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London and Vancouver draw closer in wake of recently inked creative MOU

Date posted: 11.03.2019

This week the Vancouver Economic Commission (VEC) will welcome a U.K. delegation led by Film London that includes five globally recognized animation studios seeking to generate leads, create co-production opportunities and network with their Vancouver counterparts. This inaugural Vancouver–London Animation Business Exchange advances the development of an animation trade highway between the two creative cities.

The five London studios in the delegation led by Film London are Axis Animation, Lupus Films, Blue Zoo, Jellyfish Pictures, and GFM Films. Joining them are Grant Thornton and Lee & Thompson, professional consulting services familiar with serving the animation industry.

According to VEC research, the value of the local visual effects (VFX) and animation industry has tripled since 2012. Early projections by the organization predict that the industry’s annual direct spend is on track to crack the billion-dollar mark (CAD) in 2019 (USD 750 million; GBP 570 million).

Catherine Warren, CEO of the Vancouver Economic Commission, said:

“With the global market for animation hotter than ever, there has never been a better opportunity for Vancouver and London to unite for economic development. Technology is transforming the business of animation, and our cities are also renowned tech and startup hubs as well as world-leading creative clusters. Now is the time to build on our animation expertise and deal-making, to leverage and strengthen the ties across our creative industries, and to stimulate job growth and employment opportunities for future generations.”

Adrian Wootton OBE, Chief Executive of Film London and the British Film Commission, said:

“We were thrilled to announce a new city-to-city agreement between London and Vancouver at TIFF, and this trip marks a significant step in fostering greater creative, commercial and cultural exchange between our two regions. Both cities are successful global production centres for the screen industries, boasting excellent VFX and post production infrastructure, with many market-leading companies having a significant presence in both cities. We are delighted to be leading this delegation of London animation studios and to combining experience, know-how and market knowledge to explore future opportunities for collaboration and business growth.”

Taking place March 14–17, the Vancouver–London Animation Business Exchange is a deliverable promised by the pact signed by Film London and VEC in September. In the MOU, the two cities’ agencies pledged to work together on scoping business collaborations, cross-promoting IP at key international events and markets, supporting companies with operational presences in both cities and pooling expertise on topics such as sustainable business, and diversity and inclusion in creative industry workplaces.

In addition to the Vancouver Economic Commission, program funders of the animation business exchange include the Province of British Columbia, Invest in Canada, Creative B.C, CMPA-BC, Tourism Vancouver and The Douglas Hotel. This support demonstrates the widespread commitment by Vancouver’s animation, visual effects and other creative industries to develop closer business relationships between London and Vancouver.

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