GrandLinq consortium, which includes Keolis Canada, selected for a light-rail contract in Ontario
The GrandLinq consortium, which includes Keolis Canada, was selected by the evaluating committee to build a light rail connection between the cities of Kitchener and Waterloo, Ontario. This large-scale project, construction of which begins in 2014, should begin operating in 2017.
French computer-generated imaging firm BUF sets up in Montreal
A new French studio, BUF, has recently begun operations in Montreal. Nicolas Delval, the Montreal studio’s Production Manager, indicated that the office actually opened its doors in autumn 2013 and currently employs roughly two dozen people. Since its first year of operations, BUF has created some 80 jobs and will create an additional 45 jobs over the next three years. BUF specializes in special effects and animation. Founded in 1984, the studio employs 300 artists and engineers in its French and Belgian offices. The company also maintains offices in Los Angeles.
The mission of BUF’s Canada branch is to create and develop computer-generated images for both live-action and animated cinema. It is establishing a research and development department for new special effects software. BUF received support from Montréal International and Investissement Québec in order to establish its operations in Montreal.
Founded in 1984, BUF has contributed special effects to 75 films and 800 ads to date, including The Matrix, Avatar, Thor, Batman Begins, and Life of Pi. The company employs more than 300 artists and engineers in its offices in France, Belgium, and the United States, particularly in Los Angeles.
The French brand Élora opens up a branch in Trois-Rivières
French clothing brand Elora chose Trois-Rivières as the site where it would establish its operations in Quebec. This company, whose sales take place via at-home demonstrations, wanted to establish its headquarters and a warehouse as an investment in the Quebecois market. Elora’s Canadian branch, which has been re-baptized StylElora, has already recruited roughly fifty representatives. StylElora is currently looking for a warehouse, which it may find between now and early summer. Elora’s business model (home demonstration-based sales) needs a few years before results in terms of employment can be seen, but the company currently employs roughly forty people at its warehouse in France. After Quebec, Elora hopes to tackle the markets of Canada’s other provinces, then the American market. It is also exploring the possibility of creating clothing in Quebec.
French designer Philippe Starck to design a 96-unit luxury apartment building in Montreal.
Designer Philippe Starck will design a 96-unit luxury apartment building in the Griffintown area of Montreal. This residential project will be developed under the YOO brand, an international property and hotel design firm owned by the French creator and his associate, British real estate promoter John Hitchcox. This is the first time that the YOO founders have decided to do business in Quebec, which is, according to Philippe Starck, “a crossroads, a cultural, ethnic, and linguistic meeting grounds that makes itself an obvious setting for a concept like ours.” The units will vary in size between 100 and 450m2. Construction will begin next summer and units are expected to be available in early 2016.
OpenHydro, a branch of DCNS, to develop a pilot tidal turbine farm project in Nova Scotia
OpenHydro, a subsidiary of DCNS since 2013, announced on March 28th that it had been selected by the Nova Scotia Department of Energy to carry out a pilot tidal energy project at the experimental FORCE (Fundy Ocean Research Centre for Energy) Research Centre. OpenHydro was selected through a Department call for proposals seeking to promote tidal energy-industry development in the Bay of Fundy. This project will be carried out by an OpenHydro-led consortium in cooperation with Nova Scotia-based energy company Emera. The project’s primary local industry partners are Irving Shipbuilding, Irving Equipment, and Atlantic Towing. The network will consist of two 16-metre commercial turbines (2.0MW). This project has the potential to be the first interconnected multi-megawatt tidal turbine network in the world, providing energy to more than 1,000 clients in Nova Scotia. An OpenHydro water turbine has already been successfully deployed and it is currently operating on the coast of France.
OpenHydro is committed to drawing on local talent to create an industrial site in the Bay of Fundy. Over time, the company plans to create, either directly or indirectly, 950 jobs in the area. The Group’s strategy is to develop manufacturing plants in areas close to leading sources of tidal energy. The difference between the tides in the Bay of Fundy is the greatest in the world (15 metres). It moves roughly 160 billion tons of water—more than all the freshwater creeks and rivers in the world combined. This creates interesting conditions for the development of tidal energy technology, which produces clean and renewable energy.