Animation Portfolio Workshop

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What is Animation Portfolio Workshop?

Founded in 1999 by two highly skilled and experienced artists, Gerard Sternik and Vince Peets, Animation Portfolio Workshop (APW) is the first school in Canada to specialize solely in animation portfolio preparation. Since its inception, thousands of students have been accepted into the best animation and art programs in the world and have gone on to successful careers in the animation industry.

Our qualified instructors teach the foundational drawing skills and portfolio preparation methods students require to succeed in top-tier animation and visual art programs worldwide.  Designing characters and learning the basics of hand-drawn animation starts with drawing, and we should know – drawing is all we do. The curriculum is made up of two core components of an animation school portfolio: Life Drawing for Animation and Drawing for Animation.  Perhaps the most unique aspect of APW is that many APW graduates have returned to the workshop to become teachers and tutors—mentors to students who are about to set their goals and meet the challenges of animation school.


Animation Portfolio Workshop has developed a fully established online presence for all of our classes, however we fully intend to return to in-person classes when all of the conditions are present to run them safely. This could occur as soon as April 2022. APW continues to deliver the high-quality online experience that we have been offering since September 2020 and once our in-person classes are up and running again, we will continue to offer the online classes to students who are not able to attend the in-person sessions.

Animation Portfolio Preparation - Regular Sessions

APW Online - Session 1 April 2022 to February 2023

  • This eight-month program, offered twice yearly, focuses on animation portfolio preparation using the APW Drawing Method. It is made up of 38 days of intensive classes for a total of 228 hours of instruction. Students will learn life drawing, character design, perspective, storyboarding and much more. By the end of the workshop, students will be ready to submit their completed portfolios to prospective animation schools. The end of the course coincides with the due dates for portfolio submissions to top animation schools.  Classes take place on weekends.

APW Online Session II September 2022 to February 5, 2023

APW Online Evening Class

Stay tuned for 2022 dates

  • APW’s Online Evening Class focuses on animation portfolio preparation and is made up of 38 days of intensive classes. Life drawing, character design, perspective, storyboard and more. Tuesday and Thursday evenings, 6 - p m . Suitable for anyone 16 years and older.

2022 Animation Boot Camps

March Break Animation Boot Camp: Monday March 14 - Friday, March 18th

Summer Animation Boot Camp A: Monday July 11th - Friday, July 15th

Summer Animation Boot Camp B: Monday July 25th - Friday, July 28th

Summer Animation Boot Camp C: Monday August 8th - Friday, August 12th

Summer Animation Boot Camp D: Monday August 22nd - Friday, August 26th

  • The Animation Boot Camp offers a week-long introduction to hand-drawn animation (Animation Basics) and character design (Character Basics). Animation Bootcamps are suitable for anyone 14 years or older. The course includes focused lessons from the very successful Animation Portfolio Workshop program and are offers in an intensive 5-day workout. Classes take place Monday to Friday. 


Animation Portfolio Preparation Intensive Courses

2022 Summer Intensive: July 5th to August 25, 2022

  • The summer intensive program is designed for Canadian and international students who are unable to attend our regular 38-week program. 38 days in length over a period of eight weeks, the APW Summer Intensive is a complete version of our highly successful eight month Animation Portfolio Workshop program.  Classes take place from Monday to Friday for 6 hours a day.

2022 Winter Intensive: Dates TBD

  • The winter intensive program is designed for Canadian and international students who are unable to attend our regular 38-week program. It runs for 38 days over eight weeks and is a complete version of our eight-month program. This program is best suited to students who thrive on fast-paced delivery of new material. Classes take place Monday to Friday.  

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Scholarships and Contests

O’Keefe Scholarship Info

African Canadian Youth Scholarship

Animation Portfolio Workshop has partnered with the Black Business Professional Association of Canada, APW Associate Director /illustrator / visual artist / Joshua Miller and the Honourable Justice Kofi N. Barnes to offer the APW African Canadian Youth Scholarship. The African Canadian Youth Scholarship is granted annually to one student who best meets the specific financial and artistic eligibility criteria for this opportunity.

Awarded annually, the APW-ACYS provides a unique study opportunity for Black youth seeking excellence in the field of animation/illustration arts.

The Scholarship consists of full tuition for one session of the Animation Portfolio Workshop, a private online mentoring opportunity with APW Associate Director Joshua Miller, and all art materials required to complete the APW Session provided free of charge to the scholarship recipient.


Patrick O'Keefe - APW was a major catalyst in forming my passion and skills as a young artist. More....



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