Ubisoft shines a spotlight on Winnipeg’s technology hub
Ubisoft Winnipeg drives the next generation of video game developers, elevates the local economy and boosts business events.
The city of Winnipeg, in Canada’s central province of Manitoba, has become a major player on the global technology stage, with prominent corporations, such as Ubisoft Winnipeg, investing in the city as their base for headquarters and future growth.
“When Ubisoft decided to expand here, it founded a powerhouse studio specializing in the creation of technologies and tools that will drive the development of its blockbuster franchises and the future of video games,” says Dayna Spiring, President & CEO of Economic Development Winnipeg.
The French company is behind world-renowned brands like Assassin’s Creed, Far Cry, For Honor, Just Dance, Watch Dogs, and Tom Clancy’s video game series including Ghost Recon®, Rainbow Six and The Division.
“Ubisoft could’ve chosen any number of cities in which to invest, but it saw something special in Winnipeg,” says Spiring. “We have strong education centers, it’s affordable to operate here and our tight-knit business community is welcoming and easily accessible. It makes sense they selected Winnipeg as an ideal base from which to drive its next phase of evolution.”
“Overall, the experience in Manitoba was just seamless. Everything was made easy for us. We felt that everybody was rowing in the same direction and there was a real passion when talking about innovation, technology, foreign investment and bringing Ubisoft to Winnipeg," says Francis Baillet, Vice President, Corporate Affairs, Ubisoft.
Ubisoft Winnipeg is making a capital investment of $3.4M (CAD) and will create 100 new jobs by 2023 with $7M (CAD) in combined salaries annually.
Making gains for women in STEM
Since its arrival in 2018, Ubisoft Winnipeg has become a dynamic member of the city’s technology epicentre, a key catalyst for the growth of the local digital media industry. Recognizing the potential to foster the next generation of talent, the province's largest institute of applied learning and applied research, Red River College (RRC), consulted with Ubisoft Winnipeg and other companies within the tech sector to develop a one-of-a-kind course for video game designers, developers, programmers and animators. The program will open its doors to ambitious college students in the fall as part of RRC’s architecturally stunning Innovation Centre.
Ubisoft Winnipeg is passionate about supporting and showing young people they can build a career in Winnipeg but is also encouraging women and other underrepresented groups in the industry to pursue careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM).
The first Nova: Ubisoft Winnipeg Women in Tech Summit was held in February, 2021, seeking to bridge the gender gap in STEM industries. The summit brought together researchers, educators and community members to empower women in STEM education and tech careers in Manitoba.
"Getting even more women in tech has been a priority for Ubisoft Winnipeg since our opening - not just in our studio - we wanted to make a difference outside our walls as well,” says Ashley Smith, HR Manager for Ubisoft Winnipeg.
“We have a lot of fantastic women at the studio, but for us, one of the first steps was understanding why that gap is still there, and that’s where we started working with the University of Winnipeg to learn more, and those discussions led to the creation of the summit."
Elevated business events
With more than 1,300 Information and Communication Technology (ICT) companies employing more than 19,000 people in Winnipeg, and an ICT sector worth $1.9 billion in GDP (2018), it’s easy to see why global ICT companies are choosing Winnipeg as the host city for business events and conferences.
The city’s thriving interactive entertainment ecosystem contributes to an impressive pool of technology talent, eager to share their knowledge and experience during speaker programs, workshops and facility tours.
“The RBC Convention Centre has everything from ballrooms to boardrooms and a 131,000 square-foot exhibit space, all within walking distance of hotels, sports facilities and the city’s dynamic culinary scene,” says Natalie Thiesen, Vice President of Tourism at Tourism Winnipeg.
“Winnipeg is the latest Canadian city to join the Hybrid City Alliance, a reflection of our commitment to providing solutions for international event organizers.”
Business event organizers can connect with Tourism Winnipeg to tap into its cooperative partnership with industry experts and local suppliers, to create an unforgettable event.
“We are passionate about helping business event organizers create a meeting or conference that will live on in the hearts and minds of delegates long after they’ve gone home,” says Thiesen.
“The city’s remarkable, diverse attractions, such as the architecturally iconic Canadian Museum for Human Rights, the Manitoba Museum, or the arctic species exhibit at Assiniboine Park, offer intriguing off-site event spaces and tours, while our lively restaurant and theater scene is the perfect zone for networking, relaxing and soaking up the spirit of the city.”
Winnipeg is located in the geographic center of Canada and North America, making travel time shorter and more convenient for delegates to fly in from both coasts to Winnipeg's award-winning airport terminal. The city is just 100 kilometers from the United States border.
Meetings with purpose
By augmenting speakers’ series with digital media experts and enriching programming with localized tours and creative off-site venues, business event organizers can attract delegates, increase revenues and inspire future generations.
“We call that 'meeting with purpose,” says Thiesen, pointing out that when the time is right for in-person events to resume, Winnipeg is poised to show off its ICT ecosystems and the trailblazers developing exciting interactive entertainment technology.
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Discover more about Canada’s business events here.