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18th May 2011

Schedulicity Announces Successful Expansion Into Canada

schedulicityMontana-based Schedulicity has successfully expanded its services into Canada, becoming available in more than 1,900 cities across North America and marking the company’s first expansion outside the U.S. The company was able to gain footing in all 10 provinces within one week of its January 2011 launch. Schedulicity has gained traction in all 10 provinces and 2 out of 3 territories, with the largest presence in Ontario followed by Alberta and British Columbia.

“Schedulicity has created a pent-up demand with both consumer and service providers in countries beyond the US, including Canada” said Jerry Nettuno, CEO of Schedulicity. “We are looking to capitalize Peppermint Spa in Manotick, Ontario Integrates Schedulicity's appointment booking widget to see 15% increased revenues. (Photo: Business Wire)on the incredible momentum we’ve seen in the U.S. and are already experiencing paralleled success in Canada.”

Schedulicity is a real-time, online appointment calendar that streamlines the scheduling process between service-based businesses and their clientele. It allows these businesses to make their schedules/services available to current and potential clients through multiple digital channels such as websites, Facebook, Twitter, and the schedulicity.com portal.

Small business owners across the country have already begun to see the benefits of streamlining the appointment-booking process with Schedulicity. Charmaine Cianciullo of Peppermint Spa in Manotick, Ontario, began using the service shortly after the launch and has already seen a 15 percent increase in revenue since using Schedulicity.

“Schedulicity has given me more time to focus running my business, instead of answering emails and phone calls,” said Cianciullo. “My clients now have the ability to book and manage appointments at a time that is convenient for them, day or night.” More than one third of appointments at Peppermint Spa are booked after hours on Schedulicity. Cianciullo uses Schedulicity’s email marketing capabilities to inform clients about new promotions, tips and DIY beauty recipes.

The news of this expansion comes on the heels of the launch of Schedulicity’s class scheduling module, which provides service professionals with an efficient and powerful way to quickly add classes and workshops to enhance their growing businesses. Schedulicity has also begun addressing the option of expanding into other international markets.

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18th May 2011

AOL Canada Ignites Launch Sequence

AOL CanadaAOL Canada has announced the launch of its next generation homepage, AOL.ca. The new homepage features original, premium content with more emphasis on relevant, Canadian news and more of the video format Canadians love. The new site will feature breaking news, entertainment updates and relevant articles and stories in a new sleek design while providing advertisers with prominent ad opportunities, including AOL’s new innovative advertising format, IAB Portrait (formerly known as Project Devil).

“The new AOL.ca delivers on our promise to inform, entertain and connect with Canadians,” says Brad Cressman, head of content, AOL Canada. “The new site is aligned with our strategy of creating a ‘wow’ experience at scale by marrying our high quality content with an improved design to increase discoverability.”

With the addition of the Huffington Post, AOL premium properties reach 9.8 million Canadians monthly and have the highest concentration of HHI of $100k+ among the Top 5 Portal Sites in Canada. (Source: comScore Inc. Total Canada. All Locations. March 2011)

Media Experts is the first to take advantage of the AOL.ca homepage with their client, BMW Canada. The campaign features the new X1, and will engage and excite consumers using the IAB Portrait ad format.

“While many other homepages offer standard big box and leaderboard placements, AOL.ca provides new ad opportunities, including Project Devil,” says Karel Wegert, Director, Digital Solutions, Media Experts. “From a media perspective, we were able to better communicate our customer’s messages to an unduplicated audience while efficiently reaching the target audience for the BMW X1 launch.” Read the rest of this entry »

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18th May 2011

AdminJobs Gets A New Look

adminjobs.caJob board Adminjobs.ca has just gotten a whole new look with a totally revisited graphic interface. For six years, this bilingual site has featured administrative support and clerical jobs throughout Canada. It has some 100 job ads, for functions including office clerks, administrative assistants, receptionists, secretaries, and telephone operators.

Playful and colourful, the new version of the site uses office job symbols (e.g. Post-its, paper clips and thumbtacks). The posting of job ads has been clarified and the search engine optimized to enter criteria in just a few clicks.

Adminjobs.ca has also joined the Web 2.0 era with the option to follow job ads via Twitter or RSS feed. In addition, the creation of a mobile version of the site allows users to consult and transfer job ads from any kind of handheld device, including IPhones, BlackBerries, iPads and Android phones.

Manuel Francisci, jobWings Careers President and founder of Adminjobs.ca, explains: “We wanted to offercandidates and recruiters the most relevant new technological tools to facilitate their job search and applications. We think that these new functionalities will make browsing more enjoyable and effective.”

Adminjobs.ca includes job search tips for candidates in the administrative support and clerical field. Job descriptions, résumé and cover letter templates, useful links, articles on the future of the profession, training opportunities and more—check out the site for all the resources available to you in this sector.

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18th May 2011

Corel Launches New Template Trading Site for VideoStudio Pro X4

corelCorel® has launched PhotoVideoLife.com, a new web community where Corel® VideoStudio® Pro X4 users can share and trade video templates and content. An extension of the Corel Guide included in VideoStudio Pro X4, PhotoVideoLife.com provides users with extra tips, tricks and tutorials as well as product updates, news and commentary. PhotoVideoLife’s ongoing goal is to make the movie-making process faster, easier and more fun for X4 users.

“VideoStudio fans love movie templates, and why not? They make any video project faster, easier and more enjoyable,” said Greg Wood, Senior Product Marketing Manager for VideoStudio. “These templates, combined with X4’s effects, ease-of-use and speed will help make the creation process even smoother. When you start with a good looking template and a bit of know-how, it’s easy to create a funny video for a friend, a recap of a family weekend, or a video blog, in just a few minutes. Making video editing easier and more fun is exactly why we created PhotoVideoLife for our users.”

New movie template trading site PhotoVideoLife.com enables users to:

  • Browse and select templates to quickly build your video production
  • Provide an exciting new look to an existing video production
  • Upload your own video creations to share with other users
  • Read the PhotoVideoLife blog to help get the most out of VideoStudio Pro X4
  • Participate in the PhotoVideoLife blog by leaving comments and helpful advice for other VideoStudio Pro X4 users
  • Link to Corel support options and learning resources

Launched in February 2011, VideoStudio Pro X4 is the newest version of Corel’s consumer video editing software. It pushes the performance envelope by delivering increased speed and usability as well as cool creative tools like Stop Motion, Timelapse and drag and drop templates.

“We believe that VideoStudio Pro X4 is a big step forward in making video editing easier and more fun, regardless of your experience,” explained Wood. “The VideoStudio team wants to help our users reach their creative potential by giving them powerful tools that are simple and fun to use, plus the knowledge to apply them with confidence.”

Download a free, fully-functional trial version.

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18th May 2011

Free Wi-Fi With Your Fries

McDonalds Restaurants Canada WiFiToday, more than 1,000 McDonald’s Restaurants across Canada will flick the switch on free and unlimited Wi-Fi, as part of the company’s commitment to placing the customer experience at the core of its business. Whether using a smartphone, laptop or tablet, customers can catch up on emails, browse the Web and stay connected while enjoying their favourite McDonald’s food and beverages.

“Providing value and convenience is what we’re all about and we’re thrilled to add free Wi-Fi as we look to continually enhance our customers’ restaurant experience,” said Joel Yashinsky, Vice-President of Marketing for McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada Limited. “With the summer season and busy traveling months around the corner, free Internet connectivity, along with quality food and great value, will help make our restaurants convenient and family-friendly destinations for people on-the-go.”

By month’s end, more than 90 per cent of the company’s 1,400 plus locations nationally will be enabled with the new service, making McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada one of the country’s largest providers of free Wi-Fi.

McDonald’s Canada is pleased to offer free Wi-Fi together with Bell and to rely on their expertise as Canada’s largest retail hotspot provider.

“Expanding Bell’s already-leading Wi-Fi network into more than 1,000 McDonald’s restaurants demonstrates our ability to successfully meet the large-scale requirements of our enterprise customers,” said Almis Ledas, Vice President of Corporate Development at Bell Mobility. “This partnership between Bell and McDonalds means Canada’s best network just got better.”

No purchase is required to use the service. For added convenience, the new and unlimited Wi-Fi service features a one-click entry point that doesn’t require a username or password.

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18th May 2011

Lost Girl Picked Up By Syfy

Prodigy PicturesSyfy has acquired both seasons (26 episodes) of the hit Canadian supernatural drama Lost Girl from Prodigy Pictures, it was announced today by Thomas Vitale, Executive Vice President, Programming and Original Movies for Syfy.

Lost Girl stars supernatural seductress Bo (played by Anna Silk/The Ghost Whisperer), a Succubus (a powerful female entity in folklore) who feeds off sexual energy. Raised by human parents, Bo had no reason to believe she was anything other than the girl next door — until she “drained” her first boyfriend to death.

Bo has since hit the road alone and afraid. She discovers she is one of the Fae, creatures of legend and folklore, who pass as humans while feeding off them in secret, as they have for millennia. She is faced with choosing an allegiance between the Dark or Light Fae clans. Bo decides to take the middle path between humans and the Fae while embarking on a personal mission to unlock the secrets of her origin, protecting humans along the way.

Lost Girl co-stars Kris Holden-Ried as Dyson, a shape-shifting Fae, homicide detective and Bo’s love interest; Ksenia Solo as Kenzi, Bo’s human confidante and street-smart survivor, Zoie Palmer as Lauren, a human doctor who competes for Bo’s heart; Rick Howland as Trick, the mysterious owner and bartender at The Dal Riata tavern, with a secretive past that is yet to be unlocked, and K.C. Collins as Hale, a handsome male “Siren” who is the eternal bachelor, ultimate wingman and Dyson’s partner on the force.

Notable guest stars include Emmanuelle Vaugier as “The Morrigan”, the leader of the Dark Fae.

Said Vitale: “In one year, Lost Girl has electrified viewers in Canada and around the world. We’re delighted to bring this fascinating, high-octane series, which depicts a unique world and memorable heroine, to the Syfy audience.”

“We’re thrilled to have Syfy on board as our broadcast partner in the U.S. Lost Girl is a unique series that thrusts a strong, independent female lead into uncompromising circumstances. It’s a series that takes risks with unconventional storylines and provocative character development,” said Jay Firestone, Executive Producer.

This series is developed and produced by Prodigy Pictures, in association with Shaw Media and Showcase. This acquisition agreement was brokered by Tim Mudd of Mudd Media.

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18th May 2011

Second Annual Grow Conference Announced

Grow 2011GROW is a unique three-day conference held in Vancouver that brings together the top minds in business, entrepreneurship, technology and startup investment to inspire and engage the next generation of disruptive entrepreneurs. This annual conference is the place for Canada and Silicon Valley’s leading entrepreneurs to brainstorm, innovate, and connect, giving them an opportunity to strengthen their networks, companies and broadening their scope of possibilities.

GROW Conference 2011 will be held on August 17th through 19th, and this year, there are lots of ways to get involved in GROW. Apply for the private networking afternoon in Day 1, enter the Launch@GROW contest to pitch your startup to Silicon Valley VCs, purchase a ticket to attend Day 2, and finally, explore a new outdoor adventure while networking with industry leaders.

GROW 2011 will showcase the Silicon Valley elite, Canadian success stories, and world-class innovators who are turning industries on their heads and engaging consumers in new ways – both online and in the real world. Featured speakers include:

Munjal Shah, General Manager for Google Boutiques
Matt Galligan, Co-Founder and CSO for SimpleGeo
Garrett Camp, CEO of StumbleUpon
Jeff Lawson, CEO of Twilio
Mike Ghaffary, Director of Business Development for Yelp

DAY 1: ENGAGE: This invite-only program brings together promising Canadian entrepreneurs with leading Silicon Valley founders, influencers and investors to meet, discuss, debate, and glean information to understand how to innovate in a web-fueled world. Apply now!

LAUNCH @ GROW: The official opening night party AND startup competition! Startups will get the chance to produce short two-minute videos presenting their startup and then voting will begin. Winning startups will get the chance to be showcased at the Launch Party opening night reception and possibly demo on stage at GROW! Nominate your startup before June 15!

DAY 2: INSPIRE: GROW 2011 Conference will provide inspiration for turning today’s entrepreneurs into tomorrow’s leaders. Speakers include founders of fast-growing companies, leading investors and influencers who will share lessons learned.

DAY 3: CHALLENGE: This is an open day for attendees to experience the best of outdoor adventure in Vancouver. Local insiders will take you kite-boarding, hiking, cycling/mountain bike riding and kayaking.

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18th May 2011

Shaw Announces 200 Million Dollar Preferred Share Bought Deal Financing

Shaw CableShaw Communications Inc. (TSX:SJR.B)(NYSE:SJR) has agreed to issue, on a bought deal basis, to a syndicate of underwriters led by TD Securities Inc. and CIBC World Markets Inc. for distribution to the public, 8,000,000 Cumulative Redeemable Rate Reset Preferred Shares, Series A (the “Series A Shares”). The Series A Shares will be issued at a price of $25.00 per Series A Share, for aggregate gross proceeds of $200 million. Holders of the Series A Shares will be entitled to receive a cumulative quarterly fixed dividend yielding 4.50% annually for the initial period ending June 30, 2016. Thereafter, the dividend rate will be reset every five years at a rate equal to the then current 5-year Government of Canada bond yield plus 2.00%.

Holders of Series A Shares will have the right, at their option, to convert their shares into Cumulative Redeemable Floating Rate Preferred Shares, Series B (the “Series B Shares”), subject to certain conditions, on June 30, 2016 and on June 30 every five years thereafter. Holders of the Series B Shares will be entitled to receive cumulative quarterly dividends at a rate set quarterly equal to the then current three-month Government of Canada Treasury Bill yield plus 2.00%. Read the rest of this entry »

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18th May 2011

Steve Nash Joins Ortsbo As Sports Spokesman

ortsboIntertainment Media Inc. has announced that its social media, real time, language translation platform Ortsbo has entered into an agreement with two-time NBA MVP Steve Nash to become an official spokesperson for Ortsbo. Leading Ortsbo’s global sports fan program, Nash will present and participate in a number of online fan chats with international athletes from a number of sports disciplines. Business partners Gene Simmons and Richard Abramson were instrumental in the introduction and facilitation of the business agreement with Nash’s representatives, BDA Sports Management.

Ortsbo will seek to engage Nash’s considerable influence and social media presence to help spread the word about Ortsbo’s unique, translator experience platform that integrates seamlessly with the most popular social media platforms to enable users from around the world to instantly send and receive messages in their native language.

“With the growth of social media and the increased access to technology, the world has become more inclusive. Language is one of the last remaining obstacles to uniting our different cultures and perspectives and Ortsbo bridges that divide, bringing us all closer together,” said Nash. “I am excited to be associated with Intertainment and with Ortsbo.”

In addition to Steve Nash, Ortsbo has announced a business partnership and spokesperson agreement with rock legend and global entrepreneur, Gene Simmons. Ortsbo, together with KISS co-founders Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley, will be hosting the world’s first interactive global fan chat in 53 languages – KISS Live & Global on May 20, 2011 at 7:30 am Pacific.

The Ortsbo platform eliminates the need to cut/copy and paste text into a translator by automatically translating typed text into the specified language instantly, unlike typical translation software. Users simply indicate the desired language for their intended recipient and Ortsbo does the rest. Ortsbo even lets users conduct multiple chat sessions simultaneously across multiple social networks in multiple languages in real time.

Free for consumers to use, Ortsbo.com is ideal for both personal/social communications, allowing users to chat with friends and family around the world or around the neighborhood, and for business communications. Global colleagues can use Ortsbo to collaborate and chat about projects in their native language for faster and more efficient communication that reduces the risk of misunderstanding due to translation errors.

“We are very excited to have the opportunity to work with Steve Nash. Steve opens Ortsbo to the global sports arena where the challenge of fans and athletes speaking different languages can pose a significant obstacle in achieving global connectivity and consciousness,” said David Lucatch, President of Ortsbo Inc. and Intertainment CEO. “Ortsbo’s quick and easy automatic translation helps both consumers and businesses eliminate these barriers allowing people to interact and communicate freely regardless of the language they speak.”

Ortsbo is in the process of releasing its first beta application for mobile phones – Ortsbo for iPhone. Other Ortsbo mobile phones and portable computing apps, including apps for Android, Apple, Windows Phone, BlackBerry and tablet computers are scheduled to begin launching Summer 2011.

For businesses, Ortsbo provides multi-lingual global communications solutions via RSS, API solutions, private chat networks and custom services allowing organizations to provide seamless communications with their constituents.

Ortsbo will be launching its instant email translation plug-in Ortsbo for Outlook or “O4O” for the world’s largest email platform, Microsoft Outlook. Ortsbo will initially make up to 10 Million copies of O4O available on a global basis to consumers and businesses on an introductory basis from mid June through mid September 2011.

Participants and viewers of KISS Live & Global on May 20th will get a sneak peek at the O4O software and user bonus program, Ortsbo Cruise Into Translation that will feature a host of exclusive prizes including major VIP packages. Pricing packages for Ortsbo for Outlook (O4O) will be announced at the event.

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18th May 2011

New DIY Records Management Series From TRAC Records

Trac RecordsTRAC Records, Inc., a records management consulting firm based in New Westminster, has launched its DIY Records Management Series with the release of two new books. The books will focus on two important aspects of records management: records retention and file classification. Both titles, “DIY Records Retention & Disposition Schedule Workbook” and “DIY Functional File Classification System Workbook” are now available for purchase on the company’s web site, and for a limited time, TRAC Records will also provide one free hour of phone support with the purchase of the books.

Vice President Patricia Beelby said that the series was designed for organizations that have pressing records management needs but cannot afford to hire consultants.

“Much of the work in developing file plans and records retention schedules is labour intensive. We were frustrated that we couldn’t help organizations who didn’t have the consulting funds. This approach is for them,” she said.DIY Trac Records

The series will serve as a step-by-step guide to managing records in an efficient, cost-effective manner, and will explain the many legal requirements on how long to keep records. Many organizations often misunderstand these regulations and don’t have a proper retention strategy in place. In August 2010, a Symantec Corp study found that “Most enterprises (87%) believe a proper information retention strategy should allow them to delete unnecessary information. However, less than half (46%) actually have a formal information retention plan in place.”

Barrister and solicitor Gale Prestash said that TRAC Records’ new series will help organizations make better use of their legal budgets, regardless of their jurisdiction.

“They can do more for themselves in designing systems that comply with ongoing legal records requirements, and reduce their costs in the event of litigation,” Prestash said.

Marcel Roy, TRAC Records’ president, said that these books are the first in the field to use mind maps.

“In my forty years of records management experience, I’ve always struggled with getting clients to understand file plans and retention schedules,” he said. “Once I started using of mind maps, they completely understood what I was doing.”

Roy and Beelby will be presenting on mind mapping in records management at the Association of Records Managers and Administrators (ARMA) Canada conference June 6, 2011 in Charlottetown, PEI.

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