Montreal company Sphere Media attracted to the capital’s animation scene

A Montreal-based film, television and animation company is expanding to Ottawa next month and announces plans to create dozens of local jobs in a bid to tap into the region’s growing talent pool.

Sphere Media announced this week that its new office on Slater Street will open May 1. CEO Bruno Dubé told OBJ that the firm plans to hire more than 100 animators, including about 50 in the National Capital Region, to work on projects that will be produced. at the new Ottawa studio.

Dubé said the company was drawn to the area because of its abundance of skilled artists and reputation for producing high-quality animated productions, as well as its proximity to Sphere’s existing offices in Montreal and Toronto. .

“We chose Ottawa because the conditions are ideal and the capital is an important market that represents a new pool of qualified talent for Sphere,” he said in an email, adding that the company was also attracted to production incentives such as regional and animation tax credits. .

Among the productions the new Ottawa-based team will work on are Riley Rocketa series from Sphere Media affiliates BGM and Oasis Animation, described as an “action-packed musical adventure comedy”.

Dubé said another original project to be announced soon will also be produced in Ottawa, with more productions to come.

Founded in 1984, Sphere Media now has over 200 employees. The company already employs more than a dozen people in the Ottawa area, “who will now have the chance to work from an office rather than from home,” Dubé said.

The company joins a growing number of animation studios that have set up shop in the nation’s capital, which has long been a hotbed of the industry and hosts the largest annual animation festival in North America.

“Ottawa is known for its vibrant and well-established television, film and animation industry,” said Dubé. “In the face of labor shortages in our industry – as in most industries – we were interested in approaching a new pool of qualified talent for Sphere.”

Ottawa Film Office spokesperson Stephanie Davy says Sphere’s new office will “strengthen the city’s position as an attractive center for the creation of live-action and animated productions” – an industry that now injects over $100 million a year into the Ottawa economy.

While animation accounts for the majority of this economic activity, Ottawa’s live-action film and television production industry generated a record $41 million in direct spending in 2021 despite the lingering economic effects of the pandemic. The cinema office recently hired a new curator, Sandrine Pechels de Saint Sardos, who will officially take up her duties at the end of this month.