28th April 2011

ProtoGalaxy Now On Impulse

Deadline Extension: The final closing date for the Canada Media Fund English POV Program has been changed from May 9th to May 20th 2011.
Final Deadline: Online Registration for Canada 3.0 Forum closes today.
Live Tweets: Are you like me and couldn’t attend Merging Media? Follow the live tweets at #mergingmedia and #transmedia.

source studioSource Studio has released their space shooter game ProtoGalaxy on Impulse for the PC, giving you arcade action, smart puzzles, space exploration and a built-in level editor for only $9.99.  In ProtoGalaxy, up to four players can team up, configure their ship and upgrade their weapons in order to defend Earth from powerful alien invaders. Throughout the game players will brave fierce battles, solve challenging puzzles and explore the far reaches of the galaxy in order to end the attacks and rebuild a home for the survivors.

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“ProtoGalaxy is an intense space themed dungeon crawler,” said Alex Brown, company founder. “The game includes a built in editor which allows players to easily create entirely new levels. Players can share their creations online and download other people’s levels for endless game play,” Brown added.

Game features:

·         Level editor to create new galaxies
·         Single and multi-player mode (up to 4 players)
·         Array of weapon choice
·         Ship customization with large selection of parts
·         Use physics to solve problems
·         Includes free DLC: Proto Defense

Game publisher and distributor G4Box Inc. has announced the results of the donation drive for victims of the G4Boxdisaster in Japan hosted by its popular online military shooter, Cross Fire. G4Box and Cross Fire held the month-long “Cross Fire For Japan” charity drive from March 24th to April 24th and donated 10% of all sales of the game’s Panda and Japan Name Card Items to the Red Cross Japan Disaster Relief Fund. The Cross Fire player community showed their love and support for Japan by sporting Panda items and Japan Flag Name cards in-game and collectively helped Cross Fire and G4Box to donate more than $5,000 to the Red Cross Japan Disaster Relief Fund.Crossfire Humans

“The people affected by the tragedy in Japan are still facing so many tribulations and our community really stepped up to support them and donate to the cause during their time of need,” said Jason Yang, CEO of G4Box Inc. “We are lucky to have a very loyal and caring Cross Fire community who gladly supported this very important cause.”

Cross Fire is a free online military first-person shooter for Windows PCs. Players assume the role of either a Black List or Global Risk operative and compete in various modes of play including Team Death Match, the Mutant infested Mutation Mode, attack and defend Escape Mode, and the exclusive stealth-action Ghost Mode. Cross Fire includes a military ranking system, in-game friends lists, an integrated clan system, deep character customization options and social media integration via the Cross Fire website. Cross Fire is part of the Z8Games platform of free-to-play games.

gamerkraftAnother Toronto publisher, Game Bridger Entertainment, has revealed two more playable character classes in its upcoming Free-to-play MMORPG Brawler, Aida Arenas. In these dual gameplay trailers, the Gladiator and the Priestess, after a brief warm-up, venture into Aida’s seedy underbelly to fight some baddies and round up some treasure.

When it comes to swords, the Gladiator has no problem wielding a blade almost twice his size. The bigger the better is his motto; just remember to hold on tight with both hands.  Overall, the Gladiator is a well-rounded class that can hold his own against monsters and arena PvPers alike.

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With her faithful pet Cocoli and a library of magical knowledge at her disposal, the Priestess comes equipped with a spell for just about any situation. On a story quest or in the competitive PvP arena, the Priestess is an essential part of any complete party.

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Create a hero, explore dungeons, fight monsters,compete  with friends and discover hidden treasure in AIDA Arenas, the new MMORPG Brawler from GamerKraft. Combining elements of the classic beat ‘em up arcade genre with the character progression and social features of modern MMORPGs – Aida Arenas offers an action-packed game-play experience unlike any you’ve seen before.

Women Presidents OrganizationsWell this makes me feel somewhat better, even though only one Canadian company made the Top Fifty list and most of these women started their businesses years ago. They aren’t currently trying to mash a whole slew of ideas into one cohesive business unit while trying to extricate oneself from an unrelated family business.  The Women Presidents’ Organization (WPO), in partnership with American Express OPEN, the small business division of American Express, has released the fourth ranking of the 50 Fastest Growing Women-Owned/led companies in North America. The Top 50 generated a combined $4.1 billion in 2010 revenues (mean of $82.7 million) and collectively employed 24,650 in 2010 (projected average for 2011 is 557 employees).

The lone Canadian company on this US-dominated list is SIMAC Canada, Inc., an Ontario-based company lead by President and CEO Gloria Bajkumar. SIMAC is a company that co-ordinates independent medical assessments.

“The Top 50 list includes a group of trailblazing women entrepreneurs who represent a variety of industries ranging from staffing to electronic systems providers, language services to security,” said Marsha Firestone, Ph. D., president and founder of the WPO. “We are pleased to partner with American Express OPEN to honor these powerful women and recognize their triumphs.”

In order to help the Top 50 continue to seize even more business opportunities, each of the honored business owners will be offered a Business Platinum Card(based on approvals) from American Express OPEN. The card will include 100,000 Membership Rewards® points, which may be used on capital investments including: the funding of employee recognition programs, business travel or the purchase of office equipment and supplies.

“Based on American Express OPEN’s ‘State of Women-Owned Businesses’ report, there are an estimated 8.1 million women-owned businesses in the United States, generating nearly $1.3 trillion in revenues and employing nearly 7.7 million people,” said Nancy Hood, Vice President at American Express OPEN. “We at OPEN are honored to support this elite group of women who diversify the full spectrum of industries and have become leaders within the women business community.”

All eligible companies were ranked according to a sales growth formula that combines percentage and absolute growth. From this list, the 50 Fastest were selected. To be qualified for the ranking, businesses are required to be privately held, woman-owned/led companies in the U.S. or Canada and have reached revenue of at least $500,000 by the first week of 2006 and $2 million in 2010.

More about the 2011 Top 50:

  • Founded the Business: 90%
  • Current CEO is actively involved in the day-to-day operations: 100%
  • Average years in business: 16
  • Average age: 47
  • Average Number of Projected 2011 Employees: 557

All 50 companies will be honoured tonight at a special event hosted by American Express OPEN at the 2011 WPO Annual Conference taking place here in Vancouver. The awards reception will take place from 6:30PM to 9:30PM at the Fairmont Vancouver Hotel.

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28th April 2011

PR Society Hands Out Awards

Canadian PR SocietyLast night the Canadian Public Relations Society Toronto (CPRS Toronto) honoured the best and brightest of Toronto’s public relations community at the annual Achieving Communications Excellence (ACE) Awards gala. For the winners, the benefits of winning an ACE Award go well beyond the trophies and a short appearance on stage. You can check out the Gala Photos on the CPRS Toronto Flickr Feed.

“The value of these awards comes from the nature of the judging process,” said Martin Waxman, President, CPRS Toronto. “The ACE Awards are judged by experienced professional communicators. Being scored by industry peers adds a level of credibility and validation to the ACE Award brand that the winners can benefit from, especially in today’s competitive market.”

Companies that have been successful at capturing ACE Awards often see positive returns on the time and effort put into their submission. Receiving an ACE Award can help with market differentiation and raise the winning company’s profile which can lead to the growth of existing relationships or help to attract new business. This year, Strategic Objectives and Yum! Canada captured the PR Campaign of the year for their KFC double down campaign, while Edelman captured the award for best creative campaign of the year for their work on Red Bull’s Crashed Ice campaign.

“Being recognized as an ACE Award winner can help to open doors for any business. Many winners display their trophies in lobbies as a marketing tool showcasing a job well done to visiting clients, prospective employees or even to enhance employee morale,” said Chantelle Bernard, ACE Awards Chair, CPRS Toronto. “When it comes to the ACE Awards, the benefits of winning often far exceed the effort put forth through the application process.”

Congratulations to the 2011 ACE Award winners:

Leadership Awards

  • PR Professional of the Year: Lawrence Stevenson, APR
  • PR Student of the Year: Oluwadamilola Omolade Okunlola
  • Young PR Professional: Erick Bauer

Best Creative PR Campaign

  • Edelman Canada – Red Bull Crashed Ice 2010

PR Campaign of the Year

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25th April 2011

Monday New Releases and Upcoming Events

Meetup: Vancouver Social Game Devs at Calabash this April 28th from 6 – 9pm. Sign up on the Meetup page.
Edmonton Game Pub: April 27th in the Bioware Theatre from 6 – 9pm. Sign up on the event page or on Facebook.
Speaker Session: Wired Woman Presents A Blueprint for Implementing a Successful Mentorship Program, 6pm at the Vancouver YWCA Royal Bank Room on April 27th.
Deadline: IGDA Scholarship Applications for E3 – get them in by April 29th.
Attention Canadian Students: If you would like to take part in the Impact Apprentice 2011 challenge, now is the time to start your plan of attack. Submissions open on May 11th.

Coming Soon: VI Technologies has announced that the company will be releasing VI Racing 964 3.3 Turbo: AI First Drive on April 30th.

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Digital Leisure Inc. has launched Word Searcher Deluxe exclusively on WiiWare for 500 Nintendo Points. In this follow up to last years ‘Word Searcher’, gamers will need a sharp eye aDigital Leisurend a quick mind to Word Searcher Deluxecomplete these 100 themed word search puzzles. Word Searcher Deluxe contains fun words from multiple categories including palindromes, pirates and painting. Packed with a huge assortment of subjects to choose from, there’s sure to be a puzzle anyone will enjoy.

Word Searcher Deluxe will help improve your vocabulary, memory and problem-solving skills with its addictive puzzles. Keep track of your progress and try to beat your own play through times again and again as words are scrambled every time you play. Get your thinking cap on and conquer all 100 today, or take on the whole family and your friends with the full cooperative and competitive multi-player modes. You will also be able to download and enjoy additional puzzles via Nintendo® Wi-Fi Connection Pay & Play

Mobile Game StudioToronto’s Mobile Game Studio will be releasing Web Swinger, the studio’s newest arcade game  in just a few weeks’ time. This new fun packed game will put you in the role of a tiny creature who despite his size, is determined to rule world, reaching incredible heights while defeating enemies in a life and death battle for barn supremacy. Arcade-styled Web Swinger will take you into the world of insects, casting you as a spider and pitting you against numerous insect enemies as you battle against time in your quest to the bottom of the barn.

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Click on the down or up arrow to move the spider down or up the web and drag your finger on the screen to swing the spider. Web Swinger features 20 different levels of unbelievable fun, but it is up to you to make your mark and defeat your enemies. You will lose the game if your spider loses all of its lives or is crushed by time.  Stay tuned for the official release of Web Swinger in the Apple Store.

pixtonParksville’s Pixton has been selected as an Official Honoree in the Youth category of the 15th Annual Webby Awards, one of the Internet’s most respected symbol of success.  This year’s Webby Awards received 10,000 entries from 60 countries and 50 U.S. states. The Official Honoree distinction is awarded to the top 10 percent of all work entered. Fellow Honorees in the Youth category include such powerhouses as Disney, Lego, Teen.com, and Nickelodeon.

“We’re incredibly honored that Pixton has been selected. It reinforces Pixton as one of the best websites for youth, and that wouldn’t be possible without our active, vibrant community”, says Clive Goodinson, Creator and Founder of Pixton Comics.

Pixton pushes the limits of creativity on the web by giving anyone the power to create comics, full of original characters with life-like expression and movement. Every element of a comic is controlled with an intuitive click-and-drag motion. Comics can be shared in print as well as across the social web, in browsers, mobile devices, tablets, and interactive whiteboards.

“Kids today want not only to get inside their favorite characters’ worlds, they want to actively shape those worlds, in an online social environment,” says Clive, “Pixton is that place. Kids can carve out their own niche while being part of a shared world of digital stories and comic conversations.”

Already available in 9 languages, the website is continually growing as Pixton expands its reach to homes, schools, and businesses around the world.

appnovationVancouver based interactive digital agency Appnovation Technologies has become an official systems integration partner with San Francisco based Strobe Inc., a company founded by SproutCore creator Charles Jolley, enables the delivery of cross platform mobile solutions using HTML5 and SproutCore technologies.

Appnovation’s expertise lies in designing, building and deploying content rich web and mobile applications using open source technology platforms such as Drupal and Alfresco. By adding SproutCore and Strobe technologies to their services arsenal, Appnovation will now be able to blend the robust content and document management capabilities of Alfresco and Drupal with ability to deploy applications across multiple mobile platforms. Appnovation is already working with Strobe to bring the value of this partnership to market and continue to drive open source solutions for its customers.

Vircom, an award-winning e-mail messaging security software company in Montreal has released vircomdirectQuarantine™, an Outlook add-on module for its modusGate™ email security software that provides end-user control of quarantine emails directly from Outlook. Vircom’s directQuarantine software is compatible with modusGate 4.7 or 5.0, runs on Windows platforms (2003/2008/2008R2 for the server and XP/Vista/7 for the client) and is available to order today.

directQuarantine provides a Spam folder in Outlook that allows end-users to search for quarantined emails in real-time using the Outlook search toolbar or the blazingly fast native Windows search – no more waiting for nightly quarantine reports, logging in to a Web portal, or depending upon IT to check for and release blocked emails. The directQuarantine folder contains all emails caught and filtered by modusGate and any false positives can be quickly and easily released directly from the Outlook toolbar. Any attachments, viruses, phishing links and all other electronic threats remain safely on the modusGate server and are not downloaded to Outlook, ensuring the highest level of security.

avixToronto’s AVIX Technologies, Inc. has announced that its its proposed wholly owned subsidiary, Florida-based Actus Interactive Software, LLC has developed a suite of cutting edge graphical multi-touch capable interactive kiosk and active digital signage products that are intended for broad market and vertical appeal.

Divided between active digital signage and interactive kiosks, these solutions feature self service content management in an easy to use, dynamic way, deploying to countless end point devices in a real time or scheduled manner. ACTUS’ kiosk and digital signage owners can also dynamically brand or “skin” end point devices uniquely or in groups.

Cornelia Volino, President of AVIX stated that, “As the Company moves closer to completing the acquisition of ACTUS, our focus is shifting towards integrating vertical and horizontal industry segments and those that will be capable of supporting the development efforts of ACTUS, which include multi-touch capability and gesture based technologies built on the NUI.”

This suite of kiosk and interactive digital signage products has the potential to significantly affect competition in the kiosk and interactive digital signage spaces across multiple vertical industries. ACTUS kiosk solutions are multi-touch (and eventually gesture) capable based on the latest advances in Natural User Interface (NUI) providing for high levels of usability beyond what is normally seen in today’s web based kiosk software. ACTUS kiosk and digital signage solutions deploy to multiple form factors on multiple platforms including large HD screens, computers, slates, and mobile devices and all leverage a common web & cloud capable back end architecture.

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19th April 2011

BC Creative Achievement Awards Call For Entries

BC Creative Achievement Awards for First Nations' ArtThe British Columbia Achievement Foundation today issued a Call for Submissions for the 5th annual BC Creative Achievement Awards for First Nations’ Art and for the 7th annual Carter Wosk BC Creative Achievement Awards for Applied Art and Design.

“Both awards celebrate BC’s rich cultural history and creative industry,” said Keith Mitchell, chair of the BC Achievement Foundation. “Our goal is to showcase and celebrate the achievements of artists from across the province. The 2011 award recipients will join 46 British Columbians who have been recognized with creative awards since 2005.”

An artist may be nominated or self-submit to these juried awards. The deadline for submissions is May 26, 2011. The prizes have been increased for 2011 to $5,000 for each award. Presentation ceremonies will take place in the Fall in Vancouver.7th annual Carter Wosk BC Creative Achievement Awards for Applied Art and Design

Up to three awards will be presented to BC applied artists and designers whose work has a practical function. Jewellers, industrial and fashion designers, glassmakers, furniture designers, potters, weavers are examples of some of the fields honoured by this award. 2010 recipients include Duncan potter Cathi Jefferson, Vancouver clothing and accessories designer Natalie Purschwitz, and Vancouver’s furniture and lighting design group Propellor Design  (Toby Barratt, Pamela Goddard and Nik Rust ).  The 2010 lifetime award was presented to Doug Simpson of Feathercraft who has created a world-renowned folding kayak.

Up to five awards will be presented to artists affiliated with a BC First Nation working in either traditional or contemporary First Nations’ art. Carvers, printmakers, weavers, jewelers, painters and media artists are examples of art recognized by the BC Creative Achievement Awards for First Nations’ Art.  Alvin Adkins, Haida, Vancouver; Lisa Hageman, Haida, Masset; Peter Morin, Tahltan, Victoria; Tim Paul, Nuu-chah-nulth, Port Alberni and Richard Sumner Kwakwaka’wakw, Victoria received the awards in 2010.  The lifetime award was presented to basketmaker and cultural leader Rena Point Bolton, Sto:lo, Terrace.

Recipients are selected by a panel of experts who consider creativity, originality, innovation and aesthetics when making decisions.

The awards are presented by the British Columbia Achievement Foundation, an independent foundation established and endowed by the Province in 2003 to celebrate excellence in the arts, humanities, enterprise and community service. Polygon Homes Ltd. sponsors the BC Creative Achievement Awards for First Nations’ Art and Dr. Yosef Wosk supports the BC Creative Achievement Awards for Applied Art and Design.

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19th April 2011

Impact Awards Names Judges

impact awardsExperts from across Canada have come together to select the most impactful .CA websites. Their highly valued knowledge and industry experience in eLearning, small business, not-for profit and web technology and design means ensures that the best websites will be recognized and honoured with a .CA Impact Award.

The .CA Impact Awards celebrate people and organizations using their .CA websites to make a positive difference in the lives of their users and their communities. Impact can be social, cultural, political, technological, or economic.

The judging panel is comprised of the following seven members:

  1. Tony Bates: President and CEO of Tony Bates Associates Ltd., a consulting firm in Vancouver. He has authored nine books and has given hundreds of talks on the importance of technology in higher education.
  2. David Molenhuis: National Chairman of the Canadian Federation of Students which assists students and provides them a united voice to change policy provincially and nationally.
  3. Catherine Swift: Chairwoman, President and CEO of the Canadian Federation of Independent Business. She has a depth of experience in the federal government with the Departments of Consumer and Corporate Affairs, and Industry and Communications. She was also a Senior Economist with the TD Bank.
  4. Maggie Leithead: President and CEO of Charity Village and Webmaster of Charity Village.com, an online source of information, news, jobs, services and resources for the Canadian non-profit community. Ever since she bought her first Commodore Vic 20, she has had a deep interest in computers and technology.
  5. Karen Branscombe: Superintendent of New Brunswick’s largest school district and a leader in developing Professional Learning Communities. In 2010, she was recognized as one of the most powerful women by the Women’s Executive Network. She is an avid volunteer and is a past board member of the United Way and the Moncton Rotary Club.
  6. Jean-Guy Rens – Senior Vice President of the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance (CATA), the largest high-tech association in Canada. He specializes in public policy and marketing assistance for the introduction of new products and services. He has produced many independent studies revolving around the IT market in Canada.
  7. Ben LewisBen Lewis holds a Master’s degree in Communications and Culture from Ryerson University. He has authored papers on the dangers of restrictive copyright legislation, public space on the Internet, and the use of Internet technologies in Canadian universities and colleges. He likes to build things with pixels, blocks, and acrylic paint.

Websites are evaluated based on four categories of expertise:

  • Small Business – celebrating a company whose website or application has helped a business contribute to its community, foster sales or create jobs.
  • eLearning – recognizing youth and educators who use their .CA website to share knowledge and promote education.
  • Not-for-Profit – distinguishing an NGO or association whose website or application is making a difference in the lives of members, donors, or the public.
  • Web Technology and Design – recognizing individuals and organizations for innovation and impact in enhancing the speed, reliability, practicality and/or security of the Internet for all users.

The top winners of each category will win $5,000 and their names will be announced at the Awards Gala on the opening night of mesh in Toronto on May 25, 2011.

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18th April 2011

BC High School Wins NEC Technology Giveaway Extravaganza

NEC TechnologyCommercial LCD display and projector solutions provider NEC Display Solutions of America has named Chase Secondary School as the winner of its $25,000 giveaway contest. Administrators at Chase Secondary will choose $25,000 worth of NEC products for the Chase, BC secondary school. Local dealer and NEC Star Student reseller Points West Audio Visual Ltd had notified Chase Secondary of the contest, suggesting that the school submit an entry.

“We’re extremely excited to work with Chase Secondary on their technology makeover and design something that will benefit both the faculty and students,” said Ashley Flaska, Vice President of Marketing at NEC Display Solutions. “Chase Secondary’s video submission was incredibly creative with a touch of humor that really got the public audience’s attention. We hope this contest brought awareness to schools about how they can improve their classrooms and computer labs, and that NEC has programs in place to help our customers achieve their ideal setup.”

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After more than 25,000 public votes during the month of March, Chase Secondary emerged the favorite and will take home the grand prize. The school has chosen to install projectors in its classrooms and desktop monitors. The four runners up include Robbin Hebrew Academy (Toronto), Rockvale Elementary (Rockvale, TN), St. Jude School (Joliet, IL) and Valley View School (North Brookfield, MA). Each of the runners up will receive a 32-inch NEC-E321NEC E321 for their schools. The contest through NEC’s Star Student (education) program received more than 200 entries during the submission period, and a panel of NEC judges reviewed all video submissions to select the most creative and deserving schools for the top five.

“On behalf of all the students and faculty at Chase Secondary, we are thrilled to be the grand prize winner of NEC’s Giveaway Extravaganza and humbled to be receiving new innovative technology that will benefit our students’ education,” said Mark Wereley, English Teacher at Chase Secondary School. “The staff is very much looking forward to selecting projector and desktop models for use in their classes to help improve student achievement. NEC creates reliable products that our teachers can count on and use to enhance their lessons and engage students.”

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15th April 2011

Nominees Announced for 2011 Rockies

Banff World Media FestivalBanff World Media Festival organizers have released the lists of nominees for this year’s Rockie awards, and while congratulations are due those who made the cut, I’m a little disconcerted that there were no Canadian finalists in the Non-Fiction History & Biography, Investigative & Current Affairs, Popular Science & Technology, Youth (2+), Youth (13+) Categories.  Canadian productions were also shut out of the Fictional Animation, Continuing Series, Made For TV Movies and Soap Opera categories. I find it hard to believe that with the caliber of creative talent in our country, none were deemed worthy enough of  being named as finalists. Then again, I could be biased.

Canada fared better in the Comedy Category with three Canadian nominations going up against two UK productions. Nominated are:

CAUTION: May Contain Nuts – “Blowed Up Zombie Real Good” Produced by Mosaic Entertainment Inc. For APTN

lol :-) – Season 1, Episode 2 Produced by Quebecomm For TVA

TV With TV’s Jonathan Torrens – “Freak Shows” Produced by TV Torrens 2 Productions Inc.  in association with Canwest Network For TVTropolis

In the Music and Awards Show Category, the 2010 MTV Music Video Awards (USA), Jimmy Kimmel Live – “After the Academy Awards” (USA), Doctor Who at the Proms (UK) and Netherlands production X De Leeuw will be going up against two CBC productions, Battle of the Blades – “Finale Performance Show” Produced by Insight Production Company Ltd. in association with CBC For CBC and Season of Song: Canadian Tenors and Friends Produced by Suddenly SeeMore… Productions Inc. in association with CBC, also for CBC.

Joint Canadian/German production The Pillars of the Earth, produced by Tandem Communications and Muse Entertainment in association with Scott Free Films for For Starz, The Movie Network, Movie Central and CBC-TV was nominated in the Mini-Series Category. The show is competing against productions from Japan, Germany and the UK for the Rocky.

Call Me Fitz – “The Pilot” is the lone Canadian nominee in the SitCom Category. The show is produced by Amaze Film + Television in association with Entertainment One, for TMN/Movie Central. Call Me Fitz is up against three shows from the USA and two from the UK.

In the Children’s (2+) Programs, The Olive Branch – “Sleep” (USA), Hansel and Gretel (UK) and Angelo Rules – “Who Killed The Rabbit?” (France), are in the running against three Canadian entries:

Higglety Pigglety Pop! or There Must Be More To Life, Produced by National Film Board of Canada in association with Warner Home Video For The Movie Network

Stella and Sam – “Night Fairies” Produced by Radical Sheep Productions Inc. for Family Channel and Playhouse Disney

Wingin’ It – “Hold the Dressing” Produced by Temple Street Productions in association with BBC Worldwide Distribution For Family Channel

In Youth (13+) Programs, Vacation with Derek by Shaftesbury Films Inc. for Family Channel Canada and Anash and the Legacy of the Sun-Rock – “Death and Peace”, produced by Panacea Entertainment and The Thing With Feathers Productions For APTN, ACCESS and SCN are vying against productions from Australia, Germany, Hong Kong and the UK for top honours.

For the Non-Fiction section, no Canadian titles would be representing the country in the Arts and Performing Arts Program Category but 6 Rides to Sunday, produced by White Iron Pictures Inc. For Rogers Broadcasting Limited (OMNI) got the nod in the Documentary-Style Reality Program Category.

Two shows, Tipping Point: The Age of the Oil Sands, produced by Clearwater Documentary Inc. for CBC and Architects of Change – “To Innovate is to Imitate” produced by Les Productions Vic Pelletier and Lato Sensu Productions for RDI, TFO, TV5 Monde, Ushaïa TV and TV8 Mont-Blanc are nominated for an Environmental Program award.

Dragons’ Den – Season 5, Episode 8, produced by Canadian Broadcasting Corporation for CBC is the lone Canadian finalist in Reality Program Category, and as far as the Lifestyle & Information Program Category goes, two Canadian shows were named as finalists.  Income Property – “Mike & Antoinette” produced by RTR Media Inc. in association with HGTV for For HGTV US & HGTV Canada and X-Weighted: Families – “Adrienne” produced by Anaïd Productions Inc. for Slice  are up against the American-made Storage Wars and three UK-made entries, Embarrassing Bodies, Heston’s Feast and Young Talent.

In the Wildlife & Natural History Category, Beasts of the Bible, produced by Associated Producers Ltd. for Animal Planet and Vision TV is up against two shows from Germany as well as two from the UK and one from Austria.

One Canadian program was also named as a finalist for Social & Humanitarian Documentaries. Life with Murder, produced by JS Kastner Productions in association with the National Film Board of Canada for CTV is up against two British programs as well as one Australian, one French and one American show.

For the Interactive section I am very pleased to see Museum Secrets (Kensington Communications Inc.) named as a finalist in the Best Cross-Platform Project along with One Ocean Interactive (Merit Motion Pictures in association with Tactica Interactive) and The Dating Guy (marblemedia).

Congratulations as well to Jill Golick Enterprises for the naming of Ruby Skye P.I.  as a finalist in the Best Online Program – Children & Youth Category. Four Canadian productions are finalists in the Best Online Program – Documentary Category, and all four were produced by the National Film Board of Canada:

Highrise/Out My Window
Holy Mountain!
This Land
Welcome To Pine Point

And rounding out the Canadian finalists, nominated for Best Online Program – Drama are three Canadian productions:

Being Erica Season III Webisodes – “The Road Less Travelled” Produced by Temple Street Productions in association with CBC For cbc.ca

En audition avec Simon / Casting Call – “Julie Le Breton” a_ média For tou.tv

Temp mort:Saison 2 – Episode 1 Produced by Productions Babel in association with CBC/Radio-Canada

There were no Canadian productions named as finalists in the Best Online Program – Entertainment or Best Branded Entertainment categories.

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15th April 2011

Canadian Videogame Awards Finalists Named

Canadian Video Game AwardsThe finalists in twelve categories were announced today for the upcoming Canadian Videogame Awards, which will be held in Vancouver on Wednesday, May 18th at the Centre for the Performing Arts.

More than 70 nominations were received this year from all parts of Canada, with 31 submissions represented in the list of finalists.  Winners will be voted on by a body of industry experts from across the country.

Members of the public can get in the game and cast their vote online for Canadian Game of the Year now.

The Canadian Videogame Awards will be held the night before the Canadian Game Conference (formerly GDC-Canada) in Vancouver. As the third largest developer of video games in the world, the show will celebrate Canada’s spot on the world stage as a leader in interactive entertainment. Video Games Live will be back to provide the entertainment for the evening and the show will broadcast across the country on Citytv and G4 Canada through the Rogers Network.  Tickets start at $30 and are now on sale at the event website.

The Canadian Videogame Awards are sponsored by in part by Kinect for XBOX 360, G4 Canada, Sony PlayStation, Nintendo 3DS, Entertainment Software Association of Canada, The Georgia Straight and the Canadian Studios of Electronic Arts.

FINALISTS

Game of the Year

·       Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood
·       Dead Rising 2
·       FIFA 11
·       Mass Effect 2
·       Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Conviction

Best Console Game

·       Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood
·       Dead Rising 2
·       FIFA 11
·       Mass Effect 2
·       Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Conviction

Best Game on the Go

·       Lil’ Pirates
·       Osmos for iPad
·       Scrabble for iPad
·       A Space Shooter for 2 Bucks
·       Trainyard

Best Downloadable Game

·       Dead Rising 2: Case Zero
·       Deathspank
·       HOARD
·       Shank
·       A Space Shooter for 2 Bucks

Best Audio

·       Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood
·       Dawn of War II: Chaos Rising
·       Mass Effect 2
·       Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions
·       Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Conviction

Best Social/Casual Game

·       Dex Hamilton: Alien Entomologist
·       GardenMind
·       Mercenaries of War
·       Pocket God on Facebook
·       Pot Farm

Best Game Design

·       Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood
·       Deathspank
·       Mass Effect 2
·       Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Conviction
·       Trainyard

Best Technology

·       Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood
·       Kinect for XBOX 360
·       Mass Effect 2
·       Scrabble for iPad
·       Your Shape Fitness Evolved

Best Visual Arts

·       Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood
·       Mass Effect 2
·       Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions
·       Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Conviction
·       Tron: Evolution

Best Writing

·       Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood
·       Dawn of War II: Chaos Rising
·       Mass Effect 2
·       Prince of Persia – The Forgotten Sands
·       Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Conviction

Best Student Game

·       Codex
·       Ginkgo
·       Hootlin
·       WOMP!

Innovation Award

·       Kinect Joy Ride
·       ModNation Racers
·       Scrabble for iPad
·       Spider-Man: Shattered Dimensions
·       Your Shape Fitness Evolved

For full event information please visit:  www.canadianvideogameawards.com or follow along on Facebook or Twitter.  The Canadian Videogame Awards are produced by Reboot Communications in partnership with Greedy Productions and are officially endorsed by the Entertainment Software Association of Canada and DigiBC. The producers are joined by a national committee of developers, leaders, and associations from the Canadian interactive entertainment industry.

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12th April 2011

Air Canada Opens 5th enRoute Film Fest For Entries

Reminder: INplay early bird ticket deadline is April 14th
Seminar: CanWIT Ottawa Chapter Presents – Setting Yourself Up For Success Series – April 19th
Seminar Series: CanWIT Toronto presents – The 2011 Professional Development 4 Part Series – Starts April 14th
Seminar: CanWIT BC Signature Lunch – Career in Project Management – April 20th

Congratulations to all of the digital sector companies who have been named to Canada’s Top 100Great Place To Work Great Places To Work:

Microsoft CanadaGoogle CanadaNetAppSAS Institute (Canada) Inc.Habañero Consulting GroupT4G LimitedIntuit CanadaDisney Online Studios Canada (Club Penguin) – CDW Canada Inc.SandvineQualcommOnline Business SystemsFinancialCAD CoporationNintendo of Canada LtdAutodeskSoftchoice CorporationVivonetIdeacaIT/Net Ottawa Inc.WishGroup Inc.EPIC Information SolutionsZedi

Air Canada’s enRoute Film Festival today announced it is inviting Canadian film students and emerging filmmakers to enter its fifth annual short film festival. Each year, a jury selects the enroute AirCanadabest short films and broadcasts them to a large international audience on Air Canada’s inflight entertainment system.

The winner of Best Short Film will receive a $5,000 cash prize courtesy of presenting sponsor Cineplex Entertainment. Other awards include Achievement in Direction, Achievement in Cinematography, and Achievement in Animation. All award winners will receive an exciting new destination prize to Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival in France.Air Canada

Past jury members have included Jason Priestly, Denis Villeneuve, Donald Sutherland, Alan Cumming, Dan Aykroyd and Rémy Girard, among many others. This year’s jury will be announced this summer.

Selected films will be broadcast on Air Canada’s personal seatback entertainment system on the Canadian Movies channel viewed by millions of Air Canada customers around the world. A free public screening and awards celebration will be held in Toronto at the end of the year to honour the winners.

world astronautsWorldastronauts.com is excited to announce the launch of a new network of sites featuring space news, travel, multimedia and blogs. VirtualSpaceHotel.com will be the first of its kind and offer a limited number of commercial discotoastand personal advertising opportunities. The sites will use 3D Graphic and Web Design granting visitors and members a truly unique virtual experience. This Virtual Space Hotel is aimed at those interested in participation of a global network solely dedicated to space exploration. The site will also offer the opportunity for affiliates to link to their sites and homepages. Creative web design, development and maintenance of the World Astronaut’s Network is managed by the Toronto Canada’s Discotoast Inc. and owned exclusively by New Hampshire-based URL Development.

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11th April 2011

Digital Alberta Awards Open For Submissions

digital albertaNominations are now being accepted for the Digital Alberta Awards. Formerly known as the mediaFresh Awards, the Digital Alberta Awards recognize companies, individuals and technologies that have shaped Alberta’s digital landscape. Through nominations the Digital Alberta Awards notes the excellence achieved in Alberta’s industries where digital media has significantly strengthened, improved or innovated. These awards will be presented to outstanding companies, individuals or organizations in industry sectors who have demonstrated the greatest impact on the market using digital media and technologies. The deadline for nominations is May 6th, with the winners announced and awards presented during a Cocktail Reception in Calgary at the Hotel Arts on June 6th from 6:00 pm-9:00 pm.

The Categories Are:

* B2B Innovation
* B2C Innovation
* Best Agency
* Best Combined Hardware & Software Experience
* Best Digital Design
* Best Digital Startup
* Best in Cross-Platform Content
* Best in E-learning
* Best in Financial Services
* Best in Gaming
* Best in Social Media
* Best Social Impact
* Best Use of Film, Animation or SFX
* Best User Experience
* Government 2.0
* Mobile Innovation
* People’s Choice Award
* Sponsors
* The Student Digital Award

A reminder to all Digital Alberta members, your Annual General Meeting will be held on April 19th. If you’re in Edmonton, the meeting will be held at the Advanced Technology Centre boardroom. If you’re in Calgary, it will be held at the Alastair Ross Technology Centre. The Association is currently seeking three new Directors as well as people who are interested in volunteering to help out with the Association. Click here if you could be that person.

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