Staff & Faculty

Administration | Graphic Design | Interior Design | Building Technology | Fashion Design | Photography & Imaging | Business of Sound | Motion Picture Production | Acting | Application & Web Development

Administration


Oliver Drew
Director

Oliver Drew

In 1994, Oliver graduated from the University of Victoria with a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics. This degree has led him through many different jobs and countries.Primarily a computer systems engineer based out of Calgary, he has worked for many large companies on long-term engagements. He has found that opportunities to train and advise a wide variety of people are the most gratifying.

Since 2005, when Oliver returned to Victoria, he has shared his energy and enthusiasm for learning with the students of the Pacific Design Academy. His open door policy aims to encourage open communication, feedback, and discussion about any matter of importance to any student.

Neill Dixon
Senior Educational Officer

Neill Dixon

Neill was born and educated in New Zealand where he also trained as a teacher. After immigrating to Canada he obtained his B. Ed (Sec) and an MA in Education with majors in Administration & Curriculum. Since spending 35 years in public school teaching and administration he has worked as an education consultant, taught in the education faculties of a number of North American universities in the areas of fine arts and curriculum development and administered a number of private post secondary institutions. His theatre and drama background has been used in the development of Readers theatre as a strategy for educators to use in their classrooms. He co-authored the book, “Building Connections: Learning With Readers Theatre” and in 2008 completed his second book “Readers Theatre a Secondary Approach”. The many workshops he has conducted throughout North America & Europe have introduced hundreds of teachers to this successful classroom technique.

Hartley Nash
Registrar

Hartley Bristow

Hartley came to the school after 17 years in retail sales and administration in the fashion industry.

She enjoys long distance running and spending time with her family.

Her experience and friendly manner with people make her a tremendous asset to Pacific Design Academy, its staff and students.

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Graphic Design Staff


Jennifer Forbes
Department Head

Jennifer Forbes, B.A.

Jennifer has an honors degree in commercial art and over 15 years of graphic design experience. She has worked as an art director in the magazine publishing industry; as a graphic artist in the advertising department of a major newspaper; and as an art director in most aspects of the graphic design industry. Her experience in this field ranges from work for international agencies such as UNICEF to corporate clients in the real estate and tourism industries. Jennifer also enjoys the personal interaction of working with small companies and helping them develop corporate identities and marketing strategies. She enjoys sharing information and has been a part time instructor for over ten years. Jennifer owns a small graphic Design Business here in Victoria.

Alastair Chesson
Instructor

Alastair Chesson

After starting studies at the Alberta College of Art and Design, Alastair’s fascination with other cultures led him to Berlin where he completed his studies, receiving his B.A. in Visual Communications from the University of the Arts. He continued to live there for over 20 years before returning to Victoria in 2005.

He has worked for over 25 years in the field: his experience ranges from being a freelance designer to a Marketing Communications Manager for multinationals in Europe including Sony’s IT division, headquartered in Brussels. He was responsible there for managing web, print & advertising campaigns, as well as exhibitions, product packaging, POS displays, sales incentive tools and giveaways. Other roles have included Art Direction for local magazines and teaching at Western Academy of Photography.

He very much enjoys the process and challenges of getting to know people, their products and services and then finding effective strategies for communicating with their target markets. He imparts this passion to his students.

Alastair also works as a design consultant in Victoria BC for local and European clients large and small.

Derek Chapman
Instructor

Derek Chapman

Born and educated in England, Derek Chapman has worked in the advertising and design world in London, Montreal and Toronto. He moved to Victoria in 2014 from Toronto where he was a professor in the Advertising Program at Sheridan College School of Business. He created and taught a number of courses focused on using design, branding, software and creativity to maximise communication in business, presentation and self promotional material.

Before his ten years of teaching he was an award winning art director and creative director at a number of leading international advertising agencies and was responsible for creative work on a multitude of major brands including Kellogg’s, Unilever, Labatt Breweries, Toronto Blue Jays, Kraft Foods, and Lipton.

As the owner and creative director of his own creative consultancy he designed graphic identities and brands for such clients as The Junos, The Canadian National Exhibition, ArtsToronto, the Kitchener Museum and The Canadian International Air Show.

He is a firm believer that as the digital landscape becomes ever more complex, fundamental design and communication skills are more important than ever.


Jason Ross
Instructor

Jason Ross

Jason developed a life-long passion for computers that he learned on his family's computer as a teenager. He graduated from Camosun College in 1998 and has pursued a career in software design and development that has given him a wide range of experience and knowledge in the computing industry. He has developed an eye for good software interface design and aims for clean, simple designs in his work. A long-time citizen of the Internet, he favours clear presentation of information and specifically-tailored interfaces for the range of internet-capable devices currently available.

Jonathan Brigdale
Instructor

Jonathan

A Masters degree in Fine Arts from the University of Victoria, Jonathan brings the artists eye for colour and form to an enviable level of expertise with the most powerful computer graphics programs used in the design industry today. This unusual combination of technical mastery and artistic understanding makes him a considerable asset to our courses in graphic design. He has taught painting and life drawing at both the University of Victoria and the University of Saskatchewan. True to the ethos of our school Jonathan applies his real-world experiences or the benet of his students, thus bridging the gap between the experimental atmosphere and the practicalities of industry.

Shaun Barry
Instructor

Shaun

Raised in Victoria and trained at BCIT in Burnaby, Shaun has been a Videographer & Editor since 2006. His video career has ranged from music video productions to short films to video analysis with Rugby Canada.
In addition to his interest in making films, he is also an admitted cinephile.

cin·e·phile
ˈsinəˌfīl/
noun
plural noun: cinephiles

1 a person who is fond of motion pictures.




Shaun continues his passion for the art of filmmaking as an instructor at the Pacific Design Academy.

“Filmmaking is a chance to live many lifetimes.”
― Robert Altman

 

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Interior Design Staff


James T.
Department Head

James

James holds a master of architecture degree, and has 18 years of consulting experience in the design industry, including over a decade of managing his own award winning practice, serving private residential, multi-residential, corporate, hospitality, healthcare, academic and government clientele. With additional formal studies in urban design and landscape design in Italy, and extensive travel across North America to experience built works of enduring quality, he brings a passionate interest in well-crafted environments, advanced design technique and excellence in practice to the PDA staff team. James enjoys reading, portrait and landscape photography, designing and making furniture, and time away from it all in the tent.

Gigi Junguk An
Instructor

Gigi Junguk An

Gigi grew up in Daegu, Korea, where she graduated from Kyungpook National University in 1998 with bachelor degrees in Architecture and Landscape Architecture. After graduation she had made the move to Ontario, before making the final move to Victoria with her family in 2004. Since moving, Gigi has received a diploma in Interior Design from PDA in 2008, and used her knowledge in helping design buildings around the city.

Her main interests lay in space planning and design, combined with efficient visualized presentations in order to help people imagine the environment before construction is to take place. She has been told she holds the capability to create indistinguishable photorealistic 3D renders using a variety of computer programs, based on her strong academic background and hand drafting experiences.

In her down time, Gigi very much enjoys spending time with her family including their lovely dog, and exploring beautiful Vancouver Island.

James Darnell
Instructor

James D

Bio coming soon!.


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Architectural Building Technology Staff


Wendy White
Instructor

Wendy

Wendy joins PDA with over 20 years of experience in the Architectural field. Graduating with Honours in Architectural Technology from Algonquin College, Wendy went on to work in the small to medium size architectural & structural design office environment. In 1986 she relocated to work and travel in Australia. During this time she made the transition from technical architectural drawing to architectural illustration, fulfi¬lling a long-time goal of uniting her knowledge of architecture with her love of art.

In 1993 she returned to Canada and spent 5 years working in the studio of R.L. McIlhargey and Associates in Vancouver as part of a team of illustrators, architects & designers involved in collaborating on projects such as the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Bid, the Portside Trade and Convention Centre & Cruise Ship Terminal Expansion Project, and the Vancouver International Airport Expansion Project. One high point of these 'heady' years was working with world acclaimed Canadian Architect Arthur Erickson who has long been of signi¬ficant inspiration to Wendy. Victoria is now home where Wendy continues her own practice in Architectural Illustration and joins the teaching staff at PDA. 'I'm excited to bring my love of architecture and drawing to the students at PDA.'

Andy Farrell
Instructor

Andy Farrell

As a registered Architectural Technologist with the AIBC and a LEED accredited professional, Andy's career in the field of architecture has continued to evolve since completing studies at Camosun College in 1984.

After spending several years working in residential design in Australia, utilizing traditional manual drafting skills, he returned to Victoria in 1990 to embark upon the then new technology of Computer Aided Drafting.

Vectorworks continues to be his tool of choice as he brings a diverse knowledge and experience in building technology, BC Building Code/local zoning requirements and sustainable design strategies to both residential and commercial developments within the private and public sectors.

Along with coordinating and producing a wide range of contract documents, he is also proficient in contract administration, conceptual 3D visualization, creation of CAD standards and graphic design.

For the past seven years, he has enhanced those skills further, detailing exhibits for educational environments with the local museum design firm Andre & Associates Interpretation and Design Ltd.

Gigi Junguk An
Instructor

Gigi Junguk An

Gigi grew up in Daegu, Korea, where she graduated from Kyungpook National University in 1998 with bachelor degrees in Architecture and Landscape Architecture. After graduation she had made the move to Ontario, before making the final move to Victoria with her family in 2004. Since moving, Gigi has received a diploma in Interior Design from PDA in 2008, and used her knowledge in helping design buildings around the city.

Her main interests lay in space planning and design, combined with efficient visualized presentations in order to help people imagine the environment before construction is to take place. She has been told she holds the capability to create indistinguishable photorealistic 3D renders using a variety of computer programs, based on her strong academic background and hand drafting experiences.

In her down time, Gigi very much enjoys spending time with her family including their lovely dog, and exploring beautiful Vancouver Island.


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Fashion Design Staff


Ashley Lett
Department Head

Alexandra Morgan

Ashley's grandma taught her to sew when she was 6, she always jokes that Barbie was her first famous client! With an art scholarship in hand she was granted one of the 16 coveted positions in Edmonton's Marvel College Fashion Design and Apparel Production program. After turning down a position with New York's Betsey Johnson; she took her internship and in turn was hired as the assistant studio manager at Toronto's famous Annie Thompson Studio. She opened her clothing label Provocouture Studio in 2004 with a small business government grant, being not only the youngest recipient but the first person to "get in" on the first audition.

She has dressed Celebrities, TV and VJ personalities, been featured in magazines, Television, and press. She has worked in all levels of the Canadian Fashion Industry, from Factories, to boutiques, to working with the Fashion Design Council of Canada. She brings a well rounded wealth of knowledge, information, and immense passion to our Program. She looks forward to fostering creativity and sharing her contagious passion with everyone in her presence.

Rosemary Abram
Instructor


Rosemary trained in Vancouver's Douglas College in Fashion Design and took a work placement at the 910 Mainland Fashion-Mart. On graduating, she launched a start-up company in custom design apparel. Her life adventure then took her to glean the artistic skills of fabric artists in Japan and pre-economic-zone China. Leaving this far eastern perspective she returned to Canada where she aced a Fibre Arts degree at Concordia University and became part of Montreal's textile industry scene, designing textile prints, producing animated character Disney prints, and opening a garment design and dye-factory for her mass-market line of clothing.

This term, Rosemary brings her drafting knowledge to the Pacific Design Academy. She comments, "Pattern drafting is a foundation fashion skill from which students will expand and create their own fashion story within the workforce and in their own life adventure."

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Landscape Design & Planning


Ken Nentwig
Department Head

Ken

Ken is a retired landscape architect originally from Ontario and now living in Victoria, BC. He has over forty years of involvement in the landscape industry, originally graduating from Humber College in their first Landscape Technology program class. With work experience in landscape design, construction and maintenance/management, Ken completed his BLA in 1986 and MLA in 2011. He worked mainly in Southwestern Ontario, and travelled overseas for the first time in 1990 to deliver AutoCAD training in Singapore. Through the University of Guelph, Ridgetown Campus, he expanded on landscape education development and was involved with Skills Ontario and Skills Canada committee work. In 2006 he travelled to Brazil to instruct World Skills trainers and their competition team for the international competition in Japan in 2007, where he also represented Canada with a team from Quebec. This event was held in Calgary, AB in 2009, where Ken represented Canada as host to fifteen international landscape gardening competition teams.

Currently enjoying the milder British Columbia coastal weather and beauty with his wife Sally, he has also become involved in rainwater harvesting training and education development in Canada and the United States. Integrated with this he is teaching online 'SketchUp for Landscape Design' and 'Rainwater Management' courses with Gaia College, which are co-offered through Humber and Seneca Colleges, and through Royal Roads University in B.C. He is also involved with the Society for Organic Urban Land Care education programming, and with Pacific Design Academy in the Landscape Design and Planning program.

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Application and Web Development Staff


Matt Price
Department Head

Jason Ross

Matt has been fascinated with computers since he was three. After teaching himself HTML and CSS as a child, he built and maintained websites for local organizations for many years before getting his diploma in Computer Systems Technology from Camosun. Matt is an experienced software and web developer with twelve years of experience building, fixing, and maintaining mission critical software systems. He has many years of teaching and mentoring experience, including coaching soccer, being a Shotokan Karate Sensei, and mentoring sound production students. Matt believes strongly in positive reinforcement and leading by example.

Jason Ross
Instructor

Jason Ross

Jason developed a life-long passion for computers that he learned on his family's computer as a teenager. He graduated from Camosun College in 1998 and has pursued a career in software design and development that has given him a wide range of experience and knowledge in the computing industry. He has developed an eye for good software interface design and aims for clean, simple designs in his work. A long-time citizen of the Internet, he favours clear presentation of information and specifically-tailored interfaces for the range of internet-capable devices currently available.

Mark Morrill
Instructor

Mark Morrill

Mark has been writing applications since before the dawn of the Mac. While he’s written for most platforms, a few that are no longer around even, his passion is for iOS. His career in software design and development has taken him from Edmonton, to Calgary, to Vancouver, to China and now to Victoria. He has experience ranging from small indy game developer to public company’s CTO.

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Professional Photography & Imaging Staff


Kara Tibbel
Department Head

Kara Tibbel

Ever since a young age Kara has been infatuated by the arts. The tranquil setting of the countryside where she was raised triggered a passion for creating beautiful images. What started as a love of landscape photography has rapidly grown to a passion for all types of photography. Kara graduated from Georgian College School of Design and Visual Arts in Barrie, Ontario and has achieved a high level of academic standing and is a Dean’s List honorary and she attained the ARTS COUNCIL OF MUSKOKA scholarship.

Kara is a successful photography business owner and operator. She finds great joy in being able to capture an image for others to cherish. Aside from sharing her images with others she also finds great pleasure in sharing her knowledge of photography with those eager to learn. Having moved to Victoria in January 2014, Kara is pleased to offer a high-caliber learning experience for every photography enthusiast wanting more from their camera and themselves.

Lilo Binakaj, MPA
(PPOC Master of Photographic Arts)
Instructor

Lilo Binakaj

My journey to becoming a professional photographer began in 1979 in Split, Croatia, when I enrolled in the advanced photography course where the studies of light and composition were the foundation of the course. After graduating from the advanced photography course, I continued my studies and entered the world of photojournalism and fine art photography. Here I discovered my ultimate passion: the power of an image to transcend words and its ability to make a difference in the world.

I went to Italy in 1983, and this became a bridge on my journey to emigrated to Canada in 1986. While in Italy, I worked as a freelance events photographer and also became a popular teacher of photography classes. During the next ten years of life in Canada I worked at a professional photography laboratory and also became more deeply involved in photojournalism and fine art photography. In 1999, I went to Pacific Design Academy and graduated in March 2001 with a diploma in Graphic Design. Soon after, I designed the cover and layout of the book "Promise Fulfilled" authored by Mike Wicks. This book was translated into three languages and has been sold worldwide.

In 2003, I became actively involved with PPOC (Professional Photographers of Canada). Since then, I have participated in numerous conventions and professional salon competitions at the provincial and national levels, as well as a large number of professional photography courses. I have also taught many courses.

After 30 years of learning, while also producing world-class images, I feel that I have reached the point of wanting to give something back - as a photographic instructor. In 2007, I started teaching at Pacific Design Academy, where my classes became one of the popular subjects.

Lilo lives in Victoria, BC, Canada and operates http://lilophotodesign.ca

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Business of Sound


Jason Sawyer
Department Head

Jason Sawyer

Jason Sawyer has a Masters degree in Audio Production from Westminster University, London UK, and taught the Sound Recording and the Music Industry Diploma Program at the College of North East London for 2 years. He has developed courses and guest lectures for Axe Music, Columbia College, School of Remix, Vancouver Producers Forum, Richmond Media Lab, and now Pacific Design Academy. He has provided mentoring for Electronic Music Production at Prescott College in Arizona, and runs Dialectic Productions Inc., a Federally Incorporated company offering a range of audio production services, consulting and education to individual and corporate clients.

Jason has been working in music for 15 years in a variety of roles. He has recorded, mixed, produced, and mastered his own electronic music (Techno, House, D&B) under the name Dialectic. He has performed original live improvised electronic music at venues including the Victoria Electronic Music Festival, Otherworld, Burn BC, Cantos Music Museum, Electronic Music Calgary, University of Calgary, Sequential Circus, Open Studios, Soda, Jungle Room, and Neptune Soundbar.

Jason has worked extensively as a live sound engineer for PK Sound, Shambhala Festival, Rehab nightclub, Victoria Jazz Festival, IATSE, and New Music West Festival, as well as numerous individual performers, including Wil Mimnaugh, Trombone Shorty, and Diana Reeves.

He has worked as a DJ since 1986, and has recorded a wide range of musicians, including The Aled Thomas Quartet, Valdi, and Shari Ulrich in a variety of studios in London, Calgary, Vancouver and Victoria.

Jason has also worked for IVL Technologies’ in house brand, Electrix, providing technical support to a range of clients including Ritchie Hawtin, David Torn, and Thomas Newman. He currently works with PK Sound, Mount Wells Studio, IATSE, and Party People Sound Solutions in Victoria.

Craig Frasier
Audio Instructor

Craig Frasier

Craig began his career in the music industry in a pretty common way... start a band, enter a battle of the bands, lose battle of the bands...

After a year or so of writing songs and rehearsing in a pop/rock trio, Craig's band Fan Tan Alley entered a second battle of the bands, hosted by Cordova Bay Records, which led to their signing to the label. Records were released, touring in BC, Alberta and Ontario took place and the band made its way up the BC area music charts, eventually snagging a #1 spot on Sun FM in Duncan. It's only one station, but hey, a #1 is a #1!

Craig and the band relocated to Toronto, where they spent the next five years gigging, recording and wading their way through the industry. In 2005, Craig moved back to Victoria and Fan Tan Alley dissolved...sort of. He and his former band-mate opened a basement style recording studio and spent the next couple of years recording everything from solo artists to jingles to self-help programs. Craig eventually moved on to work at Oakstone Sound, a larger facility with wider access to gear, space and talent. There, he dipped his toes in audio for games and film in addition to working with both groups and solo artists across several genres.

In 2010, Craig landed a musician's "dream job" at TC-Helicon Vocal Technologies, where he wears several hats as Product Specialist, designing equipment, managing the online community, recording/producing video and audio, and generally having fun. He also brings donuts every payday.

With years of experience both on stage and off, Craig brings musical sensibility and real world experience to the role of Recording Engineering teacher at PDA.

Wes RD Wragget
Instructor

Wes RD Wragget

Wes was educated at the Royal Conservatory of Music (ARCT Composition scholarship) and the University of Toronto. He is a commissioned composer for theatre, dance, concert, and visual media and a member of the Canadian Music Centre. He has received grants through: Canada Council, Ontario Arts Council, etc. His music has been recorded and broadcasted by CBC, Radio France, and others. Wes has won various international prizes for composition including a prize for the opera “Titanic”. He is the author of the curriculum series-"Mind over MIDI". As well as an educator and clinician for numerous organizations and companies. Wes is also a freelance Jazz guitarist.


Jeff Lingwood
Instructor

Jeff Lingwood

Jeff has been involved in the electronic music and events industry for the past 14 years.

He co-owns and manages Party People Sound Solutions, a mobile DJ service based out of Victoria. Under this banner, Jeff services a variety of events and manages a large crew of talent, handpicked for their passion in music and production. Party People also runs a DJ school, with lessons tailored to the student but always focused on passing on an appreciation for the depth of musical influence and craft that sets the leaders in the field apart.

Under the stage name DJ Primitive, Jeff currently holds 4 weekly residencies, as well as playing numerous club, private and festival events.

Jeff coaches the Party People crew in social media "best practices" in order to best lever individual networks by having them work together for mutual gain. He manages the social media marketing campaign for Party People Sound Solutions and DJ Primitive- which includes SEO, content marketing, networking and strategic collaborations.

Jeff has designed, marketed and managed all manner of events- from small club events to multi faceted boat parties to full scale stadium concerts. Central to his process is team building and networking in order to effectively market whatever social product is being produced.

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Motion Picture Production Staff


Peter Pearson
Department Head

Peter Pearson

Born and raised in Victoria, Peter moved to Vancouver in the early 90's to attend Simon Fraser University where he earned a degree in Communications, specializing in audience studies and broadcast media. After graduating, Peter began his career in the entertainment industry at one of Vancouver's largest post-production facilities where he worked on dozens of film and TV projects including “Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda,” “The L Word,” “The Chris Isaak Show” and the critically acclaimed film, “All Gone Pete Tong.” Next, Peter went on to teach Post Production Audio and Voice Acting classes at the Vancouver Film School, he was then hired by 20th Century Fox to acquire legal releases and arrange product placement deals for the film “Dolittle 3.”

Peter then moved into the world of digital visual effects, working as a VFX Coordinator for the 'talking dog' movie “Air Buddies”, followed by a busy period working as a Project Supervisor for the film industry giant, Technicolor Creative Services.

Returning to the production side of the business, Peter headed the post production department for the documentary film company, Parallax Film Productions Inc. where he worked with a small team to produce the documentary TV series “Blowdown” and “Ancient Megastructures” for National Geographic and the History Channel. Before returning to Victoria in 2012, Peter also worked as a Post Coordinator or Post Supervisor on TV series such as “Sanctuary”, “Psych” and “Gene Roddenberry's Andromeda.”

Peter continues to be active in the industry directing voice performers for TV shows such as Haunting Hour and Cedar Cove, dozens of 'movies of the week' for the Hallmark and Lifetime channels, and (most recently) video games, such as “Assassin's Creed 3” and “Far Cry 3.”

Mark Perry
Instructor

Mark Perry

Mark began his TV career handling a studio camera and doing lighting at CHEK Television in Victoria. This led him into directing local programming and commercial productions. Years later, a position as Technical Director for an independent variety show, produced nightly in a downtown Vancouver nightclub, became available and Mark jumped at the opportunity to work with the experienced production crew and ‘A List’ Hollywood talent the show had attracted.

Following that, Mark spent five years in the technical department with CBC Television in Vancouver, working closely with the directors as a switcher (live editing) on various programming, from drama to variety, sports and nightly newscasts in English and French.

Mark returned to Victoria when he accepted a position as Commercial Production Manager at CHEK Television. Running the small but dedicated and very busy creative department proved a highlight as the department dealt daily with tight budgets and deadlines, demanding sales staff and clients, as well as ongoing creative challenges. It was terrific!

Recently, Mark has put his broad experience to use teaching film school classes, primarily sound and editing. He enjoys helping students as they grow their skill set and ultimately begin new careers in media.

Shaun Barry
Instructor

Tenille Tasker

Raised in Victoria and trained at BCIT in Burnaby, Shaun has been a Videographer & Editor since 2006. His video career has ranged from music video productions to short films to video analysis with Rugby Canada.
In addition to his interest in making films, he is also an admitted cinephile.

cin·e·phile
ˈsinəˌfīl/
noun
plural noun: cinephiles

1 a person who is fond of motion pictures.




Shaun continues his passion for the art of filmmaking as an instructor at the Pacific Design Academy.

“Filmmaking is a chance to live many lifetimes.”
― Robert Altman


Kal Jones
Instructor

Jeff Kluge

Kal has been producing professional websites, graphics and videos since 1996. Before graduating from film school in 2000 Kal had already won multiple awards for his short films. In 2000 he was hired as an editor/director at ELM, a midsized commercial production house in Vancouver where he worked until 2005. During this time he produced over 100 large & small commercial projects including the hit music video Ride by Syndicate, which was the most requested music video on PMC for six weeks straight.

In 2005 he moved to Victoria BC and started the multimedia company Kave Wall New Media specializing in rich media web design, digital special effects and motion graphics. By 2007 the vast majority of Kave Wall's work was from Pan Production and the two companies decided to merge. Kal became President of Pan and took over the day to day operations.

Since then he has produced and edited several award nominated television documentaries and has performed technical and creative services on many of the documentaries and television series produced in Victoria. He has established himself as the go to guy for technical services and advanced motion graphics in the Victoria production community.

Michael Giampa
Instructor

Michael Giampa

Michael Giampa is a graduate of the “Video-Clerk-Turned-Professional-Screenwriter” School. Top placement in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (the Oscar folks) Nicholl Fellowship secured him literary representation and his first paid writing gig over a decade ago.

Since then he has penned several produced features (including Johnny Tootall starring Adam Beach) and been optioned or commissioned to write over twenty more. Michael is also active in the film/writing community – having published in Script magazine and participated as an invited guest/lecturer in the Whistler Film Festival’s Master Class Series, Victoria’s CineVic Society and the Professional Writers Association of Canada.

He recently secured the film rights to Howard O’Hagan’s acclaimed Canadian adventure novel Tay John and has several screenplays in pre-production (including Throwing Thumbs with Stephen Fry’s Sprout Productions and an A-list director in Los Angeles).

Michael currently teaches screenwriting/ film studies at the University of Victoria and looks next to the production aspect of film with the launch of his own company – Drawing Fire Films – to develop in-house projects as well as acquire others.

Sarah Robertson
Instructor

Sarah Roberson

Sarah Robertson is an independent wildlife and science documentary producer and director specializing in the Arctic for 20 years. In contributing to films like Planet Earth, To the Arctic, the Hollywood feature film, Arctic Tale, National Geographic’s Great Migrations series and BBC’s Frozen Planet, she has made dozens of filming expeditions into the North. Polar bears have tried to enter her tent, she swam with harp seals and whales under a frozen ice canopy, and made friends with a walrus or two. While in the North, Robertson has seen evidence of global climate change. Her recent focus is in finding ways to communicate these changes and shifts in what not long ago was considered an untouchable frontier. Now the Arctic is being transformed by warming, a rising thirst for oil and gas, and international tussles over shipping routes and seabed resources and is a hot bed for international political and economic disagreement. Her feature film, Arctic Tale was a first step in experimenting with the complexities of communicating effectually about how humans impact the environment and how wildlife and the environment respond. In 2007, Robertson was awarded the Lowell Thomas Award in recognition of excellence in exploring climate change.


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Acting for the Screen Staff


Angela Piette
Instructor

Angela Piette

Angie comes to The Pacific Design Academy with a diverse background in Acting. Her acting studies began at The Banff School of Fine Arts followed by film studies at The National Film Board of Canada and The Actors Institute of New York City. She has since worked in a variety of roles in the theatre and in television. Most recently, she has had the privilege and opportunity of working and mentoring with Warren Robertson, whose alumni includes the likes of Jessica Lange, Viggo Mortensen, Christopher Walken [and numerous other highly regarded actors].

It is her life long love to be engaged in the world of acting, and with the many extraordinary creative minds that come together to create theatre and film.

Jason Stevens
Instructor

Jason Stevens

Jason Stevens is a classically trained actor who studied at the prestigious Drama Centre in London, under the legendary founders Yat Malmgren and Christopher Fettes. After working as an actor in London and New York City for close to 20 years, Jason moved to Victoria to raise his daughters. Since moving to Victoria Jason has performed at Langham Court Theatre and Theatre Inconnu, where he was nominated for a People's Choice award for his performance of Mick in The Caretaker, and also appeared as Tupolsky in the critically acclaimed production of The Pillowman. Recently Jason performed in multiple roles in Scorched at Granville Island’s Waterfront Theatre in Vancouver.

Jason’s recent film work includes the lead role in the feature film The Diary, the true story of Kevin Annet and his quest for justice. In addition to his stage and film success, Jason has always enjoyed work as a voiceover actor thanks to his uncanny ability to make any accent his own, delivered with excellent vocal technique.

Jason's formal training, founded in a rare knowledge of the discipline of "movement psychology" combined with his "big-market" experience make him an important addition to the faculty of Pacific Design Academy.

Karen Lee Picket
Instructor

Karen Lee Picket

Karen is a playwright, actor and teacher. She and partner Lisa Hitch founded On The Lam Productions, for which Karen wrote and co-starred in Yardsale (2004) and I Thee Wed (2005), both of which won the audience award for Best New Play at the Victoria Fringe Festival. I Thee Wed has also toured to Toronto, Vancouver, and to the International Gay Theatre Festival in Dublin. She wrote and directed several short films for On The Lam, including Finders and The Poison Plow. Other plays include The Cursed Cabaret of Kelowna Day Taylor, a musical collaboration with Brooke Maxwell, and Static, an audio play available for download at intrepidtheatre.com.

As an actor, her appearances in Victoria productions include Jennet in The Lady's Not for Burning at Langham Court Theatre, Nancy in Oliver! for the Victoria Operatic Society, Lady Macbeth for William Head on Stage, Maria in Twelfth Night for Bard at Brentwood, Jesse in ‘night, Mother for Theatre Inconnu, Gwendolyn in The Importance of Being Earnest for Giggling Iguana, Athena in Influence for Intrepid Theatre, and The Drowsy Chaperone for Langham Court. Her New York acting credits include The Black & White for Actors’ Stock Co., and writer and actor on Your Name Here for Po’House Productions.

Karen received her theatre training at the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art, London, and received her MFA in writing at the University of Victoria. She is an affiliate of Amherst Writers & Artists, and leads AWA workshops for Fernwood Writers Workshops, and is currently producer of the Greater Victoria Shakespeare Festival.


Andrew Barrett
Instructor

Andrew Barrett

Andrew grew up on an island, holds a BFA from University of Victoria, and is the Artistic Director of Impulse Theatre. He is an actor, choreographer, director, dancer, and designer and has worked with the likes of Atomic Vaudeville, Theatre SKAM, SNAFU Dance Theatre, and others, in a number of different capacities.

Alexander Ferguson
Instructor

Alexander Ferguson

Alexander Brendan Ferguson is a graduate of the University of Victoria (B.F.A. in acting). He is a singer, keyboardist, musical director, composer, sound designer, songwriter, actor, and teacher who has worked with many theatre companies such as: Kaleidoscope Theatre, The Chemainus Theatre Festival, Charlottetown Festival, Theatre SKAM, Pi Theatre, Solo Collective, Blackbird Theatre, and Gateway Theatre. He has sang and played keyboards in many venues across the island.

His voice training includes the Victoria Conservatory of Music with Karen Smith and The Canadian National Voice Intensive with David Smukler. He brings a dedicated passion for musical theatre.

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