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Wanna be a movie star? There's a class for that in Prince George

There’s a film and television training school coming to Prince George this fall and students taking the first acting classes are guaranteed an appearance in a feature film that will be shot here in the fall.
Acting school announcement
Ken Newell, Kopar Administration, left, Norm Coyne and James Douglas of Barker Street Cinema, made the announcement Thursday that there is an acting school in Prince George and classes start in the fall.

There’s a film and television training school coming to Prince George this fall and students taking the first acting classes are guaranteed an appearance in a film that will be shot here in the fall.

Kopar Administration Ltd. and Barker Street Cinema are working in partnership with Vancouver’s Story Institute to provide an accredited professional education to locals for film and television acting, which will be a six-month course with one class starting in September and another in January.

“Although I’m not at liberty to say what the project is, we actually have a project lined up for the end of September, early October and these students will be part of it,” James Douglas of Barker Street Cinema, said during a press conference Thursday afternoon at Kopar Administration. “So our first intake of 10 to 50 students – however many we get – will actually have a guaranteed professional acting credit before they finish their first month of school.”

In year two, courses will be offered for independent film production, cinematography, sound design, special effects, hair and makeup and everything else that supports movie production. Those educated in Prince George will have the opportunity to support movies created by Prince George residents in Prince George.

“It’s no secret that we are very passionate about building the film industry in Prince George,” Norm Coyne of Barker Street Cinema said.

It’s been five years of making movies in Prince George for Barker Street, he added.

“Along the way we identified a few challenges and opportunities – how can we make things work and grow the industry in a real way?” Coyne said. “Just making movies – it’s not enough. What we have to do is try and build the industry so we’re super lucky because along the way we have connected with like-minded individuals like Ken and Tom Newell from Kopar who really understand the vision and understand what it takes to make a go of this for Prince George and the region.”

“It’s our 25th anniversary and we’re pleased to announce that we are adding an extra dimension to our job services that we normally do in that we are going to partner with Barker Street Cinema as well as Story Institute of Vancouver bringing an acting and film school to Prince George,” Ken Newell, Kopar Administration, said. “There have been different movies made here in Prince George – the last two particularly – Great North Christmas and The Way to the Heart - we really saw a need to start developing people’s skill and abilities here in the north so we can start bringing those movies from the Lower Mainland to the rest of the province. We see this as a way to tie into what’s available and going on in Vancouver and this will give us more options and opportunities in Prince George. This is another opportunity for ‘by the North, for the North’.”

Michael Coleman, the actor, producer and director behind Story Institute will be at the Kopar Experience Centre during Northern FanCon this weekend at CN Centre and will be happy to answer questions in person about the new training opportunities.

For Douglas he said his career in film and television didn’t really take off until he came to this region.

“I am just so happy to be part of the driving force to bring film and television work to the north,” Douglas said.

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