Blogs

  • 13 Feb 2019 by DigiBC

    DigiBC would like to introduce Alden Habacon to our members. Alden has accepted the role of facilitating our respectful workplace initiative and will be helping us to create materials that will assist our member companies with the complexities of diversification. We can’t leave talent on the sidelines! Now is the time to ensure our studios are where talent, from all walks of life, can thrive.

    Ever employ someone with a different experience or background from those in your studio… and before you can even enjoy having made the hire, they quit? We can help with that! Alden Habacon has been helping organizations increase diversity and achieve having a real culture change towards inclusive excellence for the last thirteen years. He works with executive and senior leadership, professionals, and educators to meet the demands of a rapidly diversifying company.

    DigiBC is delighted to partner with Alden in creating the materials and providing the training that will help our studios become inclusive places where folks love to work. We’ll have something to offer you whether your organization has already established a diverse workforce or if your company is just starting out. Our team looks forward to working with you soon!

     

  • 13 Feb 2019 by DigiBC


    Think Tank Training Centre was founded in 2005 and is a private, post-secondary school situated at the Lonsdale Quay in North Vancouver. They specialize in training students with the latest software, techniques, and technologies that cater to the needs of the film, television, and video game industries. Even though they would be considered small compared to many of the other institutions out there, they sure can pack a big punch. The school boasts 92% job placement in the CG industry and in 2018 it ranked 3rd worldwide for VFX (2nd in Canada) and 4th worldwide for game development (1st in Canada) at The Rookies (an international awards competition that ranks the best creative media and entertainment schools in the world).

     


    The booming success of their campus program eventually led them to expand and adapt it, with the end result being the creation of Think Tank Online. TTO officially launched in October 2017 and is touted as a training experience like no other. Students can receive the benefits of their full-time diploma program from the comfort of their own home, and it’s a viable option for those who can’t afford to move to Vancouver. There are many other advantages including a flexible schedule, customizable assignments, live classes, and not having to sit on a wait-list. We recently caught up with TTTC co-founder, Scott Thompson, to find out more about Think Tank Online and to see how things have been going since it launched.

     

    What is Think Tank Online? 

    Think Tank Online is a comprehensive training program created by industry professionals to train artists to become the next wave of great talent.

     

    Who created it?

    TTO is a spinoff of Think Tank's popular campus program. It has been crafted by industry professionals who have a background in education.

     

    Have long is the program?

    The program is 16 months.

     

    How much does it cost?

    The cost is $13,680 CAD, all in.

     

    How is this program different from your campus one?

    The online program is four months longer and allows you to start your specialization sooner. One of the big perks you get with Think Tank Online is access to Portal. This is our custom-built learning platform where you can connect with students and staff, ask questions, share your work, and join in on discussions. Also, the recorded content can be digested at a speed that is comfortable for the student while receiving live support from your assigned supervisor. On-campus offers more face to face and classmate interaction, although we do promote a lot of that through our huge online forums and chat features.  

     

    Who would benefit the most from taking this program?

    TTO is not for the recreational user per se, it is a serious program designed to get you job-ready. That being said, it has a huge wealth of information for anyone willing to put in the effort.

     

    TTO February 2019 Student Scholarship Winners

     

    Do students need to have any previous training or work experience is a certain field before signing up?

    None at all, we start from zero.

     

    Who are the instructors?

    The instructors are a collection of industry professionals drawn from the VFX, TV and video game industries. They are working on the biggest features, video games, and TV shows now playing.

     

    How do you select them?

    They are selected through a process of looking at their past work, skill-sets, and demeanor. We don't believe everyone makes a great teacher so we set out to find the ones that do.

     

    What are some of the possible jobs/career paths someone could go into after graduating?

    We train for many jobs. In film, we place many texture artists, modelers, lighting artists, compositors, and look dev artists. For TV, it's more animation and modeling. In video games, it's modeling for characters and environments and texturing in both areas.

     

    There are quite a few other schools offering online training programs in the same field. What makes TTO different from these?

    It is true there is a lot of competition but I think the difference is in the final output. Our students really excel. In fact, three of our grads are working as instructors at one of our competitors. That says something about the quality of the Think Tank graduate. 

     

    What is the best way for somebody to find out more information about TTO?

    Check out our website at www.tttc.ca or give us a call at 604-990-8265.

     

     

    Portal: TTO's custom-built learning platform

     

     

  • 12 Feb 2019 by DigiBC

    Hill staffers enjoying their time with Nintendo’s beloved plumber Mario
     

    On February 4, the Entertainment Software Association of Canada (ESAC) hosted their annual Video Games on the Hill showcase for parliamentarians and hill staff. Held at the Sir John A. Macdonald building in Ottawa, over 250 people were in attendance, including 25 Members of Parliament. Membership participation in the event included Ubisoft Canada, Nintendo Canada, Other Ocean, EA, PlayStation Canada, Xbox Canada, Ludia, and Minors – the winner of ESAC’s 2018 Student Video Game Competition.

     

    Video Games on the Hill was graciously sponsored by MP Andy Fillmore, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism. The showcase also welcomed the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development. Both Minister Bains and MP Fillmore spoke with great admiration for the Canadian video game industry, highlighting its generous contribution to the Canadian economy and its unwavering leadership in innovation.

     

    The 2019 showcase was proud to offer guests the opportunity to experience cutting-edge technology, including Xbox’s recently released Adaptive Controller, racing sleds, virtual reality and of course blockbuster titles like Assassins Creed Odyssey, NHL 19, Super Smash Bros., Shadow of the Tomb Raider, and many more. Following the showcase, ESAC and members participated in a number of meetings with government officials in Ottawa. ESAC would like to thank its members once again for their immeasurable contribution to Video Games on the Hill and for their participation in discussions that will undeniably shape the future of our industry in Canada.
     

    To watch the full presentation, visit Entertainment Software Association of Canada

    For more information, contact Jayson Hilchie at jhilchie@theesa.ca

     

    The Honorable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, takes the stage to share his ongoing support and interest in Canada's thriving video games industry

     

  • 12 Feb 2019 by DigiBC

    In the days leading up to the 2019 Budget announcement, DigiBC has continued to advocate for changes to the Interactive Digital Media Tax Credit (IDMTC). These include increasing it from 17.5% to 25% with an additional 10% bump up for those opening or running studios outside of GVRD and CRD.

    Sam Fisher, CEO of Hyper Hippo, Graham Cunliffe, SVP of Finger Food Studios, Peter Greenwood, CFO of Blackbird Interactive and DigiBC’s Games Group Chair, along with Brenda Bailey, Executive Director of DigiBC, met with the Minister of Finance, Carole James in Victoria to advance this position. Sam addressed the valuable impact of creative tech studios in smaller communities, and Graham emphasized the positive spinoff effects of technology and talent from video game studios into more traditional sectors in the province such as mining and health care, helping advance more rapidly than were we not a video game hub. Peter talked about the growth of homegrown video game studios and the potential to develop and produce unique IP in BC for a global audience. Brenda then spoke about the importance of the sector and the competitive threats we are facing. The Minster was engaged and asked informed questions but made no commitment to our recommendations. We will know more on February 19th when the budget is announced. Now is a great time to contact your local representative and let them know you are in their riding and care about these issues!

    Thank you to Sam, Graham, and Peter for making the trek to Victoria and supporting DigiBC in this important pitch.

  • 11 Feb 2019 by DigiBC

    The Colombian Government Trade Commission presents the PROCOLOMBIA: Business Matchmaking Forum. This is the perfect opportunity to experience why Colombia is an attractive destination for outsourcing services such as software and IT services, app development, digital marketing, digital content, and animation. The event will be held on April 3-5, 2019 in Bogota, Colombia. Canadian participants will be able to have one-on-one meetings with over 2,500+ suppliers from key industries such as software and digital content services for animation, video games, digital marketing, and other industries (including food, apparel, electronics, automotive parts, among others).
     

    ProColombia can assist Canadian participating companies by providing one round trip airline ticket per company and discounted hotel rates. *upon approval
     

    More information and to submit your registration for the PROCOLOMBIA Business Matchmaking Forum can be found here: https://www.macrorruedasprocolombia.co/macrorruedabicentenario/index.php?tu=comp&ci=4

     

     

     

     

    More than 200 one-on-one meetings have taken place between Canadian and Colombian IT and digital creative companies in the past six months.

    Click here to read about and meet 27 Colombian companies that switched their business models for the Canadian market.

     

    Why Colombia is one of the strongest Latin American contenders on the global stage within IT and digital content industries

    A recent Canada-Colombia market connection program called Gateway to Trade had the objective of utilizing the countries’ free trade agreement to build new, targeted service export relationships for Colombia’s developing economy. As a partnership project between Trade Facilitation Office (TFO) Canada and ProColombia, the program was supported by the Government of Canada through Global Affairs Canada. To add to the local development sustainability, the program also worked with dozens of Colombia-based trainers to expand across the country for future industry participants, including those in other service industry sectors.

    Colombia’s tendency to promote the collaborative, mutually-beneficial aspects of cross-border industry development, rather than positioning itself simply as yet another emerging global source of talented tech teams. Many of the Canadian tech firms that connected with Colombia through the Gateway program were members of Interactive Ontario, one of that province’s most active advocates of the Interactive Digital Media industry. Interactive Ontario has worked closely with ProColombia’s Toronto office to explore north-south opportunities and is currently building on the momentum of Gateway by supporting an early-stage soft-landing project for Colombian tech firms looking to establish a presence in the Toronto area.

    Find out more at https://www.nearshoreamericas.com/canadians-discovering-win-win-colombian-digital-industries/ 

    Canada - Columbia: Teaming Up on Digital

     

  • 11 Feb 2019 by DigiBC

    BC Procurement Strategy

    One of the concerns that tech companies often raise with all three levels of government is that when it comes to sourcing software to support government services, why not shop at home? Government is, of course, one of the largest buyers of good and services in the country.


    The BC government recently launched a new procurement strategy. Their stated goal, according to Minster of Citizen Services Jinny Sims, is to “modernize government procurement and use it to grow local economies, create local jobs, and take advantage of made in BC innovation.”

     

    At a BC Council of Senior Executive Roundtable on February 7, Minister Sims presented the new strategy. The B.C. government spends over $7B a year – and that is just core government. She was aware of criticisms that the bid process was hugely time-consuming, not transparent and there was a perception of favouritism. In efforts to modernize procurement, Minister Sims said she was working to remove barriers so people could interface with government in an open and accessible way while also creating social, environmental, and economic benefits. The procurement strategy includes what she referred to as a “social lens”.  The BC Bid replacement project modernizes a 20-year-old system and will be searchable by regional and topic-specific searches. This is due to be completed in 2020.

     


    She also described the new concierge program where vendors will have support to assist in navigating the system. Furthermore, in the future, problem statements will be posted online and vendors must come up with the solution. According to Sims, this is designed to invite innovation. Historically, it has been the same bid process whether the bid was for a $50,000 or $5M project. With the new changes, Minster Sims says they are doing “right sizing” and will have different processes for different levels.
    The Minster also spoke about the digital railroad. Similar to how the railroad opened up Canada to immigration and development, so too will having connectivity throughout the province. “One cannot have a digital government without a digital railroad,” says Sims. The Minster left her presentation with the message "your government is open for business”.

     

    Is this an opportunity for your software?

     

    Brenda Bailey
    Executive Director
    DigiBC

     

  • 11 Feb 2019 by DigiBC

    While the demographics of key innovation sectors like science, technology, and engineering are changing, women remain underrepresented in many of the fields driving the modern economy. New Westminster Innovation Week will celebrate Women in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics) with a symposium on Friday, March 8th. This full-day event will feature speakers and panels to explore what's working, what's needed, and how to connect the dots using arts-based creativity and computational skills.

     

    Sponsored by Vancity, Advancing Women in STEAM will facilitate a regional conversation with representation from government, non-profits, academia, and private business. Sessions will be dedicated to themes like Why Does Industry Need STEAM?, When Barriers Collide, and Holding Space For STEAM. Innovation Week is honoured to be joined by Aoife Mac Namara, Dean, Faculty of Communication, Art, and Technology at Simon Fraser University, who will present the event’s closing keynote address.
     

    This will be held at the Anvil Centre, 777 Columbia St, New Westminster, BC

    Tickets are $25 and can be purchased here.

    Further details can be found at www.innovatenewwest.ca

     

    Advancing Women in STEAM Panelists & Speakers

    The Honourable Judy Darcy: MLA for New Westminster, BC Minister for Mental Health and Addictions

    Kailyn Skuban: Programs Manager, IGNITE, Innovate BC

    Dr. Gillian Judson: Executive Director, Centre for Imagination In Research, Culture and Education, Simon Fraser University

    Dr. Sarah Lubik: Director of Entrepreneurship, Simon Fraser University

    MLA Bowinn Ma: Represents North Vancouver-Lonsdale, licensed Professional Engineer and certified Project Management Professional

    Sarah Clark: President & CEO Fraser River Pile and Dredge

    Jay-Ann Gilfoy: CEO and Director, Vancity Community Investment Bank

    Denise Williams: CEO, First Nations Technology Council

    Sandra Brynjolfson: Coordinator, Centre for BC Women in Trades

    Liza Bautista: Manager, Job Quest and TechWomen programs, Immigrant Services Society of BC

    Maureen McRae-Stanger: New Westminster Schools

    Kate Armstrong: Director, Living Labs, Emily Carr University of Art and Design

    Jennifer Thompson: COO, CryoLogistics Refrigeration Technologies
     

     

     

     

  • 08 Feb 2019 by DigiBC

    We had such a blast at the #RockPaperScissors tournament + networking mixer on February 6. The Jolly Brain comedians, Scotty Patey & Joel Fortin, sure know how to host a show and keep the crowd engaged from start to finish. The combination of their backgrounds in improv, acting, and stand-up makes for a non-stop night of laughs and fun! Huge thanks again to our wonderful sponsors, East Side Games & Kabam, for helping make this event possible. We’d also like to thank the ANZA Club, Navas Lab Apparel, and East Side Games for donating some amazing prizes. Last but not least, congratulations to the tournament winner (who had his R/P/S strategy dialed in), Ryan Dunnison from Playful Fox Games!

     

     

     

    We’re already looking to plan more networking mixers and town hall events for later on in the year... so no need to fret if you weren’t able to make it and missed out on this one. In the meantime, be sure to join our mailing list so you can stay up-to-date.