Canada continues to support the esports and gaming industry as its contributions to the economy become more evident.
Gamelevate previously reported on the newly formed Canadian Collegiate Esports League (CCEL) featuring some of the top universities in the country. The CCEL aims to nationalize esports adoption among Canadian universities by creating a unified body to organize, manage, and lead collegiate esports.
In addition to the creation of the CCEL, the Ontario government has just announced that it is investing $1 million over two years in a scholarship for postsecondary students in esports and related programs. This investment profiles the fast-growing gaming industry, the largest segment of Canada’s entertainment industry, contributing more than $5.5 billion to the Canadian economy in 2021.
This investment will help students pursue their passion and prepare for careers in the highly lucrative video game and esports sectorJill Dunlop, Minister of Colleges and Universities, at Sheridan College’s Screen Industries Research and Training (SIRT) Centre
The Ontario Esports Scholarship program will offer financial assistance to students enrolled in programs related to the game design, development, marketing, and innovation industry that may lead to a career in similar fields.
Details were shared today by Jill Dunlop, Minister of Colleges and Universities, at Sheridan College’s Screen Industries Research and Training (SIRT) Centre, in downtown Toronto.
In 2021, the gaming industry directly supported more than 55,000 full-time jobs in Canada, including roles for computer scientists, software engineers and developers, data scientists, and marketing professionals. Ontario is home to 298 video game companies, the greatest for any region in Canada.
“As the first province in Canada to recognize the educational value of esports design and development in this way, we will support students who are building skills that can lead to discoveries, innovation, training opportunities, and economic benefits for Ontario,” said Minister Dunlop. “This investment will help students pursue their passion and prepare for careers in the highly lucrative video game and esports sector, and to develop transferable skills valued by employers across countless industries.”
The program will be available through eligible publicly assisted colleges and universities. Students will be awarded scholarships in Fall 2022.
Many of Canada’s leading esports and gaming companies announced their full support of this initiative by the Ontario government. Steven Salz, Co-Founder and CEO of Rivalry commented “We applaud the Ontario government’s commitment to training highly skilled talent in the esports and iGaming sector. As a proud Toronto founded and based company, and one of Ontario’s first fully registered operators of internet gaming and sports betting, we strongly believe in growing our business right here at home and hiring the top talent Ontario has to offer.”
Julien Lavoie, Director of Corporate Affairs for Ontario and Western Canada for Ubisoft added “Ontario’s video game industry has tremendous potential for growth. This new scholarship program for the booming video game and esports industry will help to train the next generation of skilled workers and continue to position Ontario as a leader in Canada’s innovation economy.”