Another golden moment for the SaultFriday, February 21, 2014 by: Darren Taylor
“This is the second golden moment today in Sault Ste. Marie.”
That from Sault Ste. Marie Acting Mayor Terry Sheehan, after Friday’s gold medal victory for Team Jacobs at the 2014 Winter Olympics, referring to new developments for the Sault’s information technology sector.
Provincial government funding announced Friday by Sault Ste. Marie MPP David Orazietti is designed to not only create 10 new and highly-skilled, good paying jobs in Sault Ste. Marie, but also enhance the Sault’s growing reputation as an innovative leader in the information technology sector, particularly in relation to gaming.
Orazietti is pictured at Friday’s announcement (at Canadian Bank Note’s office at 421 Bay Street) with Ontario Lottery and Gaming (OLG) Director of Municipal and Community Relations Jake Pastore, Canadian Bank Note’s Director of Charitable Gaming Operations Andre Gionet and Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre (SSMIC) Executive Director Tom Vair.
Orazietti announced $1,015,000 in support from the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC) for the Innovation Centre and Canadian Bank Note as they develop and promote an advanced e-bingo platform.
E-bingo is computer-based bingo played at licensed bingo halls.
The project will also involve creation of a Game Development Kit that will enable vendors to use play-on-demand (PoD) games that will operate on the e-bingo platform, the creation of three PoD games for Ontario Lottery and Gaming, and three PoD games for the Innovation Centre.
Vair explained: “The Innovation Centre will be developing six new games that sit on this charitable e-bingo platform, and Canadian Bank Note will be creating a new platform for those to sit on, and they’ll be marketing their platform and our games around the world.”
“That platform will serve not only the Ontario market (at licensed bingo halls in Ontario) but also we’re hoping international jurisdictions as well, and Canadian Bank Note is already in other jurisdictions around the world with their products.”
Work is starting on the two-year project now, Vair said, hoping that within the next year the games will be developed and on the market.
Vair said: “We’re hoping this sets a template for how OLG can work with private sector companies as it goes through its modernization process.”
Canadian Bank Note will contribute over $850,000 to the project, the City of Sault Ste. Marie $150,000, the Innovation Centre over $56,000 and Destiny Sault Ste. Marie $10,000.
Nine new technical jobs will be created at Canadian Bank Note as a result of the project, and one other at the Innovation Centre.
“We’re excited to be a part of this project,” Canadian Bank Note’s Andre Gionet said, adding “CBN believes that the Sault can be a hub to develop world-class technologies and products for the charitable gaming industry.”
Gionet noted enthusiastically that in less than two years, Canadian Bank Note’s Sault office has grown from four staff members to 30, and now a further nine positions will be added as a result of Friday’s announcement.
Canadian Bank Note’s head office is in Ottawa and the company has other offices and plants in nine other centres, with over 1,000 employees.
An abridged release from David Orazietti follows.
Provincial Investment in Game Development Project Creates Local Jobs
SAULT STE. MARIE - The provincial government’s investment of $1,015,000 for the Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre (SSMIC) partnered with Canadian Bank Note Company, Limited (CBN) will advance the Information Communications Technology sector in Sault Ste. Marie announced David Orazietti MPP today.
“Our government’s investment in the innovative and digital technology sector through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund is creating well-paying jobs in our city,” said Orazietti. “This partnership is a unique opportunity to support the diversification of our local economy in innovative and new technologies and builds on the progress we are making in this sector.”
This provincial investment supports a collaborative project between the SSMIC and CBN for the development of an advanced e-bingo platform.
The project will also focus on:
- The creation of a Game Development Kit (GDK) that will allow third party vendors to develop play-on-demand (PoD) games that operate on the e-bingo platform
- The creation of three PoD games for Ontario Lottery and Gaming (OLG)
- The creation of three PoD games for SSMIC
Total funding for today’s digital gaming announcement is $2,085,510 million and is made up of support from:
- $1,015,000 million - Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC)
- $854,377 - Canadian Bank Note Company, Limited
- $150,000 - City of Sault Ste. Marie
- $56,133 - Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre
- $10,000 - Destiny Sault Ste. Marie
"We are excited to collaborate with a global company like Canadian Bank Note and greatly appreciate the support from NOHFC for this project," said Tom Vair, executive director, SSMIC. "It is great to see the expansion of Sault Ste. Marie's digital gaming sector and we hope to build on this momentum in the future."
The creation of 10 new high quality local jobs with today’s announcement also includes the potential for many local future jobs as CBN and SSMIC license this new charitable gaming platform internationally.
“Building on our partnership with Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation that resulted in 25 new full-time technical jobs in Sault Ste. Marie we are very excited to partner with Sault Ste. Marie’s Innovation Centre, to develop the next generation of Digital Gaming Platform and Games for our customers," said Craig Bascombe, president of Lottery Division and CFO of CBN. “CBN will be creating a number of new positions based in Sault Ste. Marie for this project.”
Canadian Bank Note Company (CBN) is headquartered in Ottawa, Canada and has additional plants and offices in nine other locations.
CBN employs over 1,000 people and supplies products through four divisions.
“Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) is proud to support the efforts of the Sault Ste Marie Innovation Centre to develop new technology and create high skilled jobs in the Sault,” said Tom Marinelli, OLG’s acting president and CEO. “The NOHFC funding will not only benefit the Innovation Centre, Canadian Bank Note Company, the residents of the Sault, but ultimately OLG and the people of Ontario.”