How to grow a local creative ecosystem that shines on the world stage

C2 Editorial Team
Presented by the Gouvernement du Québec

Without question, Quebec’s greatest ambassador is its talent: a local source of pride that garners acclaim the world over. Quebec businesses continue to master new technologies, find innovative outlets for them, and use this tech in creative ways that inspire and fire the imagination through one-of-a-kind, interactive and celebrated experiences all around the globe. But what’s behind this creativity? What factors that have brought the province’s talent so much international success and recognition?

These were the topics that were tackled by C2 Montréal 2021’s closing panel discussion, “Local talent: An international success,” featuring Marie-Pier Veilleux, Director of Public Affairs and International Relations at Moment Factory, Sarah Ouellet, Multimedia Designer and Co-Founder of Montréal in Motion, and Véronique Hébert, VP Global HR at Rodeo FX. The panel was moderated by Marie Saint Pierre, Founder, President and Creative Director at Maison Marie Saint Pierre.

 

5 highlights from a revealing conversation

 

Growing talent in-house is imperative

A high-quality labour force is essential to Quebec businesses making it beyond our borders, and companies have an important role to play in cultivating creativity and developing expertise. For Moment Factory, it’s all about providing a workplace that is conducive to innovation and learning.

“We founded the MF School so people working in-house could take courses led by external specialists and engage in custom training pieced together by employees, for employees,” explained Marie-Pier Veilleux. “It also makes people feel like there’s an opportunity for continuing development and growth within the company.”

Rodeo FX launched a similar initiative called the Ranch, in addition to establishing partnerships with various schools. “The schools often ask us to send them our people to teach there, folks who work with current technologies and practices,” said Véronique Hébert. “It’s important to give them the space to do that and teach our upcoming generations.”

 

Government is a critical part of the equation

The government plays a vital role in helping Quebec businesses perform and shine abroad. But what are concrete ways in which the government can take action to support digital creativity? According to Hébert, continuing to support education and training is crucial.

“I think that we need to continue to invest and finance at the college and university levels,” she said. “Annually, we only have 500 young people completing their education in visual effects, which isn’t such a big number. We’d like to triple or even quadruple it.”

 

Creating community enhances artistic development

The creative ecosystem of the digital arts is made up of a lot of freelancers who also need access to training and development programs.

“When measuring the success and work satisfaction of freelancers, we see that there are two major factors at play: access to community and a solid, nurturing network,” said Sarah Ouellet, noting that freelancers need a framework in which they can develop their individual approach and expertise.

“I think it’s important to support artists financially, with access to grants for creative projects that aren’t necessarily driven by international ambitions but more from an angle of personal artistic development.”

 

Cross-pollination can lead to unexpected growth

Collaboration between different industries is crucial when it comes to fostering creativity and innovation.

“We have talked a lot about intra-industry collaboration, [and] I think that inter-industry collaboration is huge. Novel things come from it,” said Marie-Pier Veilleux, citing the example of a Nine Inch Nails concert that Moment Factory worked on using technology from the defence industry. 

 

Keep creative soil fertile

The artist’s surroundings are paramount, which includes living environments. Montreal is famous for its unique pool of artists and creatives because they can live in a way that feeds their creativity. 

“Socially speaking, it’s about keeping neighbourhoods populated with a high percentage of artists — like the Mile End, Mile Ex, Chabanel — so that there are more opportunities for these creative types to interact with one another, which creates this vibrancy and allows them to build a network right where they live.”

 

Get more insights from C2MTL 2021

Check out The Takeaways, a selection of the top action items and key learnings that came out of C2 Montréal, October 19-21.

Questions or comments? Drop us a line at editorial@c2.biz