Langara and the Academy of Art University launch new program for digital artists in Vancouver

A career in art has always been one of the hardest to earn a living. True to the “starving artist” stereotype, pursuit has been seen more as a vocation or hobby than a job, and for most, it’s a precarious, low-paying form of employment.

As technology continues to infiltrate every aspect of life, the number and salary of artists has increased dramatically. Graphic designers, visual effects professionals, 3D modelers, game designers and more are in high demand as digital entertainment continues to explode.

Vancouver has always been a center for digital art and design. The Vancouver Economic Commission reports that the film industry, particularly those whose projects required animation and visual effects, spent $3.8 billion on television and films created in British Columbia between 2016 and 2017, with a considerably higher economic impact for the region. The gaming industry is also one of the region’s strengths, with over 170 game development studios in Metro Vancouver alone.

To meet local industry demand for skilled artists, post-secondary institutions are stepping up to train students for careers in games and film.

The most recent of these initiatives is the partnership between Langara College and the Academy of Art University of San Francisco (ArtU). The program will teach students ArtU techniques for visual effects, 3D modeling, gaming, and other technology-related creative arts, and instruction will take place at the Vancouver institution’s state-of-the-art facilities at 565 Great Northern Way.

The organization suggests that its students will graduate with the skills they need to immediately enter the job market, and that international students can apply for a two- or three-year post-graduation work permit to take advantage of the flourishing digital art. ecosystem in Vancouver.

“This is an exciting project for Langara,” said Ajay Patel, Vice President of External Development for Langara. “Langara’s mandate as a public college is to provide and build a strong, sustainable and innovative economy that works for everyone in the province. The ArtU partnership accomplishes just that. These programs will train the workforce needed to fill high-demand jobs in this important sector. We’re really excited to work with the Academy to deliver top-tier programming in the creative arts for games and movies.

“We are excited to be the knowledge provider as Langara expands its educational offerings,” adds Bill Tsatsoulis, COO of ArtU. “Our hands-on curriculum gives students the tools and real-world experience that today’s creative industries demand. This partnership directly supports our vision of being the first choice for students seeking a world-class art education, and the first choice for those looking to employ talented artists and designers.

More information is available on the Langara College website.

Kate Wilson is technology editor at the Georgia Straight. Follow her on Twitter @KateWilsonSays

Marilyn M. Davis