When it comes to Digital Entertainment & Interactive (DE&I), these days the buzz is all Vancouver. Why? Because the city has the perfect ecosystem for harnessing digital potential — namely a strong artistic and creative workforce, thriving research and educational support, government incentives, an enviable location and more.
Vancouver is recognized for its wide talent pool, proximity to other global creative hubs, solid industry infrastructure, competitive tax credits, and ability to attract and cultivate top tier talent.
So what is DE&I anyways? It is a term used to describe one collective, impactful industry that includes various screen-based sectors such as, Visual Effects (VFX) & Animation, Film & TV Production, Video Game Development, VR and other Interactive Media who rely on similar infrastructure, talent and technology to create quality content.
- Vancouver’s DE&I industry includes close to 1,000 businesses. The industry generates more than 40,000 jobs in Vancouver, contributing billions in direct GDP to the city’s economy.
- Vancouver is the third largest Film & TV production centre in North America. Learn more about the Vancouver Film Commission.
- Vancouver has one of the top Video Game clusters in the world — one that includes major publishers such as, Electronic Arts (EA), Microsoft, Capcom and Nintendo.
- Vancouver has the largest cluster of top VFX and Animation studios in the world, including Sony Pictures Imageworks, Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), MPC, Double Negative, DHX Media, Animal Logic and Bardel Entertainment.
- The city’s reputation as a DE&I powerhouse has made way for prestigious conferences to call Vancouver their host city. SIGGRAPH, the premiere international event on computer graphics and interactive techniques that attracts close to 15,000 attendees, held their conference here on two occasions (2011, 2014) and have confirmed they’ll be back for the 2018 edition.
- Homegrown conferences and festivals from the DE&I sector continue to emerge and gather impressive crowds year after year. The Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF), SPARK FX, External Development Summit (XDS), and Canada’s largest VR conference, Vu are a few examples of local events that attract a global audience.
- With close proximity to Los Angeles and Silicon Valley, longstanding, stable and generous/competitive tax incentives, and a community that nurtures creativity, Vancouver makes the ideal locale for any DE&I project.
Being part of Vancouver’s Digital Entertainment & Interactive hub means:
Tapping into a home of creativity
Vancouver’s creative talent pool runs deep, cited by many Vancouver studios as one of the top reasons for doing business here. The city offers producers the ideal place to work: a friendly, networked community with an outstanding quality of life as well as access to homegrown and international talent.
Drawing on its educational institutions and industry know-how
Vancouver’s major post-secondary institutions are all engaged in the industry providing outstanding facilities, training and research that support the sector. An example of such a facility is the Centre for Digital Media (CDM). Jointly owned by the University of British Columbia (UBC), Simon Fraser University (SFU), British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT), and Emily Carr University of Art + Design, the Centre offers a unique Master’s degree that prepares digital media professionals with advanced skills and critical management training.
Belonging to the city’s digital districts
Vancouver, renowned for its unique blend of residential, commercial, arts and cultural space, is the perfect environment for DE&I — where science, technology and art meet. Most DE&I studios and facilities are located within one of the six digital districts- Gastown, Railtown, Yaletown, Mount Pleasant, Downtown and Kitsilano . Here, cross-collaboration and strategic relationships develop through the day to day activities of the tight knit community as well as through industry association events and social gatherings.
Capitalizing on its geographic benefits
Vancouver’s ideally situated near other key industry-related locales, namely the Los Angeles entertainment industry, the tech centres of Seattle and San Francisco, with strong markets for services in Asia.
Beyond these benefits, there’s also the live/work/play effect. Being able to do all three in Vancouver’s vibrant digital districts lends itself to a happier, more creative and more productive workforce. Less commute time means more time for work — and recreation to the city’s mountains, ocean, green space, fitness centres, yoga and more. It’s something we like to call the Vancouver lifestyle benefit.