William Davis Centre Joins Forces with VanArts

NEW PARTNERSHIP ENERGIZES MEDIA ARTS EDUCATION IN VANCOUVER:
William Davis Centre Joins Forces With VanArts

Vancouver, BC – March 4, 2008

The William Davis Centre for Actors’ Study (WDC) and the Vancouver Institute of Media Arts (VanArts) are proud to announce an exciting new partnership that will see the WDC moving into new digs at VanArts, and merging its acclaimed actor training programs with VanArts’ internationally renowned curriculum, which currently includes full- and part-time courses in animation, video game art and design, digital photography and visual effects. The formal alliance of these two career training institutions – both widely recognized in the entertainment industry for the quality of the education they offer – will open up an array of fascinating new opportunities for students, faculty and Vancouver’s thriving media arts industry in general.

“There is so much potential for creative synergy,” says VanArts President Alan Phillips. He quotes the Institute’s founding program director, Academy Award-winning animator Lee Mishkin: “Lee used to say ‘Animators are actors with pencils.’ Animation students need some performance training in order to be able to bring characters to life. We used to bring in acting instructors…now we will have a full acting program and a wonderful faculty right here in house.”

Similarly, students in the Acting for Film & Television diploma program will be able to beef up their demo reels by participating in short films produced by students in the visual effects department, thus gaining additional experience not only in front of the camera, but also in acting against a green screen. They are also already working on various projects with students in the digital photography program. “We’ve only just begun to discover all the possibilities for collaboration between different departments,” says Christine Willes (former co-owner and Artistic Director of the WDC, now Department Head of what will henceforth be known as the William Davis Centre for Actors’ Study at VanArts). “It’s incredibly inspiring for both students and faculty.”

The William Davis Centre for Actors’ Study was founded in 1989 by actor, director and teacher William B. Davis (best known for his role as Cigarette Smoking Man on TV’s The X-Files), while the Vancouver Institute of Media Arts opened its doors in 1995. Both institutions have demonstrated a long-standing commitment to providing students with a nurturing, challenging learning environment and practical, state-of-the-art career training.  Under the VanArts umbrella, this merger allows both to offer a diverse mix of cutting-edge vocational programs in both the visual and performing arts.

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