By Elaine O’Neal | For the past 25 years, Toronto’s Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts has created a specialized environment for aspiring performers to realize their dreams of being professional actors, dancers and singers. The school was the first in Canada to offer Triple Threat arts training, and continues today to challenge accepted practices and shape a new reality for performers.
The school’s founder George Randolph is an expert on transformation. As a young man, he eschewed his parents’ plans for a military career to be a professional dancer with the Alvin Ailey Repertory Ensemble and Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal. After retiring from dance, he became an entrepreneur in arts education. The academy’s college program has come a long way from its humble beginnings and original class of eight students.
Now a Private Career College, it attracts students from around the world to its home in the former Bathurst Street United Church. “Students come to us with raw talent, passion for the arts, and above all, the willingness to learn,” says Randolph. “Our alumni speak for us the moment they launch their careers on stages and screens around the world. But our alumni aren’t
just performers, they are ‘artists’: entrepreneurs, creators, teachers, and more thanks to acquiring life skills through our program, gaining confidence in their abilities and learning to take risks. To me, that’s the true definition success.”