The demand for Northwest Coast jewellery has never been greater. The BC tourism industry has been challenged by the BC government to double in volume by 2015. Most Northwest Coast artists learn jewellery making through mentoring with another artist. This 30 week certificate program is the first training program specific to Northwest Coast jewellery.

There are a large number of artists who supplement their income with their art work. Many Northwest Coast jewellery artisans are self-employed but most are part of the informal economy.  Each student will complete a drawing portfolio, 2 original painting / print designs, a ring, earrings, bracelet and 3 pendants.

The NCJA program includes a course on studio management to assist artists in setting up a business.

Winter 2017 Term

Classes start January 3, 2017. Contact Admissions for more information at 604.873.3772 Ext. 328 or email


Northwest Coast Art embodies arts traditions which are distinctive of various regions of B.C. From an examination of prominent Northwest Coast arts contributions, students will become familiar with principles and practices evident in the works of major artists over centuries. A review of artistic viewpoints and the contexts of community, family, worldview will enable students to identify diverse elements of Northwest Coast art and to become familiar with terminology pertaining to the history of Northwest Coast art. A requirement of this course is that students demonstrate an understanding of foundations of Northwest Coast art or distinctive elements of a prominent artist’s work.

This course emphasizes techniques of formline drawing and the practice of articulating Northwest Coast formline designs. Elements of formline designs found in Northwest Coast art are strongly linked to stories, clans, crests and the cultures of First Nations in B.C. Based on a close examination of figures, motifs and elements characteristic of Northwest Coast art forms, students will become familiar with the work of known formline artists as well as cultural protocols inherent in traditional jewellery designs.

From a knowledge of the characteristics and strengths of metals used in jewelry making, students are introduced to processes which surround the production of Northwest Coast jewellery. This includes the use and maintenance of engraving equipment, soldering tools and tools used in cutting sheet metal and annealing. Students will become familiar with specific finishing techniques used in the production of Northwest Coast jewellery. Completion of the workplace safety (WHMIS) certificate is a requirement for this course.

Knowledge of jewellery pricing, relationships with gallery buyers and clients and suppliers of materials and marketing techniques used in the promotion of Northwest Coast jewelry are explored in this course. Development of a professional work ethic, the application of studio safety practices, time management and the financial management of the studio are also considered essential components of the successful Northwest Coast jewellery maker. The basics of Studio Management enable the student to form an appreciation of factors affecting the artist in his/her contemporary workplace.

Knowledge and practice of the use of bezel settings and inlay are integral to the production of Northwest Coast jewellery. In the Jewellery Design Studio, students will work on creating original Northwest Coast silver engraving jewellery pieces as well as a silver repousse jewellery piece through all phases of production fromconceptualization through finishing to exhibition.

  • Fall 2016, exact dates to be announced.
  • All programs offered are dependent on enrolment numbers
  • Minimum of Grade 12 completion
  • Art portfolio including 5 form-line drawings. The portfolio must be prepared and brought in for the interview.


  • Apply as a Mature Applicant (completing our assessment test)

Some seats may be sponsored by ACCESS for qualified applicants. Please apply.

  • $7700.00 Tuition
  • $75.00 Registration Fees
  • $2500.00 Tools, Equipment, Silver, Books, Supplies (includes taxes)
  • Total Program Cost: $10,275.00


Need Help With Tuition?

Financial assistance is available to students in the form of scholarships and bursaries, loans and other funding options. Contact Admissions for more information.

Learn More About Financial Aid


For more NEC Program information visit the Admissions section or call

1 (604) 873-3772 ext. 328