7th September 2011

Register Now for Social Media Week Vancouver

Social Media Week 2011Vancouver’s largest and most comprehensive social media conference, Social Media Week Vancouver has opened for registration, and as Canada’s only host city for the fall conference, events are already starting to fill up. Socialized! Ltd. announced the free conference in July of this year which will take place September 19th through 23rd.

Social Media Week is a global platform that connects people, content and conversations around emerging trends in social and mobile media. Vancouver is one of twelve global locations selected to host the bi-annual conference that is free for registered participants to attend.

“This will be the largest social media conference of its type in Vancouver,” says Rob Lewis, Editor-in-Chief of Techvibes.com and a member of the Social Media Week Vancouver Board of Advisors. “We are excited to be involved in an event of this magnitude. Techvibes is connected to many different industries and this conference will touch on everything from journalism and government to social media and the use of technology.”

The principle is simple, visit Social Media Week Vancouver’s website and register for the events of your choice. Events are free for registered participants and will include summits, mashups and soirees that take place in various venues around Vancouver from Monday, September 19th through Friday, September 23rd.

“Some of the events are already sold out, but we encourage people to get registered today as some of our venues have limited capacity,” says Teri Conrad, Senior Social Strategist for Socialized! Ltd.

With conference events planned throughout each day and into the evening, Ceili’s Irish Pub has reserved the rooftop patio for the week, with soirees currently planned for Monday, Thursday and Friday evening. “Ceilis is excited to be hosting several of the day time events and are, of course, proud to be the official party and soiree venue for Social Media Week Vancouver,” notes Mark Reid, Vice President, Ceilis Group.

 

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7th September 2011

PwC Predicts Bright Future For Film Industry

pwcThe Toronto International Film Festival is just days away and the future looks bright for the film industry, according to PwC. The firm’s study shows global consumer spending on filmed entertainment will grow at a 5.9% compound annual rate over the next five years reaching US$114.8 billion in 2015 from $86.2 billion in 2010. This growth is strongest in markets showcased at TIFF, and Canada’s biggest film festival will screen more than 300 films from over 60 countries.

Producers from both major and emerging markets like China, Vietnam, Romania, Russia and India will see high compound annual growth rates ranging from 10% – 26%, between now and 2015. At the same time markets in North and South America, Europe and the Middle East will see moderate to strong gains between 3% and 9%.

“Revenues for filmed entertainment will be fuelled by the youth market and a variety of options for consumers to access movies. Watching movies online and via mobile devices will supplement box office spending on filmed entertainment,” says Michael Paterson, partner in PwC’s Entertainment & Media practice. “Expect to see higher quality film experiences for consumers as the industry looks for new ways to stay competitive by differentiating the way we access movies and enhancing the movie going experience.”

Filmed Entertainment Market, 2011 – 2015*
Country Spending in $US millions 2011-2015 CAGR (%)
2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Canada 3,956 4,123 4,304 4,477 4,641 4.2
US 36,842 38,853 41,151 43,448 45,686 5.4
France 4,002 4,195 4,372 4,538 4,683 4.2
Germany 3,750 3,871 4006 4137 4,241 3.7
Italy 2,123 2,228 2345 2463 2,552 4.4
United Kingdom 6,047 6,362 6711 7069 7,364 4.9
Czech Republic 140 147 156 163 169 4.9
Romania 40 45 50 55 60 11.4
Russia 1,734 1,972 2208 2375 2,547 10.7
Israel 170 177 184 192 198 4.1
South Africa 319 337 357 372 389 4.9
Australia 3,872 4,115 4353 4585 4,810 5.8
India 2,058 2,325 2561 2819 3,095 10.8
Japan 7,403 7,812 8,296 8,686 8,932 3.1
Argentina 254 279 304 332 360 8.9
Brazil 1,499 1,641 1,790 1,937 2,070 8.6
China 2,716 3,508 4,358 5,269 6,254 26.0
Vietnam 8 10 12 14 17 23.2

*Includes consumer spending at the box office, cinema advertising, in-store rental market, physical sell-through market, and electronic distribution.

According to PwC, worldwide box office spending will increase from US$33 billion in 2010 to US$48.7 billion by 2015, an 8.1% compound annual interest gain, supported by the growth in 3-D film screens. The increase in the number of 3-D screens will raise average prices which consumers will pay, keeping movie admissions steady. In 2010 in Canada, there were 350 3-D screens and the average price of a single movie ticket rose 5.5% over 2009, the first gain of more than 5% since 2000.

“While consumers may become more selective in choosing to see a 3-D film over the next few years, we believe 3-D and other innovations will have a long-term positive impact on admissions because these enhancements help to distinguish the theatrical experience from the home video and online experiences of watching a movie,” says Paterson.

In Canada, film and TV production generated about $6.8 billion in GDP in the Canadian economy in 2010 and led to the employment of over 117,000 individuals on a full-time basis across the country. North America will continue to be the biggest region for filmed entertainment, growing at 5.2% from US$39 billion in 2010 to over US$50 billion by 2015.

Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec have the highest share of total volume production in Canada at 39%, 27% and 25% respectively.

“Tax incentives are a critical part of the growth of the film industry, including domestic and international co-productions,” says Tracey Jennings, PwC’s Canadian Entertainment & Media Leader. “PwC continues to assist clients to obtain these tax credits which help to offset the cost of production in Canada. We have also seen many of the provinces enhance, and others introduce, digital media tax incentives which are becoming more important in a world of digital convergence. “

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7th September 2011

Sun Life Financial Launches Mobile App

sun lifeSun Life Financial has launched its free mobile application for the iPhone mobile digital device and BlackBerry® smartphone. This new application, my Sun Life (Canada), provides existing group benefits and group retirement and savings plan members across Canada the ability to submit benefit claims, check plan balances and find ways to save for the future in a single mobile app.

For Sun Life group benefits plan members, the app allows them to submit medical and dental claims from their smartphones for instant processing – an industry first! Plan members are able to submit claims anywhere, anytime – even at point of sale – with the majority of claims being deposited into their bank accounts within 24 to 48 hours. Plan members can also view the details of their submitted claims, even those submitted through the sun life appmail, and have easy access to important benefit tools including their drug and travel protection cards.

“Making life easier for our clients is important to us and we know that providing mobile technology options is just one of the ways we can make it simpler for Canadians to do business with us,” says Stuart Monteith, Senior Vice-President, Group Benefits, Sun Life Financial Canada. “We’re excited to be the first insurance provider to offer mobile e-claims with instant adjudication in Canada.”

Group retirement and savings plan members can check their plan balances and recent contributions right from their phones. Sun Life now offers mobile access to account information and three interactive financial planning tools that take everyday spending situations and show how easy it is to turn small expenses into substantial savings. These tools build on Sun Life’s commitment to promote financial literacy.

“Our plan members tell us that having access to their account information, no matter where they are, is important to them,” says Tom Reid, Senior Vice-President, Group Retirement Services, Sun Life Financial Canada. “We’ve taken that a step further and not only given them the numbers, but we’re also showing clients that by making small changes to how they save, they can be that much closer to achieving their financial goals.”

Group plan members with an iPhone or BlackBerry® smartphone can download the free app directly from each manufacturer’s application marketplace. Users of other smartphones will have access to mobile web functionality after the launch of the app.

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7th September 2011

Blake Tohana Joins marblemedia in Dual C Role

marblemediamarblemedia has appointed Blake Tohana to the newly created role of CFO & COO. He will be working closely with Partners/Executive Producers Mark Bishop and Matthew Hornburg to lead the company’s growth and execute its strategic plan.

Blake will oversee the expansion of new divisions and departments, including marblemedia’s Interactive group and its International Sales & Distribution arm, Distribution360. In addition, he will be responsible for growing the company’s newly-created Factual & Lifestyle division, which is launching its first cross-platform property—What’s in a Name?— on History Television (Canada) on September 12th, 2011.Blake Tohana

“We’re very pleased to welcome Blake to the marblemedia team. Over the past decade, we’ve been fortunate to have grown significantly from a two person start-up to an award-winning multi-platform production studio. Blake will be implementing strategies to further expand our business in Canada as well as in international markets,” said Mark Bishop and Matthew Hornburg, Partners and Executive Producers at marblemedia.

Blake has nearly 15 years of senior management experience in the media and entertainment industry. Prior to joining marblemedia, he spent seven years as Executive Vice-President and CFO of Magna Entertainment Corp., which was North America’s largest horse racing company with media operations that included a U.S. television network and Internet wagering business. Prior to that, he held various senior management positions (including CFO) at Fireworks Entertainment Inc., which was a film and television production and distribution company that he helped take public before it was subsequently acquired by CanWest Global Communications Corp. Blake got his start in the industry as Corporate Controller of Alliance Communications Corp., which was Canada’s largest filmed entertainment company at that time.

Blake currently sits on the Board of Directors of the Ontario Media Development Corporation. He is a Chartered Accountant and has an MBA from McMaster University and a B.Sc. from The University of Western Ontario.

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7th September 2011

Mobiz Confirms Top Speakers For Inaugural Event

mobizAlliance numérique committee Alliance Mobilité has confirmed some of the top international names in the mobile industry will be attending this very first edition of Mobiz, presented by the Canada Media Fund. Mobiz, Quebec Mobile Congress, is a new event dedicated to mobility, which aims to foster the outreach and discovery of the most recent technology, as well as best business practices. Mobiz will take place on October 31st at the Hilton Montréal Bonaventure hotel as part of MTL DGTL. Register now to take advantage of the 30% Early Bird discount by registering online before September 16.

Confirmed For Mobiz:

  • Eric Morris, Head of Mobile Advertising, Google Canada
  • Gladstone Grant, Vice-President, Platforms and Developers Group, Microsoft Canada
  • Philippe Lozier, Director of Convergence, Samsung Canada
  • Niels Helkov, Vice-President, e-health & M2M Americas, Orange

“Mobiz provides a unique opportunity to get a feel for a booming industry through current topics such as mobile marketing, mobile wallet, convergence, cloud computing, emerging trends and, of course, market research,” highlights Martin Dufresne, Event Director.

Mobiz is already expecting a number of companies from across Quebec and Canada who are active in the mobile industry:

  • Rogers
  • Transcontinental Interactive
  • Mirego
  • Canadian Tire
  • Yellow Pages Group
  • WhereCloud
  • DH International
  • Wavefront
  • Soluteo

“We are very proud of this first edition which brings together players of the international and local arenas, and will be featuring business cases that will address both current issues and future avenues for the mobility world,” adds Mister Dufresne.

The day will end with Mobiz Awards, which will provide an opportunity for five mobile industry companies as well as five startups to increase their visibility within the industry. Seasoned developers and emerging Montreal professionals will have five minutes to present their innovative mobility projects to Mobiz attendees. Registration for participation in Mobiz Awards will end on September 15th.

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7th September 2011

Playdium DVD Rental Kiosks Filling Blockbuster Void

playdiumToronto-based entertainment giant Playdium has launched its “Playdium Movie Magic ” DVD Rental Kiosk program. A self-service movie and game rental kiosk which replaces conventional brick and mortar rental retail shops. With more than 70 kiosks already deployed throughout the GTA and surrounding areas, movie and game enthusiasts worried about impending local video store closures will not need to look very far for a convenient and cost effective alternative.

Kiosks are located at various retail outlets (including approximately 25 Walmart Supercentres) and allow consumers to rent a DVD movie for only $2 plus tax for a day. Any additional days are charged at $1 plus tax. Kiosk capacity is 625 discs and content is primarily made up of new & recent releases with some classic titles offered. A full list of kiosk locations can be found on the Playdium web site.

Playdium Movie Magic began testing DVD kiosks in late 2010 and has been busy rolling out the kiosk program in 2011. Kiosk placements are continuing and Playdium Movie Magic intends to have well over 200 kiosks deployed by early 2012. Blu Ray format is currently being tested at various locations and Playdium Movie Magic will begin testing video game rentals in Q4 of 2011.

Playdium Movie Magic has had its eye on the success of DVD kiosk market in the U.S., where DVD rental kiosks number over 40 000 units deployed and represent approximately 33% of the DVD rental market. “DVD Rental Kiosks have shown great success in the U.S. market. Playdium Movie Magic gives Canadian consumers a fresh and easy way to rent movies and games at very affordable prices” said Len Keywood, Playdium CEO.

 

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7th September 2011

Introducing CBC Live

cbc liveCBC has launched Canada’s newest online entertainment destination: CBC Live. From film and fashion to people and parties, CBC Live brings the stars to life like never before, connecting Canadians with high-profile personalities and happenings.

“At CBC, we’re focused on celebrating the very best in Canadian talent,” said Kirstine Stewart, Executive Vice-President, English Services. “CBC Live is a great way for Canadians to connect to the entertainment scene in our country online – easy access for the entertainment lover anywhere in Canada.”

Launching just in time for the star-studded September season, CBC Live will have a place of prominence at fall events from the Gemini Awards and the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) to the CCMA Awards and the national Culture Days celebrations. And of course, CBC Live will be the go-to site for the inside scoop on the hottest fall television programming, film premieres and music events. The site has already attracting exciting content, including an exclusive interview with international superstar Russell Crowe.

On September 7, as a kick-off to CBC Live, the site will play host to groundbreaking online companion programming for the 26th Annual Gemini Awards. The live stream features digital host Tom Green, in the “Tom Green Room” beginning at 7 p.m. ET at cbc.ca/live and will be available On Demand as a digital companion to the 8 p.m. (8:30 NT) television broadcast.

Then, as Canada turns its eyes to TIFF, CBC Live and the stars of CBC will literally roll out the red carpet across Toronto. From September 8th until the 18th, fans will have the chance to walk CBC Live red carpets like a star – all captured by the CBC Live paparazzi – with surprise appearances by CBC stars bringing the celebrity spirit of CBC Live to life.

Off the streets, Canadians can stay connected with CBC Live anytime and anywhere they are online – whether by following @CBCLive on Twitter and by “liking” the CBC Live Facebook page.

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7th September 2011

TIFF Breakaway Film in Brampton Buzz Mela

Among the Canadians films being featured at the Toronto International Film Festival is Breakaway, which will be featured in a TIFF Buzz Event on September 11th at Chinguacousy Park in Brampton. The film’s international mega-cast including Rob Lowe, Bollywood superstar Akshay Kumar, Anupam Kher, the film’s main leads Vinay Virmani, Noureen Dewulf and Camilla Belle, the comedic superstar Brampton-born funny man Russell Peters and Gurpreet Ghuggi will be in attendance at the Breakaway Buzz Mela.

In keeping with the theme of the film, the festivities will begin with the Hyundai Hockey Tournament in which 16 local teams compete for Nav Bhatia’s Hyundai Indo Canada Cup trophy to be presented by GTA’s very own businessman, sports aficionado and entertainment czar Nav Bhatia along with the Honorable Mayor of Brampton Ms. Susan Fennell. The Breakaway Buzz Mela will also feature international recording superstars and Brampton’s own Brand Ambassadors RDB along with Josh, Bohemia, Jassi Sidhu,

H-Dhami and Veronica ‘live’ in concert. These performances will be livened up by Shiamak Davar’s internationally renowned dance troupe. Along with the music and celebrations, the event will have food and market vendors. The event is supported by the City of Brampton.

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7th September 2011

Mobilicity Launches Frosh Blogs

mobilicityTo mark the start of the school year, Mobilicity has introduced back to school blog.ca- a special collection of blogs by Canadian frosh students using Mobilicity smartphones to share their own unique perspectives on going back to school.

Mobilicity’s back-to-school site features five distinct blogs from first-year students attending different post-secondary school campuses across Canada. It gives site visitors an inside account of their student lives through text, photographs and video clips as they enter college or university, attend frosh activities and their first week of classes.frosh bloggers

“Going back to school plays a notable role in our lives because it’s at school where we typically form meaningful, lifelong friendships, learn important ideas and start to follow new paths in life,” said Chief Customer Officer Anthony Booth. “With the Back To School Blog, Mobilicity is paying tribute to these special experiences using the power of our smartphones and blogging technology to bring five Canadian students’ back-to-school stories to life.”

5 frosh bloggers + 5 smartphones = 1 helluva blog

  • Toronto native Daniel Rostas is studying Radio and Television Arts at Ryerson University after three years of musical theatre at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City. Blogging with a Mobilicity HTC Panache smartphone, 21-year-old Daniel says this about Orientation Week: “I say “orientation” in numerous senses, as I immediately got lost the second I arrived. The place was friggin’ huge! I guess I’m coming from what wasn’t a very large high school to studying at a conservatory that only had a few hundred students, to a bona fide university with several thousand students, and tons and tons of buildings, faculties, and departments.”
  • Alberta farm girl Jennifer Wood is enrolled in the business administration program at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology in Edmonton. Blogging using a Mobilicity Motorola Spice smartphone, Jennifer, 19, admits that city life will be an adjustment and she’s going to miss life on the farm (in addition to the animals, she loves snowmobiles and ATVs). But she adds, “I’m always up for an adventure. I’m not the type of person to turn down a challenge.”
  • Vancouver amateur photographer Marko Kundicevic, 18, is studying journalism and film at University of British Columbia and is blogging using a Mobilicity Samsung Nexus S smartphone. Marko, who likes to use a lot of food analogies, says he’s “about to take a big bite of the UBC burger! There’s just something about university that makes it sound so appetizing. The lively people I am going to meet, the exciting things I am going to learn, the wild campus life… I’m thrilled to add all these ingredients to my life and share them with you.”
  • Saskatoon gymnast Nicole Linzmeyer is blogging from Ottawa’s Carleton University using a Mobilicity BlackBerry Curve 3G smartphone. Studying journalism, 18-year-old Nikki says she’s “most looking forward to living on residence and having a fresh start with everybody. I am also excited to see the similarities and differences between Saskatchewan and Ontario; I’m sure there are plenty (I’ve heard milk comes in bags?!).”
  • University of Calgary undergrad Iain Tufts is blogging using the Samsung G-Touch smartphone. Iain, 18, is working toward his Bachelor of Commerce but doesn’t have to select a major until third year. “I am thinking of Accounting,” he says. “The idea of having a set routine, with clear rules and regulations, just seems enticing to me. A benefit of this major is its applications to real life – complete control over your own financial affairs!”

Site visitors who vote for their favourite back-to-school blogger through the end of September will automatically be entered into a draw to win a Mobilicity smartphone with one year of service on the carrier’s Ultimate Unlimited Back to School plan (valued at approximately $650, see blog site for complete rules and regulations).

Mobilicity recently introduced a number of limited-time promotions to help make going back to school more affordable and enjoyable. The unlimited carrier’s $25 Back-to-School Plan is a great deal for anyone who wants to stay connected with friends and family without breaking the bank, offering unlimited local calling, unlimited text and picture messaging, unlimited data, caller ID and unlimited Mobilicity-to-Mobilicity calling.

To provide students the most bang for their buck, the company also launched the Ultimate Unlimited Back-to-School Plan, which for only $40 a month, includes all of its $25 Back-to-School Plan features, plus unlimited North American long distance, unlimited Canada/US text and picture messaging, unlimited global text messaging, voicemail, call waiting, call forwarding and 3-way calling.

Mobilicity is also offering up to $200 off select handsets for a limited time, making it possible for students to purchase a name-brand Android smartphone for under $100.

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7th September 2011

Teenage Paparazzo Comes To Ottawa For Single Screening

Actor and director Adrian Grenier will walk the Ottawa red carpet with co-producer Evan Ferrante for the screening of his documentary “Teenage Paparazzo“.  The documentary film turns the camera on the paparazzi, exploring celebrity culture through the eyes of 13-year-old photographer Austin Visschedyk. The evening’s time frame is as follows:

Saturday, September 10, 2011
Press Conference
“Teenage Paparazzo” Film Screening:
Q&A (Adrian Grenier & Evan Ferrante):
Art Exhibition
Post Screening Party
4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
7:30 p.m. – 8:15 p.m.
5:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
10:00 p.m – 2:00 a.m.

The Press Conference will take place at the Lobby Nightclub, which is located at 158 1/2 Rideau Street. This will be followed by a screening of “Teenage Paparazzo” and Question & Answer with Adrian Grenier at the Rainbow Theatre, 1200 St. Laurent Blvd.

Directed by Grenier and co-produced by Evan Ferrante and Matthew Cole, Teenage Paparazzo documents the true story of a relationship between a 13-year-old paparazzo (Austin Visschedyk) and Adrian Grenier, the star of the HBO series Entourage.  Inspired by a chance encounter with Visschedyk during an evening in Los Angeles, Grenier turns the cameras on the paparazzi in an effort to document this unique teenager’s world.

One of 20 stops on the Teenage Paparazzo Experience’s North American Tour, the Ottawa event features a film screening, Q&A with Grenier and Evan Ferrante, an art show featuring Shepard Fairy, Banksy, Adrian Grenier and more.  Also included is a post screening party at Lobby and Mansion Nightclubs in the ByWard Market.

“The Teenage Paparazzo Experience brings a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience art, film and the Hollywood culture alongside one of the biggest celebrities in the entertainment industry today,” says Michael O’Farrell, Marquis Group. “We get the chance to explore the conception of “fame” firsthand as Ottawa becomes star struck with the anticipation of the film screening.  We are thrilled with the buzz and excitement surrounding the Ottawa stop of the Teenage Paparazzo Experience tour”.

Adrian Grenier will host a single Ottawa screening on September 10, 2011 at the Rainbow Theatre located at 1200 St. Laurent Blvd, as well as a post screening party at Mansion and Lobby nightclubs located at 400A Dalhousie Street and 158 1/2 Rideau St. respectively.  Tickets for the film screening and post screening party are $20.00 and can be purchased online. The Teenage Paparazzo Experience tour is presented by the Marquis Group, Projekt Events, A-List Entertainment, Urban Male Magazine, 105.3 Kiss FM, Madflower Creative Group and Area 32a.

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