Sony Pictures Imageworks’ announcement that they are relocating headquarters to Vancouver is further validation that B.C.’s tech sector is among the best in the world.
Sony Pictures Imageworks, part of the Sony Pictures group of companies, is one of the foremost visual effects (VFX) companies in the world. Beginning in 2015, the company will occupy a 6,875 square-metre (74,000-square-foot) office space and employ as many as 700 digital artists and staff. To date, Sony Pictures Imageworks has worked on over 71 feature films, and has been behind the special effects of some of the most recognizable movie franchises in history including Lord of the Rings, Spider Man and Men in Black.
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“The fact that Sony Imageworks is moving its head office to B.C. proves that our tech sector can compete and succeed with the best in the world,” said Andrew Wilkinson, Minister of Technology, Innovation and Citizens’ Services. “We have a highly skilled, tech-savvy workforce with the talent to do the kind of work a leading-edge company like Sony Imageworks requires.”
In February 2014, Premier Christy Clark met in Los Angeles with senior executives from Sony Pictures to reinforce B.C.’s commitment to the digital media sector. The Premier also hosted a digital media roundtable in Los Angeles, which included Sony Pictures executives, to discuss sector challenges and opportunities.
Premier Clark highlighted B.C.’s many globally competitive advantages, including its highly qualified talent pool, competitive business and tax environment, and strategic proximity to the largest markets.
The technology sector was identified as a key priority as part of the BC Jobs Plan. Supported by a highly skilled workforce and competitive tax environment, this makes B.C. an appealing location for high-tech businesses.
British Columbia has emerged as a global centre for digital media and the high-tech sector. Earlier this month Microsoft announced plans to open a new Microsoft Canada Excellence Centre, which will significantly expand the company’s investment in Canada. Lucasfilm’s Industrial Light & Magic unveiled a new 2,787-square-metre (30,000-square-foot) studio earlier this year, and will work on numerous blockbusters such as the new Star Wars trilogy.