16th June 2011

Digi Awards Puts Out Call For Entries

digi awardsIn years past, they were the Canada New Media Awards. Now they are the Digi Awards, and they are looking for nominees in two areas. According to the newly-launched and re-designed site, companies and individuals can be named to The List, and from there be nominated for a Digi Award.

“The List is our way of bringing together the top tier of the entire Canadian digital ecosystem in a single place, and will serve as a crucial resource for anyone in this country and around the world looking to get a sense of who’s making waves in Canada.” states an About paragraph on the event’s web site. “Expert juries from across Canada will select the top entrants in each category listed below to make up The List, which we’ll take to the world online, in trade periodicals, and in live events across the globe.”

Nominations are now open, with an Early Bird entry rate of $149.00 in effect until until August 12th, 2011. I couldn’t easily find what the entry rate will be after August 12th. The Digi Awards will still be presented at nextMEDIA Toronto on December 6th, with the Digi Award finalists being culled from those nominated to The List. Categories for The List are as follows:

Canada’s Top Digital Companies – Presented by Deloitte
Canada’s Most Promising New Digital Companies
Canada’s Top Digital Executives
Canada’s Top Digital Producers
Canada’s Top Digital Design Teams
Canada’s Top Development Teams
Canada’s Top Social Media Mavens
Most Innovative Digital Media Technologies
Best In Branded Entertainment
Best In Community Campaigns
Best in Online Advertising
Best Use of Social Media
Best In Location-Based Services
Best in Mobile Marketing
Best In Mobile Applications
Best In Tablet Applications
Best In Cross-Platform: Kids
Best In Cross-Platform: Entertainment
Best In Cross-Platform: Factual
Best Web Series: Reality and Lifestyle
Best Web Series: Comedy
Best Web Series: Drama
Best Web Series: Documentary
Best In Web-Based Gaming
Best In Mobile Gaming
Best In Tablet Gaming
Best In Digital News and Current Affairs Publishing
Best In Tablet-Based Publishing
Best In Digital Lifestyle and Entertainment Publishing
Best In Online Video Portals
Best In E-Learning
Best In Canadian Culture

Categories for the Digi Awards:

Canada’s Top Digital Companies – Presented by Deloitte
Digital Executive of the Year
Social Media Maven of the Year
Best Interactive Campaign
Best In Mobile
Best Cross-Platform Project
Best Web Series
Best In Gaming
Best In Digital Publishing
Best In E-Learning
Best In Canadian Culture

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16th June 2011

Telefilm Canada Invests in Cosmopolis

Telefilm CanadaTelefilm Canada has invested $2.7 million through its Canada Feature Film Fund into David Cronenberg’s (Eastern Promises) latest film Cosmopolis, for which principal photography recently began. The feature is adapted from Don DeLillo’s novel of the same name and stars Robert Pattinson (Water For Elephants, The Twilight Saga). The 40-day shoot on location and in studio will run through mid-July in Toronto.

“David Cronenberg is the definitive Canadian artist, who despite receiving many tempting offers to move to Hollywood, has remained in Canada to practice his craft,” said Carolle Brabant, Telefilm Executive Director. “Since his early years in the 70s as a visionary horror film director, Telefilm has been a proud supporter of this edgy auteur who constantly eyes new challenges, while all the while creating films that connect with mainstream audiences worldwide.”Director David Cronenberg Photo Credit: Telefilm Canada

David Cronenberg added: “Telefilm has made my career in Canada possible. Their continuous support of my work since my early days as a filmmaker has allowed me to remain and work at home.”

Cosmopolis is produced by Martin Katz (Hotel Rwanda) of Toronto-based Prospero Pictures and Paulo Branco (Mysteries of Lisbon) through Paris-based Alfama Films Production as a Canada-France co-production.

Cosmopolis is a contemporary thriller about a young billionaire asset manager on a twenty-four hour odyssey across Manhattan. Despite traffic jams and a looming financial disaster, Eric Packer (Pattinson) risks traveling cross-town in his stretch limousine for a haircut. During delays including a presidential motorcade, a celebrity funeral, and political protests, Eric receives visitors, both for business and pleasure, in his opulent, high-tech automobile. As the encounters and the economic crisis intensify, Packer cynically gambles with his clients’ fortunes and his own. The stakes are enormous, and in the hours that pass, Packer’s limousine and life veer toward the end of an era.

Rounding out the all-star international cast are Academy Award-winner Juliette Binoche (Chocolat), Academy Award-nominee Paul Giamatti (Barney’s Version), Academy Award-nominee Samantha Morton (In America), Sarah Gadon (A Dangerous Method), Mathieu Amalric (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly) and Jay Baruchel (Tropic Thunder, The Trotsky).

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16th June 2011

Last Call For Hot Canadian Startups

Profit Hot 50The PROFIT HOT 50, which is celebrating its 12th anniversary, is Canada’s premier ranking and awards program for successful young businesses. Anyone who manages or knows of a fast-growing young company is invited to submit a nomination by completing the simple entry form before June 30th.  Candidates or nominators looking for more information can call the toll-free PROFIT HOT 50 hotline at 1-800-713-GROW or visit the Hot 50 web site.

PROFIT will honour Canada’s Top New Growth Companies in its October issue and at GrowthCamp, an exclusive summit at which HOT 50 leaders share ideas, learn from experts and make valuable new contacts. Past winners have called it the best business event they’ve ever attended. Winning firms are backed by a national publicity campaign that generates extensive consumer and trade-media coverage.

Past PROFIT HOT 50 winners include Robert Herjavec of Dragons’ Den; Tony Lacavera of Globalive Communications and Wind Mobile; and Stephan Cretier of Garda World Security, a billion-dollar global security firm.

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14th June 2011

22 Teachers Nominated for Excellence In Teaching Canadian History

Canada's HistoryCanada’s top educators are expanding their traditional teaching methods to reach beyond reading, writing and arithmetic.  The new cornerstones of learning in their classrooms include social media, cyberspace and digitized projects.

Twenty-two remarkable teachers from across the nation are receiving national attention for bringing ‘history to life’ for their students.  These passionate educators are encouraging their students to digitally record interviews with World War II veterans and Holocaust survivors, create multimedia resources on Indian Residential Schools, and produce a film featuring Canada’s connection to the fatal voyage of the Titanic.

For their innovative and interactive teaching approaches, Canada’s History Society has selected the following twenty-two educators as the finalists of the 2011 Governor General’s Awards for Excellence in Teaching Canadian History.

Lindsay Anderson, Niv Stilman & Yossi Suissa – Calgary Jewish Academy – Calgary
Kimberly Bartlett – Pickering College – Newmarket
Raymond Bédard – D’éducation Internationale de McMasterville – McMasterville
Sarah Beech & Chad Howie – Valley Creek Middle School – Calgary
Gregory Birkett – Nelson A. Boylen Collegiate – Toronto
Shantelle Browning-Morgan – Walkerville Collegiate Institute – Windsor
Pam Calvert – Oakville Trafalgar High School – Oakville
Marie-Laure Chevrier – École Anne-Hébert – Vancouver
François Desmarais – École Secondaire de Mortagne – Boucherville
Flora Fung – Oshawa Central Collegiate – Oshawa
Cynthia Mundell Hahn – Wes Hosford Elementary School – Sherwood Park
Clint Lovell – Eastview Secondary School – Barrie
Scott Masters – Crestwood Preparatory College – Toronto
Gilles Paulin – Centre Scolaire et Communautaire La Fontaine – Neguac
Elizabeth Phipps – Mayfair Community School – Saskatoon
Sylvia Smith – Elizabeth Wyn Wood Alternate High School Program – Ottawa
Andrew Stickings – École Grosvenor Wentworth Park School – Halifax
Michael Sweet & Raymond Tomasino – Lester B. Pearson High School – Montreal

Now in its 15th year, the Awards recognize the outstanding contributions of Canada’s history teachers, ranging from elementary grades through to secondary schools.  Deborah Morrison, President and CEO of Canada’s History Society says, “Teachers like this years finalists not only change students’ perceptions of Canadian history, but they’re changing our perceptions of teaching as well.”

A national judging panel will next select six recipients out of the 22 finalists, based on a submission outlining the nominee’s innovations and achievements in the field of teaching Canadian History or Social Studies.  Those six recipients will receive $2,500, a gold medal and a trip this fall to the Awards ceremonies at Rideau Hall.  Their respective schools will also be awarded a cash gift of $1,000.  The program, including the Awards prizes are made possible through the generous support of TD Bank Group.

“Few things are more powerful than a teacher’s passion for their subject.  Their in-class enthusiasm can excite, inspire and even transform the lives of their students,” says Frank McKenna, Deputy Chair, TD Bank Group.  “TD is proud to support the 2011 Governor General’s Awards for Excellence in Teaching Canadian History recognizing the incredible contributions our Canadian history teachers are making in the classroom.”

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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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