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Ontario Industry Survey Reveals Picture Of VFX And Animation Economy

Computer Animation Studios of Ontario Association (CASO) President Neil Williamson announced the results of the first animation and vfx industry survey Thursday night at a reception held during the Ottawa International Animation Festival.

The study, entitled "Economic Profile of the Ontario Computer Animation and Visual Effects Industry," examines the economic profile of the computer animation and vfx industry in Ontario and develops financial, corporate and employment baseline indicators for future market analysis and comparison. The research develops estimates of total industry revenue, operating expense, output volume, number of employees and future market opportunities.

"After CASO was formed three years ago and we started talking to people about the industry, it became clear that very little distinct information existed about its makeup. With this survey, we are now beginning to form a clear picture of operations in Ontario animation and visual effects studios," said Ron Estey, Past President of CASO.

"This study underscores the growing importance of the animation and visual effects industry to the Ontario economy," said Karen Thorne-Stone, President and CEO of the Ontario Media Development Corporation. "Industries in Ontario's entertainment and creative cluster are the cornerstone of the new knowledge-based economy and CASO's members will play a pivotal role in ensuring Ontario is a leader in the global marketplace."

Conducted by Nordicity Group, the project received funding assistance from the Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC), York University, Royal Bank of Canada, the City of Toronto -- Economic Development, and CASO.

Among the key findings of the project:

--The majority of computer animation and vfx studios in Ontario are Canadian-owned, privately-held corporations that have been in existence for more than seven years.

--The Ontario computer animation and vfx industry employed a total of 1,600 to 1,900 people in 2007.

--Total Ontario computer animation and VFX industry revenues are estimated to be between $170 million to $200 million annually.

--The number of computer animation minutes produced in Ontario in 2007 is reported to have been between 18,000 and 21,600; the number of shots for vfx was between 7,400 and 8,900.

--Market segments were as follows: 16 percent of computer animation studios' revenue was derived from feature films, 45 percent from TV series and 17 percent from commercials. For vfx companies it was the reverse: 44 percent of revenue was derived from feature films and 16 percent from TV series; 13 percent was allotted to commercials.

--The conventional market segments of television series and feature films continue to be regarded as general growth opportunities for the industry. Emerging market segments such as games, web and mobile content production are also seen as growth opportunities. About 20 percent of respondents regard Web and mobile content production as a growth opportunity for their company.

A full report can be downloaded from