Ottawa’s digital media cluster specializes in a wide range of activities from gaming and animation to virtual, augmented and mixed reality. Drawing upon local talent and leveraging a wide range of government incentives, Ottawa companies have pioneered industry-leading and internationally-recognized gaming and animation productions.
Ottawa-based digital media companies can develop globally competitive cost structures with the aid of industry-specific tax credits. Examples include the Ontario Interactive Digital Media Tax Credit (OIDMTC), the Ontario Film & Television Tax Credit (OFTTC) and the Ontario Computer Animation and Special Effects Tax Credit (OCASE). Combined with other lucrative tax credits such as the Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED), Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP), Canada Media Fund (CMF), and Ontario Centers of Excellence, the nation’s capital can support your commercialization success with a strong financial foundation.
With vast capabilities to compete on the global stage, the nation’s capital has become the best kept secret to major studios such as Disney, Dreamworks, Hasbro, Teletoon, Pixar and Nascar, which historically have partnered with studios across Ottawa. Additionally, the cross-pollination of software strengths and digital media artistry has formed a vibrant ecosystem for Virtual Reality.
Examples of Ottawa Digital Media Brilliance:
Ottawa start-up Simwave Consulting Inc. is one of the hidden gems in the expanding virtual reality (VR) field. This newcomer made its debut with a 4D VR experience which simulates the battle of Vimy Ridge, complete with CGI content, gunfire effects, exploding shells, tremors, wind, and heat. This technology, developed in partnership with the Canadian War Museum, has a vast range of applications. In fact, Simwave is developing a steam engine simulation for the Canadian Science and Technology Museum. This museum is well known for its towering 19th century trains, but now a VR headset has been invented which can simulate the experience of a fast moving locomotive.
Founded in 2015, Ottawa start-up Brinx is using virtual reality to revolutionize visual arts. This innovative company has recently unveiled its 3D modelling program – known as Masterpiece VR – which allows people to transform visual concepts into virtual sculptures and paintings. According to Brinx CEO Jonathan Gagne, a college student requires 270 hours to master the rudiments of modelling a sculpture or painting. Yet using Masterpiece VR, an 8-year old can start to model within one minute.
Leveraging Ottawa’s talent pool of around 2,000 animators and graduates from Algonquin College’s Animation Program, Mercury Filmworks sets the benchmark in children’s television animation. The studio has worked on critically acclaimed series for Disney Television Animation’s such as the Emmy award winning “Mickey Mouse” cartoon shorts. Past credits also include: “Tangled: The Series”, “Penn Zero: Part-Time Hero,” and the quirky “Atomic Puppet” for Teletoon. Mercury’s most recent project for the Disney Channel is developing most of the animation for “The Lion Guard,” a spin-off from the Academy Award winning Disney film “The Lion King”.
Headquartered in Ottawa, Fuel is a global creative agency which has won several accolades for its video games. This video game and custom entertainment company is the mastermind behind various branded games for massive multinational companies such as Walt Disney, Microsoft, Hasbro, Barbie, DC Comics, Monopoly, and NASCAR. They also recently produced the Connected Cities VR showcase, that used big-data and virtual reality to glimpse into the future of city management. This was premiered at the Salesforce conference Dreamforce 2016.