Animation Business Exchange Delivers New Corridor for Canada–UK Animation

Animation Business Exchange Delivers New Corridor for Canada–UK Animation

Logo for Animation Business Exchange Delivers New Corridor for Canada–UK Animation

London & Vancouver draw closer in wake of recently inked Creative MOU

Vancouver, Canada / London, England – This Thursday, the Vancouver Economic Commission (VEC) will welcome a U.K. delegation led by Film London that includes five globally recognized animation studios seeking to generate leads, create co-production opportunities and network with their Vancouver counterparts. This inaugural Vancouver–London Animation Business Exchange advances the development of an animation trade highway between the two creative cities.

The five London studios in the delegation led by Film London are Axis Animation, Lupus Films, Blue Zoo, Jellyfish Pictures, and GFM Films. Joining them are Grant Thornton and Lee & Thompson, professional consulting services familiar with serving the animation industry.

According to VEC research, the value of the local visual effects (VFX) and animation industry has tripled since 2012. Early projections by the organization predict that the industry’s annual direct spend is on track to crack the billion-dollar mark (CAD) in 2019 (USD 750 million; GBP 570 million).

Catherine Warren, CEO of the Vancouver Economic Commission, said: “With the global market for animation hotter than ever, there has never been a better opportunity for Vancouver and London to unite for economic development. Technology is transforming the business of animation, and our cities are also renowned tech and startup hubs as well as world-leading creative clusters. Now is the time to build on our animation expertise and deal-making, to leverage and strengthen the ties across our creative industries, and to stimulate job growth and employment opportunities for future generations.”

Adrian Wootton OBE, Chief Executive of Film London and the British Film Commission, said: “We were thrilled to announce a new city-to-city agreement between London and Vancouver at TIFF, and this trip marks a significant step in fostering greater creative, commercial and cultural exchange between our two regions. Both cities are successful global production centres for the screen industries, boasting excellent VFX and post production infrastructure, with many market-leading companies having a significant presence in both cities. We are delighted to be leading this delegation of London animation studios and to combining experience, know-how and market knowledge to explore future opportunities for collaboration and business growth.”

Taking place March 14–17, the Vancouver–London Animation Business Exchange is a deliverable promised by the pact signed by Film London and VEC in September. In the MOU, the two cities’ agencies pledged to work together on scoping business collaborations, cross-promoting IP at key international events and markets, supporting companies with operational presences in both cities and pooling expertise on topics such as sustainable business, and diversity and inclusion in creative industry workplaces.

In addition to the Vancouver Economic Commission, program funders of the animation business exchange include the Province of British Columbia, Invest in Canada, Creative B.C, CMPA-BC, Tourism Vancouver and The Douglas Hotel. This support demonstrates the widespread commitment by Vancouver’s animation, visual effects and other creative industries to develop closer business relationships between London and Vancouver.


Quick Facts and Context:

  • Mature OTTs like Amazon Prime and Netflix have announced increases in animation spend for commissioned content, with their budgets set to double by 2021. Global hubs for production are well-positioned to capture benefits from this trend.
  • VEC and Film London signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for creative industries at TIFF in September 2018.

Fast Facts from Vancouver’s animation industry:

  • The animation and visual effects industries’ direct spend into Vancouver has tripled since 2012, from CA$324M ($US244M) to an estimated CA$965M (US$729M) in 2018.
  • VEC projects that recent animation spending trends will see Vancouver-based industry surge past the billion-dollar mark in 2019.
  • Notable Vancouver-animated productions include the recent award-winning Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and audience favourites such as Rick & Morty, Hotel Transylvania 1, 2 & 3, Beat Bugs, Bob’s Burgers and Angry Birds.

Fast Facts from London’s animation industry:

  • Since the introduction of the U.K. animation tax credit in 2013, the spend on animation in London has risen from under £35 million to over £150 million a year.
  • In the U.K., 20 animation television programmes went into production in 2018 alongside three animated features.
  • More than 75% of U.K. productions in 2018 involved a coproduction or co-venture with studios outside the U.K.
  • Animated television projects that went into production in the U.K. in 2018 include Norm of the Forest, Jessy & Nessy, Hey Duggee Series 3, Bing Series 4, and Clangers Series 3. Among the animated features is Locksmith Animation Ron’s Gone Wrong for FOX.


About the Vancouver Economic Commission (VEC)

The Vancouver Economic Commission is the economic development agency for the city’s businesses, investors and citizens. It works to strengthen Vancouver’s economic future by supporting local companies, attracting high-impact investment and promoting international trade in the world’s fastest-growing, low-carbon economy. VEC works collaboratively to position Vancouver as a global destination for innovative, creative, diverse and sustainable development.

VEC supports high-growth economic sectors, including digital entertainment, film & TV, and technology, providing investment intelligence and business development services. These include:

  • Delivering proactive investment attraction initiatives for the media & entertainment sector
  • Assisting companies, studios and associations in navigating the Vancouver business ecosystem
  • Supporting talent and businesses with international recruitment initiatives and local career fairs
  • Publishing original research about media & entertainment

Located in the heart of downtown, the Vancouver Economic Commission respectfully acknowledges that it is located on the unceded ancestral territories of the Musqueam, Tsleil-Waututh and Squamish nations.


About Film London

Film London is the capital’s screen industries agency. We connect ideas, talent and finance to develop a pioneering creative culture in the city that delivers success in film, television, animation, games and beyond. We work to sustain, promote and develop London as a global content production hub, support the development of the city’s new and emerging filmmaking talent and invest in a diverse and rich film culture. Funded by the Mayor of London and the National Lottery through the BFI, we also receive support from Arts Council England and the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Film London’s activities include:

  • Maintaining, strengthening and promoting London’s position as world-class city to attract investment through film, TV, animation and games
  • Investing in local talent through a range of specialized production and training schemes
  • Boosting employment and competitiveness in the capital’s screen industries by delivering internationally facing business development events
  • Maximizing access to the capital’s film culture by helping audiences discover film in all its diversity
  • Promoting London through screen tourism

Film London also manages the British Film Commission ( through a public/private partnership which is funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport through the BFI, and the Department for International Trade.


Media Inquiries

For interviews and further questions on this story, please direct your enquiries to the following media contacts.

Vancouver Economic Commission

Ingrid Valou, Communications Specialist
T: +1 604 868 1990

Film London

Haylie Read, Senior Press & Communications Manager
T: +44 020 7613 7682 | M: +44 07787 254 250