Technology and innovation transform the way films, television, video games, and other electronic entertainment are created at startling rates. The world building taking place through new tools such as virtual reality reshapes the way we as consumers interact with each other, and our imaginations.
Vancouver has long been one of the entertainment industry epicenters of North America—boasting the third largest film, TV, and video game production community on the continent as well as the largest visual effects (VFX) production community in the world. So, when the first Virtual Reality incubator hub opened this past fall in Railtown, it proved a solid fit for the expansion and evolution of the creative economy on the West Coast of Canada.
It’s a critical piece of securing Vancouver’s status as a top creative hub and stabilizing the local creative economy which is profoundly impacted by fluctuations in the American dollar, a reliance upon federal and provincial tax credits, and the general instability of investment in the entertainment industry.
The opening of The Cube Hub is a portion of that piece. And, this week, Stu sat down with Patrick Pennefather & Etienne Farreyre who are securing another portion—looking to establish international connections, bringing together French start-ups and Canadian start-ups to develop immersive technologies.
“It’s important to build the entire ecosystem internationally,” Pennefather said. “…We are reaching out across different industries…to determine how can we sustain this momentum.”
The well-established entertainment community plays a big role in the draw of companies to Vancouver. It also serves as the Northernmost point in establishing West Coast dominance in VR development from studios in LA, Silicon Valley, Seattle, and now British Columbia.
Check out some of the Vancouver studios in this sector: