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3rd May 2011

Only Two Weeks To Go Until The Canadian Games Conference

Canadian Games ConferenceIf you haven’t already registered for the Canadian Games Conference, there is still time, but don’t wait too long. This year’s event features Sessions in business, production, design, programming, social games, and iPhone games, and offers visionary keynotes, an expo hall, and some great parties, receptions and networking events. Group and student rates also available.

Victor Lucas, host and executive producer of The Electric Playground is confirmed to open Day 2 of this year’s Canadian Games Conference with a 9:30am keynote address. Seen daily by millions on his popular TV show, Victor is also the President of Greedy Productions and Executive Producer of Reviews on the Run. Victor will be interviewed onstage at CGC by Blaine Kyllo, Games critic and columnist for The Georgia Straight.

Here are the latest Session and Speaker Announcements for CGC 2011:

* Monster Teams: How One Producer Tamed the Beast and Lived to Tell About It – Alexandre Parizeau, Senior Producer, Ubisoft Toronto

* Classic Game Postmortem: Bejeweled – Jason Kapalka, Co-founder, and Chief Creative Officer, Popcap Games

* Don’t Just Build an App: Build a Mobile Business – Charles Yim, Strategic Partner Development, Google

* Late to the Party: Go or No Go? A Facebook Games Panel featuring:

Brenda Bailey Gershkovitch, CEO Silicon Sisters
David Bezahler, CEO Blitzoo Games
Rick Davidson, CEO Inspirado Games

* Making Academic/Industry Partnerships Work

Magy Seif El-Nasr, Professor, School of Interactive Arts and Technology, Simon Fraser University
Paul Newton, QA Development Director, Electronic Arts Canada
Sang Mah, former Director of Interactive Media, Bardel Entertainment
Bruce Gooch, Associate Professor, Department of Computer Science, University of Victoria, President and Manager, Relevant Games and Toon-FX.

You don’t want to miss the PechaKucha Session that will be closing out this year’s conference. Devised in Tokyo in February 2003 as an event for young designers to meet, network, and show their work in public, PechaKucha has turned into a massive celebration, with events happening in hundreds of cities around the world, inspiring creatives worldwide. Drawing its name from the Japanese term for the sound of “chit chat”, it rests on a presentation format that is based on a simple idea: 20 images x 20 seconds. It’s a format that makes presentations concise, and keeps things moving at a rapid pace. Come be inspired by high energy stories from the world of Games as CGC closes with PechaKucha.Canadian Video Game Awards

The Canadian Videogame Awards featuring Video Games Live is a great way to kick off your conference experience. The show takes place on May 18th at the Centre for the Performing Arts in Vancouver, and will be hosted by Electric Playground’s Victor Lucas. This is the party that will kick-off CGC, and tickets start at just $30.00 Join the biggest names in the Canadian game industry as we celebrate Canadian excellence.

It’s also not too late to become a sponsor, exhibitor or show partner. Visit the Conference or Awards sites to find out about exhibiting at CGC, hosting a party, reception or networking event.

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3rd May 2011

Upcoming Workshops At UBC Robson Square

UBCThe following Multimedia and Social Media Summer Bootcamps are being offered at UBC Robson Square in Vancouver:

Digital Video Production with Final Cut Studio: June 13-17
Plan, shoot and edit a video project from start to finish with HD cameras and Final Cut Pro.
Save $100 if you register by May 16.

Introduction to Mobile Web Design: June 20-24
Learn to adapt content, style sheets and graphics for mobile devices.
Save $100 if you register by May 23.

Web Design: July 4-22
In just three weeks, learn to create a website with Photoshop, Dreamweaver and Flash.
Save $210 if you register by June 6.

UBC Summer Institute in Social Media: July 11-15
An Introduction to Social Media Tools and Community Engagement – Learn about social media tools and how they can help you engage your customers and fans, and create a sense of community.
Save $145 if you register by June 14.

Adobe InDesign: July 25-29
Learn print layout and create multi-page documents using Adobe InDesign.
Save $100 if you register by June 27.

Plus there will be a free information session for the UBC Certificate in Entertainment Administration program at UBC Robson Square on June 8th.

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3rd May 2011

Business In Brief

PricewaterhouseCoopersCanada 3.0 Platinum Sponsor PwC has announced the launch of its Digital Readiness Assessment (DRA). The DRA is a diagnostic business offering that helps companies to assess their current “digital state” and seek out new business opportunities to go digital.

At Canada 3.0 2011, attendees can try out a DRA survey on their mobile devices, a short online version that will help them self-assess in a few minutes where they are on their digital journey. It is made up of a short number of questions by priority areas including: Strategy & Innovation, Revenue Growth, Partner Ecosystem, Customers and others.

“Currently, most Canadian companies are moving to digital models in gradual steps that are being pushed forward by their more entrepreneurial managers and the tactical needs of the business,” says Jerry Brown, an associate partner in the Consulting practice in PwC’s Toronto office. “The goal of the DRA is to help companies create an effective digital strategy and really transform their business model to keep up with the quick pace of change.”

“The successful companies will be the ones who have the best strategy to engage with all of their digital partners – everyone from their customers, to their suppliers, vendors, distributors and other businesses.”

PwC, a keynote speaker at the Canada 3.0 Conference, will also be a judge at the first ever Road to Banff Pitch Off Contest. Hosted by the Banff Venture Forum and the Canadian Digital Media Network, the competition is open to early stage ICT, life sciences and clean tech companies with annual revenues of less than $5 million. The top three finalists will win an all-expense paid trip to the Banff Venture Forum, October 6 – 7 in Banff, Alberta. At the Forum, finalists will attend a one-day workshop where they will be introduced to potential investors and paired up with a Venture Capital (VC) mentor for the conference.

In a few weeks, PwC will hold its eighth annual one-day conference for CEOs of emerging Canadian technology companies, Connecting Vision to Reality 2011. This year’s conference is on May 11, 2011 at the Ted Rogers School of Management, 55 Dundas Street West, Toronto. The speaker roster includes a number of industry experts including keynote speaker Jeremy Gutsche, founder of TrendHunter.com. The results of PwC’s 2011 Report on Emerging Canadian Technology Companies will also be released at the event.

D-BoxD-BOX Technologies Inc. has announced the company’s agreement with Warner Bros. Pictures to feature D-BOX’s immersive motion technology with the studio’s franchise finale, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 in theatres July 15.

This final act is the third film in the series to offer D-BOX’s motionals effects. Fans of the movie franchise can expect to be transported back to Hogwarts with Harry and friends feeling sensations of motion along the way. Intense battles and exhilarating flights onscreen become real as D-BOX MFX Seats move in perfect sync with all ofals the onscreen action.

“Warner Bros. has been a tremendous supporter of our motion technology and this is such a legendary movie franchise for D-BOX to be associated,” said President and CEO of D-BOX Technologies, Claude Mc Master. “We have collaborated on a number of new releases over the past two years and look forward to partnering on future movie content with the studio.”

Peer 1PEER 1 Hosting has announced the arrival of its IPv6 enabled 10GB backbone network today, bringing future-ready network reach to customers ahead of the imminent IPv4 address exhaustion.

PEER 1 Hosting’s network is one of the first supporting both IPv4 and IPv6 traffic, ensuring customers’ websites remain visible to all users around the world, irrespective of the networks or hardware they are using.

The IPv6 upgrade is the result of $10M investment over the last three years by PEER 1 Hosting and has included a beta phase, allowing Colocation and transit customers to test the backbone through PEER 1 Hosting’s network of datacenters. Offering both IPv4 and IPv6 network capabilities will allow PEER 1 Hosting’s Colocation and hosting customers to adopt the new protocol at their own pace, by providing a bridge to both worlds as networks transition towards IPv6 as standard protocol.

“Ping is one of the things we pride ourselves on and here is the perfect example of how we’re making sure businesses are accessible and online,” said Jag Bains, director of Network Operations for PEER 1 Hosting. “IPv6 is the next wave and we’re at the forefront of the transition. When IPv4 reaches capacity we’re ready to support our clients with the new protocol.”

PEER 1 Hosting is ahead of the curve in bringing IPv6 online for its customers, while industry debate continues to linger over standards and adoption. The PEER 1 Hosting backbone will also offer the added network benefits of the IPv6 protocol including increased addressing capacity, more flexible security, the ability to expand infrastructure and accelerate business.

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3rd May 2011

Writing for Film and TV Course Coming To Toronto Film School

Toronto Film SchoolOn April 20, 2011, Hon. John Milloy, the Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities in Ontario granted Toronto Film School at RCC Institute of Technology consent to offer a diploma in Writing for Film & TV in the province of Ontario. The program will be delivered in-class at the Toronto Film School’s centrally-located downtown campus at Dundas Square.

The Writing for Film & TV diploma, offered through RCC Institute of Technology’s Toronto Film School will immediately begin enrolling for its first class in October 2011. This 18-month intensive diploma will prepare students with skills to become a writing professional in new and traditional media. Students will learn different categories of writing for: documentaries, broadcast news, factual entertainment, sitcoms, 1-hour TV movies, interactive and multi-media components.

“This is a terrific program in a supportive, collaborative learning environment,” said Dr. Rick Davey, President of RCC Institute of Technology. “It is a great addition to the Film Production and Acting programs.”

Rick Bennett Program Chair of the Toronto Film School, also commented on the Minister’s announcement: “The Toronto Film School has a history of providing real-world education to its students. As we continue to grow, we are excited to add aspiring writers into the mix. The collaboration and strong sense of support that students receive from each other and from faculty will only get stronger with the addition of the writing program.”

In the Writing for TV and Film diploma, graduates will become story editors, production executives, network executives and work as writers. The curriculum covers all genres of writing, and provides workshops to expand and strengthen writing style. The program also teaches the history of film and TV and teaches students about new media, including 3-D, shooting with DSLR and other interactive multimedia components. The intention of the program is to produce dynamic writers for Film and Television who understand the inner workings of the film and TV industry. Finally, students learn the business side of the industry – including legal issues pertaining to writing and marketing their work to jumpstart their career and guide them through the complexities of the industry.

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3rd May 2011

BDC Honours Young Entrepreneurs

bdcThe Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) will honour 11 of the country’s most successful young entrepreneurs tonight at the 23rd edition of its Young Entrepreneur Awards (YEA) held in Saskatoon.

“Young entrepreneurs make an important contribution to their respective communities and to Canada’s economic prosperity. This year’s YEA winners have turned innovative ideas into commercial success stories,” says BDC President and CEO Jean-René Halde. “They are all passionate about what they do, are motivated by challenge and ready to expand their businesses into new markets. BDC’s Young Entrepreneur Award winners give us every reason to be optimistic about the future of entrepreneurship in Canada.”

This year’s YEA winners were chosen based on the originality of their business concept, as well as their company’s success, growth potential and social involvement. The provincial and territorial selection committees also considered the entrepreneur’s, the number of years he or she has been in business and any special challenges that were overcome.

Two special awards, sponsored by Deloitte and Cisco, are also being presented at tonight’s ceremony. The Deloitte Social Responsibility Award honours a YEA winner whose company promotes community well-being, sound human resources management or environmental protection. The Cisco Innovation Excellence Award goes to the YEA winner who has expanded his or her business through innovative practices, creativity or originality of product and services.

BDC’s 2011 Young Entrepreneur Awards winners

British Columbia: Arnold Leung, 25, Appnovation Technologies, Vancouverappnovation
Open source—the technology that powers social media—is Arnold Leung’s ticket to success. After graduating from the University of British Columbia, where he started a web development business with two friends, Arnold struck out on his own in 2007. With 30 employees, Appnovation specializes in open source websites and iPhone applications and has annual revenues of more than $1 million. Arnold was also selected for Business in Vancouver magazine’s 2010 Top 40 under 40 list.

Alberta: Jason Parks, 31, Profab Welding Ltd., Grande Prairie
After leaving school in his teens and leaving behind his dream of being a professional hockey player, Jason turned to welding, his other passion. Beginning with one truck in 2003, he used his flair for equipment design and his natural business instincts to land a major contract in the oil services industry. When the recession hit in 2007, Jason seized the opportunity to diversify his business and expand operations from northern to southern Alberta. Having secured international patents for some of his products, Jason is now searching for global business opportunities.

Saskatchewan: Rachel Mielke, 30, Hillberg & Berk, Regina
With plenty of creativity and just as much marketing savvy, Rachel turned her teenage hobby of making jewellery into a lucrative, high-profile business. Her handmade creations gained international attention when they were selected for the gift bags distributed at the 2008 Academy Awards. Rachel wants her Hillberg & Berk jewellery line to become a major Canadian fashion brand and appeared on CBC-TV’s Dragons’ Den, receiving financing from business mogul and philanthropist, and fellow Saskatchewanian, W. Brett Wilson.

Manitoba: Mark Kohaykewych, 33, Todd Jenkyns, 34, and Peter Chedley, 34, Jenkyns Electric Ltd., Winnipeg
Mark, Todd and Peter founded Jenkyns Electric to bring energy-smart power solutions to industrial customers in Winnipeg and remote communities in northern Manitoba. Their company stands out in a crowded marketplace because of its solid reputation for customer service and environmentally friendly practices. Jenkyns Electric is certified with the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) program and recently added data services to its mix of customer offerings.

Ontario: Jeremy Gutsche, 32, Trend Hunter Inc., Torontotrendhunter
An innovation enthusiast and natural-born entrepreneur, Jeremy is the brains behind TrendHunter.com, a website that tracks hot trends in pop culture, technology and fashion. Trend Hunter’s platform brings together data from 40,000 contributors around the world, then hyperlinks the research and compiles it into value-added trend reports. The website attracts 35 million views a month, and some of its content has gone viral. As an author and keynote speaker, Jeremy makes regular media appearances.

Québec: Steve Couture, 35, Frima Studio inc., Quebec Cityfrima studio
In 2003, Steve founded Frima Studio with two partners and turned it into a leading game developer on platforms ranging from the Web, consoles and mobiles, to handheld devices and TV. After investing hundreds of thousands of hours in research and development, Frima has won acclaim for its hit creations, including A Space Shooter for 2 bucks!, Pocket God on Facebook and Zombie Tycoon, and for its major youth brand products. The company has more than 260 employees and is focused on bringing entertainment to screens both big and small—from IMAX to iPhones.

New Brunswick: Pierre Martell, 29, Martell Home Builders, Moncton
After founding Martell Homes in 2006, Pierre introduced a web-enabled customer interface and transformed the house purchasing experience for new home buyers. Martell Homes offers clients a 99-day construction guarantee for homes of 2,000 square feet or smaller and consistently delivers them on budget. Client satisfaction is so high that Martell Homes won the Atlantic Home Warranty Customer Choice Award in 2010 and 2011.

Nova Scotia: Anaïs Guimond, 32, Atlantic Cirque Agency and School, Halifax
Intrigued as a young girl by the artistry of Canada’s internationally renowned Cirque du Soleil, this former bungee-trapeze performer opened a circus performing arts school in 2002 in a province and in a language that were new to her. Residents in the Halifax-Dartmouth area quickly embraced her ideas and enthusiasm, and Atlantic Cirque soon had 150 attendees at weekly classes. In addition to circus arts, the school offers summer camps, workshops and corporate team-building programs. Anaïs is currently producing the company’s 10-year anniversary show and plans to expand her popular cirque school concept into other markets.

Prince Edward Island: Rachelle Wood, 29, Rachelle Wood Nutrition Inc., Charlottetown
Rachelle launched her nutrition practice in 2005 to help people lose weight and develop a healthier relationship with food. Her 52-week online SeeResults program features recipes and customized meal plans, self-help advice and one-on-one coaching. Her success has attracted interest from other nutritionists, and Rachelle has developed a software version of SeeResults that sells across Canada. With an eye on continued growth, she is developing French and Spanish versions of her program, as well as iPhone and BlackBerry applications.

Newfoundland and Labrador: Greg Hanley, 31, Hanley Construction and Renovation Inc., St. John’s
Greg recognizes a competitive advantage when he sees one, and was quick to bring green, environmentally friendly construction standards to the first-time, residential housing market. After starting a renovation business in 2001, Greg moved into new home construction before diversifying into land development and excavation services. Using insulated concrete building forms that are well suited to Canada’s harsh climate, Hanley Construction and Renovation provides energy-efficient products that reduce energy consumption and cut costs.

Yukon: Cole Hodinski, 33, Horizon Helicopters, Whitehorse
Cole established Horizon Helicopters in 2007 after working as a pilot in North America and Asia. While vacationing in Yukon, he recognized an opportunity to fly light aircraft and serve the territory’s air transportation market. He introduced helicopters with improved operational and safety performance, and low fuel consumption. With a roster of experienced pilots, Horizon now serves clients in such sectors as mining, mineral exploration, environmental assessment, tourism and medical evacuation. Cole’s goal is to deliver a sustainable helicopter service to Yukon.

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3rd May 2011

Public Service Announcements

eebayBay Canada today announced the launch of two important sets of charity auctions, giving Canadians an opportunity to give back.

Starting today and for the next seven days, eBay buyers will have the opportunity to bid on dozens of hard-to-find items and unique experiences in support of two Canadian charities: the NHLPA’s Beard-a-thon to support the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada and Rethink Breast Cancer.

The auctions are live at:

To support the NHLPA Beard-a-thon
To support Rethink Breast Cancer

Notable items and experiences up for grabs include:

* A Harley Davidson 2010 Street Glide motorcycle in support of Rethink Breast Cancer.
* NHL jerseys signed by some of the top players in the NHL – past and present – including Wayne Gretzky, Saku Koivu, Henrik Sedin and Luke Schenn, in support of the NHLPA Beard-a-thon
* “Rethink the Date package” hotel stay at The Sutton Place Hotel Vancouver.
* Signed NHL player photos from Roberto Luongo, Dion Phaneuf, and Alexander Ovechkin.

With bidding starting at $1.00 for many of the items, there’s an opportunity for everyone to bid and buyers will be helping to raise funds for two very important causes. The NHLPA Beard-a-thon is an exciting charitable initiative that will help the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada purchase Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) for local hockey arenas and communities across Canada. Funds raised by Rethink Breast Cancer will go towards its vital education, research, and supportive care programs for young women with breast cancer.

astral mediaThis Thursday, May 5, 2011, Astral Media Inc. will hold its annual Astral Media National Day of Caring for Kids. The event will be broadcast live throughout the day on more than 60 English-language stations across Canada.

This national event is in support of about 20 major hospitals and healthcare facilities across the country. Last year, in twelve hours, the largest Radiothon event in North America raised over 7.1 million dollars.

This year again, all Astral radio stations have been very active on social networks and launched an online community that was quickly embraced by children’s hospital foundations, parents, young patients and listeners alike. Many touching and hope-filled stories, videos and passionate calls for listener generosity have been posted over the past few days by over 2,200 members of the Astral Radiothon Facebook group.

Astral has teamed up with the Children’s Miracle Network, an international non-profit organization that helps save the lives and improves the quality of life of sick kids by raising funds for children’s hospitals and healthcare foundations. To see the complete list of participating radio stations and beneficiaries, or to make a donation, please visit the radiothon site.

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