The contribution, part of EA's global educational and talent development effort, further helps to establish British Columbia as a global leader in digital entertainment education.
Today's grant will go toward shaping the curriculum of the MDM program, where graduates will receive a Master's Degree bearing the seal of Vancouver's four major post-secondary institutions: University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, British Columbia Institute of Technology and the Emily Carr Institute of Art + Design. This $1 million gift will help forward EA's goal to educate the next generation of high-level gaming design and visionary thinkers in what will be one of the 21st Century's primary entertainment media.
"Our goal is to help create an innovative educational environment that will lure talented people from across North America and around the world to the Great Northern Way Campus and make British Columbia the destination of choice for the next generation of creative leaders," said Paul Lee, President, EA Worldwide Studios. "This is an excellent opportunity for EA to invest in the future of the industry by providing today's students with the skills and knowledge they will need to push technology and entertainment forward."
EA's $1 million grant includes an endowment and multiple scholarships. In addition, EA will provide students with paid internships at the company's development studios, offer student mentoring programs and, supply teachers/lecturers from its executive ranks.
"With this support for the MDM program, EA is demonstrating it's commitment to making British Columbia a global leader in digital entertainment," said Gordon Campbell, Premier of British Columbia. "With an economy as strong as British Columbia's, it's critical that we all work together to provide new training opportunities that will produce the creative leaders competitive companies like EA need. I commend EA for their commitment to the future of the videogame industry in British Columbia."
The EA grant will fuel the growth of the MDM program, headed by Dr. Gerri Sinclair, to create develop, and expand a multi-faceted program. With the aid of these funds, the Great Northern Way Campus will grow its efforts to graduate students who are visionary thinkers, but who also have a deep understanding of the crafts and skills required to produce quality content for a diverse media.
"Our vision to develop Great Northern Way Campus into the international academic leader is further solidified by our relationship with the world's number-one interactive entertainment software company," said Dennis Pavlich, President, Great Northern Way Campus. "This is a partnership that will set new standards of educational excellence through innovation and collaboration in an entertainment industry that is constantly changing. Thanks to Electronic Arts, we can realize our vision of becoming the global leader in interactive arts education."
The Masters of Digital Media program is a 2-year graduate degree program that will offer students a project-based learning environment in close collaboration with industry partners, including leaders from EA, the world's number-one interactive software company with studios around the world, including two in B.C. This is the only program of its kind in Canada and one of only a few in the world. The program's first intake of students is slated for September 2007 and approximately 200 students are expected to graduate by 2010.
"To create the next generation of entertainment, we need the next generation of talent," continued Lee. "It is imperative for tomorrow's creative leaders, designers and producers to acquire an education with both depth and breadth in order to achieve success in our ever-growing industry."
EA employs more than 2,000 talented game makers in Canada and has development studios located in Vancouver, Burnaby and Montreal.