From The Record.com Sun 05 2013
by Terry Pender, Record staff
Local digital media cluster gathering momentum
KITCHENER — Marcel O’Gorman’s voice echoes in the old post office as he walks through the latest cutting-edge addition to the downtown’s growing digital media cluster.
“This is going to be a display area,” O’Gorman says of the area just inside 44 Gaukel St. that is flooded with natural light.
O’Gorman heads the University of Waterloo’s critical media lab, and he helped bring together The Kitchener Studio Project in this city-owned building in the core.
City council is on board, so is the college and the University of Waterloo has approved it in principle.
Art and technology will come together in this building and some of the best work will be exhibited in the display area. At the back of the building, off the loading dock, the Creative Enterprise Initiative will have low-cost studio space for artists.
There is 10,000 square feet of space on the first floor of the building that will be filled with students and faculty from the area’s three post-secondary institutions — The School of Media and Design from Conestoga College, the University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University.
Christie Digital, the local company that makes digital projectors, and Communitech, the industry association for the area’s high-tech firms, is also part of the studio project.
O’Gorman oversees the graduate students doing a master’s in experimental digital media — XDM for short.
“The collaboration with Conestoga is a great fit,” O’Gorman says. “I can see our students finishing an XDM degree for example and then doing a post-grad program for a summer, or one-year program in 3-D animation.”
The digital-media sector needs creative people for animation and graphics, music, storytelling, photography, (both video and still), editing-digital video and designing hardware. And that’s where the Kitchener Studio Project comes in.
Communitech is based at The Hub in the former Lang tannery building at Charles and Victoria streets. Startup companies head there with good ideas. They are provided space for working in, mentors, legal advice and marketing expertise.
“A huge part of this is collaboration with Communitech,” O’Gorman says. “When they get the applications from all the people who want to be startups and be part of The Hub, they are going to look at some of them and say: ‘These people would benefit from being in a creative environment.’ So they are going to send them over to Gaukel.”
Read the rest of the article here.