SPAO Career Development Programs 2020-2021


Launch the next phase of your career!

The SPAO Centre is Ottawa’s photographic arts centre, operating the only 2-year Photographic Arts Diploma in Canada, numerous evening and weekend part-time classes, a unique 6-month International Artist Residency as well as the region’s only critical and independent Art Gallery dedicated to lens-based art.

Members of the SPAO family include some of Canada’s most critical artists and practitioners working within the field of photographic arts. SPAO community members have access to international guest lecturers as well as important arts leaders in Ottawa’s federal and municipal cultural systems. Join SPAO’s award-winning alumni and become part of a dedicated and active community operating around the world.


SPAO is now accepting applications for our career development programs.

Photographic Arts and Production Diploma

Join an elite group of students in the only 2-year Photographic Arts Diploma in Canada. SPAO’s Photographic Arts and Production Diploma program offers a unique opportunity to cultivate individual vision and craft, acquire comprehensive analogue and digital photography skills, and develop a broad understanding of photographic theory and history. The diploma offers students an intensive, community-oriented and collaborative learning experience that emphasizes small class sizes and individualized learning. Graduates of the program emerge fully prepared to launch the next phase of their photographic arts practice.

Space is extremely limited. Apply Now

Part-Time Studies

SPAO offers a wide variety of online and in-studio part-time courses, workshops, and master classes for both the hobbyist and professional photographer. Courses are offered at Basic, Intermediate and Advanced levels and class sizes are kept small in order to ensure personal attention and growth. There is something for everyone, and classes are refreshed 3 times a year for new and excited learning opportunities!

Register for a part-time class.

International Artist Residency

SPAO is home to one of the most unique residencies in Canada. As a self-directed 6-month residency, artists from both Canada and abroad are afforded the time and environment needed to research, experiment, and produce an on-going body of work for exhibition in the SPAO Gallery. Residents are also offered the opportunity to meet with SPAO staff twice a week for career guidance and technical critique. The residency suits both emerging and established award-winning artists looking to focus intensely on the next phase of their career.

SPAO selects 4 residents per year. Apply now.


Want to get in touch with us to find out more?
Call us at 613 562 3824

Or Connect with us on social media:
Facebook –
Instagram –
Twitter – @spaocentre