31st May 2011

News Quickies

Vancouver SIGGRAPH ChapterVancouver’s SIGGRAPH chapter presents The Art of Lighting and Rendering Rio with Lighting Supervisor Jim Gettinger. The final event of the 2010/2011 season, this presentation will take place on June 21st atrio District 319. Jim Gettinger’s talk will explore the developmental work pursued by Jim and his team taking the listener through many stages of the production process at Blue Sky. Lighting and lighting techniques will be presented from concept art, through pre-visualization, master lighting, and compositing. Jim will also highlight the artistic and technical challenges encountered developing a stylized vision of the world renowned city Rio de Janeiro and believable original characters using Blue Sky’s proprietary photo-realistic ray-tracing software, CGI Studio™. Tickets for this event are now on sale – $15.00 for members and $25.00 for non-members.

RatRod StudioHockey Fight Pro by Ratrod Studios is now available in the Android Marketplace. Compatible with most Android phones and tablets running Android 2.1 and up, Hockey Fight Pro for Android will let you compete against iOS hockey fight pro locker roomand Mac users using the online cross-platform leaderboard. Hockey Fight Pro is loaded with the following features:

  • The only 3D hockey fighting game available on the market.
  • Intuitive controls for a realistic hockey fighting experience.
  • Follow the interactive tutorial to learn the basics.
  • Real-time damage system, see your opponent taking punishment.
  • Next gen 3D graphics with HD support.
  • Fight against 9 of the world’s most dangerous hockey fighters.
  • Execute over 40 unique combos and punch combinations.
  • Gain respect from your opponents and upgrade your character attributes.
  • View your fighting stats and replay highlights to improve your skills.
  • Complete a list of over 14 unique achievements.
  • Online global cross-platform leaderboard to become the world’s toughest hockey fighter.
  • Share your victory with your friends on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Complete the game to unlock a special hardcore mode.
  • Support for multiple profiles and extensive game options to adjust the game to your preferences.

acrylic appsVancouver’s Acrylic Apps has launched its news app to the Mac Store. Pulp for Mac takes your favorite news feeds and presents them in a reader-friendly format, making it easy for users to quickly scan through headlines, previews, and photos as if you had your own newspaper right on your desktop. Pulp includes such features as built-in Google search, customizable categories and layout, plus rich descriptors for visual media. You can also put articles on your virtual shelf to read later or easily share them on your Twitter or Facebook feeds. Another great feature is Pulp Sync, a free, cloud-based service that keeps all of your pages, feeds, read articles, and other settings in sync on all of your Macs and iPads, over the air, completely seamlessly. Every change you make is pushed instantly to your iPad, so you never have to go hunting for a refresh button.

rhinoRhino.ca is a proud partner of the Vancouver Canucks, and like the rest of Vancouver hockey fans, is confident this is the season we bring home the Cup. On the heels of the Vancouver Canucks victory over the San Jose Sharks, Rhino.ca has launched the final round of the Rhino Cup Run 2011 hockey pool and is gearing up for the Stanley Cup Finals.Orby Says Go Canucks!

For the last time during these NHL playoffs, hockey fans can pit themselves against each other for leaderboard supremacy in this free, Vancouver Canucks themed, interactive hockey pool. Contestants enter their picks for game scores and individual player stats in categories like most goals, assists, and penalty minutes, and can log-in anytime to see where they stack up amongst the competition.

“We’re die-hard Vancouver Canucks fans and are excited to have partnered with the Canucks in their 40th year during this cup run. It seems like a dream,” said Doug rhino cup run 2011Morneau, RHINO.ca’s Chief Rhino. “Seventeen years since our last trip to the finals and like the rest of this town, we can’t get enough playoff hockey.”

The Vancouver Canucks take on the Boston Bruins in the Stanley Cup Finals beginning Wednesday, June 1st and there is undeniable playoff fever around RHINO.ca headquarters. “We love how energized this city is right now and Rhino Cup Run in something we could do to help Canucks fans participate and get even more psyched for the finals,” added Morneau.

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31st May 2011

PSP Mini Title Young Thor Available At Deep Discount

frima studioFrima Studio has announced that the Gods of Olympus have seen fit to allow the discounting of PlayStation® Young Thormini title Young Thor, now available for 75% off its retail price at $1.25 USD. The sale price of the adolescent god’s title runs from today through the month of June across all markets, and is exclusively available for PlayStation® Plus members on the PlayStation® Store.

The three Norns – Urd, Skuld and Verdandi – have gone missing, leaving no one to tend to Yggdrasil, the World Tree and connector of all realms. With the world now in chaos, players will take on the role of Young Thor and travel to Midgard and Asgard, battling hordes of mythical creatures from Norse mythology, as they strive to restore balance in both worlds in this fun, all-ages appropriate platformer. Defeat Hel, the mischievous daughter of Loki, along with her two allies Ratatoskr and Nidhogg, and save Yggdrasil once and for all—it’s hammer time!

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31st May 2011

Wireless Industry Contributes 41.2 Billion Dollars to the Canadian Economy

cwtaA new report by UK-based Ovum Consulting reveals that Canada’s wireless industry contributed $41.2 billion to the Canadian economy in 2009. Commissioned by the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA), the study determined the wireless sector contributed more than $17.2 billion in terms of direct contribution to the GDP through the sale of goods and services; an additional $14.98 billion due to the economic flow through to contributing suppliers in the supply chain; and more than $9 billion in consumer surplus – the additional benefit or satisfaction that consumers receive from wireless services, above and beyond what they pay for the services.

Ovum also examined the investments made by the wireless industry. In 2009, the industry invested an unprecedented $2.95 billion in capital expenditures. Despite the generally negative economic conditions at that time, the wireless industry increased network capital expenditure by 60% over the previous year.

“Canada’s wireless industry has always been a strong performer in providing economic value to the wider economy of the country,” said Bernard Lord, CWTA President & CEO. “The industry’s benefits to Canada are even further validated by the fact that in 2009, when the economy as a whole contracted by 2.8%, the wireless sector was setting record levels of investment.”

From a historical perspective, the industry invested between $1.1 billion and $1.9 billion each year in capitalized equipment and services from 1996 to 2007. In 2008, the industry deployed $1.84 billion in equipment and invested $4.26 billion in Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) spectrum.

The Ovum study also reveals the industry is a major contributor to employment, with more than 261,200 people employed as a result of the wireless industry. The wireless sector was also found to offer high value employment, with an average salary of $60,031, compared to a Canadian average salary of $43,895. The value added per employee in the wireless sector is estimated at $166,000 per year, compared to $71,000 per year for the average Canadian employee.

The Benefit of the Wireless Telecommunications Industry to the Canadian Economy” study is based on empirical data from the year 2009. Data was provided by a number of CWTA members, and obtained from publicly available sources including the CRTC, Statistics Canada, Industry Canada and annual reports of wireless operators, terminal suppliers and network equipment manufacturers. Ovum forecasts for revenues and services in the wireless sector have also been used in the modeling. A complete copy of the report is available on the CWTA Web site.

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31st May 2011

RBC and TIFF Announce Emerging Filmmakers Competition Finalists

RBCRBC and the Toronto International Film Festival® today announced the finalists for the RBC Emerging Filmmakers Competition. Reviewed by a jury comprised of esteemed producers, directors and executives from Canada’s film industry, the following five finalists have been selected out of 20 “Family” themed submissions:

  • ESTHER AND LEIB – Sean Wainsteim – (Toronto)
    A raw portrait of Esther and Leib, a couple who met when escaping Europe, as they reflect on the passing years and each other.
  • MY FIRST MOVIE – Gabriel Taraboulsy – (Montréal)
    Tasked with making a video portrait of her family, a young filmmaker plants a hidden camera, capturing a vision of her family that is far different from anything she imagined.
  • NEXT OF KIN – Kara Blake – (Montréal)
    Documenting the parallel lives of two sisters surviving a long, cold winter in Montreal.
  • THE REVENGE PLOT – Jared Raab – (Toronto)
    After Matt and his friends are dissed in the schoolyard by a group of girls, they set to work on an elaborate and merciless plan for revenge.
  • SATURDAY NIGHT – Kaveh Nabatian – (Montréal)
    New Year’s Eve. Boy meets girl. A film about unprotected sex, destiny and soul music.

From these top five films, the jury will decide the National Winner and an Honourable Mention, each receiving $15,000 and $10,000 respectively. Canadians from coast to coast can support the emerging filmmakers by voting for the film they like, to help decide the Fan Favourite Award which comes with a $5,000 cash prize. The public can vote from June 1 to June 30, 2011 until 11:59 p.m. EST and have the chance to win an all expenses paid trip for two to the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival.

“This year’s submissions are an exceptional representation of the talented crop of emerging filmmakers in Canada – the jury was faced with a challenge, narrowing down the competition to just five films,” said Piers Handling, Director and CEO, TIFF. “TIFF congratulates these high-calibre talents who interpreted the Family theme brilliantly.”

“We are thrilled to be involved in such an important arts initiative that gives emerging filmmakers the opportunity to learn and grow,” said Jennifer Tory, RBC’s Regional President for Greater Toronto. “For many years, RBC has been working with talented filmmakers and industry professionals to help them create their vision and achieve success in the film business. We are particularly proud to recognize and celebrate these rising new talents.”

The RBC Emerging Filmmakers Competition is part of Talent Lab, a four-day intensive program at the Toronto International Film Festival that offers artistic development opportunities to a select group of emerging Canadian and international filmmakers. Each filmmaker is provided with a portable camera, $500 cash and challenged to develop a one to five minute short film for the competition. Each year the films will focus on one topic – this year’s theme is Family. Winners of the RBC Emerging Filmmakers Competition will be announced prior to this year’s Toronto International Film Festival.

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31st May 2011

Alex Tagliani Sponsored By Hot Wheels

hot wheelsHot Wheels® is excited to announce that it will be the primary sponsor of Canadian racing superstar, Alex Tagliani as he races in three Canadian NASCAR events this summer as part of the Canadian Tire 2011 NASCAR Series and the NASCAR Nationwide Series. Tagliani will be showing off his “hot wheels”, literally, this summer in his one-of-a-kind #12 Hot Wheels® car, customized with a unique and edgy branded design.

“Hot Wheels is so excited to be working with Alex as we share the same passion for speed, power and performance,” says Melissa Chau, Hot Wheels® Brand Manager at Mattel Canada. “We look forward to watching him roar past the competition in his specially-designed vehicle that embodies a look only Hot Wheels can create”.

Racing professionally for 15 years, Montreal-born Tagliani recently became the first Canadian ever to earn the Alex TaglianiPole at the Indianapolis 500 that took place this past weekend. This summer, Tagliani will race his Hot Wheels® car in three NASCAR events. On June 4-5, Tagliani will race the Circuit ICAR NASCAR Canada Series in Montreal; on August 19, he will race the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve NASCAR Canada Series in Montreal; and on August 20, he will race the Circuit Gilles Villenuse NASCAR Nationwide Series in Montreal.

For the NASCAR nationwide race taking place August 20, Tagliani’s custom Dodge Hot Wheels® #12 NASCAR is a newly designed black car weighing in at 3,500 lbs.  The Dodge dealers of Québec have secured the Nationwide series #12 Penske/Dodge Challenger for Tagliani. The car will be branded with the iconic flames of the Hot Wheels brand toy cars, vehicles that helped fuel Tagliani’s love for car racing as a young boy.

“Hot Wheels® has defined racing for a generation, so working with this legendary brand again is a great honour for me” says Tagliani. “Hot Wheels® has given my Dodge Hot Wheels® car a look any Hot Wheels® fan could only dream of, and I’m thrilled to be racing it in my home town.”

Tagliani’s racecar, fire suit and his pit crew shirts will all be designed by the Hot Wheels creative team with a customized design that reflects Alex’s fearless and competitive driving style on the racetrack.

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31st May 2011

BMO Chooses CGI Group For Cloud Services

cgi groupMontreal’s CGI Group Inc., a provider of information technology and business process services, today announced that BMO Financial Group has chosen CGI’s cloud computing services to help launch a comprehensive social media Hub.

The site will feature a comprehensive set of multimedia tools such as blogs, games and YouTube integration, a content management system for quickly and easily updating content on the site, customer relationship management tools, including e-mail registration and updates, and the capacity to rapidly activate new services.

In addition, CGI is providing BMO Financial Group with cloud services to support the launch of new mobile applications for its customers.

“Working with CGI, we developed the BMO SmartSteps for Parents, an interactive, online hub to help parents educate children about money management.  The resource is free and available to all Canadians and part of our commitment to Making money make sense®,” said Bal Sahjpaul, Head of eChannel, BMO Financial Group. “We’re excited about our move to the cloud and how it will help us deliver exciting new services to our customers faster.”

“As a leading cloud computing provider, CGI delivers enterprise cloud solutions that address the performance, security and governance challenges large organizations face,” said Eva Maglis, President, Global Infrastructure Services, CGI. “Our value is in integrating cloud computing capabilities with more traditional services to provide clients with robust solutions customized to meet their specific business needs and enhance their business performance,” added Doug McCuaig, President, Canada, CGI.

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31st May 2011

Spin Master Launches Redakai

spin masterAs a follow-up to the hit entertainment property and cultural phenomenon Bakugan, Spin Master Ltd. is thrilled to announce the launch of Redakai, an all-new boys action property, which features fresh new strategic gameplay, amazing Blast3D™ technology and a televised series on Cartoon Network.

Launching at Hobby/Specialty stores on June 4th, followed by mass retailers nationwide in August, Redakai™ is a ground-breaking innovation in gaming, taking trading cards to the next level with amazing Blast3D™ technology.  Never before have trading cards contained 3D and animation effects like Redakai™.  A new  “stack to battle” gaming advancement automatically tracks your progress and allows you to see the damaging effects of your attacks.redakai

“We are very excited about Redakai and I think our gaming customers will be too,” says Ed Evans of All Things Fun!, a prominent hobby and gaming retailer in New Jersey.  “The cards themselves are revolutionary and the game play is fantastic.  Redakai literally has the potential to be a game changer for the trading card game category.”

“Everyone who has seen Redakai – from hobby store owners and mass retailers, trading card game experts to kids in focus groups – has had an amazing response,” says Johnny O’Neal, Sr. Brand Manager of Redakai for Spin Master. “We’ll be building momentum all summer, with the animated series in July and the toy launch in August, so we’re poised to make the jump to full-blown craze this fall.”

Redakai: Conquer the Kairu is an animated kids adventure series on Cartoon Network starring Ky, a 15-year-old student of ancient martial arts who embarks on an incredible quest to find the Kairu, a primordial alien energy force. Helped by his friends Maya and Boomer, Ky travels the globe looking for the Kairu to protect it from his extraterrestrial teenage opponents, with the hope that one day he will become the greatest Kairu warrior of them all – a Redakai.

Additionally, starting on launch day, June 4th, kids will be able to play Redakai™ through Official Redakai™ Organized Play programs.  Organized Play kits will contain everything needed to run league events and tournaments: prize cards, training materials, and game accessories. Redakai™ Organized Play will be fully supported at Redakai.com, including nationwide leaderboards and achievements.


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31st May 2011

Montreal Dev Studio Ludia Is Hiring

LudiaInteractive entertainment company Ludia Inc. has announced that the studio has sold over 10 million games across digital and console platforms since the release of its first title The Price Is Right three Price is Right 2010years ago. This figure equates to a Ludia game being sold on average every 10 seconds across mobile, PC, and consoles. As of today, four Ludia games have risen to the desirable top 10 Paid Apps spot on the Apple App Store and over seven million Facebook users have installed Ludia’s The Price Is Right and Who Wants To Be A Millionaire.

“I am very proud of the Ludia team and all we have achieved together to propel us to this exciting milestone today,” said Alex Thabet, Founder and CEO of Ludia Inc. “Our expanded Facebook and mobile strategy combined with our multi-platform console releases will continue to foster years of future growth.”

The second half of Ludia’s 2011 slate includes the release of 11 new games. The company will also expand its Facebook offering to feature a broad range of titles including five new TV game shows, a major film franchise, and an original IP.

To fuel Ludia’s ongoing growth, the company plans to hire 50 new employees by the end of the year.

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31st May 2011

Today is Brought To You By The Word Creative

Every so often I run across an interesting site – sometimes led there by Twitter, as I was today – I followed a link tweeted by Corwin Hiebert of Creative Mix. Today’s discovery is Creative Couples Network, founded by creative Creative CouplesVancouver couple and Creativitality proprietors Igor Terzic and Slava Micic, and Megan Williams – who also puts on game day events for the Vancouver Canucks. I bet she’s very busy right now. 😉

According to the site’s information, “Creative Couples is a global network connecting and featuring couples successfully balancing work, love and lifestyle. More often than not, we hear about couples who are either splitting up, cheating on their partner or living a ‘single’ life while in a relationship. With all that attention on tumultuous relationships, where and when is it ‘cool’ to be in love?”

Being one half of a creative couple myself, I thought that I would pass along this great resource to all of the other creatives who read this site – many of whom are also part of a creative duo. The site has many articles that are educational, inspiring and meaningful, as well as a global directory of sites and special feature areas such as Cooking for Two, Music Mondays and Historic Couples. There is also a wealth of video and photographic content for viewing.

By the way, Creative Couples is hiring as well as looking for interns.

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31st May 2011

BC Companies Invited To Attend Spring 2011 Innovation Forums

Government of CanadaThe Canadian Innovation Commercialization Program (CICP) aims to promote innovation and support the development of small and medium enterprises (SME) in Canada. The goal of CICP is to help bridge the pre-commercialization gap by purchasing innovations through a Call for Proposals. The Program targets innovations in four priority areas: environment, health, safety & security, and enabling technologies.

There are 19 pre-qualified innovation proposals from the first round of the program, and now The Office of Small and Medium Enterprises (OSME) invites you to attend the Spring 2011 Canadian Innovation Commercialization Program (CICP) Forums taking place from 9:00 – noon on:

• June 20, 2011 Kelowna – Delta Grand Okanagan – 1310 Water St. in Kelowna
• June 21, 2011 Kamloops – Kamloops Convention Centre – 1250 Rogers Way in Kamloops
• June 27, 2011 Vancouver – Marriott Pinnacle – 1128 West Hastings St. in Vancouver
• June 28, 2011 Victoria – Hotel Grand Pacific – 463 Belleville St. in Victoria

Come out for a free coffee and learn more about the program – register today, it’s free.

By attending the CICP Innovation Forum, you will have the opportunity to:

• Learn about the CICP and other Government of Canada programs that support innovation
• Meet face to face with Government of Canada representatives
• Find out what new innovations local businesses are working on

Forum Agenda

9:00am – 10:30am (Information session)

The agenda for each Forum is similar – there will be information sessions for businesses on CICP as well as on the Scientific Research & Experimental Development Tax Incentive Program, the Industrial Research Assistance Program, Department of Foreign Affairs & International Trade and Natural Sciences & Engineering Research Council of Canada Programs during the first portion of the event from 9:00am – 10:30am.

10:30am – Noon (Networking and Tradeshow)

The second portion of the event runs from 10:30am – noon and during this portion businesses are invited to showcase their innovative goods and services to government. (Please note that there will be no tradeshow at the Kamloops event.)

If you have any questions about CICP, please do not hesitate to contact Scarlett Chan, Regional CICP Coordinator, at 1-866-602-0403 or visit the CICP web site.

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