25th May 2011

D-Box Signs With Maya Cinemas

Sign up now to pitch your launch at Launch Party 11, being hosted at the Grow Conference 2011 in Vancouver. Launch @ Grow will be held on August 17th and organizers are looking for 15 of the hottest Canadian tech startups – but wait, that’s not all! Four of those 15 startups will pitch live on stage during Day 2 of Grow.

Digifest 2011 wants you to participate in First Person Show – a meet & greet show & tell for the video game and animation communities in Toronto and Ontario. Hosted at Gaming Inc., the new George Brown video game incubator and game development classrooms, the First Person Show will be held as part of Digifest 2011 during the day on both Saturday October 29th and Sunday October 30th. Apply now to participate.

3Vis is holding a presentation night on May 31st at the Caprice Club in Vancouver. Make Your Ideas A Reality will feature sessions by Louis Marcoux, Lee Fraser and Mark Schoennagel. In addition to these informative sessions, there will be networking opportunities and some great prize give-aways.

D-BoxD-BOX Technologies Inc. has signed its first agreement with Maya Cinemas to equip its Bakersfield and Salinas locations in California with 24 and 30 D-BOX MFX Seats respectively. D-BOX Motion Effects create a completely immersive experience with subtle, refined motion sensations that pitch, roll and heave theatre seats in perfect sync with the onscreen action.

“New partnerships like these coupled with an incredible lineup of new movie content continue to drive our growth forward, allowing us to continue to expand our presence in U.S. markets and abroad,” said President and CEO of D-BOX Technologies, Claude Mc Master.

“At Maya Cinemas we strive to create a highly entertaining experience with the most advanced technologies and exceptional services,” said President of Maya Cinemas, Frank Haffar. “D-BOX is a natural fit for our theatres and provides our customers a new way to experience the movies.”

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25th May 2011

iQuakeMini Coming To The App Store

orion microsystemsORION Microsystems will be releasing iQuakeMini for iPad, iPhone and iPod this May 28th on the iTunes App Store worldwide. iQuakeMini is an app that displays graphically the latest earthquakes using heatmaps and allows you to receive earthquake notifications on your iPhone, iPad or wifi connected iPod when an earthquake occurs in one of the three user selected areas.

Quakes are represented by multicolored spots and areas on different types of Maps, with basic information provided directly on the maps. More indepth details are available on a List of recent earthquakes, with links to
Internet sources such as USGS. A unique feature in iQuakeMini is the option to create up to three “watch” areas on the globe, with the app then sending alarm notifications to your iDevice when an earthquake occurs in your watched areas. Day and Night settings also allow filtering of information during night hours if needed.

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Users can post maps and snapshots of the screen to Twitter, Facebook, emailed or saved in the Photo Album. The Info is linked to an internet-based “Breaking News” page which is updated in real time when major events occur.

iQuakeMini device requirements:

* iPhone, iPad (3G or WiFi) 4.2 or later
* iPod (WiFi) 4.2 or later

iQuakeMini will be priced at $2.99 (USD) and will be available worldwide through the App Store, with a $1.99 special intro price from May 28 to June 5. iQuakeLite, a free iPad version of the app is available now.

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25th May 2011

Digital Citizenship Is The Theme For Media Awareness Week 2011

Media Awareness Network MNETMedia Awareness Network (MNet) and the Canadian Teachers’ Federation (CTF) today unveiled the theme for this year’s annual Media Literacy WeekDigital Citizenship – calling on Canadians to encourage young people to reflect on their online lives, and their rights and responsibilities as they navigate the digital world. Canadian Teachers Federation CTF

“Through digital media, young people have a platform for communication and engagement that was nonexistent a generation ago. Adults have a huge role to play in ensuring they also have the critical thinking skills to use this technology wisely and responsibly,” said Cathy Wing, MNet’s Co-Executive Director. “With this year’s theme, we want to encourage youth to use digital media for positive activities – for advocacy, creative expression and civic engagement.”

For her part, CTF President Mary-Lou Donnelly explains how teachers play a pivotal role to help their students become active and responsible citizens in a global and increasingly complex world. “Technology has opened doors on issues related to the environment, civic engagement and social justice. Teachers’ fundamental role will continue to be in helping students develop lifelong skills such as critical thinking, problem-solving, information literacy, global awareness and multiple knowledges.”

This year, the week will take place Nov. 7-11, 2011, and events are already being organized in homes, classrooms and communities across the country. The list of collaborators include Manitoba Education, the Canadian Library Association, the London Public Library, the Gulf Islands Film & Television School, TeachKidsNews, and The Manitoba Museum. Whether a student film festival, online challenge, panel discussion, workshop or film screening, Media Literacy Week offers events for all ages.

Media Literacy Week is proud to be welcoming back YouTube as a Gold Sponsor and Bell as a Silver Sponsor. To find out more on the week and how you can get involved, visit the Media Literacy Week Web site.

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25th May 2011

2011 Pixel to Product Canadian Research Study Now Available

49 pixelsJustin Kozuch, 2010 Mesh Prize winner and lead researcher for the Pixel to Product research study has released the first yearly report on the state of the Canadian digital media economy.

“The state of the Canadian digital media economy is strong”, said Kozuch. “Digital agencies in Canada are projecting between 10% and 24% growth in revenue when compared to their revenue generation efforts in 2010. When you compare this data against the 68.1% of reporting agencies who indicated they have a labour force size between one and 10 employees, this is incredible growth and is a good indicator of the strength of our economy.”

The Pixel to Product report also found:

  • The average salary of a Canadian digital media professional ranges between $40,000 and $59,999,
  • 73.4% of digital media agencies are increasing the size of their labour force in 2011; skills in mobile application development, social media marketing and community management are in high demand,
  • 35.5% of women indicated they saw a 10% to 24% increase in salary from 2010 to 2011, compared to 26.3% for men,
  • Women earned a higher number of salary increases than men in the 1-4%, 11-15%, and 16-20% range.

“This research is an important first step in understanding the size and scope of the Canadian digital media industry. As we continue this research on a year-over-year basis, we’ll be able to better plot the growth of our industry and how technology changes its business behaviors and perceptions. It is our hope that this research sparks a local and national dialogue on how to better understand who we are, what we do and the impact of the digital media industry on the Canadian economy as a whole.”

The final report with these and other findings, as well as the full data tables, can be downloaded free from the Pixel to Product website

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25th May 2011

CRTC Requests Input Regarding Online Broadcasting Services

CRTCThe Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) is asking Canadians to provide data and information on online broadcasting services and their impact on the Canadian communications system as per Broadcasting and Telecom Notice of Consultation CRTC 2011-344.

“The digital environment is providing Canadians with more programming choices than ever before,” said Konrad von Finckenstein, Q.C., Chairman of the CRTC. “Canadians have access to libraries of online content that can originate from anywhere in the world, and which can be watched on different screens. This fact-finding exercise will give us a better understanding of the dynamic and innovative environment as it continues to evolve.”

As part of its mandate to supervise the Canadian broadcasting system, the CRTC has investigated similar technological and consumer trends in the past. For example, in 2006, the CRTC prepared a report on the future environment facing the Canadian broadcasting system. In 2009, the CRTC released a report on broadcasting services in official-language minority communities.

The CRTC is gathering data and information:

  • at the request of the most significant members of the Canadian communications industry, as expressed in a letter dated April 1, 2011, and
  • further to a resolution of the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage, which was included in its March 2011 report, Impacts of Private Television Ownership Changes and the Move Towards New Viewing Platforms.

Interested parties are invited to comment on a number of topics related to the digital environment. They may submit their comments by June 27, 2011, either by completing the online form, by writing to the Secretary General, CRTC, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0N2, or by fax at 819-994-0218.

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25th May 2011

One Way To Meet Sir Richard Branson and Cory Monteith

Virgin Mobile CanadaJust a few hours can go a long way! That’s what 20 lucky fans will discover through a Virgin Unite promotion that gives winners the chance to volunteer and meet Glee star Cory Monteith and Virgin Group Founder, Sir Richard Branson.

Supported by Virgin Mobile Canada, the Virgin Unite promotion invites fans to create a written essay or a two minute video essay answering the question, “Who or what inspires you to volunteer and why?” The best contributions will be chosen by a panel of judges and we’ll let you know on June 7, 2011 if you have won the chance to volunteer with the Montréal charity Dans la rue, that works with street kids and at-risk youth on June 9, 2011. Volunteering has its rewards as these lucky winners will then get to personally meet Cory Monteith and Sir Richard Branson on June 10, 2011!

“As a Virgin Unite ambassador, I’m excited to have the chance to encourage other young people to get involved with their communities,” said Cory Monteith, star of the hit TV show Glee.  “I think it’s important to give back, and empower others to help and I can’t wait to meet the fans who are supporting this great program in Montréal. Dans la rue has done some fantastic and innovative work to help at-risk youth for over 20 years, and it’s the perfect match for Virgin Unite and Virgin Mobile’s efforts to help end youth homelessness in Canada.”

To enter for the chance to volunteer and meet Cory Monteith and Sir Richard Branson, you just need to write or film an inspirational 250-word message answering the question “Who or what inspires you to volunteer and why?” The essays will be judged by a panel, including representatives from Virgin Unite, Virgin Mobile and Dans la rue. The contest starts today and closes on June 3, 2011.

Jean Oelwang, CEO, Virgin Unite, said, “Cory is a dedicated and passionate ambassador and we’re extremely grateful that he is giving his time to help us raise awareness of the issues at-risk youth face, as well as encourage volunteering amongst his thousands of fans.”

“We’re a big bunch of gleeks, so we’re thrilled to host Cory in Montréal for what I know will be an incredible day for Virgin Mobile Members and Glee fans alike,” said Nathan Rosenberg, chief marketing officer, Virgin Mobile Canada.  “Groundbreaking programs like this both inspire people to do some good and give them an exciting new way to do it. We’re encouraging a generation to help its own and that’s what the RE*Generation movement is all about!  Together with Virgin Unite, we’re asking Canadians to support RE*Generation on its mission to bring the number of homeless Canadian youth from 65,000 all the way down to zero.”

In early 2008, Virgin Mobile Canada and Virgin Unite, the non-profit foundation of the Virgin group of companies, joined together to create the RE*Generation movement and empower a generation to help its own.  We’re bringing together organizations that care about Canada’s homeless and at-risk youth and we’re connecting them with people who want to help. RE*Generation is a movement to support solutions to youth homelessness and support at-risk youth programs in Canada.  To date, over $800,000 has been raised and dispersed to leading youth serving agencies across the country. The RE*Generation movement is working with a number of Canadian charitable partners to help get kids off the streets and onto a path for a brighter future.

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25th May 2011

Telefilm Canada Announces Funding Decisions

Telefilm CanadaTelefilm Canada is pleased to announce that five diverse French-language feature-film projects, of which one is a minority Canadian co-production, can move forward thanks to various production programs under the second round of the Canada Feature Film Fund’s selective component for 2011-2012.

For the second year running, Telefilm Canada has increased the amount of the envelope normally allocated to the selective component thanks to savings tied to greater efficiency.

“We are looking at a very wide-ranging line-up of titles for movie theatres, which will draw audiences,” said Carolle Brabant, Executive Director of Telefilm Canada. “From cinéma d’auteur, with Rafael Ouellet‘s Camion, to films having wide audience appeal with Podz‘s L’Affaire Dumont, Telefilm is delighted to present projects that reflect the broad diversity of talent in Canada.”

“This second round of selections for fiscal 2011-2012 underscores our intention to promote talent in all its forms and at all levels,” said Michel Pradier, Director of Project Financing at Telefilm Canada. “Our selections include projects from seasoned creators as well as promising new talent, in a variety of genres. This bodes well for our industry.”

Following (in alphabetical order) are the French-language projects recently selected under the second round of decisions for the Canada Feature Film Fund’s selective component for 2011-2012:

L’Affaire Dumont
Based on a true story. In Boisbriand in 1990, corner-store delivery man Michel Dumont, a father of two young children who is separated from their mother, is accused, tried and sentenced for a sexual assault he claims he didn’t commit. During his trial, Michel falls in love with Solange, a young single mother who believes he is innocent. While in jail, Daniel and Solange get married and Solange decides to take on the monumental task of overturning his conviction. Michel’s case, a contemporary retelling of the David vs. Goliath story that unfolds over a 10-year period, has serious repercussions for the very concept of innocence.
Director: Daniel Grou, a.k.a Podz (7 jours du talion, 10 ½, C.A. Conseil d’administration, Minuit, le soir and Les Bougons : c’est aussi ça la vie)
Producer: Nicole Robert – Go Films
Distributor: Alliance Vivafilms
Writer: Danielle Dansereau

Alice lives in a home with five other intellectually disabled persons and works part-time in a bank. She has a crush on Martin, whom she met at the recreational centre where both are members of a choir made up exclusively of intellectually disabled singers. While the choir gets ready to take part in a world choral festival in Montréal, Alice and Martin look for an opportunity to consummate their love. Things take a dramatic turn when Martin’s mother, who vigorously opposes her son’s relationship with Alice, pulls him out of the recreational centre.
Writer-director: Louise Archambault (Familia)
Producers: Luc Déry and Kim McCraw – micro_scope
Distributor: Christal Films Distribution

Avant que mon cœur bascule
Sixteen-year-old Sarah, standing alongside a highway, pretends to be in trouble. Duped drivers pull over to help—and are robbed. This is how Sarah meets Marc, a history teacher whom she likes. Under the teen’s gaze, the man dies. Sarah’s life will never be the same again.
Director: Sébastien Rose (Comment ma mère accoucha de moi durant ma ménopause, La vie avec mon père and Le Banquet)
Producer: Paul Barbeau – Reprise Films Inc.
Distributor: Metropole Films Distribution
Writers: Sébastien Rose and Stéfanie Lasnier

Germain is a seasoned trucker. One day, he is involved in a traffic accident that results in the death of a young women, and his world comes to a halt and he starts to fall apart. When he learns that the lumber mill where he works is going to close, Germain loses the one thing in his life that allowed him to forget the terrible accident. Only a few years away from retirement, Germain becomes more and more apathetic, a state that worries his eldest son, Samuel. Samuel goes off to a remote part of the United States to look for his brother Alain, so that they can both return to the house where they grew up and offer their father a bit of hope and support—and make sure he doesn’t do anything that can’t be undone.
Writer-director: Rafael Ouellet (Le cèdre penché, Derrière moi and New Denmark)
Producer: Stephanie Morisette – Coop Vidéo de Montréal
Distributor: K-Films Amérique

Hors les murs
France-Belgium-Canada co-production (minority Canadian)
Paulo, a young pianist whose life is almost settled, meets Ilir, a bass player originally from Albania. It’s love at first sight for the two, but their love story is soon overtaken by life’s unexpected twists and turns. The boys are brutally separated when one of them ends up in jail for a minor gaffe. Will their love survive the separation?
Writer-director: David Lambert
Producer: Daniel Morin – Les Productions Cinématographiques Boréal Films Inc. (Canada), Red Star Cinéma (France), Frakas Productions (Belgium)
Distributor: K-Films Amérique

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25th May 2011

Kobo Launches 10 Million Dollar Reading Initiative

koboeReading leader Kobo invites you and its over 3.6 million readers to participate in a new $10 million fund designed to inspire readers of all ages to read more and make a difference in their community. For every 10 million minutes read with Kobo up to one trillion minutes, Kobo will support an initiative suggested by Kobo customers to bring eReading to schools and communities in need.

“At Kobo we believe in the power of reading. Today, the average person spends five times more time watching TV than reading, schools continue to be underfunded and libraries are disappearing. We have an opportunity to change that with Read On,” said Michael Serbinis, CEO, Kobo. “At a time when technology is taking the printed word through an evolution, we are starting a revolution – a reading revolution.”

Kobo has created the One Trillion Minute Challenge to inspire people to make reading a bigger part of their lives, and make a difference in their local community. Every minute read with Kobo counts towards achieving this epic challenge and funding eReading programs in schools and community organizations.

Readers can get started with Read On today by signing up online and then:

  • Name your cause: A school, or community organization dedicated to learning
  • Start reading with Kobo: Every minute read counts
  • Track progress: Using Kobo’s innovative social platform Reading Life
  • Tell friends: Use Facebook, Twitter, Reading Life, blogs and podiums at schools and community centers to spread the word, and help make a difference
  • Check the one trillion minute counter which will be updated in real-time

For every 10 million minutes read, Kobo will make a contribution of eReading valued between $1,000 and $20,000 to a recipient chosen through the Read On program. Recipients will receive Read On kits including eReaders, eBooks and the materials needed to start digital reading programs in their community. Kobo is contributing the first million dollars and will work to enlist additional partners inspired by this innovative new program.

“With Read On, our goal is to bring reading to more people in more places, inspiring people to read more and make a difference in their schools and communities. Over 500 years ago, it took only one person and a printing press to start a revolution. Imagine what we could accomplish today if we just Read On,” said Michael Serbinis, CEO, Kobo.

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25th May 2011

Yo Gabba Gabba Live On Tour In 2011

dhx mediaDHX Media would like North American parents to know that S2BN, in association with The Magic Store and DHX Media’s W!LDBRAIN Entertainment, are bringing the successful live stage version of the hit television series YO GABBA GABBA!, created by Christian Jacobs and Scott Schultz, back on the road this fall for a 50-city North American tour. The tour will kick off in Minneapolis on Thursday, September 15 and will wrap on Sunday, December 11 in Fort Lauderdale, featuring multiple shows in many cities. Visit Yo Gabba Gabba Live for complete tour, ticket and VIP package information. Please note that the tour schedule can be subject to change.yo gabba gabba live

At this time here are only two Canadian dates on the tour, Toronto’s Sony Theatre on September 22nd and Vancouver’s Queen Elizabeth Theatre on November 11th.

YO GABBA GABBA! LIVE!: It’s Time to Dance! Presented by Kia Motors promises to be a memorable experience, featuring a mix of classic YO GABBA GABBA! favorites, as well as new songs and new performances. The state-of-the-art, high-energy production features DJ Lance Rock, Brobee, Foofa, Muno, Plex and Toodee, and a mix of music, animation, games, singing and dancing. The 2010 YO GABBA GABBA! live show played to 300,000 fans in sold out theatres in all major cities, including Radio City Music Hall in New York and NOKIA Theatre/ L.A. LIVE in Los Angeles.

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25th May 2011

Escape To Margaritaville

exploding barrel gamesVancouver’s Exploding Barrel Games and THQ Inc. have officially announced Margaritaville Online, an everyday escape to a tropical paradise inspired by the lifestyle of author and singer-songwriter, Jimmy Buffett, will be available on Facebook and iOS devices Fall 2011. Soon, friends will be able to play and Margaritavilleparty in an immersive 3D paradise, filled with frozen concoctions, music and adventure. The game will be unveiled in THQ’s booth at E3.

“The Margaritaville laidback state of mind is inherently social, and THQ has captured the spirit of that lifestyle in this game,” said Buffett. “With Margaritaville Online, fans across the globe can party together any time and any place.”

Throughout his more than 40-year career, Jimmy Buffett has welcomed fans into his carefree world where remarkable characters are around every corner, and it’s always happy hour. By creating their own online beach oasis, Margaritaville Online players can party in paradise with friends, build a bar, form a band, throw parties and embark on tropical adventures in an open world full of island entertainment and playful mini-games. A virtual trip to the tropics set to a soundtrack of classic Buffett tunes, Margaritaville Online allows players to interact with characters from Buffett’s own literary works including Captain Tony, first introduced to fans in Buffett’s song “Last Mango in Paris.”

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