Canada’s thriving Entertainment Arts and Digital Media industries
Canada’s booming entertainment industry
With our world rapidly evolving to produce and consume quality content across various platforms, the entertainment industry is very much alive and booming, and Canada is undoubtedly one of its biggest players. Entertainment is a growing and lucrative business in Canada. According to Entertainment Partners, Canadian film and TV productions generate 117,000 full-time jobs and $5 billion in revenue for the country each year.
Global University Systems Canada says that the country’s film industry primarily focuses on three provinces: Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia (BC). These provinces have excellent facilities, talent, crew, services and locations to support the film industry. BC is the country’s creative powerhouse, leading the global creative economy with its digital media, film, television, visual effects, animation and post production companies. According to their website, BC is Canada’s largest, and North America’s third largest, full-service motion picture hub and offers a diverse range of production locations in a single jurisdiction. Local governments have implemented extensive incentive programs to attract more projects to the country’s many diverse provinces. It’s no wonder that BC has been dubbed as “Hollywood North” for all of its contributions to the industry.
What’s more, BC is one of the world’s largest animation and VFX clusters. It hosts more than 260 immersive technology companies, second only to Silicon Valley. It’s the second-largest video game production hub and North America’s second-largest AR/VR centre, and is home to Electronic Arts’ Canadian headquarters. It offers a thriving gaming ecosystem, substantial support through related organisations, creative gaming clusters, and even financial incentives from the provincial government. It goes without saying that the entertainment industry is very much prioritised and taken care of in Canada.
Top career opportunities within the industry
Growing alongside the flourishing industry is the demand for creative talents to further advance and develop the entertainment scene. As more and more diverse projects pour in, there are more and more opportunities for professionals to take part and create. The industry constantly seeks creative professionals who can bring fresh perspectives and innovative ideas onto the table.
There are countless different ways one could get into the entertainment arts or digital media industry, since it continues to grow and generate more unique roles and responsibilities that need to be fulfilled. Among the best careers one could get into in the entertainment industry, these were the top five listed by the Global University Systems Canada along with their expected average salaries:
Producer/Director – $70,000 – $200,000+
Oversees the creative and technical aspects of the film, television and other media productions; works closely with writers, actors, cinematographers and other crew members to bring a project from its initial concept to its final execution.
Animator – $40,000 – $90,000+
Creates the illusion of motion in visual effects and animation projects; uses various software tools and techniques to create character animations, special effects, and other visual elements; may specialise in 2D or 3D animation and work on varying projects, including films, TV shows, video games and advertising.
Sound Designer – $50,000 – $100,000+
Works closely with directors, producers, and editors to create the audio elements for film, TV, and other media productions; uses a combination of sound effects, dialogue, music and other audio elements to create an immersive and engaging audio experience for viewers.
Video Editor – $40,000 – $80,000+
Assembles raw footage into a cohesive and compelling story; works closely with directors, producers and other post-production personnel to ensure the final product meets the project’s creative vision.
Screenwriter – $30,000 – $150,000+
Creates scripts for film, TV, and other media productions; works closely with producers, directors and other creative team members to develop compelling characters, engaging storylines, and captivating dialogue.
GSP partner institutions
Among GSP’s roster of exceptional partner institutions in Canada, these ten institutions offer world-class courses relevant to preparing young professionals who want to pursue a career the field of entertainment arts or digital media:
Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) – Calgary, AB
SAIT’s School for Advanced Digital Technology (SADT) offers cutting-edge programs and training which helps students discover the skills, knowledge and experience they need to launch or advance their career in today’s tech-driven world.
Some courses offered:
- Diploma in New Media Production and Design
- Diploma in Film and Video Production
Cambrian College – Sudbury, ONT
Boasting more than 90 programs (more than 20 of which fall under entertainment arts or digital media) and serving over 5,000 students from more than 50 countries, Cambrian College is Northern Ontario’s largest college. They offer courses that build expertise through projects, simulations, labs, case studies, workshops, as well as work-integrated learning experiences that allow students to apply their skills in real work environments.
Some courses offered:
- Advanced Diploma in Animation
- Diploma in Game-Design
- Diploma in Design and Visual Arts
Conestoga College – Kitchener, ONT
As the region’s only provider of polytechnic education, Conestoga plays an integral role in the success of the community: 65% of graduates stay after completing their education and contribute significantly to the local economy. They deliver over 200 career-focused programs in a variety of disciplines and offers more than 15 degrees, including a wide range of courses in entertainment arts and digital media.
Some courses offered:
- Ontario College Graduate Certificate in 3D Computer Animation
- Ontario College Diploma in Animation
- Ontario College Graduate Certificate in Computer Animation – Motion Graphics
Fanshawe College – London, ONT
A comprehensive college providing flexible learning arrangements and experiential education opportunities developed in response to labour market needs. They offer more than 200 degrees, diplomas, certificates and apprenticeship programs to 43,000 students each year.
Their School of Digital and Performing Arts provides hands-on learning in dedicated theatres, such as The Good Foundation Inc. Theatre, as well as high-end labs and MOCAP studio with state‐of‐the‐art software (MAC, PC, CINTQ) so that graduates are equipped and ready to hit the ground running in the workplace. Graduates from the digital creative sector have an 85% employment rate. Meanwhile, their School of Information Technology has a wide array of courses for anyone who wants to get into tech – from Computer Programming to Web Development and Internet Applications.
Some courses offered:
- Graduate Certificate in 3D Animation and Character Design
- Diploma in Animation
- Graduate Certificate in Visual Effects and Editing for Contemporary Media
University of the Fraser Valley – Abbotsford, BC
A fully-accredited, public university that enrolls approximately 15,000 students per year and offers over 110 programs, including three master’s degrees, 21 bachelor’s degrees with majors, minors, and extended minors, and 700 courses across 40 fields. They have an extensive selection of courses in Media and Communications, Creative Arts and Design, and Computer Systems and Technology.
- Bachelor of Media Arts
Ontario Tech University – Oshawa, ONT
A public research university with a vision to “embrace technology with a conscience to advance knowledge and promote sustainability”. They take pride in the fact that they’re not only after the next tech breakthrough, but in understanding and integrating the social and ethical implications of technology. They offer 91 graduate and undergraduate programs, from which one would be able to choose the appropriate course for them in the fields of Media, Communications, Digital Media, Technology and more.
- Bachelor of Information Technology (Honours) in Information Technology – Game Development and Interactive Media
Canadore College – North Bay, ONT
A college of applied arts and technology founded in 1967 as a campus of Sudbury’s Cambrian College, and became an independent institution in 1972. Their focus is on student success, program and service excellence, connection to community, sustainability, innovation and entrepreneurship. Their School of Art and Design has excellent course offerings across various specializations, such as Acting for Stage and Screen, Digital Cinematography, Recording Engineering for Music Production, and many more exciting options.
Some courses offered:
- Game Design and Development (3 years – Ontario College Advanced Diploma)
- Digital Visual Effects (2 years – Ontario College Advanced Diploma)
Niagara College Canada (NC) – Welland, ONT
Canada’s leader in applied, experiential learning, NC is a public College of Applied Arts and Technology. They offer more than 130 innovative programs between our state-of-the-art campuses which provide unique living laboratories and top notch facilities that deliver hands-on applied learning opportunities and world-class applied research. Their School of Media and School of Technology have great course offerings for students looking to pursue careers in entertainment arts or digital media.
- Bachelor of Arts (Honours) Game Design
Nipissing University – North Bay, ONT
A public university with a reputation for excellence in teacher education, arts, science, professional programs and with four distinct nursing programs. Though it is well-known as the most nursing intensive university in Ontario, Nipissing’s offerings in the field of entertainment arts and digital media are excellent and well-tailored for anyone wishing to pursue those industries.
- Certificate in Game Design and Development
Mohawk College – Hamilton, ONT
A public college of applied arts and technology which is fully accredited and funded by the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities. They offer more than 15 diverse courses in the field of media and communications which would be greatly beneficial to any student looking to enter the creative industry.
- Advanced Diploma in Animation 3D
Learn more about our Canadian partner institutions and the promising entertainment and digital media courses they offer here.