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Rogers and VICE Join Forces to Create Major Production Studio

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Rogers and VICE Join Forces
to Create Major Production Studio

;Guy Laurence, President and Chief Executive Officer, Rogers and Shane Smith, Founder, VICE Media;
Image supplied: Guy Laurence, President and Chief Executive Officer, Rogers and Shane Smith, Founder, VICE Media

(October 30, 2014 – Toronto, ON) After 20 years of traversing the globe to create the gold standard in print, photojournalism and video, VICE Media will return home to Canada to team up with Rogers to establish a state-of-the-art multimedia production studio. The new Toronto studio, which will operate under VICE`s creative direction, will be dedicated to producing the very best Canadian content for mobiles, tablets, computers and TV screens and will be exported around the world. The VICE Canada Studio will address the dramatic shift in Canada`s media landscape, as young people increasingly consume news and entertainment from their mobile and digital devices.

It`s a sad fact for those of us on the other side of young but discrimination does exist in the digital world and we are becoming The Ignored, which will actually make some of us happy. That said, the stats say nearly 70 per cent of 18 to 24-year-olds receive news and entertainment from their mobiles, tablets or a computer, compared to only 30 per cent for people 40-year-olds and over. If you were in business, which audience would you want? The older, well off group with good jobs and homes, or the younger group which has just moved back home for the third time?

According to Guy Laurence, President and Chief Executive Officer, Rogers, “We wanted to build a powerhouse for Canadian digital content focused on 18 to 34-year-olds.” Laurence went on to say, “VICE was the obvious choice to partner with. They started in Canada but then moved to New York to prove they could build a global media company, which they’ve done. However, they’ve never forgotten their Canadian roots and have always wanted to open a Canadian production studio. I’d worked with Shane`s team on small projects before but this time we sat across the table and said let`s do this and let`s make it big. We’re going to shake up Canada with exciting, provocative content and we’ll export it around the world.”

The founder of VICE Media, Shane Smith said: “It was 20 years ago, deep down in the port of Old Montreal that we set out to try and make a magazine that didn’t suck. This year we return to the homeland, all our hard lessons learned, to build from scratch a completely horizontally and vertically integrated ultra-modern media entity. Essentially we are building a content creation hub that will generate premium video for a cutting edge media company that will program – simultaneously – the holy trinity of convergence; mobile, online, and TV.”

“Our partner on this ambitious project will be Rogers. We’ll build something truly special, deeply innovative and dedicated to the youth of this country. Rogers and VICE will program the content created out of our studio on its mobile platforms, its online outlets and its television properties. This revolutionary idea puts us not only at the forefront of tech/media space in Canada but we believe our bold experiment will be followed by media and tech companies around the world. Why? Because this is the future of media. We are excited as hell to be doing this with them and excited as hell to build our most ambitious project to date in Canada,” Smith added.

VICE Canada properties will form part of a $100 million joint venture between the two companies. The VICE Canada Studio will produce Canadian-focused content including news, drama, documentaries and programming covering food, sports, fashion, tech, and more, for all screens. It will also partner and collaborate with Canada`s best young directors, producers, journalists, editors and filmmakers, giving them the tools and guidance to create the next wave of great content. Plans also include an incubator that will feature programming and workshops intended to develop and foster students and burgeoning journalists across Canada