“It’s the look of the place, the creative tech talent, the infrastructure that’s been built up, the reputation—a very large number of factors.” As with the tech scene, the area’s film, animation and digital production industries “have been working at this for a long time,” Brownsey says.“Anyone looking to film here or do visual effects knows that whatever’s needed is here.” Already, major industry meetings are held in Vancouver.
Animation and digital film production thrive in the city too—think Life of Pi, District 9 and Cloud Atlas.
The booming community of visual effects and digital animation and gaming companies includes some big players: Electronic Arts has had offices in Vancouver since 1993 and employs more than 1,000; last May, Sony Pictures Imageworks, which has been involved in major motion pictures such as Guardians of the Galaxy and The Amazing Spider-man 2, said it will relocate its headquarters from Los Angeles to Vancouver in 2015.
Many of these tech giants established outposts in Vancouver because of stalled immigration reform in the United States (where foreign nationals have been blocked from obtaining H-1B visas).
Greater Vancouver is taking full advantage of its windfall: British Columbia boasts lower corporate tax rates than the United States, as well as lower personal income tax rates.
Female and ladyboy members are primarily from Asian countries including Thailand, China, Vietnam and the Philippines.