Located at the heart of the Creative District on Great Northern Way in Vancouver, Centre for Digital Media (CDM) is a thriving campus with an earned reputation as a destination for collaboration amongst learners, educational leaders, industry and community based-partners.
We respectfully acknowledge that CDM is located on the traditional and ancestral territory of the Coast Salish peoples, in particular the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations.
World Class Collaboration
Centre for Digital Media was established through the ground-breaking partnership of four leading academic institutions: The University of British Columbia (UBC), Simon Fraser University (SFU), Emily Carr University of Art + Design (ECU), and the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT).
CDM collaborates with our four founding academic institution partners, industry and the community to create world-leading digital media programming that focuses on addressing society’s most important challenges, hosted within a vibrant and inclusive campus at the heart of the Creative District on Great Northern Way in Vancouver.
In 2001, Finning International Inc., the world’s largest Caterpillar dealer, donated 18.5-acres of land in the False Creek Flats to British Columbia’s leading post-secondary institutions: The University of British Columbia (UBC), Simon Fraser University (SFU), Emily Carr University of Art + Design (ECU) and the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT).
This gift and a subsequent $40 million grant from the Government of British Columbia resulted in the creation of Centre for Digital Media in 2007.
In 2012, CDM opened a new LEED Gold building, which is the centrepiece of Centre for Digital Media and provides learning space and housing for students of our flagship MDM program.
Anchored by our flagship and multi-disciplinary Master of Digital Media (MDM) degree program, CDM extends learning opportunities through a wide range of innovative and experiential programs that bring diverse learners of all ages and backgrounds into the world of digital media.
Today CDM is entering into an exciting new phase of strategic growth and community transformation to help build digital futures in BC and on the global stage.
CDM's innovative programs are taught by our faculty, whom emphasizes a holistic educational process that addresses the needs of each individual student. Our staff also come from across the world, representing different ethnicities, educational backgrounds, gender identities, nationalities, languages, cultures and beliefs. Our multidisciplinary students are creative, diverse, and are using creative technologies to solve a wide range of problems.
In 2001 Finning International donated 18.5 acres of land in the false creek flats to UBC, SFU, BCIT and ECU. This gift resulted in the creation of the Great Northern Way Campus Trust (GNWT). In 2005, the GNWT President and the Executive Director of New Media BC, Gerri Sinclair, presented a business plan to the Province for a World Centre for Digital Media that envisioned a master’s program embedded with industry in a new building housed at the Great Northern Way campus.
Committees were set up with representatives from partner institutions and industry to develop the program. After months of consultation in the spring of 2006, the Academic committee agreed to build a program that was inspired by the master’s program offered at Carnegie-Mellon’s Entertainment Technology Centre.
In 2006, the province granted $40.5 million, as one-time funding for start-up, capital and operational endowment funds associated with the master’s program, establishing a digital media destination and positioning BC as the global centre for new media. In 2007, GNWT establishes a Master of Digital Media (MDM), which offers a degree jointly accredited and awarded by the 4 partner institutions.
A building with people standing outsideIn 2012 GNW Trust builds a state-of-the-art, sustainable building for classrooms, student housing and industry collaborations as part of the World Centre for Digital Media vision and mandate. Later to become the Centre for Digital Media (CDM). In 2016, CDM launches a Pre-Master of Digital Media program led by Dr. Aida Osian whose research focuses on intermediality. This English for Special purposes program is about building self-confidence and confidence in the use and language of digital media for professional contexts.
In 2017, land subdivisions and sales made it possible for Emily Carr to be built next door to CDM, bringing much needed vibrancy and more learners to the Creative District.
In 2020, and in collaboration with SFU, CDM launched a micro-credential in Leadership and Agile Production Management. In 2022, CDM and SFU were also awarded micro-credential funding from the Ministry to development a new micro-credential for Creative Technology Careers. In 2023, CDM completed thorough internal and external consultations on a new phase of strategic plan that emphasizes partner institution collaboration in the Creative District—a mixed-use creative technology campus concept where students, faculty, and industry study, live, work and play together.