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21st January 2010

Vancouver Interactive Industry Fundraiser for Haiti On January 28

unicefVancouver – Local interactive industry folks are invited to the Help Haiti Pub Night being held on Thursday January 28th from 7-11pm at Steamworks Brew Pub and Restaurant (375 Water Street Vancouver). There are plans for a silent auction, with a few items already on the block, including tickets for Casual Connect to auction off! Two winning bidders will receive 1 year conference passes to Seattle, Hamburg, and Kyiv, 1 with speaker’s dinner. If you are interested in donating items for auction, please contact Bren at 604.765.7273. Net proceeds from this event will be donated to UNICEF for the purchase of water.

According to their website, UNICEF is working to provide survivors with family water kits, water-purification tablets and other supplies aimed at mitigating the deadly effects of contaminated water.

“Aside from simply delivering these essential supplies, we must also work to promote hygiene by providing soap and issuing messages in French and Creole on preventing and treating diarrhoea, cholera and dysentery,” said UNICEF Emergency Operations Officer Ainga Razafy. “Our priority is to prevent a second wave of disaster and ensure against the outbreak of any life-threatening, water-borne diseases.”

Canada – DFAIT invites Canadian interactive companies to participate in The Canada Programme at GDC San Francisco, March 10 – 12, 2010. For further information on The Canada Programme, please contact Victoria Hayes at 604.666.1409 (for BC Companies – please contact your local digital media association or DFAIT office in other parts of Canada.) For companies in Alberta, please contact Rene Smid from Digital Alberta. The deadline for BC applications is today, while Alberta’s deadline is January 25.

Prior to GDC, the Canada Programme offers Business to Business Matchmaking – DFAIT is currently collecting company profiles to share with foreign purchasers and developers attending GDC to determine mutual meeting interests and facilitate those meetings in advance.

Two webinars are also being offered, which are geared towards Canadian attendees making the most of their time at GDC in San Francisco. The first webinar is titled “Meet the Publishers” will be held on February 2 from 1-230pm. Major publishers (yet to be announced) will discuss what’s hot and what’s not, what the want to see in 2010 and how Canadian companies can best position themselves in 2010.

The second Webinar, “Make the Right Pitch, At the Right Time” will feature experienced industry leaders who will present on how to prepare and execute an effective 30-second and 10-minute pitch to both game publishers and potential financing entities (Angels and Venture Capitalists). The air details for this webinar have not yet been finalized.

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15th December 2009

Highlights from Harlequin, Bioware, AfterCAD, DigitalLeisure, BCTIA and Cloud Slam

This post was updated to include further IGN Award Winners.

HarlequinTorontoHarlequin Enterprises Limited, the global leader in series romance and one of the world’s leading publishers of women’s fiction, and Big Fish Games, the multi-platform developer, publisher and distributor of casual games, today announced the launch of Harlequin Presents: Hidden Object of Desire. The hidden object game with a romantic storyline is the first game release following the announcement of the companies’ partnership.Big Fish Games

Inspired by The Royal House of Karedes, a Harlequin Presents® Mini Series, Harlequin Presents: Hidden Object of Desire features Allie, a reporter on assignment covering the 30th birthday of the Prince of Aristo. Following her arrival in the Kingdom of Adamas with her photographer, a series of events occur and players assist Allie in her quest to solve the mystery by finding hidden objects and solving puzzles.

“We are thrilled to be working with Big Fish Games to introduce our readers to this new interactive experience,” said Donna Hayes, publisher and CEO of Harlequin Enterprises Limited. “Our partnership reinforces our commitment to brand innovation and we anticipate great success with Harlequin Presents: Hidden Object of Desire.”Harlequin Presents Hidden Objects of Desire

“Big Fish Games and Harlequin are wonderfully aligned as our audiences are global and largely female,” said Jeremy Lewis, president and CEO of Big Fish Games. “The games we develop together – starting with Harlequin Presents: Object of Desire – will appeal to romance readers and casual gamers alike. We anticipate the partnership will lead to audience expansion for both companies.”

Harlequin Presents: Hidden Objects of Desire will be sold online for $6.99 USD exclusively at Big Fish Games. Players who download the game within the first year of its release will also receive a free digital edition of the first book of the miniseries.

BioWare CorpEdmontonDragon Age Origins has won four more awards, this time from online game magazine IGN. Congratulations to the studio for their Best Xbox 360 RPG, Best PC RGP, Best Story and PC Game of the Year awards. Dragon Age Origins has also been nominated in several categories capybarafor our own Readers’ Choice Awards. Nominations for our awards close on December 31st – be sure to let us know which Canadian titles and studios you think should be in the running.

Congratulations are also extended to Capybara Games, whose new Might and Magic: Clash of Heroes won IGN’s Best DS Stragety Game Award and for Critter Crunch, which won for Best PS3 Puzzle Game.

EA Canada’s FIFA 10 has taken top spot for IGN’s Best PS3 Sports game and Best Xbox 260 Sports Game, while Ubisoft Montreal’s Assassin’s Creed 2 won Best Xbox 360 Action Game and Xbox 360 Game of the Year.

OntarioOntario – Ontario is helping to drive innovation and stimulate economic growth in the creative sector by supporting early-stage development for television, film, mobisodes, webisodes, video games, internet properties and more. The Intellectual Property Development Fund is a one-year pilot programme administered by the Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC). An extensive list of guidelines have been posted on the OMDC’s website.

The province is investing $10 million to support screen-based companies in moving ideas from the development stage into production and marketing. By providing funding for development expenses, the McGuinty government is promoting the continued growth of Ontario’s creative sector and helping businesses thrive as they develop new and innovative products.

If only there was this much support for the interactive industry in every province – we have the unique position of having a massive talent pool in this country, and yet there are many companies struggling to stay afloat. The Province of BC government would do well to take a serious look at what’s going on east of the Rockies in regards to the interactive and creative sectors.

Ontario’s creative sector is now the third largest source of employment in North America, following California and New York, and according to OMDC, total direct employment in Ontario’s cultural industries (businesses whose main purpose is to create and distribute arts and entertainment) was about 202,000 people. This sector was also responsible for generating almost $12.2 billion of Ontario’s Gross Domestic Product through film and television production, interactive digital media, music recording, commercial theatre, magazine publishing and book publishing.

Digital LeisureGormleyDigital Leisure is excited to announce that arcade classic “Dragon’s Lair” will soon be available on Nintendo’s DSiWare™ service.Dragon's Lair

No quarters needed! You’ll soon have your chance to take on all the “Lair” has to throw at you, right in the palm of your hand. For the first time on any handheld Nintendo® system, you’ll be able to play Dirk in his original animated form – no pixel graphics here!

On December 21st in North America and January 1st in Europe, you’ll take on the role of Dirk the Daring, a knight on a quest to rescue the fair Princess Daphne from the clutches on an evil dragon – Now using your Nintendo DSi! Dragon’s Lair is rated E10 by the ESRB forAnimated Blood, Fantasy Violence and Mild Suggestive Themes.

Cloud SlamToronto – The Cloud Slam Conference, which brings together leading companies and visionaries in business, technology, and cloud computing to showcase the hottest opportunities for driving profitability through sustainability, today announced their call for proposals. Taking place March 23-25, 2010 as virtual event , the conference is also proud to announce it has gathered hundreds of attendees passionate about cloud computing. These announcements reflect a growing trend involving companies that have committed to developing best practice cloud strategies for the emerging global economy that requires innovative, viable and profitable models for business success.

You are cordially invited to participate in Cloud Slam 2010 through paper submission, a workshop or a special session organization, a tutorial, an invited speech, a demo, a poster, an exhibit, a panel discussion, whichever sounds more appropriate and convenient to you. There will also be tutorial sessions, workshops, special sessions, demos, posters, panel discussions.

The conference will include invited presentations by experts from academia, industry, and government as well as contributed paper presentations describing original work on the current state of research cloud computing, their use in business, their design, performance and use, and their applications.

To encourage media coverage of the Cloud Slam 2010, the conference provides up to 2 free press credentials to verified media representatives from each organization. Media partnerships are also welcome, please send cross promotion proposals to media(at)cloudslam(dot)org.

Conference sponsorships are welcomed. To sponsor Cloud Slam or get additional information about event, contact Khazret Sapenov at 510-984-2312 or at sponsors(at)cloudslam(dot)org.

afterCADVancouverAftercad Software is pleased to announce that Novedge LLC, a leading online CAD/CAM store, has become a distribution partner for Aftercad’s new 3D collaboration service Renderjam.com.

Renderjam.com is a Software as a Service (SaaS) offering that allows businesses to view, mark-up, manage and publish 3D assets onto the web, without the need for proprietary viewers, providing easy and instant access to project information by all stakeholders.

“Renderjam offers a new lightweight and very easy to use visualization product that enables anyone in the organization to access digital 3D assets. Being distributed as a service it has a very low impact on IT overhead and it is easy to deploy. Renderjam is the ideal tool for architects and industrial designers that need to share their project data.” said Dr. Cristiano Sacchi, CEO of Novedge.

Novedge will offer the Renderjam.com service through its successful Novedge.com portal. “Our partnership with Novedge gives us invaluable exposure and access to market” stated Chris Boothroyd, CEO of Aftercad “and we look forward to marketing this product with Dr. Sacchi and his team.”

BCTIAVancouver – The British Columbia Technology Industry Association (BCTIA) is pleased to announce the launch of PODIUM, their 2010 business outreach programme. The PODIUM program is designed to connect guests and media of the 2010 Vancouver Olympic and Paralympic Games with technology sector business partners and media stories while visiting BC.

The centre-piece of the programme is the PODIUM digital guide, an e-book illustrating the talent and ingenuity that makes British Columbia a great place to live, work, study and invest. The PODIUM guide profiles over one hundred world-class companies and includes a number of companies whose technology is being used to power aspects of the Games. The digital guide will be distributed to thousands of contacts, including International Business Development offices, Olympic Sponsors and hosting organizations, Federal and Provincial governments, and media. The PODIUM guide will continue to evolve right-up to the opening ceremonies. The more great companies we have participating, the more buzz we’ll create.

To help guests and media connect with innovative BC companies, the BCTIA will be providing meeting concierge services – coordination services to facilitate introductions before, during and after the games. With non-stop activity during the 2010 Games, we are working to ensure that international business people and media call upon us to connect them with business introductions and unique media stories. Interested parties need only send an email to podium[at]bctia[dot]org.

Alliance-numeriqueMontreal – ELearning Alliance invites you to reserve April 14, 2010 to attend the event eLearning Montreal. This day is specifically aimed at training officers, human resources and people who have to acquire content and e-learning tools. Meet the leading Quebec companies active in this area and to attend lectures offered by industry experts. The location and details of that day will be announced in January.

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12th December 2009

Federal Government Grants Support Funds For Third ORIC

ORICPenticton -Earlier today, the Honourable Stockwell Day, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway announced that a third ORIC location will receive funding support from the Federal Government’s Community Adjustment Fund programme in the amount of $170 000.00. Since its inception in August 2005, the not-for-profit organization ORIC has supported the job creation of over 45 high-paying jobs, has currently 5 high-tech companies in its incubators and has already graduated one successful company RFind Systems.

The focus of the new incubator in Penticton will be on Clean Energy Technologies and Wireless start-ups, emphasizing ORIC’s relationship with the National Research Council’s Radio Observatory (NRC-DRAO) and Okanagan College’s new Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Building Technologies and Renewable Energy Conservation, which is currently under construction. ORIC’s headquarters and first incubator is located at NRC’s Radio Observatory south of Penticton and its second incubator of 15,000 sq.ft. is located in downtown Kelowna.

“The Okanagan Research & Innovation Centre ORIC is very pleased to receive financial support of $170,000 from the Federal Government under the Community Adjustment Fund program to create a technology business incubator in Penticton. This will be our third incubator in the Okanagan Valley and it will be instrumental to the growth of the South Okanagan’s high-tech community”, says Peter Haubrich, President and Founder of ORIC. “Investing in incubators has proven to generate a $30 economic benefit for the region for every dollar spent according to the National Business Incubation Association NBIA, which has 1,900 members in over 60 countries”.

“Our Government, through the Community Adjustment Fund, is providing a timely, targeted stimulus to western Canadian communities, helping reduce the impacts of the global recession,” said Stockwell Day. “This project will help create jobs and maintain employment in the Okanagan Valley.”

“Business incubation is about transforming ideas into business success and accelerating skills acquisition, creating new high-tech jobs and sustainable economic value across the Okanagan, while stimulating new businesses in high growth sectors of the economy, attracting new investment, developing business capacity, and even attracting skilled people to the area” Added David Arsenault – Penticton’s Economic Development Officer.

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3rd December 2009

New B.C. Business Case Library to Highlight Province’s Technology Industry for Students and Entrepreneurs

BCICVancouver – The launch of a business case library with a focus on British Columbia technology companies highlights the province’s growing knowledge economy, while giving students unprecedented access to industry successes, challenges, and best practices.

The BCIC Business Case Library is a collection of business cases that cover an extensive range of topics, including entrepreneurship, technology management, sustainability, finance, and marketing. The venture was established by the BC Innovation Council, and led by the University of British Columbia’s Sauder School of Business.

The library will be used by post-secondary students, instructors, entrepreneurs and industry professionals to gain knowledge from local companies. In addition, the library is expected to shine a light on the province’s burgeoning technology industry and marketing the province’s technology companies globally.

“The availability of these business case studies will benefit B.C. students and entrepreneurs wanting to learn relevant local content that realistically reflects the province’s business environment,” said Dean Rockwell, CEO of BC Innovation Council.

“This is an incredible learning resource for the next generation of entrepreneurs and business leaders in this province,” said Thomas Hellmann, the B.I. Ghert Family Foundation Professor in Finance and Policy at the Sauder School of Business, who led the project at UBC. “These case studies help students to understand the intimate relationship between business and technology. This is relevant for start-ups and established companies alike.”

Business cases are often used as part of the case teaching method, an experiential learning approach that is popular with some business schools, and one made well known by Harvard Business School. The library is available in its entirety online, with the individual cases free and downloadable.

The BCIC Business Case Library was developed with expertise from seven universities in the province: British Columbia Institute of Technology, Simon Fraser University, Thompson Rivers University, University of British Columbia, University of British Columbia Okanagan, University of Northern British Columbia, and University of Victoria. The initiative also received support from the W. Maurice Young Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital Research Centre.

“British Columbia is a great environment for entrepreneurial spirit,” said David Demers, CEO of Westport Innovations, a leading developer of environmental technologies for vehicles, and one of the companies participating in the business cases collection.

BCIC Business Case Library — Case Studies by Company:

Absolute Software
Ballard Power Systems
Blast Radius
Canadian Council for the Americas in BC
Carmanah Technologies
DelTech Manufacturing Inc.
Etraffic Press
Inland Glass & Aluminum Ltd.
Inproheat Industries
Kelowna Flightcraft
Moly-Cop Canada
OncoGenex Technologies
Sitemasher Corporation
Terahertz Solutions Inc.
Westport Innovations Inc.
Wood Lake Publishing
Zengar Institute

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30th November 2009

Centre for Digital Media to be home for Network Centre of Excellence Programme

Masters For Digital MediaVancouver (via CDM) – A new Network Centre of Excellence (NCE) recently awarded by the federal government to 50 researchers at 19 universities across Canada, will be headquartered at the Centre for Digital Media, Great Northern Way Campus (GNWC). GRAND, an NCE in GRaphics, Animation, and New meDia, will explore, challenge, and advance the use of new media through collaborative, multi-disciplinary research, training, and innovation with a secondary focus on commercialization.

“Through GRAND, we will be able to develop further the evolving areas of research and commercialization of digital media,” said Dr. Gerri Sinclair, Executive Director, GRAND and CEO, Centre for Digital Media, GNWC. “Plus, we will have an opportunity to work with a top notch list of researchers and digital media companies from across the country.”

GRAND is comprised of 30 projects, supported by a multidisciplinary, cross-country network of investigators, researchers, and industry.

“A unique strength of the GRAND research program is the synergy between social science researchers and the engineering and computer science researchers who are collaborating on many of the projects,” explained Dr. Abby Goodrum, GRAND’s Director for Social Sciences and Humanities Research, and professor in the Faculty of Communication and Design at Ryerson University in Toronto.

The five themes to be explored include:

• New media challenges and opportunities
• Games and interactive simulation
• Animation, graphics and imaging
• Social, legal, economic and cultural perspectives
• Enabling technologies and methodologies

“The proliferation of social networks and new media represent one of the most significant popular adaptations of computer technology,” said Dr. Kellogg Booth, GRAND’s scientific director and a professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of British Columbia which is hosting the NCE. “This new network will enable research collaborators to address issues and explore opportunities in this fast-growing sector.”

Whether tackling new media issues such as intellectual property rights and privacy or introducing new technologies, the outcomes from GRAND aim to benefit Canadians as well as enhance Canada’s position as a global leader in new media.

GRAND was one of three NCEs announced by the federal government today. In 2008, NCEs were responsible for 110 patents, 4,300 papers in refereed journals, and partnerships with more than 1,997 companies, government departments, and agencies, hospitals, universities in Canada and from around the world.

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17th November 2009

Telefilm Canada Seeds Mingleverse for Intimate Live Online Entertainment Venues

mingleverseVancouverMingleverse Laboratories Inc., just six weeks after a very successful consumer launch of it’s Mingle Room service, today announced it has already hosted over 10,000 live mingles with participants from Canada, USA, Europe, and Asia and has just received a seed investment from Telefilm Canada for its upcoming uVenu project for entertainment based Mingles. Mingle Rooms are a youthful new audio/visual Telefilm Canadacommunications platform and an alternative to telephones that can easily connect 2 to 50 people instantly from around the world for live meet–ups using innovative 3D high quality voice within a web-based 3D visual environment.

“Telefilm is our first outside investment and is very strategic within our plan of providing the newest form of live online and mobile immersive communications to new markets like the entertainment industry where traditional services are not an option”, said Ron Stevens, Co-founder of Mingleverse. “Our uVenu program will allow a wider range of experts, radio and TV personalities, and guests to safely MingleVerse Business Meetingshowcase their talent and interact live using natural voice with an internationally connected audience that is spending more of their time online. We will also go behind the scenes with a movie set service to allow movie fans to interact live with cast and crew.”

The Mingleverse uVenu project will initially provide simple web based venues that look like theatres, sports venues, and talk show studios like the “Daily Show” for up to 50 people to connect and interact live online with each other in a whole new fun and youthful way. “The focus will be on a smaller more intimate group setting that maintains the integrity of the live 3D voice communications“ said Daniel Ruscigno, Youth Marketing Coordinator for Mingleverse. “We have already generated a lot of interest from religious groups, media and sports personalities and we will have some exciting uVenues to announce in the New Year for live singing, comedy and quiz shows. “Mingleverse

“We are very impressed with Mingleverse’s platform and could easily see the potential of uVenu for the entertainment industry which is so important for Canada as well as for many other vertical markets” said Earl Hong Tai, Regional Director, Business Development, Western Region, Telefilm Canada. “Merging entertainment, 3D live voice and social communications technology has never been done before and this is an excellent opportunity to help the growth of the industry and to showcase this country’s talent to a worldwide audience.”

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16th November 2009

Across The Country in Fifteen Minutes

Krabbit OnlineSurreyKrabbitSoft is pleased to announce that KrabbitWorld Origins is now available on Direct2Drive for both Windows and Mac for $14.95. KrabbitSoft has burst out of the gate at full speed, garnering kudos from journalists, gamers and even lawyers. The Davis LLP blog says that “Indie developer Krabbitsoft has done what some thought was impossible, developing and releasing an exciting, graphics-laden Action/RPG based on their own IP.”

Furious hack n’ slash combines with customizable Krabbits and choice to play in Story Mode or Battle Modes including Arcade, Versus, Team and Survival. Six playable Krabbits can be leveled up to 99 in sandbox or linear gameplay style. No grind and loot aplenty, characters level quickly in Story Mode, Krabbit Onlinegaining XP with every action. Building your Krabbit doesn’t stop at level 99. Continue building powers to 999. Character building includes gaining XP, building stats, and changing appearance any time. 3D drag n’ drop inventory and paper doll windows are featured along with account share bins, colour cloning bins, dye vendor, click map to travel and Ruby Slippers of ‘return to Adobe’.

KrabbitWorld Origins is a creative game focused on colour. Players are encouraged to experiment with dying their Krabbits to their heart’s content. Choose from 8 Realms of Origin colour palettes to design a Krabbit influenced by Darkness or Light, Death or Dreams, Solar or Contrivance, Beast or Archetypical KrabbitWorld. Transfer your Krabbits from an earlier version to a newer version or from laptop to desktop PC. Re-install a new version over an older one and still retain your already leveled Krabbits.

New Features This Week:
• Brutal Moves
• Built-in Patcher
• Elemental Bracers & Weapons Packs

Siggraph Vancouver There are still a few tickets left for Wednesday evening’s SIGGRAPH Vancouver presentation of Bringing Dragon Age to Life. BioWare’s Lead Animator Clove Roy and Lead Character Artist Shane Hawco discuss the challenges faced in creating digital actors for BioWare’s newest award-winning role-playing epic Dragon Age: Origins. This presentation will provide an in-depth look in how to tell a huge complex story through an interactive narrative complete with hundreds of emotionally engaging digital actors. I am so not missing this session – and tonight I am playing through the Final Onslaught and taking on the Archdemon for the first time. Soon all of you will be able to find out my thoughts on the entire game. If you missed my first 48-ish hours in Dragon Age, you can catch up here.

Eidos MontrealMontreal – As Day One of MIGS gets underway, all reports thus far say the seminars have been fantastic – along with the weather. Eidos Montreal kicked off their MIGS week with a very successful open house event which saw over 500 guests come through the studio – and get a few glimpses at Deus Ex 3 and Thief 4 goings-on. I’m feeling just a touch of envy here.

Also in Montreal, Bug-Tracker has announced that Wolfgang Klingel is its new General Sales Manager for Europe. This move closely follows Bug-Tracker’s expansion strategy into Asia and Europe and its ever Bug-Trackerincreasing focus on those critical markets.

With over 15 years’ experience in the video game industry, Wolfgang Klingel will be responsible for extending the company’s foothold in the European video game market as well as strengthening its exposure to the publishers and developers in this area. Wolfgang KlingelKlingel’s duties will involve collaborating and developing synergies between the North American and Asian studios in order to improve communication throughout the whole group and thus enhancing overall customer satisfaction. Klingel’s past experience includes Director of Development at Vivendi Games’ Coktel Studio and Vice-President Europe of Enzyme Testing Labs, another major quality assurance and localization company, and helped contribute to its successful development.

“Wolfgang will greatly help reinforce and grow our presence in the market we started out in 10 years ago” declared Antoine Carre, founder and CEO. “He will bring together and integrate key components of Bug-Tracker’s worldwide studios, in order to shape, lead and create new market opportunities. Adding an accomplished European video game business veteran such as Wolfgang to our team demonstrates our commitment to continuously fortify our leadership role in the QA and localization industry.”

digital albertaCalgary via Digital Alberta – Alberta’s minister of culture says the province’s film industry will finally be getting its own state-of-the-art film studio after reaching an “agreement in principle” with the owners of the Canada Olympic Park site to purchase land for a new facility.  The studio, which is estimated to cost $26 million not including the purchase of the land, will be built on four hectares to be purchased from WinSport Canada, which operates Canada Olympic Park. Blackett says he hopes to start building in the spring, but stressed that negotiations between WinSport, Calgary Economic Development and the Government of Alberta were still ongoing.

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12th November 2009

Ontario Gives Another Boost to Digital Economy

OntarioToronto – Ontario is supporting a new commercialization centre that will help digital media entrepreneurs build new companies and create jobs. The province plans to invest more than $26 million in The Communitech Hub: Digital Media & Mobile Accelerator (“The Hub”), a new centre that will help emerging digital media companies grow and succeed in the global market. In particular, The Hub will look beyond the entertainment sector to focus on companies creating hardware and software for industries, including advanced manufacturing, healthcare and finance.

Based in Waterloo Region, The Hub expects thousands of jobs could be created over the first five years by serving entrepreneurs across the province. This investment supports Ontario’s Innovation Agenda, the province’s plan to make innovation a driving force of Ontario’s economy. The Hub will focus on commercialization, business development and access to financing. It will offer state-of-the-art tools and lab space, with equipment and support provided by industry leaders including Open Text Corporation, Christie Digital Systems Canada Inc., Intel, Agfa HealthCare and Research In Motion.

“Ontario is already recognized as a global leader in the digital media sector and today we are sending a clear signal to digital entrepreneurs everywhere – Ontario means business. The Hub will strengthen our ability to support innovators across the province, as they work to turn new ideas into new jobs and globally competitive businesses,” said John Milloy, Minister of Research and Innovation.

“Digital media and mobile computing are the future of Canada’s technology industry. The Hub is a place where entrepreneurs and business leaders can make connections, start companies, and create jobs for Ontario,” said Iain Klugman, President and CEO, Communitech.

Worldwide, the digital media sector is one of the fastest growing industries in the knowledge economy, and its double-digit growth rate will help drive the global media market up to US$2.2 trillion by 2012. Ontario has the third-largest entertainment and creative sector in North America, after California and New York. Ontario’s digital media industry generates more than $1 billion annually.

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3rd October 2009

Business Development, Events, Hearings and Awards

Digital Alberta has put a call out to its members for submissions for the MEDIAfresh 2010 Awards which aredigital alberta dedicated to the recognition of those Alberta Digital Media Professionals and Post-Secondary students who have created outstanding projects and programs between September 2008 and November 2009. There are 13 categories and two divisions (post-secondary and professional) for you to submit to. Nominations are also open for the people’s choice Award: Innovation and Leadership in Industry or the Best Entrepreneur – Creative/Business/Technology. Submissions are open until November 30 2009, with the finalists to be announced on February 5 2010. The MEDIAfresh awards ceremony will take place February 26, 2010 in the Glen Ross Hall at Mount Royal University. The Awards will include a VIP reception, Awards Gala and After Party.

igdaThe IGDA has announced the dates for the second Global Game Jam 2010. The three day game development competition will take place January 29 – 31 in a massive number of locations around the world. 2009’s inaugural event saw 370 games developed in 23 countries by over 1600 participants. Registration is now being accepted for GGJ locations, please see the GGJ Wiki for further information on participating in the Jam. So far the only registered GGJ locations for Canada are Ottawa, Calgary and Hamilton.

Young Women In Business presents Leadership Lessons from Influential Women in Business. Join Business Young Women In Businessin Vancouver, Professional Women’s Network and Young Women in Business for this unique half-day event. Talk candidly in roundtable sessions led by 15 senior business women and learn about their own personal lessons in leadership. Stay for a panel discussion with three influential business women who are helping shape the future of the local business community, followed by a networking luncheon.

YWIB is also presenting Beyond P!nk, a 2-day conference taking place November 13 & 14 in Vancouver. The conference will host 350 energetic young women over an action-packed weekend. This unique, high-impact and eco-friendly conference will create a space for young women to engage in intimate workshops, partake in interactive roundtable discussions, engage with industry professionals, build lasting personal connections, and celebrate inspirational women in busbeyond pinkiness. Beyond P!nk inspires through action, enriches through connection, and empowers through ideation.

This year, the conference features an interactive workshop series with extraordinary speakers, an All-Men’s Panel Lunch, the Connect! Women in Business Tradeshow, a break-out luncheon with cross-industry mentors, and a celebratory Gala dinner and Silent Auction. The goal of Beyond Pink is for delegates to walk away having been inspired with knowledge, enriched with ideas and resources, and empowered with new-found connections and friendships.

The British Columbia Technology Industry Association (BCTIA) has launched the 2010 Business Outreach Program to successfully introduce, promote and connect our industry to the world through a focused BCTIAB2B matching program, supported by the 2010 Pitch Book.

The Pitch Book serves as instant promotional material that includes technological overview, key markets, benefits and corporate contact information for each participating company. Being part of the ‘who’s who’ guide to BC Tech companies means:Pitch Book Sample

* Broad promotion of your technology, product or solution’s expertise and ingenuity
* Benefiting from a large-scale promotion campaign to business and media
* Access to BCTIA 2010 Business Outreach Programs including business matching and corporate hosting programs
* Potential one-on-one meetings with new customers, partners and investors

If you are interested in the 2010 Business Outreach Program and in order to help the BCTIA coordinate and support promotional activities capitalizing on the 2010 Olympic Games, please take 2-3 minutes to complete the following questionnaire. Questionnaire input deadline is Friday October 9 2009.

Telefilm Canada and the Canadian Film and Television Production Association (CFTPA) are proud to announce their latest collaboration in the form of an innovative training program that focuses on CFTPAproviding guidance to up and coming new media producers engaged in content creation for multi-platform delivery.

Telefilm CanadaThe CFTPA’s National Mentorship Program (NMP) is Canada’s launching pad for the next generation of film, television and interactive media production talent. Our five chosen interns train with the best independent producers in Canada in every facet of production – from development to post, drama to documentary. Through its diverse slate of mentorship programs, the NMP provides CFTPA members with enthusiastic and cost-effective production personnel. In return, our mentors provide one-on-one training to a dazzling new crop of emerging producers and filmmakers. The deadline for applications is set for November 2, 2009.

CRTCThe CRTC is asking for public input in regards to televised programmes, carriage fees and digital media. The general public are invited to submit comments and concerns up until November 2, with the CRTC hearing scheduled for December 7 in Gatineau. Canadians can participate by filling in an online form, writing or faxing the CRTC, or by presenting at the hearings themselves. It is believed that consumer concerns regarding package choices, particularly the ability to select pay and specialty services on a stand-alone basis will be an important side issue for this session.

“We are examining various facets of the Canadian broadcasting system as it adapts to an environment that is rapidly changing,” said Konrad von Finckenstein, Q.C., Chairman of the CRTC. “We are discussing a number of regulatory changes with the industry to ensure the system’s future health. It is important that consumers make their voices heard on the issues that affect them the most.”

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1st October 2009

Consulting Firm Nordicity Calls for a National Digital Media Strategy

NordicityToronto – Countries around the world are recognizing the need for a National Towards A National StrategyDigital Strategy, but Canada has not yet embarked on this process. Digital technologies are bringing about transformative change in society; and, according to a new issues discussion paper released today from Nordicity, Canada must develop our own strategy to remain competitive.

“Without a national digital strategy, there will be no overall vision to guide such a social and economic transformation in the interest of all Canadians,” says Peter Lyman, Senior Partner at Nordicity. “Rather, debate will be mired in the arcane and fragmented languages of broadcasting regulation, copyright revision, technological innovation, cultural subsidies, and broadband infrastructure.”

According to the issues discussion paper, Towards a National Digital Strategy, a unified vision of Canada’s digital future is crucial. To make sure the debate is not fragmented, policymakers will need to shift their perception to a more constructive, collaborative and holistic one. Otherwise, solutions will continue to be piecemeal, and decisions will continue to be reactive and narrowly defined.

The paper attempts to sort out the different issues, and identify what a national digital strategy should address. The paper groups the relevant issues in three parts:

1. An overarching societal need for digital literacy and skills in the modern world.
2. The need for a transformation of our support for the creation and distribution of cultural content.
3. The need for appropriate investment in our broadband and communications infrastructure to provide Canadians access to broadband services. Read the rest of this entry »

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