A bad week for the Canadian film industry as two major institutions close

A bad week for the Canadian film industry as two major institutions close

It’s been a tough week for the Canadian film industry. Core Digital, an animation and post-production company in Toronto, shut its doors, and the Canadian Screen Training Centre in Ottawa announced it would be closing for good next month. The CSTC, which was making plans to celebrate its 30th anniversary, has been an industry leader in training people for film and video production. Both groups point a finger at the government for not bailing them out in their time of need.

“What makes me sad and angry is that they are investing in training in almost every other area,” Tom Shoebridge, executive director of CSTC, told the Ottawa Citizen. “And this is an industry that is changing day by day, and they don’t have the foresight to see that is important.”

For its part, Core, which worked on visual effects for X-Men and The Tudors, struggled to attract business with the rising Canadian dollar and wasn’t granted the funding it sought from the provincial government. According to Canadian Animation Resources, Core sent its approximately 150 employees home on Monday without a job and without a final paycheque.

Core’s closure gives people reporting on the story an opportunity to mention, and therefore run a picture of, William Shatner. The Shatner connection? When Core was first established more than 15 years ago, he was part of the business group that launched it. The fact that he isn’t involved with the company now hasn’t stopped him from being a part of the coverage of the story. But in an odd bit of fate, just as Core was shutting down, Shatner launched a social networking site, called myouterspace.com, where sci-fi professionals (including animators) can collaborate and find work.

Core Digital closes doors  [Canadian Animation Resources]
Funding crisis closes digital effects studio [Toronto Star]
Toronto’s Core Digital shuts its doors [AWN]
• A black day’ in Ottawa as funding cut forces film training centre to close doors [Ottawa Citizen]
Toon biz hit by closures [Variety]