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Cap U employees tour the new Bosa Centre

Bosa Centre director, Bill Thumm (right), receives a Bosa Centre trophy “in lieu of an Oscar” from Cap president, Dr. Kris Bulcroft.

The field of dreams at Cap’s North Vancouver campus has been filled with an architectural marvel called the Nat and Flora Bosa Centre for Film and Animation and on January 18, 200 Cap U employees took advantage of a fun-filled night to tour the new facility.

Aptly dubbed “the jewel in Cap’s touque” by university president and vice-chancellor, Dr. Kris Bulcroft, the building has everything a regular motion picture studio would have, but with so much more.

Mostly fourth-year Motion Picture Production students greeted guests and enthusiastically showed us what some of the centre’s amazing equipment can do. Employees were also wowed by the 30-foot green screen that draped the walls of a huge warehouse-like space the size of small stadium. It’s actually an 8,000 square foot sound stage, where sets can be built and illusions created.

We donned 3-D glasses to watch clips of fossil-finding in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and also saw some exciting FIFA shots shown an a television screen that is the largest this side of Toronto. We learned how the huge sound board works (well, we sort of learned how it works, because like I said, it’s HUGE) in the sound mixing studio, goofed around in the recording studio, saw the audition room where anxious actors will try to remember lines of words that have a way of disappearing amongst the nerves, gawked at the two visual effects labs, and wished we could start our careers over in the cinematography teaching studio.

There were costumers building more of their gorgeous creations, film editors working on enormous monitors, animators animating in rooms built specifically for their needs. We saw the place where grips store some of the best equipment money can buy, and wandered by classrooms where late night students were scrambling to meet deadlines. We even marveled at the railings in the stairwells. It’s easy to see why Canadian Architect Magazine called this building “a machine for film . . . based on an understanding of where architecture and cinema merge.” No detail has been left untouched by the hand of class in this facility, and it will be sure to continue to draw awe in the years to come.

We did all this (or, at least I did all this) while munching on tasty hor d’oeuvres and sipping wine. Oh, and I can’t forget the amazing 200-seat high definition 3-D theatre that is right off the entranceway. Student films were been screened, while visitors enjoyed the sounds of a lively student band in the main hall.

Of course, this centre wouldn’t even exist if it wasn’t for the tenacity of its director, Bill Thumm, who never said never (sorry JB) and kept the dream alive through moments that were probably more like a nightmare. His vision was supported along the way by countless people that included former Cap president, Dr. Greg Lee, who took up the initial reigns of leadership and passed them along mid-dream to current Cap president, Dr. Kris Bulcroft. Finance and Administration VP, Cindy Turner, and Contract Services and Capital Planning director, Mark Clifford, kept the management of the project on course, which, as anyone who has done even the smallest reno can agree, was an absolute mammoth task. Yes, there are many more people who played a role in the completion of the magnificent structure, but we’ll save those accolades for the official opening that will take place on February 17.

In the meantime, the employee event was a fantastic night, organized by the North Shore Credit Union Performing Arts Theatre general manager, Julie Vanderyagt, with assistance by Zoe Quinn, and it is easy to say that a great time was had by all. Thank you to everyone who worked on it and welcomed us so generously. And a particular shout out to the student greeters who were placed by the doors on one of the coldest nights of the year.

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