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Popularity of free photography workshops could be good news for suspended program at Holland College

Paul Murnaghan, program manager for applied sciences and engineering technology, is shown outside the Centre for Applied Science and Technology in Charottetown on June 12.
Paul Murnaghan, program manager for applied sciences and engineering technology, is shown outside the Centre for Applied Science and Technology in Charottetown on June 12. - Tony Davis

CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – Overwhelming interest in free summer photography workshops at Holland College could have an impact on the future of the suspended photography program at the Charlottetown school.

The first summer workshop for photography took place Tuesday, but the college is now looking to add more to accommodate the overwhelming amount of people wanting to sign up.

That has the school wondering if there is a future for the photography diploma program. Earlier this year, Holland College announced those in the second year of the two-year program could finish out their course this fall, but no new students would be admitted.

Paul Murnaghan, program manager for applied sciences and engineering technology, is hopeful that there could still be a future for the full-time photography diploma program.

“We offered 20 seats for the (summer) photography workshop; it was filled by the end of the day. We have 62 people on a waiting list,” he said.

“There is a meeting with the advisory committee Monday, and that is part of the discussion.”

Murnaghan isn’t sure what a new photography program would look like – it may not be a two-year course. The committee will have to look at what the community wants.

“We have this as a free workshop, but people have reached out saying they are willing to pay. We are not going to allow that, but it indicated people are interested.”

With the interest in the photography workshops, Murnaghan expects they will add another one during the summer.

“We are trying to make education accessible. We want to be flexible to the learner,” he said.

This isn’t the first time free workshops have been offered by Holland College. Two years ago, the fundamental arts program numbers were low, Murnaghan said.

“We held three workshops and within days over 100 people signed up.”

Workshops to boost enrolment numbers and gauge interest in photography and other programs take place at 7 p.m. over the next few weeks.

This evening, there is a fundamental arts workshop. Next week there are two – video game art and animation June 19 and graphic design June 20.

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