Sony Pictures Imageworks Moves HQ to Vancouver, British Columbia
One of Hollywood's biggest visual effects studios is moving its headquarters from California to Vancouver.
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On May 29, 2014, Sony Pictures Imageworks announced the relocation of its head office from Culver City, California to Vancouver, British Columbia, and a move to a massive new downtown space in 2015.
“This is great news for British Columbia and this decision by Sony Pictures Imageworks to relocate its headquarters to Vancouver speaks to the many competitive advantages B.C. has to offer," said Teresa Wat, Minister of International Trade. "Premier Clark, as well as a coordinated effort by the Ministry of International Trade, the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and CreativeBC played a key role in securing Sony Pictures Imagework’s ongoing expansion in B.C.”
Sony Pictures Imageworks, part of the Sony Pictures group of companies, is one of the foremost visual effects (VFX) companies in the world. Beginning in 2015, the company will occupy a 74,000 square foot office space and employ as many as 700 digital artists and staff. To date, Sony Pictures Imageworks has worked on over 71 feature films, and has been behind the special effects of some of the most recognizable movie franchises in history including Lord of the Rings, Spider Man, and Men in Black.
In February 2014, Premier Christy Clark met in Los Angeles with senior executives from Sony Pictures to reinforce B.C.’s commitment to the digital media sector. Premier Clark also hosted a digital media roundtable in Los Angeles, which included Sony Pictures executives, to discuss sector challenges and opportunities.
Premier Clark highlighted B.C.'s many globally competitive advantages, including its highly qualified talent pool, competitive business and tax environment, and strategic proximity to the largest markets.
British Columbia has emerged as a global centre for digital media and the high-tech sector. Earlier in May, Microsoft announced plans to open a new "Microsoft Canada Excellence Centre," which will significantly expand the company's investment in Canada. Lucasfilm's Industrial Light & Magic unveiled a new 30,000 square foot studio in March, and will work on numerous blockbusters such as the new Star Wars trilogy. Also in March, British Columbia’s own Hootsuite became the recipient of one of the largest rounds of venture capital funding in Canadian history.
While the new Sony Pictures Imageworks facility won’t be ready until next year, Imageworks representative Steven Argula said Vancouver will become the new head office almost immediately.“We’re going to start referring to Vancouver as our headquarters as of now…” he said.