VanArts was founded in 1995 with Academy-Award winning animator/director Lee Mishkin as its founding program director. Recognizing the industry’s need for a skilled and specialized workforce, this school offers a variety of highly focused diploma programs designed to prepare students for work in specific areas of the media arts including Visual Effects Production, Game Asset Design, Character Animation, Digital Photography, Acting for Film & Television, Web Development and Broadcasting.
By developing a well-rounded curriculum of visual, media and performing arts, VanArts has created an educational environment that encourages collaboration between its programs of study. With a faculty and advisory board that draws directly from the relevant industries, VanArts provides its students with the foundation and mentorship necessary to launch a career.
VanArts considers an active relationship with the industry to be of the utmost importance to the school’s development; maintaining an ongoing dialogue with local studios regarding course content; employing instructors who are currently working in the industry; and introducing outstanding graduates to studios with specific production needs. Many VanArts graduates are now successful, creative professionals with credits on major feature films, directorial positions, and successful freelance careers around the world.
Numerous VanArts graduates have gone on to excel in their chosen professions: Aaron Douglas (from TV’s Battlestar Galactica), Eva Day (The Tomorrow People), Tristan Jensen (Arrow) and Leo-award winning Steven Cree Molison (Blackstone) all emerged from VanArts’ acting department. Hundreds of VanArts grads now work in notable positions at dozens of visual effects companies ranging from ILM, Sony Imageworks, MPC, Digital Domain, DreamWorks Animation, Scanline VFX, Imagination Films, Bardel Entertainment and many more. The school’s web development, game art & design, and broadcast programs have also produced their share of professional talent.
A recent survey of the “Top 100 Schools for Animation, Gaming and Design” by Animation Career Review ranked VanArts as #1 in Western Canada and #11 worldwide.