Vancouver's VFX & Animation Sector is Booming

VFX & Animation

The word is out that Vancouver is the place to be for VFX & Animation.

The Digital Entertainment & Interactive (DE&I) industry includes the booming Visual Effects (VFX) and Animation sector. From the world’s first CG TV series on ABC to a succession of recent major animated feature films and highly rated television series, Vancouver has established itself as a truly world-leading centre of VFX & animation talent and technology. The industry has a long track record of producing cutting edge animated content ranging from award-winning shorts to internationally renowned series and feature films.

In Vancouver, over 60 studios make up the VFX and Animation industry, comprising the world’s largest cluster of domestic and foreign-owned studios.

 

Why do VFX & Animation Studios Choose Vancouver?

  • Impressive and ever-increasing concentration of companies and talent, matched by first-rate infrastructure
  • Collaborative and close-knit environment, naturally fostered by the city’s compact design
  • Proximity to major industry hubs in the US, including Los Angeles, Silicon Valley, and Seattle
  • Business-friendly climate, tax incentives and outstanding quality of life

From Classroom to Studio

The industry is also well-supported through education and training programs for artists, software engineers, and other technical-related professionals. They include:

 

 

Major Tax Incentives for VFX & Animation (not exclusive)

Federal, provincial & municipal governments provide strong support & incentives to tech businesses operating in Vancouver

  • British Columbia Production Services Tax Credit
    Offers Canadian, or international film and TV production companies with a permanent establishment in BC, a 28% refundable tax credit on eligible labour costs.
  • Film Incentive BC Tax Credit
    A labour-based tax incentive offering a refundable tax credit of 35% to Canadian-controlled production companies.
  • Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit
    Offers a credit of 25% of qualified labour to Canadian-controlled production companies provided by the Government of Canada, with a credit of 16% of qualified labour costs to Canadian- controlled production companies and those with a permanent establishment in Canada.
  • BC Digital Animation or Visual Effects (DAVE.)
    Provides a tax credit of 16% on qualifying labour costs to production companies employing BC talent for post-production and sound.
  • The Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED)
    program, a federal tax incentive encouraging R&D in Canada. Qualifying non-Canadian companies can receive tax credits of 15% of qualified expenditures, while Canadian companies receive enhanced credits. Qualifying Canadian and non-Canadian corporations conducting R&D in BC can also benefit from a 10% provincial tax credit.
  • International Business Activity (IBA)
    A company registered in the International Business Activity (IBA) program, administered by Advantage BC, qualifies for a full refund of provincial corporate income tax, currently 11% in British Columbia, on revenues derived from film and television distribution.
  • British Columbia Interactive Digital Media Tax Credit: taxable Canadian corporations with permanent establishments in British Columbia, in the business of developing interactive digital media products may be eligible for a refundable 17.5% tax credit on qualified labour costs.

Key stats about Vancouver's VFX & Animation industry