Blogs

  • 28 Jan 2021 by DigiBC

    I’m very grateful for the warm reception I have received from the industry, our board and members after being named DigiBC's new Executive Director on January 4. Since assuming the role of Interim ED in October 2020, I've had the opportunity to meet with the provincial government and our member companies over the last few months, sharing what DigiBC is working on and the many accomplishments of our world-class membership. I’m now focused on DigiBC’s strategic plan and have been meeting with many of you virtually to hear how you’re doing and what your priorities are for 2021. 


    We’re currently wrapping up the Creative Technology SLMP Benchmark Study, in partnership with ICTC, for the provincial government which has involved many post-secondary institutions in BC and a number of our member companies. Once we find out from the province when the study will be released publicly, we will be happy to talk about the recommendations. We’re also working on some new member benefits and we may poll you in the next few months to gauge interest in some of these potential opportunities.


    If you’d like to connect or talk about your company and provide input into our strategic planning, please contact me at loc@digibc.org. And of course, if you’re not a member and are considering joining then please get in touch!

     

    Loc Dao
    Executive Director

     

     

     

  • 22 Jan 2021 by DigiBC

    You may be eligible to deduct home office expenses (work-space-in-the-home expenses, office supplies, and certain phone expenses) if you worked from home in 2020 due to COVID-19. Utilize CRA’s home office calculator to determine if you require a T2200S form.

     

    The Canada Revenue Agency has introduced a temporary simplified process for employees to claim a deduction for home office expenses while working from home due to COVID-19. For the 2020 taxation year, employees will have two options to choose from if/when claiming home office expenses as long as all eligibility criteria are met. This amount is claimed on your personal income tax return and could reduce the amount of your income tax liability.
     

    Option 1: Temporary Flat Rate Method 

    • Applies to eligible employees working from home in 2020 due to Covid-19. 
    • Individuals can claim $2.00 for each day worked from home up to a maximum of $400 annually (200 working days) per individual. Days off do not count.
    • Multiple people working from the same home can each make a claim
    • This method can only be used for the 2020 tax year
    • You do not need to: calculate the size of your workspace, keep supporting documents or get Form T2200S (Declaration of Conditions of Employment) from your employer
    • You cannot claim any other employment expenses (line 22900) if you are using the flat rate method

     

    Option 2: Detailed Method

    • Applies to eligible employees working from home in 2020 due to Covid-19 and eligible employees required to work from home
    • Individuals can claim actual amounts paid with supporting documents & calculation of workspace
    • Must have a completed Form T2200S/T2200 from your employer
    • Deduction amount may vary dependent on your residence situation (rent vs. own)

     

    To determine which is the best method for you, please visit the CRA’s online Home Office Expenses calculator to estimate a detailed work from home expense claim. You may find the flat rate method provides a greater deduction. If you wish to opt for Option 2, your employer should provide a T2200S form upon request. (Please note this form only validates the condition of employment requiring you to work from home because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It does not provide the value of your eligible deductions, as that is a personal tax matter. In the event of a CRA audit, you must be prepared to present valid proof (e.g. receipts, floorplans, rental contracts, etc.) of any deductions you have claimed. The CRA also occasionally performs in-person inspections of home office claims looking at, among other details, proof that the space is being used solely or jointly for working purposes).

     

  • 21 Jan 2021 by DigiBC

    Centre for Arts and Technology is a private post-secondary institution that is focused on delivering high-quality digital arts and technology diploma programs. CAT is located in Kelowna, BC and the foundation for the school was built over 30 years ago by leaders in both media training and educational excellence. Today, they are now one of Canada’s leading colleges in digital arts and technical training, and recognized for continually having successful and employable graduates in the areas of filmmaking, animation, audio engineering, interior design, photography, graphic design, and network security.

    The school prides itself on not being your typical community college or university, and is described as more than just students, hallways, classrooms and instructors. CAT nurtures students along their educational journey by providing challenges, opportunities, mentorship and motivation, all while fostering a collaborative environment where they can reach their full potential. We caught up with CAT to hear more about the programs they offer that relate directly to the creative technology industry.

     


    How many types of courses do you offer that feed into the creative technology (video games/interactive, animation, VFX) sector?

    We have a wide range of programs, most leading to careers in creative technology, however, our animation, filmmaking and graphic design programs align with emerging VFX industries most frequently. Our graduates can be found working on feature length and series projects locally in the Okanagan and around the world. Taught by current industry professionals, our programs are structured to operate as close to real-world studios as possible, giving graduates a leg up on the competition.


    Are these full-time or part-time?

    We primarily enroll students in full-time programs, but our programs can be taken part-time. Due to the highly focused nature of our delivery model, we see the most employability from full-time program completion; however, many students have received great value from part-time courses, especially when used for professional development.

     

     

    Due to the impacts of COVID-19, are courses now fully online? Or are some held in-person?

    When the pandemic first hit, we took many preemptive actions to safeguard our student body and staff, one of which included online curriculum delivery. CAT was already working on an online delivery model for several programs and COVID simply accelerated that process. Our entire roster of programs are available on-campus, in-person, while a select few are available for remote, online delivery. A few of our programs are currently not good candidates for online delivery as they feature a large amount of hands-on learning, which is hard to replicate online. In the process of evaluating our programs, we were able to identify several that were excellent candidates for online delivery and prospective students in these programs can now choose between online, remote delivery and on-campus options. Currently, we offer online options for Digital Music Production, Graphic & Web Design, Network Administration and Security, and Veterinary Hospital Assistant.

     

    Do students need to have any previous training or work experience in a certain field before signing up?

    We do not require any previous training or work experience in related fields prior to admission. However, any previous industry knowledge or involvement can improve the overall student experience and their initial learning curve. Our instructors work with individual students to ensure they meet industry standards upon graduation, and we bolster their success by providing free peer tutoring, a dedicated Student Success team, and accelerated career coaching.

     

     

    Who are the instructors? How do you select them?

    Our Instructors must meet the standards set by the Ministry of Advanced Education. We pride ourselves on employing working professionals in the industry of the program they are instructing in, and those relationships are even more valuable when they are able to directly recruit from our students and alumni. We aim to exceed the Ministry’s requirements and have long-term instructors on faculty who have been in industry for 40+ years. Instructors are interviewed by our Education Department to evaluate skills, personality and team fit. As we boast working professionals as instructors, we often schedule classes around their existing work schedules. This can be tricky for our Scheduling Department, but industry relevance is a key factor to our success model.

     

    What are some of the possible jobs and career paths someone could go into after completing one of these programs?

    As we offer a wide variety of programs and encourage holistic career planning, the jobs and career paths for graduates are only limited by imagination. In speaking directly to our programs that most closely relate to creative technology, you will find our graduates in junior and mid-range level positions in studios and production houses as animators, FX artists, character designers, camera operators, editors, etc.

    We should also mention that a significant advantage of attending a private school is the ability for our education team to be nimble and responsive to industry feedback and needs. We are constantly evaluating our programs to ensure the best learning outcomes and industry placements. The latest program to undergo an evaluation is our 3D Animation program. It is now shorter and more focused on the areas and roles most in demand by our industry partners and we look forward to welcoming new students this October.

     

     

    How are your programs different from similar ones offered at other post-secondary schools?

    Our programs may feature similar curriculums as other comparable institutions, as we all align with industry expectations, but our unique value is in our staff and delivery/support model. Students who attend CAT are not simply another number. Our individualized approach meets students where they are at, to ensure their own personal success path is laid out. We offer support for students in various forms including one-on-one mentorship, coaching and goal setting, and believe this is where our strength can be found.

    Many who have walked through our doors have said, “You can really feel the difference here.”  We want to feel different and be different. This feeling is what makes Centre for Arts and Technology and our students special.
     

    What is the best way for somebody to find out more information about Centre for Arts and Technology?

    We have inquiry forms online for prospective students (https://digitalartschool.com/inquiry-form) that will connect them with a program advisor for assistance. Finance, curriculum, job outcomes can all be covered in a one-on-one meeting with our helpful advisors.

    Industry connections and job opportunities for students and alumni are always welcome and an email to inquire@digitalartschool.com will connect you with the appropriate department.

    We are also very active in high schools around the Okanagan and province-wide and our recruitment team can offer customized presentations focused on our programs, instructors or job outcomes. Teachers, counsellors or students interested in a presentation can contact us through inquire@digitalartschool.com.

    We have a robust website with a lot of info for anyone curious to learn more about us and if social media is your thing, we are also very active on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.

    Facebook: @centreforartsandtechnology

    Instagram: @digiartcat

    YouTube: @CanDigiSchool

     

  • 22 Dec 2020 by DigiBC

    A social lifeline of sorts through the pandemic, video games have kept us connected and entertained from the very beginning. Wrapping up the year, here are 20 B.C. games you can play, from idle to mystery and player versus player with energetic storylines, original music, and a broad range of artistic direction. This #PlayBC list is made up of video games that have all been made right here in the province!
     

    #PlayBC Video Game List