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  • 17 Dec 2020 by DigiBC

    Over the course of 2020, DigiBC has continued its work to strengthen the creative tech sector in the province and we are grateful for the interest and active participation of our members and the wider creative tech community -- all while many of us grappled with homeschooling, working from makeshift home offices, and separation from our extended family and circle of friends.  

    With your support over the past year, we are proud to have expanded our reach across Canada, partnering for the first time with other provincial industry associations to produce the inaugural Canada Games Online event. Additionally, we were able to expand our reach here in BC, delivering programs like DigiMusic and Play to Learn throughout the province. In fact, despite the challenges of 2020, we were able to make great progress across DigiBC’s three areas of focus -- Education & Programming, Government Relations and Community Building -- and encourage you to read the full list of details below. We also said goodbye to our former Executive Director, Brenda Bailey, and wish her all the best in the next phase of her career in public service. Once formally appointed, we look forward to introducing our new Executive Director in January. 

    In closing, we encourage you, if you’re reading this and are not already a DigiBC member or you have let your membership lapse, to sign up or renew. Together we are stronger, so join us as we continue to grow this fabulous creative tech sector in the province. Please support us to ensure a healthy future for our industry.  

    Sincerely,
    ~ The DigiBC Team

     



    Education & Programming

    • DigiMusic Summer 2020 Program

      DigiMusic exposes BC high school students to music-related careers in the video game and animation industries. Students are asked to create and submit original scores for either a video game or animation clip. Despite the struggles with COVID-19, this year's DigiMusic Challenge was a success. To celebrate the amazing music entries we received and all the hard work the students put in, we held a virtual finale event on August 12. The event included a showcase of the top entries from the young composers, along with a virtual animation studio tour and an industry Q&A. To end the event on a strong note, we had a beautiful musical performance by renowned BC musician, Tyler Shaw.

     

     

    • Play to Learn (in partnership with EA and EverFi)

      DigiBC continued to see interest in the Play to Learn program even in the summer months. DigiBC delivers this program outside of the Lower Mainland, inviting BC students to consider careers in Creative Technology. During the last school year, this program reached 837 students in 38 rural schools, providing more than 995 hours of learning. 

     


     

    • Sector Labour Market Partnership (SLMP) Project

      Beginning in January 2020, DigiBC undertook a year-long research project to benchmark the creative technology industry in BC. Supported by The Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training, this first-of-its-kind study includes over 70 interviews with industry and academic organizations to provide a comprehensive overview of the creative technology labour and education ecosystem in BC. We look forward to sharing the report in early 2021. 

     

     

    • DigiBC & WIA Report on Workplace Equity, Diversity & Inclusion

      In 2019, DigiBC and Women in Animation (WIA) received funding from Creative BC to deliver an industry-specific Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI) Strategy with a focus on creating and adapting tools for the sector. The report is the product of this collaboration and it includes key recommendations, short and medium-term strategies, and practical tips to make a successful transition into building an inclusive workplace environment for both leaders and employees. Link to full report here: https://bit.ly/2GvqbNY

       
     

    Government Relations

    Over the course of 2020, DigiBC has continued to work closely with government partners as the voice of the creative tech industry. This year, our work included specific programs to measure the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and plan for industry recovery and rebuilding post-crisis.

    • COVID-19 Response: CMF Emergency Relief Funds Phase 2 (IDM)

    DigiBC and our partner trade associations from across the country wrote to the Canada Media Fund and requested that they create a second fund to help studios that were not served by the first COVID-19 Emergency Support Fund. In September, the CMF created a Phase 2 Fund in September which made $10M available to Canadian IDM companies. 

    • COVID-19 Response: IDM Business Analytics Survey (Monthly Data Collection)

    DigiBC is collecting data on how COVID-19 has impacted IDM studios. Once completed, this survey data will be available to our government partners, both federally and provincially, to help inform policy decisions for economic rebuilding post-COVID.

    • COVID-19 Response: Revival of the CIAIC & Canada Games Online 2020

    The CIAIC is a national organization that had been dormant since 2018; we revived it to access national funding to assist member organizations in supporting SMEs that are impacted by COVID-19 challenges. As a result, DigiBC has been participating in regular meetings with our provincial counterparts, as well as with ESAC. This unprecedented level of country-wide collaboration in the IDM sector led to funding from the Ministry of Heritage for the inaugural Canada Games Online 2020, an event designed to assist provide SMEs with training and direct connections to publishing and investment partners.

    • 2020 Budget Consultation Report

    The 2020 Budget Consultation Report was released on August 19. DigiBC presented to the committee and highlighted the request to add 5% to our IDMTC in order to support diversity hiring, something that we recognize is of priority to this administration. Research indicates that women and people of colour have been disproportionately affected by layoffs during COVID-19, and government is looking for ways to help them back to work. Our recommendation made it into the report this year. 

    • Tech industry Roundtable with Minister Mungall & Premier Horgan

    DigiBC participated in this roundtable in April and was one of six associations asked to brief the Premier. The report, Putting Innovation to Work for British Columbia: Growing B.C. Companies, outlines five recommendations focused on helping innovative B.C. companies thrive and grow, while supporting more innovation across all sectors of the economy. 

    • Representation during the Provincial Election

    We held eight meetings with six ministries in Victoria sharing our presentation requesting to enhance the Interactive Digital Media Tax Credit, to increase it to 25% and to provide incentives for regionality and diversity.

    We also met with industry partner CEOs at the CMF, Creative BC, BC Tech and Innovate BC to align and discuss potential collaborations for 2021.
     


    Community Building

    • The Backpack Buddies fundraiser we held in April raised $4,000 for kids in need in BC 

    • Created BIPOC & COVID-19 Member Resources

    • Sent out a weekly COVID-19 Update to share information and strategies with members (ran for 13 consecutive weeks) 

    Events
    01.24: F*ckUp Nights vol. 4
    03.02:
    Animation & VFX Alliance of BC Leadership Dinner
    03.12:
    Trailblazrs Project Celebration
    08.12:
    DigiMusic Summer 2020 Celebration of Talent
    09.09/10:
    Canada Games Online 2020 - Market Pulse Training
    09.17/18
    : Canada Games Online 2020 - B2B Connect


    Business Resiliency Webinar Series

    05.15: PwC & BDC: Accessing Funding During COVID-19
    05.20: EA & Fasken: Returning to the Workplace
    06.20: DigiBC Town Hall: Assistance for Indie IDM Studios
    07.09: IRCC & BC PNP Q&A Webinar (in collaboration w/Animation & VFX Alliance)
    07.15: CBRE: The Changing Landscape of the Workplace


    Trailblazrs
    Project
    Trailblazrs is an amazing project about female funders and founders that was initiated by Gerri Sinclair, managed by Jeannette Kopak and produced by many MDM grad students. It was officially handed off to DigiBC in March.


    Membership

    • New Members: 18 new members joined this year

    • New Perks & Discounts: TELUS Exclusive Pricing Program, SPUD, Fresh Prep, Navas Apparel, Sheraton Wall Centre, Kwela Leadership Training, UME Academy 

     

     

     

  • 16 Dec 2020 by DigiBC

    The Digital Skills For Youth (DS4Y) Program

    Did you know you can get $26,000 to hire and train your intern through Innovate BC's new Digital Skills for Youth program?  Whether you have recently hired talent, or are looking to hire, to be eligible for the funding you just need to be a B.C. based company with less than 500 employees, with an intern between the ages of 15 and 30.

    Here’s how the funding breaks down: 

    • $17,000 to cover salary
    • $4,000 to cover training costs
    • $5,000 to cover direct costs (e.g., small repairs or renovations) 


    Your intern must be working in a tech role – for example programming, automation, UI/UX, digital marketing, or cybersecurity, amongst others.
     

    Even if this grant isn’t suited for you, perhaps you know a friend or a local business that may benefit from the funding at this time. 

    Learn More

    Limited funding available. Deadline to apply is January 15, 2020

     

  • 28 Aug 2020 by DigiBC

    When COVID-19 hit, a Nordicity study showed that while many video game studios experienced a positive market bump, there were others that were negatively affected by not having access to market. Notably, smaller or newer studios with prototypes ready to show were in trouble. Conferences that were typically relied on for business development and connecting with publishers and investors ended up being cancelled. Many have come back as online events, but how does a small to medium-sized game studio get noticed?

    The Canadian video game sector responded and industry associations from Ontario, Quebec, BC, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia and PEI worked together to revitalize the CIAIC and organize Canada Games Online. This has been designed to help Canadian video game developers grow their businesses, and it promises to be a high-quality event with 50+ international publishers and investors already signed up to attend. We'd like to thank to the Canada Media Fund and Canadian Heritage for funding this endeavour.


    Learn more: www.canadagamesonline.com

     

     

    • Market Pulse Training (September 9-10) is a free two-day event that includes five online workshops presented by international industry experts. They will provide insight into international game markets and introduce you to proven strategies for crafting persuasive sales pitches.  FREE REGISTRATION

       

     

    • B2B Connect (September 17-18) is a 48-hour online networking event that matches you with compatible game publishers and investors from around the world. Participating companies include Electronic Arts, Nintendo, Konami, NetEase, Square Enix and 505 Games. GET YOUR TICKET