3rd August 2011

New Shows In The Spotlight At 2011 Gemini Awards

The Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television is pleased to announce the nominations for the 26th Annual Gemini Awards, celebrating the best in Canadian English language television and digital media.FlashPoint

The third season of CTV series Flashpoint leads the annual TV nominations once again with 17 nods, including Best Dramatic Series. Hot on its heels are two debutant shows, both in the Best Comedy Program or Series category, including the new HBO Canada series Call Me Fitz (with 16 nominations) and TMN/Movie Central’s Living in Your Car (with 10 nominations).

History Channel’s The Kennedys and TMN’s The Pillars of the Earth also achieved an impressive 10 nominations each, including Best Dramatic Mini-Series or TV Movie category.

The emerging Digital Media categories are led by nominations from the National Film Board of Canada with cross-platform producers Marblemedia and Shaftesbury Films also in the burgeoning competition.

“We congratulate all the nominees,” says Helga Stephenson, ACCT Interim CEO. “It is aensational to see brand new television series garner so many accolades alongside established favorites. We are also delighted that there is a strong and growing presence in this year’s Digital Media categories. The arrival of new talent in both industries is a very strong indicator of a robust future.”endgame

For our own part, while we watch many of the nominated shows, we are VERY happy to see that Endgame also received nominations for the following:

Best Cross-Platform Project – Fiction:  Endgame Interactive, Showcase (Shaw) and Secret Location – James Milward, Ryan Andal, Pietro Gagliano, CJ Hervey, Alan Sawyer.

Best Dramatic Series – Sponsored by the Independent Production Fund: Endgame Showcase (Shaw) Thunderbird Films Inc. – Michael Shepard, Avrum Jacobson, Harvey Kahn, Alexandra Raffe

Best Achievement in Main Title Design: Endgame Showcase (Shaw) Ian Kirby, Caleb Bouchard, Aaron Hildebrant, Mark Stuckert

Best Performance by an Actor in a Guest Role, Dramatic Series: Endgame – I Killed Her
Showcase (Shaw) David Richmond-Peck

Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Supporting Role in a Dramatic Series: Endgame – Fearful Symmetry/Huxley, We Have a Problem Showcase (Shaw) Katharine Isabelle

You can find the full list of nominees on this PDF at the Gemini Awards official site.

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3rd August 2011

BC Film Commission Receives Provincial Funding

Province of BCBritish Columbia’s star power as a film-friendly production centre has received a boost from $275,000 in provincial government funding to help regional organizations attract and provide services to film and video producers from around the world.BC Film Commission

British Columbia is the third-largest production centre in North America after Los Angeles and New York, with the local film industry directly and indirectly employing more than 25,000 people with overall 2010 wages adding up to approximately 450 million dollars.

The Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development distributed the funding to regional film commissions, as well as specific tourism associations and municipalities that work closely with the BC Film Commission to showcase and promote their regions to filmmakers and liaise with film production companies. If you would like to talk more with the BC Film Commission, they will be in Booth #889 at SIGGRAPH 2011, which takes place at the Vancouver Convention Centre next week, August 7th through 11th.

“Film in British Columbia represents a significant economic enterprise supporting good jobs and bringing substantial revenue to communities across the province,” said BC’s Community, Sport and Cultural Development Minister Ida Chong. “A visually dramatic landscape, a skilled film industry labour pool and a favourable tax regime established by the Province help attract film and video production, including projects in British Columbia’s regions.”

Every year, British Columbia’s regions provide locations for various film projects, including movies, television series, documentaries and commercials. Motion picture and television producers spent more than $1 billion in British Columbia during 2010. About 90 per cent of productions use the services of the BC Film Commission, including regional film commissions and offices.

“Since 1978, the BC Film Commission has successfully showcased the province as a motion picture production centre and filming destination. Regional commissions and organizations are instrumental in building and promoting B.C.’s inventory of locations,” added BC Film Commissioner Susan Croome. “They provide local production services and support required by visiting film crews and ensuring film-friendly procedures are in place through local regulatory authorities.”

Services provided in support of regional film include:

  • Surveying and scouting film locations.
  • Providing logistical support while filming is underway on location.
  • Supplying information for producers matching scripts with possible locations.
  • Offering production research, location expertise and technical support.
  • Assisting with film permits, labour regulations and immigrant/work permits.

Contrary to popular belief, BC’s film industry, while largely located in the Lower Mainland region of the province, makes full use of the environmental and cultural diversity found throughout British Columbia:

· Since 1996, the Greater Victoria Film Commission (GVFC) has been the go-to agency for film productions doing business on southern Vancouver Island. Over the last decade, GVFC has supported the regional economy by helping to generate more than $165 million in direct spending in the Capital Regional District.

· The Vancouver Island North Film Commission has serviced film productions generating more than $80 million in economic impact for rural communities on Vancouver Island over the past 15 years.

· The Northern British Columbia Film region has played host to several Hollywood feature films including: Double Jeopardy, Reindeer Games, Insomnia, Dreamcatcher, Eight Below and most recently The Grey, filmed in Smithers for six weeks this past winter.

· In the last 10 years, the Thompson-Nicola Film Commission has worked with film projects resulting in $22 million in direct spending in the region, with a total estimated economic impact of more than $77 million in Kamloops and surrounding communities.

· Since 1990, film productions supported by the Okanagan Film Commission (OFC) have generated a multi-million dollar economic impact on the region. OFC has worked with international animation studios set to open offices in the region, including Bardel Entertainment / Nickelodeon, Lizard Brain and Disney. These new studios will employ young professional people at above-average salaries.

· In the fall of 2010, Nelson, Salmo and Ymir in the West Kootenays hosted filming of The Tall Man. The 42-day production generated $11 million in economic activity. More than 1,200 local people responded to an extras casting call.

The B.C. government provides between $130 million and $200 million in annual refundable tax credits for the film and television industry, depending on the level of production activity.

Even though it’s embroiled in a controversial referendum, the current HST assists in ensuring a competitive film industry in British Columbia. Under the HST, the 7% PST portion of the tax is now recoverable and provides significant savings on the purchases of goods and services such as catering and equipment.

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3rd August 2011

Rogers Launches Real-Time Usage Alerts

RogersAs roughly five million Canadians prepare to travel this August, Rogers Communications announced today the launch of innovative new roaming solutions to help Canadians easily manage their data use while traveling outside of Canada.

Starting immediately, Rogers customers on a Roaming Data Pass will be the first in Canada to benefit from real-time data usage alerts while roaming abroad, giving cost certainty and peace of mind. These new Roaming Data Passes start at $5 per day for both customers and small businesses.

The real-time usage alerts (up-to-date within five minutes) will be sent directly to a customer’s mobile device allowing them to monitor and control their data usage. To provide further cost certainty, if a customer exceeds their time or data limit on a pass, they will be notified and then asked to make a choice to either continue at a pay-per-use rate or to purchase another roaming data pass.

“Customers have told us they’re concerned about roaming costs because they don’t have a true sense of how much data they use when travelling abroad,” said Raj Doshi, Vice President of Mobile Product Management, Rogers Communications Inc. “We’ve worked with wireless carriers around the world to deliver this innovative solution exclusively for our customers. The real-time data usage alerts will take the guess work out of roaming while our new data passes will give customers more choice and ways to save money, creating a worry-free travel experience.”

Rogers’ customers can choose from a wide selection of new, affordable day and week Roaming Data Passes depending on their usage needs. Passes are available for both U.S. and International destinations. To make it even easier, data passes can either be pre-purchased before leaving Canada or purchased while roaming directly from a customer’s mobile device.

Last month, Rogers also introduced new unlimited U.S. roaming text messaging offers. Customers now have the option to purchase an unlimited U.S. roaming text messaging pass for $10 (valid for 48 hours) or an unlimited U.S. roaming text messaging travel pack (valid for one month).

“These new options make roaming even more affordable for Canadians,” said Doshi. “We’re continually introducing new plans and new solutions to give our customers the freedom to use their mobile devices worry free when they travel.”

All roaming offers can be added by texting “Travel” to 7626 or visiting www.rogers.com/m/roam directly on a mobile device.  Also, customers are sent a text message when they first arrive at their travel destination with a link to purchase discounted roaming offers directly from their mobile device.


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3rd August 2011

Air Miles Warns of Telephone Scam

LoyaltyOne has sent out the following warning bulletin. Please pass the information along.loyalty one

Whether by telephone, mail or email, Canadians continue to be targeted by schemes trying to incent and persuade un-expecting consumers into sharing personal information, financial and even health data for purposes which they never agreed to. Unfortunately, this results in thousands of victims of these schemes each year.

air milesAs a member of the Competition Bureau of Canada’s Fraud Prevention Forum, the Air Miles Reward Program supports the Bureau’s broad-based “Recognize it, Report it and Stop it!” fraud prevention efforts.

Recent information of Air Miles Collectors receiving telephone calls from unknown organizations informing consumers that they have won a prize consisting of between 10,000 and 100,000 reward miles have been reported to the Program. Unsuspecting Collectors are then prompted to press “1” and are subsequently transferred to an operator who asks for personal and credit card information.

This is not an Air Miles initiative. The Program does not use an automated message to notify Collectors they have won reward miles.

Canadians must take appropriate precautions to protect their personal information to avoid such schemes. Consumers are urged to protect themselves by never sharing personal information or account information with anyone who should not have access to it.

Any suspicious telephone call when personal information is asked for should be reported immediately to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre or call 1-888-495-8501.

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3rd August 2011

Space Marine Soundtrack Scored By Celebrated Composer Team

Relic EntertainmentCelebrated composer duo Cris Velasco (God of War Series) and Sascha Dikiciyan (TRON: Evolution) have created an epic original score for Relic Entertainment’s upcoming 3rd person action/shooter, Warhammer® 40,000®: Space Marine® published by THQ. Set in the Warhammer 40,000 universe created by Games Workshop®, Space Marine is scheduled to be released for the Xbox 360®, PlayStation®3 and Windows PC on September 6th 2011.
Space Marine
In Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine you are Captain Titus of the Ultramarines, humanity’s last hope for survival in a war-ridden future. Step into the armor of this superhuman warrior and use a lethal combination of deadly weapons to crush overwhelming alien forces. Fight against the savage Orks and the unholy forces of Chaos in a brutally violent world based on one of the most popular science fiction fantasies.

Inspired by the stunning cinematic visuals and visceral gameplay of Space Marine, the renowned duo of composers Cris Velasco and Sascha Dikiciyan crafted an expansive emotional score featuring anthemic orchestral compositions and contemporary Hollywood music production, reflecting the epic scale of this rich, sci-fi fantasy.

Glenn Jamison, Audio Lead at Relic Entertainment commented, “Cris Velasco and Sascha Dikiciyan have composed a world-class, emotionally intense original music score for Space Marine that exceeded all of our expectations. We were blown away by the inspired music they wrote for our game and can’t wait to share their epic score with everyone when Space Marine releases this September.”

Composers Cris Velasco and Sascha Dikiciyan commented, “Space Marine has been one of the most creatively satisfying projects of our scoring career. This being the first third-person shooter in the Warhammer franchise, we were honored to write an original score that lives up to the games’ prestigious history and also pushes the series forward with a bold and fresh sound.”

The Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine original soundtrack will be included in the Collector’s Edition now available to pre-order exclusively from the THQ store – which has many Warhammer fans around the world (including the Cavechild) very unhappy with THQ.

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3rd August 2011

Go On An Appventure With Corel

corelCorel has launched its Summer Appventure, featuring four, new, free apps designed to help families make the most of their summer vacations. With new apps for the iPhone®, iPad®, Mac® and PC, there’s something for everyone. Whether families are packing up the car, heading for the airport or planning holiday time closer to home, Corel’s new apps make it easy for everyone to make the most of their vacation moments.corel beep beep

“Summer is the perfect time to travel, explore and reconnect with the things and people we care about most. Being creative and having the ability to easily share and relive holiday moments is at the heart of Corel’s Summer Appventure,” said Prescott Lee, VP and GM, Light Apps at Corel. “With the release of our four new mobile apps, we want to give travelers a range of options to make the most of their summer adventures, offering them a collection of apps that are creative and fun and that help them make the most of their valuable time.”

corel slingshotBeep Beep: Convert your iPad into the perfect digital coloring book for a no-mess, creative distraction while you’re on the road or flying through the air. Rather than zoning out with a DVD, kids can explore their creativity and create vibrant, fridge or Facebook-ready masterpieces with an array of colors and sample images to choose from. Corel Beep Beep for iPad (iOS 3.2 or higher) is available as a free English app.

Slingshot™: Capture those once in a lifetime moments on your iPhone and automatically share them in real-time with customized groups of family and friends, or send them straight to a selected Facebook album. All of your photos are automatically backed up to a private Facebook photo album so you’ll always have peace of mind. Corel Slingshot for iPhone (3G, 3GS, 4 and iPod touch 4th generation users running iOS 4.3.3 or higher) is available as a free English app

Postcard: Forget crowded tourist shops and searching for postage stamps. With Corel® Postcard, it’s easy corel postcardto create and send personalized postcards using your iPhone. Snap that perfect moment, add your greeting, and automatically send your printed postcard anywhere in the world for just $0.99 (USD). There’s no faster, easier or more personal way to say “Wish you were here!” Corel Postcard for iPhone (3G, 3GS, 4 and iPod touch 4th generation users running iOS 4 or higher) is available as a free English app in selected Apple App Stores worldwide. The sender’s credit card will be charged USD $0.99 per card to anywhere in the world (includes printing, postage, and handling). Postcard also runs on the iPad (iOS 3.2 or higher).

QuickSort: Quickly sort your top holiday photos and select your favourites with this free app. With QuickSort, it’s faster than ever to reduce the hundreds, if not thousands, of digital images you captured on the road and isolate your very best shots. Using QuickSort for Mac or Windows, you can rapidly sort your photos into “good” and “best” folders with the tap of a corel quick sortkeystroke. Not only will QuickSort save you valuable time, you may even free up some hard drive space!

Travelers can join the Corel Summer Appventure and share favourite vacation photos, videos, and holiday anecdotes. From memorable landmarks, to funny encounters, to beautiful landscapes, Corel wants to hear your stories. You can also follow the Corel Summer Appventure action by connecting with them on Facebook and following along on Twitter using the hashtag #corelappventure for your chance to win prizes such as Corel photo editing or video editing software.

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