Overview of the Industry

Based on national and provincial trends, workforce availability, key projects, and assets in the region, the Digital Media and Entertainment sector has one of the strongest business cases for the region of North Vancouver. Top occupations employed in Specialized Design Services have an overall concentration of 1.9 in the North Vancouver region. The job share is almost twice as high as the national average, with a 19% growth rate compared to the national growth rate of 12% since 2014. The Digital Media and Entertainment sector encompasses the traditional industries of television and film production. It also includes niche industries such as Visual Effects (VFX) and animation, virtual reality and interactive media, and video game development. When it comes to the Film and Entertainment industry, North Vancouver is the perfect location. There were 121 productions filmed in the City of North Vancouver (CNV) in 2015, and 178 in 2016, a growth of 57 productions in a year. Due to this activity, North Shore Studios added eight sound stages and 120,000 ft² of office space according to CNV. North Vancouver has purpose-built facilities that serve the specific and unique needs of the Film and Television industry. From seaside to mountains to forest to cityscape, North Vancouver offers a variety of natural location options. Because of this, filming in multiple distinct locations can take place in a short period of time and without travel.

North Vancouver is also home to several key Associations that support the Film and Entertainment industry including the Motion Picture Production Industry Association of British Columbia (MPPIA) and the North Shore Film Group. With a skilled and growing labour force and dedicated educational training programs, the North Vancouver region has a strong value proposition for new and expanding companies. The high-skilled, well-paid and culture-conscious young workforce has a demonstrated affinity for North Vancouver’s natural assets, outdoor recreation opportunities and high quality of life.

Description 2018 Jobs2018 Jobs
Graphic designers and illustrators652
Computer programmers & interactive media developers589
Producers, directors, choreographers and related occupations 329
Audio and video recording technicians193
Support occupations in motion pictures, etc. 137
Other technical an coordinating occupations in motion pictures, etc. 114
Theatre, fashion, exhibit and other creative designers 103
Film and video camera operators64
Graphic arts technicians64
Managers - publishing, motion pictures, etc. 14
Photographers and film processors<10


Quick Takeaways

  • Film, television, and video games are quickly “digitalizing” into online and mobile formats. This trend is spurring growth in post-production, virtual reality, and film technology. • Between 2010 and 2015, consumer spending on digital media tripled – global strategist McKinsey & Company projects it will double again by 2020.
  • Video games are expected to see the largest growth in consumer spending.
  • In-home video production closely follows video game production, the growth of which is spurred by the proliferation of streaming services and the migration of digital media to mobile devices.
  • Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster funds and facilitates projects in BC that are developing digital products and platforms to transform industries and increase economic growth in of Canada.
  • The Think Tank Training Centre, established in 2005, is rated 2nd in Canada and 3rd out of the 157 schools worldwide for Visual Effects. It’s 1st in Canada and 4th out of 217 schools worldwide for Game Development based on the quality of student portfolios.



  • Film and video production: The Asia-Pacific market is the primary driver of growth in the global film and video production industry and contributes 70% of consumers to the $1.8 trillion industry according to First Research. In film, Canada is the third most popular global location, finishing ahead of California, which hosted 12 topgrossing movies that year to Canada’s 13 according to Film L.A. This resulted in the film and television industry directly supporting 67,500 jobs and a further 104,200 spin-off positions in Canada between 2016 and 2017 according to Telefilm Canada.
  • Pre- and post-production: Includes the graphic design, editing, film/tape transfers, subtitling, credits, closed captioning, animation, and special effects industries. These industries represent a significant opportunity for business in this sector as there is a growing demand for highly skilled, specialized workers.
  • Filming technologies: Advances in filming technologies are continue to reshape the industry. Trends in the industry, such as 4K camera technology, create new business opportunities for photographic and optical equipment manufacturing with innovative camera technologies, new lenses, and equipment that can be used in aerial photography.
  • Video and interactive games: This is another example of a significant and constantly growing industry. Interactive entertainment played on mobile platforms such as tablets and smartphones, and on online platforms and social networks represent key opportunities to enhance growth and profitability.


Workforce Availability

  • North Vancouver has a strong presence of designers, technicians and media developers, with over 2,000 jobs directly related to the film, digital media, and entertainment sector.
  • The local Capilano University is a key contributor to the skilled workforce, with specialized programs in motion pictures arts, animation, music, theatre, costuming, design, just to list some of the many courses related to this sector.
  • North Vancouver is also home to the Think Tank Training Centre, a renowned facility for visual effects and game development (see section: Quick Takeaways).
  • The talent pipeline is further supported at the secondary school level by initiatives such as the Digital Media Academy at Argyle Secondary.
  • Local employers are active participants in workforce development and serve as instructors for a number of specialized courses at post-secondary institutions. This involvement also serves as a key way to recruit talent.
  • There are 120% more jobs in the motion picture and video production industry in North Vancouver than in the rest of Canada.


  1. North Shore Studios: World-famous studio complex featuring 8 sound stages totaling over 150,000 square feet.
  2. New Machine Studios West: Produces commercial animation and independent animated productions for television and film.
  3. Digital Dreams Enterprises – Post-Production: Full HD video production services specialized in production of TV commercials, corporate videos, web videos, documentaries and event videography.
  4. Thomas FX Group – VFX and Studio: Manufacturer of biodegradable artificial snow and a world-leading snow and winter special effects supplier for snow and ice products.


www.cnv.org www.mppia.com


www.digitalsupercluster.ca www.tttc.ca www.firstresearch.com

www.filmla.com www.telefilm.ca/en