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High Tech Show Biz in Calgary


Derek Lemieux, Bow Valley College’s director of International Education.

Lights! Camera! Bow Valley College action!

Calgary is about to become a dynamic and creative player in the warp speed world of sophisticated, high-tech entertainment. Innovative Bow Valley College is about launch its Centre for Entertainment Arts (CEA).

Since Calgary is fast becoming a new hub for digital and creative industries, BVC is teaming up with the Vancouver-based Centre for Entertainment Arts to train Calgary students for careers in the exciting worlds of film, TV, and animation.

“Calgary’s tech transformation is well underway, and BVC recognizes the urgent need to train artistic-minded students,” explains Dr. Misheck Mwaba, president and CEO of Bow Valley College. “The Centre for Entertainment Arts will provide them with the opportunity to pursue their dreams of becoming an animator or a visual effects artist.” He emphasizes a suddenly huge demand for streaming content, films, and animation.”

According to Derek Lemieux, Bow Valley College’s director of International Education, “It’s very exciting and a timely great fit. The Calgary film sector is growing significantly and Bow Valley College is focused on delivering innovative high-quality programs with work integrated learning opportunities that lead to rewarding careers.”

BVC’s Centre for Entertainment Arts is launching three programs in January, 2022: Advanced Visual Effects (Virtual Production); Advanced 3D Animation & 3D Modelling; and the Foundation in Entertainment Arts Certificate.

Lemieux points out that CEA will enhance Calgary’s established reputation as a tech hub. “The Centre for Entertainment Arts aligns well with the BVC growth in the tech sector, which we see as a growing sector for Alberta. BVC launched its School of Technology in 2017 to prepare students for jobs in Alberta’s growing technology industries and it provided a solid foundation to build the BVC Centre for Entertainment Arts.”

It’s way beyond the cliché of “Hollywood north,” as Bow Valley college dedicates classrooms to prepare future CEA grads with high tech entertainment expertise—-like the fundamentals of visual effects, modeling, sculpting, texturing/surfacing, cinematography, virtual production software, data acquisition, lighting, compositing, 3D special effects and other high tech entertainment skills.

It is widely acknowledged that, whether it’s movies, television, video games and more, the virtual entertainment industry is booming. Bow Valley College is not only about to put students on the cutting edge, “CEA will prepare students to work on major Hollywood productions, many of which will be filmed in Calgary and Alberta,” he added.

Recently, Calgary Economic Development announced that Calgary and Alberta expect more major Hollywood productions, following a decision by the Government of Alberta to remove its $10,000,000 Film and Television Tax Credit cap. The update to the tax credit is expected to bring in hundreds of long-term, good-paying jobs for Albertans in the Creative Industries sector.

Hollywood blockbusters filmed in Alberta have included The Revenant, Jumanji: The Next Level, Interstellar, Inception, Brokeback Mountain and three Superman movies.

Lemieux explains that the Bow Valley College Centre for Entertainment Arts will launch next January and gradually ramp-up with enrollment. “Initially we will be running small classes with students admitted based on submission of an artistic portfolio (sketches, renderings, design variations) for the Advanced Visual Effects (Virtual Production) and Advanced 3D Animation & 3D Modelling Diploma programs.”