Gusto opens new Ottawa studio

The Bell Media partnership, robust production schedules and global ambitions prompted the $1 million investment in the 13,000 square-foot space.

Gusto Worldwide Media is expanding its operations in Ottawa with the launch of a 13,000 square-foot TV studio and head office.

The new space, which includes a 3,500 square-foot soundstage, post-production facilities, a 1,000 square-foot commercial kitchen and on-site workshop, comes as Gusto expands both the size of its staff and its roster of titles. The culinary-focused prodco has tripled the size of its workforce over the past year, to around 60, from 20, as well as moved into production on a large slate of projects through its partnership with Bell Media.

Chris Knight, president and CEO, Gusto Worldwide Media, told Playback Daily the company’s more than-$1 million investment in the new studio was made possible through its deal with Bell Media, which in May 2016 acquired the rights to the Gusto TV brand in Canada and later launched food-focused lifestyle channel.

“That partnership provides for a robust production schedule for many years to come. We decided that in order to fulfill our side of the deal, a studio was necessary,” he said.

With around 500 hours of content produced during its five-year history, and plans to produce at least another 80 hours in 2018, Knight said selling Gusto content internationally is a primary focus for the prodco. Among those projects is a slate of 10 originals announced in fall 2016, including the food series The Urban Vegetarian (15 x 30 minutes) and The Latin Kitchen (15 x 30 minutes) and four holiday specials, including Spencer and Robert’s Game Day Buffet (1 x 60 minutes) and One World Kitchen Bakes the Holidays (1 x 60 minutes).

At some point next year, Knight said the plan is to launch Gusto globally as an international channel, with a particular focus on the U.S., China, the U.K. and Germany. Currently, Knight said he hopes to launch the channel as a premium 4K SVOD service that also features live-streamed content.