(Toronto, May 25, 2023) – Ontario’s creative technology sector is a core contributor to the province’s booming digital economy. With a vibrant mix of major global players as well as successful indie studios, Ontario has over 400 creative technology studios – more than any other province in Canada.
Interactive Ontario’s latest report, Ontario’s Next Gen Industry: Addressing Labour Demand and Growth in the Creative Technology Sector, completed by Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC), in partnership with the City of Toronto, and with the support of London Economic Development Corporation and the Government of Ontario, examines the challenges and opportunities in Ontario’s creative tech labour market.
Some key takeaways from this research include:
- The fast growth of the creative tech sector and increasing digitization across the economy has created a strong demand for skilled talent across technical, artistic, design, and operational roles.
- Recruitment and retention challenges are by-products of strong local and global demand for techno-creative talent and are particularly acute at intermediate and senior levels.
- Existing post-secondary educational pathways need further adaptation to meet rapidly evolving real-life labour market needs in the creative tech sector.
- Supply of highly skilled techno-creative talent can be ensured by a sectoral approach involving all industry stakeholders including post-academic institutions and policy makers.
This first-ever report on creative tech labour in Ontario sets the stage for the development of a labour strategic plan, supporting the growth and global competitiveness of the sector in the province. It is available in English and French upon request through Interactive Ontario’s website with an accompanying outreach video.
“Ontario’s creative technology sector is a key driver of our digital economy. By investing in this sector, we are contributing to prosperity across the province and positioning ourselves as a leader in the industry, with more creative technology studios than any other province in Canada. As the interactive digital media sector continues to grow, it will support thousands of jobs each year and fuel our creative economy.”
– The Honourable Neil Lumsden, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport
“The future of work is here and jobs in creative technology are challenging, rewarding and well-paying,” said Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development. “Our government is proud to invest in Interactive Ontario, who is making our province a leader in this field, launching training programs that help jobseekers gain the skills they need to take the next step in their careers to land better jobs with bigger paycheques.”
– The Honourable Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Immigration, Training and Skills Development.
“The City of Toronto is proud to partner in this essential report, which provides new and urgently needed insights that allow us to better understand the industry’s might, measure its growth, and plan for the future. The creative technology sector in Toronto is a juggernaut, and we are excited to support its success.”
– Councillor Shelley Carroll, Chair, Economic and Community Development Committee, City of Toronto.
“Techno-creative talent is the backbone of Ontario’s thriving creative technology sector. As demand for highly-skilled labour continues to increase, this report will help industry and its stakeholders develop and implement strategies for attracting, training and retaining techno-creative talent in Ontario.”
– Lucie Lalumière, President & CEO, Interactive Ontario
“The creative industries are key contributors to Ontario’s economic prosperity and this report will be invaluable in understanding the labour market in the creative technology sector and providing a roadmap to address the growing demand for skilled labour. Ontario Creates is proud to support Interactive Ontario and fuel the continued development of this thriving industry in Ontario.”
– Karen Thorne-Stone, President & CEO, Ontario Creates
“The creative tech sector is an economic driver for Ontario that is destined for growth while creating strong employment prospects in the next number of years. Talent continues to be at the heart of this industry, unleashing innovations, new business models, and consumer experiences.”
– Namir Anani, ICTC President & CEO
“London is home to some of the fastest-growing digital media, tech and gaming companies in North America. A tech-centric approach is necessary to keep up with the fast-evolving sector and demands talent with new skills and capabilities to meet the industry’s changing needs.”
– Kapil Lakhotia, President & CEO London Economic Development Corporation.
About Interactive Ontario
Interactive Ontario (IO) is the trade association representing the video game and interactive digital media (IDM) sector in Ontario. IO’s members produce, commercialize and export interactive digital entertainment and edutainment such as video games, extended reality applications (VR, AR, MR) and eLearning content. IO’s mission is to inspire, unite and enable Ontario’s IDM industry to achieve long-term growth and prosperity. Through advocacy, connections, insights, resources, programs, and building meaningful partnerships with the industry and its stakeholders, IO is dedicated to positioning Ontario as a leader on the world stage. For More Information: IO Website, The Lodgge, IO Twitter, The Lodgge Twitter, LinkedIn
About the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport
The Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport supports and delivers tourism and cultural experiences, and champions participation in sport and recreation activities across Ontario.
About the Ontario Skills Development Fund
The Skills Development Fund, which supported this program, invests in ground-breaking programs that connect jobseekers with the skills and training they need to find well-paying careers close to home. Through its first three funding rounds, our $700 million Skills Development Fund has supported 595 projects to help nearly 522,000 people around the province take the next step in their careers.
About City of Toronto
Toronto is home to more than three million people whose diversity and experiences make this great city Canada’s leading economic engine and one of the world’s most diverse and livable cities. As the fourth largest city in North America, Toronto is a global leader in technology, finance, film, music, culture, and innovation, and consistently places at the top of international rankings due to investments championed by its government, residents and businesses.
About Ontario Creates
Ontario Creates is an agency of the Government of Ontario that facilitates economic development, investment and collaboration in Ontario’s creative industries including the music, book, magazine, film, television and interactive digital media sectors.
About Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC)
The Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC) is a not-for-profit, national centre of expertise for strengthening Canada’s digital advantage in a global economy. Through trusted research, practical policy advice, and creative capacity-building programs, ICTC fosters globally competitive Canadian industries enabled by innovative and diverse digital talent. In partnership with an expansive network of industry leaders, academic partners, and policymakers from across Canada, ICTC has empowered a robust and inclusive digital economy for over 30 years.
About London Economic Development Corporation (LEDC)
The London Economic Development Corporation (LEDC) is the lead economic development agency for London. Working with business, government, academic institutions, and industry partners, LEDC supports the growth of existing businesses, attracts new businesses to London, and strives to ensure companies have the talent, resources, and business conditions they need to continue scaling.