Manitoba, Rod Bruinooge, MP for Winnipeg South and Gord Steeves, City of Winnipeg Councillor, made the announcement today.
"Manitoba's interactive digital media sector is strong and we've committed to supporting its growth with the creation of a cluster of excellence for interactive media by 2007," said Smith. "The Fortune Cat Games Studio incubator is an excellent example of the strategic partnerships necessary to make this happen and we're pleased to be part of it."
"Some of Manitoba's most talented and educated people are in the digital media industry and it's important that they have the opportunity to expand their skills here in the province," said Bruinooge. "The economic activity generated from this project will result in new intellectual property controlled by Canadians, new technologies, exciting knowledge-economy jobs, and new spin-off companies here in Manitoba."
"The Fortune Cat Games Studio incubator will ensure that Winnipeg has the workforce to support this growing industry, and will help keep highly skilled jobs in this city," said Steeves. "I am very pleased that, through the Winnipeg Partnership Agreement, the City of Winnipeg
is supporting this project."
Fortune Cat Games Studio is a not-for-profit organization that is working to build on Manitoba's expertise and competitive advantages in the global video games industry. The 3-year project involves establishing an incubator studio that will house up to three video game
project teams of three to five people during each year of operation. Each team will produce a video game prototype that will be marketed to video game publishers and each team will form a video games company. The Fortune Cat Games Studio incubator will collaborate closely with
various strategic partners in Manitoba and around the world, including the Winnipeg Game Developers Guild, the National Screen Institute-Canada, Red River College, The Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce, Junior Achievement, The Manitoba Interactive Digital Media Association, MindSet, Autodesk, and Sherpa Games, among others. In March 2006, Telefilm Canada provided the seed funding to Fortune Cat Games Studio incubator as part of their program to build capacity in the new media industry.
"Fortune Cat Games Studio will provide participants with an artistic and technical skills development opportunity while fostering business development skills," said Dr. Jose A. Rueda, Chair of Fortune Cat Games Studio. "Participants will gain new skills and work experience, thanks to the involvement of electronic gaming and media experts. The experience and skills of the participants will also be directly transferable to many other exciting traditional and knowledge industries including film, television, engineering, medical imaging, architecture,
simulation, graphic art, web development, and many others." For more information consult the Web site www.fortunecatgames.ca.
Red River College recently announced a one-year advanced 3D Animation Training diploma for September 2006. The program has been identified as central to skill development.
Funding for the Fortune Cat Video Games incubator comes from Component IV of the Winnipeg Partnership Agreement. This component is designed to strengthen Winnipeg's innovation system by supporting projects that increase the awareness, capacity and use of new technologies. Component IV will also build necessary infrastructure to promote growth in
knowledge-based sectors such as aerospace, life sciences and alternative energy.
The Winnipeg Partnership Agreement was signed in May 2004 and represents a five-year, $75-million commitment by the governments of Canada, Manitoba and Winnipeg to strengthen city neighbourhoods, promote economic development and enable Aboriginal citizens to fully enjoy Winnipeg's economic and social opportunities. Interested parties are encouraged to consult the Web site www.winnipegpartnership.mb.ca for program details.
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