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Okanagan College has celebrated the first students to graduate from its new animation program.
The two-year diploma, which involves working closely with mentors in the industry, was established to satisfy a growing need for animators in the Okanagan.
Seven of the students attended a ceremony at the Okanagan Innovation Centre on Wednesday night, where they showcased some of their work and networked with people from the industry.
Ashley Ramsay, CEO of Kelowna-based studio Yeti Farm Creative, said the industry “shows no signs of slowing down” and added that the OC grads “will be fortunate to have their pick of local opportunities” in Kelowna.
“The industry is saturated with work and there are simply not enough qualified and skilled animators, designers, storyboard artists, FX artists, to fulfill current industry demands.”
Shaina Cook, one of the graduates, said her animation skills have “definitely improved” since starting the program.
“Being part of the first class through this program has been a wild and fun ride,” Cook added.
“I find it really cool that I’m going to have a chance at being part of a creative team for animated media and coming up with ideas that don’t exist today – the industry is an ever-adapting field of imagination and I can’t wait to be in it.”
OC president Jim Hamilton, meanwhile, praised the students for their hard work.
“The animation entertainment industry has experienced exponential growth and I’m confident these students will play a prominent role by offering new insights, inspiring new directions and helping to further expand the industry.”