International entertainment companies are flocking to Ontario’s collaboratively linked technology regions of London, Toronto, Waterloo Region, Niagara and Ottawa. At the 2011 Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, executives from Ontario's talent-rich tech cities promoted Canada’s “pixel-perfect business conditions” for expanding digital media companies.
With 22 universities and colleges pumping out more than 18,000 graduates per year, Ontario’s Technology Corridor (OTC) has a deep talent pool to draw from. Graduates come from 174 specialized digital media programs including 3D animation, film studies, advanced computer programming, math, and hardware engineering.
Canada pushed past the UK last year as the world’s third largest centre for videogame development talent, in part because of Ontario’s deep talent pool and targeted tax incentives.
Ontario’s fast-growing entertainment and creative cluster produces $15 billion in revenue and over 200,000 jobs, contributing $12.7 billion to the province’s GDP.
Ontario's Media Development Corporation (OMDC) is the central catalyst for the province's cultural media cluster - to date the OMDC IDM Fund has contributed $7.7 million to support 76 projects with budgets totalling $32.7 million - and continues to offer the following incentives, including:
• Ontario Interactive Digital Media Tax Credit -- refunds 35-40 per cent of eligible production costs
• Ontario Computer Animation and Special Effects Tax Credit -- refunds 20 per cent of labour costs
• OMDC Interactive Digital Media Fund -- up to $150,000 in project production funding, up to a maximum of 50% of the project budget. So far in 2011, the OMDC has announced $2.0 million in funding support.