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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.

Stay connected and #PlayBC

A 2020 social lifeline of sorts, video games have kept us connected and entertained from the very beginning. Wrapping up the year, here are 20 B.C. games you can play from idle to mystery and player versus player with energetic storylines, original music, and a broad range of artistic direction. This list is courtesy of DigiBC, a membership-based supporter of the growth and engagement of British Columbia’s Interactive and Digital Media industry. Learn more on digibc.org.

 

AdVenture Capitalist | Hyper Hippo Entertainment

AdVenture Capitalist by Hyper Hippo

AdVenture Capitalist is the world’s greatest capitalism simulator. Start with a humble lemonade stand, and squeeze your way to total fiscal domination. Earn ridiculous sums of cash, diversify your investments, and attract smarmy Angel Investors to give your businesses a boost!

 


 

AdVenture Communist by Hyper Hippo

AdVenture Communist is built for hard working Comrades who want game that works even harder and dream of becoming Potato tycoon.

 


 

Download Archer: Danger Phone on PC with NoxPlayer-Appcenter

Archer: Danger Phone by East Side Games

In Archer: Danger Phone the world economy has been plunged into chaos – and the only way to survive is to lead your team of hapless spies in a global cryptocurrency operation that’s just crazy enough to work!

 


 

Backbone: Prologue on Steam

Backbone: Prologue by Eggnut

Backbone: Prologue is the first act of a noir roleplaying detective adventure. You are raccoon private eye Howard Lotor, a second-class citizen of dystopian Vancouver, B.C. inhabited by animals. Interrogate a diverse cast of characters, collect evidence, and choose which leads to follow.

 


 

Dauntless review -- exciting combat hamstrung by repetition | VentureBeat

Dauntless by Phoenix Labs

Battle for survival at the edge of the world. As a Slayer, it’s up to you to hunt down the boss-sized Behemoths that are devouring the land. Team up with millions of players as you master challenging co-op battles, craft deadly weapons and powerful armor, and forge your legend as a Slayer of Ramsgate.

 


 

Dragon Up: Idle Adventure - Hatch Eggs Get Dragons - Game Review – Mobile Mode Gaming

Dragon Up: Idle Adventure by Eastside Games

Tap your way through the Dragon Kingdom in this colorful and fun animated idle adventure Game! Collect ALL the dragons and rake in gold coins from beautiful dragon nests to unlock rare dragons, epic dragons and new habitats to expand your kingdom! Once you collect enough coins, feed them to your trusty pet dragon Billy and watch him turn them into amazing treasures.

 


 

Eon Altar: Season 1 Pass | macgamestore.com

Eon Altar by Flying Helmet Games

A role-playing game like no other. Your smartphone is your character! Eon Altar brings modern technology to the social experience of couch co-op gaming. Voice your character, choose which secrets to keep and what lies to tell. Gather your friends, order a pizza and descend to the depths of Eon Altar!

 


 

Steam Workshop::Hardspace: Shipbreaker

Hardscape: Shipbreaker by Blackbird Interactive

Equipped with cutting-edge salvaging tech, carve & slice spaceships to recover valuable materials. Upgrade your gear to take on more lucrative contracts and pay your billion credits debt to LYNX Corp!

 


 

Train dragons to target weird moustaches : App Store Story

Kingdoms of Heckfire by A Thinking Ape

Build your kingdom, train your dragons and start destroying things today. Goblins! Skeletons! People with weird moustaches! Battle them all in this real-time strategy mobile MMO.

 


 

Luigi's Mansion 3 - EBGames.ca

Luigi’s Mansion 3 by Next Level Games

Luigi’s invited to the towering Last Resort hotel, but when Mario and friends go missing, our green-clad hero will have to conquer his fears to save them. Slam, blow away, and vacuum up ghosts with the all-new Poltergust G-00, and join forces with Gooigi to overcome the puzzling contraptions and mischievous boss on each themed floor. And that’s just the Last Resort. Enter the ScareScraper for 8-player local wireless or online co-op gameplay.

 


 

Lumote on Steam

Lumote by Luminawesome Games

Play as Lumote a squishy bioluminescent creature on a quest to overthrow the Mastermote. Possess, jump and think your way through this beautiful 3D puzzle platformer with vivid visuals and quirky characters.

 


 

MERGE RACERS - Gameplay Trailer (iOS Android) - YouTube

Merge Racers by Wizard Games

Merge to unlock awesome cars! Race them to become the ultimate idle race car tycoon! Start the game with a low-level car. Merge two of the same car to unlock a newer, faster model. Put your cars on the track and earn idle $$$ while you sleep.

 


 

Pistol Whip | Games | Virtual Reality Arcade | iSimu VR

Pistol Whip by Cloudhead Games

Inspired by revered action movies like John Wick and Equilibrium, the award-winning Pistol Whip stylishly dovetails the pulse-pounding energy of a rhythm game with explosive first-person shooter gameplay. Journey through a cinematic bullet hell powered by a breakneck soundtrack to become the ultimate action hero.

 


 

Shell Shockers Holiday Survey

Shell Shockers by Blue Wizard Digital

Shell Shockers is a multiplayer first-person-shooter game featuring egg characters. In the game, the player takes control of a violent egg armed with a shotgun and enters the arena. It is a real-time multiplayer game featuring battles with other players from around the world.

 


 

Stela - SkyBox Labs

Stela by Skybox Labs

Stela is a cinematic, atmospheric platformer about a young woman witnessing the final days of a mysterious ancient world.

 


 

Sudoku Scramble — 81monkeys

Sodoku Scramble by 81 Monkeys

The Sudoku you love, with players around the world. Collectibles, monthly goals, leader boards, real-time online gameplay.

 


 

The Chore App – Create Healthy Habits

The Chore App is the world’s first video game to integrate household chores, using a combination of familiar game mechanics for kids and automation for parents. The Chore App drives real-world activity to improve the lives of children and families.

 


 

Hinterland Games

The Long Dark by Hinterland Games

The Long Dark is a thoughtful, exploration-survival experience that challenges solo players to think for themselves as they explore an expansive frozen wilderness in the aftermath of a geomagnetic disaster. There are no zombies — only you, the cold, and all the threats Mother Nature can muster.

 


 

Android] The Goldbergs: Back to the 80s - East Side Games Studio - YouTube

The Goldbergs: Back to the 80s by Eastside Games

Help Adam, Barry, and Erica Goldberg get to the top of their school’s “Cool List” and become the most popular kids in town! Based on the hit comedy TV show, The Goldbergs is an idle game where you build your popularity by managing the social life of a teenager in the 80s.

 


 

Games Like Trailer Park Boys: Greasy Money

Trailer Park Boys: Greasy Money

Trailer Park Boys: Greasy Money is an idle game where you run Sunnyvale. Upgrade your businesses and hire characters to run them while you’re gone. Complete challenges to unlock trunks and bust them open for collectible cards, liquors, hash and cash. Enter fast-tapping Boss Fights each season, get thrown in jail and restart your park stronger than before!