Blogs

  • 18 Jun 2019 by DigiBC

    Are you a B.C video game studio with products or services targeting China's video game market and are you planning to attend ChinaJoy 2019? If so, you may want to connect with the Canadian Consulate as they can provide business intelligence and connections on the ground. ChinaJoy is the largest video game trade show in Asia and is taking place in Shanghai this August. To support participating Canadian companies, the Trade Commissioner Service will be organizing a series of business activities from July 31-August 3 in Beijing and Shanghai. The proposed program is as follows:

     

    The Canadian Gaming Seminar, Beijing (July 31):

    This is a unique opportunity to extend the reach of participating Canadian companies at ChinaJoy and connect with local companies from Beijing’s gaming cluster.

    • Morning: all Canadian companies participating in ChinaJoy featured to local Chinese companies. Chinese participants would be invited through the organization, Beijing Animation & Game Industry Alliance, a body with 100+ gaming industrial members. The venue is the China World Hotel Beijing.
    • Afternoon: site visits to two or three large Chinese gaming companies/distributors in Beijing
    • Evening: potential networking business reception/dinner

     

    ChinaJoy 2019, Shanghai (August 1-3):

    • August 1: site visit in Shanghai to a major premium game publisher and distributor in China
    • August 2 & 3: the  Consulate will host a Canadian Meeting Room at the Kerry Hotel (venue for ChinaJoy conferences)*

    *bookings (30-minute intervals) are available on a first-come-first-serve basis
     

    Participating Canadian companies can use the Canadian Meeting Room for pre-arranged B2B meetings, which could be set up either by companies themselves or by the Trade Commissioners upon request. Trade Commissioner will be onsite at the Kerry Hotel to facilitate meetings and provide support.

     

    Cost & Registration:

    Interested clients are invited to participate in the program at ChinaJoy and/or Beijing. Please complete and send the >>> program registration form <<< no later than June 28, 2019 to Ms. Sandra Jiang, Trade Commissioner, sandra.jiang@international.gc.ca

    There is no charge to participate in the program but all participating companies are responsible for their own travel and related expenses. Companies are also responsible for their own passes to enter ChinaJoy*. There are no fees to be paid directly to the TCS.

    *ChinaJoy Pass is not required to access the Canadian Meeting Room, which is located at the Business Center of the Kerry Hotel
     

    For a ChinaJoy Pass purchase, please visit the official website: http://en2019.chinajoy.net/ and access the purchase app by scanning the QR code. Passes can also be purchased onsite at the entrance.

     
     

    Questions?

    Beijing:

    Bella Qiao
    Embassy of Canada (Beijing)
    bellaxiaotong.qiao@international.gc.ca

     

    Shanghai:

    Sandra Jiang
    Consulate General of Canada (Shanghai)

    sandra.jiang@international.gc.ca


     

  • 18 Jun 2019 by DigiBC

    DigiMusic 2019 was a music competition for high school students in BC. It ran from April 2 to May 14 and gave students a small taste of what it’s like to combine creativity and technology. The challenge was to compose music for one or more short clips of video games and animated movies that have been created right here in BC. Entries were then judged by a panel comprised of digital media and music industry experts, and the goal of the competition was to help parents, teachers, and students see that there are viable careers to be had in the creative technology sector.

    DigiMusic gave students the ability to showcase their exceptional musical talents in a creative and dynamic way. Our judges were thoroughly impressed by the depth of sophistication and skill they heard in the compositions and the overall quality was simply outstanding. We have no doubt that many of these students will go on to have successful careers in the creative digital sector should they pursue it.

     


    On June 3, folks came together for the finale event, hosted at EA Vancouver, to celebrate the nominees and view all of the submissions. It was an exciting day where the winners were presented with professional sound mixers, provided by Roland Canada, for their school's music room and the event capped off with an exclusive tour of the Electronic Arts campus.

     

    Huge thanks to the following organizations and individuals for making this project possible:

    EA Vancouver, Creative BC, BC Government (Ministry of Tourism, Arts & Culture), Phoenix Labs, Blackbird Interactive, Yeti Farm Animations, BCMEA, Roland Canada, James Hursthouse,  Zoltan Virga, Brad Justason, Colin Madill, John Morgan, Adrian Talens, Shannon Mason, Caitlin Yu, and Jesse Houston
     

    See here for more info >> https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2019TAC0069-001143

     

     

  • 07 Jun 2019 by DigiBC

    The BC Trade and Investment office in Los Angeles recently connected with a few investors in California who are interested in making investments in different sectors in BC. If you would like to connect with any of the investors for further discussion, please contact Alana Wagner, Director of the Trade and Investment Office (Los Angeles) as per the following:


    Alana Wagner
    Director, Pacific Southwest
    Trade & Invest British Columbia
    10250 Constellation Blvd, Suite 100c
    Los Angeles, CA 90067
    E: awagner@britishcolumbia.ca

     

    1. Investment/Doing Business in US – Expert Dojo is an accelerator in Santa Monica, California. They have just launched their second fund of US$2M. It is an international only fund and they are looking to invest US$100,000 in companies for their Fall cohort (September 1). The cohort will be 3 months in Santa Monica with sessions on doing business in the US as well as connections to VCs in Southern California. They are hoping for companies who are generating revenue. They are industry agnostic on the type of companies who apply. https://expertdojo.com/international/
    2. Investment/Strategic Partnership –Touchdown Ventures manages professional corporate venture capital programs for some of the largest companies in the world. With a team of approximately 20 investment professionals and offices in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and San Francisco, Touchdown partners with corporations to enable them to invest directly in consumer, enterprise, and healthcare businesses across all stages of venture capital. They work with about a dozen corporations and currently seek opportunities in the sectors attached to this email.
       
    3. Investment/Strategic Partnership – Venture Fuel works with global brands to identify early-stage companies who may be a fit for their needs. Each quarter they send out updates for new technologies that they are looking to connect to global brands. See this link for the current ask. https://www.venturefuel.net/opportunities

     

  • 22 May 2019 by DigiBC

    DigiBC has applied for funding to benchmark the make-up of the creative technology sector in BC. Without good measurements, we are unable to support evidence-based decision making at the provincial and federal levels. Announcement coming soon!

     

    Defining the Future – Leadership Roundtable Dinner for Video Game Studio Heads

    Are you the CEO / GM / EVP / Leader of a video game studio? Join us on June 18 for our inaugural “Video Game Leadership Dinner - a roundtable on defining the future”.

    By invite only, please send an expression of interest to brenda@digibc.org

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Education Update

    DigiBC continues to be very active on the education front and all of our programming supports the objectives we are focused on. These include:

    • Ensure BC students and adult learners know that building an interesting and successful career in the creative tech sector is a viable option in BC.

    Increase the domestic talent pool to continue the success of the sector in our province.

    Support inclusion and diversity of talent who were previously underrepresented, such as women and indigenous people. We also recognize that diversity includes regional diversity and are reaching out to learners in all regions of the province.

     

    Play to Learn
    The rollout into 11 new school districts is in full swing. We are now in the following schools, with an additional 10 schools committed but not yet activated.
     

    Hazelton Secondary School

    COAST MOUNTAINS SCHOOL DISTRICT 82

    Cowichan Secondary School

    COWICHAN VALLEY SCHOOL DISTRICT 79

    Lake Cowichan School

    COWICHAN VALLEY SCHOOL DISTRICT 79

    Arbutus Middle School

    GREATER VICTORIA SCHOOL DISTRICT 61

    Central Middle School - Secondary School

    GREATER VICTORIA SCHOOL DISTRICT 61

    Colquitz Middle School

    GREATER VICTORIA SCHOOL DISTRICT 61

    Gordon Head Middle School

    GREATER VICTORIA SCHOOL DISTRICT 61

    Oaklands Elementary School

    GREATER VICTORIA SCHOOL DISTRICT 61

    Willows Elementary School

    GREATER VICTORIA SCHOOL DISTRICT 61

    St. Andrew's Regional High School

    GREATER VICTORIA SCHOOL DISTRICT 61

    Chase Secondary School

    KAMLOOPS THOMPSON SCHOOL DISTRICT 73

    Uplands Elementary School

    OKANAGAN SKAHA SCHOOL DISTRICT 67

    Eagle View Elementary School

    VANCOUVER ISLAND NORTH SCHOOL DISTRICT 85

    Island ConnectEd

    NANAIMO LADYSMITH PUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICT 68

    Mount Boucherie Secondary School

    CENTRAL OKANAGAN SCHOOL DISTRICT 23

     

    Additional 10 registered/committed in: 

    Coast Mountain - 1 school

    Kamloops Thompson - 4 schools

    Kootenay Lake - 2 schools

    Greater Victoria - 3 schools

     

    DigiMusic 2019 Competition

    Submissions are now officially closed. Winners will be announced on May 24th and things will wrap with an official finale event to be held at EA Vancouver on Monday, June 3rd.

     

  • 22 May 2019 by DigiBC

    Have you heard of Code Coven? It’s the first video game industry-focused bootcamp for women offering development in technical skills, professional skills, and portfolio. Remote and flexible, women will be able to work with other women at a time that suits their schedule. Founded in 2018 by CEO, Tara Mustapha, it was created in response to the shortage of female developers in the video game world. Code Coven seeks to provide women with the skills and confidence needed to thrive in the games industry. Curious to know more? We had a quick Q&A with Tara to get further info on what Code Coven is all about.


    How many types of courses does Code Coven offer? Are they full-time or part-time?
    We are launching with two pilot courses centered on development with Unity, an introductory class for those with no prior experience and an advanced class. All courses are part-time, designed to accommodate those who have full-time jobs, caregivers and more the opportunity to invest in their growth while taking care of their responsibilities.

    Are the courses done online or in person?
    All courses are online, and we use a core hour system which creates a sense of camaraderie and connection within the class.

    How much does it cost?
    Our pilot classes are priced at $549 USD and can be paid in full or installments.

    How are your courses different from the ones offered at other training schools?
    With four principals at its heart (innovation, guidance, empowerment, and experience), Code Coven plans to go beyond being just an online coding bootcamp – the aim is to nurture new and existing talent, create networking opportunities, help participants find employment and most importantly, work towards redressing the gender imbalance in the gaming world. Our courses are holistic, addressing not only the acquisition of technical skill but also the comfort and confidence needed to apply that knowledge. Our programs incorporate on-the-job training, giving the participants' portfolio pieces and game credits for their work with our partner studios. Our goal is to empower woman to achieve their ambitions and drive change in their environments.

    Who would benefit most from taking one of your courses?
    Our beginner classes empower students in gaining a technical foundation to improve communication and efficiency within teams, from producers, artists, designers, and QA. Our advanced courses allow students to apply their knowledge to other projects, giving them the training and confidence to be able to take these skills back to their studios effectively.

    Do students need to have any previous training or work experience is a certain field before signing up?

    Our beginner classes do not have a technical requisite, our advanced classes require either work experience or the completion of a small programming project defined by us.

    Who are the instructors? How do you pick them?

    Our Unity instructor, Francesca Carletto-Leon, has been working in games and technology in a variety of roles including community management and production. Her development work is highly multidisciplinary and includes digital, tabletop, and alternative controller projects. In 2016 She co-founded an independent game studio called Contigo Games. She holds a BS in Interactive Media & Game Development from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and an MFA in Game Design from New York University. We will be announcing more of our instructors in the next few weeks, all of them impressive and experienced women from games and technology.

    What are some of the possible jobs/career path options someone would have after completing a course?

    This all depends on the student's prior experience, our motivation is that they are able to enter or continue in the career in the games industry and that they see greater success in their career management.

     

  • 21 May 2019 by DigiBC

    Time Factory Studio is located in downtown Vancouver and specializes in problem-solving, design sprints, and rapid prototyping. They are digital experts, productivity nerds, rapid prototype builders, business strategy connoisseurs, user experience enthusiasts, and are here to help BC businesses build better products… faster!

    Have you ever been on a team that was completely misaligned? Worked on projects that were going over budget and time? Or struggled to understand the key features or the main direction of your project? Time Factory co-founders, Julie Puech and Marina Bertoldi have and they decided there had to be a better way. After looking into finding the best ways to develop products and work in teams, they got certified and gained experience in project management, agile methodologies, business strategy, and finally found the ultimate best solution - sprints! The duo is convinced that this is a game-changing process and is now on a mission to transform how teams solve problems.  We recently caught up with Julie and Marina to find out more about the services they provide.

    When was Time Factory Studio founded? What are your backgrounds?
    We officially started Time Factory in 2018, after completing our Master's degree in Digital Media, but we feel it started way before that! The experience and expertise we bring to our business come from our background in engineering, entrepreneurship and project management.

    Julie and Marina met at the Centre for Digital Media while completing their Master of Digital Media degree. Julie moved to Vancouver from France, and her expertise comes in the rare blend of computer science, the arts, and design — she can come up with solutions to complex problems in virtually any domain, and then actually build them. She has a Master in Creative Engineering and has worked on multiple interactive projects including an Augmented / Mixed Reality experience for live music events that won the Gerri Sinclair Award for Digital Innovation. Marina is from Brazil, and in addition to her bachelors in Communication, a business degree and her master’s degree, she’s started and ran multiple successful businesses of her own. She is passionate about business strategy, productivity and what makes products successful. Time Factory is driven forward by our passion for entrepreneurial energy and the digital industry. Who better to solve digital problems for businesses than passionate experts in technology and business?

     

    What does Time Factory do? What do you provide?
    Entrepreneurs and businesses come to us when they are facing a challenge on their projects or business, have an idea they can't pursue on their own, building a new product or redesigning a feature and can’t afford to waste any more time or money. We have the shortcut to solving their problems. We use proven processes to foster innovation, validate assumptions, deliver killer business strategies and build tangible digital solutions for their problems. We provide a smarter and better way to work in teams and develop quickly more successful products.
     

    Why would someone want to utilize your services?
    Most teams are tackling problems the wrong way, and in the process, they’re burning themselves out and wasting time and money to make things that might not even solve the problem. That might sound harsh, but it’s obvious to anyone who's looking critically. Data shows that most products launched in the market ended up not being successful. Projects tend to go over budget and over time. Teams are misaligned and turnover costs are astronomical. Companies just can't afford to have those problems anymore.

    In just four days, Time Factory can get a whole team laser-focused, generate more and better solutions than they do normally for their complex problems and give them a crystal clear path toward solving them. We test the success of a team’s products and projects without wasting any time in development and launching. Making sure that effort, time and money are being used wisely.

    Our clients are big companies that have ideas and opportunities they could leverage but don't have the time to get around to trying to solve them. But also, small and medium companies that sometimes lack the expertise or don't have the manpower to solve their main problems in a smart and digital way. By running a Sprint we help them leverage opportunities by validating their ideas, solving their digital problems and challenges, aligning their teams, generating more and better solutions and saving them time and money.
     

    What type of companies would benefit from using your services?
    Any company, business or team that wants to work smarter not harder and has no time or money to waste! Our processes and services can be adapted to big companies, solo entrepreneurs, and everything in between. It’s more a question of what type of challenge someone wants to solve and how open they are to tackling it in a different way!

     

    Can you describe the process and what happens after you’ve been hired for a project?
    The sprint process started inside Google from the need to produce better and more successful products, faster! A group of productivity nerds started studying and experimenting with what makes some projects so successful and some not. After years of questioning and experimenting they came up with the ultimate step-by-step process to make any project successful and any problem easy to solve: a Design Sprint!

    The process is now called the greatest hits of business strategy, behavioral science, and innovation, and it has spread way beyond Google and into all the big companies like Uber, Airbnb, Facebook, etc. We were taught and certified by the authors of the process and we are on a mission to bring these proven tools and this winning Silicon Valley mindset to BC's businesses.

    A Sprint is a step-by-step process that starts with a 2-day workshop to solve a business problem or streamline a product's success. The team invited for the workshop are members involved in the project from different areas to provide diverse points of view. On the first day, we define the challenge, speak with experts, agree on a common goal and generate better and more solutions. On the second day, we combine the best solutions, plan a user test and design what our prototype will look like. Then our team at Time Factory spends the third-day bending time and space prototyping the solution in just one day. And on Wednesday we put the now-tangible representation of our product/solution in front of real users to be tested. By testing with a prototype we get more valuable and precise feedback than by using traditional user research.

    At the end of a Sprint, our clients get clarity on their ideas, alignment, momentum, and buy-in from team members and stakeholders, a working prototype, tons of valuable feedback from their real users and a killer strategy to move forward! It is the fastest way to know if your project will be successful and the best way to generate ideas! Enough with old inefficient brainstorming, biases and team struggles!
     

    Who are some of your previous clients?

    Our previous clients include RE/MAX Crest, Elevator Strategy, a journalist who worked at the New York Times, and many smaller companies that needed help in their ideation phase.


    What is the best way for someone to get in touch and find out more info?

    You can get in touch with us by sending an email at sayhello@timefactorystudio.com and get more information on our website: https://www.timefactorystudio.com/

    Ready to stop wasting time and money? We are!

     

     

  • 16 May 2019 by DigiBC

    Transport audiences to new worlds created by you at VIFF Immersed 2019.


    The Vancouver International Film Festival is inviting immersive storytellers from around the world to submit their narrative-driven virtual and mixed reality content to the International VIFF Immersed Competition. Have immersive content that is breaking the boundaries of screen-based storytelling? Entries are now open in the following categories:

    • Cinematic Live Action, Virtual or Mixed Reality
    • Animation, Virtual or Mixed Reality
    • Documentary, Virtual or Mixed Reality
    • BC Showcase – A Curated Exhibition (open to BC creators only)
       

    A distinguished panel of international jurors will judge entries and finalists from each category will be featured, and winners announced, at the 2019 VIFF Immersed Exhibition, a week-long public exhibition featuring some of the most innovative experiences and celebrating the best immersive storytelling.

     

    How to Submit:
    Creators can enter work for all categories via FilmFreeway or directly to VIFF Immersed here.
     

    Deadlines:
    Early Deadline - May 31, 2019
    Regular Deadline - June 14, 2019
     

    Questions: immersed.submission@viff.org

     

  • 14 May 2019 by DigiBC

    DigiBC worked with a consortium of creative industry associations on Creative Industries Week 2019 to promote and grow the creative sector in BC. We’d like to give a big shout out to Everfi and Phoenix Labs for their contributions to our presentations which helped our political partners to better understand our sector. Also, thanks to Tim Tran from Kano Apps for joining us at the Legislature, and to our board members, James Hursthouse and Catherine Warren, for making the trip over.

    The event kicked off for DigiBC with the Creative Industries Showcase in the Reception Hall of Honour (Rotunda) at the BC Legislature Hall. This year’s theme was centered on ‘BC Creators & Job Creators’ to highlight the people who help power our respective sectors. The program kicked off with an incredible freestyle/spoken word performance by Prevail, followed by a number of ‘PechaKucha’ style presentations that told the story of various sector creators. The event then wrapped up with the Proclamation of Creative Industries Week in BC by The Honourable Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts & Culture. Job growth and career pathways were prominent themes throughout the day and this was highlighted by the attendance of high school students who were given an inside look at some of the exciting careers available right here in our province. DigiBC had a few stations set up showing our DigiMusic competition, a non-traditional video game (Everlove Rose), as well as Everfi demoing the EA Play to Learn platform which DigiBC will be expanding into 60 new classrooms all over the province.

    In the evening, the celebrations moved to the Canoe Brewpub for the night-time reception. A few highlights of the program included a screening of the Oscar-nominated animated short Animal Behaviour, DigiBC’s video on The Creation of a Video Game (featuring Phoenix Labs) and amazing musical performances by country star, Dallas Smith and rising artist, Shawn Austin.
     

    The creative industries are comprised of the film, television, music, publishing, interactive & digital media sectors, and contribute an estimated $6.4 billion to the economy while providing over 90,000 jobs in the province. The government estimates there to be another 13,000 job openings by 2027 in this thriving industry.

     

  • 10 May 2019 by DigiBC

    A message from the Office of Information and Privacy Commissioner of BC. They are independent and promote and protect the information and privacy rights of British Columbians.
     

    Like most businesses, we know you want to handle the personal information of your customers with care and attention to the law. That’s a good thing because British Columbians are becoming increasingly concerned that the personal information they provide to businesses will not be handled properly. And who can blame them? Privacy breaches are becoming a common occurrence in BC. In fact, the number of privacy breaches under BC’s Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA) reported to my office increased by 56% from 2015-2018. Here’s something else you need to know: you are responsible under PIPA to protect the personal information of your customers and staff. Our new PrivacyRight program is aimed at helping you better understand PIPA.

     

    #PRIVACYRIGHT: Tools to Build Trust

    PrivacyRight is a suite of tools – animated webinars, videos, as well as podcasts and guidance documents – designed by my office to demystify your privacy obligations and highlight the simple steps that can be taken to address them. Each month, we’re launching releases on different themes that will help you become more “privacy right.”

     

    #PRIVACYRIGHT Videos & Podcasts: Putting Privacy Into Practice

    What does the use of personal information and obtaining consent look like in the real world? #PrivacyRight’s animated pop-up videos show some of the everyday PI and consent issues encountered during a routine trip to the dentist’s office: Part 1, Part 2.

    The #PrivacyRight Podcast takes a page out of investigative reporting podcasts like “Serial” to offer an in-depth look into some of the most pressing challenges we face in the world of privacy. In the first episode, a job applicant loses out on a competition after a prospective employer finds unflattering information on social media. What are the privacy implications here? Check out the podcast.

     

    #PRIVACYRIGHT WEBINARS:  Crash Course in BC Privacy Law & Obligations

    The OIPC’s #PrivacyRight animated webinars offer a concise, informative, and engaging look into some of the most common questions people have about the Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA).

    Webinar 1: 10 basic obligations under PIPA

    2a: 10 steps to build a robust privacy management program

    Related guidance:

    2b: How to write a privacy policy

    3: Authority to collect use and disclose personal information:

    Visit the PrivacyRight webpage during Privacy Awareness Week for resources on Notification and Consent!

     

     

    How can you get involved?

    1.    Let your employees know that your organization values privacy. Send out an all-staff email about Privacy Awareness Week or post a story on your intranet site. Suggested content attached and can be downloaded here.

    2.    Get social! We’ll be tweeting all week using the hashtags #PrivacyRight and #PAW2019. Here is a suggested tweet that you can use to show your organization’s commitment to respecting privacy rights! (Graphics to accompany the tweet can be downloaded from our website and a sample is attached).

     

    [INPUT NAME OF YOUR ORGANIZATION] knows privacy is good for business and that's why we're working hard to get #PrivacyRight. As #PrivacyAwarenessWeek gets underway, check out our [link to your privacy policy/related initiative]. #PAW2019

     

    3.    Follow us on Twitter at @BCInfoPrivacy and on Linkedin for future #PrivacyRight updates. We welcome your thoughts on #PrivacyRight. Tell us what else you would like to see as part of the program at PrivacyRight@oipc.bc.ca.

     

  • 09 May 2019 by DigiBC

    Tomorrow's Master of Digital Media Program 

    Tomorrow’s Master of Digital Media Program (TMDM) is a 2-week intensive summer camp designed for students entering grades 9-12 with artistic or technical interests who want to explore educational and career opportunities in the video game and digital media industry. Students will learn rapid prototyping and collaborative techniques and will work in teams to build a playable digital media product at the end of this fun 2-week course. TMDM is running July 8 - 19, 2019.

     

    Why TMDM?

    TMDM gives teens an opportunity to explore digital media in ways that are not offered in the traditional education system. Teens can discover career paths and interests that will help them make informed academic and career decisions.

     

    Teens will learn:

    • Game design and critique
    • How to tell better stories
    • How to choose team partners and work in groups
    • Improvisation and role play
    • The business of the industry
    • Rapid iteration, prototyping, and design essentials 

    These skills are taught by drawing out individual strengths in a strong team-based environment.

     

    Who is a TMDM student?

    TMDM is for students entering grades 9-12 with artistic and/or technical talent. We are seeking an equal mix of girls and boys.

     

    Contact

    Have more questions? Feel free to contact us.

     

    Tuition and Fees

    The cost for the entire program is $1100 per student. Partial bursaries may become available for students who require financial support.

    Unlike other summer camps, TMDM is a competitive entry program. Applicants must write a letter of intent and include a signature from their teachers. Students are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. 

     

    What is Included?

    • Mentoring from MDM faculty
    • Certificate of Completion
    • Graduation event for family & friends
    • Software and hardware
    • TMDM t-shirt
    • Lunch each day

     

     

    Sponsorship Opportunities

    TMDM is a cost-recovery initiative. We rely on sponsors to cover the costs associated with running the program. If your organization is interested in becoming a sponsor get in touch with our director of Industry Relations, Dennis Chenard.

     

     

  • 24 Apr 2019 by DigiBC

    DigiBC hosted a breakout session panel event on the topic of financing on April 17. It was a fun and engaging night where members from the creative tech sector came together to hear from important players in the tech and media finance world. Attendees were split into small groups and rotated through the five panelist stations where they were able to sit and interact with each speaker.

    The event took place at the KPMG Ignition Centre and it was great to see folks engaged and connecting throughout the night. Huge thanks to our generous sponsors (KPMG & Fasken) and our wonderful panelists (Raul Duque from EDC, Caterina Papadakos from Espresso Capital, Stéphane Cosentino from the CMF, Ed Zacharuk from KPMG & Roberto Monteleone from RBC) for making this event possible. We can't thank them enough!

    DigiBC has more events planned for the year, so no need to fret if you weren’t able to make it to this one! Be sure to join our mailing list so you can stay up-to-date. >> http://bit.ly/2IOW6bo

    Photos courtesy of KPMG Ignition Centre

  • 08 Apr 2019 by DigiBC

    Library and Archives Canada (LAC) is a unique library that holds the largest collection of Canadian content in the world. They collect books, magazines, musical recordings, maps and electronic books published in Canada or about Canada. The collection is searchable via their online catalogue and thousands of researchers visit the facilities to consult holdings in person. Building the LAC national collection is a collaborative effort that includes the many publishers and music producers participating in the Legal Deposit program, gifts received from organizations and individuals, as well as selective purchases. More than 20 million items are currently in LAC’s published collection and it grows every day!


    LAC recognizes that Canadians are using new media to create, publish, and share their cultural heritage. To ensure the National Collection is relevant and meets the current and future needs of Canadians, they have launched an informal questionnaire to gather ideas as they consider options for potential selection criteria for Canadian YouTube videos, video games, and podcasts. Your involvement is essential!

     

    How to participate:

    English: http://placespeak.com/LAClibrary

    Français: http://placespeak.com/BACbiblio

     

     

  • 04 Apr 2019 by DigiBC

    DigiBC Diversity & Inclusion Surveys

    These surveys are open until April 15. We would love to get your input! If you have seven minutes to spare then your voice will be heard. This information is vital in helping us gauge where things currently are at in BC's creative tech sector and seeing what we can do to grow it going forward. We would appreciate your help in participating and then circulating the survey links within your studio.


    Survey #1 - All Employees (inclusion)
    Survey #2 - Studio Leadership (benchmark on equity, diversity, inclusion initiatives)
    Survey #3 - HR Professionals (measuring outcomes)


    Upon completion of a survey, you will be eligible for a chance to win one of five prizes of ARC’TERYX apparel and accessories!
    Click here for contest rules and details.


    Please note that all data collected is anonymous and will not be tracked by studio. DigiBC and WIA will be sharing the resulting report later this spring. Your participation will ensure results worth sharing.


    We appreciate you taking the time to contribute to this audit. Thank you!

     

     

    DigiBC Inclusive Leadership Training

    As part of DigiBC’s Diversity & Inclusion Strategy, training is being offered across the digital media sector (video games, animation, VFX, AR/VR), in conjunction with Women in Animation (WIA) and Women in Games Vancouver (WIG’eh). This training is ideal for managers and business leaders who are wanting to learn about ways diversity and inclusion can be incorporated and sustained in the workplace. The training is free to DigiBC and WIA members (if you are a member of the Animation & VFX Alliance, you are a member of DigiBC). A fee of $250 will be charged if you are not.

    Saturday April 13, 2019 | 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM
    To register, please click here

     

    The session will be facilitated by Alden E. Habacon, one of the country’s leading diversity and inclusion strategists and facilitators. Alden specializes in working with organizations and companies that are historically male-dominated, and his clients include the Vancouver Airport Authority, the Department of Justice, and Clio.

     

     

  • 04 Apr 2019 by DigiBC

    The past couple of months at DigiBC has been focused largely on program delivery. We know that the video game, animation & VFX sectors will not continue to grow without securing the talent we need now and into the future. As such, we have been working to raise awareness of creative technology in the province, increasing the knowledge young people have about opportunities in our industry, and enhancing skills in high school students while teaching them about our sectors.  We’ve done this in a number of ways including:

    • Leading a panel on the creative industries for 800-1,000 high school students at the #BCTECHSummit Youth Innovation Day
    • Launching Play to Learn outside of the Lower Mainland (the event was held at Cowichan High in Duncan, BC)
    • Running a province-wide competition where students can create original music for video games and animation called DigiMusic


    We also know we can no longer afford to leave people out of our workforce. Diversity and inclusion (D&I) are important ways, not only to have more diverse perspectives and creative ideas in our studios but also to enhance our talent pool. As such, DigiBC and Women in Animation are leading our sector with the following activities:

     


    #BCTECHSummit Youth Innovation Day Creative Industries Panel

    Brenda Bailey, DigiBC Executive Director, led a panel of successful young creatives. They shared their stories with 800-1,000 high school students and spoke about how they found their way into creative tech, what their backgrounds are, where they trained, what they wished they knew when they were 16 and what a “day in the life” looks like for programmers, game designers, producers, filmmakers, and emerging leaders. Of the five panelists on stage, three had worked on Oscar-winning properties (two on Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse, one on The Revenant) and all shared their contagious enthusiasm for their exciting careers.


    Play to Learn Launch Event

    DigiBC is working to expand the Play to Learn program, pioneered by EA and Everfi, into rural and underserved areas in the province. We launched outreach at the end of February at Cowichan Secondary School, and it was a terrific start to connecting with students who might not otherwise have the opportunity to meet people working in Interactive Digital Media.  The expansion continues over the next two years and will be going into 66 rural school districts throughout our province.

     

    DigiMusic 2019 Initiative

    DigiMusic is live! Did you ever wish you could compose the perfect score for your favorite video game or animated film? High schools students across the province have a chance to do exactly that and learn about working in the Creative Technology industry while doing it. This novel and exciting competition was the brainchild of James Hursthouse, DigiBC Board member and hardcore metal fan. James worked with his son's high school music instructor to do a classroom session on composing for video games, and it was such a success he thought, why not take this to DigiBC and roll it out across the province? This evolved into DigiMusic and the inaugural competition runs April 2-30th. It’s a fantastic opportunity to connect high school students to our sector, have some fun celebrating the budding musical talent out there in our province. Check the website for further details.

     


    We are guessing that you probably play video games and watch movies, but did you know that British Columbia is home to some of the world’s most well-known video game, animation and visual effects companies employing thousands of people with all types of different skill-sets and talents? Have you ever thought that a career in creative tech might be something you’re interested in? DigiMusic 2019 is a competition that gives you a small taste of what it’s like to combine creativity and technology, as we challenge you to compose music for one or more short clips of video games and animated movies that are being created right here in BC.


    We will accept entries from individual composers (students) as well as entries from groups of up to four composers working together. The competition will run from April 2-30, 2019 after which an expert panel of digital media and music industry experts will assess the entries received, and award a range of prizes to both composers and their schools.

     

  • 27 Mar 2019 by DigiBC

    Choosing the right office space for your business is an incredibly important decision. Location, size, style, price, and features all play a part in determining whether a commercial space complements your day-to-day operations, your company’s future roadmap and most importantly, your brand and culture. Blair, Kevin, and Alain from The High Technology Facilities Group of CBRE offer their best advice to tech companies on the available commercial real estate options in Vancouver. With co-working spaces growing in our booming technology ecosystem, finding a suitable spot can seem daunting, so they've broken down the key differentiators to help you find your perfect match!

    In this lesson, they delve into opportunities for start-ups that not only provide ample space for a growing company, but also promote incubation, education, community, and support.

    Sample Start-up Company

    • Size: 2 – 12 people, or 800 – 2,000 SF
    • Location: Downtown and surrounding area, on transit (10-minute walk max)
    • Expansion plans:1 to 2 years
    • Stage in business: Boot-strapping, limited investment, early-stage company

     

    Co-working: Global vs Local Spaces - Which will suit my business goals?
     

    Global Co-working Space

    An explosion of co-working spaces in the Vancouver downtown core now gives small (and large) tenants a wide range of options of flexible, pay-as-you-go, think-tank work environments. These options include larger international brands like WeWork, Spaces, Regus, which have large spaces in large office buildings and provide full-service amenities in today’s leading office design. They offer private offices for single individuals, up to 20 people or up to a full floor, basically no maximum size. The spaces are built and furnished and the snacks, coffee machines, and kegs are stocked. However, these beautifully designed, furnished, turn-key solutions do come at a premium price tag.
     

    Local Co-working Spaces

    The local co-working companies are also benefiting from the growing demand for flexible workspace solutions. They vary in size, location, amenities, and price.  There are larger spaces run by companies like The Profile and The Network Hub, who cater to all businesses, with a focus on the startup community. Other co-working spaces are operated by incubator companies that have a specific focus on what types of companies they cater to, for example, Launch Academy is focused on incubating local startups in tech and recently put space aside specifically for the VR/AR sector and another area for cannabis-tech. This type of focus will continue to evolve as new industries and technologies emerge. In addition, The Cube opened in 2017 to provide a user-friendly space for VR/AR companies. These are great spaces in character boutique office buildings, offering a plug-and-play, furnished and flexible workspace solution, at a price well below what the bigger players charge.


    Key Benefits to co-working:

    • Flexible lease terms (month to month, 6 month, 12 month and longer).
    • Community and networking
    • Events, Workshops, and Investor relations
    • Additional membership benefits: meeting spaces, access to other locations (globally and locally), beer and wine on tap, snacks and more.
       

    While co-working offers amazing benefits that a private office does not, they do have their challenges. Here are a few things to consider:

    • More noise, interruptions, and overall distractions.
    • Challenge in booking meeting rooms and call rooms.
    • Lack of privacy
    • Branding and culture challenges, lack of ability to create your own identity
       

    Overall, there are many co-working options to choose from, especially in Vancouver, and a company should carefully audit its immediate, short term and long term needs as best it can. As your team is still small, your board, management, senior staff or even your full company team should be consulted to understand what your needs are and then compare to what is offered in the market that best meets those needs.  We also recommend that any company evaluate their needs with a broker, as they can also assist in negotiating better terms with co-working options.

    ►Private Office Spaces

    If co-working is not the option you are looking for and you prefer your own Private Office suite, there are a broad range of options that can be summarized in two: short-term and long-term lease commitments. The pros/cons of each are summarized below to help you make sense of what is most appropriate for you.

    Before digging into this, it is important to understand the state of the Vancouver office leasing market:

    • Demand & Vacancy: Vancouver has witnessed strong tenant demand for office space for the past 2 years, bringing vacancy to a near all-time low of 4.5% in the downtown core, 1.5% in Yaletown and 3% in Gastown.
    • Rental Rates: Few available spaces mean landlords have the upper hand, and they have been steadily increasing rents throughout 2018, and this is expected to continue into 2019.
    • New Supply: New buildings are under construction, however, the next few buildings are not expected to have any significant impact on availability until late 2020 and 2021.
    • Tips for Successful Lease Negotiations: start your search early, hire an experienced broker, evaluate all aspects of your needs, plan for future growth (if able), be “market-ready” so when the right space comes along you can secure it quickly. Be prepared for competition and to step-up (if needed), as multiple offer scenarios can occur.

     

    Private Short-term Office Lease (6 - 36 months)

    These opportunities include those ranging from 6-months to 3-year commitments for a dedicated private office suite. Typically these are short term subleases from tenants with that no longer need their space.  Most landlords look for a (minimum) 3-year lease term, so finding a tenant looking to exit their lease early are great opportunities. 

    Pros: branding and “make-it-your-own” capabilities, security and privacy, limited distractions, controlling your space, positive optics for investors/clients and for hiring.  Sublease opportunities may allow for extra savings in free furniture and existing infrastructure to minimize set up costs.

    Cons:  Limited number of available spaces to accommodate this size of office spaces (800 - 2,000 SF). Lease term is set, limited flexibility to expand/contract. Upfront set up costs, ie: renovations and/or furniture. Required to manage the day-to-day office items such as (printers, internet, coffee, etc). Limited flexibility/growth potential, however, there are some ways to work around this with the right lease.

     


    Private Long-Term Office Lease (36 - 60 months or longer)

    These types of space opportunities range from 3 to 5 years, and longer (if desired), for your own dedicated office. Typically these are leases negotiated directly with the landlord, however, sublease opportunities may be available too (possibly with discounted rents!)

    Pros: In addition to most benefits shown above, long-term leases provide security in locking in rental rates for longer, ability to negotiate stronger lease terms, including free rent, improvement allowances and more. Financial setup costs are spread out over a longer period of your lease.

    Cons: long term leases limit growth flexibility, subleasing may be required (this could be an asset, upfront setup costs (ie: potential renovations and furniture), business goals may not align with long leases (ie: investors want easy liquidity for potential sale).  That said, there are creative solutions to many of these issues.

     


    As a starting point, if you’re not sure which option is right for you?  Here are some key questions to ask yourself and your team:
     

    • How long before we grow beyond 12 - 15 people?
    • Are we willing to stay in a co-working space long term, does it drive innovation/productivity, does it fit our culture and brand?
    • What is the 1 to 2 year goal and what is our budget for space for this period?
    • What type of space do we really need? (quiet, private, meeting room space?? And does the co-working solution offer these needs?
    • Are clients, investors or other important contacts visiting us?
       

    A thorough analysis of all these questions should help to give you and your executive team a better understanding of which option is best and give you the confidence to move forward with your decision. It is worth doing this upfront work to make sure you get it right the first time.
     

    To get familiar with what’s happening in the office market and to find out relevant information on culture, hiring/attracting talent, the start-up community, workspace design, and innovations, it is recommended you visit the HTFG’s website and subscribe to their quarterly newsletter here.

  • 25 Mar 2019 by DigiBC

    This month we have a guest blog post from Centre for Digital Media student, Sam Stumborg, telling us about some of the exciting projects that were recently made at the school.
     


    Written by Sam Stumborg

    Three student projects are using games or gamified technology to teach healthy behavioral changes in response to very different problems industry clients posed to them. The student teams (The Goal Diggers, Brain Bros & Viva la Vida) were given varying problems and briefed by different clients, yet they all decided to build digital, gamified solutions.


    Contractor City: An Idle Game for Working Contractors

    The Goal Diggers (Peter Zhengyang Pan, Sam Stumborg, Rubing Bai, Dafne Delgado, and Mikayla Preete) decided to create Contractor City, a mobile idle game after extensive consultation with their clients FortisBC and BC One Call. Ian Turnbull, a construction and pipeline safety expert helped the team discover that younger contractors didn’t know about the BC One Call animated ads (“Call before you dig!” with a talking horse). As a result, these contractors were at an increased risk of striking a pipe. A game was one of the solutions the team proposed to address this knowledge gap. This idea eventually became Contractor City.

    Rather than a traditional “win/lose” video game, Contractor City is an idle game that plays itself while you’re away. Like a stock portfolio that constantly accrues interest, idle games push the envelope of what it means to be a video game because little player interaction is needed. Pocket-sized, easy to play, Contractor City aims to teach the player how important it is to know what’s below by rewarding safe ground disturbance practices and punishing dangerous deeds. As a way of rewarding contractors, there is an option that allows players to turn their real-life BC One Call reference numbers (a number you receive when you call their service) into in-game currency rewarding real-life safety with in-game success. All in all, the game aims to make lasting behavioural change by encouraging repeat use, safe practices, and BC One Call membership.

     

    Viva La Vida: Making Exercise Fun Again
    With a focus on human health, MDM team Viva la Vida’s project is the kind of serious game that could get it invited to the 2020 Serious Games and Applications for Health conference being held at the CDM next summer. Laureen Wales, CEO of Your Viva, approached the Centre of Digital Media looking to build an installation on the University of Alberta campus that would encourage students to get fit on their way to class. Like the Goal Diggers, they were being tasked with instilling behavioural change in a younger audience. After a lot of testing and research, the team convinced Laureen an installation was the wrong solution. Instead, they landed on a game where every step is rewarded, individual actions benefit a team, and specific physical activities are assigned as quests.

    Team Viva la Vida’s product is an augmented reality app with game elements that reward and engage the player. When Pokemon GO! launched no one expected there would be healthy and beneficial outcomes. The members of Viva la Vida (Emily Cao, Ghazal Jenab, Hang Zheng, Isabelle Rash, Shervin Mortazavi, Ziyi Xu) worked backward, from the intended benefit toward an augmented reality game with teams, territories to capture, and a map built from Google Maps. Instead of ignoring the health benefits, they doubled down, tying the player’s progress in the game to in-game exercises, activities, and social engagement. Exercises include activities like “shelving books” where the player has to move their phone up and down as if they were taking books off a high shelf and putting them on a lower one. This is actually a repeated stretching motion under the guise of “shelving books” but it and other activities help the user move and keep active without obviously being exercise. As team Viva la Vida found out, the biggest barrier between an inactive student and exercise is mental and it’s the biggest stumbling block to leapfrog.

     

    Cerebro: Mind Games by Brian Bros
    While the first two groups had to convince the client that a video game or gamified digital content was a solution to their problem, Dr. Claudia Krebs approached the CDM specifically looking to build a game. In this case, a game for medical students that would help them better memorize brain structures for their neuroanatomy courses. After significant research and development, team Brain Bros (Julia Lastovikova, Kimberly Ann Burke, Niccolo Pucci, Oliver Riisager, Sean Jeon, Weiyi Zhang)
    built Cerebro, a 3D game that you play on a mobile phone. In this game, the player aims a robot (named NeuRob) to fly through the parts of the brain and spinal cord. Memorizing the structures helps them rack up points in the game and (one hopes) points on their exams.

     

     
     


    The New
    Genre of Healthy Games

    Both the Brain Bros and Viva la Vida have joined an exciting field that blends health science with video games. Indeed, health and video game professionals are working closer than ever before with neuroscientists like Adam Gazzaley building the case for the medicinal benefits of video games, even nabbing the front page of the prestigious journal Nature in 2013. Rather than simply training doctoral students, encouraging physical activity or behavioural change, Gazzaley’s Neuroscape Lab, Akili Interactive Labs, and others are actively pursuing FDA approval for medicinal video games.

     

    Serious Games Here in Vancouver
    As the world waits for FDA approved medicinal video games the Centre of Digital Media is joining those charging ahead. Vancouver based Biba Venture, Ayogo (on the same campus as CDM), and Mod7 Communications (now a part of Open Road Communications) are all pioneering in the same space which makes Vancouver fertile ground for serious games. The 8th annual international conference for the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) on Serious Games and Applications for Health (SeGAH) are both coming to Vancouver in 2020, hosted at the Centre of Digital Media. The CDM is a natural fit for SeGAH with a master’s program already building games for real-life applications. With three gamified solutions to professional client problems this semester alone, the CDM can expect to have approximately nine more student projects seriously applying game elements before SeGAH opens August 2020.

     

     

  • 22 Mar 2019 by DigiBC

    Are you an active video game company operating in Canada?

    The Entertainment Software Association of Canada (ESAC), in partnership with Nordicity, is launching its 2019 research survey for Canada’s video game industry. ESAC is the voice of our industry and they want their research to include all companies who contribute to making Canada a vibrant and prosperous place to create and play video games. By completing this survey, all active video game companies in Canada are contributing to the creation of an accurate snapshot of the industry, and this research will explore trends and provide specific and practical information about it.


    Please take 20 minutes and complete the survey:
    http://bit.ly/esacsurvey-sondageadl2019


    Survey closes May 31, 2019


    For past industry reports, and information about ESAC, visit theESA.Ca

    Specific questions about the survey? Please contact Kristian Roberts, Partner, Nordicity at kroberts@nordicity.com

    Questions about ESAC? Please contact Corinne Crichlow, Director, Communications & Public Relations at ccrichlow@theESA.Ca

     

     

  • 19 Mar 2019 by DigiBC

    The Irving K Barber British Columbia Scholarship Society provides scholarships and financial awards to help BC post-secondary students achieve their educational goals. The society gives out ten awards annually to recognize women in tech (computer science, engineering or mathematics), and at least one of these is dedicated to a woman of Aboriginal ancestry.

    They are pleased to announce that applications for 2019 Women in Technology & Indigenous Women in Technology Scholarships are now available through the Irving K. Barber BC Scholarship Society.  Ten scholarships valued at $10K each will be awarded in June.

     

    Application Deadline:

    The deadline to submit your application is May 15, 2019

    Instructions on how to apply, links to application forms, and full eligibility criteria can be found at https://www.ikbbc.ca/women-in-tech/about-this-scholarship/

    You can learn more about last year’s recipients at https://www.ikbbc.ca/student-stories/


    Further Information:

     

    What You Should Know:

    You must have completed a minimum of one year of full-time studies leading to an undergraduate degree, diploma or certificate in computer science, engineering, or mathematics, and be continuing in your studies at a BC public post-secondary institution for at least one additional year. Women in Technology Scholarships are awarded on the basis of academic achievement (Minimum B+ GPA required), and a demonstrated commitment to the pursuit of a career in the technology sector.
     

  • 01 Mar 2019 by DigiBC

    British Columbia’s future innovators and science leaders have been preparing projects since the early fall for school, community and district science fairs across the province. 2,000 finalists from these local competitions are now putting the final touches on their presentations for the Regional Science Fairs where they will compete for awards and the chance to attend the 58th Canada-Wide Science Fair (CWSF) in Fredericton, New Brunswick. In celebration of their achievements, the Province of British Columbia has declared March 2019 as 'Youth Science Month'.

    Support from the provincial government and corporate sponsors enables The Science Fair Foundation of BC and The Regional Science Fair Network – the largest volunteer science outreach network in British Columbia - to recognize young scientists and their project work, encouraging them to further develop their ideas and excel beyond their communities. Last year, 67 students from throughout B.C. and the Yukon presented their projects at the CWSF in Ottawa and brought home $187,000 in awards and scholarships, including two platinum awards, six gold medals, 11 silver medals, and 25 bronze medals. Learn More >>

    BC students are also standing out on the international stage. In September, Nicolas Fedrigo earned a spot at the European Union Contest for Young Scientist held in Dublin, Ireland where his project was awarded first prize. In January, Mr. Fedrigo also received a gold medal at the 2019 Taiwan International Science Fair (TISF) competing alongside his teammate, Natasha Burgert, who earned bronze. This marks the fifth consecutive year that both B.C. students attending the TISF have earned top honours for their innovative projects.

     

     

     

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