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March 11, 2019

Sheridan College Honours Bachelor of Animation student Rachel Matile works on a Cintiq. Photo: Sheridan College.

Training exceptional Canadians in animation, filmmaking, and digital design

Canadian talent took centre stage last month at the 91st Academy Awards as Sheridan College graduate Domee Shi took home the Oscar for Best Animated Short Film for her film Bao, telling the story of an aging Chinese-Canadian mother who gets a second chance at motherhood when one of her dumplings comes to life as a little boy. In addition to her Oscar win, Shi is the first woman ever to direct a Pixar short film! Also nominated in the Best Animated Short Film category was fellow Pixar story artist and Sheridan College alumnus Trevor Jimenez, nominated for his film, Weekends. Graduates from Algonquin College, Seneca College and Sheridan College were also part of the team behind the film named Best Animated Feature, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Congratulations to all!

These outstanding alumni are evidence of the incredible training opportunities available across the country. In fact, colleges and institutes in nearly every province boast cutting-edge program offerings in areas such as digital animation, filmmaking, and video game design. For example:

  • Capilano University’s School of Motion Picture Arts offers a two-year 3D Animation for Film & Games diploma program that provides students the necessary training to develop 3D computer-generated characters and environments, including technical direction and character rigging. CapU also offers a unique Indigenous Independent Digital Filmmaking diploma studying scriptwriting, shooting and post-production;
  • NAIT’s Digital Media and Information Technology (DMIT) offers students the choice of specialization between Animation, Digital Cinema, Game Design, Game Programming, Visual Communications, and Web Design & Development, preparing students for jobs in film, gaming, architectural visualization, industrial simulations, concept design and illustration;
  • The Interactive Design and Technology program at Saskatchewan Polytechnic combines new media communications and digital graphic design programs to teach students techniques in interactive media, website design, animation, and computer graphics, building skills using the latest industry-standard software and hardware;
  • Red River College’s suite of Creative Arts programs includes an eight-month advanced certificate in 3D Computer Graphics (3DCG) which aims to build skills in areas such as modeling, rendering, compositing, animation, and motion capture for use in digital media, fine arts, and architecture;
  • Known as the “Harvard of Animation,” Sheridan College draws students from around the world to its Honours Bachelor of Animation program to learn all aspects of animation filmmaking, from story pitch to finished film. Impressively, the program is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year!
  • Elsewhere in Ontario, Algonquin College, Cambrian College, Conestoga College, Fanshawe College, George Brown College, Mohawk College, and Seneca College are among the institutions offering programs in 3D animation and character design, visual effects, game design, and interactive media development. In French, students can also study 3D animation and digital arts at Collège La Cité;
  • In Quebec, students can learn to create and design characters, backgrounds, and visual effects with the 3D Animation and Imaging (Animation 3D et synthèse d’images) program offered by both the Cégep de Vieux Montréal and the Cégep Limoilou. The Institut Grasset, a campus of Collège André-Grasset also offers an Attestation d’études collégiales (AEC) in 3D Production for Video Games (Production 3D pour jeux vidéo); and,
  • In the Atlantic region animation training includes NSCC’s Digital Animation program, Holland College’s Video Game Art & Animation program, and NBCC’s Animation & Graphics

With so many opportunities spread so widely across the country, colleges and institutes help ensure that Canadians with differing and unique stories learn skills that help them contribute to Canada’s artistic and cultural heritage.

At CICan, we love recognizing the incredibly talented student artists in various media, including animation. Don’t forget to encourage your students to submit to CICan’s 2019 Art Showcase for the chance to win a cash prize and have their art displayed in CICan’s offices in Ottawa! A winner will be selected in each of the six categories: printmaking; textile, mixed media, and sculpture; photography; digital illustration and animation; painting; and drawing. Because of this week’s special on animation, we are extending the deadline to March 31st!

Calling all CEOs: Why energy efficiency matters

By Gordon Hicks; CEO of global real estate management firm BGIS

Partner content

Being a business leader will always mean juggling priorities. It’s tempting to put most of your focus on your core business and quarterly results alone. But for me, every leader should also be constantly looking ahead to what’s next, and what they can do to future-proof their organization.

As leaders, we’re responsible not just for the financial health of our organizations, but for the people we employ. And by making energy efficiency a priority, you’re setting up your organization for success, not only in the short term, but for years to come.

At BGIS, we take this to heart with the facilities we manage. Read more in Save on Energy [en anglais seulement].

Take advantage of a 20% discount on the cost of an Energy Audit or Building Condition Assessment offered by BGIS to CICan members.

CICan’s new Education for Employment program in Tunisia

We are thrilled to announce the signature of a contribution agreement with Global Affairs Canada (GAC) to fund a new Education for Employment (EFE) program in Tunisia! Valued at $5.8 million, EFE-Tunisia Al-Najah will operate over the next four years.

CICan’s EFE programs are designed to support the development of responsive, demand-driven and practical learning opportunities for students that benefit the local economy, fostering private-sector development through student training and industry support in select sectors of the economy that lack qualified workers and entrepreneurs.

The EFE Tunisia team will be preparing the new project implementation plan over the coming months with a first Call for Proposals planned to launch fall 2019. The project will run in French.

For more information please contact Marie-Josée Fortin, CICan’s Director of International Partnerships in Latin America and Francophone and Lusophone Africa, at

Register now: learn more about Mitacs’ Accelerate program

In 2018, the Mitacs Accelerate program was expanded to provide opportunities for students at Canadian colleges, institutes, and polytechnics to undertake paid internships through the program, gaining on-the-job experience in non-academic settings! The Mitacs Accelerate program also helps expand collaboration opportunities between colleges and institutes and private sector and not-for-profit organizations.

The webinar will take place on Tuesday, March 26, 2019 from 1:00pm – 2:00pm EDT.

Join us and Mitacs for this webinar to learn how your institution can take full advantage of the Mitacs Accelerate program!

Register here.

Leaders from across the country come together to discuss continuing education

On February 28 and March 1, over 160 delegates from Canadian colleges, institutes, cegeps and polytechnics met for Training and the Labour Market – Always Evolving! Organized jointly by CICan and the Fédération des cégeps, this important national symposium on continuing education engaged participants in discussions on changes in the labour market and post-secondary education, highlighting strategies and best practices to deal with disruption.

Participants had the opportunity to hear from Quebec’s new Education Minister, Jean-François Roberge, as well as different panels on the role of governments in continuing education, the importance of digital transformation, and work-integrated learning.

Thierry Karsenti, Canada Research Chair on information and communication technologies in education, professor at the University of Montreal, and member of the newly appointed Future Skills Council, offered the opening presentation and spoke of the skills students should seek to prepare for the workplace of tomorrow.  Closing remarks were given by John Stackhouse, Senior Vice-President,  Royal Bank of Canada, and collaborator on the report Humans Wanted: How Canadian youth can thrive in the age of disruption who also shared his observations on potential solutions to the challenges we face.

To read more, consult the press release. For photos of the event, visit CICan’s Flickr page.

We would like to thank all those who participated in the event and ask that participants please take the time to complete a short feedback survey.

Science Odyssey: Prepare, plan, celebrate!

Science Odyssey, Canada’s largest celebration of science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM) will once again be taking place in May and is counting on your participation! This year, the event will run from Saturday, May 4 to Sunday, May 19, 2019 –16-days to celebrate discovery and innovation!

Align existing activities or plan a special event or series of activities related to STEAM during Science Odyssey! You can also take advantage of this opportunity to further engage and attract stakeholders to your local events.

Register your events on to take part in this celebration! The Partner’s page also includes relevant information, tools and resources to facilitate planning and delivery of your events and activities.

Science Odyssey is a national campaign that celebrates Canadian achievements in science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics, featuring fun and inspiring experiences in museums, research centres, laboratories and classrooms from coast to coast.

Get involved!

#CICan19 Early Bird Deadline is March 15!

Are you planning on attending CICan’s 2019 Conference? Take advantage of early-bird pricing ending on March 15!

CICan’s annual conference is the largest event of its kind in Canada and gathers post-secondary education leaders from across the country and around the world to network, share best practices, and be inspired as we envision together the future of colleges and institutes.

View the full program here.

This year’s program is also taking our traditional networking sessions to a new level. The new thought forums will be open to all conference participants and provide opportunities to engage on hot topics and trade insights and first-hand experiences with a diverse group of participants. Topics will range from riding the waves of a changing government to teaching in diverse classrooms that include newcomers and international students.

Join us and our host Niagara College from May 5-7, 2019Register now.

The deadline to benefit from a group rate for accommodations is also Friday, March 15! Some room blocks are already full, so please book now. For more information visit the Conference 2019 website.

Participate in the ICEF North American workshop in Vancouver

CICan will be at the International Consultants for Education and Fairs (ICEF) North American Workshop from April 24 – 26, 2018 in Vancouver to deliver a presentation on Canada’s colleges and institutes.

Education agents play an important role in helping students select and apply to institutions abroad and, according to a recent survey, close to 80% of CICan members engage with education agents. This international education event brings together educators, service providers, and education agents through formal meetings and social events to build relationships in international student recruitment.

CICan will be on hand to help educate participants about the value of Canadian college and institute credentials. CICan members interested in attending benefit from a reduced rate: SAVE $200 when you register for this event now!

For more information, please contact Andrew Champagne at

Celebrating ISTEP successes and planning for sustainability in Tanzania

On February 12th and 13th, CICan joined Global Affairs Canada (GAC) and the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MoEST) in Tanzania to host a Partnership Celebration and Learning event in Arusha, Tanzania as part of the Improving Skills Training for Employment Program (ISTEP) Education for Employment program in Tanzania.

The two-day event celebrated the achievements of ISTEP’s 13 partnerships – four in tourism, six in the extractives sector, two in pre-technology, and one model teacher training program – with the goal of building a sustainable informal network in Tanzania; sharing successes, challenges, and lessons learned; and reflecting on the sustainability of results beyond the end the program. The event also featured a lively panel discussion around the future of TVET in Tanzania, in Africa, and in the world!

In attendance were Canadian and Tanzanian partnership coordinators representing ISTEP’s 13 partner institutions, as well as representatives from MoEST, the Tanzanian Department of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (DTVET), the Government of Canada, and CICan.

ISTEP is a six-year 2014-2020 CAD $13 million program funded by the Government of Canada in partnership with the United Republic of Tanzania and managed by CICan. A total of 16 CICan members have participated in the ISTEP program since 2014.

Click here for pictures from the event.

Don’t miss out! Career-Launcher interns drive innovation

Career-Launcher Internships logo

Thanks to CICan’s Career-Launcher Internship program, two recent graduates of SAIT’s MacPhail School of Energy were able to complete internship placements in support of SAIT’s research in energy efficiency and clean energy development!

Working with SAIT’s Applied Research and Innovation Services (ARIS) at the Centre for Energy Research in Clean Unconventional Tech Solutions (CERCUTS) Clean Technology Innovation Lab, Charlie Atkins was able to use his knowledge and training to investigate fuel cells to produce clean electric power from methane or bio-gas, abundantly available in many parts of the world, and storing the product in novel batteries.

Marlon Norona, on the other hand, had the opportunity to work with the Once Through Steam Generation (OTSG) lab at CERCUTS assisting with the operation of OTSG test rigs using steam assisted gravity drainage in various facilities, contributing to water management, energy efficiency, and emission education efficiency.

Both projects are helping SAIT catalyze innovation by fostering the engagement of new graduates, students and the next generation of professionals to solution-based applied research that can benefit the Canadian energy, economy, environment and society.

Read more intern testimonials here.

Is your institution launching an environmental initiative or leading applied research in digital technology, clean technology or natural resources? You could qualify to receive up to $15,000 to hire a grad for 6 to 12 months. Don’t miss out! Go to

Eureka! Moment

Did you know that Vancouver Community College is launching a unique language learning program delivery in partnership with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)? The mlearning program is an innovative approach to language learning whereby participants will be able to learn on a cellular phone at their own schedule and pace using the Cell-Ed English language training platform. VCC is the first college in British Columbia to deliver mlearning.


Vancouver Island University (VIU) was pleased to announce two new appointments. Dr. Deborah Saucier was appointed at the university’s next president and vice-chancellor. An accomplished neuroscientist and educator with a deep commitment to Indigenous education, Saucier will begin a five-year term as president effective July 4. The university also announced that Dr. Philip Oxhorn, an expert in Latin American affairs with nearly 30 years’ experience in post-secondary education, will join the VIU as Dean of the Faculty of International Education.

Okanagan College was also pleased to announce the reelection of Chris Derickson, a councillor with the Westbank First Nation, and Gloria Morgan, a former Chief of the Splatsin Indian Band as Chair and Vice Chair of the college’s Board of Governors, respectively.


CICan Pre-Conference Forum

Submit your presentation ideas for this year’s Pre-Conference Forum for Colleges Serving Rural, Remote and Northern Communities!

Leadership Institutes

Register now for CICan’s 2019 Leadership Institutes.

Send Us Your News

One of our main goals at Colleges and Institutes Canada is to champion and share the innovations and awesomeness of our members. You can help! We want to hear about your new applied research, industry and community partnerships, international education, important financial investments and more. Add to your media mailing lists! We’ll share member institution News Releases and other upcoming announcements online and with our national media contacts based in Ottawa.