Due to workload issues, the curtain won’t be rising on a new joint theatre-film program at Red Deer College until the fall of 2019.
The hope had been to get the new Film, Theatre and Live Entertainment program approved and ready to accept students this fall.
But Jason Frizzell, dean of the School of Creative Arts, said the “sheer amount of work” required to get the new Animation and Visual Effects Applied Degree off the ground has meant moving back the start time of the other new arts program.
The one-year delay “is about our capacity to have everything in place in order to launch two degrees at the same time,” said Frizzell, who considers it more of an adjustment than a setback.
“We continue to work with the Quality Council on their review and look forward to sharing updates as we are able.”
Frizzell said Motion Picture Arts will be accepting new students this fall, as it will overlap somewhat with the new degree — but no theatre programs will run at the college for 2018-19.
Theatre instructors will be kept busy preparing for the new course-load, he added. “There’s lots of work to do in anticipation of this degree.”
So far, about 200 names of potential students are on a “interest list” for the new theatre-film program that has not yet been approved by Alberta Advanced Education. Frizzell said it’s not yet known how many can be accepted.
The Animation and Visual Effects program will start in September with 22 first-year students.
Among the other changes at RDC’s School of Creative Arts is the closure of the music diploma program due to declining enrolment. The last year of the program will continue for 2018-19 year, allowing already enrolled students to graduate, but no new students will be accepted.
Frizzell said some optional music programs will continue to be available to general arts students.
Despite these developments, Frizzell wants to assure the public that performing arts events will be held on the Mainstage in the coming year, including concerts by the RDC Symphonic Winds orchestra, which is mostly made up of community players, and the RDC Chamber Choir.
The Red Deer Symphony Orchestra, while not part of the college, will also continue to perform on the Mainstage.
While there won’t be an official RDC theatre season, Frizzell said various entertainment ideas are being considered, besides RDC’s Nutcracker production that will still run at Christmas-time.