Consul General Nick Baker

Nick Baker

Consul General, Montreal

Part of UK in Canada

16th January 2015 Montreal, Canada

Paddington warms Ste. Justine’s Children Hospital

Paddington, the film, opens in Canada today. Although Winnie the Pooh is a household name here – the real bear upon which A.A. Milne based Winnie the Pooh was from Canada – Paddington has a lower profile in Canada.

But there is a local connection to the new film.  All the animation was done by British company Framestore who opened a studio in Montreal in 2013, which did much of the work on the film. They are best known for their Oscar win last year for their special effects work on “Gravity”.

Run by Benoit Touchette, Framestore employs 180 people in the city and are currently recruiting to increase their staff to around 350. They are not alone. A number of British multimedia firms, including Cinesite, Moving Picture, and video game developer Eidos call Montreal home. Why do they, and many others, come? They are attracted by the pool of artistic talent the city offers, and the Quebec government’s tax incentives.

We teamed up with Framestore and film distributor Seville Films to hold a special Paddington premier for the sick children at Montreal’s main kids hospital, Sainte-Justine last Saturday. The film was presented in French, in the hospital purpose built cinema (built courtesy of Céline Dion).

Photo: Benoit Vermette/

I introduced Paddington, who made a guest appearance to hand out books, toys, badges and chocolate (thanks to Green & Blacks), and Benoit Touchette gave an insight into how it was made: it takes two days to make one second of film!

Photo: Benoit Vermette/

On a side note, if seeing Paddington in theatres isn’t enough our friends at VisitBritain are giving away a family trip to experience Paddington’s London. Bonne chance!

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About Nick Baker

Nick took up his appointment as Consul General, Montreal in July 2014. Nick joined the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 2001.