QUEBEC CITY REGION:
A SOURCE OF INSPIRATION FOR ENTREPRENEURS AND CREATORS ABLE
TO HARNESS THEIR COMBINED IMAGINATION, TALENT AND INGENUITY.
spectacles et images
The Quebec City region is the second-largest hub in the province of Quebec
in the digital arts and interactive entertainment sector.
Five major players account for 51%
of the sector’s jobs and
46% of its overall revenues.
The following video game blockbusters
were made in Quebec City:
The Black Eyed Peas Experience, Spider-Man,
Guitar Hero, Littlest Pet Shop, Build-A-Bear Ville,
Prince of Persia, Combat of Giants, G.I. Joe, Star
Wars, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Incredibles.
This data is based on information available in October 2011.
Sources: Adesse 2006, EB Data 2009, Statistics Canada, Industry Canada, Emploi-Québec and Québec International.
CA$230 millionCA$230 millionCAin annual revenues
R&D expenditures totalled
$7.4 millionin 2010,
up 350%in just ﬁve years
10research centres, groups and chairs10research centres, groups and chairs10
the multimedia creation sector
25,500the multimedia creation sector
The Quebec City region’s reputation as a digital arts and interactive entertainment development
hub has long crossed international boundaries. From cellphones to IMAX screens, producing
multi-screen and multi-platform content is a source of excitement for local creators, who are
experts in the art of entertainment. Animation, special effects, video games, design, 3D
environments, programming, stereoscopy, cinema, virtual or augmented reality—nothing
is too audacious for them!
Driven by talent as well as by the creativity and innovativeness of visionary entrepreneurs
and creators, the regional industry has experienced tremendous growth over the past 20 years.
Today, the multimedia creation sector is a major driver of economic development.
But digital creativity means much more than a booming industry: it also exemplifies a winning
combination of history and modernity, of art and technology. This unique collection of talent
has transformed Quebec City into a world-class technocultural hub.
With its European charm and dynamic North American pace, Quebec City offers a unique
environment. Its beauty inspires, while its economic and cultural vitality attracts people from
around the world. Indeed, Quebec City opens itself up to all those who like to do things with
audacity and ingenuity. What accounts for its success? Some will offer this simple reply:
it’s in our culture!it’s in our culture!it’s in our culture!it’s in our culture!it’s in our culture!it’s in our culture!it’s in our culture!it’s in our culture!it’s in our culture!it’s in our culture!it’s in our culture!it’s in our culture!it’s in our culture!it’s in our culture!it’s in our culture!it’s in our culture!it’s in our culture!it’s in our culture!it’s in our culture!it’s in our culture!
Culture of mobilization.Culture of mobilization.Culture of mobilization.Culture of mobilization.Culture of mobilization.Culture of mobilization.Culture of mobilization.Culture of mobilization.Culture of mobilization.Culture of mobilization.Culture of mobilization.Culture of mobilization.Culture of mobilization.Culture of mobilization.Culture of mobilization.Culture of mobilization.Culture of mobilization.Culture of mobilization.Culture of mobilization.Culture of mobilization.Culture of mobilization.Culture of mobilization.Culture of mobilization.Culture of mobilization.Culture of mobilization.Culture of mobilization. Driven by a common dream, entrepreneurs, creators
and elected ofﬁcials are working together to make the Quebec City region a leading centre of
knowledge and culture. This process of mobilization has led to the development of a strategy
fostering meetings between creators of cultural content and digital technology companies.
Thanks to this synergy, downtown Quebec City has been transformed into a trendsetting district
with a blend of high-tech ﬁrms, artists’ studios and major cultural events. In addition, a world-class
digital portal is currently being established in the heart of the neighbourhood to broadcast virtual
Culture of innovation.Culture of innovation.Culture of innovation.Culture of innovation.Culture of innovation.Culture of innovation.Culture of innovation.Culture of innovation.Culture of innovation.Culture of innovation.Culture of innovation.Culture of innovation.Culture of innovation.Culture of innovation.Culture of innovation.Culture of innovation.Culture of innovation.Culture of innovation.Culture of innovation.Culture of innovation.Culture of innovation.Culture of innovation.Culture of innovation.Culture of innovation.Culture of innovation. In the early 1990s, Quebec’s nascent video game industry
found its initial footing in Quebec City with MegaToon Entertainment Group, which conceived the
world’s very ﬁrst interactive cartoon (Goferwinkel’s Adventure, 1994). The ﬁrst video game created
in the province for the PlayStation console also saw the light of day in Quebec City (Jersey Devil,
1997). In 1998, Guy Boucher, one of the founders of MegaToon, launched the Sarbakan creative
studio in Quebec City. Sarbakan—one of the oldest game studios in the province—still contributes
to the success of entertainment multinationals such as Hasbro, Warner Bros, Nickelodeon,
Cartoon Network and Disney.
IN OUR CULTURE!
photo: Renaud Philippe
• UBISOFT is one of the world’s leading video game developers and
publishers. The company has a total of more than 6,500 collaborators,
with some 5,500 involved in the production process. Thanks to its long-
standing position in the video game industry, Ubisoft is currently the
third-largest independent publisher in the world. Founded in 1986, the
company now has 16 multi-million-dollar brands and annual revenues
of $1.4 billion. Opened in 2005, Ubisoft’s Quebec City studio has over
300 employees working in the video game creation ﬁeld. Over the past
ﬁve years, the company has invested approximately $77 million in Quebec
City, generating $280 million in economic beneﬁts. Projects such as
Combat of Giants, Prince of Persia Wii and The Black Eyed Peas Wii
Experience were developed in the company’s Quebec City ofﬁces, which
collaborated with the Montreal studio on the Assassin’s Creed projects.
• BEENOX, a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision, now has over
350 specialized employees developing games for use on the PlayStation 3,
Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii and Nintendo 3DS consoles. 100% designed in
the company’s Quebec City studio, all of these projects have international
visibility. The most recent games developed by Beenox are Spider-Man:
Shattered Dimensions and Spider-Man: Edge of Time, featuring the world-
famous Marvel Comics character; the studio has also been awarded the
prestigious mandate of developing Spidey’s future adventures! Since it
was founded, Beenox has won more than 35 awards in recognition not
only its high-quality video games, but also of its management style,
making it one of the most promising companies in its ﬁeld. Beenox’s
ultimate goal is clear: conquering the world!
• FRIMA STUDIO Based in Quebec City, Frima is the leading Canadian-
owned video game studio and digital entertainment company. Founded
in 2003, the company has a workforce of 350 employees. In addition to
its original productions, it develops Web games, virtual universes and
games for consoles and cellphones. It also produces concept art, animation
products and special effects for the video game, cinema and TV markets.
Frima’s clients include no less than the world’s most important entertainment
companies, including Activision, Adobe, Disney, Electronic Arts, Hasbro,
Mattel, Nickelodeon, Microsoft, Sony, Ubisoft and Warner.
AVE PRODUCTIONS INC. produced The Legend of the Christmas
Tree, its first animated film, which reached the big screen in 2002 at
Christmas. Since then, the company has developed a range of characters
and stories subsequently brought to life on various digital platforms.
From TV and cinema to multimedia games, the company’s projects are
noted for their high-quality production values, universal themes and
unique artistic approach; they are geared towards families, young people
and children. In 2013, Sarila, a feature-length ﬁlm, will be released after
12 years of work (the production budget totalled $9 million). It will be
the ﬁrst 3D stereoscopic animated ﬁlm produced entirely in Canada.
EX MACHINA AND ROBERT LEPAGE
Founded in 1994, Ex Machina is headed by playwright, director,
actor and producer Robert Lepage. His multi-disciplinary
company produces memorable works in which elements of
theatre, dance, singing, visual arts, digital arts, music - even
science - interact. With each creation, the company provokes
encounters between the performing and the recorded arts,
such as cinema, video and multimedia, as well as between
scientists and playwrights.
Ex Machina is adept at mastering
technologies and placing them
at the service of unique and
masterful works that have been
applauded in the world’s leading
capitals, including Paris, New York,
Tokyo, Sydney, London, Moscow,
Berlin, Singapore, Milan and
Barcelona. Since 1994, Ex Machina’s
works have been seen by over
2.75 million people in more than
150 cities around the world!
Ex Machina believes
that new art forms
emerge when two
interwoven. Its goal
is to become the
incubator of theatrical
productions that will
touch spectators in
Ex Machina and Robert
Lepage have created
dozens of masterworks,
including The Dragons’
Trilogy, The Far Side of
the Moon, The Andersen
Project, KÀ and Totem
(Cirque du Soleil) as well
as Wagner’s “Der Ring
presented at the
in New York.
This legendary company’s greatest achievements include
The Image Mill, the largest outdoor architectural projection
ever produced. Covering a 600 m by 30 m surface (the
equivalent of 25 IMAX screens), The Image Mill pays tribute
to Quebec City and its fascinating history. Screened in the
summertime, with the Port of Quebec grain silos serving as
the backdrop, this gigantic work has attracted more than one
million spectators since it was created in 2008. Presented for
the very ﬁrst time in 3D in the summer of 2011, it is now the
largest 3D projection in the world.
Robert Lepage is the 2012
recipient of the prestigious
Eugene McDermott Award
in the Arts, presented by
the Massachusetts Institute
of Technology (MIT).
Celebrating innovation in
all artistic disciplines, this
honour is awarded to
individuals who become
pre-eminent ﬁgures in
The National School of Interactive Entertainment (ENDI)
is a new springboard for business integration—and is
the ﬁrst of its kind in Canada. Founded by the industry
to meet the growing need for specialized workers, ENDI
is unique among educational institutions in that its
students work under the supervision of industry
mentors for 12 weeks on real-world multiplatform game
projects. In 2010, the school scored a notable success
when its ENDI Tank Battle HD game (available at the
App Store) was downloaded more than one million
times in ﬁve months. On the heels of this achievement,
a commercialization space (Fabrik Studio) was created.
ENDI’s biggest strength is its ability to create real
links between the education sector and video game
photo: Nicolas Ruel
NEW APPROACHES, HIGH-TECH
INNOVATIONS AND BEST SELLERS
MADE IN QUÉBEC
• lol:-), a unique series of comedy clips without
dialogue shot using cinematographic methods
and broadcast on various platforms.
Recognized at the 2011 Banff World Television
Awards, lol:-) has been sold to distributors
in more than 100 countries. (QuébéComm)
• Combat of Giants, one of the ﬁrst games
featured in Nintendo’s 3DS console for its
launch in 2011. (Ubisoft)
• Dinosaurs: Giants of Patagonia 3D, an IMAX
ﬁlm nominated for a Visual Effects Society
Award for its stereoscopic effects and
animations. (Marc Fafard, Virtuel Concept
• W, an animation series broadcast on
multiple platforms in Canada, France,
Belgium, Hungary, Taiwan, the US and
the UK. (10th
• Multi-platform version of a series (inspired
by the short ﬁlm Chargé), selected for several
festivals and distributed in Canada, Italy
and Africa. (Saga Film)
• Castelet électronique, an instrumented scale
model representing a reduced-scale stage
space, serving as a mobile set (including
decor, lighting, stage mechanics, puppets
and video projections) and offering a 3D
viewing platform for teleworking. (LANTISS,
• Bearville.com, an online virtual universe where
more than 20 million children play in a fun
and safe environment. (Frima Studio)
• Scaffolding structure combining mixed-media
technologies, music and pyrotechnical effects
for the Wall of Sound production featuring the
Scala Project and a 300-voice choir.
(Dufour- Spectacles and images, Saga Film)
• Spider-Man: Edge of Time and Shattered
Dimensions video games; the future games
involving this famous Marvel Comics™
character will be exclusively developed in
Quebec City (Beenox)
• The Image Mill, the world’s largest outdoor
3D architectural projection, covering an area
of nearly 20,000 square metres. (Ex Machina,
• 3D model of the Ursulines’ Chapel providing
an immersive virtual visit that goes beyond
architectural merit in its exploration of the
human dimensions. (LAMIC, Laval University)
• Digital book warehouse, twinned with the
iPad application, making it possible to read
and purchase digital books in French.
(De Marque, Mirego)
• Digital arts festival bringing together
200 creators to take part in three 48-hour
creative marathons focusing on video games,
2D/3D animated shorts and paintings of
digital environments. (Urban Bivouac)
AN INDUSTRY CONNECTED
Quebec City and its surrounding region have what it takes to inspire creative virtuosos! Its human-
scale environment and culture help to foster dialogue, generate ideas and develop talent. Drawing
on their expertise, ambition and imagination, local creators and entrepreneurs have long left their
mark on the international stage!
photo: Yan Turcotte
Le Mur du son,
créé par Olivier Dufour
photo: David Cannon
photo: Jean-Philippe Jobin
State-of-the-art research in the areas of image, sound and stage technology, 3D modeling,
augmented reality, artiﬁcial intelligence, digital imaging and interactive media: the Quebec
City metropolitan region is home to numerous major research centres and groups.
• LABORATORY FOR NEW IMAGE, SOUND AND STAGE TECHNOLOGIES (LANTISS) -
Centre of expertise dedicated to creation and research in the performing arts and
technology ﬁelds. www.lantiss.ulaval.ca
• CEFRIO - Liaison and transfer centre facilitating research and innovation and supporting
the use of technologies as a driver of social innovation. www.cefrio.qc.ca
• CENTRE FOR DIGITAL IMAGING AND INTERACTIVE MEDIA (CIMMI) - Centre for
multi-disciplinary R&D and technology transfer expertise in the digital imaging and
interactive media ﬁelds. www.cimmi.qc.ca
• RESEARCH CHAIR ON DIGITAL CULTURES (CRCN) - A place for reﬂecting on technology
and information systems and their inﬂuence on organizations, culture and society.
• INSTITUTE FOR INFORMATION TECHNOLOGIES AND SOCIETIES (ITIS) - The only
university structure of its kind in Canada specializing in the digital revolution and its
incorporation in all segments of society. www.itis.ulaval.ca
• INSTITUTE OF CULTURAL HERITAGE (IPAC) - Development of high-tech tools used to
promote material and non-material heritage. www.ipac.ulaval.ca
• MUSEOLOGY AND CULTURAL ENGINEERING LABORATORY (LAMIC) -
Research infrastructure incorporating 3D digitization, spatialization and visualization
• COMPUTER VISION AND SYSTEMS LABORATORY (LVSN) - Specializes in research on
computer-assisted vision and its industrial and biomedical applications relating to 3D
modeling and augmented reality. http://vision.gel.ulaval.ca
• DRDC VALCARTIER - The Canadian Forces’ largest R&D centre, developing serious
game training/simulation applications. www.valcartier.drdc-rddc.gc.ca
Unique innovations stem from multiple collaborations: augmented reality is used to treat disease via
simulated internal radiation therapy (Computer Vision and Systems Laboratory/LVSN); geospace
technologies are used in the production of interactive games (GeoEduc3D); dynamic intelligence is
used to create training applications for golfers (Pro Mental Coach, Frima, Brain Centre); artiﬁcial
intelligence (twinned with man/machine interfaces) is found in the development of serious game
training simulations (DRDC Valcartier).
The imaginations of local creators, artists and researchers are the only constraints to their discoveries.
Companies such as Arcane Technologies are busy designing the applications of tomorrow, which
will enable us to manipulate 3D objects without using our hands and to operate in virtual reality.
The motor of creativity is running and Quebec City is here to fuel it—a seemingly limitless source
FUELLED BY INNOVATION
IN THE QUEBEC CITY REGION
CREATIVITY, EXPERTISE AND INNOVATION
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• Perfect balance between multinationals and smaller firms
• State-of-the-art high-tech infrastructure, including
Canada’s very first fibre to the home network (FTTH)
• Qualified and stable workforce
• Specialized educational institutions
• Stimulating tax incentives
• Strategic geographic location
in North America
A BOOMING INDUSTRY
The local digital arts and interactive entertainment industry operates in an outstanding business
environment in a human-scale region that facilitates collaboration and teamwork. Thanks to the
efforts of Québec International and numerous public and private partners, including the Government
of Quebec and the City of Quebec, key industry actors are grouped together in communities of
interest in order to foster the development of this sector of excellence. Industry growth is monitored
by putting in place collaboration, exchange and partnership-based initiatives for private-sector
companies with a view to stimulating the delivery of proﬁtable projects, facilitating business/
market development and speeding innovation and research.
Quebec City ranks ﬁrst and second in North America for its competitive localization costs, which
are lower than the average for US cities in the areas of high-tech software development (by 21%)
and Web content and multimedia development (by 22%).
COMPETITIVE LABOUR COSTS
Quebec City is internationally recognized for the quality and stability of its workforce.
The region also ranks favourably in terms of remuneration costs.
COMPARISON OF LOCALIZATION COSTS
Index: USA = 100
QUEBEC CITY (QC)
LOS ANGELES (CA)
0 20 40 60 80 100 120
MULTIMEDIA CONTENT DEVELOPMENT
Source : Competitive Alternatives 2010, KPMG’s Guide to International
VIDEO GAME PROGRAMMER
Source: Economic Research Institute (ERI) Inc., 2010
Note: 1 USD = 0,95 CAD, October 1st
AVERAGE SALARY COMPARISON
in CA $
QUEBEC CITY (QC)
LOS ANGELES (CA)
0 20 40 60 80 100 120
photo: Yan Turcotte
with the support of these partners
This brochure was produced by
Arts numériques et divertissement interactif
Noted for its business focus, Quebec City is built on a human scale.
Thanks to its compact size, we can rally community groups and decision
makers around global issues more quickly and effectively than we can
in any other metropolitan area in North America. Major employers get
a fair hearing and receive immediate support and assistance from the
authorities and economic development stakeholders.
Beenox (an Activision studio)