10th May 2011

Ode To A Post-It Note Wins A Webby

3mOde To A Post-It Note has been named the best Branded Entertained Online Film & Video by the 15th Annual Webby Awards. The film was produced by Vancouver’s Meditating Bunny Studio Inc. and commissioned by 3M Canada.

The film begins with a cluttered office desk plastered with to-do lists scribbled on Post-it Notes. One brave Post-it Note escapes on an incredible journey of self-discovery to find his father, which brings him to St. Paul, Minnesota where he tracks down Art Fry, the inventor of Post-it Notes.

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“The Webby Awards honour the very best of the Internet,” said David-Michel Davies, Executive Director of the Webby Awards. “Jeff Chiba Stearns’ achievement for Ode To A Post-it Note is a testament to the skill, ingenuity and vision of its creators.”

meditating bunny studiosProducer Jeff Chiba Stearns, of Meditating Bunny Studio Inc., and executive producer Sherry Browne, of 3M Canada, are honoured to be among the winners of the annual Webby Awards which will presented in New York City on Monday, June 13, 2011.

The Webby Awards are infamous online and around the world. They’re considered the Internet’s highest honour and winners are chosen by members of the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (which includes such members as David Bowie, Beck, Arianna Huffington, Internet inventor Vint Cerf, and Richard Branson). The 15th Annual Webby Awards received nearly 10,000 entries from over 60 countries.

“3M Canada is very honoured that Jeff Chiba Stearns is receiving this award for his work on Ode To A Post-it Note,” commented Sherry Browne, Marketing Manager at 3M Canada. “This animated film has touched the hearts of people around the world, especially those who are fans of Post-it products”.

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9th May 2011

IGLOO Picks Up Two Awards At Technology Services World

IGLOO Online CommunitiesIGLOO Software has announced it is the recipient of the Technology Services Industry Association (TSIA) Recognized Innovator Award for Social Collaboration. The company won the honour for its social intranet and extranet solutions at the spring 2011 Technology Services World (TSW) conference in Silicon Valley.

IGLOO was also awarded Best in Tour, as voted by attendees, following the Innovation Tours at the conference. Conducted by John Ragsdale, TSIA vice president of technology research, the tours featured demos from all of the Recognized Innovator finalist companies, including CitrixOnline, Coveo, InQuira and LivePerson.

Communities, powered by IGLOO, allow business professionals to share files and capture knowledge, locate documents and expertise, communicate with colleagues and IGLOO Online Communitiescustomers, build connections and work better together around projects. Services professionals frequently use IGLOO to build a knowledge base and encourage peer-to-peer interaction in order to reduce support costs and increase sales.

“Technology innovation is a driving force for businesses in every sector of the market,” said John Ragsdale, vice president of technology research for TSIA. “IGLOO Software was selected as a winner for its leadership in developing an innovative social collaboration solution that aims to improve the capture, sharing and consumption of ideas and expertise across employee, partner and customer communities. We were proud to honor them at our spring TSW event.”

The Recognized Innovator Awards are the only independently judged awards program that recognizes innovation in technology services products and service offerings documented with customer case studies of measurable business value and results. The Recognized Innovators in each category were selected by a panel of judges, including industry experts and TSIA members.

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7th May 2011

VFS Impact Award 2011 Nominees

Vancouver Film School will be holding its 4th Annual Impact Awards Gala in a formal affair on May 9th at VFSFiveSixty, 560 Seymour in Vancouver. Tickets for the event cost $10.00 each for food, entertainment and the award presentations. They are available from the Entertainment Business Management department, which is located on the third floor at the VFS 198 W. Hastings Street campus.

Award Categories and Nominees:

More Than The Sum Of Its Parts

  • Compendium Vol. 2 Lotus Eaters
  • Square One
  • Miles Off Track Episode 2

Difference Maker

  • Army Wives Calendar
  • Autumn
  • Beautiful One

Outstanding Performance

  • Melissa Steblyk
  • Patricia Carr
  • Bobbilee Mercer

Zero to Sixty

  • The Blast Light “Le B’Anana”
  • Littering
  • Achito

Outstanding Character Design

  • Professor Gianotten & Doctor Casion in A Case of Stars and Daggers
  • Sundown Castle
  • The Qallupilluk

Public Enlightenment

  • Big Brother PSA
  • Quake Ready
  • Earthquake Preparedness Infographic

Outstanding Emotional Impact

  • I See You
  • Edie and Me
  • Little Hero

Outstanding Setting Design

  • Gaia
  • Sweetest Thing
  • Gliese 851

Friend of VFS

  • Doug Carnegie (Vancouver Props and Costumes)
  • Jonas Young (Technicolor)
  • Debbie Mahood

Technical Achievement

  • Face of the War
  • Compendium Volume 3
  • Kettle Corn

Mission Impossible

  • Sudoku
  • War Torn
  • Square One

Story Teller

  • I See You
  • The Notepad
  • Zombie Chicken

Award Presenters include Sebastien De Carstell, Louise Lee, Ncholas Humphries and Peter Marshall
Sponsors for the Impact Awards include Five Sixty, Megabite, Hollynorth, Artistat, Delectable Events and London Drugs.

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6th May 2011

Canadian Short Screenplay Competition Finalists Named

Canadian Short Screenplay CompetitionDavid Cormican, founder of the Canadian Short Screenplay Competition, has announced the top thirteen finalist selections for the 2010/11 CSSC. The list of thirteen short film scripts and writers was determined by the judges and narrowed down from the previously announced Top 25 screenplays as entered in competition from all 2010/11 CSSC entries.

The grand prize winner will receive the Writers’ Block Crystal and an Apple iPad, in addition to the largest cash prize of any short film screenplay competition, $2,500.00. Second and Third place entrants will receive $500.00 and $100.00, respectively. The grand prizewinner will be announced and made official during the Golden Sheaf Awards gala at the Yorkton Film Festival, May 28, 2011 in Yorkton, SK.

All thirteen finalists will receive complimentary Yorkton Film Festival accreditation to attend the Golden Sheaf Awards gala, as well as be treated to the workshops, panels, films and networking social events taking place during the oldest film festival in North America.

One of the top three winners’ script will also be produced into a short film later on this year. Last year’s 2nd place script, “Minus Lara” (written by Surita Parmar), will receive its World premiere as an official selection of the Yorkton Film Festival. “Minus Lara” has also been nominated for the Golden Sheaf Ruth Shaw Award for Best in Saskatchewan.

The 2010/11 CSSC Top 13 finalists (in no particular order) are:

“Shattered Worlds”, Matthew Layden CAN
“The Ridge to the River”, Edmund Jory AUS
“Sudden Death”, Al Kline USA
“Elijah The Prophet”, Zachary Herrmann USA
“Tubby’s Car Project”, Julian Williams UK
“When The Dust Settles”, Suleiman Wali USA
“Strange Music”, Ira Henderson CAN
“The Chicken and the Egg”, Lisa Eismen AUS
“Mother Will Be So Pleased”, Carrie Ann Lee CAN
“The Great Ghouldini”, Ian Johnston CAN
“The Box Social”, Scott Summerhayes CAN
“13?, Sundae Jahant-Osborn UK
“Near Sighted”, Evan Jobb, CAN

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5th May 2011

Frima Picks Up FITC Award

frima studioFrima Studios and Zombie Tycoon: Icefield Demo have won the FITC award for ‘Best 3D Flash’. Built using a combination of Adobe’s Molehill technology and Frima’s proprietary IceField 3D engine, Zombie Tycoon is one of the most advanced Flash games to be released. The honor was given at the FITC Awards in Toronto on May 3rd, 2011.
Zombie Tycoon Icefield Demo
“We’re thrilled to have been recognized for our achievements in 3D Flash,” said Steve Couture, CEO of Frima. “Luc Beaulieu, our CTO, and our entire R&D team did an exceptional job working with the 3D technology to create the Zombie Tycoon: Icefield Demo. Frima has always focused on new and cutting edge technology, and this award inspires us to continue to be a leading edge video game developer.”

In Zombie Tycoon, players control their very own horde of ravenous zombies! Developed in just a few months by Frima Studios’ R&D team, the Zombie Tycoon: IceField Demo offers three levels of zombie madness. Two game modes are available to try; mild, which offers players a chance to explore and conquer the game world, and chunky mode which offers players the chance to see the full power of the new technology with over a hundred zombies moving on the screen at the same time. Zombie Tycoon: IceField Demo was also nominated for the ‘Technical Excellence in Flash’ award.

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3rd May 2011

Only Two Weeks To Go Until The Canadian Games Conference

Canadian Games ConferenceIf you haven’t already registered for the Canadian Games Conference, there is still time, but don’t wait too long. This year’s event features Sessions in business, production, design, programming, social games, and iPhone games, and offers visionary keynotes, an expo hall, and some great parties, receptions and networking events. Group and student rates also available.

Victor Lucas, host and executive producer of The Electric Playground is confirmed to open Day 2 of this year’s Canadian Games Conference with a 9:30am keynote address. Seen daily by millions on his popular TV show, Victor is also the President of Greedy Productions and Executive Producer of Reviews on the Run. Victor will be interviewed onstage at CGC by Blaine Kyllo, Games critic and columnist for The Georgia Straight.

Here are the latest Session and Speaker Announcements for CGC 2011:

* Monster Teams: How One Producer Tamed the Beast and Lived to Tell About It – Alexandre Parizeau, Senior Producer, Ubisoft Toronto

* Classic Game Postmortem: Bejeweled – Jason Kapalka, Co-founder, and Chief Creative Officer, Popcap Games

* Don’t Just Build an App: Build a Mobile Business – Charles Yim, Strategic Partner Development, Google

* Late to the Party: Go or No Go? A Facebook Games Panel featuring:

Brenda Bailey Gershkovitch, CEO Silicon Sisters
David Bezahler, CEO Blitzoo Games
Rick Davidson, CEO Inspirado Games

* Making Academic/Industry Partnerships Work

Magy Seif El-Nasr, Professor, School of Interactive Arts and Technology, Simon Fraser University
Paul Newton, QA Development Director, Electronic Arts Canada
Sang Mah, former Director of Interactive Media, Bardel Entertainment
Bruce Gooch, Associate Professor, Department of Computer Science, University of Victoria, President and Manager, Relevant Games and Toon-FX.

You don’t want to miss the PechaKucha Session that will be closing out this year’s conference. Devised in Tokyo in February 2003 as an event for young designers to meet, network, and show their work in public, PechaKucha has turned into a massive celebration, with events happening in hundreds of cities around the world, inspiring creatives worldwide. Drawing its name from the Japanese term for the sound of “chit chat”, it rests on a presentation format that is based on a simple idea: 20 images x 20 seconds. It’s a format that makes presentations concise, and keeps things moving at a rapid pace. Come be inspired by high energy stories from the world of Games as CGC closes with PechaKucha.Canadian Video Game Awards

The Canadian Videogame Awards featuring Video Games Live is a great way to kick off your conference experience. The show takes place on May 18th at the Centre for the Performing Arts in Vancouver, and will be hosted by Electric Playground’s Victor Lucas. This is the party that will kick-off CGC, and tickets start at just $30.00 Join the biggest names in the Canadian game industry as we celebrate Canadian excellence.

It’s also not too late to become a sponsor, exhibitor or show partner. Visit the Conference or Awards sites to find out about exhibiting at CGC, hosting a party, reception or networking event.

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3rd May 2011

BDC Honours Young Entrepreneurs

bdcThe Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) will honour 11 of the country’s most successful young entrepreneurs tonight at the 23rd edition of its Young Entrepreneur Awards (YEA) held in Saskatoon.

“Young entrepreneurs make an important contribution to their respective communities and to Canada’s economic prosperity. This year’s YEA winners have turned innovative ideas into commercial success stories,” says BDC President and CEO Jean-René Halde. “They are all passionate about what they do, are motivated by challenge and ready to expand their businesses into new markets. BDC’s Young Entrepreneur Award winners give us every reason to be optimistic about the future of entrepreneurship in Canada.”

This year’s YEA winners were chosen based on the originality of their business concept, as well as their company’s success, growth potential and social involvement. The provincial and territorial selection committees also considered the entrepreneur’s, the number of years he or she has been in business and any special challenges that were overcome.

Two special awards, sponsored by Deloitte and Cisco, are also being presented at tonight’s ceremony. The Deloitte Social Responsibility Award honours a YEA winner whose company promotes community well-being, sound human resources management or environmental protection. The Cisco Innovation Excellence Award goes to the YEA winner who has expanded his or her business through innovative practices, creativity or originality of product and services.

BDC’s 2011 Young Entrepreneur Awards winners

British Columbia: Arnold Leung, 25, Appnovation Technologies, Vancouverappnovation
Open source—the technology that powers social media—is Arnold Leung’s ticket to success. After graduating from the University of British Columbia, where he started a web development business with two friends, Arnold struck out on his own in 2007. With 30 employees, Appnovation specializes in open source websites and iPhone applications and has annual revenues of more than $1 million. Arnold was also selected for Business in Vancouver magazine’s 2010 Top 40 under 40 list.

Alberta: Jason Parks, 31, Profab Welding Ltd., Grande Prairie
After leaving school in his teens and leaving behind his dream of being a professional hockey player, Jason turned to welding, his other passion. Beginning with one truck in 2003, he used his flair for equipment design and his natural business instincts to land a major contract in the oil services industry. When the recession hit in 2007, Jason seized the opportunity to diversify his business and expand operations from northern to southern Alberta. Having secured international patents for some of his products, Jason is now searching for global business opportunities.

Saskatchewan: Rachel Mielke, 30, Hillberg & Berk, Regina
With plenty of creativity and just as much marketing savvy, Rachel turned her teenage hobby of making jewellery into a lucrative, high-profile business. Her handmade creations gained international attention when they were selected for the gift bags distributed at the 2008 Academy Awards. Rachel wants her Hillberg & Berk jewellery line to become a major Canadian fashion brand and appeared on CBC-TV’s Dragons’ Den, receiving financing from business mogul and philanthropist, and fellow Saskatchewanian, W. Brett Wilson.

Manitoba: Mark Kohaykewych, 33, Todd Jenkyns, 34, and Peter Chedley, 34, Jenkyns Electric Ltd., Winnipeg
Mark, Todd and Peter founded Jenkyns Electric to bring energy-smart power solutions to industrial customers in Winnipeg and remote communities in northern Manitoba. Their company stands out in a crowded marketplace because of its solid reputation for customer service and environmentally friendly practices. Jenkyns Electric is certified with the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) program and recently added data services to its mix of customer offerings.

Ontario: Jeremy Gutsche, 32, Trend Hunter Inc., Torontotrendhunter
An innovation enthusiast and natural-born entrepreneur, Jeremy is the brains behind TrendHunter.com, a website that tracks hot trends in pop culture, technology and fashion. Trend Hunter’s platform brings together data from 40,000 contributors around the world, then hyperlinks the research and compiles it into value-added trend reports. The website attracts 35 million views a month, and some of its content has gone viral. As an author and keynote speaker, Jeremy makes regular media appearances.

Québec: Steve Couture, 35, Frima Studio inc., Quebec Cityfrima studio
In 2003, Steve founded Frima Studio with two partners and turned it into a leading game developer on platforms ranging from the Web, consoles and mobiles, to handheld devices and TV. After investing hundreds of thousands of hours in research and development, Frima has won acclaim for its hit creations, including A Space Shooter for 2 bucks!, Pocket God on Facebook and Zombie Tycoon, and for its major youth brand products. The company has more than 260 employees and is focused on bringing entertainment to screens both big and small—from IMAX to iPhones.

New Brunswick: Pierre Martell, 29, Martell Home Builders, Moncton
After founding Martell Homes in 2006, Pierre introduced a web-enabled customer interface and transformed the house purchasing experience for new home buyers. Martell Homes offers clients a 99-day construction guarantee for homes of 2,000 square feet or smaller and consistently delivers them on budget. Client satisfaction is so high that Martell Homes won the Atlantic Home Warranty Customer Choice Award in 2010 and 2011.

Nova Scotia: Anaïs Guimond, 32, Atlantic Cirque Agency and School, Halifax
Intrigued as a young girl by the artistry of Canada’s internationally renowned Cirque du Soleil, this former bungee-trapeze performer opened a circus performing arts school in 2002 in a province and in a language that were new to her. Residents in the Halifax-Dartmouth area quickly embraced her ideas and enthusiasm, and Atlantic Cirque soon had 150 attendees at weekly classes. In addition to circus arts, the school offers summer camps, workshops and corporate team-building programs. Anaïs is currently producing the company’s 10-year anniversary show and plans to expand her popular cirque school concept into other markets.

Prince Edward Island: Rachelle Wood, 29, Rachelle Wood Nutrition Inc., Charlottetown
Rachelle launched her nutrition practice in 2005 to help people lose weight and develop a healthier relationship with food. Her 52-week online SeeResults program features recipes and customized meal plans, self-help advice and one-on-one coaching. Her success has attracted interest from other nutritionists, and Rachelle has developed a software version of SeeResults that sells across Canada. With an eye on continued growth, she is developing French and Spanish versions of her program, as well as iPhone and BlackBerry applications.

Newfoundland and Labrador: Greg Hanley, 31, Hanley Construction and Renovation Inc., St. John’s
Greg recognizes a competitive advantage when he sees one, and was quick to bring green, environmentally friendly construction standards to the first-time, residential housing market. After starting a renovation business in 2001, Greg moved into new home construction before diversifying into land development and excavation services. Using insulated concrete building forms that are well suited to Canada’s harsh climate, Hanley Construction and Renovation provides energy-efficient products that reduce energy consumption and cut costs.

Yukon: Cole Hodinski, 33, Horizon Helicopters, Whitehorse
Cole established Horizon Helicopters in 2007 after working as a pilot in North America and Asia. While vacationing in Yukon, he recognized an opportunity to fly light aircraft and serve the territory’s air transportation market. He introduced helicopters with improved operational and safety performance, and low fuel consumption. With a roster of experienced pilots, Horizon now serves clients in such sectors as mining, mineral exploration, environmental assessment, tourism and medical evacuation. Cole’s goal is to deliver a sustainable helicopter service to Yukon.

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29th April 2011

VIATeC Announces 2011 Technology Award Finalists

2011 VIATeC Technology AwardsThe 2011 VIATeC Technology Award Finalists were announced last night at a gala ceremony interspersed with cheers for the Canucks as they won the first game in their second round series against the Predators. VIATeC also announced a new branding campaign in Victoria’s Times Colonist newspaper which will see the capitol region using the moniker “Tectoria.”

The VIATeC Technology Awards will be held on June 2, 2011 at the Victoria Conference Centre. You are invited to help celebrate the achievements of technology companies responsible for making Greater Victoria the fastest growing technology region in British Columbia. Now in its tenth year, the awards provide well deserved recognition for some of Victoria’s most innovative firms and a great opportunity for the local tech community to gather and celebrate each other’s successes.viatec

“We look forward to another exciting night of recognition and networking. We are proud that so many look forward to this event and honoured to play a role in highlighting the people, companies and innovations that make technology Victoria’s largest revenue producing industry,” explains Dan Gunn, Executive Director of VIATeC. “We’ve received a record number of nominations this year and we are thankful to everyone who takes the time to nominate and get involved.”

The finalists for the 2011 VIATeC Technology Awards are:

Technology Company of the Year:

-Backstage
-Contech Enterprises Inc.
-GeoDigital International Inc.
-HP Advanced Solutions Inc.
-Terapeak
-UNIT4 Business Software

Emerging Technology Company of the Year:

-Bet Smart Media
-Checkfront Inc.
-EvoShift Communications Inc.
-Reef Safe Fish Inc.
-Wifarer Inc.

Product of the Year:

-Contech Enterprises Inc.
-northStudio.com
-ParetoLogic
-ShipConstructor Software Inc.
-Terapeak

Executive of the Year:

-Alex Mendelev, CEO, Backstage
-Darren Larkins, CEO, ShipConstructor Software Inc.
-Scott Phillips, CEO Starfish Medical Inc.
-Phillip Stanger, CEO, Wifarer Inc.

Innovative Excellence:

-cebas Visual Technology Inc.
-NetroMedia Streaming
-RaceRocks 3D
-UNIT4 Business software
-Wifarer Inc.

Environmental Excellence:

-Carmanah Technologies Corporation
-Hydra Cat Performance Systems

Online Strategy of the Year:

-AdviceScene Enterprises Inc.
-Atomic Crayon
-Business Performance Solutions Inc.
-bWEST Communications Inc.

Member’s Choice for Service Provider of the Year:

-Adamek Financial
-Farris, Vaughan, Wills & Murphy LLP
-LL Brougham Inc.

Employee/Team of the Year:

-GeoDigital International Production, Project Management & Innovation Team
-Denis Morais, ShipConstructor Software Inc.
-Terapeak – Development Team

Employer of the Year:

-Backstage
-Edoc Systems Group Ltd.
-Reliable Controls Corporation
-RevenueWire

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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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