11th May 2011

EDC Invites You To Meet With Konami At CGC

export development canadaExport Development Canada is organizing a match-making event with Konami Digital Entertainment to introduce them to Canadian game developers at the Canadian Games Conference next week in Vancouver.

The meetings will be 20 minute meetings with Konami at the conference, however Konamiparticipants do not have to be registered for the conference to participate in our match-making session.

Prior to this event, EDC will be hosting a panel at the conference on Thursday May 19th titled “The Art of Making a Pitch” which will provide you valuable insight into how to maximize your pitch with a Publisher.  Ms. Careen Yapp from Konami will be participating in the panel, and will provide details on what Konami considers rich content, and what they look for in a pitch.  Also participating in the panel are industry veterans including Scott Simpson from Ascenscion Crossmedia, along with Denis Dyack and Dave Elton from Silicon Knights.

Finally, EDC will also be part of a panel later in the day on Thursday Canadian Games Conferencediscussing new financing models and how EDC is supporting the financial gaps in the industry.   The organizing committee for the Canadian Games Conference is also offering a 25% discount to the companies participating in this match-making event.

Please contact Rob Caouette or Johanne Henley at EDC before May 16th in order to reserve a time for your private meeting with Konami on May 20, 2011.

Currently 0 Comments - Share Your Thoughts

posted in Business News, Events, Government, National News By: | Print This Post Print This Post

11th May 2011

Noon Hour Byte-Sized News Snacks

siggraph 2011SIGGRAPH has released the list of courses that will be available during this year’s conference in Vancouver. According to the SIGGRAPH site, the spectrum of courses ranges from an introduction to the foundations of computer graphics and interactive techniques for those new to the field to advanced instruction on the most current techniques and topics. Conference organizers have also partnered with Vancouver’s UniGlobe Vision Travel to help you Make It Home to Vancouver this August for SIGGRAPH 2011.

BCTIAThe next BCTIA TechForum – Voices of Experience event is taking place on May 19th at the Sutton Place Hotel. Innovation, Productivity and Jobs: Why BC Should Care with speakers David Emerson and Jock Finlayson will examine the impact of innovation on British Columbia’s economy, and explore what BC must do to earn its place among the most innovative, growing and prosperous economies today. Tickets are $55.00 for BCTIA Members and $80.00 for Non-members or $36.00 Students.

teambizThe Hamilton community of the TeamBiz network invites local entrepreneurs and business professionals to attend its first networking event. Organized in partnership with the Hamilton Small Business Enterprise Centre, the event will take place at the Hamilton Small Business Centre (Hamilton City Hall) on May 25, from 4:30 pm to 6:00 pm.

The purpose of the event is to help small business owners from Hamilton and surrounding areas explore new opportunities for contacts and potential partners in increasing business. You can register online for this event. Seating is limited to 75 people on a first come first served basis. The cost to attend is $15 + HST.

“Our community is based online, but in the past few months, many Teambiz members expressed interest to meet each other in person as well”, says Ruxandra Bucataru, Teambiz co-founder.”We recognize that face-to-face interaction enhances online relationships, so we want to create a social and enjoyable pure networking evening, where people have plenty of time to connect, and we are keeping it simple and to the point”.

Several promotional opportunities are also available at the event, from exhibitor tables, to door prizes and contributions to goodie bags, handed to all participants. TeamBiz is a network of entrepreneurs with over 1,000 members Canada-wide. Started as a small peer mentoring group at the Hamilton Small Business Centre several years ago, the network is spreading at a rapid pace, with new members joining every day.

Best Buy CanadaBest Buy Canada is now offering customers the option to purchase previously played games online for as low as $4.99 per game. The online selection can be found in the preplayed games section of Best Buy’s web site and includes games for several popular game consoles including Playstation 3, Nintendo DS, Nintendo Wii, PSP and Xbox 360.

All used games are thoroughly inspected for quality assurance and are backed by a 30-day exchange policy. Best Buy will exchange damaged games for the same title (pending availability) or in-store credit. Customers can also search online for title availability at their local Best Buy using the “check local store availability” feature. Previously played games are not available in Nanaimo, Winnipeg and select Ontario Best Buy Stores. Customers are these regions are invited to shop online for all of the latest titles.

YANGAROOYangaroo Inc. has signed a multi-year agreement with Black Entertainment Television (BET Networks) to power online review and professional member voting for the forthcoming BET Awards to be held in Los Angeles in June and The BET Hip Hop Awards to be held in Atlanta in October. BET will employ Yangaroo’s patented Digital Media Distribution System (DMDS) Awards solution to securely distribute ballots in digital formats to its voting members. Through DMDS, members will be able to review materials online and vote electronically at the time that is most convenient for them. The agreement with BET follows similar, previous deals Yangaroo has inked with The Grammy’s, The Juno’s, The Academy of Country Music Awards and others to provide award shows with a cost-saving and digitally-streamlined solution.

Currently 0 Comments - Share Your Thoughts

posted in Associations, Business News, Careers, Digital Products, Education, Events, National News By: | Print This Post Print This Post

11th May 2011

Word Of Mouth Madvocates Faster In Canada

colloquy loyalty oneThe research is in and the message from Canadian shoppers is clear – Hell hath no fury like a consumer scorned. According to the Colloquy Word of Mouth (WOM) study of 2,960 Canadian shoppers, bad news about bad brand experiences travels fast — even faster among Canadians than Americans, in fact. More than eight in ten (84 per cent) Canadian consumers say they advise family or friends about a bad experience with a product or service, compared with three quarters of American consumers who do the same.  Comparatively, just six in ten Canadian consumers say they recommend products or services to others.

“The best managed brands know exactly who their advocates are, and they’re usually found in the membership rolls of a loyalty program,” said Colloquy Managing Partner Kelly Hlavinka.  “But this study shows that advocates can just as easily become “madvocates” if their experience with a brand turns sour. Like a guard dog, these advocates are loyal until the owner gets careless, and then they bite.”

Advocates and Madvocates

According to Colloquy’s study, consumers can be broken into three categories or mind-sets:

  • Three in ten (31 per cent) are word of mouth super-Advocates, or “WOM Champions,” who intend to recommend their favourite brands.
  • Almost one quarter (24 per cent) are described by Colloquy as “Madvocates,” who are predisposed to engage in negative word of mouth practices after suffering a bad experience.
  • Fortunately, “Pure Madvocates” — consumers who say they will never be advocates and are oriented to negative word of mouth only – are a rare breed, making up just seven per cent of the general population.

The Loudest Voices

  • Canadian women are the most likely to be word of mouth champions (47 per cent); and twice as likely to advocate as “madvocate” (22 per cent).
  • Almost half (44 per cent) of all affluent consumers earning $125,000 are word of mouth Champions, but an almost equal portion (38 per cent) are Madvocates.

In 2011, word of mouth Champions made up 31 per cent of the Canadian general population. This group is especially important to the marketers looking to arm themselves against the large proportion of the Canadian population prone to sharing their negative experiences. Marketers trying to locate these brand Champions should look no further than their own loyalty database. WOM Champions make up a third of total reward members, and only account for 18 per cent of those not participating in any program. In essence, there are almost double the Champions within reward programs members then there are among non-member population.

“Loyalty marketers must accept the responsibility for the impact their programs can have on generating both positive and negative word of mouth,” said Hlavinka.  “The best defence against negative conversations about your brand is a good offence – engage and empower the Champions within your own rewards programs”

Colloquy’s study also focused on how Champions differed in their communications methods from less engaged consumers, as well as Madvocates, by examining loyalty programs members. The following trends emerged:

  • For both general members and Champions, there is a lot of staying power in “old school” methods — with face-to-face communications, phone calls and email topping the list of communication methods used by reward program members.
  • However, the study also showed that Champions are much more engaged than regular consumers when it comes to “new school” methods, which include social networking communities, mobile messaging, and product review sites. Overall, Champions are 50-100 per cent more engaged across these platforms than other non-Champion members, making their involvement in a word-of-mouth campaign essential to its success.

“Marketers need to know that Madvocates are just as connected across multiple communication platforms as Champions,” said Hlavinka. “Madvocacy is an attitude possessed even by a proportion of a brand’s best customers. So, while you have a highly connected group of Champions engaged in word-of-mouth, you also have those ready, willing and able to discuss negative experiences within your program.”

Advice for Marketers

  1. Find the word of mouth Champions and treat them well. Your Champions are also your potential Madvocates.
  2. Don’t abandon traditional communications. While social media platforms are popular, email and good old phone calls and conversations top the list for brand discussions.
  3. Concentrate on delivering on your brand promise. Please customers with excellent products and a rewarding experience and they’ll talk about you – in their channel of choice.
  4. Don’t discard the Madvocates. They have the energy and inclination to tell positive stories if treated right.
  5. Build community forums. Build a single, authoritative go-to place where customers can talk about your brand.

Colloquy is a provider of loyalty marketing publishing, education and research and is owned by Toronto-based LoyaltyOne.  Colloquy’s WOM survey, featuring completed responses from 2,960 Canadian consumers nationwide, was conducted in December 2010.  A white paper presenting the complete results of the study, as well as additional tips, is available online free of charge.  Colloquy previously published a 2009 study titled The New Champion Customers: Measuring Word-of-Mouth Activity Among Reward Program Members.

Currently 0 Comments - Share Your Thoughts

posted in Business News, National News, Research Studies By: | Print This Post Print This Post

11th May 2011

CFIB Says Entrepreneurs Have No Regrets

Reminder: Today is the final day for submissions to apply for the Shaw Rocket Fund Digital Progam.

cfibA new survey from the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) of 8,900 businesses shows that, if given the opportunity to start over, the vast majority (83 per cent) of entrepreneurs would choose the same career path.

It should come as no surprise then that 78 per cent of business owners would recommend small business ownership as a career option for young people. Unfortunately, business owners’ comments all point to the same common denominator: Schools are not promoting entrepreneurship as a career option. “Schools are set up for kids to start a career, not start a business,” said one member from Alberta.

And, according to CFIB research, the education system hasn’t fully embraced entrepreneurship as a viable career option for young people, with 56 per cent of business owners indicating that they did not feel as though there was enough of an emphasis on starting a business as a career option in schools today. “Given the many opportunities and rewards that entrepreneurship has to offer, it is only natural that business owners would recommend it as a career option and believe that schools should do more to encourage it,” reasoned CFIB’s vice-president of research, Doug Bruce.

CFIB Sr. VP of Research, Economics and Western Canada, Laura Jones, was also quick to point out that 92 per cent of business owners indicate running a business is a rewarding career. “Entrepreneurs are happy to go to work every day because they have the freedom to be their own bosses and tailor their line of work toward their own strengths and interests,” she explained. Adding, “If entrepreneurial skills and aptitudes were sufficiently encouraged in the education system,  the next generation of business owners will be in  for a great career which not only permits them to build on their talent and expertise, but also fulfill them personally and professionally as well.”

Entrepreneurs have no regrets is the second in a series of short reports on entrepreneurship. The first report is titled “The Secrets of Entrepreneurial Success” and the series commemorates CFIB’s 40th anniversary and celebrates 2011 as the federally designated Year of the Entrepreneur.

Currently 0 Comments - Share Your Thoughts

posted in Associations, Business News, Careers, Education, National News, Research Studies By: | Print This Post Print This Post

11th May 2011

New Data Centre Coming to Calgary

blackboardWashington, DC company Blackboard Inc. has announced plans to open a new data centre in Canada this summer, responding to growing interest from Canadian institutions for an in-region facility to host and manage their learning environments. The new data centre will be located in Calgary and will be the company’s seventh production facility. It joins Blackboard’s existing hosting facilities in the United States, the Netherlands and Australia.

Blackboard Managed Hosting currently supports about 8.5 million active users and approximately 950 education, corporate and government clients worldwide. Overall, the number of clients hosted by Blackboard has grown by over 20 percent in the last two years.

As the management of learning environments becomes more complex and the need for more reliable uptime becomes more important, institutions have increasingly leveraged Blackboard’s hosting capabilities. In doing so, they’re achieving greater uptime and a partner with the technical expertise to manage installations, upgrades, and day-to-day system maintenance, enabling their institutional IT staff to spend more time working to improve overall systems to better support learning programs.

“Opening a data centre in Canada underscores our commitment to providing the best mix of technology and services to institutions in Canada,” said Harry Choi, vice president of Blackboard Managed Hosting. “We’ve seen that clients who rely on our deep experience and technical expertise spend less time worrying about system management and can devote more of their attention to improving and growing programs, so we’re excited to present a stronger set of capabilities to Canadian institutions.”

Currently 0 Comments - Share Your Thoughts

posted in Business News, National News By: | Print This Post Print This Post

11th May 2011

BDC Launches Marketing Strategies Program For Okanagan Companies

bdcThe Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) is launching a unique program in June to help Okanagan companies develop solid marketing strategies. The BDC’s Marketing Booster Program is an affordable, results-oriented program designed specifically for growing businesses with limited marketing resources that will be offered at BDC’s Kelowna office beginning on June 15.

BDC chose the Okanagan to deliver the Marketing Booster Program because of the large number of entrepreneurs and growth-oriented businesses in the region. “A business will initially grow using an ad hoc marketing approach. But eventually, it will need a structured marketing strategy to gain market share, access new markets and ensure long term profitability,” says Luanne Chore, BDC Consulting Partner for the Okanagan. “A solid marketing function is vital to any organization, especially when businesses must confront such challenges as economic uncertainty, intense global competition and rapidly changing technology.”

The 12-week Marketing Booster Program combines small group sessions with extensive one-on-one coaching. It begins with three, half-day group sessions held at weekly intervals during which a BDC marketing consultant leads training and discussions on nine key areas:

  • Customer Relationship Management
  • Competition
  • Positioning
  • Creating a Marketing Action Plan
  • Managing Products and Services
  • Managing Communications
  • E-Business
  • Managing Distribution
  • Managing Your Sales Team.

By the end of the nine workshops, participants will have practical tools to grow their businesses, including customer satisfaction surveys, value propositions and action plan templates. BDC’s marketing consultant will then provide one-on-one coaching and guidance to help each company develop and implement a marketing strategy.

Enrolment in the Marketing Booster Program is limited to 10 businesses. Participants are expected to be either the business owner or the individual responsible for marketing.

The group format is cost-effective and allows participants to share experiences and brainstorm with like-minded entrepreneurs. “The principles of marketing are the same for all industry sectors,” says Chore. “Group synergy is one of the most effective aspects of the Marketing Booster Program.”

For more information or to register please contact Luanne Chore, BDC Consulting Partner, at (250) 470-4804.

Currently 0 Comments - Share Your Thoughts

posted in Business News, Careers, Education, National News By: | Print This Post Print This Post

11th May 2011

Priceless Collection Unveiled at Nisga’a Museum

nisga'a museumHli Goothl Wilp-Adokshl Nisga’a, the Nisga’a Museum, opens today in a dedication ceremony for Nisga’a people, dignitaries, and special guests. Opening on the 11th anniversary of the Nisga’a Final Agreement, the museum is the permanent home of the Ancestors’ Collection—over 300 Nisga’a artifacts that have been repatriated through British Columbia’s first modern treaty. Hli Goothl Wilp-Adokshl Nisga’a is located in Laxgalts’ap, which is approximately 140km northwest from Terrace, BC.

“Our scattered legacy has come home,” explains Mitchell Stevens, president of Nisga’a Lisims Government. “These treasures connect us directly to this place and yet tell stories with universal themes. I invite everyone to come up and have a look for themselves. You will be moved by the power and spirit encountered here.”

Hli Goothl Wilp-Adokshl Nisga’a means “The Heart of Nisga’a House Crests,” a name that celebrates the importance of Nisga’a tribes and tribal crests in Nisga’a society. With a design inspired by traditional Nisga’a longhouses, feast dishes, and canoes, the 10,000 sq. ft. facility contains exquisitely carved masks, nisga'a museumbentwood boxes, headdresses, and soul catchers acquired from the Nass Valley during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. At that time of radical change, many Nisga’a possessions were destroyed; others were acquired by outsiders and eventually sold to museums. Now, for the first time, these Nisga’a treasures are displayed together in their place of origin.

“The development of the world-renowned art style that typifies the First Nations of the north coast of British Columbia and Southeast Alaska had its origins at the mouth of the Nass River,” explains George MacDonald, Director Emeritus, Canadian Museum of Civilization. “The Nisga’a Museum houses one of the finest collections of Northwest Coast aboriginal art in existence. It will attract international attention and redraw the map of cultural tourism in British Columbia.”

Hli Goothl Wilp-Adokshl Nisga’a continues to evolve. Future exhibits will take visitors from the Ancestors’ Collection to the recent struggles for Nisga’a territory and self-government, to modern Nisga’a life on the land, river, and sea. The museum will be open to the public on an interim basis to the end of June. During July and August, opening hours will be 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week. Group tours can be arranged in advance.

“This is a proud day,” declares President Stevens. “Our ancestors’ treasures are back where they belong, housed in a place of honour. Hli Goothl Wilp-Adokshl Nisga’a is our gift to each other, our fellow Canadians, and all humanity.”

Currently 0 Comments - Share Your Thoughts

posted in Education, National News By: | Print This Post Print This Post

11th May 2011

Capital One Canada Donates 20K to Vancouver Fringe Fest

capital one canadaCapital One Canada and CanadaHelps are pleased to announce that Lianna Walden is the $20,000 grand prize winner of the 2011 Charity Fraud Awareness Quiz.  Courtesy of Capital One, Lianna is donating her winnings to the Vancouver Fringe Festival. The Charity Fraud Awareness Quiz was part of an awareness initiative to educate the public about charity fraud during Fraud Prevention Month. canada helps

When asked why Walden chose the Fringe, she responded, “The Fringe Festival has played a major role in nurturing Canadian theatre, culture, freedom of expression and the expansion of creativity. The Fringe Festival continues to offer a place for artists (of any means or age) to exhibit unjuried work and a place for the public to view it. Running from the east to west coast of Canada, The Fringe Festival is one of the most unique exhibitions of artistry in any country.”

The Vancouver International Fringe Festival, produced annually by the First Vancouver Theatrespace Society, is BC’s largest theatre festival and connects emerging and established theatre artists with audiences. This year’s Fringe Festival will feature over 700 performances by more than 90 groups over 11 days, and is expected to attract over 30,000 attendees. The Vancouver Fringe Festival was voted Vancouver’s Best Arts Festival for five years in a row by Georgia Straight readers.

“Although most of the people we encouraged to participate in the Charity Fraud Awareness Quiz were motivated by trying to help us win, I think everybody learned something new. I know I did,” explained David Jordan, the Fringe’s Executive Director. “Because we are so dedicated to helping emerging artists, we are usually focused on the nuts and bolts of festival preparation. As a small organization with a small staff that puts on a very big festival, it is very helpful to be a part of a larger not for profit community that can draw our awareness to essential aspects of our business like fraud prevention. Fraud in the charitable sector hurts the communities we are meant to serve.”

For the month of March, Capital One and CanadaHelps launched an on-line Charity Fraud Awareness Quiz to inform Canadians about the risk of charity fraud and how to prevent it. Every participant that completed the quiz was eligible to enter a draw to win a $20,000 grand prize donation, or one of $1,000 weekly donations from Capital One. The prize money is then given to the winner’s charity of choice. The Charity Fraud Awareness Quiz closed on March 31, 2011.

To protect yourself from becoming a victim of charity fraud, Capital One and CanadaHelps offer the following tips:

  • Make sure the charity is registered with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and provides you with their charitable registration number. CanadaHelps.org only lists charities registered with the CRA.
  • Ask to see a charity’s financial statements. These should be readily available to anyone who asks and give you a sense of how the charity spends their money.
  • Understand the impact the charity has and what difference they make in the community. Charities should be able to give you clear outcomes of the programs or services they provide.
  • Research the causes you want to support and how much of your budget you want to donate to charity. You will feel less pressured to give when solicited if you have already planned your giving.
  • Avoid any charity that pressures you into making a donation or isn’t open to sharing more information about their organization.
Currently 0 Comments - Share Your Thoughts

posted in Business News, Contests, National News By: | Print This Post Print This Post

11th May 2011

Softworx and Black Duck Announce Partnership

softworxUS-based Black Duck Software has partnered with Toronto-based Softworx Technology Group in order to expand the delivery of its software and services in Canada.

Softworx is a provider of ALM development tools and platforms designed to increase developer productivity, provides products and services that speed collaborative development in multi-source development environments. Under terms of the agreement, Softworx will offer products and services for open source governance and management with the Black Duck® Suite.

“The strategic use of open source software is fast becoming a measure of development competency,” said Phil Odence, vice president of business development, Black Duck. “We are pleased to add Softworx, a leader in delivering ALM products and services, as a partner as we expand our offerings to Softworx customers in Canada.”

Black Duck recently announced the availability of the Black Duck Suite 6, the company’s enterprise-class management and governance platform, which enables enterprises to realize the compelling benefits of free and open source software (FOSS) use in development. The Black Duck Suite 6 mitigates the challenges and complexity associated with enterprise-scale multi-source development via “learned” code matching and automated identification of FOSS, among many other features.

Currently 0 Comments - Share Your Thoughts

posted in Business News, National News, Software By: | Print This Post Print This Post

11th May 2011

Rock Hippo Announces Brawl Busters

rock hippo productionsRock Hippo Productions Ltd. has announced its upcoming online multiplayer action game, Brawl Busters.
Co-published with Weezor and developed by Korean studio SkeinGlobe, Brawl Busters (formerly known as Project Plan B), is a fast-paced, free-to-play third-person action game that promises competitive fun at its funkiest.  Players can take a sneak peek at the game and register for a spot in the exclusive upcoming closed beta on the game’s web site.

Brawl Busters is a dynamic new action brawler that features competitive and co-operative battle modes all in a unique third person view.  With its simple and intuitive controls, this easy to pick up and play game makes team strategy a must as player’s battle against each other or team up against computer controlled enemies.

You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video

“Brawl Busters is packed with non-stop action and features an offbeat style that is like no other game on the market today,” said Howard He, President and CEO of Rock Hippo Productions.  “The game is truly unique in both its distinct look and its innovative gameplay, and it has been building an excited and loyal group of followers who can’t wait to get their hands on the game. We couldn’t be more thrilled to work with both Weezor and SkeinGlobe as we head towards the game’s launch.”

Players will find five unique character classes including the Slugger, the Firefighter, the Rocker, the Boxer and finally, the Blitzer.  With its signature funky visual style, the game will offer seven exciting maps and will also feature a huge variety of customization options including body type, gender, weapons, costumes and accessories along with the ability to upgrade weapons and costumes with new abilities. Brawl Busters will feature an intense Training Mode, Challenge Missions, leader boards and persistent stat tracking.

“Brawl Busters was developed for a Western audience from its very inception and with Rock Hippo’s well established publishing background in North America and Europe, we expect yet another great success story,” said Seul Ki Lee, CEO of SkeinGlobe. “SkeinGlobe’s mission is to deliver the absolute best online gaming experience to players across the globe. We’d like to thank all the patient fans of project ‘Plan B’ as we take the game to its next phase with the upcoming release of Brawl Busters.  We will work very closely with Rock Hippo to let players experience our vision for this game as soon as possible.”

Currently 0 Comments - Share Your Thoughts

posted in Action Adventure, National News, Rating Pending, Upcoming Releases By: | Print This Post Print This Post

  • Archives

  • Subscribe to our Newsletter

  • Select a list:

  • GWEN Radio
  • Gamers Giving Back