September 19, 2005: Capilano College cooperating with RCMP investigation

      Monday, September 19, 2005
      Contact:  Shelley Kean at 604.983.7596

      (NORTH VANCOUVER, B.C.)—Capilano College was contacted Friday, September 16 by the RCMP in regards to the May 11, 2005 arrest and subsequent charge of possession of child pornography by faculty member Michael Berry.

      Because the matter is an ongoing criminal investigation and because of the Protection of Privacy Act, the College is limited in what it can discuss publicly. However, it is cooperating fully with the RCMP.

      Berry taught Acting for the Camera to youths from 1981 to February 2003 in the College’s Continuing Education department. This was the last time that he taught adolescents. Because the safety and protection of all its students is a key priority of the College, and as a matter of good practice, all College faculty who work with minors must undergo a criminal record check every two years. Berry was no exception.

      “It is unfortunate that this story has overshadowed the popularity and success of our youth programs and eclipsed the hard work and valuable contributions made by faculty members in both our Continuing Education and Film Studies departments,” said College president, Dr. Greg Lee. “Hundreds of children have enjoyed our CE programs and youth campus over the years and they will continue to benefit from the rich experiences these programs offer.

      “Many of our instructors are industry leaders in their chosen professions and they are committed to ensuring that their students excel and reach their full potential,” he continued.  “We are proud to have them on our faculty where they are helping our students develop creatively and professionally. ”

      Berry also taught Acting for the Camera and Introduction to Directing in the College’s Film department until March 2005. He is currently on a leave of absence for matters unrelated to the criminal charges. If he wishes to return to work, the College would have to review the issue at that time.