If you haven’t heard about it already, the Merging Media Conference is set to take the stage in Vancouver this October 28th and 29th with former President of Digital Media at OWN Robert Tercek delivering the Keynote Address. As the former President of Digital Media at OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network, Senior Vice President of Digital Media at Sony Pictures Entertainment and Creative Director at MTV, Tercek has created breakthrough entertainment experiences for digital platforms across the board, from cable and satellite television to games, interactive television and wireless networks.
According to the Conference’s web site, which is still be under construction as the group prepares for their official launch next week, The M+M Conference will bring together 350-400 media professionals from film, television, mobile, games and interactive media, and feature top International cross-media experts to showcase “Best in Class” Case-studies, discuss the rapidly evolving business of cross-media and explore how new platforms and technology can be adopted to help companies stay competitive.
There will be a Master Class led by Anita Ondine Smith which is designed to help 30-40 producers who have cross media development projects in development and are seeking financing for their projects, to fine-tune their cross-media proposals and business plans. Thus far the Conference appears to be scheduling an impressive speaker line-up, including two of our favourite people, Victor Lucas and Rochelle Grayson along with Susan Bonds, Sibley Verbeck, Caitlin Burns and more
MiGS has just announced that Narrative Bridging: A CIN workshop will be taking place immediately after the Montreal International Game Summit. The two day workshop takes place November 10 and 11 at the Hilton Bonaventure Hotel and will focus on developing advanced interactive narratives using Narrative Bridging. This will give the participants tools for designing interactive narratives for video games and show the mechanisms that motivate the player to action in the game world. The focus will be on Narrative Bridging and model and control design. After the workshop the participants will understand how the narrative creates incentives for the players to form strategies in the game world and how to accommodate for that in the narrative design.
The Competition Bureau announced today that it has concluded that it will not challenge Shaw Communications Inc.’s proposed acquisition of the over-the-air and specialty television businesses of Canwest Global Communications Corp.
Canwest and certain of its subsidiaries had previously filed for creditor protection under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act. Shaw is a broadcast distribution undertaking, while its affiliate, Corus Entertainment, is a broadcasting company. Canwest owns and operates an over-the-air television network and an extensive portfolio of specialty television channels.
Following a significant review, the Bureau has concluded that this transaction would not likely give rise to a substantial lessening or prevention of competition having regard to a number of factors, including effective remaining competition, the effect of the regulatory environment, and a lack of relevant competitive concerns on the part of market participants. In particular, with respect to the impact on advertising, the Bureau concluded that there were numerous alternative options available to advertisers.
The York Woods Branch (1785 Finch Avenue West) of the Toronto Public Library is bringing the past to life through their new Black Creek Living History project. Local seniors and teens will work together to create a resource that will preserve the unique history of this diverse and vibrant Toronto neighbourhood.
“This is an exciting project and a great opportunity for the community to celebrate its past,” said Jessica Rovito, a librarian at the York Woods Branch. “We want the community to be involved in telling their own stories and preserving them for years to come.”
Seniors are invited to share their stories, past and present, about living in the Black Creek community. Their photographs, letters and other personal items will also help build the history resource. Teens will learn how to conduct interviews and use digital audio and video equipment to record and edit the seniors’ stories.
“Through the interviews with the seniors, the teens will acquire new skills and learn first hand about the community they live in,” said Rovito. “They will also earn community service hours and receive a reference letter from the library.”
The collected stories and resources will be available on a Black Creek Living History website. A formal exhibit will be presented at a Living History event, which will be held at the York Woods Branch. The project will also include a series of talks on local history subjects and a bus tour to historical sites in the Black Creek community. Transportation costs for seniors and youth participating in the project will be provided.
The Black Creek community includes the area north of Hwy. 401, east of Weston Road, west of Keele Street and south of Steeles Avenue. It is served by both the York Woods Branch and the new Jane/Sheppard Branch (1906 Sheppard Avenue West). The project is funded in part by the Government of Canada’s New Horizons for Seniors program.
A private group of prominent angel investors headed by Boris Wertz of W Media Ventures has provided seed funding to Edmonton’s Empire Avenue, the world’s first influence stock market. The investment monies will be used to help accelerate development initiatives for the site, including the impending launch of its Avenue Rewards program and advertising platform, as well as fund marketing initiatives to increase user base and awareness.
In beta Empire Avenue has attracted over 15,000 registered users and local, national and international businesses from more than 95 countries worldwide who want to tap into the power and value of online influence. The site, its game-changing advertising platform and Avenue Rewards program connect consumers, influencers and brands in close-knit, value-based relationships to the benefit of everyone involved. Over 750,000 virtual share trades have occurred on the site in the past three months with a total value of over half a billion Eaves, Empire Avenue’s virtual currency.
“We are incredibly excited to be working with Boris and his group, who bring valuable industry knowledge with their backgrounds and investments in social media and games,” said Duleepa Wijayawardhana, CEO of Empire Avenue. “With this investment, we will be able to continue bringing our vision to life and Empire Avenue to the world.”
“We were really impressed with what the team around Duleepa had achieved with limited resources in a few months. The initial traction clearly shows how extremely engaging the product already is,” said Boris Wertz of W Media Ventures, who will serve on the Empire Avenue board.
In response to Industry Canada’s request for suggestions of regulatory changes that could enhance the Digital Economy in Canada, The ICT Consortium has released a list of recommendations and a call for a review of the SR&ED program and its willingness to participate in that review:
“Open” should become a fundamental principle of all government policy related to infrastructure for the digital economy. The burden of proof should always be upon why access, participation, investment, data flow, technology export, movement of labour, standards should be in any way closed or restricted.
* The Canadian telecommunications market should be open to foreign investment
* Open and non-restrictive access to additional spectrum should be brought to market as soon as possible to allow Canadian carriers to meet explosive demand for wireless broadband.
* Open competitive access to spectrum should not be hobbled by over taxation and spectrum fees. The government should ensure that its revenue generating activity in taxation and fees does not so limit private investment in the infrastructure that will drive the digital economy.
* The government should ensure that vertical integration between creation and distribution does not mitigate open access to content and distribution mechanisms for those who do only one or the other i.e. create or distribute
* Open access to broadband should not be precluded by income. Programs should be in place to assist low income Canadians to access broadband.
* Open movement of data across international boundaries should be unrestricted without compromising the duties of the holders of that data to protect personal information.
* The Digital Economy cannot flourish without interoperability. Interoperability is dependent on open standards for equipment, software, and middleware. Those open standards must be international. The government should ensure and support Canadian involvement international open standards development. Further the government should ensure that its own procurement policies privilege solutions that are based on open standards.
* Some restrictions on open movement of technology such as cryptography may be appropriate, but the government must ensure that Canadian export controls are no more stringent than those in Wassenaar competitor countries and that Canadian interpretations of international regulations are no more zealous than those of competitor countries.
* Open movement of labour in high demand professions for internationally active companies – Canadian and foreign controlled is critical. Recent announcements of the end of Facilitated Entry for in Demand Professionals is a retrograde step. Moves in this direction are likely to result in work moving to the in-demand professionals out of Canada.