Brad Duguid, the Minister of Economic Development and Innovation for Ontario, talked about the Toronto’s digital media economy at the recent Ubisoft studio launch.
Duguid said that the Ontario government is committed to making Ontario and Toronto a hotbed for innovation. Ten years ago, Toronto was not even on the map when it came to startups, according to Dugid. It is now the fourth most active ecosystem in the world. He noted a doubling of jobs in the digital media sector from 8,000 to 16,000.
There are now 33 digital media projects that the Ontario government has supported worth $11 million in value. Further, Ontario’s tax credits have invested $62 million in 227 projects. The goal is to be a global economic leader in a post-global recession economy that is fast moving.
Ubisoft is a hotbed of creativity and innovation and has been at the leading edge in Canada for almost 15 years since opening up operations in Montreal. Now they can also be an innovation leader in Toronto after just a couple years of operation.
The new motion capture studio represents collaboration between the entertainment and video game industries. That’s much like how Interactive Ontario brought in different streams of technology to a cross-media conference last fall known as X-Summit. This year’s X-Summit conference will be held in November.
Ubisoft’s new motion capture studio also allows for a greater digital storytelling capacity: animation and gaming can be created simultaneously through the world class studio. It allows for the shooting of two mediums at once – animation for film and gaming for video game consoles.
It’s increasingly important for technical industries to collaborate moving forward in a fast moving economy to keep Canada at the forefront of innovation. That’s why Sheridan College and the Screen Industries Research Training Centre have partnered with Ubisoft.
The studio will welcome projects from 26 studios around the world. SIRT is partnering on virtual production, research, collaboration, performance capture, digital special effects, and more. Ubisoft will work closely with Sheridan College to train students because many graduates end up working in gaming and animation.
The combined knowledge will allow access to cutting edge tools, facilities, and techniques. That’s in addition to the recent $3.5 million Canadian Film Centre announcement.