Creative Industries Thrive in Vancouver

An aerial view of downtown Vancouver with mountains in the background.

Downtown Vancouver with the North Shore Mountains. Photo: Destination Vancouver/Barbershop Films

Vancouver’s unique position as a city next to nature makes it an incubator for creative industries like film, video games, apparel, technology, and more.


Hollywood North

Vancouver has one of the largest film and TV production industries in North America and is nicknamed Hollywood North. Dozens of shows and movies like Deadpool, Riverdale, and Virgin River shoot in Vancouver each year. Season 2 of HBO’s The Last of Us is scheduled to start production in our city in early 2024. Film crews love Vancouver’s easy access to nature as well as the way our skyline can stand in for other big cities like Seattle and New York. Use our guide to top filming locations in Vancouver to plan your own self-guided Hollywood North tour.

Behind the scenes on a film set.

Photo: Brands&People/Unsplash


Home-Grown Video Games

Vancouver is home to several big-name video game studios like Electronic Arts (EA), The Coalition, and Relic Entertainment making famous games like FIFA 23, Gears of War, and and Company of Heroes. Most of the games are set elsewhere in places both real and imagined. But sometimes Vancouver’s landscapes make their way into the games. The Long Dark by Hinterland Studios is a first-person survival game set in BC’s wilderness. And Eggnut’s Tails Noir takes place in a dystopian version of Vancouver that looks a bit like the 1950s and is populated by animals, including the lead character, a raccoon detective.

Two people hold game controllers in front of a soccer video game

Photo: JESHOOTS.COM/Unsplash


Locally Designed Clothing

Vancouver’s fashion may seem casual compared to chic hotspots like New York or Milan. But locals dress for the West Coast lifestyle, favouring clothing built for wellness activities like yoga and hiking. Global yoga and activewear brand lululemon got their start in Vancouver’s Kitsilano neighbourhood. Arc’teryx, known for their high-end rain and ski jackets, started in North Vancouver. And Vessi, makers of casual waterproof sneakers, developed their shoes in response to Vancouver’s rainy weather.

lululemon store on Robson Street in Vancouver

lululemon store on Robson Street in Vancouver. Photo: Marco Tjokro/Unsplash


Innovative Tech Companies

Vancouver’s stunning scenery, easy access to nature, and craft beer scene are just some of the draws for tech workers. The city is home to satellite offices of major players like Amazon, Microsoft, Salesforce and SAP. Thanks to so many tech creatives calling Vancouver home, lots of innovative software has come out of our city. Founded in 2008, Vancouver-based Hootsuite offers social media management services to millions of customers around the world. And while it is now headquartered in San Francisco, Slack, a popular team communication platform, got its start in Vancouver.

A person looks at a laptop screen with the Slack messenger.

Photo: Austin Distel/Unsplash


TED Conferences

TED Conference’s slogan is “ideas worth spreading”. Since 2014, the main TED conference has been held in Vancouver each April. While the conference is still true to its technology and design roots, it now includes broader topics ranging from science to culture and politics. The theme for the 2024 conference, is “The Brave and the Brilliant”.

TED 2022 conference in Vancouver

Photo: Gilberto Tadday/TED

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