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Sudbury invests in animation, game design industries

Development corporation providing $200,000 over two years to grow sector talent
The Greater Sudbury Development Corporation and Cambrian R&D have partnered on a project to promote the animation and game design industries. Pictured in Cambrian College’s animation studio are (left to right): Al Sizer, deputy mayor of the City of Greater Sudbury; Mike Commito, director of Cambrian R&D; Cody Cacciotti, business development officer with Cambrian R&D; Jeff Portelance, chair of the Greater Sudbury Development Corporation; Kristine Morrissey, president of Cambrian College; and Aaron Langille, professor and program coordinator of the game design program at Cambrian College.

Sudbury's animation and game design industries are getting support from the city with an investment of $200,000.

Announced on April 11, the financing comes through the Greater Sudbury Development Corporation and will be doled out over two years to Cambrian R&D, the applied research division at Cambrian College.

Under the initiative — called Storyboarding: Bringing Greater Sudbury’s Animation Potential to Life — animation and game design firms could be eligible for up to $10,000 in funding for project proposals made to Cambrian R&D.

But they must meet certain criteria to qualify.

The project has to be viable, and firms have to confirm timelines for production. They have to provide paid learning opportunities to students in Cambrian’s animation and game design programs. Proposals will be weighed on the firms’ level of business activity in the city, and they have to contribute $2,500 to the project.

“Animation and gaming are multi-billion-dollar, multinational industries,” said Meredith Armstrong, director of economic development at the City of Greater Sudbury, in the release.

“Teaming up with Cambrian R&D means we’ll be able to harness their expertise and experience in supporting up-and-coming businesses, while at the same time giving companies the opportunity to develop the local talent base in game design and animation.”

According to the news release, more than 180 film and television projects have been produced in Sudbury since 2012, generating an average of $20 million in annual local direct spending.

Cambrian’s animation program has been on offer since 2008, while its game design program was just launched in 2021.

Mike Commito, director at Cambrian R&D, called the new project a “win for everyone.”

“Industry partners have access to financial support to grow animation and game design production in this area, our students have more opportunities locally to expand their skills and find work in the field, and our research capacity expands as this is a new sector for us at Cambrian R&D,” he said.