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    VANCOUVER - Today, downtown Vancouver’s tech scene is welcoming an industry giant to their neighbourhood with the official opening of Sony Pictures Imageworks new global headquarters.

    Imageworks is the Academy Award-winning...

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    VANCOUVER - Today, downtown Vancouver’s tech scene is welcoming an industry giant to their neighbourhood with the official opening of Sony Pictures Imageworks new global headquarters.

    Imageworks is the Academy Award-winning visual effects and animation unit of Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group, known for live-action visual effects and dynamic character animation.

    Founded over 20 years ago, Imageworks has worked on over 75 productions to date, including the $4-billion Spider-Man franchise, Disney’s Alice in Wonderland, the Warner Bros sci-fi thriller Edge of Tomorrow and Sony Pictures Animation’s Hotel Transylvania. Upcoming projects include Columbia Pictures’ live-action film Pixels, Hotel Transylvania 2 for Sony Pictures Animation, Disney’s Alice in Wonderland: Through the Looking Glass and many more.

    “B.C. is thriving because we have a diverse economy and diverse markets - and tech is leading the way,” said Premier Christy Clark. “With a highly skilled talent base, attractive lifestyle and business climate, B.C. is increasingly a global destination for digital media giants.”

    “Imageworks’ move from California to British Columbia is a clear, strong message that the right ecosystem for a technology industry to grow and thrive is right here,“ said Amrik Virk, Minister of Technology, Innovation and Citizens’ Services. "For small start-ups to global giants, we have access to talent, venture capital, creative workspace and quality connectivity."

    This addition to the province’s technology landscape strengthens its reputation globally as Imageworks joins the list of major players, like Amazon and Microsoft, choosing to call B.C. their home.

    “Imageworks is proud to call Vancouver home. The opening of this facility is the culmination of a five-year plan designed to ensure that we continue to bring the highest quality visual effects and animation to the big screen,” said Randy Lake, executive vice president and general manager, Sony Pictures Imageworks.

    To keep B.C.’s economy diverse, strong and growing, since Sept 2011 the BC Jobs Plan has been building on the strengths of the province’s most competitive sectors utilizing our educated and skilled workforce.

    Quick Facts:

    • Imageworks first opened a production office in Vancouver in 2010, with a staff of 80 artists - they now currently employ over 700 artists in Vancouver.
    • 90% of their initial hires were local talent, and they continue to recruit the best Canadian talent.
    • They are currently working on seven different projects with Vancouver crews doing over 90% of the visual effects and animation work on each film.
    • British Columbia’s tech sector employs approximately 4.4% of B.C.’s work force.
    • B.C. is among top provincial performers in terms of growth in technology revenues - outpacing overall Canadian tech revenue growth.
    • The Digital Media and Wireless sector in B.C. accounts for 16,500 jobs at 1,150 companies, providing $3 billion in revenues.

     

  • Article

    Vancouver is quickly establishing itself as a digital media mecca in Canada.

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    Vancouver is quickly establishing itself as a digital media mecca in Canada.

    The bustling West Coast city contains most of the province's digital media industry, which is home to more than 22,000 workers in BC, according to industry association data. This industry accounts for a quarter of all tech jobs in the province.

    Specifically in Vancouver, over 1,000 jobs have been created and roughly a dozen companies have moved into the city in just the past four years, according to the Vancouver Economic Commission. And up to 700 more jobs are expected within the next year alone.

    KPMG estimates that there are approximately 900 digital media companies in BC and that they generate roughly $1.2 billion (and growing) in revenue per year.


    SOURCE: http://www.techvibes.com/blog/vancouver-has-established-itself-as-a-digital-media-mecca-2012-06-22

    June 25, 2012

  • Article

    BURNABY - Jobs, Tourism and Innovation Minister Pat Bell launched the B.C. government's strategy to create and support jobs in the province's fast-growing technology sector today.

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    BURNABY - Jobs, Tourism and Innovation Minister Pat Bell launched the B.C. government's strategy to create and support jobs in the province's fast-growing technology sector today.


    "Technology is one of eight key sectors we identified in 'Canada Starts Here: The BC Jobs Plan', but it's doubly important in that technology supports all of the other sectors through product and service innovations that allow them to grow and create jobs," Bell said. "Technology enables growth in all sectors and growth means jobs for B.C. families."


    As jobs in the technology sector continue to grow twice as fast as any other, B.C.'s Technology Strategy predicts by 2014 there will be over 100,000 high-tech jobs supporting British Columbian families.

    In order to build on that momentum and support the sector, the strategy focuses on four key action items:

    • Accelerate technology commercialization and adoption.
    • Build on regional strengths to create new opportunities.
    • Develop talent for a knowledge-based economy.
    • Expand markets for British Columbia's technology


    The strategy builds on the competitive advantages and investments in B.C.'s main technology subsectors, which include clean technology; information and communication technologies; wireless, digital and screen-based media; and health and life sciences.


    "Building a knowledge-based society is key to the future of British Columbia - and British Columbians, " said Greg Peet, chair of Premier's Technology Council. "This strategy will strengthen and diversify the province's economy by encouraging the formation and growth of companies in B.C.'s vibrant technology sector."


    The new $7-million BC Commercialization Voucher Program will connect small and medium-sized companies from a variety of key sectors and regions throughout the province with cutting-edge researchers in B.C.'s post-secondary system. Those collaborations will help get the most innovative products to market faster.


    "The development and commercialization of technology is crucial for communities throughout this province," said Minister of State for Multiculturalism John Yap. "The sector provides innovative solutions that make B.C. competitive and bring jobs to communities both big and small."


    "To compete globally, it's more important than ever that we continue to strengthen the network of resources that support innovation, the development of highly skilled talent and the commercialization of technology products and services right here in B.C.," said Jill Leversage, board chair of the British Columbia Innovation Council. "BCIC and initiatives such as the BC Commercialization Voucher Program help technology entrepreneurs accelerate their ideas from concept to the marketplace."


    The B.C. government also plans to develop a second program, Productivity BC, to help companies increase cost efficiencies, production scalability and business sustainability.

    In addition, a new government procurement program will help businesses commercialize their ideas and get new products into the marketplace quickly and efficiently.


    Learn More:

    B.C.'s Technology Strategy: http://www.bcjobsplan.ca/technology

    Canada Starts Here: The BC Jobs Plan: www.bcjobsplan.ca

    We want to hear from you. Please share your ideas at:BCJobsPlan.ca

    Two backgrounders follow.

    Contact:

    Media Relations
    Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation
    250 356-7104


    BACKGROUNDER

    BC Commercialization Voucher Program

    What is it?

    • The BC Commercialization Voucher program will provide vouchers in amounts of $15,000 or $50,000 to support the commercialization of technology products, services and processes.
    • This new program is targeted toward technology and knowledge-driven businesses in British Columbia in provincial priority areas identified under 'Canada Starts Here: The BC Jobs Plan', including Technology, Forestry, Mining, Natural Gas, Agrifoods, Tourism, Transportation and International Education.
    • The program provides companies that operate from a British Columbia base with access to the unique knowledge and expertise available at the province's post-secondary institutions.
    • Details about the program will be posted on the BC Jobs Plan website in late September.

    Who can apply?

    • Qualified B.C. enterprises with an applied research and development question can apply to work with a qualified graduate student expert that is registered in a B.C. post-secondary research institution.

    When does the program start?

    • The first program intake is expected in early October.

    Contact:

    Media Relations
    Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation
    250 356-7104


    BACKGROUNDER

    Key B.C. technology subsectors

    Clean technology includes power generation, energy efficiency, transportation and industrial processes. This subsector includes more than 200 young companies, generates $2.5 billion in revenue and provided 8,400 jobs in 2011, with $650 million in combined payroll. B.C. has the third-largest clean energy sector in the world, behind California and Germany, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers.

    Information and communication technologies and wireless comprises more than 6,000 companies undertaking software publishing, computer manufacturing and systems design, engineering services, and wired and wireless communications. B.C. has more than 500 wireless technology businesses alone, which generate revenues of more than $1 billion. The subsector provides 46,000 B.C. jobs.

    Digital and screen-based media companies include more than 600 firms involved in areas such as interactive design; digital entertainment and games; digital film, animation and special effects; mobile content and applications; and e-learning. The sector employs about 16,000 people and has $2.3 billion in annual sales. The global video game market alone is projected to grow to $76 billion by 2013.

    Health and life sciences companies produce medical devices, biopharmaceuticals, bio-products and process innovations. B.C.'s biopharmaceutical cluster alone comprises more than 90 companies and is the seventh largest in North America. Bioproducts are created using renewable resources and biological processes, and include biofuels, bioenergy, biomaterials, and everyday household or industrial products, with an estimated global market of $200 billion.


    Contact:

    Media Relations
    Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation
    250 356-7104