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24th August 2011

BCIC Entrepreneurship At Wavefront Program Deadline Is Looming

bcicBCIC and Wavefront (the Canadian wireless commercialization centre) launched its second annual entrepreneurship@Wavefront Program today.  A 12-month program, entrepreneurship@Wavefront is designed to support and nurture early-stage B.C. wireless companies from product concept to market entry. After a successful pilot, the accelerator program is expanding to support 12 companies this year and will be working closely with the BC Regional wavefrontScience and Technology Network to increase accessibility of the program for participants outside the Lower Mainland.

“The first year program enabled eight entrepreneurs to turn their product ideas into successful emerging wireless companies,” said Mark Payne, Acting CEO of BCIC.  “Wavefront has done a great job working with these startups in our program, which have collectively generated over half a million dollars in external investment, over $350,000 in revenues, 18 new jobs, and new products that are penetrating growing markets.”

Among the first year graduating class is Vancouver-based RewardLoop, this year’s B.C. TIA Award winner for ‘Most Promising Startup’.

“The entrepreneurship@Wavefront was the catalyst that enabled us to work full time on bringing RewardLoop to market.  We have already signed deals with some of North America’s largest retail chains and are expanding our reach through international distribution partnerships , “ said Nigel Malkin, CEO and Co-Founder, RewardLoop. “The guidance, feedback, and support we’ve received from the program at Wavefront were invaluable to us in making these accomplishments possible in such a short period of time.”

Companies selected this year will receive office space in Wavefront’s downtown accelerator centre, access to their wireless expert advisory, training, and testing services, sales and marketing coaching, and connections to key industry contacts. Program participants also benefit from BCIC’s Mentor Program, a network of seasoned entrepreneurs and industry experts who provide entrepreneurs with support that is critical for growing a successful company.

“The wireless solutions being developed by the entrepreneurship@Wavefront companies span from Machine-to-Machine (M2M) to next generation networks to enterprise applications that address issues faced across many industries.  We continue to work closely with BCIC to ensure cross-sector opportunities, creating an environment within our accelerator centre that fosters collaboration and success,” said Jim Maynard, President of Wavefront.

Full details and applications for the entrepreneurship@Wavefront program are available online. The deadline for applications is Friday, August 26th at 11:59 p.m.   Selected companies will be announced September 7, 2011 with the program and access to Wavefront’s downtown Vancouver offices beginning immediately after.

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12th July 2011

triOS College Bursary Blitz Across Ontario

trios collegetriOS College has announced the kick-off of its annual 241 Pizza Fresh Start Scholarship. Interested students can instantly receive a $500 scholarship towards their tuition to triOS College. Over 3,000,000 homes across Ontario will receive the flyer or participants can pick one up at any 241 Pizza location. Students can use this bursary towards triOS College Diploma programs in the Business, Law, Technology and Healthcare industries.

“At triOS, we have always had a strong commitment in supporting the communities that we are a part of,” says Stuart Bentley, triOS College President. “triOS gives individuals the opportunity to restart their lives and get into careers they have always dreamed of. This bursary will open doors for individuals considering career training and give them some financial assistance to get a head start on the next chapter in their lives.”

triOS College offers major benefits for those that want to train for a specific career. Compared to other colleges, triOS offers year-round starting points so students don’t have to wait until September or January to join, triOS has shorter hours of instruction so students can work part-time while they study, programs are shorter in length so graduates can get into the workforce faster, internships are included in most programs and at triOS, students receive substantial career services assistance to prepare them for obtaining a career with their field.

Citytv, Kiss FM and 241 Pizza are glad to be partnered with this bursary program that will help to improve lives for those considering training in Ontario. “It is our pleasure at 241 to be joined with an educational institution that will train and position individuals into the working world,” says Peter Lepidas, Marketing Manager for 241 Pizza.

 

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1st May 2011

Vancouver Film School Celebrates New Campus

VFSFriday evening we gathered for the official grand opening event at the new VFS Game Design Campus, which has moved to 88 East Pender in Vancouver – the former home of OmniTV. A far cry from the Marty Hasselbachwarren-like campus at the corner of Homer and West Hastings, the new campus is the perfect set up for the Game Design program, giving the school room to expand and whittle down its long waiting list of students waiting to unleash their imaginations and creative abilities on the game development industry.

The evening began with opening comments from VFS Managing Director Marty Hasselbach, who was the MC for the event. Mr. Hasselbach spoke briefly about the school and its successes before introducing school founder and President, Mr. James Griffin, who reiterated that one of the major goals for VFS is to teach students for success, something that I feel the school achieves time and again.

Following Mr. Griffin was guest of honour, Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson. Mayor Robertson spoke to the City of Vancouver’s commitment to the local digital media industry, and the important role Vancouver Film School plays in the continued growth of the industry. Mayor Robertson also spoke to the revitalization of the China Town community, and that the occupation by VFS of the former OmniTV building will assist in breathing new life to the area.

Several Vancouver City council members were in attendance, including Suzanne Anton and Ellen Woodsworth – in fact there were so many members of council present, Mayor Robertson joked that they could hold a meeting right there at the school. He continued, stating that the show of support from the council members’ attendaMayor Robertsonnce speaks directly to how the City is impressed with the remarkable achievements of not only Vancouver Film School, but the creative industry as a whole. The City recognizes the importance of the significant contribution the digital media sector has made to the standing of Vancouver as a global centre for creativity, and it is those successes that drives the City’s efforts in seeking out new opportunities, opening doors to new talent and new companies to come to Vancouver.

Also not one to miss an opportunity, Mayor Robertson noted the low carbon footprint of the digital media industry, and how its low impact on the environment will aid in the City’s quest to become the greenest city in the world – and he wasn’t just speaking to the home crowd, according to his bio page on the City’s web site, Mayor Robertson does indeed recognize digital media as being among important green industry sectors. The Mayor concluded his opening speech by congratulating the school on its scholarship initiatives, recognizing in particular the Women In Games Scholarship, the 2011 recipient of which would also be announced during the evening’s festivities.

Following Mayor Robertson, the Head of Game Design, Dave Warfield took over the podium to talk specifically about the past, present and future of the VFS Game Design program – after he noted that the campus’ location meant he would have a shorter walk to Canucks’ games. Mr. Warfield spoke about how far the school has come since launching its Game Design program six years ago, and how with the opening of the new campus the school will be able to double its capacity, helping 180 students enter the ever-changing world of game design annually.

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Mr. Warfield then introduced Women In Games Vancouver representative and independent game producer Bryna Dabby, who announced the winner of the 2011 Women In Games VFS Scholarship. Ms. Dabby spoke about the importance of scholarships like this one, awarding opportunities for more women to become members of what has until recently been a heavily male-dominated sector of the creative industry. The winner of the first Bryna and DaveWomen In Games Scholarship, which was awarded in 2009, was Toronto’s Shannon Lee, who is currently employed at Silicon Sisters Interactive. Last year’s winner, Annie Dickerson of Washington, DC will be graduating from the school this year.

Dave Warfield echoed her sentiments, stating that “encouraging more women to get involved in gaming will create better play experience that appeal to a wider audience, and with the changing variety of gaming today, that is more important now than ever before.”

The 2011 Women In Games Scholarship goes this year to Larissa Baptista of Rio de Janeiro. While Ms. Baptista was not able to be present for the announcement, the school did release a statement from the young woman, who holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Visual Communication. According to her background information, when she was just 14 years old, Ms. Baptista made a three hour bus commute to attend a year’s worth of classes in 3D software, as she had no other access to either 3D programs or even a computer.

“I am truly beyond honoured to have been chosen to receive the 2011 Women In Games Scholarship,” she said. “Thank you again – although words cannot possibly express my gratitude right now, I hope my future VFS Ribbon Cutting Ceremonyachievements will. A goal is now within my reach.”

Vancouver Film School will also be announcing the winners of three other scholarships to the school provided by G4TechTV, Annex Pro and 3Vis in the very near future.  The VFS Summer Intensives Program is also now open for registration – students can experience 5 days of fast-paced, eye-opening classes in any one of the many programs offered at Vancouver Film School.

Following the scholarship announcement, Mayor Robertson, James Griffin, Dave Warfield and Marty Hasselbach all took the stage for the official ribbon cutting ceremony, which was then followed by tours of the new school classrooms, labs, offices, arcades and theatre. As we here at Village Gamer look at new ways to form partnerships and support the VFS programs and students, we wish the school every success as it embarks on this new chapter in its history.

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Vancouver Film School – Results Matter

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25th April 2011

Monday New Releases and Upcoming Events

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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29th March 2011

KiK Founder Donates Million Dollar Startup Fund To UWaterloo

University of WaterlooThe entire digital media community is abuzz this morning with the news that 23 year old KiK founder and former Waterloo University student Ted Livingston has donated $1-million USD to the University, with the donation being earmarked to help fund VeloCity, the unique residence-based program for student entrepreneurs.

Livingston’s generous support of VeloCity has inspired the University to establish a $1-million seed fund for student startups. Over the next several years the fund will provide at least 30 student ventures with $25,000, four months of office space, incorporation services and mentoring. In addition, 75 student startups will receive $500 prizes as part of the first stage of the screening process.
kik interactive
VeloCity is a unique residence-based program for student entrepreneurs that was established at the University in 2008. The start-up incubator is a community that educates and connects talented, like-minded students with each other and with the surrounding start-up community, support and mentorship. The founder and CEO of Waterloo-based Kik Interactive Inc., Ted Livingston, studied mechatronics engineering at Waterloo between 2005 and 2009 and founded Kik (then called Unsynced) while in the VeloCity residence in Winter 2009.

“This is truly a wonderful development for our students who dream of launching their own successful startup,” said Feridun Hamdullahpur, president of the University of Waterloo. “Ted exemplifies the entrepreneurial spirit that so often defines Waterloo and the need to give back that we seek to encourage in all our students.” Read the rest of this entry »

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22nd February 2011

Relic Names Intern and Open Media Turns Up The Heat

Reminder: IGDA Vancouver soft-launch and Global Game Jam Post-Mortem takes place tonight. More info on the event’s Facebook page.
Reminder: Ontario companies, get your submissions in for the INplay Ontario Show & Tell Kids Interactive Showcase, the deadline is April 1st. Also note that the INplay Kick Off registration rate for attendees will end tomorrow.
Reminder: There is one week left to get your nominations in for the Canadian Video Game Awards. I nominated at least a dozen, is your favourite Canadian-made-in-2010 game nominated? No? Make it so – nominate it today.

Congratulations to VFS Game Design graduate Zach Williams, who has been named as the very first recipient of the Zach and Jonathan Photo Credit: VFSBrian Wood Memorial Internship, an internship that will be awarded three times annually to celebrate the life of Relic employee Brian Wood, who was killed in a tragic car accident last year. Zach, who has previously worked in the local industry as a QA Tester, will begin a four-month internship at Relic Entertainment.

Relic’s General Manager Jonathan Dowdeswell stated on the VFS blog that “Zach’s personal drive to become a great game developer, his broad skill base across a number of the disciplines, as well as his passion for Relic and knowledge of the culture and practices that we maintain were the things that made him stand out as a clear choice for this internship, he even had a Relic shirt ready to put on when we announced the winner to the class!”

Unless you have absolutely no interest gaming, you will be well aware that today is the launch of the demo for Dragon Age 2, available on PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.  Bioware will, as we told you last week, unlock two perks should the demo be dDragon Age 2ownloaded and played by 1 million gamers before March 1st. The key to answering this Call To Arms, as the demo phase has been dubbed, is that you must sign in to your EA account. So in our house, at least, that has been achieved by two of us on two separate Xboxes. I’ve played a few minutes of the demo, and thus far Dragon Age 2 looks awesome – the only part I’m concerned about is that the text is awfully small and sometimes difficult to read on a CRT television, even with a large screen.

Of course downloading two demo files also burned up 3.96gb of our new lower monthly cap of 100gb, and upon checking our nifty new Shaw Bandwidth Monitor we are now at 80gb with two weeks still to go on our billing cycle. Yes, we’ll be over – again. We are such bandwidth hogs – especially since Shaw decided we could do with 25gb less per month, but still pay them the same amount of money. Good thing that Shaw is holding off on charging for overages until after they hold their Customer Consultation sessions. I know there will be one in Langley next month, and Shaw has confirmed that my request to attend a session, but I have not yet been emailed about the exact location and time.  open media

Speaking of User Based Billing, Open Media is still fighting the good fight, and have issued their own call to arms as Rogers and the other obese telecoms meet to find ways to defeat the right of Canadian consumers to have access to fair and affordable internet services. In a post on their site, Open Media asks for the support of consumers in continuing the fight for our rights, and yes, this fight will require funding. We don’t have a huge amount of disposable income in our house, but honestly I would rather help Open Media with a $20.00 donation than pay it to any telecom for an already overpriced cable plan. If Open Media can raise $15 000.00 in the next 48 hours, indie ISP providers TekSavvy and Acanac will match those funds. Please help if you can.

What really, really irks me – besides the high prices for less service, that is – is that the telecoms are telling the CRTC how we internet hogs are clogging up the interwebs so steps must be taken to curb our overuse, yet they continually come up with new “limited special deals” to sign up new customers. If those of us already using the Net are clogging it up, stop trying to sign up more people, because they’re just going to clog it up even more!

While I want to direct you over to Open Media’s site to read their plan in full, here is a quick look at their initial plan of action:

1. Unleash the creativity and ingenuity of Canadians. People from all walks of life — innovators, educators, students, entrepreneurs, and everything in between — are getting together on February 26th for a Day Of Action to educate our fellow Canadians about Internet metering.

2. Put together a united front of public interest groups, creators, indie ISPs, online service providers and half a million Canadians to put forth a well-researched, evidence-based submission to the CRTC.

I would like to add to this plan of action by asking all of you to write your MP and Industry Canada – don’t just accept the bullying of the telecoms as a done deal. We can fight back – we’ve already shown that with the delay of User Based Billing – and we can make a difference. I found an old flyer the other day when I was making an attempt at cleaning up the clutter in my office. This flyer was from our local MP, Mark Warawa (Conservative) and the CIRAheadline phrase on this flyer is that the Conservatives stand up for Canadian consumers. Well? Let’s see some action behind that statement. Not sure how to contact your MP? Check here. And don’t forget – the CIRA-hosted Canadian Internet Forum being held in Ottawa on February 25th will be available via webcast (yup, burning up more of those gigabytes), so remember to tune in and watch the discussion about the future of Canada’s internet and digital economy. There is also an active discussion group on the CIF site, registration is required to view and post on it.

ubisoftUbisoft has finally confirmed a release date for the PC version of Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood. Those of you who prefer to battle the Templars and Borgia on your computers will be able to do so beginning on March 22nd.  Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood for PC will be available at retail stores and for digital download in two different versions:

Retail and Digital Standard Edition:

Main game + Abstergo Project Update 1.0 and 2.0 and The Da Vinci Disappearance

Digital Deluxe Edition:Assasins Creed Brotherhood for PC

·Main game + Abstergo Project Update 1.0 and 2.0 and The Da Vinci Disappearance

o Assassin’s Creed® Lineage: discover the story of Giovanni Auditore, Ezio’s father, by watching this three episodes short movie.

o Exclusive additional content featuring the Assassin’s Creed® Brotherhood original soundtrack, galleries, Making-of Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood…

o Exclusive unlockable content:

* One Multiplayer Character: The Harlequin, a deadly assassin lying behind a gaudy costume and a twisted smiling mask
* One Multiplayer Character: The Officer, a stealthy assassin who can assassinate his targets with a swift and powerful attack
* One exclusive single player indoor map: The Trajan Market
* One exclusive single player outdoor map: The Aqueducts map
* Ezio “Drachen Armor”

Both the Standard Digital Edition and the Deluxe Digital Edition can be pre-ordered at the Ubiworkshop Store.

Microsoft CanadaMicrosoft has announced that it will release a non-commercial Kinect for Windows software development kit from Microsoft Research later this spring, followed by a full commercial version of the SDK later in the year. This “starter kit” for application developers is intended to make it easier for academic research and enthusiast communities to create even richer experiences using Kinect technology. Through its collaboration with the Interactive Entertainment Business (IEB), Microsoft Research is hoping to support a growing community of academic researchers and enthusiasts who are exploring potential applications built using Kinect.

The starter kit will give academic researchers and enthusiasts access to deep Kinect system capabilities such as audio, system APIs, and direct control of the sensor. Microsoft has deep investments in R&D in natural user interfaces (NUI), which is a part of the company’s long term vision of creating computers that are intuitive to use and able to do far more for us. The fruits of those investments manifesting across many of Microsoft’s products, including Kinect for Xbox 360, Windows Phone 7, Microsoft Surface 2.0, Bing for Mobile and Office 2010 Mini Translator.

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15th December 2010

VFS Third Annual Game Design Scholarship For Women

VFSVancouver Film School (VFS) is pleased to present the third annual Women in Games Scholarship – the first scholarship of its kind in the world – to encourage greater opportunities for women pursuing a career in game design.

The Women in Games Scholarship, valued at up to $50,000, covers the full tuition for a female aspiring game designer to attend VFS’s acclaimed one-year Game Design program, named by the Los Angeles Times as a Top 10 school “favoured by industry recruiters”.

Since the scholarship was introduced two years ago, the percentage of female VFS Game Design students has increased from 2% in 2008 to 8% in 2010, an encouraging trend for the future of the industry. Female VFS Game Design graduates have gone on to work successfully in the industry, including Tara Mustapha and Charmie Kim of Microsoft Game Studios, Pamela Livara of XMG Studio, and Melanie Genereux of Longtail Studios in PEI.

Along with the Women in Games Scholarship, VFS is partnering with Game Design Expo sponsors G4TechTV, Annex Pro and 3vis to celebrate the fifth year of Game Design Expo with an additional $50,000 in scholarships. The ten individual $5,000 awards are open to all aspiring game designers.
Game Design Expo 2011
Full details of the Women in Games Scholarship will be announced at the free Sunday Open House as part of Game Design Expo 2011 on January 22-23, 2011. Application forms for the $5,000 VFS Game Design scholarships are currently available for download.

Attendees of the Open House will also be able to hear about the program, meet students and faculty, take sample classes, and visit the Women in Games Vancouver (WIGeh) booth. Space is limited, so anyone interested in attending the always-popular Open House is strongly encouraged to register now.

VFS is proud to partner with the following event sponsors to realize Game Design Expo 2011: G4, 3vis, Annex Pro, Pixologic, Radical Entertainment, Sumo Lounge, HP, and The Georgia Straight.

DomtarDomtar Corporation has extended the use of HP’s patented ColorLok® Technology to all of its Domtar branded business papers to provide a higher quality printing experience compared to papers that do not have ColorLok Technology. This technology will now be more widely available to customers, allowing them to keep pace with advancements in printing technology found in digital printing systems.

“We are pleased to extend ColorLok Technology, a performance-based standard, to all Domtar branded business papers, and in so doing, providing our customers with high-quality, environmentally responsible paper products, in both virgin and recycled content options,” said Karin Flemming, Domtar Marketing Manager, Business Papers.

Domtar first agreed to support the performance standards of ColorLok in early 2008 by incorporating the technology into its First Choice® line of business papers, a premium quality product with 98 brightness, and soon after with its Imageprint® brand multiuse papers. Now Domtar Copy®, Domtar EarthChoice® Office Paper, Husky® Copy and Recycled Husky® Copy, will be available with ColorLok Technology, providing customers with a 92 brightness alternative in both virgin and recycled content options.

Paper that uses the ColorLok logo must pass a precise set of standards for print quality, as well as physical and electrostatic standards for quality and reliability. Criteria for meeting the ColorLok performance standard includes improved image quality, dry time and consistency for printer performance. For inkjet printers, the benefits of ColorLok include bolder, sharper images and faster drying times. Benefits for laser printers include reliable printing, consistent imaging and an extended printer life, based on testing by Buyers Lab Inc., August 2010.

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27th October 2010

Digital Media Production Program Looking For Applicants

CMPAApply now for this great opportunity through the Canadian Media Production Association:

The Digital Media Production Program offers participants the opportunity to gain work experience in the film, television and interactive media production industry. Funded by the Government of Canada’s Career Focus Program, the Digital Media Production Program emphasizes administration, management and technical skills in today’s rapidly changing knowledge economy in the digital world.

Deadline: November 29, 2010
Spots Available: 40
Duration of Placement: 24 weeks
Intern Stipend: $14,000 (minimum);
$10,000 from the Program and minimum $4,000 from mentor
Age: 15 – 30. Must be post-secondary graduate.

Intern Eligibility

*Open to Canadian citizens or permanent residents legally entitled to work in Canada
*Must be between the ages of 15 and 30 (inclusive) at time of application
*Must be unemployed or under-employed at the time of application
*Must be a post-secondary graduate
*Must be out of school
*Must not be receiving Employment Insurance (EI) benefits
*Must NOT have previously participated in a program sponsored by the federal government’s Youth Employment Strategy
*Cannot be an employee, family member, or current CFTPA participant of the mentor company with whom he/she is submitting a joint application
*Applicants should note that the intern MUST become an employee of the mentor company for the duration of the placement.

Mentor Eligibility

*An eligible member of the Canadian Media Production Association (CMPA) at the time of application. Eligible companies must be CMPA members and fall under one of the following CMPA categories: general member, service producer, interactive media, broadcaster affiliate or publicly traded
*The mentor company will be responsible for providing career assistance, feedback, guidance during, and debriefing following the completion of the placement
*The mentor company must contribute a minimum of $4,000 toward the participant stipend
*A mentor applicant cannot be an employer, family member, or current CFTPA mentor of the participant whom he/she is submitting a joint application
*Applicants should note that the intern MUST become an employee of the mentor company for the duration of the placement.

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3rd September 2010

Canada Company Awards Eight Scholarships To Children of Fallen Soldiers

Canada CompanyThe Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence; Blake Goldring, Chairman of Canada Company and Chairman and CEO, AGF Management Limited; along with Rear Admiral Andrew Smith, Canadian Forces Chief of Military Personnel; today presented scholarships to eight surviving offspring of fallen Canadian Forces personnel.

The scholarships are provided as a tribute to fallen Canadian Forces personnel by a charitable business group called Canada Company. Each recipient will receive up to $16,000 each – up to $4,000 per year for up to four years – to help defray the costs of their post secondary education.

The third annual awards ceremony was conducted aboard the HMCS Frederiction. The Halifax-based frigate is currently on a five-week Canadian tour, including seven port visits along the St. Lawrence Seaway and the Great Lakes.

“The HMCS Fredericton is a fitting backdrop to honour these fine students,” said Blake Goldring. “Their parents made a commitment to serve our country and today our commitment is to help them pursue their education. Canada Company provides the means for both businesses and individuals to support our military and their families to ensure they are taken care of with ongoing initiatives like these scholarships.” HMCS Fredericton

“The Government of Canada recognizes and deeply appreciates the ultimate sacrifice these families have paid for their country,” said Minister MacKay. “The Canada Company Scholarship helps the deserving children of our fallen to pursue post-secondary education and start on the road to their future careers.”

“The families of our fallen remain an important part of the Canadian Forces family who need our support,” said Rear Admiral Andrew Smith. “The Canadian Forces greatly appreciate the support that Canada Company and Canadians from coast to coast to coast have shown to the families of our fallen soldiers.”

The 2010/11 recipients of Canada Company’s educational scholarship fund awards are:

* Robert Girouard of Orillia is studying Law and Justice at Laurentian University.
* Kirsten Hess-von Kruedener of Burlington is studying at the RCC Institute of Technology Interior Design.
* Sheralynn Kennedy of Winnipeg is attending the University of Winnipeg working towards a doctorate in Psychology.
* Matthew Mellish of French Lake is attending the University of New Brunswick.
* Myriam Mercier of Quebec City is studying Nursing at Cegep de Sainte-Foy.
* Adam Naismith of Moose Jaw is studying Arts and Sciences at the University of Saskatchewan.
* Jocelyn Ranger of Pembroke is studying business at Algonquin College.
* Natasha Roberge of Hamner is studying English and Music at Laurentian University.

The Canada Company Scholarship Fund provides $4,000 per year, for up to four years, to support the post-secondary education for children who qualify. Children of Canadian Forces members who have died on duty while serving in an active role in a military mission of the Canadian Forces or reserves since January 2002 are eligible to apply. The Canada Company Scholarship Fund will provide scholarship grants to children dating back to January 1, 2002.

Canada Company scholarships have received leadership funding in the amount of $1 million from CIBC. Additional financial support was secured from Power Corporation; Peter Munk, Founder and Chairman of Barrick Gold Corporation; Jim Balsillie, Co-Chief Executive Officer of Research In Motion (RIM); RBH Inc.; The W. Garfield Weston Foundation; The TD Bank Financial Group, BMO Financial Group; Scotiabank; Standard Life; Laurentian Bank of Canada / B2B Trust and AGF Management Limited. Canada Company is calling on other members of the corporate community to contribute to this important initiative.

Canada Company oversees the fund through an independent committee, along with members of the Tour de Force 2010Canadian Forces, to ensure that bereaved children have the opportunity to receive this scholarship.

One way which you can show your support for Canada Company Scholarships is to take part in the upcoming North American Van Lines Tour de Force, an exhilarating cycling trip through southern Ontario and Quebec. The bike/run will kick off at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto with celebrities in attendance including players from the Toronto Maple Leafs and former NHLer’s and will last for seven days ending in beautiful downtown Montreal. The trip will be broken down into seven 85-kilometre intervals. Cyclists can register for the entire trip or certain legs of the journey. At the end of each leg of the trip there will be a celebration in the evening.

editor’s note: While this article may not be directly related to Canada’s digital media industry, it is directly related to a game we all play every day: life. As a military family and supporters of our Canadian Forces,  from time to time we carry related stories. We hope that you will join us in supporting those who serve our country now and in the future, and in remembering those whose patrol has ended.

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16th August 2010

Mixed Media Monday

Strategy FirstMontreal’s Strategy First and U.S. based Nvinium Games are expanding the Space Empires: Battle For Supremacy franchise which began on the PC in 1993. The five-title franchise has been infiltrating social media and casual game platforms, and with versions for the iPhone and iPad due to launch in 2011, social gamers will now be able to connect with Space Empire gamers anywhere and at anytime, including those on Facebook.

“The avid Space Empires audience pushed us to expand from the PC to Facebook. We have been extremely pleased by the response to the new social network version of the game both in terms of excellent reviews and the exceptional take up of the game by the Facebook community. Accordingly we are expanding to the iPhone and the iPad platforms which will allow us to make the game available to these popular and growing social game audiences”, said Strategy First’s President Emanuel Wall.Dead of Night

big stack gamesBig Stack Studios has released a new game in the iTunes App Store. In Dead of Night, you will travel back to the 19th century and direct the vampire army through their conquest of Europe. In this 40 level quest you will capture villagers with your vampiric gaze and defend your legions from those of Van Helsing and the Werewolves. This title, which is OpenFeint-enabled, blends elements of castle defense and line-drawing gameplay and is available now for $ 0.99USD.

UbisoftThe Zellers store located at 8925 Torbram Road in Brampton will be holding an in-store BattleTag event with the game’s producer, Gael Seydoux, who will be on hand to talk about the new game and answer questions. The event will run from 10:00a.m. until 3:00p.m.

Canada Media FundThe Canada Media Fund will begin a new round of consultation sessions with the industry this fall. Valerie Creighton, President and CEO, and Stéphane Cardin, VP of Industry and Public Affairs, will meet with stakeholders across the country to gain input on key issues to be resolved prior to releasing the program guidelines for 2011-2012 in December.

If you wish to attend one of these sessions, you are asked to please register by selecting a location near you. Exact times and locations will be provided to registrants by email prior to each event. New this year, stakeholders who are unable to attend a session in person can participate through an online discussion forum. More details will be provided by CMF in the coming weeks.

Tungle.meScheduling site Tungle.me has once again expanded its services, allowing users to add their Facebook Events to their Tungle.me account. With this new integration users can now see their entire schedule in one, simple calendar view, allowing them to factor Facebook events into their availability, thereby avoiding those pesky double bookings. As users RSVP to new Facebook Events, those events will be added to their Tungle.me calendar, automatically updating available time slots.

Boys and Girls Clubs of CanadaThis past Saturday marked a momentous occasion for Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada and its long-standing partner Future Shop as they celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Future Shop Future Leaders Scholarships program. And what better way to celebrate than to give the gift of education to 25 Boys and Girls Clubs youth across Canada. Future ShopPresented with scholarships based on their outstanding contribution to their Boys and Girls Club and local community, good academic standing and financial need, the deserving 25 recipients will use their bursary to pursue their careers and life goals through higher education. Read the rest of this entry »

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