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5th July 2011

Fido Commits Funds To Environmental And Community Projects

fidoFido and Evergreen have announced the launch of Fido Share Your Care™, a campaign to support local environmental and community projects. Canadians are invited to vote for their favourite project at Share Your Care . In total, Fido will share $100,000 among 20 different local projects across Canada. “We want to work together and encourage Canadians to make choices that will reduce their ecological impact and benefit their communities directly,” says Steven Sarfin, Senior Director, Marketing, Fido. “We believe in making our cities more liveable and we know that our customers want this too. We’re happy to give Canadians the opportunity to show their support.” share your care

Each of the 20 projects involved with Share Your Care receive base support of $2,500 totaling $50,000. In addition, the remaining $50,000 will be distributed between the three projects which receive the most votes. From July 5th until August 14th, Facebook users can vote once per day for their favourite project. Votes will be gathered and ranked by popularity. The three community projects with the highest number of votes will be announced at the end of August.

Some of the organizations participating in Fido Share Your Care include the Gorge Waterway Initiative in Victoria, the Fletcher Wildlife Garden in Ottawa, Friends of the Coves Subwatershed in London, the Ann & Sandy Cross Conservation Area in Calgary, and Befriending the Mountain in Montreal.

“It’s often difficult to see how we can make a difference in the face of global environmental issues,” explains Geoff Cape, the Executive Director of Evergreen. “That’s why we are pleased to be working with Fido to help local champions take up the challenge in their own way and in their own community, by applying a local solution through the Share Your Care initiative.”

Partners since 2009, Fido and Evergreen have worked together to restore degraded public spaces, increase opportunities for outdoor recreation, education and enjoyment, as well as improve the health and biodiversity of natural habitats in urban communities. To date, Fido has helped Evergreen support more than 190 school ground greening projects, 800 public greening events and workshops, engage more than 20,000 volunteers and plant over 40,000 trees and shrubs across Canada.  In addition, Fido has saved over 3.62 tonnes of paper through its online billing initiative.

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5th July 2011

Infoway Challenge Sparks Innovations for Health Care

imaginenationImagine having your child’s immunization record at the click of a mouse, as well as email alerts when they need a vaccination. Or using your cell phone to track the care that you need during pregnancy, your due date, and your ultrasounds.  Or using an app to manage your diabetes, with helpful advice on how to improve your results. These are just a few of the winning ideas submitted to the ImagineNation Ideas Challenge, which asked Canadians how they would improve health and health care through innovation in information and communications technologies (ICT).

“Canadians are passionate about our health system, and we wanted their ideas on how digital solutions could strengthen health care,” said Richard Alvarez, President and CEO, Canada Health Infoway (Infoway).  “The calibre of entries we received surpassed our high expectations and the range of ideas on leveraging ICT to improve access, safety, and efficiency of care is inspiring.”

When the Ideas Challenge was launched in March 2011, Canadians were asked to submit their ideas online. An independent panel of judges selected the top five bold and innovative ideas through two rounds of judging.

The first place submission and winner of a $10,000 award is a web-based system to record and schedule immunizations, based on the latest recommendations from the Canadian Immunization Guide.  The idea comes from Dr. Christopher Clarke based on his experience as a family doctor in Puslinch, Ontario. “I imagined a website where each patient would open an account to contain their comprehensive immunization history. More important, the website would continuously update a personalized plan for each patient’s future immunizations, using the latest Canadian guidelines and including any new vaccines,” said Dr. Clarke. “Modern IT is ideal for communicating this sort of complex information to both patients and clinicians.”

The Canada’s Choice Award winner – determined through thousands of votes cast by Canadians – is “Mom2B”, a mobile telephone app for expectant mothers based on health guidance from Canadian experts. It would offer help at every stage, from fertility planning to tracking contractions. The “Mom2B” idea was submitted by Jeff Biletchi and colleagues at Niagara Region Public Health.

The following three submissions round out the top 5 winning ideas.  Each entry has earned a $5,000 award:

  • “Empower persons with diabetes interactively with enhanced reporting on iPads,” including tracking their health condition, viewing information from their health team and lab results, and receiving personalized advice to reduce the risk of complications (submitted by Jonathan Lapointe, Montreal)
  • “Head Home, Speak Up:  Empower patients and health care providers with an online voice at discharge” to improve the hand-off between hospital and home (submitted by Pamela Chan and Richard Norman, Toronto)
  • “Connected health care…The whole life EHR” to track key health information for individuals with chronic conditions, such as vital signs or medications dispensed, and make it available to them and their health team (submitted by Donna Byrne and her team from Quebec)

“Innovation is a driving force behind what we do at Infoway – and is key to the future of health care,” added Dr. Jennifer Zelmer, Senior Vice-President of Clinical Adoption and Innovation, Infoway. “The ImagineNation Ideas Challenge identified some great ideas and helped to get Canadians thinking and talking about health care in the digital age.”

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5th July 2011

Time For An Indie Summer Uprising

IGSUTaking note of the commercial and critical success of the Indie Game Uprising last winter, a Summer Indie Uprising has been declared. Several Xbox Live independent developers have banded together to again promote some of the most outstanding titles which best represent their platform. Immediately following Xbox Live’s Summer of Arcade, gamers will have the opportunity to play some of the greatest titles to grace the platform.

The group’s goal is clear – just as the previous uprising had successfully done, they are raising consumer awareness of the platform by showcasing some of the most creatively diverse titles offered on XBLIG. There will be a total of 8 developer-voted titles released each business day beginning on  Monday, August 22nd and ending on Wednesday, August 31st.

Community input is requested, for  in addition to the developer selected titles, the gaming community will have the opportunity to vote for their two favorite candidates from the 70+ developer submissions on the IGSU Facebook page from August  1st until August 15th. The community favorites will be released at the tail end of the promotion on Thursday September 1st and Friday September 2nd. The winners will be announced at the IGSU Developer Twitter chat, which will occur the day after the polls close on Tuesday August 16th – 8PM EST, using the hash tag #IGSU.  Moreover, the chat will offer the community a chance to communicate directly with all of the developers in a creative and immersive environment.

Indie Games Uprising Summer Schedule:

July 4th – July 18th: Developer voting for 8 titles to represent the platform
August 1st – August 15th: Community voting for 2 additional titles they would most like to play
August 16th – 9PM EST: IGSU Developer Twitter chat, community winners announced
August 22nd – September 2nd: Promotion and release of 8 developer and 2 community voted titles

Visit the new Indie Games Uprising web site for a full list of candidates, trailers, screenshots and more.

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4th July 2011

Need For Speed The Run Seeks European Spokesmodel

EA GamesFor our European readers: Hot cars, exotic travel and Need for Speed, the world’s top racing video game – are you up for the ultimate job? Beginning today, EA and Need for Speed is conducting the 2011 ‘Need for Speed European Spokesmodel Search’. This continent-wide search is set to discover two women with boundless energy, an outgoing personality and an edgy style fused with a passion for cars and gaming.

The winners will act as Need for Speed ambassadors at events throughout 2012 including representing Need for Speed products at high profile gaming events across Europe and our Team Need for Speed racing team in the prestigious FIA GT3 European Championship and Euro Drift program.NFS-The Run

Models searches are being conducted in Six territories: France, Germany, Norway, Russia, Ireland and the United Kingdom. Finalists will be selected from each territory with the final two winners being announced in November in conjunction with the release of Need for Speed The Run.

Along with the chance to represent the UK in the grand final, two UK regional finalists will win £1500 worth of entertainment merchandise. The UK regional competition is now live for online entries.

Since 1994, Need for Speed has been a leading force in gaming and automotive culture.  With over 115 million units sold, Need for Speed has debuted some of the world’s hottest cars like the Pagani Huayra and Nissan GT-R.  It has also featured actors, models, musicians including Brooke Burke, Kelly Brook, Maggie Q, Kanye West, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and The Prodigy.

EA Black BoxFrom the Golden Gate to the Empire State, Need for Speed The Run, in development at EA Black Box, takes players on a heart-pounding, high-stakes race that will have players surrounded by the constant feeling of danger. The heat is on and lethal action unfolds as gamers not only get out of the car for the first time, but also get up-close and personal with the franchise’s first hero, Jack – all while battling hundreds of the world’s most notorious racers. Weaving through dense urban traffic, rocketing down icy mountain passes and navigating narrow canyons at breakneck speeds, players will be challenged in this illicit race for their life.

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4th July 2011

Fondness Media Launches Gourmet Heartbeat Appetizer Contests

fondness mediaOnline marketing network Fondness Media has started a brand new initiative to promote awareness of health and gourmet cooking in local communities. The company has planned a series of contests worldwide. The first of these happened in Gatineau on June 20th. At the hub of the Fondness Media network is Gourmet Recipe, a site that draws more than ten million visitors.

“Fondness Media has created Gourmet Heartbeat©, combining a very rich and extensive online presence, a value system deeply rooted in creating quality, and a fun experience for people worldwide,” said Herve Ngalani, COO of Fondness Media. “A growing community of people keeps our heartbeat ticking every day with fun, exciting stories and rich life experiences. An appetizer contest can be started by an individual or company that is interested in involving a local community.‘What we are looking for are individuals and companies with a cause close to their community.”

 

If you are an individual or an organization interested in hosting a new contest, Fondness Media will be happy to talk to you. Their screening process is very simple and straight forward. As a starting point, please visit the Ask About New Contests for more information.

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4th July 2011

Canadian Geographic Wildlife Photography Of The Year Contest

Government of CanadaThe Royal Canadian Mint is pleased to announce that it is partnering with Canadian Geographic to invite Canadians to participate in the fourth annual Canadian Wildlife Photography of the Year contest. Canada’s best wildlife photograph to be selected among thousands of entries from across the country will be featured on a superbly-crafted collector coin, to be issued by the Mint in 2012.

Until September 2, 2011, Canadians can submit a maximum of ten photographs of Canadian wildlife in any of the five contest categories: Amphibians, Reptiles and Insects; Birds; Mammals; People and Pets; and Junior Photographer (ages 15 and under). In addition to featuring the grand prize winner’s entry on a collector coin, the Mint will also award prizes to the contest’s five category winners, 10 runner-ups and 15 honourable mentions.

“The Royal Canadian Mint is always proud to showcase wildlife through the work of talented Canadians on coins whose designs and craftsmanship captivate collectors, in Canada and around the world,” said Ian E. Bennett, President and CEO of the Royal Canadian Mint. “We are thrilled to collaborate with Canadian Geographic in a unique contest which brings together thousands of photographers from across Canada to celebrate the wealth and variety of our wildlife heritage.”

“Photography is one of the cornerstones of Canadian Geographic and we are thoroughly delighted to partner with the Royal Canadian Mint on the 4th annual Canadian Wildlife Photography of the Year contest,” said André Préfontaine, President and Publisher of Canadian Geographic. “Our partnership with the Royal Canadian Mint enriches the contest and featuring the grand prize winning photograph on a collector coin offers an unparalleled opportunity for Canadian photographers.”

The grand prize winner and five category winners will see their entries published in the December 2011 issue of Canadian Geographic. Additionally, the amazing work of the category winners will be showcased in a wildlife photography exhibit which will make its debut at Ottawa’s Canadian Museum of Nature in 2012.

**Something that should be a foregone conclusion when photographing wildlife. Do not put yourself in harm’s way to get that perfect shot. This past weekend, there were numerous highways reader boards up reminding people to not stop on the highway to view wildlife, and what did we see? People out of their cars, or standing beside their bikes on the side of the highway, taking photos of a black bear cub. Remember, people – where there is a baby bear, there is a big mama bear. You do not want to mess with mama bear. Or BC’s mama deer either, for that matter.**

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1st July 2011

Submissions Open For Independent Games Festival

UBM Tech NetworkThe UBM TechWeb Game Network, organizer of the industry-leading Game Developers Conference® events, has officially opened submissions for the 2012 Independent Games Festival, being held at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) 2012 in San Francisco next March 5 – 9.

The Independent Games Festival (IGF) is the longest-running and highest-profile independent video game festival, summit, and showcase, and is now accepting entries to its 14th annual edition, with deadlines in the Main and Student Showcase categories by October 17 and October 31  respectively, and finalists to be announced in January 2012.

All games selected as finalists will be available in playable form at the IGF Pavilion on the GDC show floor from March 7 – 9, 2012, and will compete for nearly $60,000 in prizes, a significant increase from last year. This includes the high-profile $5,000 Nuovo Award, honoring abstract, short-form, and unconventional video game development.

In addition, awards for Excellence in Visual Art, Audio, and Design, Technical Excellence, Best Mobile Game, the Best Student Game, and the Audience Award each now receive a $3,000 prize, and the signature Seumas McNally Grand Prize for the independent game of the year has been increased by 50% to a record $30,000.

Winners will be announced on stage at the high-profile Independent Games Festival Awards on Wednesday, March 7, 2012, at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. The Independent Games Festival Awards are held immediately before the wider Game Developers Choice Awards.

Both multi-thousand person attendee award shows are part of the 2012 Game Developers Conference, taking place March 5th – March 9th, 2012. GDC 2012 also includes the 2012 Independent Games Summit, which is entering its sixth year and offers two days (March 5 – 7) of inspiration, practical lectures, and rants from the top minds in the independent games world.

The Independent Game Festival continues to sit at a place of global importance as the largest, most prestigious and all-encompassing showcase of independent game talent across the wide spectrum of artistically- and commercially-aimed development. Notable former IGF winners include landmark indie titles such as Minecraft, Limbo, World of Goo, Braid, Castle Crashers, Everyday Shooter, Darwinia, Audiosurf and many more.

“All of us here at the IGF are excited for a new year of the innovation and artistry we consistently see from the independent games that enter the festival,” said Brandon Boyer, chairman of the IGF. “Our transition to a more expert-focused jury system last year was a tremendous success, and we expect it will again lead to another stellar set of finalists and winners that have made this festival the most respected in the industry. Best of luck to all the entrants!”

Submissions to the competition are now open to all independent game developers; important dates for IGF 2012 are as follows:

  • June 29, 2011 – Submissions are Open
  • October 17, 2011 – Submission Deadline, Main Competition
  • October 31, 2011 – Submission Deadline, Student Competition
  • January 5, 2012 – Finalists Announced, Main Competition
  • January 12, 2012 – Finalists Announced, Student Competition
  • March 5 – March 9, 2012 – Game Developers Conference 2012
  • March 5 – March 6, 2012 – Indie Games Summit @ GDC 2012
  • March 7 – March 9, 2012 – IGF Pavilion @ GDC 2012
  • March 7, 2012 – IGF Awards Ceremony (Winners Announced!)
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1st July 2011

Old Dutch Foods Launches Digital Music Promotion

old dutch foodsHip Digital Media, Inc., a California-based company with offices in Vancouver and Toronto, along with Sony Music Entertainment Canada Inc., has successfully launched a large scale digital music promotion for Old Dutch® Potato Chips and Dutch Crunch® Kettle Cooked Potato Chips.

Nearly eight million PIN codes good for one free digital music download each have been slated for the star-studded campaign that was designed to drive sales for the popular brands within grocery and convenience stores across Canada. The chip bags feature custom designed packaging that invite consumers to visit the Old Dutch web site where every customer has the chance to enter online for the grand prize VIP Concert Experience giveaway. Customers also have a chance to win a free digital music download at Old Dutch’s custom branded store.

In order to craft a promotion of this scale LPi Group, Old Dutch’s agency of record, called on Hip Digital to deliver not only the fulfillment for the promotion, but also the technology for the digital music platform. “Hip came back to us with the Sony Music library,” stated Erin Gunther, Account Director at LPi Group. “Since we are primarily targeting males between the ages of thirteen and 25, the opportunity to showcase the Sony Music artists that appeal to this group was a big plus.”

Chris Hardy manages Brand Partnerships for Sony Music Entertainment Canada Inc., who concurred, Sony Music has a vast catalogue of local and international artists that cross all genres and we were able to suggest artists that best fit their target consumer.”

The companies look forward to also providing two VIP Concert Experience grand prizes worth $5K (CAD) each, in which the lucky winners will be able to choose from a selection of concerts performed by major Sony Music artists. The grand prizes include round trip airfare, accommodations and limousine transportation to and from the concerts. Stated Hardy, “Hip Digital is one of our key partners for digital music distribution, and we worked well together in delivering this digital music experience to their client.”

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29th June 2011

Kobo Essay Contest Features Power Lunch With Author Kelly Cutrone

koboKobo has launched a new essay contest in which the winner will enjoy a private power lunch with television personality and New York Times’ bestselling author Kelly Cutrone. Today through July 8, 2011, Cutrone fans can visit Kobo’s Facebook Page and write a short essay answer to the question: “How has normal has gotten you nowhere and how are you ready to make new moves?”

Open to residents of the continental United States and Canada (excluding Quebec), the winning essay will be chosen by Cutrone. The winner will be flown to Toronto to power lunch with the author. Cutrone will Normal Gets You Nowhere by Kelly Cutroneshare her unique brand of no-nonsense wisdom to help the winner move forward in his or her life.

“Kelly was recently in Toronto and expressed her love of Kobo as well as her desire to work with us in a way which would be truly meaningful for her fans. Kelly loves Canada and was keen to partner with Kobo on this content,” said Liz Ridout, vice president of marketing at Kobo.

“Toronto stole my heart. Anytime I can come to Toronto to see my friends and fans is a good day!” said Cutrone.

Cutrone has been a force in the fashion industry for more than 25 years. She quickly moved from industry icon to media maverick, originally appearing on MTV’s hit shows The Hills and The City. She executive produced and appeared on the Bravo series Kell on Earth and is a special contributor on the syndicated Dr. Phil show. Cutrone has penned two books: national and New York Times’ bestseller “If You Have to Cry, Go Outside: And Other Things Your Mother Never Told You” and “Normal Gets You Nowhere,” released in May 2011 by HarperOne, an imprint of HarperCollins.

Deadline for entry is July 8, 2011. No purchase is necessary to compete in this contest. The winning entry will be made available on Kobo’s Facebook Page after being selected.

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23rd June 2011

Vancouver Airport Authority Launches Unique Live Blogger Contest

live at yvrVancouver Airport Authority is on the lookout for an awesome storyteller who’s got what it takes to come live at YVR for 80 days and 80 nights and tell the unique, interesting and little-known stories of Canada’s second largest airport. The only catch: the special correspondent can’t leave YVR and its Sea Island home for the entire duration of the gig, which begins on the heels of YVR’s 80th anniversary on July 22, 2011. YVR Airport Authority

That’s right, the Live@YVR assignment focuses on covering the unique people, places and stories that make the airport so unusual – from the midnight cargo flight full of blueberries to the mid-afternoon cleaning of an aquarium that’s home to a pair of breeding wolf eels.

“We know that nearly 90 per cent of Metro Vancouver residents come to YVR at least once a year, but most of those people only get a very superficial view of what happens here,” said Rebecca Catley, Director of Communications for Vancouver Airport Authority. “We’re looking forward to welcoming a special kind of storyteller who will become immersed in fascinating airport stories and share them with the world. YVR is a small city: with 23,600 people working here — from emergency responders to environmental specialists — the stories are endless and we hope people will tune in to find out more about their airport.”

The contest launches today and is open to residents of B.C. Prospective correspondents will submit a video online that highlights their storytelling savvy. After a shortlist of finalists is chosen, the public will have the opportunity to vote its favourite applicant onto Sea Island, where he or she will begin an 80-day assignment on August 17, 2011. The correspondent will sleep at The Fairmont Vancouver Airport Hotel, live in the YVR community and experience its shops, services and restaurants. He or she will receive a living allowance during the80 days at YVR and an honorarium upon completion.

The Live@YVR correspondent will be equipped with a camera and editing equipment and will act as an all-in-one producer, director, reporter, editor and post-production supervisor. He or she will uncover stories and share the triumphs – and trials – of living at an airport full time on liveatYVR.ca, Facebook and Twitter.

“When we heard about this idea we wanted to be a part of it,” said Craig Reaume, General Manager of The Fairmont Vancouver Airport. “The Fairmont Vancouver Airport is one of the many special features atYVR for locals and visitors alike to experience, and we’re excited to highlight our unique and unexpected stories as part of Live@YVR.”

Here’s how the program works:

  • From June 23- July 18, 2011, video applications from potential candidates will be accepted at liveatYVR.ca, with entries available for public viewing.
  • Once the application process closes, a panel of judges will identify a short list, and the public will vote on the winner in early July.
  • The winner will be announced — and start his or her 80-day adventure — on August 17, 2011.
  • The winner will live at the airport for 80 days and 80 nights to share the stories of YVR with the world on liveatYVR.ca.
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