Creative industries, led by culture and entertainment, are a major economic driver worldwide.
In Hamilton, we’re gaining a share of this growing international market while taking care of business on the local front.
At this year’s Hamilton Economic Summit — an initiative of the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce — we held a panel focused on moving our local creative industries sector to the next level.
Among the takeaways was an agreement on the need to strengthen and promote local assets that appeal to creative industries, including broadband connectivity, access to skilled talent, a vibrant downtown, affordable building stock, and municipal supports.
The Hamilton Chamber is helping to tackle this to-do list at multiple levels — through our Innovation Technology Committee, community partnerships with the City of Hamilton and others, and various leadership events.
On August 10, for example, we hosted a post-summit Coffee with the CEO and Guests event to discuss business challenges commonly faced by local digital media companies. The panelists were Juan Lopez (co-founder of Pipeline Studios), Rob DePetris (senior manager, tax at KPMG and former vice president at Silicon Knights) and Jacqueline Norton (business development consultant, City of Hamilton).
Three current challenges rose to the top:
1. The need to help local digital media firms identify and secure suitable financial incentives targeting their industry.
2. The need to access additional low cost storage and rendering capacity.
3. The need to differentiate Hamilton’s strengths as a digital media centre from other similar centres across Ontario — why duplicate local services when we can specialize?
The interactive conversation closed with a call for greater collaboration — locally and beyond — to address these and other priority actions.
The Chamber will continue to help, particularly by fostering a strong and stable local business environment for digital media firms and creative industries as a whole.