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Sketchup-ur-space Magazine - June 14

Author : Susan Sorger

Entourage Arts Google SketchUp ATC

Entourage Arts Google SketchUp ATC

Entourage Arts is a Google SketchUp™ Authorized Training Center in Canada, located in Vaughan, a suburb of Toronto, Ontario.  Entourage Arts services the entire Canadian market providing SketchUp training classes coast to coast.   Susan Sorger, an architectural illustrator, is the owner and operator of Entourage Arts, a company which was established in 2003, providing hand-rendered entourage image collections  in SketchUp ™ format as well as PNG format  for rendering applications such as Photoshop™ and Piranesi ™.

Susan was well-acquainted with SketchUp™, having employed it as the basis for her architectural illustrations  as far back as 2002 with SketchUp™  Version 2 and,  as a very active member of the, then, SketchUp™ forum, she was well known to the @Last SketchUp team in Boulder.   In late 2006 Susan filled-in briefly  as a contract trainer for the Google SketchUp™ Boulder office and was invited in 2007, as an already established SketchUp-related business with a web presence, to become an Authorized Training Center for Canada under the new Google model for providing training services.

Classes are provided across Canada, in rented computer facilities.  The courses offered are the Essentials 1 and 2 classes as developed by Google SketchUp™, and Advanced 1 and 2 developed by Susan Sorger, Entourage Arts. These Advanced Classes were developed at a time when Google did not offer an Advanced Class curriculum and the decision to continue to offer their own is related to isolating all “CAD” related materials into a single half-day course as this was deemed to better serve the Canadian market.

Susan has also developed a 1 week full-day camp curriculum for campers aged 9 to 11 and  a version for ages 12 to 15.  The curriculum is well-documented with an instructional DVD for councillor training and is licensed to interested camps in North America.

In December of 2010, Entourage Arts opened their own training facility located in their offices in Vaughan, Ontario and all Toronto classes are conducted here.  Classes continue to be offered in rental facilities across Canada though regularly scheduled classes occur only in Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton and Vaughn/Toronto at this time, though plans are in place for additional locations.

Entourage Arts has also offered classes in Ottawa, Halifax, Victoria and Montreal, in English.  We do have a French speaking Google SketchUp Authorized Trainer in Montreal, Architect Mario Chabot, however, since our materials are in English and they have not been translated, the training provided by Mario is of his own design.  We do not schedule formal classes in French in Montreal, instead referring clients to Mario.  Our Google Authorized Halifax trainer is Architect Peter Henry.  We have recently welcomed Architect, author and ArchiCAD trainer, Dwight Atkinson as a trainer for our western provinces:  Manitoba to British Columbia.

Entourage Art also provides webinar classes with a unique curriculum and private corporate training across Canada.  Entourage Arts is dedicated to bringing SketchUp™  training to as many communities in Canada as possible, however the Canadian Market provides some unique challenges.  With a population equivalent to only that of California, the Canadian population is scattered over an extensive territory from one coast to another with 5 hour flight times to reach a given market a common occurrence.   “Our maximum class size is 10”, states Susan Sorger, “though the average tends to be smaller. In order to just meet our costs for classroom rental, airfare and hotel we need to have a minimum of 4 individuals averaged over the 2 days encompassing 4 half-day modules.  On more than one occasion we have decided to go ahead with small classes even though we did no more than break even.  We face an additional issue that in smaller communities, there are no computer facilities adequate for SketchUp™ Training.”   Nevertheless, Entourage Arts is actively engaged in plans to expand the roster of cities offering regularly scheduled classes.

Class schedules and registration for Entourage Arts SketchUp™ Training may be found here:
http://www.entouragearts.com/

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