Centre for Digital Media


Centre for Digital Media – Vancouver, BC

Vancouver’s False Creek Flats, a 20 -acre under-developed industrial stretch of East Vancouver adjacent to Chinatown, is an area that city institutions are hoping to kindle into at least one idea: an urban epicenter for Vancouver’s digital economy. At the forefront of this mission is the Great Northern Way Campus Trust which is building the Centre for Digital Media and will complete construction by September 2012 to welcome students into its innovative Masters’ programs. The Centre offers the first-ever professional graduate degree program in digital media in Canada.
The school’s design is like modernist chalet soaring with an 8-bit pixelated almost-flattened polygon frame as if windswept from Vancouver’s English Bay gusts in winter. On the outside, the building’s white skin is not only branded with the school name but also features a digital screen for projecting video for audiences on the adjacent plaza. The 15,000-square foot interior beckons students and faculty for teaching, meeting and studio space, and for breaks in the cafe. The Centre’s upper floors offer housing for students in 76 apartments described by GNWC president Matthew Carter as a “digital dormitory.”
Designed by Vancouver-based Musson Cattell Mackey Partnership Architects Designers Planners (MCM), the Centre for Digital Media is not only a specialized academic institution but an essential one for the development of False Creek Flats as a high tech, creative, innovative urban district. The Vancouver Economic Commission sees the city’s high tech sector as a valuable economic engine. Greater Vancouver accounts for 60-percent of more than 600 digital media companies in British Columbia that produce $2.3 billion CAD in revenue. Gaming software businesses are highly visible in Vancouver and include Disney, Electronic Arts, Nintendo and THQ. Paired with an advanced film, television and marketing sector, the Commission describes Vancouver as strategically and geographically competitive with similar economic centers on the West Coast, notably Los Angeles, Seattle and Redmond, and overseas Asian-Pacific markets.
Students looking to pursue a serious academic career in digital media studies have little time left to enroll in the Centre for Digital Media programs on offer and a chance to be among the first graduates at the school’s new center to open in September this year. On February 16, there will be an MDM Open House for students interested in the Masters programs offered. Application deadline is February 28, 2012.
In a press release published by the Centre, Richard Smith, Director of the Masters of Digital Media (MDM) program said “We are excited about our new home; it will greet the next generation of highly skilled leaders needed to maintain B.C’s edge in the booming new media market.”
For admission details and information about the Centre on Digital Media, check out mdm.gnwc.ca.

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