Reel FX opens Montreal animation studio

With its new flagship studio, the U.S. company aims to create 400 new jobs in the city by 2020.

U.S.-based visual arts studio Reel FX has expanded to Montreal with the launch of a new animation studio.

The Dallas, TX and L.A.-based company specializes in animation, VR and AR. Its new Montreal studio will be the company’s animation flagship in Canada, with three feature films currently in production.

With a new studio in Montreal’s Pointe-Saint-Charles, Reel FX intends to have 50 employees at its studio by the end of May, with a goal of hiring 200 by the end of 2018. The company will then take in an additional 100 employees annually until 2020, to create a total of 400 jobs in the city. In addition to animation, the Montreal team will help develop Reel FX’s virtual and augmented reality experiences.

“We decided on Montréal for several reasons, including its unique culture, the amazing talent pool in visual arts, the outstanding quality of the universities, and the competitive operating costs found in Québec,” said Steve O’Brien, president and CEO of Reel FX in a statement.

To support the new studio, the Quebec government will provide Reel FX with more than $440,000 in assistance to provide training to its future employees. Reel FX will also provide a specialized training program for Montreal artists, similar to the training program it currently offers in Dallas. Called Reel FX University, the six-month paid training program is offered to graduates in arts, illustration, animation and similar disciplines, and provides them the opportunity to work on a Reel FX project.