Montreal’s Strategy First  and U.S. based Nvinium Games are expanding the Space Empires: Battle For Supremacy franchise which began on the PC in 1993. The five-title franchise has been infiltrating social media and casual game platforms, and with versions for the iPhone and iPad due to launch in 2011, social gamers will now be able to connect with Space Empire gamers anywhere and at anytime, including those on Facebook.
“The avid Space Empires audience pushed us to expand from the PC to Facebook. We have been extremely pleased by the response to the new social network version of the game both in terms of excellent reviews and the exceptional take up of the game by the Facebook community. Accordingly we are expanding to the iPhone and the iPad platforms which will allow us to make the game available to these popular and growing social game audiences”, said Strategy First’s President Emanuel Wall. 
Big Stack Studios  has released a new game in the iTunes App Store. In Dead of Night , you will travel back to the 19th century and direct the vampire army through their conquest of Europe. In this 40 level quest you will capture villagers with your vampiric gaze and defend your legions from those of Van Helsing and the Werewolves. This title, which is OpenFeint-enabled, blends elements of castle defense and line-drawing gameplay and is available now for $ 0.99USD.
The Zellers store located at 8925 Torbram Road in Brampton will be holding an in-store BattleTag  event with the game’s producer, Gael Seydoux, who will be on hand to talk about the new game and answer questions. The event will run from 10:00a.m. until 3:00p.m.
The Canada Media Fund  will begin a new round of consultation sessions  with the industry this fall. Valerie Creighton, President and CEO, and Stéphane Cardin, VP of Industry and Public Affairs, will meet with stakeholders across the country to gain input on key issues to be resolved prior to releasing the program guidelines for 2011-2012 in December.
If you wish to attend one of these sessions, you are asked to please register by selecting a location near you . Exact times and locations will be provided to registrants by email prior to each event. New this year, stakeholders who are unable to attend a session in person can participate through an online discussion forum. More details will be provided by CMF in the coming weeks.
Scheduling site Tungle.me  has once again expanded its services, allowing users to add their Facebook Events to their Tungle.me account. With this new integration users can now see their entire schedule in one, simple calendar view, allowing them to factor Facebook events into their availability, thereby avoiding those pesky double bookings. As users RSVP to new Facebook Events, those events will be added to their Tungle.me calendar, automatically updating available time slots.
This past Saturday marked a momentous occasion for Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada  and its long-standing partner Future Shop  as they celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Future Shop Future Leaders Scholarships program . And what better way to celebrate than to give the gift of education to 25 Boys and Girls Clubs youth across Canada. Presented with scholarships based on their outstanding contribution to their Boys and Girls Club and local community, good academic standing and financial need, the deserving 25 recipients will use their bursary to pursue their careers and life goals through higher education.
“We are thrilled to be celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Future Shop Future Leaders Scholarship program,” said Pam Jolliffe, President and CEO, Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada. “These scholarships assist our youth in pursuing and accomplishing their educational goals as they grow to become the leaders of tomorrow, and for that we are grateful for the generous support of partners like Future Shop.”
Since the program was created in 2001, 520 young people have received scholarships totaling more than $1.69 million. Each student receives a $3,000 cash award towards their tuition and a $1,000 Future Shop gift card to provide needed technology and school equipment like computers.
“This is a proud moment for Future Shop as it is a true reflection of our ongoing commitment to improving the lives of youth and families across the country,” said Cheryl Grant, Community Relations Manager, Future Shop. “Programs like the Future Shop Future Leaders Scholarship program make a difference by giving youth a real chance at achieving their educational dreams.”
Results of an online survey conducted between March 3rd and 26th for SAS Canada  by Leger Marketing show that the vast majority of Canadian executives at large and mid-sized organizations say that social media has the potential to impact their corporate brand and as a result are placing more importance on its use. One in six say that social media is the most important means for their organization to engage the public about their brand, while 31% say it plays a major role and 43% say it plays a limited role. Just 10% of organizations don’t bother engaging in social media. These are some of the findings of a SAS/Leger Marketing survey of more than 1,000 Canadian executives conducted earlier this year.
Provincially, Alberta and Ontario, and Quebec executives are more on board than those in Atlantic Canada; with about one in five executives (20, 19, and 15% respectively) saying social media is their most important means of communicating with the public. Just 6% of Atlantic Canada’s executives feel this way. In the public versus private debate, public sector executives are more likely than private sector executives (21% versus 14%) to say social media is their most important means of public engagement.
“Our research is showing that governments in Canada are increasingly embracing social media,” said Dr. Alison Brooks, Director of Public Sector Research for IDC Canada. “Deployment costs are low, participatory gains high, and the ease and immediacy of impact make the technologies hard to ignore. Add this to the fact that much of the fear-mongering about the risks to privacy, security and information management posed by social media have been dispelled and you have a recipe for forward thinking government organizations intent on leveraging social media channels.”
At the industry level, which represents respondents from both the public and private sector, finance and banking leads the way with 28% saying social media is the most important means of communicating with the public about their brand. One in five advertising, media, and communication companies (21%) say the same, while only 6% of the health services/pharmaceutical industry say it is their most important avenue for public engagement. Nationally, 16%t of respondents agree.
“Our research has found that the public sector has some of the most aggressive social media strategies of any market segment,” said Tim Hickernell, Lead Research Analyst with London-based Info-Tech Research Group. “Social networks are the new citizen meeting places, where government can quickly survey the needs of the citizenry. Social channels are also proving to be extremely effective for government outreach and education, because social sharing spreads the desired messages much further than traditional media channels.”
Nationally, 10% of executives interviewed say social media is a waste of time. From an industry perspective, 15% of construction, manufacturing, real estate and legal executives say it is a waste of time. At less than half as many, 7% of retail execs agree. At 7%, the private sector was also more skeptical than 12% of the public sector, saying that social media is a waste of time.
“Consumers are now, more than ever, keeping a close eye on our brands as they continue to engage with social media channels at unprecedented rates,” said Lori Bieda, SAS Consultant and former Marketing Executive. “With corporate trust at the lowest it’s been in several years, consumers are relying on social media and their social networks to shape their buying decisions, making social media a powerful medium that businesses can’t ignore.
Ontario, for all of its leading edge social media commitment, is also the most skeptical province when it comes to social media in general, with 14% saying it is a passing fancy that will be gone in a few years, this compared to just 3% in Atlantic Canada, Manitoba and Saskatchewan, and 5% in Quebec. On the industry side, the advertising and communications communities are more likely than the construction/engineering/manufacturing or food/retail industries to say it will all be gone in a few years (21% versus 6% each, respectively). Nationally, 9% say social media is a passing fancy.
“The true sentiment of brands is ‘out there’- in a more public form than ever before – and delivered at speeds that can make or break brands,” added Ms. Bieda. “Mining social media data well will empower marketers, PR professionals, researchers and customer experience experts to drive business forward.”
* 60 % of execs say their organization often or sometimes monitors social media channels for mentions about their business.
* 20% rarely monitor social media and 12% never do it.
* 12% of public sector execs say people who use social media are a vocal minority whose opinions don’t matter much.
* 6% of private sector executives feel the same. Nationally 8 per cent say this.
* 51% of construction, engineering and manufacturing executives say social media has no impact on their business.
* 14% of health services / pharmaceutical executives feel this way.
* 50% of executives say they don’t have the resources to monitor social media.
Super Channel Canada  has announced that submissions are now open for its Feature Documentary Award , which aims to provide Canadian documentary filmmakers with an opportunity to make the leap from producing hour-long documentaries for broadcast to producing feature length documentaries intended for theatrical release.
Two winning projects will be selected, and each of the winners will receive the following:
* A senior documentary producer with experience in feature-length documentary will mentor the winners with regard to their treatments, marketing materials, potential buyers and approaches to pitching. Winners will receive 15-20 hours of their mentor’s time.
* Each winning team will receive a budget of $3000 to be used to create the maximum benefit to their project. Part of the budget must be allocated toward the cost of the team attending the Toronto Documentary Forum (TDF) at Hot Docs. The remainder of the budget can be used for research, shooting and/or editing a trailer, creating marketing materials, or other justifiable expenses.
* The program will commence in late September, and the winners will work with their mentors to prepare their projects for pitching in time for the TDF in May 2011. Winners of the program will attend the TDF as Observers, and will use this opportunity to meet with potential broadcasters, executive producers or other potential partners. Winners are welcome to apply directly to the TDF to pitch formally from the stage during the conference, but acceptance to the TDF curated pitch is entirely at the discretion of the TDF. The program concludes when the TDF is over. Please visit the TDF website for more information.