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21st July 2011

Yo Deshi Named As Winner of GameTree TV Developer Competition

TransGamingLast night at Casual Connect in Seattle, Toronto’s  TransGaming Inc. announced that Yo Deshi by Scottish developer Proper Games had been declared the winner of the company’s $ 50 000.00 GameTree Developer Competition.

Yo Deshi is a cerebral martial arts-themed board game that challenges players of all levels with a unique multi-player puzzle experience. Gamers can experience the excitement of incredible gains and stunning losses as they engage both real and simulated opponents with a range of thought-provoking strategies. Yo DenshiFeaturing highly immersive and fully customizable gameplay, the game was chosen as the grand prize winner of TransGaming’s GameTree Developer Competition.

The influential celebrity judges included actor, director, producer and writer LeVar Burton, President of Development at Jerry Bruckheimer Games Inc., Jay Cohen, and Lorne Lanning, co-founder of Oddmobb, Inc. The competition was launched in January,  with developers being offered the chance to win $50,000 and have their game featured on the GameTree TV platform for Smart TV, making it accessible to millions of Smart TV users as the GameTree TV market adoption continues to grow.

“We were highly impressed by the level of skill that all the finalists demonstrated. In the end it came down to talent, attention to detail and the overall quality of the winning game,” said panel judge LeVar Burton. “We’ve been able to offer developers the chance to reach a global audience with GameTree TV, a fantastic opportunity for a new developer eager to make their mark on the industry. It’s an exciting time for developers as the way we all interact with games and entertainment on a daily basis is changing rapidly, and TransGaming is playing a vital part in that process.”

If you are interested in developing titles playable on the GameTree TV platform, visit the GameTree Developer Portal to find out how to have your games published on Smart TV systems around the world. Other games in this first competition included Smiles HD by Canadian developer Sykhronics Entertainment and Bubblenauts: The Hunt For Jolly Roger’s Treasure by Western Star Entertainment of Oregon.

“Our passion for discovering, promoting and distributing the innovative content developed by the incredibly talented independent game development community is the main reason we decided to run this competition. We received an overwhelming response from developers around the world and were thrilled by the quality of the submissions,” commented Vikas Gupta, CEO & President of TransGaming. “GameTree TV is emerging as a top new gaming platform and we are extremely happy that Yo Deshi, and all of our finalists, are going to be part of the experience. My sincere congratulations go out to Yo Deshi and Proper Games.”

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15th July 2011

Incredible Photo Wins CNIB Contest For Tara Miller

cnibThe Canadian National Institute for the Blind has announced that Winnipeg resident Tara Miller is the winner of the organization’s national Eye Remember photo contest. Miller’s stunning photo, entitled “Fortuitous Twilight,” captured the attention of CNIB’s celebrity photographer judges, who were not aware the entrant had any vision problem whatsoever, let alone having only 10 per cent vision in her left eye.

Fortuitous Twilight by Tara Miller

Fortuitous Twilight by Tara Miller

Miller’s photo, which was voted to win by more than 2,000 Canadian users on the contest’s website, was one of 128 submissions by people who are sighted, partially-sighted and blind across the country.
Miller, who began to lose her vision to glaucoma in childhood, says she takes photos by using what little sight she has to plan and frame the shot. Once shooting is complete, she hooks her camera up to a large 27-inch monitor and blows the image up to 200 per cent so she can see the results.

“People with vision loss can do the same things as sighted people, but just in a different way,” says Miller.

As the contest winner, Miller and a guest will be heading to Quebec City, Quebec, later this year for a free weekend hotel stay and an opportunity to explore and photograph the historic city.Tara Miller Photo: CNIB

As a CNIB client who has taken advantage of many of the charity’s rehabilitation services for Canadians with vision loss, Miller says she has learned the skills she needs to live independently despite her blindness. Working one-on-one with CNIB’s specialists, Miller learned to travel on the bus independently, use a computer, and take care of her home and family .

“I am so proud of myself for my abilities and I thank the staff at CNIB for helping me,” says Miller.

Supported by an unrestricted educational grant from Pfizer, CNIB’s Eye Remember photo contest is designed to educate Canadians about the importance of detecting glaucoma early in life and to remember to be proactive about their vision health.

Otherwise known as the “silent thief,” glaucoma usually progresses slowly and painlessly; therefore, it’s possible to have glaucoma without noticing any symptoms or major changes to your eyesight. Glaucoma is the second most common case of irreversible vision loss in seniors and affects more than 250,000 Canadians.

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14th July 2011

The Rest of The Canadian Nominees for the 2011 PrimeTime Emmy Awards

Rounding out the Canadian 2011 PrimeTime Emmy Award nominations are (and I hope I found them all) are the following nominees:

Canadian icon Christoper Plummer was nominated For Outstanding Voice-Over Performance as The Narrator in Moguls & Movie Stars.

Canadian actors Michael J. Fox and Will Arnett received recognition for their Guest Appearances. Fox was nominated for his appearances on The Good Wife in the Outstanding Guest Actor In A Drama Series. Will Arnett was nominated for his performance as Devon Banks on 30 Rock as an Outstanding Guest Actor In A Comedy Series.

Toronto director Jeremy Podeswa was nominated as an Outstanding Directing For A Drama Series as the director of Boardwalk Empire’s episode titled Anastasia.

The Nikita episode titled Pandora was nominated for Outstanding Sound Editing For A Series.

AMC’s The Killing, which has Vancouver once again pretending to be Seattle, picked up the following nominations:

  • Outstanding Casting For A Drama Series – Junie Lowry Johnson, Casting Director; Libby Goldstein, Casting Director; Stuart Aikins, Casting Director – Canada; Corrine Clark, Casting Director – Canada; Jennifer Page, Casting Director – Canada
  • Outstanding Directing For A Drama Series
  • Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing For A Drama Series
  • Outstanding Lead Actress In A Drama Series
  • Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series

Another AMC title, Rubicon, was nominated for Outstanding Main Title Design, competing against non-Canadian production Game of Thrones, which has an outstanding opening title series.

Animal Planet’s documentary – reality series Whale Wars picked up two nominations:

  • Outstanding Cinematography For Nonfiction Programming
  • Outstanding Sound Editing For Nonfiction Programming (Single Or Multi-Camera)

Stargate Universe received its third nomination for Outstanding Special Visual Effects For A Series.

Degrassi‘s episode My Body Is A Cage, Part 2 is nominated for Best Children’s Program

In addition to The Borgias, Take 5 Production Camelot was also nominated for Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music. The show’s theme was composed by Canadian sibling composers Jeff and Mychael Danna

Staying with music, David Foster and Friends: Hitman Returns (Great Performances) has been nominated in the Outstanding Music Direction category along with fellow Canadian Paul Shaffer, who is nominated for his music direction on the 2011 Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony.

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14th July 2011

Muse Entertainment Garners 17 PrimeTime Emmy Nominations

muse EntertainmentMuse Entertainment was given the nod 17 times today, as the production company received a total of 17 PrimeTime Emmy Nominations for two miniseries, The Kennedys and Pillars of the Earth.

The 8-hour historical drama, The Kennedys, produced by Muse in association with American production company Asylum Entertainment, has been nominated for 10 Emmy Awards including:

BC-born actor Barry Pepper (Photo: IMDB)

Campbell River BC Actor Barry Pepper

  • Outstanding Miniseries
  • Outstanding Lead Actor (Greg Kinnear and Barry Pepper)
  • Outstanding Supporting Actor (Tom Wilkinson)
  • Outstanding Art Direction
  • Outstanding Cinematography
  • Outstanding Hairstyling
  • Outstanding Make-Up (Non-Prosthetic)
  • Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music
  • Outstanding Sound Mixing

The Pillars of the Earth, co-produced with Germany’s Tandem Communications brought in 7 Emmy nominations:

  • Outstanding Music Composition For A Miniseries, Movie Or Special (Original Dramatic Score)
  • Outstanding Cinematography For A Miniseries Or Movie
  • Outstanding Hairstyling For A Miniseries Or Movie
  • Outstanding Makeup For A Miniseries Or Movie (Non-Prosthetic)
  • Outstanding Miniseries or Movie
  • Outstanding Sound Editing For A Miniseries, Movie Or Special
  • Outstanding Special Visual Effects For A Miniseries, Movie Or  Special

“We are overwhelmingly proud to be honoured with multiple nominations for the The Kennedys which we produced, and for The Pillars of the Earth, which we co-produced, in the past year.  These nominations establish that our peers look at these productions as among the best in the world,” says Executive Producer & Muse Entertainment President Michael Prupas.

 

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13th July 2011

SIGGRAPH 2011 Computer Animation Festival From Gaming to Major Hollywood Films

acm siggraphThe SIGGRAPH Computer Animation Festival has a long history of presenting a variety of the world’s most innovative, accomplished, and amazing creators of digital gaming, film, and video. The Computer Animation Festival at SIGGRAPH 2011 in Vancouver this August 7th – 11th, provides a personal viewing experience unlike any other. In addition to film screenings, the Festival includes interactive sessions and exclusive learning opportunities to gain industry secrets and advice from some of the most successful professionals in the field.

“Once again, the content in the Computer Animation Festival offers something of interest to just about everyone – from industry newbies to veterans,” said Joshua Grow, Computer Animation Festival Director from The Creative-Cartel. “The content ranges from commercials to gaming. It is truly the year’s unique opportunity to hear directly from the best in the business. It should prove to be educational and inspirational.”

Listed below are just a few of the learning opportunities during the Computer Animation Festival:

Production Sessions

Production Sessions are high-level discussions that showcase the computer animation and visual effects in some of the Computer Animation Festival’s most provocative works. SIGGRAPH 2011 featured Production Sessions include:

The Visual Effects of “Thor” and “Captain America”: So Different Yet So Marvel

Marvel Studios devotes great time and effort to deliver great storytelling, strong visuals, and compelling characters to movie audiences. This session compares the films “Thor” and “Captain America” and shows how visual effects are a critical aesthetic ingredient in their success. Visual effects supervisors Wesley Sewell and Christopher Townsend and their teams from Digital Domain, Double Negative, Whiskytree, Luma Pictures, and Lola VFX review how the films combine beauty and authenticity.

Pixar: “La Luna”

Enrico Casarosa, Pixar Animation Studios

“La Luna” is the timeless fable of a young boy who is coming of age in the most peculiar of circumstances. Tonight is the very first time his Papa and Grandpa are taking him to work. In an old wooden boat, they row far out to sea, and with no land in sight, they stop and wait. A big surprise awaits the little boy as he discovers his family’s most unusual line of work. Should he follow the example of his Papa or his Grandpa? Will he be able to find his own way in the midst of their conflicting opinions and timeworn traditions? Following the Canadian premiere screening of “La Luna,” its director, Enrico Casarosa, discusses the journey that led him to create this very personal short and demonstrates the singularly artistic style by which the film was crafted.

DreamWorks Animation: The Yin and Yang of Creating the Final Battle in “Kung Fu Panda 2”

The climax of the CG-animated movie “Kung Fu Panda 2” is an epic battle featuring a flotilla of boats, an ancient Chinese-styled city, thousands of wolves armed for battle, action featuring hundreds of characters in a single shot, stylized graphic lighting, fantastical cannon fire and explosions, and a set of effects-supported Kung Fu moves. This talk provides a unique insight into the making of a CG-animated movie that goes beyond the traditional idealized concept of the pipeline.

Industrial Light & Magic Presents: Getting Dirty: Bringing the Digital Feature “Rango” to Life

This in-depth discussion focuses on the production of Industrial Light & Magic’s first animated feature “Rango.” ILM’s unique approach to the genre brings a new dimension to the animated feature, giving “Rango” the visceral quality that the company is best known for in its visual effects work. The presenters review all aspects of the work from initial asset development through animation, simulation, lighting, and compositing.

Imageworks: The Smurf-alution: A Half-Century of Character Development

Sony Pictures Imageworks animation supervisor Troy Saliba and leading members of their Vancouver animation team take the Smurfs from the most primitive pencil sketch to a contemporary 3D stereo rendering.

Industrial Light & Magic: New Solutions for New Challenges

The Industrial Light & Magic team delves into the effects created for three of 2011’s largest summer films, dissecting the challenges and revealing their solutions. The panel breaks down the visual effects challenges presented on this year’s slate of films including: “Cowboys & Aliens,” “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides,” and “Transformers: Dark of the Moon.”

Guerrilla: The Creation of Killzone 3 – Game Production Session

This talk details various aspects of designing and developing videogames at Guerrilla. It highlights methods that are very similar to methods used in the CGI industry, and it illuminates some of the most important differences. And it covers the complete breadth of videogame development from artistic design to production pipelines and tool and engine development.

Real-Time Live!

This program showcases the latest trends and best techniques for pushing the boundaries of interactive visuals in video games and real-time simulations. To help emphasize the difference between these works and pre-rendered works, real-time pieces are demonstrated live on their actual platforms without any post-production. Each live presentation lasts less than five minutes in a fast-paced, 45-minute show of diverse and aesthetically stimulating work. SIGGRAPH 2011 Real-Time Live! highlights include:

Chrysaora: WebGL Jellyfish Simulation

Savannah College of Art and Design

Chrysaora is a real-time jellyfish simulation created entirely with web technologies such as JavaScript, WebGL, WebSockets, and CSS. It uses realistic rendering and simulation techniques similar to those used in modern 3D video games, but it can run in an internet browser on any operating system.

Enlighten Real-Time Radiosity

Geomerics Ltd.

Using Geomerics Enlighten technology, this demo shows how dynamic real-time lighting enhances game play and visual quality in computer games. Enlighten is a cross-platform, real-time radiosity solution that can generate bounce lighting for a game level in a fraction of a frame.

Samaritan Real-Time Demo

Epic Games Inc.

Samaritan is a real-time demonstration of the latest Unreal Engine 3 technology that shows off DirectX 11 support and DirectX features such as tessellation and displacement mapping, geometry shaders, multi-sampled textures, and Shader Model 5. High-end rendering enhancements include image-based reflections, Bokeh depth of field, subsurface scattering, anti-aliased masked materials, deferred rendering with MSAA support, and high-quality dynamic shadows.

iMedic: Immersive Medical Environment for Distributed Interactive Consultation

Digital Artforms, Inc.

This interactive medical visualization system is based on two hand-held tracked controllers that directly control the position and orientation of two 3D cursors. Button presses enable direct manipulation of space with either or both hands, resulting in intuitive manipulation of the viewpoint. You can place yourself anywhere at any orientation and at any scale with just a few simple gestures.

RealD Presents 3D Day

The Computer Animation Festival also features an entire day highlighting the enormously popular growth of 3D in movies, including an introduction to 3D by 3ality and an excerpt from Disney’s “Lion King” in 3D. SIGGRAPH 2011 3D highlights include:

JURY AWARD

Paths of Hate

Platige Image

Two pilots, driven by blind hate, chase each other in their airplanes and thereby write cryptic messages of madness into the firmament. On their way into the abyss they transform into inhuman and distorted creatures that finally become part of the history of hate.

BEST STUDENT PROJECT PRIZE

Flamingo Pride

The Konrad Wolf Potsdam-Babelsberg Film and Television University

Frustrated being the only straight flamingo in a gay flock, our hero falls in love with a lady stork that flies by. Unable to convince her of his serious intentions he isolates himself and goes through an identity crisis. An intensive encounter inspires him to make a bold move.

IMAX Hubble 3D Visualization Excerpt: Journey Into the Orion Nebula

Space Telescope Science Institute

An excerpt from IMAX “Hubble 3D” takes viewers inside the Orion Nebula to witness the birth of stars and planets. This cinematic scientific visualization, based on data from the Hubble Space Telescope and other observatories, is the result of close collaboration between research astronomers, computer programmers, and visualization artists.

“Green Lantern”

Sony Pictures Imageworks

In a vast universe a small powerful force has existed for centuries. Protectors of peace and justice: the Green Lantern Corps. A new enemy, Parallax, threatens to destroy the balance of power. Their fate and that of Earth lie in the hands of the first human ever selected: Hal Jordan.

Make It Home – Join Us In Vancouver This August For SIGGRAPH 2011

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11th July 2011

ACM SIGGRAPH Announces Winner of 2011 Award for Lifetime Achievement in Digital Art

acm siggraph ACM SIGGRAPH, the Association for Computing Machinery’s Special Interest Group on Graphics and Interactive Techniques will present its Award for Lifetime Achievement in Digital Art to Charles Csuri for his visionary and creative merging of art and technology.

Through his work, Csuri inspired generations to embrace computer imaging as a serious form of artistic investigation.  An artist, computer graphics pioneer and professor emeritus at The Ohio State University, Csuri will receive the award at SIGGRAPH 2011 in Vancouver, BC, August 8.Charles Csuri

ACM SIGGRAPH Art Award Chair Cynthia Beth Rubin said Csuri is a true visionary.  “Decades ago he embraced the aesthetic potential of early computer imaging, and since then he has unfailingly worked in both teaching and aesthetic production, keeping us growing, discussing, and moving forward.”

Csuri was instrumental in the establishment of Ohio State’s Advanced Computing Center for the Arts and Design (ACCAD), a leading center on the use and integration of emerging arts technologies, with funding from the National Science Foundation.  “Chuck Csuri’s early and unique vision of an interdisciplinary collaborative, creative research center between the arts and sciences continues to permeate our culture,” said Maria Palazzi, director of ACCAD. “All of us who have had the privilege to study and work in this environment are profoundly grateful to Chuck for his vision, persistence and leadership in this field and at Ohio State.  He has impacted the lives of generations of students who are now top professionals in graphics and animation throughout the world.”

Csuri began his work in intertwining of art and computer science in the 1960s. He experimented with computer animation, winning awards and acclaim throughout Europe and the United States.  As a painter, Csuri was immersed in the passionate discussions of his time, when abstract expressionists challenged everything from the purpose of art to the functions of abstract compositional elements.  Through his Threads 2008, © Charles Csuripersonal network of colleagues, he was also aware of parallel discourses among scientists who debated the role of computers in society.   His profound understanding of these two cultures put him in a unique position to merge aesthetics and computing, long before either group recognized the potential synergies.

With support from NSF, the US Navy and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, Csuri directed research on computer graphics for over 22 years. The results of these studies have been applied to flight simulators, computer-aided design, architecture, magnetic resonance imaging, visualization of scientific phenomena and special effects for TV and film.

Csuri’s work is included in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Zagreb Museum of Contemporary Art, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the ZKM Center for Art and Media, and other important collections.  He received B.F.A. and M.A. degrees from Ohio State.

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8th July 2011

Victrix Named Partner of the Year in Canada by Microsoft

victrixIntegrated information technology services company Victrix has been chosen by Microsoft as “Partner of the Year” in Canada from among all the Canadian companies that put their names forward for this title. Over 3,000 partners from around the world registered for the competition and only one was selected per country. Victrix will receive this honour at the Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC), an annual event attended by over 17,000 participants from all over the world, to be held this year in Los Angeles from July 10 to 14.

Through this award, Microsoft recognizes all the efforts Victrix has made over the past twelve months to develop markets for collaborative solutions, unified communications and technology infrastructure. One of the ways in which Victrix stood out from the other companies in the running was in the area of Customer Immersion Experience (CIE). These sessions allow users to simulate real-life business microsoft partnersituations using computers equipped with the latest tools such as Microsoft Office 2010 suite, SharePoint collaboration software and Lync communication software, to name just a few. Since September 2010, Victrix has organized more than 40 CIE sessions in Montreal and Quebec City. They have been attended by around 320 participants, who were able to test and assess the many opportunities offered by the latest Microsoft technologies.

Jean Julien, Victrix Director of Alliances and Partnerships, considers CIEs to be “the most effective, individualized way to demonstrate the effectiveness of the state-of-the-art products offered by Microsoft.” He added: “This title clearly shows Microsoft’s recognition for our efforts in promoting the full value of the Office 2010 suite. The title of Canadian Partner of the Year once again illustrates the relationship of trust we have with Microsoft and reaffirms our expertise in providing tailor-made, secure solutions that allow all users to work together and interact effectively in order to increase the company’s performance.”

Victrix Co-Founder and Chairman of the Board Marc-André Poulin will receive the award on behalf of Victrix. Poulin has also been invited to attend a dinner held by Microsoft’s Corporate Vice-President of Worldwide Partner Group, John Roskill, at the WPC. Jean Julien has been asked to give two presentations and participate in a panel discussion. Finally, Stéphan Gariépy, Victrix’s Vice-President for Eastern Quebec, will also participate in a panel discussion held during the event. During the forums, these three Victrix standard-bearers will take the opportunity to talk about the full potential of CIE and share the company’s success in this area.

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7th July 2011

Pacific Finalists for Ernst and Young Entrepreneur Of The Year 2011

Ernst & YoungEntrepreneurs are poised to drive the next major wave of economic growth, but the wider community must do more to support these creative-minded innovators, Ernst & Young said today when revealing this year’s finalists for Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year®.

“Entrepreneurs have the ability to transform ideas into great businesses. And not just any business – businesses that drive economic growth,” says Ron Voyer, Pacific Director of Entrepreneur Of The Year. “Behind their success is an entrepreneurial mindset to innovate, create jobs, and invest in communities across the country.”

In a new global survey of entrepreneurs – Nature or nurture? – Ernst & Young uncovered that funding, people and know-how were the biggest barriers to entrepreneurial success. Among the six out of 10 respondents who experienced obstacles in their ventures, 33% called lack of funding or finance their biggest stumbling block.

Voyer says that’s only the first issue. Entrepreneurs need improved access to credit in addition to new educational opportunities and less red tape. He also underlined better leadership from Corporate Canada, which stands to gain by building an internal spirit of entrepreneurship — or intrapreneurship — into their business model to promote innovation, creativity and fresh thinking.

“Entrepreneurs challenge conventional thinking and spot opportunities where others see road blocks,” says Voyer. “With a wealth of entrepreneurial potential waiting to be unleashed, stakeholders – from governments to businesses to academia – need to work together to create an ecosystem that enables entrepreneurs to thrive.”

In April, an Ernst & Young/Financial Post survey found more than one-third of entrepreneur respondents were more optimistic about their company’s’ future prospects than they were just six months ago. Voyer says that’s a positive step in the right direction.

“Taking lessons from the past into account, Canada’s entrepreneurs are ready to continue building on their accomplishments and supporting our economy in the years ahead,” says Voyer. “And with the right business and community support, there’s no limit to what these entrepreneurs can accomplish.”

The Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards recognize the spirit and contribution of entrepreneurs here and around the world. The Canadian program is in its 18th year of honouring the country’s most impressive entrepreneurs from all areas of business. Award winners are chosen based on their vision, leadership, financial success and social responsibility.

The Pacific winners will be announced at a banquet on October 5, and the overall winner will represent the region at the national banquet held in Toronto on November 23.

The 2011 Pacific finalists for Entrepreneur Of The Year:

Business-to-business products and services

Darby Kreitz - Allnorth Consultants Limited – Prince George – Provides engineering and consulting services to clients in the mining, pulp and paper, chemical, oil and gas, marine, transportation, power and municipal sectors.

Ross Waters - C.G. Industrial Specialties Ltd. – Vancouver – Supplier of valves and controls.

Doug Morneau – Rhino Marketing Inc. – Port Coquitlam – A full-service marketing agency that knows business and how to connect clients with their customers online. Read the rest of this entry »

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7th July 2011

Ernst and Young Names Quebec Entrepreneur of the Year Finalists

Ernst & YoungEntrepreneurs are poised to drive the next major wave of economic growth, but the wider community must do more to support these creative-minded innovators, Ernst & Young said today when revealing this year’s finalists for Ernst & Young Quebec Entrepreneur Of The Year®.

“Quebec needs entrepreneurial role models,” explains François Dufresne, Quebec Director of Entrepreneur Of The Year. “That’s why it’s essential that we highlight their success, and reward them. Paying tribute to entrepreneurs shows them that society appreciates their achievements. What’s more, successful entrepreneurs can inspire young Quebeckers and encourage them to go into business.”

The Quebec winners will be announced at a banquet on October 6, and the overall winner will represent the region at the national banquet held in Toronto on November 23.

The 2011 Quebec finalists for Entrepreneur Of The Year:

Business-to-business products and services

Claude Bigras - Groupe Distinction Inc. – Lasalle – A leading provider of building maintenance services with 9,000 employees and 17 offices in Canada.

André Gaumond - Mines Virginia Inc. – Quebec City – Mining exploration company that works with many projects in various stages of growth in order to develop mineral resources.

Sean Roosen - Osisko Mining Corporation – Montreal – A development-stage gold mining company, Osisko is currently completing the construction of the Canadian Malartic gold mine in the Abitibi mining district.

Business-to-consumer products and services

Sanjay Bakshani, Vicken Kanadjian - Cesium Telecom, Inc. – Mont-Royal – One of North America’s leading distributors of wireless products, Cesium introduces the latest technology from the world’s top manufacturers to the North American market.

Guy Bessette, Manon Duplantie - Fix Auto – Blainville – Franchisor specializing in autobody collision with key customers such as insurers.

Sylvie Myre - Voyages à rabais – Trois-Rivieres – Travel provider that offers vacations, flights and travel insurance.

Health sciences

Frank Baylis, Krishan Shah - Baylis Medical Company Inc. – Saint-Laurent – Recognized around the world for high tech cardiology, radiology and pain management products. Read the rest of this entry »

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7th July 2011

Ernst and Young honours Ontario finalists for Entrepreneur Of The Year 2011

Ernst & YoungEntrepreneurs are poised to drive the next major wave of economic growth, but the wider community must do more to support these creative-minded innovators, Ernst & Young said today when revealing this year’s finalists for Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year®.

“Businesses — and countries — don’t grow by standing still,” explains Colleen McMorrow, National and Ontario Director of Entrepreneur Of The Year. “Entrepreneurial thinking empowers companies to generate new jobs, open new doors and seize new opportunities. But stakeholders — from governments to businesses to academia — must now work together to create a truly entrepreneurial ecosystem where creative-minded businesses can thrive.”

In a new global survey of entrepreneurs — Nature or nurture? — Ernst & Young uncovered that funding, people and know-how were the biggest barriers to entrepreneurial success. Among the six out of 10 respondents who experienced obstacles in their ventures, 33% called lack of funding or finance their biggest stumbling block.

McMorrow says that’s only the first issue. Entrepreneurs need improved access to credit in addition to new educational opportunities and less red tape. She also underlined better leadership from Corporate Canada, which stands to gain by building an internal spirit of entrepreneurship — or intrapreneurship — into their business model to promote innovation, creativity and fresh thinking.

“By establishing that kind of ecosystem, we can unleash limitless entrepreneurial potential,” adds McMorrow. “Entrepreneurs see opportunity where others see disruption. Even the financial crisis generated opportunities for those willing to seize them, and that bolsters the economy. But governments and corporations must renew their focus on this area to adequately support entrepreneurs.”

In April, an Ernst & Young/Financial Post survey found more than one-third of entrepreneur respondents were more optimistic about their company’s future prospects than they were just six months ago. McMorrow says that’s a positive step in the right direction.

“Entrepreneurs have not forgotten the lessons learned in leaner times. But they’re ready to look forward, and continue building on what they’ve already accomplished. With the right support from the broader community, entrepreneurs will continue to energize the economy in the months and years ahead,” says McMorrow.

The Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards celebrate the contribution and spirit of entrepreneurs everywhere. The Canadian program is in its 18th year of honouring the country’s most impressive entrepreneurs from all areas of business. Award winners are chosen based on their vision, leadership, financial success and social responsibility.

The Ontario winners will be announced at a banquet on November 2, and the overall winner will represent the region at the national banquet held in Toronto on November 23.

The 2011 Ontario finalists for Entrepreneur Of The Year:

Business-to-business products and services

Razor Suleman - I Love Rewards – Toronto – An employee-recognition solution that helps companies drive performance. Unlike traditional service award programs, it creates authentic moments of recognition that resonate with a multigenerational workforce.

Jennifer Nashmi, Victoria Sopik - Kids and Company Ltd. – Vaughan – Offers infant, toddler, preschool, kindergarten, Montessori, and after-school child-care programs at locations across Canada. Read the rest of this entry »

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