13th June 2011

Double Win for Toon Boom Curriculums at AEP 2011

Toon BoomToon Boom Animation Inc. has announced that the Association of Educational Publishers (AEP) granted the Distinguished Achievement Award (DAA) in the Curriculum/Arts category to Toon Boom’s Flip Boom Classic Art Curriculum for K-5 and Flip Boom All-Star Art Curriculum for Grades 6-8.

Focusing on educational excellence for both teaching and learning, AEP, a national, nonprofit organization serving the educational resource community, runs this annual awards program that defines the industry standard for quality educational products and excellence in education marketing.

The DAAs, the largest branch of the program, recognize the year’s best products according to subject area and grade level in the categories of Curriculum, Periodicals, Professional Development and Technology. The awards highlight the standard of excellence other developers can measure their products against.

In the Curriculum/Arts category, the Flip Boom Classic Art Curriculum competed with the Disney English Winter Camp Music Program from Disney Publishing Worldwide for K-5 while the Flip Boom All-Star Art Curriculum competed with Connections Education for Grades 6-8.

“We feel truly honored by this prestigious recognition which testifies to our commitment to education. We’ll make sure to let all our customers know about this wonderful accomplishment,” states Joan Vogelesang, President and Chief Executive Officer at Toon Boom Animation Inc.

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13th June 2011

ESL Literacy Network Recognized for Innovative Technology

ESL NetworkThe ESL Literacy Network at Bow Valley College in Calgary has won the National Adult Literacy Database (NALD) 2011 Innovative Technology Award for providing ESL literacy practitioners with access to innovative online resources that inform classroom instruction and support ongoing professional development.

“The website provides an in-depth look at ESL literacy levels, learning needs, programming considerations, curriculum development and strategies for classroom instruction,” the nominator’s submission reads.

“Finding level-appropriate learning materials for adult learners with interrupted formal education is a challenge that all ESL literacy instructors face.  More than just a website, the ESL Literacy Network is a place for literacy practitioners to connect, share ideas and learn from the expertise that has been amassed at Bow Valley College.”NALD

The content provided on the website is based on years of classroom experience at the college combined with research and feedback from ESL literacy practitioners locally, provincially, nationally and internationally.  The website recognizes that ESL literacy programs are diverse and serve different learner populations in both urban and rural contexts and in part-time and full-time settings. The ESL Literacy Network is funded by the Government of Alberta.

“The ESL Literacy Network responds to the professional development needs of practitioners by providing a forum for ongoing professional growth and development,” said the NALD Board of Directors members who comprised the selection committee for the award competition.  “The innovative website has successfully leveraged technology and the Internet to provide more than an information hub – the website provides opportunities for extensive sharing of resources and in-depth discussion and reflection on classroom practice and research.”

“Educators will benefit from this user-friendly website, which provides a pedagogical approach for curriculum development, along with strategies and resources that support ESL literacy instruction. In this era of economic restraint, educators will appreciate the reproducible photo stories that can be downloaded and used in the classroom. The technical aspects of the ESL Literacy Network’s website – navigation, accessibility, aesthetic and visual appeal – are exemplary.”

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10th June 2011

Canada Media Fund Announces First Round Evaluations for Aboriginal and Francophone Minority Programs

Canada Media FundThe Canada Media Fund released the results of its 2011-2012 first round of evaluation for its Aboriginal Program and its Francophone Minority Program, with twenty projects supported for a total contribution of $9 million.

Aboriginal Program: funding focuses on documentaries and children’s and youth programs.

In the Aboriginal Program, the CMF will fund 9 convergent projects comprised of 8 television components and 9 rich and substantial digital media components out of the nineteen projects submitted in this first round of evaluation. Seven of the nine convergent projects selected are documentary programs and two are children’s and youth programs.

The CMF total contribution to the projects is $3.4 million. The funding breakdown is as follows: $2.7 million for the television projects (79% of the total funding) and $719,000 for the digital media components (21% of the total funding). The broadcast partners on these projects are APTN and Nunavut Independent Television Network. The nine convergent projects selected originate from the following provinces and territories: 3 from British Columbia, 1 from New Brunswick, 2 from Nunavut, 1 from Quebec and 2 from Saskatchewan.

Francophone Minority Program: CMF supports projects in the four genres

In the Francophone Minority Program, the CMF will support 11 convergent projects in the first round of decisions (including 6 rich and substantial digital media components) out of 15 projects submitted. Two of the convergent projects selected are children’s and youth programs , 5 are documentary programs, 2 are dramas, and 2 are variety and performing arts.  The CMF total contribution to the projects is $5.6 million. The funding breakdown is as follows: $5.4 million for the television projects (96% of the total funding) and $211,000.00  for the digital media projects (4% of the total funding).

The broadcast partners of these projects are TFO, SRC and ARTV. The convergent projects originate from the following provinces: 1 from British Columbia, 2 from Manitoba, 3 from New-Brunswick, 4 from Ontario and 1 is a New Brunswick-Quebec coproduction .

The next application deadlines are:

Aboriginal Program: September 19, 2011

Francophone Minority Program: September 12, 2011


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10th June 2011

Indigo Love Of Reading Foundation Tops 10 Million Dollar Milestone

Chapters IndigoThe Indigo Love of Reading Foundation has selected 20 high-needs schools nationally to receive an annual Literacy Fund grant for the next three years. Since 2004, the Foundation has made a difference to over 29,000 students at schools nationally who have purchased nearly 900,000 books through the grant program.

The grants are vital now that some annual library budgets are as low as $2.81 per child – the equivalent of less than 1/3 of a book per student each year.  Canadians can’t get a cappuccino for what many Canadian provinces invest annually in books per student in some public schools and yet, with only a one per cent increase in literacy rates studies show we can add more than $18 billion to the Canadian economy, according to a Stats Canada study done on June 22, 2004 (Coulombe & Tremblay and Marchand, Department of Economics, University of Ottawa).

Recognizing the importance of investing in the futures of Canada’s children, the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation continues to respond to this funding challenge through the Literacy Fund grants. Based on the student population, each new Indigo Love of Reading Foundation Literacy grant recipient school will receive up to $176,000 over three years to help support literacy programs, purchase new books and dramatically improve literacy rates. Through the Literacy Fund grants, schools will be able to increase their literacy budgets to an average of $76 per child per year.

“My heart breaks for Canada’s public school children who are left uninspired by libraries with empty shelves or books that are decades old,” said Heather Reisman, Chair of the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation. “This is a special time of year for Love of Reading when we are able to help educators end Canada’s literacy crisis. Through the Literacy Fund we know we’ll be transforming the libraries and lives of students at another 20 schools.”

Ms. Reisman advised the recipients via conference call amid joyful tears and whoops of excitement. “You’ve just changed the lives of the children we serve every day,” exclaimed Principal Jill Maar, Armadale Public School, Markham, ON, where the literacy team persevered to receive funding after their third grant application attempt.

This year’s 20 new schools receiving Literacy Fund grants from the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation clearly demonstrated a passion and commitment to literacy as an important part of their curriculum, as well as a clear need to update their libraries to help them achieve their literacy goals. Recipient schools include: Read the rest of this entry »

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9th June 2011

2011 meshprize Winner Announced

mesh prizeThe mesh prize is awarded annually to a project or a group of projects that seek to collectively improve the Canadian Digital Media Industry. The prize, which is sponsored by Teehan + Lax, seeks to fund projects that create new understanding, capabilities or tools that the digital media community can benefit from. The prize recipient will receive $40,000 towards the successful completion of their project.Centre for Social Innovation

The winner for 2011 is The Centre for Social Innovation (CSI), which was founded in 2004 with the mission to catalyze social innovation in Toronto and around the world.  By providing high quality shared workspace for over 300 nonprofits and businesses CSI has created a dynamic community of professionals that have an appetite for social change.

Project Scope:

Bring women together in a creative, hands-on project where they can showcase talent, build skills and establish ongoing mentorship opportunities. Working with an advisory group, the activities include:

  • Launch a competition in the fall that will invite teams of women in technology to design and develop digital game projects.
  • Following the competition launch, participants will have 10 weeks to develop their digital game with access to hands-on advice and mentorship.
  • At the end of the 10 weeks the projects will be judged and the winner will receive $10,000 and a permanent desk at a CSI workspace facility to further develop their project.

The launch and judging event will be open to the public. This year’s project will be piloted in Toronto with hopes of rolling out to other cities in Canada next year.

The mesh prize is a founding partner for this project and there is opportunity for more partners to be involved in this pilot year and growth to expand, both financially and with advisory support roles. If you are interested in this helping this project email Jessica Hazen, Director, Stakeholder Engagement a the Centre for Social Innovation.

Background on the Social Innovation Project:

Information and communications technology (ICT) has a lot to offer in terms of exciting new developments in digital media, creative communications tools, finding solutions to challenges in society and strengthening businesses. It’s easy to assume that this ever-growing industry would also have a lot to offer in terms of careers for Canadians. Sure, except for only half of our demographic. Women represent a very small percentage of the ICT workforce, and this number has been declining over the past two decades.

Across the ICT industry there is agreement that 1) women are underrepresented; 2) an increase of women in this field can bring a positive effect for their business; and 3) it would be nice to hire more women but finding candidates has been a challenge. In addition, there is great potential for more women to lead their own ICT businesses.

The Centre for Social Innovation (CSI) sees the gap between men and women benefiting from growth in the ICT industry, paired with the industry appetite to narrow this gap, as a perfect opportunity to make a positive change in the digital community. As such, the process of strengthening the technology community at CSI will include strategies to showcase talent and build opportunities for women in this field.

To compound the issue even further, the data currently being collected reflects only the larger organizations, while ignoring the small to medium-sized businesses, who are the primary drivers of our economy.

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8th June 2011

Acting CEO in Place At BCIC and Catalyst Names Champions

Reminder: The BCTIA Tech Impact Awards are on June 9th. Tickets are still available for purchase.
Reminder: The Art of Marketing session day is also on June 9th in Vancouver. Tickets are still available for purchase.

bcicBCIC has appointed Entrepreneur-in-Residence Mark Payne to the position of Acting CEO, effective yesterday. This follows the departure of former CEO Danny Robinson, who will be taking on a new role as Advisor to the Board. Board Chair Greg Aasen announced that the search for a new CEO will begin very soon.

CatalystCatalyst Canada announced today that it will honour Monique F. Leroux, Chair of the Board, President and CEO, Desjardins Group; Jennifer Tory, Regional President, Greater Toronto, RBC; and Michael Bach, Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, KPMG LLP, with The Catalyst Canada Honours. The Catalyst Canada Honours recognizes three exceptional individuals who have demonstrated commitment, passion and results through their championship of women’s advancement in Canadian business.

“This year’s champions are extraordinarily committed to advancing women in the Canadian corporate world. Catalyst research shows that companies gain when they have a greater number of women on their boards and in senior leadership roles—and that highly placed sponsors like this year’s champions are the key to women’s advancement,” said Deborah Gillis, Senior Vice President, Membership & Global Operations, Catalyst. “Advancing women to leadership strengthens companies and promotes the sustainability and well-being of corporate Canada as a whole. By recognizing these outstanding leaders with The Catalyst Canada Honours, Catalyst hopes to inspire a robust pipeline of women and men who will follow in their footsteps.”

With a mission to create visible role models for Canada’s current and future leaders, The Catalyst Canada Honours recognizes a Company/Firm Leader, a Business Leader and a Human Resources/Diversity Leader who champion progress by advancing women in their organizations, industries and communities. The three categories reflect the unique and critical roles played by those who champion inclusion. The Catalyst Canada Honours celebrates leaders who have made a critical difference to women’s advancement, while inspiring men and women leaders to step up, demonstrate foresight and leadership and become champions themselves.

“Being in business carries with it responsibilities to the people who choose to work with us. BMO became one of Catalyst’s earliest members not only because of a shared conviction that workplaces must provide opportunities for everyone but also to serve as a constant reminder of the standard to which we hold ourselves as a company,” said Bill Downe, President and CEO of BMO Financial Group and Chair of The Catalyst Canada Honours dinner. “The Catalyst Canada Honours is all about recognizing individuals who are setting the bar higher and understand that it’s the strength of Canada’s workforce that will define corporate Canada’s success and, in turn, our customers’ success in a rapidly changing world.” Read the rest of this entry »

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3rd June 2011

IABC Edmonton Award Winners Named At Gala Event

iabc EdmontonLast night, over 25 individuals and organizations were awarded with some of their industry’s most prestigious awards. Northern Alberta’s best communicators came together for IABC Edmonton’s annual Capital Awards Gala at the Winspear Centre to scrutinize, win and network.

“I want to thank everyone who submitted entries and came out to the gala last night to support their peers,” says IABC President Max Frank. “Congratulations go out to all the winners for their exemplary work.”

In the Communications & Marketing Programs & Campaigns category, Awards of Excellence were awarded to The DAGNY Partnership, ATCO Gas & ATCO Electric, Alberta Blue Cross, Calder Bateman Communications and College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta. Awards of Merit were awarded to The Edmonton Public Library and McRobbie Optamedia, with WCB-Alberta receiving both awards.

In the Communications Skills & Tactics category, Syncrude Canada Ltd. was awarded an Award of Excellence, while ATB Financial, Grant MacEwan University, Finning Canada and McRobbie Optamedia were awarded Awards of Merit. In the Special Events category, an Award of Excellence went to WCB-Alberta and an Award of Merit was awarded to ATB Financial. Calder Bateman Communications also won both Awards of Excellence and Merit.

In the Visual Communications category, McRobbie Optamedia won both an Award of Excellence and an Award of Merit, and Incite was awarded an Award of Merit. Lastly, in the Student Category, five Grant MacEwan students won an Award of Excellence.

In addition to the above mentioned categories, IABC Edmonton recognized three individuals with special awards. The Capital Communicator of the Year award went to Trish Bronsch for her support of the importance of communications in her organization’s success. The Communicator of the Year award went to Sherrell Steele, ABC for her exemplary communication strategies and tactics in 2010 and throughout her career. The Member of the Year award went to Jana Clarke for her outstanding service to IABC Edmonton.

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3rd June 2011

Canadian Studios Honoured At Youth Media Alliance Awards

marblemediamarblemedia is the only recipient of more than one award at this year’s Youth Media Alliance (YMA) Awards. The awards for marble’s TasteBudsTV.com were presented last night at the 2011 Awards of Excellence Gala held at CBC’s Glenn Gould Studio, where long-running Canadian classic teen show Degrassi was honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award, which was presented to Linda Schuyler & Stephen Stohn .

TasteBudsTV.com was awarded the Special Jury Award for Interactive Web Content and the Award of Excellence for Best Convergent Interactive Content. The Special Jury Award goes to a project that promotes healthy living by outlining the importance of education, staying physically active and incorporating strong core values. The Award of Excellence for Best taste budsConvergent Interactive Content is awarded to the project that best exemplifies exceptional work on a website or convergent cross-platform content tied into a children’s television program.

“We’re very excited to have been honoured with these two great awards for TasteBudsTV.com,” says Mark Bishop, Executive Producer/Partner, marblemedia. “The Youth Media Alliance continues to promote the growth of groundbreaking cross-platform content for kids and teens, which is very much what we here at marble strive for as well.”

TasteBudsTV.com is a vibrant and engaging website that brings the feel and flavour of the popular Taste Buds TV series to computers across the globe, promoting healthy eating by encouraging knowledge about food, nutrition, and diverse cultures. This interactive online environment is host to a number of recipes, videos and games, which incorporate educational components such as literacy, numeracy, science, health education, and caring for the environment.stella and sam

English Awards of Excellence:

The Grand Prize for Best Program – All Categories went to Stella and Sam – Produced by Radical Sheep Productions Inc. and broadcast by Playhouse Disney Canada.

Animation Category – Ages 3-5

dirtgirlworld – Produced by DHX Media Ltd. and mememe productions Inc. (Australia) – Broadcast by CBC

Animation Category – Ages 6-8

Mixed Nutz – Produced by Big Bad Boo Studios Inc. – Broadcast by Shaw TV

Animation Category – Ages 9-14

League of Super Evil – Produced by Nerd Corps Entertainment – Broadcast by YTV & VRAK.TV

All Genres Category – Ages 3-5

The Ocean Room – Produced by Sinking Ship Entertainment – Broadcast by TVO

All Genres Category – Ages 6-8

Artzooka! – Produced by CCI Entertainment Ltd. – Broadcast by CBC Gisele

All Genres Category – Ages 9-12

Vacation with Derek – Produced by Shaftesbury Films Inc. – Broadcast by Family Channel

Interstitial Category – All Ages

Gisèle’s Big Backyard – Produced & Broadcast by TVO

Special Jury Award – Television

What’s Your News? – Produced by Lenz Entertainment Inc. – Broadcast by CBC

Best Original Interactive Content

Ruby Skye P.I.: The Spam Scam – Produced by (Jill Golick Enterprises Ltd) Story 2.DH

Best Convergent Interactive Contentdegrassi

TasteBudsTV.com – Produced by marblemedia

Special Jury Award – Digital and Interactive Content

TasteBudsTV.com – Produced by marblemedia

Special Anniversary Outstanding Achievement Award

Degrassi – Produced by Linda Schuyler & Stephen Stohn

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3rd June 2011

BC Students Sweep International Year of Chemistry YouTube Contest

International Year of Chemistry 2011Winners of the It’s Chemistry, Eh!? YouTube contest, aimed at highlighting the exciting contributions of chemistry to society, were announced today in celebration of the International Year of Chemistry (IYC 2011). The contest was established as one of the many Canadian IYC activities that can be seen on the IYC 2011 website.

Targeted toward Canadian middle and high school students, numerous submissions from across the country were received, which were diverse in nature and rich in content.

First prize and $2,500 toward further education was awarded to Pascal Turmel and Jonathan Kwok from Vancouver for their video entitled “Combustion’s Not Always Destruction.” Elisha Walker, also from Vancouver, wins second prize for highlighting the chemistry that can be found around us in our daily lives. “Chemical Girl,” submitted by a class from Monterey Middle School in Victoria sang and danced their way to 3rd prize for creativity.

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

“We were delighted and inspired by the enthusiasm displayed in the submissions we received.  These videos absolutely shout how much fun chemistry can be,” says Greg Wilkinson, chair of the IYC communications committee and founder of the YouTube contest.

It’s Chemistry, Eh!?” is sponsored by Esso-Imperial Oil Chemical and led by the Chemical Institute of Canada, with sponsors including Gold-Level sponsors Amgen, Chemistry Industry Association of Canada, Lanxess, Maxxam Analytics, NOVA Chemicals and Silver-Level Sponsors Croplife Canada, BASF, DOW Chemical Canada Inc., Newalta, Woodbridge Foam and Xerox Research Centre of Canada.

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3rd June 2011

Giftcards for Causes Wins More Than 10K in Prizes

sageSage announced today that its Sage Simply Accounting business, in cooperation with LinkedIn, Staples and leading Canadian entrepreneurship advisor Evan Carmichael, has awarded more than $10,000 worth of products and services to Toronto small business Giftcards for Causes as part of its ‘Make Your Case for $10K‘ contest. gift cards for causes

Selected from an array of entries via the contest site on LinkedIn, the cause gift card company, along with co-finalists James Kennedy Film Company, Inc., and Fabudeal, was invited to pitch its business plan to a panel of judges on May 11, 2011, at the Sheraton Centre in Toronto. That panel included entrepreneurship advisor Evan Carmichael, along with judges from Sage Simply Accounting, LinkedIn, and Staples.

Giftcards for Causes aims to be a leading provider of gift card based fundraising and incentive solutions to non-profit and charitable organizations. In Canada, billions of dollars’ worth of gift cards are purchased or go unredeemed every year. Through Giftcards for Causes’ unique solutions, non-profit and charitable groups are able to leverage this exploding market to drive new sources of fundraising revenue.

“This win was unexpected because my co-finalists had strong business plans,” said Sean Snyder, president of Giftcards for Causes. “We all worked very hard to get our businesses to where they are today and it’s an honour to be the winner of the contest. These renowned products and services will provide the tools we need to take Giftcards for Causes to the next level and continue helping Canadian non-profit and charitable organizations raise maximum funds, while providing innovative ways for consumers to easily support their favourite causes through gift cards.”

Giftcards for Causes will receive more than $10,000 worth of products and services, including:

  • Sage Simply Accounting Premium 2011 plus Business Care Gold
  • Sage Simply Accounting HR Manager1
  • Access to Sage Simply Accounting Essentials online training2
  • Services of a Certified Consultant from the Sage Accountants Network
  • Business gift card from Staples®
  • Technology consulting and advisory services from Staples® easytech 4business — Technology Solutions
  • One-year Premium Subscription to LinkedIn to enhance their business network
  • Business consulting services from renowned entrepreneur Evan Carmichael

Toronto-based James Kennedy Film Company Inc. and Fabudeal were also finalists of the contest and presented their business plans in front of the judges.

“I found this contest to be an excellent catalyst to not only evaluate my business but to actually think about what I have and what I can offer to a wider market,” said James Kennedy, president of James Kennedy Film Company Inc. “That’s why regardless of the outcome I’m happy to have been a part of it.”

The contest presentations were followed by a thought leadership panel for Toronto small businesses presented by Sage Simply Accounting. Panellists revealed their insider success secrets and discussed other topical issues, industry trends and best practices for small business growth.

“Attending the panel was extremely insightful,” said Jerry Rotondaro, Co-founder and Chief Deal Maker of Fabudeal and finalist of the Make Your Case for $10K contest. “The panellists were highly knowledgeable and gave us valuable advice to grow our small business. Both the contest and panel were a great networking and learning opportunity.”

“Sage has a long history of helping small to midsized businesses in Canada reach their maximum potential — whether it is through initiatives such as the ‘Make Your Case for $10K Contest’ or by providing world-class products and services to its customers,” said Connie Certusi, senior vice president and general manager of Sage Simply Accounting. “Choosing the finalists, let alone a winner, was a difficult task because of the exceptional quality of the business plans that entered the contest. We hope that this boost will be a catalyst to increased success for Giftcards for Causes.”

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