Michiel Matil working on a class assignment at Victoria College of Art. Matil is one of nine students in the new Applied Arts Diploma in Animation.

Art college equips students for animation careers

Victoria College of Art has been named a centre of excellence by Toon Boom, a leading Canadian supplier of animation software.

Wannabe animators aiming for a career in film, television, advertising or gaming can now get professional certification through a new program at Victoria College of Art.

The first crop of nine students started the two-year applied arts diploma program at the beginning of January. Along with a diploma, students will also become certified in Toon Boom, a leading Canadian supplier of animation software.

Victoria College of Art was the first institution to use Toon Boom software in British Columbia over four years ago. In 2012, faculty and students created a 15-minute animated film, the Mad Mayor’s Tea Party, to celebrate Victoria’s 150th anniversary using Toon Boom software.

Now, Toon Boom has recognized Victoria College of Art as its fifth centre of excellence in Canada.

“We were stunned,” said Peter Such, Victoria College of Art president. “It means that students know that if they come here . . . they can pretty well walk into an animation job.”

Not only does the new diploma program teach students about computer animation, they also take courses in drawing, sculpture and art history, among many others.

“We’ve changed the curriculum to modern learning theory so people do intensive courses,” said Such. “When people come here, they do nothing but draw for one month.”

He added this is a more effective way of learning all of the individual skills.

“Our aim is to have people develop their creativity and be able to use it,” said Such. “My philosophy is, we do not graduate starving artists.”

Georges Daigle, head of the animation department at the college said there are opportunities for graduates if they work for it.

“In Victoria there’s a lot of gaming places looking for people that can draw and design stuff and create,” he said.

Victoria College of Art will be accepting 10 more students into the diploma of applied art program in February.

For more information, call 250-598-5422 or go online to vca.ca/animation-program.

 

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