Organisers of the 2010 GDC Canada event are offering free entry to any Canadian developers who have been made redundant in the last year.
In an inspired move, Canadian game developers made redundant in the past twelve months can pick up GDC Canada Main Conference passes.
The aim here is to see such developers network with other industry professionals and return to business under the wing of a new employer.
Full details on qualifying for a Main Confernce pass can be found on the GSC Canada website, though those hoping to attain a free pass will need to pre-register now.
The event – set for May 6-7 – will host a Game Career Seminar as well as networking events. It also features an expo hall hosting career booths from local Canadian companies hiring staff.
Canada’s region-based tax break system has provided mixed fortunes for developers, depending on the region they are situated in.
The once-rich breeding grounds within has in recent months been shedding staff and projects, as investment swings to the nearby Quebec and Ontario regions.
At its peak in 2008, British Columbia employed over 4,000 people for game development. The sector makes over CA$500,000,000 to the province’s GDP. But in the past 18 months, local employment in the industry has fallen dramatically.
The region is increasingly looking less attractive than its neighbours. In July last year, Ubisoft announced it was investing over $473 million in building a new studio in Canada, claiming it will create 800 new jobs over the next 10 years.
The studio was chosen to be in Toronto, Ontario.
Likewise, THQ recently announced it was going to open a new studio in Canada, set to create 400 new jobs and expand to include all sorts of disciplines including design, engineering, art, content and technology development, quality assurance and localisation.
That studio was chosen to be in Montreal, Quebec.
Recently, the MD of Ubisoft Vancouver told Develop that the province was losing its staff and studios to Canada’s Ontario and Quebec provinces.
The issue was first brought up in Develop back in early 2008.
Go here for Develop’s GDC Canada event page
And here for the official website