Pixar Canada, Pixar's new satellite studio in Vancouver, British Columbia, was officially opened today. Selected members of the press were invited to visit the studio's 7,000-square-foot space inside a historic building located in Vancouver's Gastown district. B.C. premier Gordon Campbell (that like a "governor" for you Americans) came out for the unveiling.
According to Amir Nasrabadi, general manager of the Vancouver studio, Pixar hopes to expand its Canadian facilities to 20,000-25,000 sq. ft., perhaps moving to another location in the city at some point.
The Canadian studio "will begin training new staff in late May, and start work on its first short film by early August". There are currently twenty people on the payroll; the plan is to hire several dozen employees within the next year and a half.
As previously announced, Pixar Canada will focus exclusively on the production of non-theatrical short films and other projects based on Pixar's "legacy characters", such as Cars Toons and the rumoured Toy Story Toons. Using a "pipeline system", work done in Vancouver will be seen immediately in Emeryville, where the final stages of production on the shorts will take place.