Hollywood North is continuing to thrive and provide locals with more opportunities to get involved in the film industry. If you’ve dreamt of performing in front of the camera, then preparation is in order. Enter Austin-Tuck Studio. The Gastown acting studio, founded by the legendary Mel Tuck (who’s taught Molly Parker and Eric McCormack), offers classes with training techniques to help newcomers in acting build a successful career in theatre, film and television.

Inside Vancouver Film School’s Animation & Visual Effects campus

Aspiring animators can foster their talent at Vancouver Film School’s Animation & Visual Effects campus, located in the former Storyeum in Gastown. VFS boasts a state-of-the-art facility that provides students with creative and technical amenities, such as a green screen studio and life drawing rooms, so they can transition from the classroom to the industry, seamlessly. VFS students graduate with a professional-quality film, reel, or portfolio, which becomes their calling card when they leave school and go on to work for high-level film productions.

If you prefer to be behind the camera, Pull Focus Film School helps aspiring filmmakers develop story ideas for compelling documentary films. Even if you’ve never held a camera before, they provide a wide variety of courses and workshops for all levels. In addition, this non-profit school partners with alumni for mentorship programs and collaborative filmmaking projects.


Pursuing a career in the fashion, beauty or hair? John Casablancas Institute offers professional certification and diploma programs that’s well recognized in the industry. The curriculum gives students a hands-on learning experience, along with many opportunities to network with industry players. A faculty of accomplished professionals, who are currently working in the fashion and beauty industry, teaches tricks of the trade. JCI students have the chance to design and create projects in class – from fashion show production to special FX airbrushing – that are true to what is currently used in the industry. 

Pictured here: Prosthetic makeup artistry done by JCI student, Alexandria Rose


Sign up for seasonal mixers to collaborate with pro photographers for an editorial shoot, or work at the student spa or salon (which offers services at the fraction of the cost) to get some vital experience on your resume. JCI has a long list of successful alumni who’ve gone on to work as Hollywood make-up artists, hair wizards and celebrity stylists.


Aveda Institute Vancouver is another option for striving hairstylists. Aveda’s program is recognized internationally and provides students with extensive hands-on training in hair, beauty and wellness through a condensed nine-month diploma program. For those who are looking for an affordable trim, cut or colour, Aveda runs a professional salon where students perform hair and beauty services with instructor guidance.

Prospective massage therapists and yoga instructors can learn the ropes at Vancouver School of Bodywork and Massage, a boutique institution offering professional training programs in holistic wellness. The Spa Therapy Program the fundamental principles & practices of therapeutic massage in an accelerated full time or part time option. If you’re committed to a path in yoga as a career choice, VSBM has tailored a program with advanced training in everything from yoga for kids to prenatal yoga. Similar to other institutes, VSBM runs a student clinic offering shiatsu and bodywork massage treatments at discounted rates.