Creative Industries & Digital Media
Windsor-Essex has a great environment for growing a digital business. There is plenty of talent and programming know-how and an amazing international market on our doorstep. The region is home to a thriving and growing arts community that creates opportunities in a variety of creative disciplines. From music and drama to marketing, digital media and gaming, the region is increasingly being recognized for its innovative vigour and cutting-edge digital technology. The development of trade associations such as WEtech Alliance and educational facilities such as the University of Windsor’s School of Computer Science and St. Clair College’s MediaPlex, demonstrates our commitment to bolstering this important sector.
The local St. Clair College programs such as Entertainment Technology, Journalism, and 2D/3D Animation are producing quality skilled labour. St. Clair’s animation program has caught the attention of industry leaders.
The University of Windsor’s Facility of Engineering and the Institute for Diagnostic Imaging Research works with business to discover solutions to today's challenges.
What sets our digital media workforce apart?
Only a few of the factors that make our workforce unique:
- Our workforce is highly educated, talented and multilingual.
- 85% of our IT workforce has a post-secondary degree and many are bilingual.
- Each year, 40,000+ students enroll in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) programs, giving businesses what they need most: innovative and skilled problem solvers.
- Close to 35,000 students are enrolled in digital gaming related programs.
- Whether they graduate from the University of Waterloo's engineering program (the second largest source of engineering talent after MIT in North America), Sheridan College (which has been called the Harvard of animation) or one of our other 42 colleges and universities, our workforce is industry-ready.
Offering a range of skills
You'll find concept artists, 2-D/3-D artists, animators, modellers, texture artists, technical and computer graphic artists, gameplay programmers, designers, and producers, along with programmers specializing in graphics, physics, sound and online applications. In addition, you'll find musicians and sound engineers.
And when you want to communicate with your customers around the world, you'll find highly-educated and talented bilingual people who communicate in over 200 languages.
Our Colleges and Universities
Ontario colleges and universities meet your needs by consulting with industry leaders to provide business-critical courses in game development and advanced programming, computer animation, digital design, engineering, computer sciences, fine arts, digital graphics, music and sound engineering.
The Windsor-Essex region has a vibrant and storied music ecosystem
Music is an economic driver. In 2015, live music companies in Ontario generated a total of 10,500 full-time equivalent jobs (FTE) as a result of their direct activity, the activity of their suppliers and re-spending of labour income in the wider economy. The tourism activity generated by music festivals created over 9,500 additional FTEs. Statistics Canada shows that there are over 2,000 occupational musicians currently at work in Windsor-Essex and this number becomes multiplied when we factor in spin-off jobs in technology, media, event management and much more.
The Windsor-Essex Music Strategy report aims to provide insight into the local music industry, overview of economic initiatives in other Ontario municipalities that benefit the music sector and strategic recommendations for region-wide collaboration for the promotion and growth of the music ecosystem.
A regional music strategy allows for the opportunity to work towards the achievement of the following long-term goals:
- Increase opportunities for local music artists to develop and succeed.
- Provide artist-entrepreneurs with development tools necessary to create a sustainable music business that is commercially viable and export-ready. This will create long-term economic growth within the local music ecosystem in both jobs and investment.
- Support the development of the larger regional music ecosystem through the creation of a music advisory council that will advocate for music-friendly municipal policy, and act as a planning body for local music initiatives.
- Work with local partners and organizations to collaborate and promote available resources.
- Strengthen our local music industry’s relationship with funding providers at provincial and federal levels.
- Attract and retain a young and dynamic workforce whose quality of life will be enhanced through living, working and playing in a community with a strong arts culture.
- Leverage partnerships nationally and internationally that will connect Windsor-Essex artists to broader markets.
- Embrace and showcase the Windsor-Essex Region’s diversity and multicultural talent. Through the realization of these long-term goals, it is expected that the region will see increased success by local artists in obtaining provincial and federal funding; increased investment in music venues; a growth in regional music tourism, especially from the nearby U.S. market; growth in music-related jobs; and the expansion of existing music businesses.