Edmonton – Bioware  is celebrating its 15th anniversary with the launch of Bioware Bazaar . Officially open on April 6th, the Bazaar is comprised of a “week-long series of mock online auctions that will feature over 400 items ranging from custom painted PC’s, Alienware laptops, BioWare apparel and more!” Coincidentally, April 6 is also the launch date for the next bit of DLC for Mass Effect 2. Kasumi’s Stolen Memory will be available for 560 Microsoft Points and will feature new crew member Kasumi Goto, new missions and a sweet new weapon – the sound-suppressed Locust SMG, a new achievement and a flash-bang loyalty power.
According to the Bazaar info page, in order “to bid on these items, fans will need to collect tokens through various challenges. The first auction begins at 9 AM PST on Tuesday, April 6th, with new items being made available every 15 minutes, ending 4 PM PST Saturday, April 10th. So tell your friends, start collecting tokens, and get ready to win some amazing prizes!” You can read the full Rules of Engagement  on the Bioware Bazaar rules page. Happy Birthday, Bioware!
Stratford – The Canada 3.0 2010 forum  slated for May 10-11 will set an ambitious target for Canada’s digital media industry – that of making it possible for “anyone to do anything on-line in Canada – by 2017”. The second annual forum will bring together the people who can make that happen from industry, government and academia for a two-day event intended to boost Canada’s ability to lead in the digital economy.
“We’ve set this ‘Moonshot’ that might sound impossible, just as putting a man on the moon once sounded impossible, but it is attainable if we harness all the necessary resources and are fully committed to making this happen,” said Kevin Tuer, Managing Director of the Canadian Digital Media Network, a federal centre of excellence in commercialization and research. “While the sun is setting on some more traditional industries, there are many opportunities worth shooting for in digital media spanning all aspects of our economy.”
Kevin Newman, Anchor and Executive Editor of Global National, will emcee the main plenary sessions. Keynote speakers and panelists include: Tony Chapman, Founder & CEO of branding and advertising agency Capital C; Tom Jenkins, Executive Chairman and Chief Strategy Officer of Open Text Corporation; Helen McDonald, Assistant Deputy Minister, Spectrum, Information Technologies and Telecommunications, Industry Canada; Sarah Prevette, Founder & CEO of entrepreneurship community Sprouter.com; Gerri Sinclair, Executive Director, Masters of Digital Media Program, Centre for Digital Media, B.C.; and more to be announced soon.
“This event is critically important to Canada as we re-evaluate our economic foundation,” said Newman. “All sectors of our economy, including our creative artists and storytellers, need to understand the emerging keys to success in an increasingly competitive global economy and culture.”
Staged once again at the Rotary Complex in Stratford, the forum features a select group of speakers in the main plenary session with opportunity for attendee discussion and input in a broader range of breakout sessions and workshops.
Canada 3.0 2010 will build on the momentum created at last year’s forum that attracted some 1500 people, and will have a broad scope given that digital media is defined by organizers as ‘anything created or shared virtually’. The line-up of forum ‘streams’ is led by heavy-hitters in the digital media sector. Topics include:
* Imagining – Global best practices: What does Canada do well? What should Canada be doing?
– Chaired by – Tom Jenkins, Executive Chairman and Chief Strategy Officer at Open Text Corporation; Gerri Sinclair, Executive Director, Masters of Digital Media Program, Centre for Digital Media, B.C.; and Ian Wilson, Executive Director, University of Waterloo Stratford Institute
* Empowering – Networks, infrastructure and mobility
– Chaired by – René Barsalo, Director Research and Strategy, Society for Arts and Technology, Montreal; Michele Perras, Director of the Mobile Experience Innovation Centre; and David Yach, Chief Technology Officer, Software at Research In Motion
* Changing – Digital rights, regulations and policies
– Chaired by – Gary Maavara, Vice-President and General Counsel, Corus Entertainment Inc.; and Jerry Brown, Associate Partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP
* Creating – Developing content and commercialization opportunities
– Chaired by – Tim Jackson, CEO of the Accelerator Centre, Waterloo and Partner, Tech Capital Partners; and Kevin Newman, Anchor and Executive Editor, Global National
* Learning – Finding and retaining talent and research opportunities
– Chaired by – Sara Diamond, President Ontario College of Art and Design; and Ken Coates, Dean of Arts at the University of Waterloo.
As with the kick-off forum in June, 2009, the CDMN will have the support of many key organizations including the host University of Waterloo Stratford Institute and the Waterloo Region tech organization Communitech; lead sponsors Open Text Corporation; PricewaterhouseCoopers; Christie Digital Systems Canada Inc.; Research In Motion; Agfa HealthCare; the City of Stratford and more.
“I have no doubt that the people participating in this forum will make a difference in Canada’s future and help attain the goal of enabling Canadians to more effectively conduct their activities on-line, anywhere in Canada by 2017 – which also happens to be Canada’s 150th birthday,” said Tom Jenkins, Executive Chairman and Chief Strategy Officer of Open Text and Chair of the CDMN Advisory Board.
Toronto – LinkedIn , the world’s largest professional network with more than 60 million members globally, has recognized a significant milestone in the advancement of professional networking and mobility in Canada. There are now more than two million Canadians among LinkedIn’s global membership. Thousands of Canadians join LinkedIn each day and there are more than 20,000 LinkedIn Groups related to Canada. Companies like KPMG, Research In Motion (RIM) and Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) already use LinkedIn’s enterprise solutions to hire and retain top talent in Canada.
“Canada is one of LinkedIn’s fastest growing markets,” said Arvind Rajan, vice president of international, LinkedIn. “We are looking forward to establishing offices in Toronto and hiring a Canadian country manager so we can continue to drive brand awareness in Canada. Establishing our first office in Canada will allow us to expand our presence so we can continue connecting Canadian professionals to help them be more successful and productive.”
LinkedIn’s Canadian operation will work closely with the company’s Mountain View, Calif. headquarters and with its other international operations in Europe, Australia, India and the Netherlands. In the immediate future, LinkedIn’s Toronto office will focus on setting up LinkedIn’s operations in Canada and working on user engagement, strategic partnerships and marketing. Long term the Toronto office will focus on building out LinkedIn’s diverse business model comprised of user subscriptions, advertising sales and software licensing.
Global – Tim Merel, a Corporate Finance Director with IBIS Capital , an investment bank focused on digital, media and communications, has released a major global review  of video games fundraising, investment, M&A and JV opportunities. The review focuses on fundraising, investment, M&A and JV opportunities in video games (including console, massively multiplayer online, casual online, mobile, online gambling, skill based, and in-game advertising sectors) for industry players and investors (including major and independent video games companies, VC and private equity firms, and major media companies). The review also includes industry and sector dynamics, segmentation and economics, including public company valuations, recent M&A and private placements.
Commenting on the review, Tim Merel said “The video games industry is big, getting bigger and changing, with console game costs, revenue and risks accelerating and online/mobile games growing and fragmenting the market. Investment dynamics are entering a new phase, and deal activity is being driven by subsector consolidation.”
Toronto – The Toronto eMetrics Marketing Optimization Summit  welcomes Avinash Kaushik, bestselling author of Web Analytics an Hour a Day and Web Analytics 2.0 as a Keynote presenter on April 8th.
If you think analytics and measuring online marketing is dull, then you haven’t seen Avinash Kaushik present,” says Mike Sukmanowsky, Manager, Digital Analytics at Rogers Media and Advisor to eMetrics. “Avinash not only makes complex ideas simple, his real brilliance is his ability to teach with humour. He allows us to laugh at ourselves, while learning how to become better online marketers and analysts,” says Andrea Hadley, Conference Director. 
In this Keynote, Avinash shares specific strategies you can use to truly measure what impact your search and social strategies are having. How to avoid the cute, how to focus on the truly important, and how to use qualitative and quantitative approaches to change your business practices.
Measuring and improving the value of Social, Search and Mobile Marketing are key areas of focus for this year’s Summit with over forty sessions focused on the processes, tools and techniques that improve online marketing, communications and business results.
Several hundred marketers, analysts and technology executives are expected to convene at the third annual Toronto Summit, diving deep into sessions, training and workshops. Top executives from Expedia, MTV, Cisco, Microsoft, RBC and other well known brands will share their experiences, knowledge and proven methods:
Summit tracks include:
1. Marketing Optimization for E-marketing Management
2. Acquisition Optimization
3. Conversion Optimization
4. Emerging Media, Metrics and Technology
Preconference Workshops April 6 and 7th: Those new to web analytics can get up to speed with an Introduction to Web Analytics workshop developed by the Web Analytics Association (WAA). Those managing analytics and business intelligence can advance their web analytics maturity by following the Road Map to Online Analytics Success; while managers from marketing and IT have an opportunity to dive deep into Google Analytics training; and ecommerce and website managers can take a crash course in Landing Page Optimization .