The Winnipeg Information, Communications and Media (IC&M) industry includes companies that manufacture communications and telecommunications equipment, electronic components and computer equipment, as well as wire and cable suppliers. Companies involved in electronics are generally original equipment manufacturers that produce electronic housings, instrumentation panels and controls, printed circuit boards and monitoring devices. Software development and services firms have attained a level of expertise in the development of generic and packaged software, including accounting and financial packages, specialized engineering tools and manufacturing, and multimedia authoring tools.
The media industry includes commercial printing and publishing, web development, computer animation and special effects, film and audio recording production and new media productions.
Combining our location in the central time zone, our neutral accents and the active promotion of the telecommunications industry in our city, Winnipeg has become the ideal location for inbound and outbound customer contact centres providing customer service, telemarketing, research and technical support.
Employment in information, communications and media in Winnipeg consists of nearly 20,000 people. The IC&M sector in Winnipeg is made up of approximately 1,950 business establishments. Manufacturing components (computers, electronics, printing) produced $1.8 billion in trade activity in Manitoba in 2004.
Areas of expertise:
- Print specialization includes: graphic design, business forms, lottery tickets, security printing, airline tickets, digital colourization of comic books, automated bindery systems
- Film specialization includes: animation, feature films, documentaries, multimedia, made for TV movies and television series
- New media specialization includes: computer animation, visual effects, video games, web, CD-ROM and software development
- Customer Contact Centres: inbound and outbound centres provide customer service, telemarketing, research and technical support
Major IC&M companies located in Winnipeg:
- MTS Allstream – www.mts.ca
- CanWest Global Communications – www.canwest.com
- IBM Canada Ltd. – www.ibm.com/ca/en/
- EDS Canada – www.eds.com/canada
- Vansco Electronics – www.vansco.ca
- Infocorp Computer Solutions – www.infocorpnow.com
- Pollard Banknote – www.pollardbanknote.com
- Duha Colour Services – www.duhagroup.com
- Frantic Films – www.franticfilms.com
- Buffalo Gal Pictures – www.buffalogalpictures.mb.ca
- Convergys Customer Management Canada – www.convergys.com
Winnipeg’s competitive strengths:
- Research and development infrastructure – Winnipeg’s IC&M industry is supported by an extensive network of R&D facilities, including the following:
- TRLabs – conducts R&D in: information and communications applications, Internet protocol (IP) technologies, IP network performance, content aware networks, Internet and multimedia applications, prototyping of new IP devices, distributed caching and image processing.
- University of Manitoba – regularly undertakes research collaborations with industry, government and other academic institutions. The U of M is at the forefront of R&D in a number of ICT areas.
- Canadian Advanced Networks for the Advancement of Research in Industry and Education (CANARIE) – facilitates the widespread adoption of faster, more efficient networks and the enabling of the next generation of advanced products, applications and services to run them.
- MRnet (The Manitoba Regional Advanced Network) – is a consortium of private and public sector R&D organizations dedicated to the advancement of broadband networking and network applications.
- Virtual Reality Research and Innovation Centre – housed at Winnipeg’s Industrial Technology Centre, the $1.5 million Virtual Reality Centre offers Manitoba companies the ability to design, simulate and test new products or processes in an interactive 3-D environment.
- Education and training – Winnipeg has a number of educational institutions that provide programs supporting the IC&M sector, including: the University of Manitoba, the University of Winnipeg, Red River College, South Winnipeg Technical Centre, and numerous private vocational facilities. Programs in film are available at Film Training Manitoba, the Winnipeg Film Group, Video Pool, the University of Manitoba and the University of Winnipeg. Red River College and other private training institutions offer programs related to new media. Skills development for the printing and publishing companies is provided by Red River College, Winnipeg Technical College and a number of high schools with technical programs.
Industry associations – Manitoba’s IC&M industry associations include:
- Manitoba Customer Contact Association – www.mcca.mb.ca
- Information and Communication Technology Association of Manitoba – www.ictam.ca
- Manitoba Interactive Digital Media Association – www.midma.com
- Manitoba New Media – www.manitobanewmedia.com
- Smart Partners – www.smartwinnipeg.mb.ca
- Canadian Information Processing Society (Winnipeg Chapter) – www.cipswinnipeg.ca
- On Screen Manitoba- www.onscreenmanitoba.com
- Manitoba Audio Recording Industry Association – www.manitobamusic.com
- Winnipeg Film Group – www.winnipegfilmgroup.com
- Association of Manitoba Book Publishers – www.bookpublishers.mb.ca
Factor strengths – Winnipeg’s industry has a number of economic factor advantages, including a highly skilled and creative workforce (both technical and artistic), competitive wages/salaries, a generous tax credit program for film, video and new media, low occupancy costs, the lowest electricity costs in North America, unimpeded access to North American markets, and an advanced telecommunications infrastructure, with high-speed broadband access becoming the norm throughout the province.