One of Vancouver’s largest studios is currently in the process of building a new amalgamated home in the Mount Pleasant neighbourhood. DHX Studios will occupy a 75,000-square-foot space at a new five-storey office building being constructed at 380 West 5th Avenue, at the southeast corner of the intersection with Yukon Street, near SkyTrain’s Olympic Village Station.
Lisa Wong, a spokesperson for DHX Studios, told Vancity Buzz that the move will merge the studio’s two locations in Gastown and near Commercial Drive, bringing in all the 2-D and CGI animators and corporate staff into one building. Of course, DHX Studios’ presence in Mount Pleasant also further cements the area as the city’s tech hub.
A total of 700 employees are expected to occupy the new state-of-the-art facility when it opens in December 2016. As well, it coincides with a reorganization and rebranding of the content-creation divisons of the company.
The Halifax-based company focuses on television entertainment, specifically on producing animation and live action for kids and families. At the company’s Vancouver studios, animators are responsible for producing shows such as My Little Pony, The Mr. Peabody & Sherman Show, Slugterra, Supernoobs, and Kate & Mim-Mim.
“The formation of DHX Studios integrates the expertise of our creative teams in Vancouver, Toronto and Halifax and allows us to push our industry’s standards for creative excellence,” said DHX Studios CCO Asaph Fipke in a statement. “We’re proud to be producing the highest quality animation and live action in the industry, and continuing our work with top content creators in the kids and family business.”
Most of the company’s animation and CGI resources are focused in Vancouver. For instance, the Halifax studio location, which produces Inspector Gadget, is only about one-third the size of the Vancouver workforce.
Up to 20 animation productions are created annually, but this will increase over the coming years and the majority of the new projects will likely be created by the studio’s Vancouver resources. In December 2015, DHX Studios announced two major content agreements: A five-year partnership with DreamWorks Animation to produce 130 episodes of original animated children’s content and a long-term partnership with Mattel to jointly fund, co-develop and co-produce entertainment for the toy maker’s properties.
To support ongoing business operation expansion plans, the company will be hiring 150 people during the first two quarters of 2016.
Other divisions of DHX Studios’ parent company are creating new episodes for notable shows such as Teletubbies and Degrassi. As well, under the DHX Television unit, DHX owns and operates four Canadian children’s channels including the Family Channel, Family CHRGD, Family Jr. and Télémagino.
A poster for ‘Supernoobs’.