From a media release:
Aeon Studio Group (ASG) announced today a plan to build Hamilton, Ontario into an international hub for film, television, and digital media production.
The cornerstone of the plan is the Hamilton Studio District, a live-work-play development that will include:
- Film and television production campus with purpose-built modern soundstages, production offices, support facilities, backlot
- Other studios for post-production, animation, visual effects, game development, music
- Crew training facility, HQ for the local talent pool and job creation effort
- Office buildings for film industry suppliers, and media, digital and tech companies
- Collaborative, affordable and creative workspaces geared towards the enrichment of the artistic and creative industry community
- Residential/retail space, including two residential towers, and public open space that is pedestrian oriented and provides community connectivity
ASG, through its affiliate Hamilton Studios Ltd., and the City of Hamilton have signed a City Council ratified memorandum of understanding that lays out the business framework for the purchase and sale of the City-owned Barton-Tiffany lands, which are located by the intersection of Barton Street West and Tiffany Street, and abutting the new West Harbour Go Train station near the bay in Central Hamilton.
ASG partner Mike Bruce told media industry stakeholders at a press conference today that â€œHamilton is the perfect place for a production hub in the west-end of the Greater Toronto Area because of its proximity to diverse filming locations, thriving arts and culture workforce, limited traffic congestion and because productions that film there qualify for additional provincial tax credits.â€
â€œThis film and production hub will create high-value, high-paying jobs for people in the film industry right here in Hamilton,â€ said Mayor Fred Eisenberger.Â â€œIt will see the rejuvenation of a brown field located in the heart of our City, and see this area transformed into a beautiful, campus-like environment, fully accessible to the community and conveniently located next to the West Harbour GO station and near our future LRT.â€
The Hamilton Studio District will be designed consistent with the Cityâ€™s economic plan for the Barton-Tiffany lands area.
â€œThis is a win-win for the community,â€ said Ward 2 Councillor Jason Farr. â€œNot only are we getting a new investment worth hundreds of millions of dollars, but we will be remediating a former industrial site that has sat vacant for years. Â Fantastic news for this area!â€
Todayâ€™s announcement is the result of the shared vision and hard work of a coalition that includes Hamilton City Council, NABET 700-M UNIFOR, the Directorâ€™s Guild of Canada – Ontario, Mohawk College, McMaster University, Workforce Planning Hamilton, Ontario Creates, Interactive Ontario, and the Government of Ontario Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, among others.
The ASG plan will contribute to the existing dynamism and rejuvenation underway in Hamilton. It will clean up and develop the Barton-Tiffany lands and add new vitality to the West Harbour area. And it will create hundreds of local construction jobs and thousands of local jobs in the media, digital, and supporting industries. To that end, ASG and its coalition partners are working to build a pipeline of talent from local schools into full membership in the industry unions.
â€œCreative industries are very much one of our key focuses in Hamilton and this investment means new jobs, new taxes and new focus on this city,â€ said Hamilton Economic Development Director Glen Norton. â€œWe look forward to finalizing this purchase agreement and start the development process as soon as possible.â€
ASG plans to build 500,000 square feet of stage space in Hamilton, the first 150,000 of whichÂ will be operational withinÂ a year.
About Aeon Studio Group (ASG)
ASG is developer and operator of film & television studios and related spaces. Its principals are Robbie David, Mike Bruce, Jeff Anders, Phil Lefko, Stephany Mandin and Mark Sakamoto.