15th July 2011

Electronic Arts Announces Pricing of Convertible Senior Notes

EAElectronic Arts Inc. has announced the pricing of $550 million aggregate principal amount of 0.75% Convertible Senior Notes due 2016 (the “notes”) in a private placement. EA has also granted the initial purchasers in the offering an option to purchase up to an additional $82.5 million aggregate principal amount of notes solely to cover overallotments. The notes are being offered only to qualified institutional buyers pursuant to Rule 144A under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the “Securities Act”). The offering is scheduled to close on or about Wednesday, July 20, 2011. EA anticipates posting supplemental information regarding the offering following the closing of the offering on Wednesday, July 20, 2011 on its Investor Relations website.

The notes will be convertible into cash and shares of EA’s common stock, if any, based on a conversion rate of 31.5075 shares of common stock per $1,000 principal amount of the notes, which is equivalent to an initial conversion price of approximately $31.74 per share of common stock, subject to adjustment upon the occurrence of certain events. Prior to April 15, 2016, the notes will be convertible only upon the occurrence of certain events and during certain periods, and thereafter, at any time until the close of business on the second scheduled trading day immediately preceding the maturity date of the notes. Interest on the notes will be payable semiannually in arrears at a rate of 0.75% per annum on January 15 and July 15 of each year, beginning on January 15, 2012. The notes will mature on July 15, 2016, unless previously repurchased or converted in accordance with their terms prior to such date.

EA estimates that the net proceeds from the offering of the notes will be approximately $536.6 million (approximately $617.3 million if the initial purchasers exercise their overallotment option in full), after deducting the initial purchasers’ discount and estimated offering expenses (excluding the cost of the convertible note hedge transactions described below). Read the rest of this entry »

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14th July 2011

The Rest of The Canadian Nominees for the 2011 PrimeTime Emmy Awards

Rounding out the Canadian 2011 PrimeTime Emmy Award nominations are (and I hope I found them all) are the following nominees:

Canadian icon Christoper Plummer was nominated For Outstanding Voice-Over Performance as The Narrator in Moguls & Movie Stars.

Canadian actors Michael J. Fox and Will Arnett received recognition for their Guest Appearances. Fox was nominated for his appearances on The Good Wife in the Outstanding Guest Actor In A Drama Series. Will Arnett was nominated for his performance as Devon Banks on 30 Rock as an Outstanding Guest Actor In A Comedy Series.

Toronto director Jeremy Podeswa was nominated as an Outstanding Directing For A Drama Series as the director of Boardwalk Empire’s episode titled Anastasia.

The Nikita episode titled Pandora was nominated for Outstanding Sound Editing For A Series.

AMC’s The Killing, which has Vancouver once again pretending to be Seattle, picked up the following nominations:

  • Outstanding Casting For A Drama Series – Junie Lowry Johnson, Casting Director; Libby Goldstein, Casting Director; Stuart Aikins, Casting Director – Canada; Corrine Clark, Casting Director – Canada; Jennifer Page, Casting Director – Canada
  • Outstanding Directing For A Drama Series
  • Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing For A Drama Series
  • Outstanding Lead Actress In A Drama Series
  • Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series

Another AMC title, Rubicon, was nominated for Outstanding Main Title Design, competing against non-Canadian production Game of Thrones, which has an outstanding opening title series.

Animal Planet’s documentary – reality series Whale Wars picked up two nominations:

  • Outstanding Cinematography For Nonfiction Programming
  • Outstanding Sound Editing For Nonfiction Programming (Single Or Multi-Camera)

Stargate Universe received its third nomination for Outstanding Special Visual Effects For A Series.

Degrassi‘s episode My Body Is A Cage, Part 2 is nominated for Best Children’s Program

In addition to The Borgias, Take 5 Production Camelot was also nominated for Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music. The show’s theme was composed by Canadian sibling composers Jeff and Mychael Danna

Staying with music, David Foster and Friends: Hitman Returns (Great Performances) has been nominated in the Outstanding Music Direction category along with fellow Canadian Paul Shaffer, who is nominated for his music direction on the 2011 Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Induction Ceremony.

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14th July 2011

Muse Entertainment Garners 17 PrimeTime Emmy Nominations

muse EntertainmentMuse Entertainment was given the nod 17 times today, as the production company received a total of 17 PrimeTime Emmy Nominations for two miniseries, The Kennedys and Pillars of the Earth.

The 8-hour historical drama, The Kennedys, produced by Muse in association with American production company Asylum Entertainment, has been nominated for 10 Emmy Awards including:

BC-born actor Barry Pepper (Photo: IMDB)

Campbell River BC Actor Barry Pepper

  • Outstanding Miniseries
  • Outstanding Lead Actor (Greg Kinnear and Barry Pepper)
  • Outstanding Supporting Actor (Tom Wilkinson)
  • Outstanding Art Direction
  • Outstanding Cinematography
  • Outstanding Hairstyling
  • Outstanding Make-Up (Non-Prosthetic)
  • Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music
  • Outstanding Sound Mixing

The Pillars of the Earth, co-produced with Germany’s Tandem Communications brought in 7 Emmy nominations:

  • Outstanding Music Composition For A Miniseries, Movie Or Special (Original Dramatic Score)
  • Outstanding Cinematography For A Miniseries Or Movie
  • Outstanding Hairstyling For A Miniseries Or Movie
  • Outstanding Makeup For A Miniseries Or Movie (Non-Prosthetic)
  • Outstanding Miniseries or Movie
  • Outstanding Sound Editing For A Miniseries, Movie Or Special
  • Outstanding Special Visual Effects For A Miniseries, Movie Or  Special

“We are overwhelmingly proud to be honoured with multiple nominations for the The Kennedys which we produced, and for The Pillars of the Earth, which we co-produced, in the past year.  These nominations establish that our peers look at these productions as among the best in the world,” says Executive Producer & Muse Entertainment President Michael Prupas.

 

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14th July 2011

Unit4 Business Software Meeting New Global Demands of Competitive Non-Profit Sector

unit4 business softwareUNIT4 Business Software the North American subsidiary of UNIT4, provider of business software for Businesses Living IN Change (BLINC™), is meeting increased demand among non-profit organizations that are focused on achieving transparency and accountability to meet the new global demands of a competitive non-profit economy. As non-profits expand and evolve they are operating their organizations as tightly-run, often international businesses in a sector that is becoming more competitive.

UNIT4 Business Software has enjoyed increasing momentum in this sector in the last six months, particularly in North America, signing large non-governmental organizations (NGOs) such as ACDI/VOCA, International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) and International Partnership for Microbicides (IPM), as well as research facilities such as TRIUMF in an agreement worth more than $1 million. UNIT4 has also seen success with European non-profits and NGOs including ZonMw and the Innovation Institute of the Ministry of Health in the Benelux, as well as a leading national charity in the UK.

“All these organizations have one thing in common and that’s the desire to deliver the accountability and transparency of a public company and to be more competitive,” says Ton Dobbe, VP of Product Management at UNIT4. “Warren Buffet has alluded to this in how he chooses which organizations to donate to – those who operate as businesses earn his money because they’re operating on a business level. That’s what our software allows non-profits and NGOs to do.”

Agresso Business World is particularly appealing to Businesses Living IN Change (BLINC™) because it is designed for complex organizational structures that change frequently while still delivering total accountability and transparency. It is known among non-profits for its post-implementation agility that allows end users to respond swiftly and cost-effectively to changing funding levels and new funding structures, regulatory reporting requirements, and reorganization and restructuring without customers having to rely on costly external consultants. Read the rest of this entry »

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14th July 2011

The Borgias Pick Up Six PrimeTime Emmy Nominations

CTV and Bravo! congratulate Toronto’s Take 5 Productions on its six 2011 Primetime Emmy Award nominations for the international co-production The Borgias. Canadians picked up four of the six nominations. The breakout original series, produced by Take 5 Productions and Ireland’s Octagon Films in association with Bravo!, CTV, and Showtime Networks in the U.S. is nominated in the following categories:

  • Outstanding Art Direction For A Single-Camera Series
  • Outstanding Cinematography For A Single-Camera Series
  • Outstanding Costumes For A Series
  • Outstanding Directing For A Drama Series
  • Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music
  • Outstanding Special Visual Effects For A Series

Canadians Francois Seguin was nominated in the Outstanding Art Direction For A Single-Camera Series The Borgiascategory, Paul Sarossy for Outstanding Cinematography For A Single-Camera Series and Trevor Morris for Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music. A team of Canadians were nominated in the Outstanding Special Visual Effects For A Series category led by Toronto-based supplier SPIN VFX.

“We congratulate our partners at Take 5 Productions for their phenomenal work on The Borgias and receiving this tremendous honour,” said Corrie Coe, Senior Vice-President, Independent Production, Bell Media. “We’re thrilled to have such an outstanding and successful series within the Bravo! and CTV roster and applaud its producers and creative team on this resounding recognition.”

John Weber and Sheila Hockin, Executive Producers, Take 5 Productions said:

“It’s a great achievement to have six Emmy nominations for Season One.  Enormous credit goes to Neil Jordan for creating such a compelling series and to the entire production team.  We’re particularly thrilled about the amazing showing of our fellow Canadians: first-time Emmy nominees Paul Sarossy (DOP) and Francois Seguin (Production Design), long-time colleague Emmy award- winning composer Trevor Morris, and the entire VFX team.

As an official Irish/Hungarian/Canadian co-production, our congratulations go also to our co-producers and colleagues at Octagon Films, particularly producer James Flynn and our Hungarian Co-Producer Mid-Atlantic Films.”

THE 63RD Annual Primetime Emmy Awards will air live on Sunday, September 18th exclusively in Canada on CTV

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14th July 2011

DeathSpank Goes For A Full Bacon Breakfast with The Nuclear Family

Hothead GamesVancouver indie Games developer Hothead Games has released some exciting character details and screenshots from the anticipated summer title that fans have been salivating over. The Baconing, The Baconing Forest of Tomorrowwhere the endearingly egotistical DeathSpank faces an assortment of terrifying new enemies will be released on PC, Mac, and other platforms this summer.

Fortunately for our naively intrepid hero, he finds help in the Forest of Tomorrow from an unlikely group of adventuring scientists. The Nuclear Family is a group of rather socially dysfunctional mad geniuses who push the boundaries of science within their laboratory-esque arboretum. Truly – what other type of scientists could one expect to find in DeathSpank’s wonderful world of whackiness?

Motherly Betty Nuclear stays home and has perfected the science of cooking and cleaning while her The Baconing Nuclear Familyhusband, Dick Nuclear, spends his time at the “Pleasuretorium” creating robots to help cure the ills of society through full body sensual massage.  Meanwhile, their brilliant son Elroy keeps busy with his attempts to clone a two-headed dog to call his own, and his sister Chastity entertains herself by constructing a boyfriend out of ‘spare parts’ dug up from a graveyard.

In order to gain access to the Fire of Bacon, DeathSpank must reunite this frenetic family.  Of course, it’s never as simple as that: each family member has a tendency to explode when agitated, and that tendency grows when in the vicinity of their fellow Nuclears.  But if he ever wishes to get one step closer to facing off against the villainous AntiSpank, whose very presence threatens everything he stands for, DeathSpank must find a way.

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14th July 2011

Score Media Appoints New Director of Software Engineering

scoremediaScore Media Inc., home of ad-supported sports app ScoreMobile®, has announced the appointment of Lars Laakes, Director of Software Engineering, to its digital products team.

With over twenty years of industry experience, Lars has held various positions at Logitech, Microsoft and ADP and was a co-founder of ObjectArts Inc.  Through his various roles, he has garnered leadership experience in software development, business and technical architecture, process and delivery governance and team building.

Most recently, in his role at Logitech as Director of Software Engineering, he led the software services and client development teams in the Digital Home Group.  These teams developed the next generation Digital Home services platform enabling Logitech to deliver the latest line of Harmony Remote Controls and the first GoogleTV device – the Logitech Revue. His teams developed platform services that enable content based control, building on the convergence of entertainment on internet streaming content services, connected TVs and mobile devices.

“We are extremely pleased to be adding Lars to our team,” says Dale Fallon, Vice President, Digital Products, Score Media Inc.  “We will continue to work with our world-class development partners and by adding Lars we are well positioned to take our in-house engineering capabilities to a similar level.”

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14th July 2011

Thai-Canadian Software & Digital Content Industry Collaborative Forum

CanadaFor the first time Thailand’s Software Industry Promotion Agency (SIPA), in cooperation with the Embassy of Canada in Thailand, will host the Thai-Canadian Collaborative Forum business partnership program. The main objective is to promote business opportunities and collaborations among Thai and Canadian companies within creative and digital content industry leaders including software, film, animation, game and mobile applications as well as eLearning, digital media, and training.

The collaboration between Canada and Thailand in partnerships such as joint-venture, co-investment, outsourcing, venture capital, knowledge and technology transfer, and other business deals are to be encouraged through this program. Canadian delegates will have access to first-hand information of Thailand’s creative and digital content industry as well as information concerning Thai companies.

Canadian companies, and related institutions who are engaged in the following industries: software, film, animation, gaming, mobile applications, digital media and other forms of digital content, as well as academic and professional organizations, are welcome to participate. Your company will get to meet selected Thai companies in software and digital content industries. Download the Forum PDF to get further information and to apply for this initiative.

There are four main activities at this event:

I. Thai-Canadian Collaboration Forum

  • Introduction to Canadian digital industry by a Canadian representative.
  • An overview of Thai digital content and software industry by SIPA representative.
  • Foreign Investment opportunities and incentives for digital content and software industry.
  • Thai representative will present Thai companies’ show reel and capabilities.
  • Presentations by Canadian companies
  • Special talk by a guest speaker

II. Business Matching Day

  • Business Matching day by pre-scheduling (target at least 50 matches). An LCD monitor will be provided upon request.

III. Thai-Canadian Networking Reception

  • An official dinner reception hosted by SIPA for participants and governments’ representatives.

IV. Studio/Campus Visit in Bangkok

  • A half-day company/studio visit at a renowned Thai company is provided.

As of July 8th, these are the participating Thai Companies:

1. AMADIVA: animation production, film production, VFX, SFX, Post Production
Want to meet: production house, advertising agency
Intent: co-production, outsourcing service

2. ANYA Animation: animation production, film production
Want to meet: producer, VC/Investor
Intent: co-production, project development

3. Imagimax Studio: animation production, film production
Want to meet: producer, VC/Investor
Intent: co-production, project development

4. Digital Magig Effect House: animation production, film production, VFX, SFX, Post Production
Want to meet: production house, advertising agency
Intent: co-production, outsourcing service

5. G-Motif Production: animation production, film production, VFX, SFX, Post Production, film/animation producer, original IP
Want to meet: marketing/PR, distributor, producer, outsourcing agent, licensing & merchandising agency, right holder/seller/distributor, TV channel/cable/satellite
Intent: co-production, outsourcing service, IP licensing, need agent service

6. Kantana Animation Studios: animation production, VFX, SFX, Film/Animation Producer
Want to meet: distributor, outsourcing agent, VC/Investor, licensing/merchandising, right holder/seller/distributor, TV channel/cable/satellite
Intent: co-production, outsourcing service, content selling

7. Right Beyond: film production, right holder/seller/distributor
Want to meet: producer, right holder/seller/distributor
Intent: production, IP rights execution

8. Shellhut Entertainment: film/animation producer
Want to meet: distributor, publisher, acquisition, licensing & merchandising agency, TV channel/cable/satellite
Intent: production, IP rights execution, project pitching for co-investment

9. The Monk Studios: animation production, film/animation producer
Want to meet: producer, VC investor
Intent: project pitching for co-investment and co-production

10. OpenDream: social enterprise, web application, solutions
Want to meet: VC investor, software solutions
Intent: developing software for social enterprise, solutions for NGOs projects

11. Debuz: online game developer, Browser/Social Game Developer, online game publisher
Want to meet: distributor, publisher, acquisition, VC/Investor, online game developer
Intent: publishing game, project development

12. GameMaker: mobile application, Browser/Social Game Developer, Game Publisher
Want to meet: distributor, publisher, acquisition, VC/Investor, App Store/Digital retailer, device manufacturer
Intent: application and game sale, joint-project
Target company: Research in Motion (RIM)

13. Ring Zero: console game developer (NDS, Wii, PC)
Want to meet: distributor, publisher
Intent: project pitching, project development

14. URBANICE: animation, web application, social media, licensing agency
Want to meet: distributor, publisher, producer, VC/investor
Intent: business development, project pitching, project development, agency service

15. SDM-School of Digital Media, SRIPATUM UNIVERSITY: undergrad program in animation, game, interactive, graphic design, film
Want to meet: Sheridan College or digital media institutions
Intent: business development, joint-program, student/staff exchange program

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14th July 2011

New Co-Presidents For w.illi.am

w.illi.amMarco Dodier has announced the appointments of Annie Levesque and Damien Lefebvre as Co-Presidents of digital consulting and development firm w.illi.am/. Following numerous successes since the creation of w.illi.am/in Montreal and Toronto, the new co-presidents’ responsibilities include ensuring the company’s continued growth and expansion in the Canadian market by leveraging its expertise and seizing new business opportunities. Annie Levesque and Damien Lefebvre succeed w.illi.am/ founder Dodier, who remains President of w.illi.am/ Group Management Company, as well as Chairman of the board of w.illi.am/.Annie Levesque and Damien Lefebvr photo: w.illi.am

“We have accomplished an enormous amount of work in recent years and the success of w.illi.am/ is largely attributable to the leadership of Annie and Damien and an extraordinary team,” Dodier said. “I am very proud of this appointment and fortunate to have been able to rely on the work and enthusiasm of these two great champions of the web for more than 10 years now. The dynamism and professionalism that they have instilled in the team will enable us to continue to develop and grow w.illi.am/ in the coming years.”

The two Co-Presidents each have more than a decade of experience in web strategy and development. They previously participated in the success of CESART, one of the fastest-growing companies in the web industry, which was acquired by Bell Canada in 2005. They also contributed to the creation and success of w.illi.am/ with the establishment of offices in Montreal and the acquisition of customers in Toronto, Ottawa, Dallas and Quebec City.

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14th July 2011

Federal Government Supports Weigl Educational Publishers

Government of CanadaWeigl Educational Publishers Limited will be able to pursue new technology-related initiatives, thanks to an investment from the Government of Canada announced today by Deepak Obhrai,  the MP for Calgary East, on behalf of the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages. The publisher of educational books will use this funding to support a technology internship, an important step in the development of new jobs in Canada’s book publishing industry.weigl educational book publishers

“Our Government received a strong mandate from Canadians to invest in important projects like those of Weigl Educational Publishers,” said Minister Moore. “By supporting these activities, our Government is delivering on its commitment to strengthen our communities and support arts, culture, and heritage.”

“Organizations such as Weigl Educational Publishers ensure that Canadians have access to quality Canadian educational books,” said Mr. Obhrai. “Our Government is proud to support and strengthen organizations like this one.”

“The Canada Book Fund is critical to the viability of the Canadian publishing industry and its ability to create quality Canadian content,” said Linda A. Weigl, President and Publisher, Weigl Educational Publishers.

The Government of Canada has provided funding of $20,000 through the Support for Organizations funding stream of the Canada Book Fund (CBF). The principal objective of the CBF is to ensure access to a diverse range of Canadian-authored books in Canada and abroad. The Fund seeks to achieve this objective by fostering a viable Canadian book industry that publishes and markets Canadian-authored books.

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