“We are so thrilled to be able to partner with the First West Capital team to fund our long awaited expansion into Kelowna,” said Barry Ward, president of Bardel Entertainment. “Not only do we have a solid and longstanding relationship with Kristi, but we also appreciate First West Capital’s creativity and ability to deliver personalized solutions that are tailored to our needs as well as their extensive knowledge of our industry.”
Bardel considered several other cities in British Columbia for its expansion plans but eventually selected Kelowna for a variety of reasons that include the ability to recruit from a growing pool of talented animators in the region, particularly now that companies such as Club Penguin are well established. Access to regional tax incentives provided by the Province, as well as the opportunity to provide the alternative of a smaller-town lifestyle for their team and their families, were also important.
Drawing upon the company’s success in building deep relationships with educational institutions in Vancouver, Bardel is also excited to further grow the animation community in Kelowna. Bardel is presently in discussion with Okanagan College on the development of an animation programming designed to drawing additional talent to the region.
“Okanagan College is so pleased to welcome Bardel to our community,” said Heather Schneider, Regional Dean Central Okanagan of Okanagan College. “Bardel is a well-known media and entertainment company that believes in incubating great talent, growing the industry and showcasing its creativity and innovation on the world stage. Our future students will benefit greatly from opportunities to work with an entertainment company of this calibre.”
“Bardel is a great example of a highly successful B.C.-based, family-owned business that’s fueled by a talented and dedicated team. The Bardel team is committed to continuous innovation, and this agility has allowed the company to remain an industry leader in the field of animation for more than 20 years,” said Kristi Miller, vice-president of First West Capital. “From its humble beginnings creating short films and commercials, Bardel now works on television and film productions for major US studios such as Nickelodeon, Disney, Dreamworks and Warner Brothers and develops world-class interactive online content. We are excited to contribute to the company’s growth and look forward to being a part of its ongoing success in Kelowna.”