f elizabeth c willard

F.A.C.E. School

F.A.C.E. School (in English, Fine Arts Core Education and in French, Formation Artistique au Coeur de l'Éducation) is a bilingual pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, elementary and high school in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. It is run jointly by the English Montreal School Board and the Commission Scolaire de Montréal (CSDM, translates to school board of Montreal). F.A.C.E. was founded in 1975 with the name Fine Arts Core Elementary School (F.A.C.E.S.) and occupied the Victoria School building, now part of Concordia University, before moving to its current University Street location. F.A.C.E. currently has over 1,500 students enrolled.


Students at F.A.C.E. have extra arts courses in addition to the academics required by both school boards. With over six more hours of class time per week, the dismissal time varies from 2:30 to 3:15. Even then, students are sometimes required (or elect of their own free will) to stay after school for extracurricular courses and projects.


Each grade at F.A.C.E. is typically divided into four groups: three of them French, and one of them English; however in some of the lower grades, due to varied numbers of students, there are sometimes two to three English groups or two to four French groups. The groups are identified by the number of the grade, followed by E or F, for English or French, and then by a number when there is more than one group of its language (i.e., the English side group of Grade 10 is 10E, and the French side group of Grade 10 is split into 10F1, 10F2 and 10F3). The population of the school has grown over the years requiring new groups to be added such as 1F4 and 1E2.

Arts program


F.A.C.E. has built a reputation for its music program in Canada, partially thanks to many MusicFest Canada awards, among other things.

In Grades 1 to 3, students must play xylophone and recorder, after which, in Grade 4, students are tested playing trumpet, strings, clarinet and flute for five weeks each. Each student is then placed in a band or orchestra class where he learns to play his or her instrument for seven and a half years until graduation (although some students change instruments partway through). The students showcase their efforts in performances held in the school auditorium at least twice a year.

From Grades 1 to 11, all students participate in a choir class, where students sing a selection of classical pieces and contemporary favorites. This class combines all groups in the grade into one large classroom of approximately 120 to 150 people, with five teachers, one of whom plays piano. The choir class also performs at least twice a year in the school auditorium or churches.


Starting in Grade 4, students have a Drama class where they learn theatre skills. This class goes on until Grade 11, but only after Grade 9 do the students put on public performances. The performances are held in either the school auditorium or the "P-scène", a smaller auditorium in the basement of the school (see Facilities below).

Visual art

Students also participate in a visual art class. Some of the finished art works get framed and put on display in the hallways.


The F.A.C.E. building is situated across the street from the main campus of McGill University.


F.A.C.E. is divided into five floors, from the basement to the fourth. The kindergarten and pre-kindergarten classes are all on the first floor. Grades one to three generally occupy most of the second floor, while Grades 4 and higher have classes on all floors. There is also a sub-basement. There are four staircases going through the basement to the 4th floor. They are called "red stairs, "green stairs", "blue stairs" and yellow stairs". The Yellow stairs lead to the sub-basement and there is also another staircase leading there at the bottom of the Blue stairs.


F.A.C.E. contains basic school facilities, such as an office, a cafeteria, a library, two gymnasiums, many science and computer laboratories, and teacher's lounges. However, to suit the school's artistic program, there is also a large auditorium on the first floor which hosts numerous plays, concerts and a fashion show, as well as a smaller one in the basement called dubbed the "P-Scène" by students, a word play because the room was once host to a swimming pool, which translates to "Piscine" and is now principally a theatre room, which translates to "Scène".

Notable Alumni


  • A scene from film Abandon with Katie Holmes was filmed in the F.A.C.E. auditorium.
  • Two episodes of Are You Afraid of the Dark? were filmed in the P-scène.
  • F.A.C.E.'s motto is "Be Proud to be Part of F.A.C.E., Strive for Excellence, Nothing Less."
  • The music video for Montreal indie rock band The Stills's 2006 single "Destroyer" was filmed in the F.A.C.E auditorium with a few high school students.

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