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16th July 2010

Three Out of Ten Pax Prime Featured Indie Games Are Canadian

pax 10Congratulations to three homegrown developers whose titles have been named to 2010’s Pax Prime The Pax 10. For those who are not familiar with what this means for indie developers, The Pax 10 is a featured booth area at the Penny Arcade Expo events. Pax Prime takes place in Seattle this September 3 – 5th, and any indie game featured in The Pax 10 booth has the potential to be played by several thousand gamers over the course of the weekend. Gamers can also meet with the development teams and learn more about the game’s background. At the end of the expo, one game will be awarded The Audience Choice Award as the Best of The Pax 10 at Pax Prime.

The three Canadian titles which were chosen for this year’s Pax Prime Pax 10 are:

Hegemony: Philip of Macedonia by Longbow Games (Toronto)
Fowl Space by Pixelante (Vancouver)
Retro City Rampage by Vblank Entertainment (Vancouver)

Interactive Exchange 10Today is the final day to get the Super Early Bird registration rate for IN 2010, a unique cross-platform interactive media event that features two action-packed days of inspiration, insight and interaction between top creative and business minds from across Canada and around the world. Interactive Exchange 2010 takes place this September 12th through 14th in Toronto.Shot In The Dark

Toronto’s Shot In The Dark Mysteries is pleased to announce it will be sponsoring The Campaign to Save Parent’s Summer Sanity this year on Facebook. The campaign, aimed at providing parents with physical activities to keep their kids engaged through the summer months, is a lighthearted approach to a very real frustration.

“Many parents feel as though they spend the summer months trying (and often failing) to amuse their children,” says Shot In The Dark Mysteries owner Leigh Clements. “The result is stress, exhaustion and, sadly, a bit of resentment. We believe if parents have a constant stream of positive, creative activities to keep their kids both physically and mentally entertained, the result will be happier kids, happier families, happier parents and, of course, earlier bed time!”

The campaign has kicked off with a one minute viral commercial and a Facebook page. Simply clicking “Like” on the Facebook page will link parents to a daily stream of activities for kids, as well as a discussion forum and “wall” where they can interact with other parents, post their suggestions and get new ideas.

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“The aim is for a community of parents who are banding together to save their sanity!” says Clements. “The Facebook format is perfect for parents. Already, we don’t have a lot of time to be surfing the internet to find activity ideas. Maybe, if we’re lucky, we have a few minutes a day to pop on Facebook and check in with our friends and family. This format puts an idea right into parents’ ‘newsfeed’ so they don’t have to go out of their way to remember to check it.”

On Fridays, Shot In The Dark Mysteries will offer a special “Sponsored” activity idea relating to a kids mystery game available through Shot In The Dark Mysteries.com

wavefrontI would like to take this opportunity to welcome new Community Engagement Manager Brad Lowe to the awesome team over at Wavefront.

“Wavefront values its engagement with the community and its advisory and market linkage role for local wireless businesses trying to get their technologies and applications to market,” said James Maynard, President of Wavefront. “Brad’s background and ties to the local technology and academic community are instrumental in further strengthening our contributions and we’re excited to welcome him to the Wavefront team.”Brad Lowe

Lowe has been active in the Vancouver technology community for 20 years, holding management positions at national and international technology corporations including Nokia, Redback Networks, Abatis and MacDonald Dettwiler. At Wavefront, Lowe will help to facilitate greater interaction between industry and universities, and ensure better integration through regular exchanges of information, knowledge and insight. This collaborative approach will provide greater opportunities for the conversion of innovation in wireless research and technologies into commercial products and services that can be harnessed by a broader range of companies. Lowe will also lead the Entrepreneurship@Wavefront program in partnership with BCIC.

Most recently, Lowe was Director of Research and Development and Head of Nokia’s Program Centre in Vancouver. He also served as the chair of Nokia’s Canadian management team. At the Vancouver R&D facility, Brad led Nokia’s efforts in building the company’s new-business portfolio, such as development of several Nseries devices and as well as music and gaming solutions. Lowe also developed the Nokia University Relations program, which provided equipment, funding and an opportunity for collaboration between Canadian universities and the wireless industry.

Additionally, Lowe previously served on the board of the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association and WINBC, now DigiBC. Lowe has also lectured at B.C. universities and spoken at numerous industry and academic conferences. He will leverage that experience in his new role at Wavefront to help encourage students to enter technical disciplines that support the wireless industry, connect academia with industry to tackle commercially relevant challenges, and maximize the use of existing academic investments in wireless research.

Also, just a reminder that the deadline to apply for the Wavefront/BCIC Entrepreneurship@Wavefront programme is July 21st. As we’ve previously reported, this new programme will support and nurture up to eight early-stage B.C. wireless companies from concept to commercialization over 12 months. The participants of Entrepreneurship@Wavefront will be announced August 4, 2010.

Selected wireless companies will receive office space in Wavefront’s collaborative wireless incubator environment for one year and access to Wavefront’s advisory and testing services including its handset library, usability services, refinement of business development strategies and industry connections. BCIC

“This program is designed to turn innovative ideas into emerging wireless companies by providing easy, onsite access to a suite of advisory and testing services and facilitated market linkages that will reduce time-to-market and accelerate time-to-revenue,” said James Maynard, President at Wavefront. “In addition, program participants will also benefit from BCIC’s support network of seasoned entrepreneurs and industry experts who can provide the mentorship helpful in growing a successful company.”

“Entrepreneurship@Wavefront is an incredible opportunity for startups in the wireless and digital media space to take their company to the next level, ultimately, accelerating their time to market,” said Dean Rockwell, CEO of BCIC. “BCIC created the Entrepreneurship@ program to address the need for the creation and launch of new, sustainable technology companies in BC. The incubator program, already launched at both UVic and UBC, is an excellent example of how BCIC partners with industry and academia to strengthen our position in today’s rapidly growing knowledge economy to make BC a better place to live, work, play and invest.”

wattpadWattpad now has an Android app, and to help celebrate the launch, science fiction publishers Tor.com and Wattpad have joined forces to bring readers four award nominated short stories. First Flight by Mary Robinette Kowal, Eros, Philia, Agape and A Memory of Wind by Rachel Swirsky, and Overtime by Charles Strosscan can all be found for free on Wattpad’s site and mobile devices. Readers will also benefit from full access to Wattpad’s catalogue of works, including additional science fiction from Tor.com, Baen Free Library titles as well as works from Wattpad self-publishing partner, Smashwords.

Fritz Foy, Senior VP of Digital Content at Tor.com parent company Macmillan adds “As mobile devices continue to improve, readers are adapting how they consume books. We are happy to offer selections of our premium science fiction content to Wattpad readers so they can best take advantage of Wattpad’s latest mobile platform.”

In addition to a device to read eBooks, Wattpad provides a mobile platform for readers and writers to share fiction while connecting with other authors and fans. The newest version of Wattpad’s Android app optimizes the social networking component of Wattpad, allowing readers to comment and vote on their favorite stories and connect with readers and authors in the Wattpad community using their Facebook and Twitter accounts.

“Wattpad has already firmly established itself as one of the leading ebook apps for all mobile devices, including iPhone and BlackBerry,” explains Allen Lau, CEO and co-founder of Wattpad. “As readers continue to utilize their mobile devices not only to connect with friends but to read fiction, the Wattpad Android app combines these capabilities, providing a reading experience that is uniquely adapted for Android users.”

The app can be downloaded for free on the Android Market and other marketplaces such as Appslib. The app works on all Android devices including the Archos 5 Internet tablet, Verizon’s Motorola Droid X, Sprint’s HTC EVO™ 4G and the Google Nexus One.

CRTCThe Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) today issued additional information concerning the transition from analog to digital television, which must be completed by August 31, 2011. The CRTC is making this data available to assist the broadcasting industry in its preparations for the switchover.

Canadians who subscribe to cable or satellite television services will not be affected by the digital transition. Only viewers who watch television stations using a “rabbit-ears” antenna may experience some change in the way they receive television signals.

It is estimated that up to 857,000 households in larger markets do not subscribe to either cable or satellite. These consumers may need to purchase digital converter boxes to continue watching local stations on their existing television sets. The boxes cost up to $75 for each television in the home.

In smaller markets, some local stations may decide not to convert to digital, but instead rely solely on cable and satellite companies to deliver their signal to viewers. The CRTC will modify its regulation to allow television distributors to provide a free alternative to affected viewers in those smaller markets. These companies will be able to offer a package of local and regional stations at no charge to viewers. In order to receive the free local package, some consumers may have to purchase a satellite receiver and dish at a minimum cost of $300, depending on the number of televisions in the home. At most, 31,500 households could be affected.

Consumer awareness and education is a key component of the digital transition. Members of the broadcasting industry are expected to actively participate in the creation and implementation of a national consumer education program. Such a program should start no later than March 2011 to ensure Canadians are well informed.

At the request of the industry, the CRTC is prepared to facilitate the establishment of trial markets ahead of the August 2011 deadline. This would provide an opportunity to assess the adequacy of all measures for the transition, including consumer education measures.

Lowe will draw on his experiences as well to both lead the Entrepreneurship@Wavefront program and to continue to forge ties between Wavefront, mobile ecosystem players and members of academia who are furthering wireless research and helping enable the next generation of wireless leaders.

cpawsOn the eve of Parks Day and to celebrate 125 years of national parks in Canada, the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) is launching a nation-wide online video contest to inspire Canadians to share their stories of our treasured national parks.

CPAWS is launching Celebrate Canada’s Parks Video Contest, with the support of Parks Canada, with the aim of engaging and inspiring Canadians to share their feelings about our great national parks. The contest is designed to bring parks to people – no matter where they live – using video to showcase what makes a particular national park so appealing and memorable. Using the resources available, videos can include photos, unique features about a park and personal experience to tell the story of a particular national park.

“We hope that through this contest Canadians will learn more about our national parks and be inspired to get out and experience these national treasures for themselves,” says Eric Hébert-Daly, Executive Director for CPAWS.

The first place winner will receive a guided trip down the world-famous South Nahanni River through the recently expanded Nahanni National Park Reserve, courtesy of Nahanni River Adventures. Other prizes include a video camera, gift certificates from Mountain Equipment Co-op and Parks Canada Discovery Passes. The top 10 videos will be selected through online voting, from which the top three will be selected by a panel of judges. In addition, one entry will be randomly selected each week to win a prize.

“My trip down the Nahanni River last summer was one of the most memorable outdoor experiences of my life,” said the Honourable Jim Prentice, Minister of the Environment and Minister responsible for Parks Canada. “I am delighted to know that thanks to this partnership, the winner will have the opportunity to experience Nahanni National Park, a true gem that was expanded by our government last year.”

“Parks Canada’s collaboration with CPAWS is a wonderful way to highlight the 125th anniversary of national parks in Canada. We’re excited about this project and the opportunity it brings us to use social media for engaging Canadians, and I look forward to seeing the creative approaches for showing to the world Canada’s amazing natural places and unforgettable experiences!” said Alan Latourelle, CEO of Parks Canada.

The contest runs from July 17 until October 12, 2010. Participants are asked to select a national park and create a 2 minute video about what makes that park so special. No video experience is required. CPAWS would like to thank Parks Canada, Nahanni River Adventures and Mountain Equipment Co-op who helped make this contest possible.

CBC Kirstine Stewart, general manager of CBC Television, announced today that the hit multigenerational comedy 18 To Life will air across the U.S. this summer on The CW. The series, which debuted on CBC Television this past January, will broadcast on Tuesday nights beginning August 3rd, with back to back season one episodes airing from 9:00-9:30 and 9:30-10:00 ET.

“CBC is thrilled to be working with The CW as it brings a great comedy like 18 To Life to U.S. viewers in tens of millions of American households,” said Kirstine Stewart, general manager of CBC Television. 18 To Life“This is just the latest example of CBC programs and brands finding success in the U.S. television market. We’re proud to say that CBC plays a major role in putting our great Canadian talent and shows on the world stage for audiences everywhere to enjoy”.

18 To Life is about a couple that does the unthinkable in the name of love: They run off and get married at the tender age of 18. The series follows the young couple as they attempt to become man and wife in a world that still views them as kids. Their disapproving, polar-opposite parents who happen to be next-door-neighbours only heighten their struggles, adding an extra dose of hilarity to their already comedic life as newly-weds.

18 To Life stars Stacey Farber (Degrassi: The Next Generation) and Michael Seater (The Sin Bin, Life With Derek, The Zack Files) as the young lovers, along with Peter Keleghan (The Newsroom, Love Letters, Billable Hours), Al Goulem (The Tournament, Stardom), Ellen David (Surviving My Mother, Mambo Italiano, The Business), and Angela Asher (Degrassi: The Next Generation, Queer as Folk) as the parents, as well as Jesse Rath (The Trotsky, Prom Wars), and Tiio Horn (Wild Hunt, The Trotsky).

18 To Life, which has just begun production on its second season in Montreal, is a co-production between Galafilm Inc. and Sound Venture Inc. in association with CBC Television. The series is created, written, and executive produced by Gemini Award-winning writer Derek Schreyer (The Murdoch Mysteries, Cold Squad, Instant Star, 15/Love), International Emmy Award-winning producer Karen Troubetzkoy (15/Love, The Magician’s House) and PrimeTime Emmy Award-winning Galafilm CEO Arnie Gelbart.

This entry was posted on Friday, July 16th, 2010 at 11:05 am and is filed under Business News, Casual, Contests, Digital Products, Events, Everyone, Game Dev, National News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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