Pixar’s Vancouver Branch Shut Down By Disney, 100 Lose Jobs

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Following in Electronic Arts’ footsteps from last winters disastrous 300-person layoffs, Pixar Canada has shuttered it’s Vancouver office in Gastown, leaving 100 people without jobs.

The Vancouver Sun reports that the office opened three years ago, heightening expectations that Vancouver was finally luring big tech firms to settle in the city. Pixar’s Chris Wiggum said that the company will be consolidating its operations at its California location.

“The team at Pixar Canada is incredibly talented and we are so proud of the excellent work we have produced there,” he told the Sun. ““However, as we look at the creative and business needs of our studio, we’ve made the decision to refocus our efforts and resources under one roof in Emeryville and will be closing the studio in Vancouver.”

The Gastown studio opened in 2010, creating short films such as “Air Mater,” “Small Fry” and “Partysaurus Rex”, while Pixar’s “Finding Nemo” and “Toy Story” are among some of the highest-grossing movies on record. The firm was bought by The Walt Disney Company in 2006 for $7.4 billion.

When Pixar arrived in B.C., the company did so along side with other large US studios as Digital Domain and Sony Pictures Imageworks. The province’s digital animation tax credit offered, Vancouver’s talent base and the shared time zone with Los Angeles attracted the company.

In April, Electronic Arts did damage to multimedia workers in another Canadian city, laying off at least 170 gaming developers at its Montreal staff. Estimates went as high as 250 workers being left without work that day. In this context, today’s news in Vancouver is sobering. However the common thought following news like this, particularly in cities like Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver, is that many of these talented workers will find work with smaller outfits.