British Columbia has a rich and long-standing media tradition. Acting as a significant outpost for film production for the past few decades, BC also has a history of attracting and cultivating talent in the burgeoning digital media sector. Evident in the successes of Distinctive Software (which was later acquired by Electronic Arts and morphed into EA Canada in the early 1990s) to Rainmaker Entertainment, a leading CG animation studio, and HootSuite, a successful social networking platform, firms in British Columbia have long been at the forefront of digital media.
Earlier this week, Minister of Advanced Education Naomi Yamamoto and Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation Pat Bell were at the Centre for Digital Media to get a glimpse at the construction of the Centre’s new building, which is slated for completion this summer. While here, the ministers discussed the role of digital media in the new economy, specifically in the British Columbian context:
“Importance of the digital media sector cannot be understated, with companies like Pixar, Sony Pictures Imageworks and Microsoft setting up shop here in Vancouver, we know that these great jobs will be here for them (Masters of Digital Media students),” noted Minister Bell, who also lauded Electronic Arts’ successes in the region. He continued, stating “...Those jobs are the ones that are in big demand today, but they’re also the jobs for tomorrow. The Centre for Digital Media that we’re visiting here today will keep us on the cutting edge of a rapidly growing and constantly changing sector.”
Minster Bell also noted the historical significance of the Centre for Digital Media’s location. Donated by manufacturing heavyweight Finning, Bell thought it appropriate that the school should be situated on soil previously used for heavy manufacturing: “It does show a bit about the old economy and the new economy and what’s happening,” noted the Minister before beginning his tour of the facility.