1 INNOVATIVE COMPANIES CREATIVE SOLUTIONS MULTIMEDIA CREATION Quebec City, leading the way
2 COMBINING AUDACITY AND CREATIVITY 10 th Ave Productions Arcane Technologies Beenox-Activision Dufour - spectacles et images De Marque Ex Machina Frima Studio Mirego Nurun Piranha Productions Recto-Verso Productions Thalie QuébéComm Ubisoft Saga Film Sarbakan Spirafilm Studio element QUEBEC CITY REGION: A SOURCE OF INSPIRATION FOR ENTREPRENEURS AND CREATORS ABLE TO HARNESS THEIR COMBINED IMAGINATION, TALENT AND INGENUITY.
4 SNAPSHOT: MULTIMEDIA CREATION INDUSTRY 104 companies CA $230 million in annual revenues 2,500 jobs R&D expenditures totalled $7.4 million in 2010, up350% in just five years 10 25,500 graduates within 10 research centres, groups and chairs the multimedia creation sector The Quebec City region is the second-largest hub in the province of Quebec in the digital arts and interactive entertainment sector. Five major players account for 51% of the sector s jobs and 46% of its overall revenues. The following video game blockbusters were made in Quebec City: The Black Eyed Peas Experience, Spider-Man, Guitar Hero, Littlest Pet Shop, Build-A-Bear Ville, Prince of Persia, Combat of Giants, G.I. Joe, Star Wars, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Incredibles. This data is based on information available in October Sources: Adesse 2006, EB Data 2009, Statistics Canada, Industry Canada, Emploi-Québec and Québec International.
5 A technoculture-driven INDUSTRY The Quebec City region s reputation as a digital arts and interactive entertainment development hub has long crossed international boundaries. From cellphones to IMAX screens, producing multi-screen and multi-platform content is a source of excitement for local creators, who are experts in the art of entertainment. Animation, special effects, video games, design, 3D environments, programming, stereoscopy, cinema, virtual or augmented reality nothing is too audacious for them! Driven by talent as well as by the creativity and innovativeness of visionary entrepreneurs and creators, the regional industry has experienced tremendous growth over the past 20 years. Today, the multimedia creation sector is a major driver of economic development. But digital creativity means much more than a booming industry: it also exemplifies a winning combination of history and modernity, of art and technology. This unique collection of talent has transformed Quebec City into a world-class technocultural hub.
6 SUCCESS IS IN OUR CULTURE! With its European charm and dynamic North American pace, Quebec City offers a unique environment. Its beauty inspires, while its economic and cultural vitality attracts people from around the world. Indeed, Quebec City opens itself up to all those who like to do things with audacity and ingenuity. What accounts for its success? Some will offer this simple reply: it s in our culture! Culture of mobilization. Driven by a common dream, entrepreneurs, creators and elected officials are working together to make the Quebec City region a leading centre of knowledge and culture. This process of mobilization has led to the development of a strategy fostering meetings between creators of cultural content and digital technology companies. Thanks to this synergy, downtown Quebec City has been transformed into a trendsetting district with a blend of high-tech firms, artists studios and major cultural events. In addition, a world-class digital portal is currently being established in the heart of the neighbourhood to broadcast virtual artistic content. Culture of innovation. In the early 1990s, Quebec s nascent video game industry found its initial footing in Quebec City with MegaToon Entertainment Group, which conceived the world s very first interactive cartoon (Goferwinkel s Adventure, 1994). The first video game created in the province for the PlayStation console also saw the light of day in Quebec City (Jersey Devil, 1997). In 1998, Guy Boucher, one of the founders of MegaToon, launched the Sarbakan creative studio in Quebec City. Sarbakan one of the oldest game studios in the province still contributes to the success of entertainment multinationals such as Hasbro, Warner Bros, Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network and Disney.
7 WORLD-CLASS STUDIOS UBISOFT is one of the world s leading video game developers and publishers. The company has a total of more than 6,500 collaborators, with some 5,500 involved in the production process. Thanks to its longstanding position in the video game industry, Ubisoft is currently the third-largest independent publisher in the world. Founded in 1986, the company now has 16 multi-million-dollar brands and annual revenues of $1.4 billion. Opened in 2005, Ubisoft s Quebec City studio has over 300 employees working in the video game creation field. Over the past five years, the company has invested approximately $77 million in Quebec City, generating $280 million in economic benefits. Projects such as Combat of Giants, Prince of Persia Wii and The Black Eyed Peas Wii Experience were developed in the company s Quebec City offices, which collaborated with the Montreal studio on the Assassin s Creed projects. BEENOX, a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision, now has over 350 specialized employees developing games for use on the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii and Nintendo 3DS consoles. 100% designed in the company s Quebec City studio, all of these projects have international visibility. The most recent games developed by Beenox are Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions and Spider-Man: Edge of Time, featuring the worldfamous Marvel Comics character; the studio has also been awarded the prestigious mandate of developing Spidey s future adventures! Since it was founded, Beenox has won more than 35 awards in recognition not only its high-quality video games, but also of its management style, making it one of the most promising companies in its field. Beenox s ultimate goal is clear: conquering the world! FRIMA STUDIO Based in Quebec City, Frima is the leading Canadianowned video game studio and digital entertainment company. Founded in 2003, the company has a workforce of 350 employees. In addition to its original productions, it develops Web games, virtual universes and games for consoles and cellphones. It also produces concept art, animation products and special effects for the video game, cinema and TV markets. Frima s clients include no less than the world s most important entertainment companies, including Activision, Adobe, Disney, Electronic Arts, Hasbro, Mattel, Nickelodeon, Microsoft, Sony, Ubisoft and Warner. 10 TH AVE PRODUCTIONS INC. produced The Legend of the Christmas Tree, its first animated film, which reached the big screen in 2002 at Christmas. Since then, the company has developed a range of characters and stories subsequently brought to life on various digital platforms. From TV and cinema to multimedia games, the company s projects are noted for their high-quality production values, universal themes and unique artistic approach; they are geared towards families, young people and children. In 2013, Sarila, a feature-length film, will be released after 12 years of work (the production budget totalled $9 million). It will be the first 3D stereoscopic animated film produced entirely in Canada. photo: Renaud Philippe
8 EX MACHINA AND ROBERT LEPAGE TECHNOCULTURAL AMBASSADORS TRAINING THE NEXT GENERATION FOR THE BIG LEAGUES The National School of Interactive Entertainment (ENDI) is a new springboard for business integration and is the first of its kind in Canada. Founded by the industry to meet the growing need for specialized workers, ENDI is unique among educational institutions in that its students work under the supervision of industry mentors for 12 weeks on real-world multiplatform game projects. In 2010, the school scored a notable success when its ENDI Tank Battle HD game (available at the App Store) was downloaded more than one million times in five months. On the heels of this achievement, a commercialization space (Fabrik Studio) was created. ENDI s biggest strength is its ability to create real links between the education sector and video game industry needs. photo: Nicolas Ruel Founded in 1994, Ex Machina is headed by playwright, director, actor and producer Robert Lepage. His multi-disciplinary company produces memorable works in which elements of theatre, dance, singing, visual arts, digital arts, music - even science - interact. With each creation, the company provokes encounters between the performing and the recorded arts, such as cinema, video and multimedia, as well as between scientists and playwrights. Ex Machina believes that new art forms emerge when two universes become interwoven. Its goal is to become the incubator of theatrical productions that will touch spectators in the 21 st century. Ex Machina is adept at mastering technologies and placing them at the service of unique and masterful works that have been applauded in the world s leading capitals, including Paris, New York, Tokyo, Sydney, London, Moscow, Berlin, Singapore, Milan and Barcelona. Since 1994, Ex Machina s works have been seen by over 2.75 million people in more than 150 cities around the world! This legendary company s greatest achievements include The Image Mill, the largest outdoor architectural projection ever produced. Covering a 600 m by 30 m surface (the equivalent of 25 IMAX screens), The Image Mill pays tribute to Quebec City and its fascinating history. Screened in the summertime, with the Port of Quebec grain silos serving as the backdrop, this gigantic work has attracted more than one million spectators since it was created in Presented for the very first time in 3D in the summer of 2011, it is now the largest 3D projection in the world. Ex Machina and Robert Lepage have created dozens of masterworks, including The Dragons Trilogy, The Far Side of the Moon, The Andersen Project, KÀ and Totem (Cirque du Soleil) as well as Wagner s Der Ring des Nibelungen, presented at the Metropolitan Opera in New York. Robert Lepage is the 2012 recipient of the prestigious Eugene McDermott Award in the Arts, presented by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Celebrating innovation in all artistic disciplines, this honour is awarded to indivi duals who become pre-eminent figures in their fields.
9 AN INDUSTRY CONNECTED ON CREATIVITY Quebec City and its surrounding region have what it takes to inspire creative virtuosos! Its humanscale environment and culture help to foster dialogue, generate ideas and develop talent. Drawing on their expertise, ambition and imagination, local creators and entrepreneurs have long left their mark on the international stage! photo: Yan Turcotte NEW APPROACHES, HIGH-TECH INNOVATIONS AND BEST SELLERS MADE IN QUÉBEC lol:-), a unique series of comedy clips without dialogue shot using cinematographic methods and broadcast on various platforms. Recognized at the 2011 Banff World Television Awards, lol:-) has been sold to distributors in more than 100 countries. (QuébéComm) Combat of Giants, one of the first games featured in Nintendo s 3DS console for its launch in (Ubisoft) Dinosaurs: Giants of Patagonia 3D, an IMAX film nominated for a Visual Effects Society Award for its stereoscopic effects and animations. (Marc Fafard, Virtuel Concept Studio) W, an animation series broadcast on multiple platforms in Canada, France, Belgium, Hungary, Taiwan, the US and the UK. (10 th Ave Productions) Multi-platform version of a series (inspired by the short film Chargé), selected for several festivals and distributed in Canada, Italy and Africa. (Saga Film) Castelet électronique, an instrumented scale model representing a reduced-scale stage space, serving as a mobile set (including decor, lighting, stage mechanics, puppets and video projections) and offering a 3D viewing platform for teleworking. (LANTISS, Laval University) Bearville.com, an online virtual universe where more than 20 million children play in a fun and safe environment. (Frima Studio) Scaffolding structure combining mixed-media technologies, music and pyrotechnical effects for the Wall of Sound production featuring the Scala Project and a 300-voice choir. (Dufour- Spectacles and images, Saga Film) Spider-Man: Edge of Time and Shattered Dimensions video games; the future games involving this famous Marvel Comics character will be exclusively developed in Quebec City (Beenox) The Image Mill, the world s largest outdoor 3D architectural projection, covering an area of nearly 20,000 square metres. (Ex Machina, INO, LAMIC) 3D model of the Ursulines Chapel providing an immersive virtual visit that goes beyond architectural merit in its exploration of the human dimensions. (LAMIC, Laval University) Digital book warehouse, twinned with the ipad application, making it possible to read and purchase digital books in French. (De Marque, Mirego) Digital arts festival bringing together 200 creators to take part in three 48-hour creative marathons focusing on video games, 2D/3D animated shorts and paintings of digital environments. (Urban Bivouac) Le Mur du son, créé par Olivier Dufour photo: David Cannon photo: Jean-Philippe Jobin
10 RESEARCH SERVING CREATIVITY State-of-the-art research in the areas of image, sound and stage technology, 3D modeling, augmented reality, artificial intelligence, digital imaging and interactive media: the Quebec City metropolitan region is home to numerous major research centres and groups. LABORATORY FOR NEW IMAGE, SOUND AND STAGE TECHNOLOGIES (LANTISS) - Centre of expertise dedicated to creation and research in the performing arts and technology fields. CEFRIO - Liaison and transfer centre facilitating research and innovation and supporting the use of technologies as a driver of social innovation. CENTRE FOR DIGITAL IMAGING AND INTERACTIVE MEDIA (CIMMI) - Centre for multi-disciplinary R&D and technology transfer expertise in the digital imaging and interactive media fields. RESEARCH CHAIR ON DIGITAL CULTURES (CRCN) - A place for reflecting on technology and information systems and their influence on organizations, culture and society. INSTITUTE FOR INFORMATION TECHNOLOGIES AND SOCIETIES (ITIS) - The only university structure of its kind in Canada specializing in the digital revolution and its incorporation in all segments of society. INSTITUTE OF CULTURAL HERITAGE (IPAC) - Development of high-tech tools used to promote material and non-material heritage. MUSEOLOGY AND CULTURAL ENGINEERING LABORATORY (LAMIC) - Research infrastructure incorporating 3D digitization, spatialization and visualization equipment. COMPUTER VISION AND SYSTEMS LABORATORY (LVSN) - Specializes in research on computer-assisted vision and its industrial and biomedical applications relating to 3D modeling and augmented reality. DRDC VALCARTIER - The Canadian Forces largest R&D centre, developing serious game training/simulation applications.
11 QUEBEC CITY: FUELLED BY INNOVATION Unique innovations stem from multiple collaborations: augmented reality is used to treat disease via simulated internal radiation therapy (Computer Vision and Systems Laboratory/LVSN); geospace technologies are used in the production of interactive games (GeoEduc3D); dynamic intelligence is used to create training applications for golfers (Pro Mental Coach, Frima, Brain Centre); artificial intelligence (twinned with man/machine interfaces) is found in the development of serious game training simulations (DRDC Valcartier). The imaginations of local creators, artists and researchers are the only constraints to their discoveries. Companies such as Arcane Technologies are busy designing the applications of tomorrow, which will enable us to manipulate 3D objects without using our hands and to operate in virtual reality. The motor of creativity is running and Quebec City is here to fuel it a seemingly limitless source of energy!
12 IN THE QUEBEC CITY REGION CREATIVITY, EXPERTISE AND INNOVATION ARE POWERFUL GROWTH DRIVERS! Perfect balance between multinationals and smaller firms State-of-the-art high-tech infrastructure, including Canada s very first fibre to the home network (FTTH) Qualified and stable workforce Specialized educational institutions Stimulating tax incentives Strategic geographic location in North America
13 A BOOMING INDUSTRY The local digital arts and interactive entertainment industry operates in an outstanding business environment in a human-scale region that facilitates collaboration and teamwork. Thanks to the efforts of Québec International and numerous public and private partners, including the Government of Quebec and the City of Quebec, key industry actors are grouped together in communities of interest in order to foster the development of this sector of excellence. Industry growth is monitored by putting in place collaboration, exchange and partnership-based initiatives for private-sector companies with a view to stimulating the delivery of profitable projects, facilitating business/ market development and speeding innovation and research. photo: Yan Turcotte COMPETITIVE COSTS Quebec City ranks first and second in North America for its competitive localization costs, which are lower than the average for US cities in the areas of high-tech software development (by 21%) and Web content and multimedia development (by 22%). COMPARISON OF LOCALIZATION COSTS Index: USA = 100 QUEBEC CITY (QC) MONTREAL (QC) TORONTO (ON) LYON (FR) MULTIMEDIA CONTENT DEVELOPMENT SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT Source : Competitive Alternatives 2010, KPMG s Guide to International Business Location BOSTON (MA) LOS ANGELES (CA) COMPETITIVE LABOUR COSTS Quebec City is internationally recognized for the quality and stability of its workforce. The region also ranks favourably in terms of remuneration costs. AVERAGE SALARY COMPARISON in CA $ QUEBEC CITY (QC) MONTREAL (QC) TORONTO (ON) BOSTON (MA) GRAPHIC ARTIST VIDEO GAME PROGRAMMER GRAPHIC DESIGNER ARTISTIC DIRECTOR Source: Economic Research Institute (ERI) Inc., 2010 Note: 1 USD = 0,95 CAD, October 1 st, 2011 LOS ANGELES (CA) $ 000
14 THE QUEBEC CITY REGION LEADING THE WAY Noted for its business focus, Quebec City is built on a human scale. Thanks to its compact size, we can rally community groups and decision makers around global issues more quickly and effectively than we can in any other metropolitan area in North America. Major employers get a fair hearing and receive immediate support and assistance from the authorities and economic development stakeholders. Dominique Brown CEO Beenox (an Activision studio) This brochure was produced by with the support of these partners Arts numériques et divertissement interactif quebecinternational.ca