15th March 2011

A Hive Of Activity In The Digital Media Sector


Released: Homefront from THQ is in stores today. The PC version of this game was developed in Canada by Digital Extremes, a small detail glaringly overlooked in many of the press releases sent out by THQ, including today’s launch releases.

Meetup: Vancouver Social Games will be holding a Meetup on March 23rd at The Revel Room.

chicken balls HDReleased: Endloop Systems has launched their latest title on the iTunes App Store. Chicken Balls HD for the iPad is currently on sale, so take this opportunity to join the fray as the bravest chicken this side of New Mexico. It’s the summer of 1947, you’ve just come back from the Great War and had hoped to hang up your flight cap for good. When a UFO crash lands just outside the nearby town of Roswell you knew you’d have to take to the skies – one more time. Chicken Balls is a puzzle game that makes use of both slingshot and pachinko-styled physics to help you save the planet.

Updated: Shaw Media’s Video On Demand app for the iPhone and iPod Touch lets you search through new releases, Shaw Appcoming soon, comedies, dramas, thrillers, classics, TV series and more. Read a short description of your selection, hit order and turn on your TV to enjoy the show. New features in this update include:

• Let your friends know what you’re watching through Facebook, Twitter or Email.
• See which movies are Coming Soon to Shaw Video On Demand.
• Choose to be notified when selected Coming Soon movies are released (IOS 4.0+).
• User interface improvements to make finding content easier and faster.
• Auto-suggest in Search.
• View your order History.
• Indication of TV episodes that you’ve already watched.
• Foreign language filtering.
• Auto-loading of more items in lists.

Now if they could just add an “OMG I forgot to set the PVR” feature to this app…

Today’s trailer feature is for Prototype 2, currently in development at Vancouver’s Radical Entertainment.


Nothing like a bird’s eye view of the big city.

Deloitte Technology Fast 500Apply Now: Could your Canadian tech company be one of the nation’s Fast 50? Here’s the application and here’s the categories:

  • Technology Fast 50TM ranking Recognizing the 50 fastest growing tech companies with the highest percentage revenue growth over five years.
  • Companies-to-Watch award Honouring younger, promising Canadian tech companies that are in business for less than 5 years.
  • Technology Green 15TM award recognizes Canada’s leading GreenTech companies, including any technology that promotes a more efficient use and re-use of the earth’s resources in industrial production and consumption.
  • Technology Fast 50TM Leadership award Their ability to create a distinct competitive advantage in a high-growth market allows them to dominate their sector and quickly join the ranks of other Canadian global leaders.  Chosen by Deloitte and its sponsors from the applicants to the Technology Fast 50TM ranking, these companies are the elite members of the Canadian technology industry

CBCApply Before May 20th: The CBC Prime Time Television Program is tailored to address the individual’s creative & craft needs as well as the industry’s ever changing marketplace & business practices. Our residents gain a solid understanding of the importance of collaborative work and how to successfully marry creative inspiration with industry savoir-faire.

The curriculum of the CBC Prime Time Television Program takes the following approaches:

* Training on an individual, discipline specific and story department level.
* Individual mentorship, constant self analysis and critical feedback are central to developing a writer’s creative & professional integrity
* Strong business/career management skills are critical to their success and our priority is to arm our writers with confidence in their skills, an expanded network of peers, strong TV spec scripts and a viable original series package to shop.

CeLEA - ACEeLThe Canadian eLearning Enterprise Alliance (CeLEA) has introduced the first survey in what the Alliance hopes will become a regular series of surveys of the elearning landscape in Canada. This initial survey is intended to gather general information from a broad cross section of industry participants. CeLEA is particularly interested in the commercial elearning sector and in future surveys we will address specific issues, challenges and opportunities within that part of the eLearning industry.

If you or your company falls within this demographic, the Alliance would greatly appreciate a few moments of your time to respond to the survey. Responses will be collected over the coming few weeks, after which the results will be analyzed and a summary presented through the CeLEA web site.

MIGSThe 8th edition of the Montreal International Game Summit (MIGS) will be held at the Hilton Bonaventure of Montreal this November 1st and 2nd. The MIGS team is seeking local and international game industry experts interested in presenting at MIGS and therefore contributing to the quality of the event. All session proposals must fall within one of the following five tracks: Arts & VFX, Business, Design, Production and Technology. Interested professionals can apply via the MIGS website before April 4th.

“Montreal Shines” is the new slogan for the 8th edition of the event. “This theme is full of meaning. It reminds people that Canada, thanks in part to Montreal, is now the third worldwide game development cluster. It also reflects the bubbling created by this gathering of industry professionals at MIGS, as well as its radiance on the global scene”, says Marie Claude Bernard, director of the event.

Last year, the MIGS welcomed more than 80 speakers from all over the world. “The 2010 edition was truly successful, thanks in great part to its substantial schedule. We’re aiming at no less than surpassing that success by offering an even richer one this year!”, proudly announces Ms Bernard.

CIRAEntries for the .CA Impact Awards are approaching the 500 mark. The Canadian Internet Registry Authority (CIRA) encourages other impactful websites to enter and compete for the chance of winning $5,000 and national recognition.

“The overwhelming number of entries has surpassed all of our expectations here at CIRA,” says CIRA’s president and CEO, Byron Holland. “This is proof that Canadians truly live in a society that values the importance of .CA websites.”

The .CA Impact Awards are designed to recognize youth, educators, not-for-profit organizations, small businesses, technology developers and web designers for their innovation, the quality of their work, and the impact of their .CA websites and applications.

There are only two weeks remaining to enter your website and have a chance at winning $5,000 and the recognition of being the most impactful .CA website in your category.

There are four broad categories for entries:

  • Small Business – celebrating a company whose website or application has helped a business contribute to its community, foster sales or create jobs.
  • eLearning – recognizing youth and educators who use their .CA website to share knowledge and promote education.
  • Not-for-Profit – distinguishing an NGO or association whose website or application is making a difference in the lives of members, donors, or the public.
  • Web Technology and Design – recognizing individuals and organizations for innovation and impact in enhancing the speed, reliability, practicality and/or security of the Internet for all users.

Entries for the awards will be received until 11:59 p.m. (PT) March 25, 2011. Judging takes place in April 2011 and the inaugural awards will be presented at the mesh Conference in Toronto on May 24, 2011, all expenses paid for the four winners.

Mood MediaMood Media Corporation has  entered the Chinese market as part of its long-term global growth strategy. China’s booming retail sector represents a major opportunity for Mood Media to further deploy its in-store media solutions in one of the world’s fastest growing economies.

Lorne Abony, CEO and Chairman for Mood Media Corporation stated that “China presents a fantastic opportunity for our global expansion plans. While in-store media is mature and well understood in most territories around the world, it is still considered a new segment in China. This is changing quickly as Chinese retailers are starting to understand the substantial sales uplift a managed media service generates. We also know the timing is perfect for Mood Media to activate its expansion growth plan as aggressive measures are being undertaken by the Chinese government to enforce copyright protection and to legalize how media is reproduced and broadcast.”

Mood Media currently provides music services in China to Western brands such as Polo, Puma, Coach, Costa coffee and Hilton hotel group. The company is currently in discussions with many potential new Chinese partners. A key element of the initiative is to deepen its network of industry and government relationships that are required for navigating China’s complex regulatory environment.

Mood Media plans to become a key player in China’s vast and growing retail sector. In the first two months of this year China’s retail sales rose 15.8 percent year on year to 2.9018 trillion yuan (441.67 billion U.S. dollars), according to China’s National Bureau of Statistics.

destiny mediaThe US Court action between Vancouver’s Destiny Media Technologies, Inc. and Toronto’s Yangaroo has concluded. Yangaroo had filed a complaint for patent infringement against Destiny on May 5 2009, claiming that Destiny’s Play MPE® secure distribution system infringed on their US patent number 7,529,712, issued the same day.

On June 7, 2010, the Honorable William C. Griesbach ruled in Destiny’s favor, directing the Clerk to dismiss Yangaroo’s claim in its entirety. Yangaroo appealed this decision, and on March 10th, 2011 three circuit judges heard oral arguments in Washington DC and on March 14th, affirmed the original decision, dismissing the lawsuit in its entirety. Destiny Media noted that it will be filing a motion for costs.

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15th March 2011

New Media Manitoba Receives Federal Funding

Government of CanadaManitoba’s new media industry has received a huge development injection with an announcement yesterday by The Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification, who revealed that the province will receive federal funding of $433,000 to help its new media industry grow and become more globally competitive.
New Media Manitoba
“Our Government’s investment in New Media Manitoba will provide enormous benefits for Manitoba’s vibrant and growing digital economy, the economy of tomorrow,” said Minister Yelich. “This project will help our digital media sector to capitalize on global opportunities, while also meeting the evolving needs of local industries.”

Since 2006, Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) has invested close to $28 million in new media projects across the west to purchase and upgrade new media technology, improve its access for businesses, universities and Canadians, and to create more jobs for the industry.

New Media Manitoba (NMM) will use the funding from WD to help Manitoba’s digital media sector adapt its products, services and business processes to succeed in global markets, as this vibrant sector hits the world stage.

“We are thrilled with this announcement,” said Kevin Hnatiuk, Executive Director of New Media Manitoba. “The planned initiatives will support new media producers looking to grow their business, and create new prospects for graduates from digital media programs at the Universities and Colleges. Manitoba New Media Companies will now have new support and guidance to make a significant economic impact for themselves and their industry partners.”

The non-profit agency will work with its members to facilitate training opportunities, commercialize their products and services, improve business models and practices, identify new markets and become export-ready. NMM will also help to further the awareness and knowledge of the industry, while developing business relationships to support the growth of Manitoba’s digital media companies.

distribution accessCanadian multimedia production and distribution company Distribution Access has launched their Business and Education Apps on the Apple iTunes Store. The apps are initially for the business and education markets with two pay-per-use apps, and one free app for the iPod, iPhone and iPad.

The apps enable delivery of a selected group of video content from the extensive Distribution Access library of da learning appover 15,000 educational and learning titles and provides significant value for both education and business training.

“We are pleased to provide yet another way to access our award-winning educational content. Creating new channels for teachers, business professionals and consumers to access our large library of content is key to our strategy for this year” said Doug Connolly, President of Distribution Access.

The new apps were developed in partnership with MoboVivo, a leading Canadian company that develops ‘Video and TV Everywhere solutions’ with adaptive streaming, ‘download guard’ and screen shifting for set-top boxes, Smart TVs, mobile, PC, and tablet delivery.

“The demand for video as a tool of education and business is large and growing,” said MoboVivo founder and CEO, Trevor Doerksen. “MoboVivo’s myScreens platform, which powers these apps, leverages video and social media to engage users in rich relationships.”

Since 1997, Distribution Access has been providing schools, libraries, businesses, community organizations and life-long learners with award-winning multi-platform productions on a wide variety of subjects. The company operates from offices in Toronto, Vancouver and Saint John, with over 50 agents and representatives worldwide.

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15th March 2011

Checking In On The Centre4Growth

centre4growthCo-founder of  recently closed Vancouver game studio Propaganda Howard Donaldson has officially joined the team over at the Centre4Growth. An initiative of the BC Technology Industry Association (BCTIA), the Centre4Growth is a one-stop resource of complimentary services and programs designed to help BC technology entrepreneurs grow their companies. With access to support services including Education, Business Intelligence, Business Connect and the CEOs in Residence, opportunities abound for those looking to nurture their ventures into successful, viable corporations.

Mr. Donaldson joins the CEO-in-Residence team comprised of Neil McDonnell, Peter Payne and Bill Tam in Vancouver, with Rob Bennett, who is based in Victoria. Mr. Bennett is also the Business Coach for Victoria tech group VIATeC and also co-chair of the VIATeC Grow Op panel.

Interested parties are welcome to apply to the CEOs-in-Residence program, all you need to do is fill in the application, share your concerns and challenges, and the organization will respond usually within 5 business days.

Update: This Forum is at capacity for applications. The Centre4Growth is also presenting the Xcelerate Forum on March 30th. Fifteen companies will be invited to participate in this day-long seminar which will feature two mini-events:

Give Your Pitch – Deliver your 5-minute pitch to a panel of veteran panelists and hear their unabashed comments and recommendations.

Get Coaching – Choose from 15 private coaching sessions led by subject matter experts

as well as a full slate of sessions including:

Identifying the Marketing Opportunity
Planning and Execution
Raising Money
Alternative sources of Capital
Building Talent for Growth
Employment Contracts
First deals & partnerships
Managing IP and Patents
Corporate Structure
Structuring Licensing
Market Intelligence
Secrets of SR&ED
Customer Development
Building Sales
Lead Generation & Marketing

You could also spend 30 minutes with a panelist. Simply wow an Xcelerate Panelist and get an invitation for a private 30-minute meeting. Panelists for the forum include David Bookbinder (Managing Partner with Tandem Expansion Fund), Bill Bryant (Venture Partner with Draper Fisher Jurvetson) and Amos Michelson (Former CEO of Creo). There is a limit of four people from any one company – tickets are $300.00 each. Apply now to attend – only those companies who are chosen will be charged for tickets.

The Centre4Growth initiative is supported by the Federal and Provincial Governments through the British Columbia Ministry of Sciences and Universities, National Research Council Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP), Western Economic Diversification Fund, the Discovery Foundation as well as with the support of industry partners Acetech, Active Network, Clark Wilson LLP, Custom House, Fasken Martineau, KPMG, PricewaterhouseCoopers and the Vancouver Economic Development Commission.

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