Welcome to CWSA

Claude Watson School for the Arts is a grade 4 to grade 8 school dedicated to providing students with an arts education.  Each year we audition students from across the city of Toronto for Grade 4 entry.  If you are interested in having your child attend CWSA please review the following information.

CWSA is no longer accepting application to audition for September 2018.  Applications closed on Thursday December 21, 2017 at 4:00 pm.   We will begin accepting applications in the autumn to audition for September 2019 admission.

For more information about the audition process please review our frequently asked questions (FAQ) by clicking here.

The online application system is now open.  Please here  to apply to CWSA.

How to Apply to Audition

How to Apply to Claude Watson School for the Arts

Each year hundreds of students audition for entry to Claude Watson School for the Arts.  The first step in the process is to apply.  Each autumn CWSA opens up our application system.  This is done online.  Usually the online application system opens in early October and will close on the before the December holiday.  All students who complete the online application will be granted an audition.  Unfortunately CWSA is unable to accept late applications.  When the online application system is open it can be accessed here.  

The Audition Process

The Audition Process
Each year CWSA runs two audition processes.  The first process is for students who are in Grade 3 and are looking for Grade 4 admissions.  The second process is for students who are in grades 4, 5, 6 or 7.

The Grade Three Process
Auditions for Grade 3 students happen during February and March of their Grade 3 years.  The auditions begin with two half day sessions (held on consecutive Saturdays).  Each half day session is divided into four parts.  Candidates will spend 50 minutes in each of the following areas, dance, drama, music and visual arts.  Our audition process is designed to be interactive and engaging.  Students are not required to prepare a portfolio, dance or music performance.  A break period is built into the half day and students are welcome to bring a snack. The dates for auditions are announced each autumn.  The dates for Grade 3 auditions for 2018 are:


  • SESSION A - Saturday February 3, 2018 and Saturday February 10, 2018
  • SESSION B - Saturday February 24, 2018 and Saturday March 3, 2018


Once the initial auditions have been completed approximately 120 students will be invited back to CWSA for a call-back audition.  Students will either attend a morning session or an afternoon session on Saturday March 24, 2018.  From the group invited for the call back 60 students will be offered admission to CWSA for September 2018.  Claude Watson strives to provide an equitable and inclusive learning environment for each and every student.  We believe that the arts are for all children and traditionally we have fewer applicants who identify as male.  Therefore, we have made and effort to ensure our program is balanced based upon gender.  Annually we endeavour to admit an equal number of students who identify as male and students who identify as female.  We will also facilitate placement for successful candidates who do not identify as male or female or are transgender or gender non-conforming.
The Grades 4, 5, 6 and 7 Process
Each grade at CWSA has 60 students.  In the rare situation when a student leaves the program we will offer the position to a candidate who auditioned for the program.  The audition process takes place in May and will last half a day for each candidate.  Students audition in four areas (dance, drama, music and visual arts).  Usually the younger students (grades 4 and 5) audition in the morning while the older students (grades 6 and 7) audition in the afternoon.  The dates for auditions are announced each autumn.  The date for the Grades 4, 5, 6 and 7 auditions for 2018 is Monday May 7, 2018.
For more information about the audition process please click here  

Residency Requirments

Residency Requirements

Claude Watson School for the Arts operated under the policies and procedures of the Toronto District School Board.  We are required to follow TDSB PR 545 "Optional Attendance".  PR 545 states "Where schools or sections of schools are Board-authorized to provide specialized programs, access to such schools and/or programs will be open to any students who are residents of the City of Toronto."  CWSA is considered by the TDSB to be a specialized program.  

Students who attend CWSA are required to live in the City of Toronto (permanent residence must be in the 'M' postal code area).  Students who move out of Toronto mid-year should self-identify to the office.  Students who self-identify will be permitted to complete the balance of their academic year at CWSA but must register at a school in their school board of residence for the following September.  Students discovered to be enrolled at CWSA without a legal right to attend (living outside the City of Toronto), will be immediately removed from the rolls at CWSA and directed to a local elementary school in the school board where they reside.