North Vancouver School District
the natural place to learn©
Digital Media Academy

​​​Located at Argyle Secondary, Grades 11-12​


An enriched, hands-on experience that provides students a broad and useful range of skills and knowledge in digital arts, project management, and problem-solving. DMA nurtures and evolves young people to develop the habits of mind to be inquisitive, creative, imaginative, innovative, and highly motivated in the creation of meaningful results. DMA incorporates Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics (STEAM). One of the main goals is to prepare students for post-secondary training, as well as the many career opportunities in Digital Media, Science, Engineering and Technology.​​​​

Students have the opportunity to learn and work collaboratively on real-world projects in the following areas:

  • Game Design
  • Animation
  • Visual Effects
  • Film
  • Sound Design
  • Graphic Design
  • Web Design
  • Magazine Design
  • Project Management
  • Photography

Features and Benefits of DMA

  • Broad exposure to digital media careers and lifestyle through projects, field trips, guest speakers, and workshops

  • Strong links to Lower Mainland post-secondary institutions, including SFU SIAT, Capilano University, BCIT, Think Tank, and VanArts, as well as to the digital media industry

  • Exposure to real-world projects, technology, and tools of the art and craft of digital media

  • Curriculum that combines a career focus, while meeting college entrance requirements

  • Rigorous, relevant curriculum that encourages students to be self-motivated and pro-active in achieving academic success

  • Development of strong project management and communication skills to prepare students for the knowledge-based world

  • Emphasis on the processes of learning, problem solving, creativity, and innovation

  • Small, heterogeneous groups, or “cohorts” of students who are together for a significant portion of the school day working with a team of teachers who work with the same students and collaborate to better meet the instructional needs of all students

  • A culture of ongoing improvement that allows and encourages teachers to examine student work and reflect upon teaching methods to determine if goals are being met

How to Apply

Applications begin January 23, 2017 and close March 3, 2017.

All applicants must submit:

Students must reapply to the Digital Media Academy every year.

Complete the application package and deliver in person, along with the applicable supporting documents, to:

Digital Media Academy Office
Argyle Secondary School
1131 Frederick Road
North Vancouver BC  V7K 1J3


Acceptance to the Digital Media Academy will be based on the completed application package and supporting documents, and then in priority order:

  • Priority 1 - Returning students
  • Priority 2 - Waitlisted students from previous years.

Total spots available will be dependent on the number of applications received and the ability of schools to organize suitable timetables to meet student needs.


$1250 per year, or $125 in ten installments.

First month payment confirms placement in the academy and is non-refundable. It is due on or before June 1, 2107. If a family chooses to pay in 10 installments, this must be set up for automatic withdrawal in September 2017 with the first payment due October 1, 2017 and then on the first of each month through June 2018. Information for payment will be included in the acceptance package. An additional course fee may apply to out-of-district students. Non-payment or late payment of fees may incur a penalty and/or result in loss of placement in the academy.


If you have questions or require further information, please contact:

Jennifer VanderMye
DMA Assistant

Deborah Wanner 
District Principal 


Q & A about DMA

Q. How does it work?
A. The Digital Media Academy will challenge you to become an independent self-directed learner with the skills and knowledge to solve real world design problems. You will learn to plan and organize your projects and use your creative, technological, and intellectual skills to become the media design visionary of the future. We are committed to educating responsible media artists for the information age by teaching you the fundamentals of project management and the design process. You will be exposed to various media professionals through guest speakers, workshops, field trips, and work experience. You will be encouraged to experiment and be innovative. You will learn to shape messages that communicate to various audiences and develop an understanding of how to communicate ideas with all media.


Q. What will I do in the program?
A. In a flexible learning environment, your team will work on projects to integrate your knowledge of media design, technology, and production. You will learn to express yourself in the creation of animations, short films, audio recordings, music videos, special effects, magazines, websites, CD covers, posters, advertisements, logos, and countless other media. In your senior year, you will concentrate on building your portfolio by solving realistic design problems in a variety of media.  You will have the opportunity to explore and further concentrate on personal areas of interest. This portfolio will help you enter the post–secondary program of your choice.

Q. How do I know it's right for me?
A. Students will work in cohorts and take their core courses together. The Academy best suits students who are highly motivated and self-directed learners who have a strong interest in art, design, and digital media. Students are typically interested in art, design, animation, creative writing, game design, music and sound, video and film, radio, photography, web and interactive design. A good candidate for this program would be a self-starter, independent thinker but a team player and interested in collaborative learning. This program is especially useful for students who are focused on a career in digital media and the lifestyle that goes with this career. The Academy is scheduled into the student’s Grade 11 and 12 years during either Day 1 or Day 2 of a linear timetable. Students from all North Vancouver schools are eligible to apply.


Q. How many students are there in the program?
A. Each year we will take in a maximum of 24 students per grade. There will 24 students in the Grade 11 year and 24 in the Grade 12 year.


Q. How will I be evaluated?
A. For most courses, we will offer field trips, guest speakers, workshops and work experience. This will allow students to make contact with media professionals and experience various settings in the digital media industry. Students will be largely evaluated as they learn (formatively) while solving hands-on projects and working with their teachers as guides and collaborators. A final portfolio will allow students to apply to institutes of their choice and present broad and strong evidence of their experience in digital media art and design.


Q. What courses are offered?

A. All of the required courses are modified to suit the needs of the Digital Media Academy students. For more detailed information about course content, see the Digital Media Academy's website.


Q. What teachers and resources will be available?

A. Argyle Secondary school has the resources and staff to deliver an excellent Digital Media program that will suit the broad and specialized educational needs of the students. Students from across the School District will have access to Argyle’s excellent equipment and software resources. The staff members that are involved in the Digital Media Program have a strong background in digital media and art as well as experience in collaborative and self-directed learning.  Murray Bulger has been teaching Digital Media at the high school level for over 15 years. He is the recipient of the prestigious Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence, 2008. Murray has designed and implemented over 18 new curricula using new educational technologies based around a 21st Century learning model focusing on collaborative and project-based learning designs. Murray has the following degrees: B.Sc., M.Sc., and a B.Ed. Murray presently teaches Photography, Animation, Graphic Design, Game Design, Visual Effects, Sound Recording, and DMA Lite. Ryanne Bergler has been involved in the arts since childhood and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Moving Image Arts and along with her Bachelor of Education degree has been teaching Digital Media and Visual Arts classes since 2009. She has worked in the film industry on over 100 film projects, from feature films to television commercials. Her current practice is primarily in film as well as drawing and photography. Recently Ryanne was the Production Supervisor on the independent short film The Drone 2 which was entered into the Vancouver Rio Dead-on Film Festival in 2012.


Q. As a parent, how do I know this program is right for my child?
A. If your child has a passion for an area of digital media such as game design, film production, and design then they are an excellent candidate for the DMA. The DMA suits students who are self-directed learners who love hands-on and project-based learning. Students in Grades 10-12 are often at a stage where they are considering career and academic options. The digital media program provides an educational opportunity for this age group that helps make career decisions and preparations and focuses on the transition to life after post secondary.


Q. What grade does the DMA start?

A. The DMA is a two year program and students start in their Grade 11 year and complete the program in Grade 12.  The Academy also offers DMA Lite for Grade 9 and 10 students. 


Q. Where is the program located?

A. The DMA is based out of Argyle Secondary.  Students spend day 1 at Argyle and then go to their home school on day 2.


Q. Will DMA students be able to attend college and university after they graduate?
A. Yes, students will be able to attend most colleges and universities. In the case of more science-oriented programs, a student will likely have to supplement their courses with the required courses. Some students in the DMA have completed such courses in Summer School or North Vancouver Distributed Learning School.


Q. Are any other organizations or professionals associated with the DMA?

A. Yes, we gratefully acknowledge the involvement of the following agencies:

    • EA Sports

    • Dell

    • Epson

    • CIS (Visual Effects)

    • ThinkTank

    • AutoDesk.