Amazon Web Services has opened a new office in at The Forks in Winnipeg.
The 13,000-square-foot space in the Johnston Terminal building will be the new home of AWS Thinkbox, a cloud computing company providing services for entertainment, architecture and engineering industries.
ThinkBox technology has been used to produce such feature films such as Independence Day 2, Captain America: The Winter Soldier and The Martian.
"This is something that is a huge opportunity for this city, because cloud computing is probably the single largest element that is going to be reshaping the business environment in the world," said Ken Zorniak, president and CEO of local company Tangent Animation.
Zorniak's company worked on the Netflix film Next Gen, and said Thinkbox technology made a huge difference in the time it took to render computer animations and effects, making it easier for the filmmakers to do their creative work.
The move is expected to create dozens of jobs. Many of the employees at Thinkbox are graduates from the University of Manitoba.
"This investment from Amazon, and also from Ubisoft, is really pointing out that the quality of education and people coming out of our universities is certainly top-notch," said Zorniak.
Amazon Web Service's general manager of compute services Joshua Burgin said he's been impressed by Thinkbox's team since getting to know the company more than two years ago, and he led the drive to bring the company into the Amazon fold.
"It was very important for us at [Amazon Web Services] and for me, specifically, to keep the great talent here in the city and in fact we've even been able to repatriate a few Winnipeggers once they learned about the great opportunity in this office," said Burgin.
Winnipeg Mayor Brian Bowman and provincial Minister of Growth, Enterprise and Trade Blaine Pedersen also attended the announcement.
"This really just marks another positive development for our city," said Bowman. "It builds on what we're seeing in the broader community. With a growing city we also see running parallel with that, a growing [information and communication technology] sector."
Winnipeg currently has 1,300 information and communication technology businesses employing 13,000 people, Bowman said.
This article originally appeared in CBC News