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    Online or offline? That seems to be the big question in a new survey conducted by the Department of Canadian Heritage on how Canadians prefer to...

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    Online or offline? That seems to be the big question in a new survey conducted by the Department of Canadian Heritage on how Canadians prefer to consume homegrown media.

    The findings of the survey, which was conducted in June 2012, reveal some interesting statistics about the accessibility of Canadian films, books, movies, and television. The results indicate that while the majority of Canadians are interested in homegrown content, they wish it was more widely available to the general public.

    According to the report, digital media may be the key to making Canadian content more accessible. Many Canadians already prefer to buy their music online, with 40% of respondents saying they planned to do so within the next six months.

    At the same time, fewer Canadians are buying physical copies of albums.  Over 10% of survey correspondents said that they are done buying CDs for the foreseeable future.

    A major barrier to accessing music online appears to be cost. Less than a quarter of respondents said that they would be interested in joining a monthly paid streaming service. Those surveyed were slightly more enthusiastic about free streaming services that run advertisements, but they have yet to gain traction with Canadian audiences.

    The study also shows that film and television buffs head online for content. One-third of respondents admitted to downloading movies, and there's been a noticeable jump in the number of Canadians using pay per view or on demand services since 2005.

    The rise of online streaming is accompanied by a corresponding decrease in the popularity of DVDs and Blu-rays. While two-thirds of Canadians still purchase DVDs, video stores are much less popular than they used to be. Compared to a 2005 survey, the number of visitors to stores in 2012 was reduced by almost half.

    The one exception to sourcing online content is in reading materials. While 70% of Canadians read print magazines, only 30% download digital copies. Almost a quarter of respondents replied that they prefer print over digital magazines, and 13% responded that they did not own a tablet or e-reader.

    Whether or not they get their content online, Canadian consumers exemplify the mantra "love where you live." If there's one thing to take away from the study, it's that almost all respondents agreed Canadian media was important. Over 90% said that they valued access to Canadian music and literature, and over 70% were interested in watching Canadian movies.

    Via Techvibes

     January 04, 2013
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    Article from: Sept 21, 2012

    On a recent trip to Europe, Brad Duguid, Ontario’s minister of economic development and innovation, made a point of stopping in at the headquarters of Ubisoft. The French video-gaming giant, responsible for such titles as Assassin’s Creed and Prince of Persia, opened a Toronto studio in 2010. Duguid wanted to make sure the company’s executives were still happy with that choice. “We had a fantastic meeting with them,” Duguid says. “What they’re really impressed with is the talent that’s evolved here.”

    The talent and, Duguid might have added, the tax breaks too. Ontario offered Ubisoft some $263 million in incentives over 10 years to set up shop in Ontario, according to the Toronto Star. The company also benefits from a 37% labour tax credit available to all video-game developers in the province.

    It’s the kind of package studios in B.C. can only dream of. Though long considered the heart of the Canadian gaming industry, Vancouver has been slipping fast in recent years. Montreal surpassed it in terms of total companies and jobs some time ago. Ontario’s Golden Horseshoe is coming on fast. The reasons, critics say, are simple: Ontario and Quebec are offering better tax incentives—B.C.’s labour tax credit for the industry is only 17%, for example—and their politicians are making efforts (like meeting with French CEOs in the summertime) that B.C. officials just aren’t. Sky-high commercial rents in Vancouver aren’t helping, either.

    There’s plenty of evidence that Canada’s gaming industry is fleeing the West for greener pastures. Ubisoft closed its Vancouver studio early this year, not long after the one in Toronto got off the ground. Rockstar Games, another major developer, announced it was shuttering its Vancouver operations in July. The company is consolidating Canadian development in Oakville, Ont. Radical Entertainment, meanwhile, one of the cornerstones of the Vancouver industry, all but ceased to exist in June when its parent company laid off 89 Vancouver employees. Things are so dire, says Jared Shaw, the founder of 31337 Recruiters, that he hasn’t filled a single video-game position in B.C. in nearly three years. “My job,” he says, “has been exporting people to the U.S. and out east.”

    But not everyone believes that B.C. gaming is on the brink of death. The industry as a whole is shifting away from consoles, like Microsoft’s XBox and the Sony PlayStation, and toward social and mobile platforms, like the iPad and Facebook. As it does, traditional companies like Rockstar and Radical may struggle. But Vancouver, with its deep wells of talent and proximity to Asia and Silicon Valley, could still compete for the next generation of firms.

    There’s some evidence that’s already happening. Gree, a big-name Japanese mobile developer, started hiring staff for a Vancouver studio in July. Local startups, meanwhile, are popping up every month. Many are staffed with at least a few veterans of Vancouver’s once thriving console scene. Almost all are hoping to hit it big with the next social or mobile sensation. “The best thing to ever happen to the Vancouver indie scene is that those big, fat, bloated old bitches left town,” says Jason Bailey, the CEO of East Side Games, a local mobile startup, of the traditional console giants.

    But social and mobile firms aren’t as large or as lucrative as the console players—at least not yet. And without a Rockstar or a Radical to anchor the local industry, some worry the next generation of Vancouver talent will have nowhere to learn its craft. If B.C. wants to keep its status as a gaming hub, says Elliot Siemiatycki, a researcher at the University of British Columbia, the province needs to step up. “Vancouver can’t rely on its mountains and ocean view to attract people,” he says. That doesn’t necessarily mean increasing tax credits, although Siemiatycki does think that would help. It does mean, however, making a visible, viable effort to keep the firms the province has left, while fighting Ontario, Quebec and the rest of the world for the ones still looking for potential homes.

     September 21, 2012
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    Canada today revealed that it plans to create a new class of visa, 

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    Canada today revealed that it plans to create a new class of visa, according to Reuters.

    Officials hope it will attract technology entrepreneurs to immigrate to the country to start new companies.

    The immigration department consulted with Canadian venture funds, including Boris Wertz's Vancouver-based Version One Ventures.

    Quote Reuters:

    It has put a moratorium on issuing its existing entrepreneur visa, which only required an immigrant to hire one person for one year, and intends to initiate a visa that would be issued to people identified by venture capital funds as candidates to create start-up firms in Canada. The venture funds would be required to invest in the start-ups. The start-up visa is one of several changes being undertaken by Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney in what he says is an effort to make the immigration system more responsive to Canada's economic needs.

    "Canada seeks young, ambitious, innovative immigrants who will contribute to Canada's job growth and further drive our economy," Kenney's press secretary, Alexis Pavlich, is quoted as saying. "The start-up visa is an initiative that the government of Canada is exploring to assist in transforming our immigration system into a fast, fair and flexible system that will meet the needs of our economy and help grow our country."

    Venture investment funds would choose entrepreneurs in whom they would invest, and the government would try to clear them for entry into Canada within weeks. The idea is to unite Canadian money and foreign brains. An initial source of candidates could be frustrated foreigners in the high-tech sector in the United States who have not been able to land resident status there.

    "This program will link brilliant, job-creating, immigrant entrepreneurs with Canadian investors. We want the world's best and brightest to come to Canada - to start businesses and to create jobs in Canada," Alexis added.

    The program is expected to be unveiled in detail later this year. According to the report, the government will set aside 2,750 visas a year. Last year it issued 700 visas under the old entrepreneur class. The problem with it was that an immigrant could buy a corner store and hire one person then abandon the business after a year.

    "There are never enough brains in a country," Version One Ventures founder Boris Wertz is quoted as saying. "Every country's going to compete for the best brains in the world."

     September 12, 2012
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    The Canadian Digital Media Network (CDMN) is developing a new online portal for media entrepreneurs and start-ups, accelerators and...

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    The Canadian Digital Media Network (CDMN) is developing a new online portal for media entrepreneurs and start-ups, accelerators and SMEs active in the digital economy.

    The CDMN’s new initiative seeks to organize as much information, research and data from private industry, non-profit organizations and government agencies about the country’s digital media sector as possible, and archive it in one accessible location.

    As part of its drive – dubbed the Moonshot -- to “do anything online” by 2017, the CDMN says the information collection is needed to build collaboration and commercialization of innovative ideas in information and communication technology.

    The Moonshot goals were tabled at CDMN's Canada 3.0 Digital Media Forum, an industry event that brought together industry, government and academic participants.

    Identified so far have been five key targets:

    * Access to talent, including the digital skills and talent required to meet these rapidly evolving needs;

    * Access to financial capital and investments required for technology and business growth; 

    * Connectivity for Canadians of any financial status and geographic location;

    * Mobilizing digital content, from ensuring Canadian content is accessible to realizing commercialization opportunities created through content development or management; and

    * Productivity improvements through the adoption of digital media technologies and the infrastructure to support it.

    CDMN has also launched its Canada 3.0 2013 SoapBox, created by HitSend, a start-up incubated at Toronto’s Ryerson Digital Media Zone, a digital media incubator and CDMN partner.

    Using SoapBox, site visitors can offer, gather and share ideas, which can be voted on by other users using a simple click of a thumbs up or thumbs down icon

    Via: MediaCaster ( Aug 29, 2012

     August 29, 2012
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    TinyCo, a San Francisco based developer and operator of popular mobile games such as Tiny Monsters, Tiny Village, and Tiny Zoo Friends, announced today that it is opening a new studio in Vancouver to expand its development of mobile games.

    Backed by an $18 million investment led by venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, TinyCo is looking to broaden its team of high-caliber engineers, designers, and artists who are passionate about gaming on mobile platforms.

    "We are thrilled to be bringing TinyCo to Canada," says Laurie Deneschuk of TinyCo. "The wealth of top talent and strong community make Vancouver the perfect place for us to continue to grow.  We see a great opportunity to further cultivate our winning culture, infrastructure, and creative there.  It was an easy choice already, but it didn’t hurt that I originally hail from Saskatchewan."

    Founded in 2009, TinyCo was named one of Pocketgamer’s top 50 developers in 2012 and has been highlighted as one of the first game developers to understand how to be successful with freemium monetization models on Android. Despite its rapid growth, TinyCo keeps its startup mentality, where people have a direct impact on not just the products they are working on, but the way the company operates as a whole.

    If you're interested in working for Vancouver's newest game studio, check out their job opportunities on the Techvibes Job Board.

     August 13, 2012
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    Posted by  see more Posted by Knowlton Thomas on 2012-06-29 5:32:00 AM

    It's two weeks before nominations close for PwC's 2012 Vision to Reality awards program.

    The awards, which honour technology companies with outstanding vision and leadership, strategic direction, and innovation, include the prestigious Innovator of the Year title, which acknowledges the company that has best demonstrated the commercialization of a unique, game-changing technology solution.

    Last year, Burlington's EcoSynthetix won 2011 Innovator of the Year, while Ottawa's Protus won Exit of the Year after selling to j2 Global Communications for $213 million in December 2010. Runners up included Cavet Technologies, Calgary Scientific, and IntelliView Technologies.

    This year, a host of well qualified industry veterans will form a new independent panel of judges. Among them are Howard Gwin of Omers Ventures, Daniel Klass of Klass Capital, and Daniel Pratt of RBC Royal Bank.

    Public and private companies can both enter, so long as they are Canadian-controlled or headquartered in Canada. For a full list of details and to nominate a company, check out PwC's website.