William F. White International is being acquired by UK-based equipment rental firm Ashtead Group. Ashtead is buying the Canadian production equipment and services company as film, TV and digital production on this side of the border continues to boom. Terms of the deal have not been disclosed. White has 13 locations in Canada and 400 employees. It also has six production studios contracted in Vancouver and Toronto. Ashtead’s Sunbelt Canada rental business, which has 69 locations, reported a rental business increase of 21% in the last quarter.
Wattpad, the Toronto-headquartered platform for readers and writers to find and publish original stories, is set to open a second headquarters in Halifax in early 2020. The company plans to establish a team in downtown Halifax’s Volta Innovation Hub, which offers space for startups. Wattpad also has teams in Los Angeles, New York, Hong Kong, Mumbai, Jakarta, Manila, and the UK. The move to establish a second Canadian headquarters comes as the platform reaches 80 million monthly users and has launched publishing arm Wattpad Books, in addition to a first-look deal with Sony Pictures Television and prior deals with Netflix and Hulu optioning stories published on the platform.
LISTEN: Telefilm Canada and the Canada Media Fund (CMF) brought their Analog conference for audiovisual professionals to Vancouver and Toronto last week exploring the theme of creativity and artificial intelligence. The Vancouver event featured David Usher, Moist frontman and founder of Reimagine.AI, a creative studio specializing in AI, and Catherine Warren, CEO of the Vancouver Economic Commission, which works across the Tech, Digital Entertainment and Green Economy sectors. Usher and Warren are our guests on Broadcast Dialogue – The Podcast, discussing the future of AI in the Creative Industries.
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