15th June 2011

Saskatchewan Robotics Challenge Workshop

Saskatchewan Science CentreThe Saskatchewan Science Centre has partnered with IBM and its subsidiary, ISM Canada, as part of IBM’s Celebration of Service through which IBM  employees, retirees and business partners donate their time and expertise in communities around the world during IBM’s Centennial year.

On June 15, the Science Centre is hosting the third of many robotics workshops planned for this year using special educational robotics kits and laptops donated by IBM and valued at $10,000. Volunteers from IBM, ISM Canada, and the Science Centre will lead today’s robotics workshops for Imperial Community School students from Grades 6 through 8. Over the course of 2011, about 100 volunteers from IBM and the community are expected to participate in the program.

“The Saskatchewan Robotics Challenge workshop is a perfect fit for us, truly inspiring minds through science and innovation,” said Saskatchewan Science Centre Executive Director Sandy Baumgartner.  “Our volunteers make learning fun and accessible, and they help the students see the possibilities for futures in science.”

The Saskatchewan Robotics Challenge places special emphasis on reaching out to young people from First Nations and Aboriginal schools. “We’re finding that our First Nations are under-represented in science and technology careers, and we want to help change that,” said Hugh Hudson, IBM’s Senior Location Executive for Saskatchewan. “The Robotics Challenge workshop is a way of opening career doors. Students become more aware of the possibilities, and we hope they discover that the experience of building a robot with one of our mentor-volunteers sparks their interest in learning more about future careers in technology.”

In recognition of 100 years in business, the 2011 IBM Celebration of Service spans more than 120 countries where IBMers live and conduct business. The Saskatchewan Science Centre offers over 20 curriculum-based workshops designed to supplement what educators are teaching, or to introduce new concepts using resources not available at every school.

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15th June 2011

Storyville Vancouver Call for Submissions

viffThe 26th edition of the Vancouver International Film Festival’s Film & TV Forum runs from September 27th through 30th, and New Filmmakers’ Day is on October 1st. The 2011 Forum is proud to stimulate the development, co-financing and co-production of the creative documentary by creating Storyville Vancouver, an opportunity for filmmakers based in British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest to pitch their projects to an international forum of commissioning editors. Please Download the entry form and regulations (Excel .xls 151kb) from the Storyville page for complete information.

Storyville Vancouver, in partnership with BC public broadcaster Knowledge Network Corporation is scheduled for presentation during The Forum.  The Forum and Knowledge Network are delighted to have attracted some of the world’s leading broadcasters to Vancouver to help our filmmakers develop long-term strategic relationships and enhance project development. This initiative is inspired in part by the Amsterdam Forum organized by IDFA and with a nod to Nick Fraser’s BBC strand.

Pre-selected creative, feature length (minimum TV hour) documentary projects, at various levels of development, from BC and the Pacific Northwest will be publicly pitched to international commissioning editors with accredited Forum observers in attendance.

Not sure what The Forum is looking for? According to the Storyville page, “the creative documentary is the crown jewel of the non-fiction world – passionate, cutting edge, filmmaker-driven, in-depth, up close and personal…These are projects that take the writer’s/director’s point of view on a real-life subject in a ‘creative’ manner and require significant writing and research before filming begins.

The format for a creative documentary is therefore relatively free form and open to the creative team’s interpretation of the subject at hand. The style and approach used in the cinematography, editing and final composition of the film makes a statement in and of itself and reflects the filmmakers underlying POV on the topic or person being considered.

The film should be complete and contained and thoroughly explore a tangible subject or person. A creative documentary is not: open ended, investigative, educational, “DIY” in style nor like a news report, a docusoap or a reality show. A creative documentary can examine a historical event or person but, once again, it must be done in a unique and creative fashion and not simply recount the past.”

To date, the following key commissioning editors have been confirmed:

  • Nick Fraser (BBC)
  • Mette Hoffman Meyer (DRTV)
  • Axel Arno (SVT Documentaries)
  • Olaf Grunert (ARTE TV)
  • Tom Koch (PBS)
  • John Lindsay (KCTS9)
  • Murray Battle (Knowledge Network)

The Vancouver International Film Festival runs from September 28th through October 14th, 2011.

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13th June 2011

Laurentian Bank Giving Away A Wii

laurentian bankQuebec’s Laurentian Bank kicked off the month of June with the launch of a summer contest on its Little Heroes Club web site. By indicating what they plan to do to stay active this summer, young contest participants have a chance to win a Wii game console, complete with controllers and games. In addition to contests like this, the Clan’s site offers children the opportunity to play interactive games, draw and explore the world of science with a number of experiments.

Through its various involvements, Laurentian Bank’s Little Heroes Club is committed to enhancing youngsters’ self-esteem by highlighting their accomplishments large and small. Once again this summer, the Club will be on hand at numerous family festivals and soccer tournaments to amuse and entertain. This initiative assembles the majority of the Bank’s activities in the area of donations, sponsorships and social involvement under a single umbrella. All geared toward children and families, these activities strive to encourage youth to actively participate in their communities’ sports, cultural and artistic life.

The contest is open to residents of Quebec, and runs until 4:00PM September 30, 2011.

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8th June 2011

Find Secret Illuminations To Join The Corps

Warner Bros PicturesIn celebration of the June 17th theatrical release and big-screen debut of the popular superhero “Green Lantern,” Warner Bros. Pictures will electrify 11 North American cities on Monday, June 13, encouraging people to Join the green lantern(Green Lantern) Corps. Markets include: Los Angeles, New York City, Vancouver, San Diego, Miami, Atlanta, Cleveland, Kansas City, Sacramento, St. Louis, and New Orleans, where the film was shot.

To Join the Corps, fans will be invited to decipher local clues leading them to a secret location where the “Green Lantern” symbol will be projected from dusk until midnight. Those attending the events, sponsored by Kodak, will have the chance to win fantastic prizes, including an opportunity to be among the first to see the film at local preview screenings, limited edition T-shirts, light-up “Green Lantern” rings, “Green Lantern: Emerald Knights” Blu-ray combo packs and more. And some people who are photographed with the projected symbol behind them will have their photos posted on the movie Facebook page. Select markets will also give people the chance to record the “Green Lantern” oath which will be added to the Infinite Oath app on the official movie website.

“Green Lantern” opens in theaters nationwide in 3D and 2D on Friday, June 17, 2011. The film has been rated PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and action.

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6th June 2011

Interac e-Transfer Launches Facebook Challenge

interacCan you beat the clock?  A new contest has been launched on the Interac® Facebook page that challenges you to put your knowledge of  Interac e-Transfer to the test by answering a series of questions before time runs out.

New questions will be posted on the Facebook wall each week until the contest ends on July 11th, giving you multiple chances to show off your Interac IQ. Every question answered correctly means a ballot for a chance to win 1 of 3 $1,000 Interac e-Transfers.  You can also get extra ballots by sharing with us the different ways you have used Interac e-Transfer.

Think you have the speed and the smarts? Take the 2-Minute Challenge here.

Interac e-Transfer – the quick, easy and secure alternative to cheques and cash.

  • It’s a simple, convenient, and secure way to send and receive money directly from one bank account to another.
  • All you need is access to online or mobile banking through a participating financial institution, and you can send money to anyone with an email address or mobile phone number and a bank account in Canada — without sharing any personal or financial information.
  • There’s no need to set up a new account; and funds are available immediately.
  • Notification is by email or text – no need for stamps or mailboxes!
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3rd June 2011

BC Students Sweep International Year of Chemistry YouTube Contest

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

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

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

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

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

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

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3rd June 2011

Giftcards for Causes Wins More Than 10K in Prizes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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1st June 2011

TransGaming Announces GameTree TV Dev Competition Judges

TransGamingTransGaming Inc. is proud to announce the celebrity judging panel for the $50,000 GameTree TV Developer Competition. The panel will consist of actor, director, producer and writer LeVar Burton, president of development at Jerry Bruckheimer Games Inc., Jay Cohen, and Lorne Lanning, cofounder of Oddmobb, Inc. TransGaming will announce the winner of the competition at Casual Connect, the world’s premier casual games conference, taking place July 19-21, 2011 in Seattle, WA.

The GameTree TV Developer competition gives independent game developers the chance to win more than $50,000 in cash prizes by bringing their games to GameTree TV, the premier on-demand gaming platform for gametreeTV developer competitionSmart TV. Finalists will have their game featured on GameTree TV, putting them in front of millions of consumers around the world as the adoption of Smart TV continues to grow.

“LeVar, Jay and Lorne bring a unique combination of experience and influence that makes them ideally suited to discover the next generation of games that will transform the connected living room. The submissions we’ve seen thus far demonstrate the incredible talent of pioneering developers from around the world,” said Vikas Gupta, CEO and President of TransGaming Inc. “GameTree TV is shaping the future of Smart TV, and we are thrilled to have some of the industry’s most innovative creators and respected personalities involved in this competition.”

GameTree TV is commercially available on next-generation set-top boxes and connected consumer electronic (CE) devices. Developers can find more information and submit their games at online until 11:59pm ET on June 15th 2011.

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31st May 2011

News Quickies

Vancouver SIGGRAPH ChapterVancouver’s SIGGRAPH chapter presents The Art of Lighting and Rendering Rio with Lighting Supervisor Jim Gettinger. The final event of the 2010/2011 season, this presentation will take place on June 21st atrio District 319. Jim Gettinger’s talk will explore the developmental work pursued by Jim and his team taking the listener through many stages of the production process at Blue Sky. Lighting and lighting techniques will be presented from concept art, through pre-visualization, master lighting, and compositing. Jim will also highlight the artistic and technical challenges encountered developing a stylized vision of the world renowned city Rio de Janeiro and believable original characters using Blue Sky’s proprietary photo-realistic ray-tracing software, CGI Studio™. Tickets for this event are now on sale – $15.00 for members and $25.00 for non-members.

RatRod StudioHockey Fight Pro by Ratrod Studios is now available in the Android Marketplace. Compatible with most Android phones and tablets running Android 2.1 and up, Hockey Fight Pro for Android will let you compete against iOS hockey fight pro locker roomand Mac users using the online cross-platform leaderboard. Hockey Fight Pro is loaded with the following features:

  • The only 3D hockey fighting game available on the market.
  • Intuitive controls for a realistic hockey fighting experience.
  • Follow the interactive tutorial to learn the basics.
  • Real-time damage system, see your opponent taking punishment.
  • Next gen 3D graphics with HD support.
  • Fight against 9 of the world’s most dangerous hockey fighters.
  • Execute over 40 unique combos and punch combinations.
  • Gain respect from your opponents and upgrade your character attributes.
  • View your fighting stats and replay highlights to improve your skills.
  • Complete a list of over 14 unique achievements.
  • Online global cross-platform leaderboard to become the world’s toughest hockey fighter.
  • Share your victory with your friends on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Complete the game to unlock a special hardcore mode.
  • Support for multiple profiles and extensive game options to adjust the game to your preferences.

acrylic appsVancouver’s Acrylic Apps has launched its news app to the Mac Store. Pulp for Mac takes your favorite news feeds and presents them in a reader-friendly format, making it easy for users to quickly scan through headlines, previews, and photos as if you had your own newspaper right on your desktop. Pulp includes such features as built-in Google search, customizable categories and layout, plus rich descriptors for visual media. You can also put articles on your virtual shelf to read later or easily share them on your Twitter or Facebook feeds. Another great feature is Pulp Sync, a free, cloud-based service that keeps all of your pages, feeds, read articles, and other settings in sync on all of your Macs and iPads, over the air, completely seamlessly. Every change you make is pushed instantly to your iPad, so you never have to go hunting for a refresh button.

rhinoRhino.ca is a proud partner of the Vancouver Canucks, and like the rest of Vancouver hockey fans, is confident this is the season we bring home the Cup. On the heels of the Vancouver Canucks victory over the San Jose Sharks, Rhino.ca has launched the final round of the Rhino Cup Run 2011 hockey pool and is gearing up for the Stanley Cup Finals.Orby Says Go Canucks!

For the last time during these NHL playoffs, hockey fans can pit themselves against each other for leaderboard supremacy in this free, Vancouver Canucks themed, interactive hockey pool. Contestants enter their picks for game scores and individual player stats in categories like most goals, assists, and penalty minutes, and can log-in anytime to see where they stack up amongst the competition.

“We’re die-hard Vancouver Canucks fans and are excited to have partnered with the Canucks in their 40th year during this cup run. It seems like a dream,” said Doug rhino cup run 2011Morneau, RHINO.ca’s Chief Rhino. “Seventeen years since our last trip to the finals and like the rest of this town, we can’t get enough playoff hockey.”

The Vancouver Canucks take on the Boston Bruins in the Stanley Cup Finals beginning Wednesday, June 1st and there is undeniable playoff fever around RHINO.ca headquarters. “We love how energized this city is right now and Rhino Cup Run in something we could do to help Canucks fans participate and get even more psyched for the finals,” added Morneau.

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31st May 2011

RBC and TIFF Announce Emerging Filmmakers Competition Finalists

RBCRBC and the Toronto International Film Festival® today announced the finalists for the RBC Emerging Filmmakers Competition. Reviewed by a jury comprised of esteemed producers, directors and executives from Canada’s film industry, the following five finalists have been selected out of 20 “Family” themed submissions:

  • ESTHER AND LEIB – Sean Wainsteim – (Toronto)
    A raw portrait of Esther and Leib, a couple who met when escaping Europe, as they reflect on the passing years and each other.
  • MY FIRST MOVIE – Gabriel Taraboulsy – (Montréal)
    Tasked with making a video portrait of her family, a young filmmaker plants a hidden camera, capturing a vision of her family that is far different from anything she imagined.
  • NEXT OF KIN – Kara Blake – (Montréal)
    Documenting the parallel lives of two sisters surviving a long, cold winter in Montreal.
  • THE REVENGE PLOT – Jared Raab – (Toronto)
    After Matt and his friends are dissed in the schoolyard by a group of girls, they set to work on an elaborate and merciless plan for revenge.
  • SATURDAY NIGHT – Kaveh Nabatian – (Montréal)
    New Year’s Eve. Boy meets girl. A film about unprotected sex, destiny and soul music.

From these top five films, the jury will decide the National Winner and an Honourable Mention, each receiving $15,000 and $10,000 respectively. Canadians from coast to coast can support the emerging filmmakers by voting for the film they like, to help decide the Fan Favourite Award which comes with a $5,000 cash prize. The public can vote from June 1 to June 30, 2011 until 11:59 p.m. EST and have the chance to win an all expenses paid trip for two to the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival.

“This year’s submissions are an exceptional representation of the talented crop of emerging filmmakers in Canada – the jury was faced with a challenge, narrowing down the competition to just five films,” said Piers Handling, Director and CEO, TIFF. “TIFF congratulates these high-calibre talents who interpreted the Family theme brilliantly.”

“We are thrilled to be involved in such an important arts initiative that gives emerging filmmakers the opportunity to learn and grow,” said Jennifer Tory, RBC’s Regional President for Greater Toronto. “For many years, RBC has been working with talented filmmakers and industry professionals to help them create their vision and achieve success in the film business. We are particularly proud to recognize and celebrate these rising new talents.”

The RBC Emerging Filmmakers Competition is part of Talent Lab, a four-day intensive program at the Toronto International Film Festival that offers artistic development opportunities to a select group of emerging Canadian and international filmmakers. Each filmmaker is provided with a portable camera, $500 cash and challenged to develop a one to five minute short film for the competition. Each year the films will focus on one topic – this year’s theme is Family. Winners of the RBC Emerging Filmmakers Competition will be announced prior to this year’s Toronto International Film Festival.

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