Zida Academy was originally founded in June 1996 as a music school in Nepean, Ontario, Canada (part of the city of Ottawa) under the name of Centrepointe Music Academy by Hua (Jennifer) Lan, formerly with the Central Ensemble of National Music in Beijing, China. Jennifer has been serving as the school’s music director for the past 20 years. During its first year, a piano performance club was founded by the music director and her mentor, renowned music Professor Douglas Voice (head of the Piano Sector, director of Undergraduate Studies, performance co-ordinator, and interim chair of the School of Music at the University of Ottawa). Professor Voice has served as the school’s honorary music director until his passing in 1998 and a memorial scholarship fund was established in honour of him.
Under the leadership of the music director and a group of dedicated professional teachers, including university music faculty members and alumni from top music conservatories such as the Juilliard School in New York City, the school has cultivated the talent of many enthusiastic young musicians. Many students have gone on to further pursue studies in the Arts and professional work in music, theatre, television, film, dance, fashion and visual arts.
Over 10,000 students of all ages have enrolled at the music school in the past 20 years. Over 5,000 students have passed The Royal Conservatory of Music exams in various instruments and theory courses with 99% achieving Honours and above. Many students have also achieved 100% on their exams with some receiving the gold medal in Ontario. Over 500 students have participated in various competitions with over 95% winning third place and above at the local Kiwanis music competition. Many students have also advanced at the regional, provincial and national level at the Canadian Music Competition with some reaching the national finals.
In 2002, Centrepointe Artistic Preschool was established as a licensed daycare for children between the ages of 13 months to 5 years old with an Arts enhanced curriculum and before and after school programs for children up to age 12. Over 1,000 children have enrolled at the daycare and after school programs in the past 14 years. The comprehensive core curriculum and after school programs taught by our early childhood educators and professional program instructors cover a wide range of subjects in the languages (English, French, Spanish, Mandarin, American Sign Language), mathematics, science and technology, personal development and social sciences, dance, drama, music (instrumental and vocal), visual arts and various athletic and recreational classes including chess, marital arts and yoga.
In 2004, Centrepointe Learning Centre and the Centrepointe Academy of Dance were established to expand the program offerings in academic and dance classes respectively. In 2005, Canada Cambridge-Zida International Education Institute was established to help facilitate international exchanges and learning opportunities for students from Canada and abroad. In 2008, Young Artists School of Piano was formed to provide piano master classes for the development of high calibre young performing artists in the National Capital Region.
In order to unite all the program offerings under one brand, Zida Academy was established in May 2015 as a learning and recreational centre when it took over the location of the former Ottawa Waldorf School in Stittsville, Ontario (part of the city of Ottawa) with over 35 years of history. The name "ZIDA" is derived from the Chinese words 智 (Zhì) and 达 (Dá), which translate to "Knowledge" and "Achieve", respectively. Zida Academy's vision is to create a diverse platform of best-in-class programs through its talented teachers and creative partnerships offered to our students in both in-class and online format.
Zida Academy has applied with the Ontario Ministry of Education to first begin operating as a licensed early childhood education for children ages 1 to 5 years old at our Stittsville location. The school's curriculum will follow the Ontario Ministry of Education enhanced with Arts-focused disciplines in dance, drama, media arts, music and visual arts. In addition, Zida Academy will have wide-ranging programs in the Academics and Athletics. The Stittsville location for Zida Academy is situated on over 1.5 acres with state-of-the art facilities that will accommodate all of its students’ needs with further campus improvement planned for the future.