Vancouver Film School Names Sisler the Best Canadian Interactive Digital Media High School Program of 2017


VFS and Sisler have launched a new group of unprecedented 3D Animation + VFX scholarships valued at $130,000.00 to help address the skilled-labor shortage in BC’s booming industry.

Announcement Highlights:

  • Effective immediately, VFS is accepting 3D Animation + VFX scholarship applications from grade 12 and post-high school Sisler graduates for the February 2018 term start through to October 2018
  • Sisler graduates will demonstrate unmet financial need and stellar academics in the IDM program.
  • The 3D Animation + VFX fund brings VFS’ total scholarship contribution to Sisler graduates to $200,000 since 2015.
  • Thousands of animation + VFX jobs will go unfilled without more enrollments in post-secondary training programs.
  • Sisler high school graduates are landing careers in BC and Manitoba’s Animation, Gaming, and Film industries after just one-year of study at VFS.

(Vancouver B.C./Winnipeg MB) December 20, 2017 – Vancouver Film School and Sisler High School announced an unprecedented new scholarship fund of $130,000.00 that will land Sisler High School students in leading roles in BC’s booming animation and VFX industry. As one of Canada’s top animation schools (Animation Career Review) VFS has a tremendous opportunity to help address the shortage of skilled workers, particularly in animation and VFX, where thousands of jobs may go unfilled by 2021 without the entry of more high school graduates to post-secondary.

Vancouver is the largest animation and VFX hub in the world--home to over 60 domestic and foreign companies including well recognized leaders such as Sony, ILM, Bardel, and DHX Media. WorkBC’s 2016 Tech Talent report calls for post-secondary institutions to work with government, industry, and other stakeholders to address a potential labor shortfall of 30,500 jobs by 2021.

Sisler is the only high school in Canada to run a dynamic selection of creative art courses teaching IOS coding, android development, film editing, futures in IDM, visual effects, concept art, classical animation, cinematography, graphic design, virtual reality development. Sisler’s IDM program has over 980 students enrolled in grade 9-12. Given their advanced training, a team of recent Sisler graduates including Kara Valega, Janelle King, Ritvick Mehra and Kevin Solis raised $20,000 in funding through VFS and Manitoba Film & Music’s Grant Program for Emerging Talent and Micro-Budget Production to produce a short documentary. The Big Picture aired on Shaw TV on June 26th 2017. The doc chronicles four Winnipeg students facing unique obstacles as they aspire to crack into the creative industry.

Of the 4 Sisler students who have already graduated from VFS, Gerard Jacinto and Daniel Cochon both graduated from VFS Film Production with honours. Daniel has already worked on 2 productions in Winnipeg. Moises Lucero graduated from VFS Classical Animation and he currently works at Atomic Cartoons in Vancouver. After graduating from VFS Moises was also trained by VFS’ curriculum and instructional support team to deliver a 2D Animation camp for current Sisler high school animation students. Aerron Tan graduated from the VFS’ Game Design program and awarded the best 2D game and best game project.

The VFS-Sisler Pathway program marks VFS’s continued commitment to institutional partnerships within Canada. This is another major step forward to bridging the education gap from school to the careers for young creative students in Manitoba.

“Recruiting at a grassroots level in Canada is really important to keep BC's industry healthy. There are lots of talented secondary students in Western Canada that with the proper training, and access to experiential work programs, can immediately transition into to careers in digital animation. Based on industry forecasts in the next few years BC will need thousands of new hires to remain competitive on the world stage. VFS’ partnership with Sisler and other Canadian high schools will help develop the talent BC needs to grow the $2.6 billion in production spending in 2016 that supports 25,000 plus jobs in BC and keep moving forward”.

-Brad Dahl, Government Relations and Special Projects – Bardel Entertainment

“The educators and IDM program framework at Sisler are in a league of their own—it is perhaps the top IDM program in Canada. Sisler consistently produces some of our country’s brightest young talent and we highly value their collaboration with VFS.”

-Dr. Ted Gervan, VP of Education – Vancouver Film School

“Our students have a significant head start on students from other educational institutions. Sisler’s wonderful network of educational partners, alumni and industry propels learning beyond the four walls of our classrooms. It is amazing to see former students animating at Disney, and Jam Filled Studios giving back to the next generation. $200,000 in scholarships through VFS reinforces that our students are on the right track; they are part of the solution to fill the industry needs in British Columbia and here in Manitoba. Sisler grads are up for the challenge and are career ready.”

-Jamie Leduc, Department Head of Interactive Digital Media – Sisler High School

“I am floored by the work of Sisler High School’s Interactive Digital Media students,” said Manitoba Film & Music CEO Carole Vivier. “Thanks to the dedication of the teaching staff at Sisler, these students have developed an incredible and highly-professional skill base. It’s little wonder they are being recognized nationally for their work.”

-Carole Vivier, CEO & Film Commissioner – Manitoba FIlm & Music

“VFS was the perfect place for me to expand my knowledge, strengthen my skills, and create meaningful connections within the film industry. With the education and support I received from VFS and Sisler High School, I’m one step closer to achieving my dreams” says Gerard. Daniel has already worked on 2 productions in Winnipeg.”

-Gerard Jacinto – Graduate of VFS Film Production – Sisler High School

“The partnership with VFS really helped build the proper foundation for our program at Sisler and it is a big part of the reason for my post-secondary success at VFS and in the industry”

-Moises Lucero, Graduate of VFS Classical Animation – Animator at Atomic Cartoons

To apply for the VFS 3D Animation + VFX Program visit:

To register for any of the upcoming 3D Animation + VFX Workshops, visit:


About Vancouver Film School

In 1987, VFS revolutionized entertainment arts education with the introduction of the world’s first one-year intensive film production diploma program. Today, VFS is Canada’s premier post-secondary entertainment arts institution, offering acclaimed and award-winning one-year diploma programs in 3D animation, film, TV, programming, video game, motion and interactive design. For the past 30 years, VFS has been devoted to delivering the highest quality education, and developing the next generation of leaders in the entertainment and creative media industries.

Media Contact:

Christopher Ian Bennett,
Executive Producer & Head of Marketing
Vancouver Film School

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