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4th October 2010

Canada Media Fund Appoints New Director of Industry and Market Trends

Canada Media FundThe Canada Media Fund (CMF) today announced the appointment of Catalina Briceño to the position of Director, Industry and Market Trends. In this newly created role, Ms. Briceño will ensure that the CMF’s policies for supporting the production of Canadian television and digital media content are aligned with emerging trends and developments in the industry in Canada and internationally. She will monitor key trends and developments in terms of emerging technologies; business models and production financing; and regulation in order to provide the CMF with market intelligence to develop effective policies.
Catalina Briceño
With over 13 years of experience in the audiovisual and new media industry, Ms. Briceño comes to the CMF from Salambo Productions, where she helped build the strategy and business model behind the internationally acclaimed, multiplatform project Têtes à claques as Producer and Director of Operations. She began her career in 1997 when she founded Caliope Communications Inc., which developed, coordinated financing for, and produced audiovisual content using evolving new media technologies, from digital visual effects to 3D animation to convergent web applications. Over the years, she consulted for various private and public funds and instructed a number of workshops through INIS on new media financing for audiovisual students and professionals. She is regularly invited to speak at conferences about the challenges and opportunities linked to using web and interactive applications in the entertainment sector.

Until joining the CMF, Ms. Briceño served as Vice Chair of the Board of the Regroupement des producteurs multimédia (RPM). In 2008, she received the Prix Séville de la Relève from the Association of Women in Film, Television, and New Media.

Ms. Briceño will join the CMF on October 25, 2010.

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4th October 2010

Nintendo Canada Invites You To A Wii Party

Nintendo CanadaNintendo’s Wii™ system continues to offer millions of North Americans a fun way to come together for fun times. Now, with the Oct. 3 launch of the game Wii Party™, Nintendo is kicking the revelry into overdrive with a wild new set of party games, minigames and group activities that instantly turn any social gathering into a laugh-filled celebration. Wii Party gives players new ways to Wii Party interact with the Wii Remote™ controller and their personalized Mii™ characters, featuring unique activities that spread the action from the TV into the living room. Whether you’re planning a Halloween party or a New Year’s bash, this season’s hottest party game is Wii Party.

There’s never been a game quite like Wii Party. In addition to fresh takes on favorites such as bingo and board games, players can experience interactive challenges that leap right off the screen. For example, Animal Tracker asks players to grab the Wii Remote controller that is emitting the correct animal sound, while Hide ‘n’ Hunt will have them hiding controllers around the room and scrambling to find them before time runs out. A total of 13 party games and more than Wii Party Bingo80 minigames are included for limitless social entertainment, and no matter what the occasion, Wii Party keeps players in the spotlight by putting their customized Mii characters at the center of the action. (Some activities require more than one Wii Remote controller; additional controllers are sold separately.)

“When people get together for the holidays, they look for things that everyone in the family can enjoy,” said Ron Bertram, Nintendo of Canada’s vice-president and general manager. “Wii Party delivers hours and hours of fun for everybody in the household, from the kids to grandma and grandpa. It’s yet another way in which the Wii system offers maximum entertainment at an unbeatable value.”
Wii Party
The games in Wii Party are divided into three categories. Easy-to-learn Party Games offer family-friendly amusement for up to four players. Pair Games include both cooperative and competitive activities for one or two players at a time. And House Party games spread the action throughout the living room, challenging players to interact with the Wii Remote controller – and each other – in new and imaginative ways. Additionally, more than 80 inventive minigames are peppered throughout Wii Party to keep players on their toes.

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4th October 2010

Fearless Fred Named as Teletoon At Night Host

teletoon at nightSundays on TELETOON At Night – a programming block for older teens and adults – gets an extra punch of hilarity and absurdity this fall with the launch of TELETOON’s first-ever hosted block, Fred At Night. Featuring host Fred Kennedy, Fred At Night airs every Sunday beginning Sunday, October 17 at 10 p.m. ET/PT.

The post-10 p.m. block will include a series of eight hosted segments throughout TELETOON At Night’s exclusive Sunday night programming line-up of Robot Chicken, The Dating Guy, Archer and the TELETOON At Night Pilot Project. Fred will be hanging out with viewers over the course of the two-hour block, introducing series’ episodes for that night, sharing his views on the animation style, characters and storylines, and providing commentary on his many passions from music, comics and movies to technology, celebrities and current events. Periodically, Fred will also interview various show creators, fans and voice actors during the block.

“Fred At Night is a dream gig for me. It’s hard to believe that I actually have a job where I can rant about the things that I absolutely love like cartoons and comics,” said Fred Kennedy, Host of Fred At Night on TELETOON At Night. “I can’t wait to give my take on the Sunday night line-up, women I’d like to date like Tifa from Final Fantasy V11 or the life lessons I’ve learned from Star Wars.”

With a succesful career in radio and concurrently the host of the afternoon drive show on Toronto’s 102.1 the Edge, Fred makes his debut as a television host on Fred At Night, bringing with him his love of cartoons, superheroes and comics. fred kennedy

Born and raised in Nova Scotia in a military household, Fred spent his pre-teen years in Belgium and lived in a number of different cities across Canada. During his adolescence in Edmonton, Fred would tune in to Drive Time with Matt and Jake on 100.3 The Bear on his way home from school. Eight years later he wound up hosting that same time slot and renamed it Fearless Fred’s Radio Extravaganza, a radio show which won him the Steve Young Broadcaster of the Year Award in March of 2009. The attention he earned from the award led to an offer of hosting afternoon drive on 102.1 the Edge and he made the move to Toronto in fall 2009 with his wife and cat.

Fred has not only been dissecting cartoons since he was five years old, but he is an avid reader and writer of comic books, loves playing video games, has a very respectable t-shirt collection, enjoys cupcakes, and even trains his cat to rob banks.

“The TELETOON At Night viewer craves edgy, smart comedy and wants to interact with people who share their appreciation for this kind of programming,” said Alan Gregg, Director, Original Content, TELETOON Canada inc. “Fred is the archetype of the typical TELETOON At Night viewer and along with his amazing store of animation, superhero and cartoon knowledge, he makes the perfect host to connect with this programming block’s audience and develop a community of like-minded viewers – both on-air and online.”

In addition to the on-air content, Fred At Night will produce and offer exclusive online content for teletoonatnight.com to further engage with TELETOON At Night viewers. Fred will create blog posts weekly; topics will include a regular video review of TELETOON At Night’s upcoming Saturday Night Movie, a “Top 5” video segment featuring a different theme each week, a blog series titled “She’s Too Good For You” focusing on Fred’s object of affection for the week and Fred’s review of the series’ weekly episodes. Viewers will also be able to follow and interact with Fred through social media networks including Twitter and Facebook.

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4th October 2010

Social Media Being Leveraged for Tweens, Finances and Careers

woozworldWoozworld, a virtual world powered by tweens, announces today it now has more than 1 million avatars created in over 80 different countries, and 2 million user-generated virtual spaces in just over eight months since its late December 2009 launch.

“We are extremely proud of what Woozworld has accomplished in just eight short months,” said Eric Brassard, CEO of Woozworld. “Through our highly engaging worlds that offer relevant user experiences to our tween and teen audiences, a safe online environment where parents can let their kids have fun and learn at the same time, and a smart business model, we’ve made Woozworld a success in less than a year.”

Targeted for kids ages nine to 14, Woozworld provides an engaging and interactive experience by letting them create their own world where they can fashion their own characters, make new Woozworld friends, do virtual business, set-up activities and essentially drive the show. All personal information is protected and Woozworld strictly conforms to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection act.

In addition to hitting more than 1 million profiles in eight months, Woozworld has also partnered with some of the leading companies today, including Facebook;  Wallie Card, a payment method card for Internet payments; and Zong, the leading mobile payments platform for digital goods and services sellers.

“We’ve worked with many different companies and we truly believe in our partnerships given what they represent and have to offer,” says Mathieu Lampron, VP of Operations for Woozworld. “In fact, we’ve seen our sales rapidly climb in the last few months; we’re excited to see our business relationships grow.”

moneyvilleMoneyville.ca has opened the town gates to financial empowerment. With Canadian-focused content, interactive tools and an online community, Canadians now have access to everything they need to take control of their finances, all in one place. Moneyville.ca will draw on experts to provide the straight talk on personal finance for Canadians at every stage of life.

“We are overloaded with complicated financial information, and often don’t have the tools available to fully understand how the news of the day will impact personal finances,” says Adam Mayers, editor of Moneyville.ca. “With fresh content offered daily, Moneyville.ca will be a trusted resource giving visitors the tools they need to be successful.”
Ellen Roseman
This week on Moneyville.ca:

  • Author of The Wealthy Barber, David Chilton, gives an exclusive peek at his new book, The Wealthy Barber Returns: Significantly Older and Marginally Wiser, Dave Chilton Offers His Unique Perspectives on the World of Money.
  • Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty shares five tips he is giving his three 19-year-old sons.
  • Mutual fund expert Gordon Pape takes us through the deadly sins of investing.
  • Veteran financial journalists Ellen Roseman and James Daw share the most important lessons they’ve learned in 25+ years of covering personal finance.

Moneyville.ca will cover a wide spectrum of personal finance topics, such as budgeting, saving, borrowing, investing, retirement, insurance, tax and real estate in relationship to every stage of life. The “Moms on Money” columnists will arm families with the information they need to nurture the financial Adam Mayershealth of the whole family. Well-known television personality Alison Griffiths kicks off her new column with a series of videos on investing. And, setting 20 and 30-somethings on the right track to financial know-how, bloggers Adam Goodman and Krystal Yee will share their secrets to turning their finances around.

Whether you’re wondering if your investment philosophy makes sense, or thinking about going fixed or variable on your mortgage, Moneyville.ca will give visitors access to more than 30 tools and calculators.

According to a recent survey conducted on thestar.com, two-thirds of people feel comfortable with their finances, but only one-third feel in control. “I feel passionate about helping people get to a point where they feel they can count on themselves to be in control of their own financial situation,” says Alison Griffiths. “You have to devote a bit of time up front to get the money side of your life in order, particularly with respect to investments, which are a big mystery to most people. But after that it only takes 30 – 60 minutes a month to stay on top of your financial goals.”

Future ShopFuture Shop is using a modern form of recruitment to hire more than 4,000 tech savvy seasonal associates by turning to social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter. Canada’s largest consumer electronics retailer and e-tailer currently employs nearly 10,000 in its 146 stores, meaning its seasonal hiring blitz will add more than 40 per cent more employees to stores across the country.

“To find an educated team of associates to help shoppers find the most exciting gifts this holiday season, Future Shop’s recruitment plans go beyond traditional job postings,” said Chris Taylor, Vice President, HR, Future Shop. “We recognize that most of our customers and associates are social media savvy, so what better way to recruit them through channels they frequently use.”

Future Shop’s hiring blitz begins nationally at the start of October, allowing the company enough time to properly train the thousands of seasonal associates that will support our current full and part-time Product Experts and Associates. The new hires will be in stores until January to help customers find exciting gifts in all areas including Cellshop, appliances, gaming and mobile audio.

“With the holidays being Future Shop’s biggest and busiest season, we’re thrilled that we can create thousands of new jobs for Canadians as we prepare for another successful shopping season in our stores and on our website,” said Taylor. “There are currently nearly two million employees in Canada’s retail trade and we are proud to be a major player in that space.”


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4th October 2010

Interactive Ontario Welcomes New Team Members

Interactive OntarioInteractive Ontario (IO) is pleased to welcome Patricia McCutcheon and Armen Karapetyan to its growing team and is bidding farewell to Sarah Baird, VP Programmes and Operations.

Patricia McCutcheon will be taking on the role of Director of Programmes where she will oversee programming for the upcoming iLunch 9.0 series, GameON: Finance and INplay 2011 conferences. Armen Karapetyan is IO’s new Director of Operations, and will be primarily responsible for IO’s financials, forecasting and human resources management.Patricia McCutcheon

Patricia McCutcheon was the National Organizer, Digital Media for ACTRA National for 4 years. She was with ACTRA for 7 years prior to that holding various positions within the Commercials department for ACTRA Toronto. After leaving ACTRA, Patricia had short-term contracts with the OMDC, Allstream and most recently as Director, Business Development at Spark Inc. a corporate event management company. Patricia studied Commerce with a major in marketing at Concordia University. She has also studied Business and New Media at Ryerson University.

Prior to his move to Canada and current role with IO, Armen was the Operations Director of the Armen KarapetyanBarthelmes Conservatory of Music in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Before leading Conservatory operations, Armen also served as finance and grants manager for several international relief and development organizations, such as Feed the Children, Open Society Institute and Jinishian Memorial Foundation. Armen holds a Master’s degree in Physics from Yerevan State University in Armenia and Master’s degree in Business Administration from American University of Armenia.

“We are very excited to have Patricia and Armen join our team. With their wealth of knowledge and experience, I know they will strengthen IO’s efforts to better the interactive industry in Ontario,” said Ian Kelso, President and CEO, Interactive Ontario.

IO also notes the departure of Sarah Baird, who joined Interactive Ontario in 2005 as the organization’s first full-time employee. Over the past five years Sarah has overseen the programming and logistics for all IO’s efforts. In this time IO has successfully hosted over 750 speakers at over 70 events ranging in size from industry networking events to multi-day/multi-stream conference such as IN. Since Sarah joined the organization, IO has grown from just over 50 companies to more than 260 companies at present.

“Sarah’s contribution to IO has been critical to its success. Her passion and dedication to the industry and to our mission as an organization has always been exceptional. We certainly wish her the best and thank her for her many years of service,” says Kelso.

Taking on an expanded role within the organization is Max Berdowski, now Vice President, Business Development & Communications. In addition to developing partnerships, Max takes on responsibility for IO membership, communications and marketing. As well, Communications Director, Danielle Engels, who has been with IO for 2.5 years adds IO’s marketing efforts to her portfolio.

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