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Creative Industries Year in Review

From a year leading with nothing short of breaking headlines, we look to the year’s story highlights from the creative industries sector. From new initiatives to heart-warming good news, here are some of the highlights from book and magazine publishing, interactive and digital media, motion picture and music industries:

 

Book + Magazine Publishing

1. Local publishers entering new chapter

B.C.’s book publishers have shown resilience, adapting quickly to the new reality. They have optimized their websites for online orders and offered discounts, partnered with local booksellers to replace in-store author events—critical to building word of mouth about new releases—with online readings, and offered more flexible usage terms to educators and librarians for the use of BC books in remote learning environments.

 


Photo by Grant Harder for Nuvo Magazine

2. Ian Williams Is Changing the Rules of the Canadian Novel

For Ian Williams, winning the Giller marks a movement forward in Canadian literature, where “some voice or some attention is given to the unruly, difficult child.”

3. B.C. colouring book: Orca image to keep you creative during COVID-19 isolation

If your eyes are needing a break from all the online scrolling to read the latest updates about COVID-19, you’re in luck.

4. Get on island time with Gabriola’s new magazine: FOLKLIFE

As the only semi-annual lifestyle print magazine solely featuring content from the Gulf Islands, FOLKLIFE celebrates and connects those living simply, and as an art form, through engaging interviews, stories, photographs, recipes, and art.

 

Interactive + Digital Media

5. This free summer program will teach B.C. teens to make music for video games and animation

DigiMusic’s free summer program facilitated an online format for B.C. high school students from grade 7 to 12 to create music for video games and animation.

6. Bringing Indigenous Voices to the Tech Sector

Indigenous peoples are the youngest and fastest growing demographic in Canada, yet in 2018 only 1.2 per cent of Canada’s tech workers identified as Indigenous. In 2015, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada called for the adoption of the United Nations’ Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as a pathway to ensure equitable access to jobs, training and educational opportunities for Indigenous people.

 

7. B.C. First Nation adopts ‘digital-twinning’ software to better manage territory

TimberOps functions as the “digital twin” of more than 350,000 hectares of unceded Mowachaht-Muchalaht territory near the west coast of Vancouver Island, mapping rivers, lakes, mountains, roads, trails and buildings as well as the locations of old villages and archaeological sites.

8. The Last Kids on Earth Video Game Confirmed for 2021

A video game adaptation of the Netflix series The Last Kids on Earth will bring a more kid-friendly zombie apocalypse to PC and consoles next year.

8. Gaming studio Phoenix Labs spreads wings with expansion to Montreal, L.A.

Expansion plans follow Burnaby-based game developer’s acquisition earlier this year

Arthroscopy

9. Precision OS Makes ‘Breakthrough’ in Arthroscopy Education

Vancouver, British Columbia-based Precision OS Technology said it has created a first-of-its-kind arthroscopy simulator available on a mobile, wireless device (Oculus Quest) which will also be used by Conmed International for surgeon education.

 

Motion Picture

10. Join VAFF’s campaign to #Elimin8hate

Vancouver Asian Film Festival provides an anonymous and safe reporting environment and resources for Canadians of Asian ancestry experiencing anti-Asian attacks.

11. Ryan Reynolds to use part of his own salary to hire BIPOC crew members on upcoming film

Vancouver-born movie star Ryan Reynolds said it was time to see more Black, Indigenous and people of colour on film sets and launched a new initiative, the Group Effort Initiative, to help make it happen.

12. Pioneering Remote Studio VFX Legion Launches Full-Scale BC Division

VFX Legion, a remote boutique-style global company, has announced the opening of a full-scale division in British Columbia. An early proponent of the virtualization of visual effects, industry veteran James David Hattin launched the company in 2013, introducing a groundbreaking collaborative work-from-home business model almost a decade before COVID-19 made social distancing essential.

13. How Vancouver’s DOXA Documentary Film Festival found opportunity in a pandemic year

For film festivals, 2020 has presented two choices: cancel – and hope that any costs saved by furloughing staff and securing possible venue refunds will help offset inevitable 2021 losses – or take a big chance and go online only. Neither are ideal. But Vancouver’s DOXA Documentary Film Festival, the country’s second-largest doc fest after Toronto’s Hot Docs, found an opportunity in the dilemma.

13. Made-in-Vancouver animated series Molly of Denali wins a Peabody Award

The made-in-Vancouver animated series Molly of Denali has been awarded a George Foster Peabody Award. Co-produced by Vancouver’s Atomic Cartoons and WGBH Boston for PBS KIDS and CBC Kids, the show is the first nationally distributed children’s series in the United States to feature an Indigenous lead character.

14. B.C. animation school offers free help to schools scrambling to get online amid COVID-19

A Burnaby-based animation school that has operated 100% online since its inception in 2013 is offering free use of some of its online resources to schools scrambling to find ways to keep learning going during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Music + Sound Recording

15. Singer’s live performance in computer-generated nightclub could be a model for concerts in a COVID world
Using animation technology usually associated with video games and motion pictures, Jill Barber was transported from a sterile suburban studio into a once-legendary Vancouver supper club, The Palomar, torn down more than 60 years ago.

16. TikTok trend launches Vancouver band Mother Mother up the charts

Ryan Guldemond says he believes luck, good timing and “a little pixie dust” led to his band Mother Mother catching fire on TikTok in recent weeks. The lead singer and guitarist for the Vancouver rock act says he was surprised when, seemingly out of nowhere, three tracks from their 2008 album O My Heart spiked in popularity on the music-fuelled social app.

17. Vancouver Island theatre reinvents live performances with hybrid model

Small audience and live streaming are how Campbell River’s Tidemark Theatre will get through pandemic

Mint Records Is Almost Its Own Character in the Trailer for the New Hulu Show 'Woke'

18. Mint Records Is Almost Its Own Character in the Trailer for the New Hulu Show ‘Woke’

From Mission: Impossible to Riverdale, set designers have absolutely loved the output of Mint Records over the years. Today, however, the decorated Vancouver label may have had its strongest showing yet in the new trailer for the Hulu series Woke.

19. Vancouver’s NuZi Collective launches Black Therapy & Advocacy Fund
The new initiative from the DJ collective and promoter group aims to connect black residents of Vancouver with therapy and mental health resources. The goal is to provide ten to 15 hours of therapy for ten disabled and LGBTQIA+ black residents free of charge, hiring advocates to act as a liaison between recipients and mental health providers.

20. B.C. musicians to play free hour-long livestream concert Thursday

As a first step to support the music industry, the B.C. government is partnering with Creative BC to launch Showcase BC. This new online hub brings a variety of live performances, entertainment and content to British Columbians, so they can stay connected while staying home.

Missed your story? Submit your creative industry story to info@creativebc.com.