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Looking Back on 2023: DigiBC's Year in Review

Looking Back on 2023: DigiBC's Year in Review
19 Dec 2023 by DigiBC

Over the course of 2023, DigiBC remained steadfast in its mission to promote, accelerate, and showcase BC’s creative technology industry. We continued to work closely with federal and provincial government partners as the voice of the sector and completed several important projects with the incredible support of our membership and funding partners.

Highlights from throughout the year include co-producing Signals 2023 with VIFF, unveiling the Creative Technology Gallery at Science World, and launching the CodeForward Scholarship, as well as releasing the Creative XR in BC Report and the Levelling Up: Growth Strategy for BC's Creative Technology Talent Pipeline Report. Full details on everything we accomplished over the last 12 months can be read in the summary below.

This year also saw some changes to our board of directors with Jon Lutz stepping down as board chair after serving six years and moving to a director role. This led to the appointments of our new board chair, Sarah Nathanson, and first ever vice-chair, Jeanne-Marie Owens.

We are extremely grateful for the ongoing support of our member companies, spanning the video game, animation, visual effects, and extended reality sectors, along with the wider creative tech community. As we look ahead, we are excited to introduce new programs, continue dialogue, and support the ongoing success of this vibrant and innovative industry.

If you're reading this and are not already a DigiBC member or have let your membership lapse, we encourage you to sign up or renew. Together we are stronger, so join us as we continue to advance the creative technology sector in BC.

~ The DigiBC Team & Board of Directors


The Creative Technology Gallery at Science World opened on September 18 and runs for the next three years. This groundbreaking space offers a fully immersive and interactive experience featuring well-known movies, animation and video games made right here in the province. DigiBC is proud to have partnered with Phoenix Labs and Science World to develop this gallery that is co-presented by Beedie and RBC, supported by Pacific Economic Development Canada, and created with the participation of Creative BC and the BC Arts Council.


    DigiBC produced the second annual Signals event in October. This year’s event was focused on creative technology’s role in shaping our shared futures and the impact of AI. Attendees explored a curated collection of 35 immersive and interactive projects that showcased the possibilities of creative technology. Highlights included the world premiere of 16 films created by students of IM4’s Virtual Production (VP) Lab (the world’s first ever Indigenous VP training program), a sneak peek of Homeworld 3 by Blackbird Interactive which is coming out on Gearbox next year, and the generative AI art installation, We Are Entanglement. A full recap of the week-long event can be read here. 


We successfully completed another summer of DigiCamp: Online Coding Camp for Girls, delivering four sessions with an all-new curriculum for a range of skill levels. Camps were developed in partnership with Under the GUI (UTG) Academy and supported by IUGO Mobile Entertainment.

This year also marked the launch of the CodeForward Scholarship. Inspired by the desire of Catherine Winckler (Founder & CEO, MindfulGarden Digital Health) to support the participation of young girls in tech, the scholarship provided tuition for eight participants to receive a coding education through DigiCamp.

In collaboration with EverFi, the Play to Learn program continued to be rolled out in schools throughout the province. This self-paced interactive program encourages middle school students to explore an array of STEM careers.  

DigiBC partnered with three BC post-secondary schools to develop and deliver creative technology micro-credentials in 2023. Programs include VCC’s Project Management for Video Games and Production for Animation and VFX, CDM’s Leadership & Agile Production Management, and BCIT’s Communication for Team-Based Collaboration.

We completed the second phase of our Sector Labour Market Partnership (SLMP) project, resulting in the release of the Levelling Up:
Growth Strategy for BC's Creative Technology Talent Pipeline Report. This describes how industry, educators, and government can work together to strengthen BC’s creative tech ecosystem, and it also identifies critical building blocks to attract, educate, hire, and support the next generation of workers.

Expanding on the Creative XR in BC Survey launched last year in partnership with Nordicity, we released the Creative XR in BC Research Report in March. This first-of-its-kind report provides a snapshot of the sector’s current landscape and potential growth trajectories, as well as demographics, talent and skill needs, and emerging market opportunities. The study was conducted over three months and involved extensive surveying of the 36 participating companies and one-on-one interviews with key industry players.

As a member of the Canadian Interactive Alliance (CIAIC), DigiBC obtained funding to develop a National Interactive Digital Media (IDM) Profile Project in collaboration with Nordicity. This will be the first comprehensive benchmark of Canada’s IDM industry since 2013. The project will create a set of standard definitions, approaches, and methodologies to support CIAIC, its members and other partner organizations in conducting research that can be compared and used collaboratively to the benefit of the IDM industry across Canada.

DigiBC established an EDI Steering Committee, bringing together leaders from across our member companies to share programming, resources, and best practices to support EDI policy and commitments. We also created the DigiBC HR Group and DigiBC Finance Group to provide additional support for our game studio members.


 DigiBC signed on to the Government of Canada’s 50-30 Challenge in March 2021. The goal of the program is to challenge Canadian organizations to increase the representation and inclusion of diverse groups within their workplace, while highlighting the benefits of giving all Canadians a seat at the table. DigiBC is well on its way to reaching the 50-30 goal, with our board of directors currently at 46-46 and our executive office at 83-67.  

We were thrilled to see the announcement of the extension of the Interactive Digital Media Tax Cre
dit (IDMTC)
to August 31, 2028. Hundreds of companies, ranging from video-game creators to those developing the next iteration of the internet, will benefit from the IDMTC, which supports a stronger, more innovative economy for British Columbia.

Through our government partners at the Trade Commissioner Service, Canadian Heritage, and the BC Ministry of Jobs, Economic Development and Innovation (JEDI), our member studios had opportunities this year to participate in international trade missions to PG Connects London, GDC, Japan (Osaka/Tokyo), G-Star, IndiaJoy, Gamescom, SXSW Sydney, and Asia Tech X.


DigiBC supported a number of local events throughout the year including the Diversity in Games (DIG) Creative Campfire and DIG Lightning Lunch Speaker Series, Departure Lounge’s Food Bank Fundraiser & Poker Night, as well as Spark FX, Spark Reloaded and Spark Animation (as a Byte level sponsor for the Spark CG Society). We also organized a DigiBC Career Fair in response to the layoffs within the local games sector and to support those who were impacted. This was held at VCC, and we had exhibitor participation from 14 member studios with an overall turnout of around 250 attendees.

DigiBC’s board members Sharon Taylor (CEO, Animal Logic) and Shyang Kong (Co-founder, SkyBox Labs) were named in the Maclean’s Power List 2023. DigiBC board member Kay Wong-Alafriz (Kabam) was recognized at this year’s BIV C-Suite Awards winning the ‘CFO, Small Medium Enterprise’ category, and DigiBC's Executive Director Loc Dao was named to Vancouver Magazine's 2023 Power 50 List.

We updated our sizzle reel and unveiled it in April to coincide with Creative Industries Week. This video represents BC's entire creative technology sector from VFX, animation, and video games to virtual production and VR/AR/XR. It showcases some spectacular content from several of our member studios that is made right here in BC!



  The Games from British Columbia Steam page features released and upcoming titles from a number of our independent and AAA developers of PC games, and we're proud to showcase their talent and range of development capabilities. The page was made possible with funding from Creative BC and the Province of British Columbia, and with the generous assistance of Kerberos Productions and Respeccd.

DigiBC continued to grow its roster of service providers offering exclusive discounts and perks to our member companies. This year, we brought on Easly Financial Services to support members with IDM financing and SR&ED, and World Trade Centre Vancouver came on board to offer complimentary registration for our members to any of their programs that help strengthen the export performance of small and medium-sized businesses.

The eighth annual Creative Industries Week took place from April 17-21, showcasing BC’s dynamic creative sector which includes the book and magazine publishing, creative technology, film, and music industries. DigiBC joined government, community, and industry partners at the Legislature in Victoria to celebrate this event, sharing our 2023 Sizzle Reel. During the event, the Hon. Lana Popham, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport (TACS) announced that the government will provide a historic contribution of $42 million to support people and businesses working in motion picture, music, publishing and interactive digital media industries in BC.

  As part of Creative Industries Week, DigiBC presented Creative Technology Day on April 20 to showcase some of the incredible work from studios across the province, spanning animation, VFX, video games, VR/AR/XR, and virtual production.

Funding & Grant Programs
ICTC’s Pathways to Employment for Newcomers Program
Trade Accelerator Program (TAP): Creative Industries Cohort
Centre for Digital Media: R&D Projects with Master of Digital Media Students
CanExport SMEs Funding Program

Creative BC: BC IP Pilot Program

2023 DigiBC Events
01.26  BC Securities Commission Info Session
02.01  Women in Tech Regatta (DigiBC booth)
02.15  DXLR's Charity Poker Night & Food Bank Fundraiser (DigiBC supported)
03.11-14  SXSW: The Dark premiere / Vancouver Takeover at Canada House (DigiBC supported)

03.15  DIG Lightning Lunch Panel (DigiBC supported)
03.20-24   GDC Trade Mission
03.29  Creative XR in BC Report release
03.30  Dr Drea Resilient Coaching Info Session
04.17-21  Creative Industries Week
04.20  Creative Technology Day / SLMP Strategy Report release
06.14  DigiBC Career Fair
06.21  Easly & BDC Networking Mixer
07.08  DIG Virtual Networking Workshop (DigiBC supported)

07.10-14  DigiCamp: Online Video Game Development Camp for Girls (Summer #1)
07.24-28  DigiCamp: Online Video Game Development Camp for Girls (Summer #2)
08.14-18  DigiCamp: Online Video Game Development Camp for Girls (Summer #3)
08.28-09.01  DigiCamp: Online Video Game Development Camp for Girls (Summer #4)
09.18  Creative Technology Gallery at Science World opening

10.01-07  Signals 2023 (in collaboration with VIFF)
10.01  Signals VIP Opening Reception
10.03  Signals x Frontier Collective Mixer
10.04  DigiBC Games Group Mixer

10.06  DigiBC x IM4 Media Lab Open House
11.27  DigiBC 2023 AGM
12.13  Rhum HR Info Session