San Francisco, California. February 13, 2019— San Francisco art school Academy of Art University partners with Langara College in Vancouver, BC to launch a creative industries school that will train students for careers in the technical and creative arts in gaming and film.

The brand new, state of the art 38,000 square feet school facilities, located at 565 Great Northern Way, Vancouver BC, can host over 1000 students. Academic programs offered include Visual Effects (VFX), 3D Animation, Gaming, and other technology-related areas of study. Local students will graduate with the skills they need to immediately enter the job force and international students will be eligible to apply for a 2-3 year Post Graduate Work Permit (PGWP).

A Sustainable International Partnership

Langara hopes that with this partnership, they will be able to help further Vancouver’s credibility as an international hub for the creative industries. Said Ajay Patel, Vice President External Relations of Langara:

“This is an exciting project for Langara. Langara’s mandate as a public college is to provide and build a strong, sustainable, innovative economy that works for everyone in the province. This partnership accomplishes exactly this goal. These programs will train a workforce needed to fill in-demand jobs in this important sector. We are really excited to work with the Academy to deliver high level programming in the creative arts for games and film.”

Creating Professional Opportunities

“We are first and foremost a professional school—a purpose-based art and design school where students develop their talents and acquire the specific skills sought by the creative marketplace,” said Elisa Stephens, President of Academy of Art University.

President Stephens is confident that this partnership will prove beneficial for aspiring professionals. “Partnering with Langara continues that legacy as we prepare students for career success in both the game and film industries.”

Bill Tsatsoulis, Chief Operating Officer at Academy of Art University, concurs. “We are excited to be the knowledge provider as Langara expands their educational offerings. Our practice-based curriculum gives students the tools and real-world experience that today’s creative industries are demanding.”

He further adds, “This partnership directly supports our vision to be the first choice for students seeking a world-class education in the arts, and the first choice for those seeking to employ talented artists and designers.”

Adapting to Industry Growth

The creative arts industry in gaming and film are major drivers of the BC economy. Creative BC reported that budgeted motion picture production expenditures during the 2017-18 fiscal year contributed $3.4 billion to B.C.’s economy. The gaming industry has over 170 game development studios in the Vancouver area alone and a report by the Entertainment Software Association of Canada indicates that Canada’s gaming industry contributes $3.7 billion to the country’s economy.

There is an overwhelmingly positive response from the local industry on the announcement of the launch of the Langara/Academy of Art partnership in Vancouver.

As Head of Animation at Digital Domain, Jan Philip Cramer is best known for his work as Animation Lead on James Cameron’s Avatar, and as Animation Director on Avengers: Infinity Wars and the upcoming Avengers Endgame. Cramer expressed the industries’ enthusiasm about the partnership.

“I am excited to hear Academy of Art University is partnering with Langara and coming to Vancouver. I completed my education at the Academy and it launched my career. Having this excellent education provided me with all the needed knowledge to succeed in the VFX industry. I can not wait to bring inspiring animators from the Langara/Academy of Art partnership onto our projects.”

For Brenda Bailey, Executive Director of DigiBC, which is the trade association for Creative Technology (Video Games, Animation, VFX, and AR/VR) in British Columbia, ”These programs will produce the highly skilled graduates we need for in BC’s fast growing interactive entertainment industry and support the continued success of this sector in our province.”

She adds, “The Creative Technology sector provides exciting, high paying jobs in a creative work environment not only in the Lower Mainland, but in the vibrant technology hub of Victoria and emerging technology centres such as Kelowna and mid-island. Skills needed in this sector span the range from coding and art to production and business skills.

I encourage young BC’ers and those wishing to restart or enhance their careers to consider the incredible opportunities in the Creative Technology sector, and the excellent training offered by post-secondary solutions such as the newly announced offering from Langara and Academy of Art University.” 

Responding to Market Demands

Jon Lutz, Board Chair DigiBC and Electronic Arts VP Strategy, Ops and Finance had this to say about the partnership: “As the largest game developer in British Columbia, EA is dedicated to growing the next-generation of talent for the interactive entertainment industry in this province.

We are extremely supportive of the upcoming Langara and Academy of Art University partnership to launch their creative technology programs in Vancouver. This development shows off the strength of the creative economy ecosystem in BC, and EA looks forward to working with the Langara and Academy of Art teams and their future students.”

Kabam CEO Tim Fields added, “Kabam is thrilled to hear about the new Langara/Academy of Art partnership. Vancouver is a great place for game development and animation companies, and the programs they offer will help build strong talent in the region, hopefully for years to come.”

David McKay at Blackbird Interactive added, “Blackbird Interactive (BBI) is one of the fastest growing independent game developers in British Columbia and we are therefore thrilled the new Langara and Academy of Art University has chosen Vancouver for its campus location.

BBI relies on a supply of talented game developers and we are therefore excited to welcome the Langara and Academy of Art teams and to work with them to continue our growth into the future.”

About Academy of Arts University

Founded in San Francisco in 1929, Academy of Art University offers more than 125 accredited degree options spanning 30 areas of study, including fashion, acting, game development, technology, music, communications, and more. Study online or on campus in San Francisco. For more information, visit or call 800-544-2787 (U.S. only) or 415-274-2200.

About Langara College

Langara College is a public degree-granting college in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, which serves approximately 22,000 students annually through its university, career, and continuing studies programs.

For more information, please visit Langara College’s website.

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