The Network Hub’s New Venture
The co-working space adds to its arsenal by serving the digital media sector
This summer the same team behind The Network Hub will launch three new shared workspaces, this time targeting individual content creators and small creative firms. Dubbed The Digital Hub, the new spaces will be a part of the existing Network Hub offices in Vancouver, New Westminster and Whistler.
“It was a long time coming for us,” says The Network Hub co-founder Minna Van. “A lot of people have asked, How are you able to support the digital work coming out of Vancouver? It’s been about an eight-month process to figure it out.”
The new co-working spaces will cater to production and post-production crews working on movies and TV shows, as well as 2D and 3D digital artists from the gaming community, and will provide access to such software as the Adobe Creative Suite, Autodesk, The Foundry, SideFX and more.
“We worked with a couple of industry leaders and a couple of creative associations in B.C. We asked them what essential, basic software they need to get the work done and this is what they voiced to us,” says Van. “They need something that they can scale up and scale down really easily—they don’t want to be tied down to a lease, because production will go on for six months, or it can be over in three months. They don’t have to invest in the infrastructure, they don’t have to deal with the lease, with office equipment, with licensing.”
The Digital Hub minimizes licensing costs by allowing users to access software on a per hour, per day, per week or per month basis, versus buying expensive licences themselves, often for much longer terms than they would need. “They literally just plug in and start working,” says Van.
Van expects movie and TV production crews shooting in Vancouver to use the space to process images and reels locally before sending them back to their head offices, often in such cities as L.A., Toronto or London. “We’re in discussion with a few studios to see how we can cater to their needs,” she says.
Each of the three new Digital Hub spaces will be integrated into the existing Network Hub spaces, which was a conscientious decision to keep the tech and arts ecosystems connected. “I don’t think we should separate people,” says Van, “because if you look at the downtown Vancouver ecosystem where the film school is, you’ve got the arts, you’ve got the businesses, you’ve got entrepreneurs, you’ve got techies—I think it’s that kind of blending that makes it even better and makes us a lot more innovative.”
The Vancouver location is expected to open in July, shortly followed by the New Westminster and Whistler locations.