Mural painting in Centennial Square

Student Jody Duschuter was part of a team hired to create murals for downtown's Centennial Square parkade

A video shoot at Lake Simcoe

Student Brandon Poole was hired by faculty to help shoot a performance video at Ontario's Lake Simcoe

Painting the bike coop

Student Kyra McLeod was hired to paint a mural in UVic's on-campus Bike Centre


A fine arts education doesn’t lead to a “real job”.


There are over 700,000 cultural workers in Canada—nearly 4% of the total Canadian labour force. That's greater than the automotive manufacturing, utilities and telecommunications sectors combined. In fact, a 2016 study suggests the cultural sector has a $61.7 billion annual impact on the Canadian economy—10 times larger than the sports industry, and nearly twice what's contributed by oil extraction from Alberta’s tar sands.

A recent survey of Fine Arts graduates found that 85% of our alumni are satisfied with their jobs after graduation. That same survey found that 93% of alumni named "creative thinking and problem solving" key skills they learned, along with critical thinking (92%). And 91% of those surveyed said they had a positive experience with their Fine Arts education.

To help our students get a better understanding of the cultural sector, we offer a number of co-op placements each year, allowing students to work with for dozens of relevant businesses and organizations.

Critical and creative thinking

But even if you don’t wind up working in the cultural sector, a fine arts education will provide you with essential tools for today’s rapidly changing world. Critical and creative thinking are central to our programs, as are critiquing and collaboration, and experiential learning is key to our approach. In Visual Arts, you learn by doing.

With that in mind, co-op students alternate academic terms with work terms and graduate with up to one year of practical work experience — giving them a network of valuable contacts and the skills to find a job that makes the best of their degree. Many co-op students find permanent employment with a former co-op employer—and it doesn't get much better than that!

UVic’s Co-op is one of Canada's largest and most diverse co-op programs. Each year, students from more than 40 different programs areas complete more than 2,700 work term placements across Canada and around the world.

Visual Arts students have worked at a wide variety of co-op placements, ranging from multimedia, digital and post-production positions to curatorial and gallery assistants not only here in Victoria but as far afield as Inner Mongolia, Beijing and Thailand to Winnipeg, Drumheller, Haida Gwaii and right here in Victoria, to name just a few.

Visual Arts/Computer Science student Shelby Ludlow gained valuable first-hand experience during his work term with Tactica Interactive — an award-winning Winnipeg-based company that specializes in cross-platform digital media strategy & products (including websites, mobile apps, video games and social media) for TV & film producers, advertising agencies, and researchers in the fields of health and academia.

“My favourite part of the co-op term was working with such a great team," she says. "Everyone was supportive, creative, and knew how to get the work done while still having a great time. I had so much fun and got so much experience while working with them.”

Whatever your career path, UVic’s Faculty of Fine Arts will inspire and prepare you for life and leadership in the 21st century.

Learn more about co-op

Please contact Fine Arts Co-op Coordinator Allison Benner:

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