must submit a portfolio as part of the admission process. There is no formula for an acceptable portfolio. the portfolio you prepare may take a variety of forms. The primary goal of the portfolio submission is to show us how you communicate ideas and make use of research processes and materials. You should submit your best and most recent work that represents your personal interests and your abilities.


Portfolios often include a combination of the following:

drawings, prints or paintings; animation, film, video, audio recordings, ideas for scripts and storyboards; photographs, collage and other mixed media work; sculpture and ceramics; designs for zines, websites, communication and industrial design; performance art; sketchbooks, journals and notebooks

We recommend that you include in your portfolio a combination of work in a variety of media. Include works that are a reflection of your time and place in relation to the immediate world, tell a story or show how you have developed a theme or an idea in your work. Select and use materials and techniques that best suit your ideas. These may include two and three dimensional, traditional and nontraditional materials and techniques. It is recommended that at least 50% of your portfolio work should be self-directed projects, i.e., work done outside of structured art classes. Do not include work that is copied or rendered directly from photographs, magazine clippings or images derived from other artists' works. If you have worked on a collaborative project, please indicate what you have directly contributed to the project. Sketchbooks, journals and notebooks that illustrate your research and process are encouraged.

Suggested themes for self-initiated work could include:

time and space, map your week, history turned backwards, social/political issues, burning questions, energy drains fragmented memories explorations of identity, gender issues, stereotypes social myths, artist as documenter, witness, anthropologist or collector, clothing as armor, clothing and memory, observations of the domestic realm, transforming the familiar, the banal, into the sacred or absurd recurring dreams passages through the everyday public spaces/public experience


For applicants planning to drop off and pick up portfolios in person

Portfolios must be submitted in a standard vinyl portfolio case. Usually these are called artist portfolios and they can be purchased from most stationery or art supply stores. The portfolio must not exceed 61cm by 84cm by 6cm. All portfolios must have a sturdy handle, be easily opened and closed and be suitable for vertical storage. The maximum weight including the case must not exceed 8 kg. Portfolios that do not comply with these guidelines will be refused. Homemade portfolios are not permitted.

The portfolio case must include a minimum of 10 to a maximum of 15 original pieces, plus the essay, résumé and inventory list. A sketchbook, journal or notebook is recommended and is considered one piece. All pieces should be flat, not rolled. Framed or glass covered pieces will not be accepted. Do not wrap individual pieces or tape overlays to work. Stretched canvas paintings or sculptures must be presented in photographic form. All pieces must fit inside the case so that it can be closed on all sides. Time based work (DVD and video) must not exceed 3 minutes per piece and be cued to the start of the piece. All film and audio must be transferred to standard DVD format or VHS tape.


For applicants planning on mailing their portfolios

Due to storage, handling, shipping charges and customs regulations, Emily Carr Institute will no longer accept original portfolios sent by mail or courier. If an applicant is not able to drop off and pick up their portfolio in person please follow one of the following options.

Option 1 – Photographed Portfolios Document the portfolio pieces (including selected pages from the sketchbook) in the form of 20cm x 25cm laser digital prints or colour photographs. Each photograph must be numbered to correspond with an inventory list and labeled with the applicant’s full name, year and title of the piece. Submit the photographs with the essay or written submission, résumé and inventory list in a standard document envelope. Address the envelope to; Portfolio for Admission, Emily Carr Institute, 1399 Johnston St., Vancouver, BC V6H 3R9, CANADA

Please note that photographed portfolios will not be returned. They will be destroyed after they are reviewed.


Option 2 - CD-ROM or DVD Portfolios Digitize the portfolio pieces (including selected pages from the sketchbook) and send them on a standard CD-ROM or DVD format and submit them with the essay or written submission, résumé and inventory list in a standard padded document envelope. Address the envelope to; Portfolio for Admission, Emily Carr Institute, 1399 Johnston St., Vancouver, BC V6H 3R9, CANADA. Please pay special attention to the following guidelines:


Guidelines for submitting digital CD-ROM or DVD portfolios

What you should do:

· Submit Jpeg files only

· Submit files at a resolution of 72 dpi only

· Submit files of a maximum of 1024 x 768 pixels (height must not exceed 768 pixels)

· Submit files of 500KB (0.5 MB) maximum

· Submit RGB, sRGB or grayscale colour mode files only (no CMYK)

· Title each file with your name, the year and title of the work

· Save images directly on the CD-ROM or DVD without creating folders

· Mark the CD-ROM or DVD with your name


For video files:

· Submit files that can be accessed with one of the following plug-ins: QuickTime, RealPlayer or Windows Media Player.


What you should not do:

· Do not put any special characters, symbols, periods, quotation marks or a space in any file name

· Do not submit any type of presentation (such as PowerPoint)

· Do not submit compressed files (WinZip, Stuffit, etc)

· Do not include hyperlinks to Internet sites with your images

· Do not submit material that requires software, plug-ins, extensions or other executables that need to be downloaded or installed

· Do not submit any files by email

· Do not submit any other component of your application electronically on your CD-ROM or DVD. The essay or written submission, résumé and inventory list must be sent as a hard copy word document.


Test your material before submission to ensure that it is formatted correctly. CD-ROM or DVD portfolios that are not readable on either a PC or MAC computer will be deemed incomplete and therefore withdrawn from the portfolio review.

Please note that CD-ROM or DVD portfolios will not be returned. They will be destroyed after they are reviewed.


Do not put your transcripts inside your portfolio case, transcipts must be sent directly to the admissions office in accordance with the published deadline date


Every precaution is taken by Emily Carr Institute to ensure that portfolios are handled carefully. Emily Carr Institute does not accept responsibility for loss or damage to materials submitted. Details’ regarding recommendations for portfolio content can be found on the Emily Carr web site at: http://www.eciad.ca/admissions/undergrad/portfolio .

Graduate Admissions Portfolio Guidelines + Submitting Your WorkEdit

The portfolio should consist of not more than 20 examples of work in pdf format on CD-Rom. Time-based work may consist of up to three cued segments on DVD and should not exceed a total of 15 minutes. It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure that all media is submitted in a readable format. ECI assumes no responsibility for unreadable media. Email and/or website submissions will not be accepted.


Please submit a portfolio summary sheet that includes:

Name of artist, Title of each item, Date of work, Size/duration of work (if applicable), Medium/format used, Brief description of time-based, performance, audio, video, or digital work on a separate page


Portfolio Return

Return Addresses within Canada: Portfolios will only be returned if a self-addressed stamped envelope is included with the application package. All other support materials will be retained by ECI.


Return Addresses outside Canada: Portfolios will only be returned if a self-addressed envelope and sufficient funds to cover postage are included with the application package. All other support materials will be retained by ECI.


We are not responsible for any lost or misplaced materials. ECI will not pay for any brokerage, courier or mail charges.

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