EA Canada Art Director Returns
On April 18th, 2011 Rick Stringfellow, Senior Art Director from Electronic Arts Canada returned to Campbell River, visiting Timberline School’s Animation and Digital Arts classes; as well he spoke to an enthusiastic audience of students and VIP’s from around the region. “The response has been phenomenal,” said Timberline Animation teacher Dave Coad, “this is a wonderful opportunity for my students to have their work critiqued by an expert and find out firsthand what is happening and what kind of future this industry has to offer, the kids were stoked.”
“The digital animation, visual effects and game industry leaves a yearly economic footprint of over two billion dollars in British Columbia” comments Joan Miller, Campbell River Creative Industry Council Director (CRCIC), “the majority of the work goes on in the lower mainland but we now know it is possible to carve out a piece of the industry here in our region. The talent coming out of our local school system is phenomenal; so much credit goes to teachers like Dave Coad. We are so fortunate to have this kind of dedication to innovation and new technology.”
Infrastructure is the key to the growth of this industry but education and training go hand in hand with the development of creative industry clusters. “We require the talent to grow,” said Miller, “we have been in a series of meetings with educational institutions like North Island College and School District 72 as well as with experienced talent willing to create mentorships and partnerships with seasoned veterans of the industry. The most recent example is the expansion of a “Youth Radio” program partnering the CRCIC, CR Arts Council instructor Fred Jiles, 99.7 The River, School District 72 and Matt Gionet, an experienced Audio Engineer who has recently moved back to Campbell River to open a new sound studio business.
With film, animation, radio and the game industry it all starts and finishes around the strength of a good story. With this regions close relationships to the environment, the area’s history of working the land and the sea and the wealth of First Nations stories there is incredible potential to create content for years to come.
“I don’t know what you’re doing around here but keep it up,” commented Stringfellow. “What the CRCIC and the dedicated instructors are doing is so amazing for the community. It’s hard work but keep going I’m sure something will come of all this effort.” “The ability to call upon a core group of industry professionals like Rick with such impressive backgrounds in the digital animation, visual effects and game will have a tremendous impact on our ability to foster the growth of the creative industries here in our own backyard” said Miller.