Lights, camera, action!
Red Deer College is positioning itself as an entertainment industry leader with the announcement on Wednesday of a four-year Bachelor of Applied Arts in Film, Theatre and Live Entertainment degree that will debut in September 2019.
“We’re really excited about the progress Red Deer College has made,” said Advanced Education Minister Marlin Schmidt, who was at the announcement at RDC Arts Centre.
The province has been behind the college’s other initiatives, most significantly giving it the green light to become a university, as well as help fund new facilities such as the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre and a students residence, now under construction.
“We’re really making Red Deer College an important hub of higher education to serve all of Central Alberta.”
There will be room for 75 students in the first year of the degree program, chosen from an “interest list” that has already hit 245 students. Those accepted can choose among three majors, acting, film production and live entertainment production.
Jason Frizzell, dean of the School of Creative Arts, said the new degree, along with the college’s animation and visual degree, will be a good fit in the future economy.
“It really does line up with imagining a diversified economy in the province, where there are different opportunities at all different stages.
“”We need to move beyond thinking that artists are going to starve no matter how good they are,” said Frizzell.
“Certainly in Alberta this program is unique because of the integration of theatre, film and live entertainment production.”
Frizzell said students in all three major will work together, just as they would in the industry. And before they graduate, they will have hands-on work experience in their fields.
“Regardless of the stream our students will be able to go to a potential employer and say, ‘This is my specialty, but I also know all of this.
“There is a decent amount of breadth in their training as well. That will be important for them to secure ongoing spots in the industry.”
Red Deer College president Joel Ward said the new degree is already getting a lot of attention.
“We are getting people interested in this program from all over the country,” said Ward.
“More importantly, by connecting to the Alberta film industry — which is starting to get a reputation of its own — we think the job prospects and the opportunities for people are amazing.”
“The future is very bright for this sector and we want to put our stake in the ground and we want it to be a foundation part of this new institution.”
“We’re really excited about it and I think it fits in line with the college’s vision of offering a unique and quality education for students,” said Chaise Combs, RDC students’ association president.