26th August 2011

NKPR Expands Toronto Film Festival Footprint

nkprJust as the film festival draws celebrities and influencers from around the world to the streets of Toronto, NKPR’s popular gifting suite, the IT Lounge, is kicking off with a renewed focus on the global and local reach of its initiatives and charitable campaigns.

This year’s IT Lounge, held from September 8 to 14, connects diverse brands such as Canada’s RW&CO and Italy’s Coccinelle to raise funds and awareness not only for international charity partner Artists for Peace and Justice (APJ), but locally for Camp Oochigeas, where children with cancer rediscover the magic of childhood.

Founded by Oscar-winning director and screenwriter Paul Haggis, APJ is improving the lives of Haitian children by supporting an education model that will give thousands access to schooling, as well as hot meals, clean water and medical care. The APJ board includes Hollywood heavy-hitters such as James Franco, Penélope Cruz, Javier Bardem, Nicole Kidman, Olivia Wilde, Gerard Butler, Josh Brolin, Diane Lane, Charlize Theron and Maria Bello.

IT Lounge doesn’t overlook those who need support close to home, with participating brands also donating to local charity Camp Oochigeas – a privately funded, volunteer-based organization that provides kids with cancer and kids affected by childhood cancer with a unique opportunity for growth through challenging, fun, enriching and magical experiences.

Though Natasha Koifman, president and founder of NKPR Inc., is quick to admit the film festival is her favourite time of year, it’s not just because of red carpet calls and gala events. “Working with our partners to raise funds and awareness for a number of different causes gives us a unique opportunity to make a positive impact in the lives of children and their families on both a global and local scale.”

Located in the heart of the cinematic action at 312 Adelaide Street West, NKPR headquarters will once again transform into a can’t-miss pop-up shop loaded with star-worthy finds that all give back. Don’t miss out on the always fun and functional IT Lounge media centre, this year created by interior designer and décor expert Karen Sealy, owner of Sealy Design Inc., featuring HD LG Optimus Pads provided by Rogers.

This year feature brands include a wide range of global and local faves such as RW&CO., Fila, Coccinelle, Stila Cosmetics, Ardell Lashes, Goody, Simply You Jewelry, Kobo, G.M. Collin skin care, House of Marley, Stratusphere Living, ConScent/Parental ConScent, Baker Street, FIJI Water, SKYY Vodka.

Previous guests of the IT Lounge include Edward Norton, Catherine Deneuve, Fefe Dobson, Queen Latifah, Tim Robbins, Jason Bateman, Olivia Wilde and Ryan Gosling.

In addition to hosting the IT Lounge (September 8 to 14), NKPR will be at the helm of key festival events uptown, downtown and all over town, including:

  • September 9 and 10: TORO After Dark Lounge, at Ame (19 Mercer St.). TORO After Dark will celebrate Artists For Peace and Justice on September 9, with a fundraiser hosted by Academy Award-winning director Paul Haggis, with Jon Hamm and George Stroumboulopoulos. On September 10, A-listers and industry insiders will enjoy fresh festival programming at the late-night lounge.
  • September 10: Artists for Peace and Justice Academy Lunch. Located at a private estate in the Annex, this intimate backyard lunch will raise funds for the APJ Academy for children in Haiti. The event will feature special guest performances by Eddie Vedder (Pearl Jam) and Régine Chassagne (Arcade Fire).
  • September 10: HELLO! Canada Red Carpet & Gala. Canada’s only celebrity news magazine commemorates five glamourous years with a celebration of the greatest Hollywood style icons featured in HELLO! Canada at an invitation-only cocktail reception at the luxurious Ritz-Carlton.

NKPR will also spread social good using social media. The agency will donate $2 to APJ and to Camp Oochigeas – with proceeds split equally – for every new Twitter follower received between August 25 and September 14. Follow NKPR at natashankpr on Twitter to make your contribution to the campaign.

“Through the generosity of the brands who’ve participated in the IT Lounge over the past three years, and previous Artists for Peace and Justice fundraising events held during the film festival, we’ve been able to help make a difference in the lives of children around the world,” says Koifman, who also serves as Chair of the APJ Canada Board and as Advisory Board Member for Camp Oochigeas. “Mobilizing our social media community to help spread awareness for our causes is a natural evolution in our fundraising efforts.”

NKPR has helped raise more than $200,000 to both local and global charities through the IT Lounge, fundraising events, and online charitable campaigns like their “Follow For A Cause” initiative.

Be sure to visit NKPR’s all-film-festival, all-the-time microsite which will track fundraising efforts, feature daily contests, the latest news from the red carpets, exclusive IT Lounge images and updates from NKPR’s social networks.

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25th August 2011

Telefilm Canada Spotlights Canadian Talent at 36th Annual TIFF

Telefilm CanadaTelefilm Canada is enhancing its participation in the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) with two new initiatives created to promote Canadian talent. A first for this year, 12 films to be shown at the Festival were promoted to the New York industry as part of Telefilm’s Eye on TIFF initiative, in which festival Co-Director Cameron Bailey took part.

Telefilm is also proud to announce that renowned Canadian director Atom Egoyan will launch its new Talent to Watchinitiative, which will spotlight the creative talent of the country’s emerging and established filmmakers, with Canadian and international media in attendance.

Back again for a 12th consecutive year is festival favourite Telefilm Canada PITCH THIS!, which encourages industry support for new feature film ideas. Two additional activities will keep Telefilm in contact with its clients: Copro 101 information sessions will explore the ins and outs of co-producing with Canada, while Meet and Greet sessions provide opportunities to meet Telefilm’s top executives in one-on-one sessions.

“We’re enthusiastic about these two new initiatives that reaffirm Telefilm’s commitment to innovate and to promote the Canadian industry,” said Telefilm Canada’s Executive Director Carolle Brabant. “TIFF makes it possible, year after year, to support the industry’s growth by captivating international audiences, by forging ties within the industry, and by celebrating both up-and-coming and veteran talent.”

Director Atom Egoyan added: “Canadian filmmakers have always relied on the visibility and attention they can draw at film festivals.  This is a bold and vital initiative that fully understands the crucial role of promising young talent. ”

“We’re delighted to partner with Telefilm Canada on these exciting new projects,” said Cameron Bailey, Co-Director of the Toronto International Film Festival. “Eye on TIFF is helping to build profile for our best emerging talent, and is sure to open up new foreign sales opportunities for Canadian films. Our work will go a long way towards helping TIFF achieve one of its core missions: building audiences for Canadian filmmakers.”

Talent to Watch
Dates: September 9, 12 and 14, 2011
Time: 12:00 to 12:45 pm
Location: The Filmmakers’ Lounge, Hyatt Regency Hotel
Photocall: 12:00 pm
Talent to Watch spotlights the creative talent of our country’s emerging and established filmmakers. Don’t miss our “In conversation with…” sessions at the Filmmakers’ Lounge, which promise to take an insightful and perhaps even critical look at why Canadian cinema is applauded around the world. Atom Egoyan, one of Canada’s most renowned directors, will attend the first session, The New Face of Canadian Cinema, and will deliver opening remarks. Panellists will be announced shortly.

Telefilm Canada’s Eye on TIFF
This event was held in New York City on August 23rd as an exclusive pre-festival mixer for Canadian film teams and the New York acquisitions, festival and exhibition community – a chance for some key decision-makers to sneak a peek at what Canada has to offer at TIFF 2011. TIFF Co-Director Cameron Bailey and Telefilm Canada Executive Director Carolle Brabant were co-hosts for the occasion.

TIFF Rising Stars
Dates: September 8 to 11, 2011
Telefilm is a partner in TIFF Rising Stars, a new initiative designed to discover the next generation of made-in-Canada talent. At this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, TIFF Rising Stars will showcase four Canadian actors who have proven themselves ready to expand into international careers. Sarah Allen, Katie Boland, Sarah Gadon and Keon Mohajeri will receive intensive professional development and mentoring from casting directors, agents, managers, producers and filmmakers.

Telefilm Canada PITCH THIS!
Date: September 13, 2011
Time: 12:00 pm
Location: TIFF Bell Lightbox
Telefilm Canada PITCH THIS! returns to TIFF for the 12th consecutive year. Six participating teams have six minutes each to pitch their feature film ideas to a live audience of over 200 industry professionals. The winning team is selected by a jury of international industry experts and receives $10,000 CAD from Telefilm to further develop their projects.

Talent Lab
Telefilm is a partner in Talent Lab, an intensive four-day professional development program that provides emerging talent with an unparalleled opportunity to learn from the world’s best film creators. Talent Lab leads participants in group discussions on a range of topics focused on the creative aspects of filmmaking, sharpening the skills and confidence of a new generation of filmmakers.

Meet and Greet with our executives
Dates: September 9, 11, 12 and 13, 2011
Telefilm’s Meet and Greet is a series of 15-minute one-on-one meetings with some of Telefilm’s top executives during TIFF, in order to discuss topics in their respective areas of expertise.

Copro 101
Dates: September 10, 12 and 13, 2011
Time: 9:30 to 10:30 am
Location: Filmmakers’ Lounge, Hyatt Regency Hotel
Marielle Poupelin, Deputy Director, Coproduction Certification, and Sandra Karr, National Director, Business Affairs, will lead hour-long discussions on the ins and outs of coproducing with Canada. Whether you’re a visitor interested in doing business with Canada, or a Canadian seeking international partners, these group sessions will introduce you to the world of coproduction.

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25th August 2011

MEGA Bloks Halo Goes Viral

Mega BrandsMega Bloks is launching a community-driven competition to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the Halo franchise.  Halo fans are invited to create and submit their own Halo Mega Bloks toymations (stop motion animations featuring toys) for a chance to win incredible prizes — including having their film featured on Microsoft’s official Halo web channel, Waypoint.

Fans are invited to submit their videos on the Mega Bloks Halo Toymation Contest website, which is where entrants can also find more information about the contest and contest rules. On September 25th, submissions close, at which point users will be able to rate their favorite videos. The top 10 videos will be published on October 17th and finally, MEGA’s panel of expert judges will reveal their Grand Prize Winner on October 24th. The lucky winner and runners-up get the chance to win prizes that include video production hardware and software and tons of MEGA BLOKS Collectors items.Find out more

“MEGA Brands and Microsoft have shared a highly successful partnership building an incredible fan base around the toy franchise over the past 3 years”, says Andrew Sparkes, Vice President of Boys Brand Management at MEGA Brands. “This contest is such a great opportunity because it really allows us to see the love for our product shine through the creativity of our fans in their own productions”.

“Halo has always been a universe in which input and creativity from players is paramount and essential to the unique feeling of interaction and invention the Halo sandbox encourages, and Mega Bloks is and always has been the perfect extension of that feeling into the “real” world,” said Frank O’Connor, Franchise Development Director at 343 Industries.

The contest’s exciting panel of expert judges include: Pascal Blais, film producer and owner of the Academy Award winning Pascal Blais Studios; Michael “Burnie” Burns, co-creator of the series Red vs. Blue: The Blood Gulch Chronicles; Jessica Shea, Community Manager at 343 Industries and avid HALO gamer; Fred Kennedy (a.k.a Fearless Fred), host of Fred At Night, on TELETOON At Night, and finally Mr. Andrew Sparkes.

 

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25th August 2011

Paul Healy Named As Interim President and CEO at Radiant

Radiant CommunicationsBusiness broadband solution provider Radiant Communications Corp. has announced the resignation of David Buffett as President and CEO and the appointment of Paul Healy as the interim President and CEO.

Mr. Healey is an experienced telecommunications leader having held executive positions at both BCE and Rogers Communications including President Bell Canada, Western Canada.  Mr. Healey’s most recent role was as President & CEO of a national franchise growth company. Mr. Healey’s appointment is effective August 30, 2011.

“On behalf of the Board I’d like to thank David Buffett for his efforts and contributions to Radiant over the past five years,” said Don Calder, Chairman of Radiant. “We believe that with a strong customer base, a superior product portfolio and exceptional service Radiant is extremely well positioned in the small and medium enterprise arena. Paul Healey has tremendous experience and is well versed in the Canadian market. He is an exceptional results driven leader and is a perfect fit to accelerate Radiant’s growth and success.”

Radiant Communications also disclosed its financial results for the second quarter ended June 30, 2011.

Highlights:

  • Revenue of $8.1 million for the quarter ended June 30, 2011 increased by 4.9% compared to revenue of $7.8 million for the quarter ended June 30, 2010.
  • Gross margin was 38.2% in the quarter.
  • EBITDA in the second quarter was $143,171 compared to $126,010 in the second quarter of 2010.
  • Net loss in the second quarter of $237,569 amounted to a loss of $0.02 per share.
  • The Company ended the quarter with cash and short-term investments of $4.0 million

Financial Review

Revenues for the quarter ended June 30, 2011 increased 4.9% to $8.1 million compared to $7.8 million in the second quarter of 2010.  The increase is a result of ongoing installation and activation of new services directed at retailers and larger national businesses as well as the addition of new locations and services to existing customers. Radiant’s revenues are primarily recurring in nature and due to extended two and three year customer contracts quarterly revenue growth is relatively predictable and consistent over time.  One time hardware revenues can fluctuate from quarter to quarter depending on the requirements of customer rollouts that occur each quarter.

In the second quarter AlwaysThere virtual services accounted for 6.7% of revenue, up from 4.7% of revenue in the second quarter of 2010. With AlwaysThere services accounting for over 15% of new sales year to date we expect to this high margin business continue to grow. Read the rest of this entry »

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25th August 2011

Visit Rock Hippo At Fan Expo

rock hippo productionsRock Hippo Productions announced today that its exhibition at Germany’s Gamescom last week in Cologne was a major success. The company estimates that tens of thousands of fans visited the Rock Hippo booth to play Brawl BustersMicroVolts and Brawl Busters. The company also released photos of the winners of two huge competitions held during the convention. The winners of the daily Brawl Busters competitions took home Alienware gaming keyboards while the winners of the daily MicroVolts tournaments took home Alienware gaming mice.

Between August 25th and 28th, Rock Hippo will exhibit its two free-to-play games, MicroVolts and upcoming Brawl Busters, at Fan Expo Canada at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in Booth 1445. Players who visit the Rock Hippo booth at Fan Expo Canada will have a chance to play the new action brawler, Brawl Busters, which just recently went into Closed Beta phase. In addition, visitors can participate in the special promotion for the company’s recently released third person action shooter, MicroVolts, to receive microvoltsin-game currency and pick up all kinds of gaming swag.

“Gamescom was a huge success for us. We were able to show off our games to so many of our fans and give out some great prizes. We want to congratulate the winners of our tournaments who took home some awesome Alienware gaming gear,” said Howard He, President and CEO of Rock Hippo Productions. “We aren’t done yet. We are now looking forward to meeting the gamers at Fan Expo Canada this weekend, which is celebrating its 17th year, and we are proud to be part of such a popular convention which celebrates everything from gaming to anime and comics and more.”

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25th August 2011

Video Game Suspected In Holding Three People Hostage

Evil Objective StudiosThe following is a statement on recent events which occurred at the office of Evil Objective Studios.

Filthy. Freezing. Kinda smelly. These are just four of the five words used to describe the scene in an Alberta basement Monday morning where three of the studio’s designers were found. Tired, cold, and mildly infuriated with one another, the trio had been Scribble Byte Scrabbleheld hostage for months by their own iOS game.

Details are sparse but it appears the three friends – who have no professional or practical experience in much of anything – were taken hostage by their iOS game “Scribble Byte Scramble” at some point early in development.

Authorities suspect the trio was likely unaware of the dangers of game development.

Possessing little money and even less sanity, the trio aimed to develop and release their game on a timeline and budget that was initially described as ‘brilliant’ – it has since been downgraded to ‘laughable’.

The whereabouts of “Scribble Byte Scramble” – the  game responsible for this catastrophe – are unknown, but it is expected to resurface in early September. Rumours suggest the trio are currently in recovery, receiving extensive treatments from an Italian pharmaceutical specialist.

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25th August 2011

DrinkBox Announces Tales From Space: Mutant Blobs Attack For PS Vita

drinkbox studiosToronto-based developer DrinkBox Studios has announced that it is working on a new downloadable PlayStation®Vita title called Tales from Space: Mutant Blobs Attack.  A follow-up to Tales from Space: About a Blob – the studio’s first game – Mutant Blobs Attack will feature new levels, new powers and controls, and a new Blob player character.mutant blob

“The control systems available on the PlayStation®Vita have allowed us to experiment with all kinds of new gameplay possibilities.  We’re finding that touch controls in particular can be used to complement traditional thumb-stick puzzle-platforming very well”, said DrinkBox Designer Chris McQuinn.  He added: “We learned a lot developing our first game – we want to use that experience to deliver the best game we can in Mutant Blobs Attack.”

DrinkBox will be showing an early development build of the game this weekend at PAX Prime 2011 in Seattle.

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25th August 2011

XMG Studio and The National Post announce Great Canadian Appathon 2

Great Canadian Appathon 2The National Post and mobile game developer XMG Studio Inc. are teaming up once again to challenge Canadian college and university students to race the clock and develop an addictive game app in just 48 hours. From September 30th to October 2ndstudent developers from coast-to-coast are invited to carry on the legacy of gifted Great Canadian Appathon coders, and take a chance at coding the next hit game for mobile platforms.

At the first GCA in April 2011, approximately 300 students on 100 teams spent the weekend working to develop the next great mobile game and take a share of the $45,000 prize pool. In the end, more than 50 games were completed and submitted including the winning superhero-themed game “Super Punch”. The game developers at XMG Studio are currently working with the three finalists from Edmonton, BC and Montreal, to polish their games “Super Punch”, “Valley Raid” and “Plasmium” and publish them.

“We’re excited to announce GCA² over the weekend of September 30th.” says Ray Sharma, founder and CEO of XMG Studio, the Toronto-based game developer. “We were very impressed with the quality of the submitted games from the initial GCA and can’t wait to get knee-deep in code with that young Canadian developer talent. It’s a great way to socialize, network and play around with the latest APIs.”

The GCA² will start at 5:00 p.m. (local time) on September 30th, 2011 and continue for 48 hours, ending at 5:00 p.m. on October 2nd, 2011. Individuals or teams of up to four people will be able to work around the clock in coding hubs set up at a variety of university and college campuses across the country. During the time of the event, sponsors will be on-site at some campuses to give away prizes and recruit for job openings. Following the event, the winning games will be chosen and winning teams will be honoured at the “Grand Finale” in Toronto.

To stay informed about the event, including supported platforms, team registrations, rules and regulations, campuses already signed-on or information on how to get your campus involved, please visit the Great Canadian Appathon web site.

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25th August 2011

Nightmare Nibbler Goes To The Emmy Awards

The Nightmare Nibbler, a cuddly plush toy developed by Ontario mom Susan Smith, is quickly becoming one of the most in-demand nightmare management tools. At a pre-Emmy event, the children of celebrities will have the opportunity to cherish their very own Nightmare Nibbler.

Designed to comfort children who suffer from frequent nightmares, the Nightmare Nibbler has been personally selected to participate in an official pre-Emmy event held on September 16th and 17th at the Intercontinental Hotel in Los Angeles. The exclusive event is a celebrity gifting suite called The Boom Boom Room. Past events have been attended by Leah Remini, Halle Berry, Brooke Shields, Denise Richards and Tori Spelling. Not only are the invite-only products at The Boom Boom Room events cherished by celebrities and their kids, products featured at these events have been showcased on E! News, Entertainment Tonight and VH1’s Fabulous Life of Celebrity Kids.nightmare nibbler

The Nightmare Nibbler was created out of necessity by a very clever mom and launched in 2010. Susan Smith’s son suffered from frequent nightmares. The problem of nightmares in children isn’t uncommon. Through Smith’s research, Susan discovered a startling fact. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians, one out of every four children will have nightmares more than once a week. As a result, Susan Smith created a nightmare management tool that appealed to children while helping parents get more sleep!

The Nightmare Nibbler Nation (N3) is where the Nightmare Nibblers are born. Susan Smith’s Nightmare Nibblers appeal to children because the products are backed by the power of imagination. The N3 invites children to believe in a magical place where nightmares and scary things don’t stand a chance. The story goes that Nightmare Nibblers have an appetite for all things scary and are sent to each child to stand guard during the night – eating up nightmares and other worrisome things, like monsters under the bed! The emotional comfort these tiny, yet powerful, Nightmare Nibblers offer to each child is unique, effective, and extremely affordable. In addition, the Nightmare Nibbler picture book will be available this holiday season.

“Each Nightmare Nibbler’s hang tag has a rhyming poem that is ideal for nighttime rituals. Parents are encouraged to read the story to their child right before bed. Parents with children suffering from bad dreams, or even those parents wanting to prevent them, will find my products are a perfect match.” said Susan Smith. “Plus, the Nibblers are endearing to children with emotional issues or those diagnosed with serious illnesses. I gave the first ever Nightmare Nibbler character, named Norbert, to a child who was battling cancer. After receiving a letter from his mom describing how Norbert offered overwhelming comfort to her son, I decided to start The Nightmare Nibbler Project.”

Nightmare Nibblers are available for purchase directly on NightmareNibbler.com and at select retailers. Currently, Norbert the Nightmare Nibbler sells for $24.95, stands twelve inches tall, and is CPSIA compliant. The Nightmare Nibbler is also a Kidlutions Preferred Product Award winning plush toy. Other Nightmare Nibbler characters and products are on the horizon.

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25th August 2011

Comwave Launches ePhone in the Cloud for Web Users Worldwide

comwaveFresh off the heels of a successful launch of ePhone for the BlackBerry Playbook™, Comwave introduces ePhone as a web-based Adobe® Flash® video phone. Users can access their ePhone from any computer in the world with an internet connection. “ePhone is an incredible value that every laptop should have,” says Yuval Barzakay, President. “In the boardroom or in the dorm room, ePhone turns your laptop into a regular phone.”

Customers receive their own phone number so even people from landlines and mobile phones can call ePhone users. Comwave ePhone also includes free local and long distance calls to almost 60 countries for only $20 per year. All you need is a PC or Apple® Mac computer with an internet connection to log into ePhone to make and receive calls and no software is required to install. Additionally, Customers can make unlimited Video Calls to other ePhone users absolutely free.

Customers can sign up for a 3-Day Risk Free trial and enjoy 100 minutes of free calling to almost 60 countries and unlimited talk between other ePhone users. Once the free trial has expired, Customers will have the option to continue for only $20 per year.

ePhone includes:

  • Your own telephone number
  • Unlimited Free Incoming calls from anywhere in the world including landlines and mobile phones
  • Unlimited ePhone-2-ePhone voice or video calling
  • 250 Free Minutes per month to call almost 60 countries. Calls that exceed the 250 free minutes will be charged at low rates guaranteed lower than Skype™
  • No monthly bills or fees, just a one-time annual payment
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