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British Columbia has more than 600 digital media companies, which employ about 16,000 people and generate $2.3 billion in annual sales. Greater Vancouver accounts for more than 60 per cent of the digital media companies in the province.
Digital media companies currently operate in five areas: interactive design; digital entertainment and games; digital film, animation and special effects; mobile content and applications including games; and E-learning. By 2010, products developed by Vancouver’s digital sectors will impact many sectors – for example, health care, education and military activities – as practical applications and training tools, and as next generation technology innovations.
Vancouver is packed with creative and original minds, and digital media companies cite access to a vast talent pool as a top reason for doing business in Vancouver. A tolerant and welcoming attitude towards other cultures, ethnicities and lifestyles draws talented individuals and globally-oriented companies to Vancouver from all over the world.
Vancouver’s downtown, renowned for a unique blend of residential, commercial, arts and cultural space, is the perfect environment for digital media - a collaborative confluence of science, technology and art. Thirty per cent of the city’s digital media companies are located in Vancouver’s business core, resulting in a high rate of strategic relationships and lucrative partnerships. Most of the province’s digital media companies are actively involved in collaborative ventures and partnerships with U.S. and other foreign publishers.
All of Vancouver’s major post-secondary institutions are engaged in digital media, providing outstanding facilities, training and research services to the private sector. Four institutions recently established together a new location for digital media studies, the Great Northern Way Campus. The campus offers a Master’s degree that will prepare digital media professionals with advanced skills and critical management training.
Vancouver is geographically positioned to leverage relationships with L.A.’s entertainment hub, software centres in Seattle and Redmond, Washington, and strong markets for services in Asia.
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The Government of British Columbia’s New Media Tax Credit is a 30 per cent non-refundable income tax credit for venture capital corporations investing in eligible digital media businesses.
Early-stage ventures are also eligible for support from the B.C. government’s $90 million B.C. Renaissance Capital Fund.
“The B.C. government offers a 33 per cent refundable tax credit for Canadian or international film and television production companies that incur eligible labour costs in B.C.. Labour costs for digital animation, visual effects and video game development receive a 17.5 per cent credit. Recipient corporations do not have to be Canadian-owned, or have an interest in the copyright. Enhanced credits are available for B.C.-owned and controlled companies.
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Non-profit that administers B.C. film credits and provides support for the development and marketing of film, TV and digital media products from B.C.
B.C. Innovation Council
Crown Agency that fosters innovation and commercialization, in partnership with government, industry and academia.
B.C. Ministry of Economic Development
Provincial government department that promotes commerce and investment in B.C. and administers B.C.’s venture capital programs.
B.C. Technology Industry Association (BCTIA)
Non-profit organization that supports the growth of B.C.’s technology industry through a variety of programs and initiatives.
Centre for Digital Media at Great Northern Way Campus
Partnership between four institutions: British Columbia Institute of Technology, Emily Carr Institute of Art + Design, Simon Fraser University and the University of British Columbia. The Centre offers an innovative, professional Masters of Digital Media degree recognized and accredited by each of the participating institutions.
International Game Developers Association – Vancouver
Local association of video game developers, affiliated with the international video game industry association.
Intersections Digital Studios Emily Carr Institute of Art + Design
New $5 million research facility and studio where students and professionals collaborate on interdisciplinary projects.
Local network of small and large companies, industry associations, community organizations and academic institutions engaged in the development of mobile media.
New Media BC
Vancouver-based digital media industry association.
SIGGRAPH International, Vancouver Chapter
Vancouver Chapter of the Special Interest Group for Computer Graphics of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM). SIGGRAPH’s 2011 conference will be held in Vancouver, its first conference outside the U.S. Over 24,000 attendees from around the world are expected.
Simon Fraser University
School for Interactive Arts and Technology
School offering undergraduate and graduate degrees in digital media; it also conducts interdisciplinary research that draws on science, art and design.
Canadian government cultural agency with a Vancouver office that provides the film, TV and digital media industries with financial, strategic and distribution support for products that reflect Canadian society.
University of British Columbia
Media Graphics and Interdisciplinary Centre
Research laboratory that conducts research on the interaction of people with digital media.
Vancouver Film School
Private school offering one-year vocational programs in animation, digital design, game design, sound design and writing.
Vancouver Institute of Media Arts (VanArts)
Institute offering industry-based diploma and certificate programs in animation, gaming and visual effects.
Photo Credit: Radial Entertainment