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13th October 2010

Canada Media Fund Names 27 Projects For Production Funding

Canada Media FundThe Canada Media Fund (CMF) today announced the first round results of its Experimental Stream. Twenty-seven projects were approved for production funding in the form of CMF equity investment commitments for a total of $12.9 million. While the average commitment is $478,000, three requests received the maximum $1 million.

Twelve projects are in English, nine are French, six are bilingual and consist of twelve games, five websites, three mobile applications, three interactive web series, and four software applications. A total of $8.6 million and $4.3 million was committed to English and French production projects, respectively. Approved production applicants are based across Canada, with six from BC, one from Alberta, four from Toronto, one from Ontario excluding Toronto, twelve from Montréal, two from Quebec excluding Montréal, and one from PEI.

In addition, eleven projects were approved for development funding for a total of $1.6 million. The average commitment is $149,000. Four projects are in English, four in French, and three bilingual. Total English commitments are $1.1 million and total French are $540,000. Two of the successful development applicants are based in BC, six in Montréal, two in Quebec excluding Montreal, and one in Toronto. The types of projects include websites, games, and applications – please see the CMF decisions page for a full listing of successful applicants.

As well, seven projects were approved for marketing funding for a total of $1.6 million. The average commitment is $234,000. Five projects are in English, one in French, and one bilingual. Total English commitments are $1.1 million and total French are $540,000. Three projects are based in BC, one in Montréal, one in Quebec excluding Montreal, and two in Toronto. Projects to be marketed include games, websites, and an application.

Projects were assessed on the following factors: innovation (40%), production team (15%), business plan (30%), and distribution strategy (15%). For production projects, the innovation and production team factors, comprising a total of 55% of the assessment, were evaluated by a jury of Canadian and international industry experts (bios provided below). All remaining factors for production applications, plus all development and marketing applications, were assessed by CMF Program Administration analysts. Projects were assessed within categories based on the stage of the project, i.e. development, production, or marketing, to ensure similar projects competed against each other.

Of the $27 million in funding available through this stream, 60% is being disbursed in the first round and 40% in the second. Applications submitted for the first round vastly exceeded the $16.2 million available at this round. Over 250 applicants requested almost $90 million to support 120 production ($57 million requested), 112 development ($25 million requested), and 21 marketing ($8 million requested) projects. As a result of the high demand experienced in the first round, the second and final deadline for applications has been extended from October 4 to November 12, 2010. All decisions made by the CMF are considered final.

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13th October 2010

Canadian New Media Awards Announces 2010 Finalists

The Canadian New Media Awards have announced the full slate of finalists for the 2010 Canadian New Media Awards, which will be presented at a gala affair in Toronto on December 1st. Congratulations to all of these very talented developers, designers, teachers and leaders.

Company of the Year – Sponsored by Deloitte

* Frima Studio
* I Love Rewards
* Metroleap
* Syncapse Corp.
* Vision Critical

Promising New Company of the Year – Sponsored by RBC Royal Bank

* Bitstrips Inc.
* Entrinsic
* Polar Mobile
* Trend Hunter

Best Branded Entertainment

* Cliff Your Ride | The Vacuum Design Inc.
* Pedigree Adoption Drive | Proximity Canada
* The Weak Shop | DDB Canada
* Urbania.ca | TOXA

Best In Canadian Culture – Interactive

* Days of Remembrance | GlobalNews.ca
* Le Tapis Rose de Catherine | Les Productions Rose Nanan
* Redress Remix | Stitch Media
* Tourism Montreal | Sid Lee

Community Campaign of the Year

* It’s Time to Shout | Gravity Ltd.
* Love Letters to the Future | Xenophile Media
* Pocheville.ca – Motel Bigoudi | Inpix
* The NFB Test Tube with David Suzuki | National Film Board of Canada

Best Cross-Platform Project

* Inside Disaster | PTV Productions Inc.
* The Baxter Online Experience | Smokebomb Entertainment Inc.
* The NFB Test Tube with David Suzuki | The National Film Board of Canada
* The Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games from Canada’s Olympic Broadcast Media Consortium | CTV

Digital Media Technology of the Year

* dimeRocker | Overinteractive Media
* HootSuite | Hootsuite Media, Inc.
* Shiny Ads | Shiny Ads
* Voices.com | Voices.com Read the rest of this entry »

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13th October 2010

Clickbox Releases ilumii Social Learning Community and Marketplace

clickboxToronto-based start-up Clickbox Software has unveiled the full commercial release of ilumii.com, the world’s most complete Social Learning Community & Marketplace. ilumii.com allows individuals to take their knowledge and skills and teach them to people around the globe by offering live, online classes–for fun and for profit–and by connecting those who want to learn with those who want to teach.

Clickbox Software CEO, Daniel Del Mastro, says, “ilumii.com is a revolutionary concept because it completely reshapes who can deliver educational services, the earnings potential of teaching, and the breadth of topics a person can teach or learn online. ilumii.com is ushering in an era of collaborative learning that will forever change the face of education.”
ilumii.com gives individuals everything they need to make live, online teaching fun and simple: it lets users offer courses on any subject–ranging from academic tutoring, to language lessons, to hobbies and skills, to whatever else they can imagine. It allows instructors to easily schedule lessons, manage course enrollment, and securely accept payments from learners around the world. And, of course, it provides both learners and instructors with a state-of-the-art Live Learning Space with video and audio, an interactive whiteboard, presentation and file sharing, and other features that replicate the feeling of being in a real-world classroom like never before.

Clickbox Software’s Chief Digital Officer, Raquel Torres, says, “In a time when unemployment has affected millions of people, ilumii.com gives anyone with the ability to teach a channel to transform his or her intellectual capital into a new way to earn a living. Our goal with ilumii.com is to create a space where people can leverage technology to exchange knowledge and skills, and to be able to monetize their services.”

ilumii.com is powered by the concept of “Knowledge on Demand” – the idea that anyone around the world can find live, instructor-led classes on any topic imaginable through a single web destination. Users can sign-up for free at ilumii.com to be a part of the world’s best knowledge marketplace.

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13th October 2010

TechnoMontreal Names New General Manager

technomontrealYves Pelletier, M.Sc., CMC, FCMA, TechnoMontréal’s Chairman of the Board and Senior Vice President and Director of the Montreal office for DMR-Fujitsu, announced today the appointment of Mrs. Lidia Divry as General Manager to strengthen its mission of bringing together all players in the field of information and communications technology (ICT) of Greater Montreal, around common goals and concerted action in order to optimize the competitiveness of the industry worldwide.
Lidia Divry
“We are pleased with the arrival of Mrs. Divry, CMA, MBA, Ec.D. to the TechnoMontréal team,” said Mr. Pelletier. “Mrs. Divry’s experience in economic development and management, combined with her understanding of the issues associated with the competitiveness of the Information and Communications Technology sector and the marketing of innovative projects will help TechnoMontréal to address the major challenges in our industry,” added Mr. Pelletier.

The information and communications technology industry provides employment for more than 120,000 people in the metropolitan area and ranks among the most dynamic industries in the world, both in terms of creativity and technology. It is however at a crossroads and faces a new challenge: ensuring that future generations will have jobs while building on its worldwide success. It is within this context that TechnoMontréal reinforces its leadership and invites governments, entrepreneurs and creators to rally around major developmental projects and support the marketing of innovative products.

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13th October 2010

Klipfolio Updates Dashboard While Best Buy Fights Spam Scam

KlipfolioOttawa’s Klipfolio, Inc. has announced the immediate availability of Klipfolio Dashboard version 5.5. This latest release, which offers a fully-functional 30 day trial, provides additional charting and formatting options, keyboard shortcuts and support for varied depth drill down analytics, adding flexibility and depth to the real-time presentation of critical business data.

“As the only pure play operational dashboard, we’re uniquely suited to address the needs of fast-paced teams. We enable some of the industry’s leading healthcare, financial, technology and transportation companies to stay on top of what matters by presenting meaningful and actionable data to those that need it,” said Allan Wille, Klipfolio President and CEO. “To remain competitive, operational data needs to be visible to the right audience, at the right time, to accelerate decision making based on empirical data, not gut feel.”

The amount of data being stored by the enterprise is increasing year over year. The ability to leverage this information and provide operational visibility into meaningful performance metrics is driving profitability. According to a recent study by Aberdeen Group, companies that employ operational dashboards and ensure intra-daily metrics are visible to employees, are more than two times better than the average for both financial operating performance, and year-over-year sales pipeline performance.

Best Buy CanadaBest Buy Canada released an official statement today to directly address a false claim circulating through email chain and spam letters regarding a “re-stocking fee” for product returns. Any suggestion of a “re-stocking fee” is completely false and Best Buy Canada wishes to confirm that they do not nor have they ever charged this “re-stocking fee” to customers.

Director of Communications, Christopher Bennett clarifies, “The information circulating about a 15 per cent re-stocking fee issued on returns at Best Buy is false. Best Buy Canada Ltd has never issued and does not currently issue a re-stocking fee on return items. This is a popular spam chain-letter we see resurface each year likely created by individuals looking to create a negative story around our brand in advance of the holidays.”

Best Buy Canada return policy:

* If for any reason you are not completely satisfied with a product you have purchased, we will gladly give you a full refund (except for certain items described below) or exchange if you return it to any Best Buy store within 30 days after you receive it (14 days for computers, monitors, printers, notebook computers, camcorders, digital cameras, radar detectors, cellular and wireless devices, portable DVD players and air conditioners) in its original condition (including all packaging, accessories and manuals). Read the rest of this entry »

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13th October 2010

New Developments In Microsoft and Google App Hubs

App HubAttention game developers: Microsoft has launched its App Hub for Windows Mobile and Xbox Indie Games. This new hub will provide free tools, sample code, community support, and educational resources to help you develop your apps and games for Windows Phone and Xbox 360. Remember though, that while the tools are free, and just like the iTunes store, there is an annual subscription fee for those wanting to submit games and apps to the Windows Phone Marketplace or Xbox LIVE Marketplace, whether your app will be free or for sale. According to the site, you will be able to?

Publish your apps and games to App Hub and reach every Windows Phone 7 user.

* Develop your app using Silverlight or XNA Framework in Visual Studio 2010 or Expression Blend
* Unlock connected experiences with Location Services, Web Services, and Windows Azure
* Free or pay apps – it’s your choice with Windows Phone Marketplace
* Apps are certified through Windows Phone Marketplace submission

Reach 25 million Xbox LIVE members worldwide over Xbox LIVE Indie Games.

* Use XNA Game Studio and Visual Studio 2010 to unleash high-definition graphics and multiplayer play over Xbox LIVE
* Easily develop and test your game on Xbox 360 using XNA Game Studio Connect
* Choose a price point and sell your game on Xbox LIVE Indie Games
* Games are peer-reviewed by developers just like you

clioVancouver’s Themis Solutions, Inc. announced it has integrated its cloud-based practice management application Clio with Google Apps™ and has added Clio to the Google Apps Marketplace™, Google’s online storefront for Google Apps products and services. Clio is a feature-rich web-based practice management system that allows lawyers and other legal professionals to easily manage client information, matters, contacts, time-keeping, bills, documents and other aspects of their law offices.

Clio’s integration with Google Apps includes calendar and contact sync between Google Apps and Clio. Additionally, Clio’s recently-released e-mail integration feature fully integrates with GmailTM. Google Apps users will also be able to access Clio directly with Single Sign-On (SSO) via the Google universal navigation bar.

“We are very happy to have Clio in the Google Apps Marketplace,” adds Scott McMullan, Google Apps Partner Lead for Google Enterprise. “Through the Google Apps Marketplace, software vendors like Themis Solutions are helping us build a rich ecosystem of integrated apps that work seamlessly with Google Apps, allowing IT administrators to leverage the benefits of cloud computing and extend Google Apps to meet more of their business needs. We are excited to make legal practice management easier for the millions of Google Apps users who have embraced the cloud.”

Clio Co-Founder and President Jack Newton adds, “We are extremely excited to bring the first cloud-based application for the legal industry to the Google Apps Marketplace. We have seen tremendous demand from our customers to deeply integrate Clio with Google Apps, and we’re happy to address that need with today’s announcement. As more lawyers choose to put their practices in the cloud, we expect they will find Google Apps and Clio to be a perfect match.”

The Google Apps Marketplace makes it easy for more than three million Google Apps businesses to discover, purchase and deploy integrated business applications and related professional services. By integrating with user account and application data stored in Google Apps, these cloud applications provide a simplified user experience, increase business efficiency, and reduce administrative overhead.

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13th October 2010

Solutions 2 Go COO Named By Profit Magazine As Top Female Entrepreneur

ProfitThe women of the PROFIT W100 have been through it all—including a nasty recession—and have honed their business skills in the process to come out the other side as formidable business leaders. Take Gabrielle Chevalier of Mississauga, Ont.–based Solutions 2 Go Inc., a video game distribution firm that has grown to become the biggest in North America. The grandmother of four has had her share of challenges in this competitive arena, but still has ambitions to Gabrielle Chevaliergrow sales from $750 million to $1 billion company—and is beginning to look beyond the games market.

Top-ranked Chevalier is the subject of just one of several stories of successful women entrepreneurs recounted in the pages of the November 2010 issue of PROFIT magazine. All told, the W100 firms generated an impressive $2.2 billion in revenue and provided the equivalent of 10,792 full-time jobs. Over the past three years, their businesses have grown by an average of 115%. A full 95% turned an operating profit last year—impressive numbers that illustrate the determination, skill and business savvy of the 2010 W100. Read the rest of this entry »

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13th October 2010

Ontario Teachers Meet To Examine Violence in Media

Ontario Teachers FederationViolence in the media is pervasive. The destructive influence of violent music videos, video games, music lyrics, the Internet, and television programs is absorbed daily by our children and youth and is directly linked to safety in schools and in our communities. A coalition from trustee, parent, teacher federation, principal and student organizations from both public and Catholic systems, has been working together to build effective strategies to confront the problem.

“There is no question that parents and professionals who work with children and adolescents are gravely concerned about the potential harmful effects of media violence,” said Dr. Peter Jaffe, professor at the Faculty of Education, Centre for Research and Education on Violence against Women and Children, University of Western Ontario. “Media Violence is increasing and becomes more graphic every year.”

Solutions to the problem of media violence and its consequences rest in large part in prevention and education. To that end, the Ontario Teachers’ Federation is sponsoring a conference titled When Violence Becomes Entertaining: Recapturing Childhood and Adolescence from the Toxic Influence of Violent Media which will be held from October 15 to 16 at the Doubletree by Hilton Toronto Airport Hotel, 655 Dixon Road. Registration for the the conference is now closed, but teachers representing every part of the province will be in attendance. Read the rest of this entry »

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