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It’s All Here Now

Animation / Film / Digital Media

The Animation/Film/Digital Media sector in the Central Okanagan is thriving.  With over 200 animation, film, and digital media firms the industry is on track to help the region prosper.  Local companies in the sector include state-of-the-art studios such as Bardel Entertainment and Yeti Farm Creative, developing some of the most popular movies and television series currently in production.  Eagle Creek Studios is a local soundstage and production facility.  To learn more, follow the link for the Digital Media, Film & animation Industry Profile.

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Sector Overview

With such a concentration of talent in the region, these firms have anchored many other complementary firms with diverse expertise in gaming and animation, motion picture and video production, and research and development. The region is also benefiting from two significant collaborative initiatives that are driving the sector:

  • The Digital Technology Supercluster part of the Government of Canada’s Innovation Supercluster Initiative investing up to $950 million to support business-led innovation superclusters with the greatest potential to energize the economy.
  • Cascadia Innovation Corridor the provincial partnership with the State of Washington to grow cross-border innovation in the technology sector.
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Industry Highlights

  • The film industry had a direct economic impact of $30 million in 2017
  • Local soundstage and production facilities
  • British Columbia’s Out Of Zone Regional + Distance tax credits - combined the tax credits available for shooting 
in the Central Okanagan rank among the highest in North America
  • Local qualified crews and support staff
  • The Okanagan Film Commission is a full-service commission offering location scouting, tech surveys and liason and facilitating services
  • The region benefits from funding and collaborative partnerships through initiatives like The Digital Technology Supercluster and the Cascadia Innovation Corridor

Employment Information

The Animation/Film/Digital Media sector employs 2,450 people in the Central Okanagan.

Okanagan College offers an Animation Diploma hosted in the Okanagan Centre for Innovation. Students learn the latest technology in the field of digital animation developing artistic skills, technical dexterity in 2D and 3D animation an creative thinking.

The Centre for Arts and Technology is one of Canada's leading colleges in digital arts and technical training.
Central Okanagan Animation/Film/Digital Media
Total Business 200
W/O Employees 142
W Employees 58
1-4 30
5-9 9
10-19 9
20-49 8
50-99 0
100-199 2
200-499 0
500+ 0
NOC Median Wage Central Okanagan Median Wage British Columbia
15 - Senior Managers Trade, Broadcasting and Other Services, n.e.c. $30.63/HR $36.91/HR
2174 - Computer Programmers and Interactive Media Developers $38.46/HR $38.46/HR
5131 - Producers, Directors, Choreographers, and Related Occupations $25.00/HR $25.00/HR

Competitive Advantages

  • BC’s Out of Zone Regional + Distance tax credits - combined the tax credits available for shooting in Central Okanagan rank among the highest in North America
  • The region was named the most Cost Competitive Region for business in the Pacific by KPMG in 2016
  • Talent pipeline supported by responsive public post-secondary institutions and directed regional attraction and retention initiatives
  • Proximity to and ease of travel to Vancouver (1-hour flight from YLW or 4-hour drive)
  • The Okanagan Film Commission supports the film industry through infrastructure development, marketing and promotion
  • Local production film studio
  • Dark Fibre network in Kelowna

Local Success Stories

Examples of Digital/Film/Animation Firms in the Central Okanagan include:

Bardel Entertainment, the only studio simultaneously working on feature films, prime time series, kids and preschool television with a diverse slate of collaboroators including Nickelodeon, Disney, Cartoon Network, DearmWorks and Warner Brothers.  Full Time Employees: 54

Hyper Hippo Productions, a Kelowna based game design studio.  Full Time Employees: 25

Agents of Discovery is a Move to Play & Learn mobile game that kids can use at participating locations across Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom.  Full Time Employees: 13

A Talented Bunch Making Stuff

Founded in 2007 Yeti Farm Creative is an animation studio that services renowned and coveted broadcasters like Corus Media, Netflix, and Amazon (Pete the Cat, season 2) while also creating and exploiting original intellectual property (The Schnarg).  Yeti Farm Creative formed a strategic partnership with Surprise Bag – a Los Angeles and Vancouver-based company dedicated to the creation, development, production, financing, packaging, sales and exploitation of high quality progressive and innovative content – together, the two companies collaborate on existing properties from their development slates and jointly pursue opportunities to acquire, develop, and produce new properties and co-productions.

Eagle Creek Studios

It’s all here now for the film industry with the addition of Eagle Creek Studios a Private-Production use film studio featuring 21,000 sq ft of production space, including 6,000 sq ft of offices for staff and crew, and a brand new 15,000 sq ft sound stage with high ceilings, a column free interior, and much more. With Eagle Creek Studios clear-span sound stage, productions have the space they need as the stage is purpose-built for filming.