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During the Banff World Media Festival, the CMF, Telefilm and the CMPA released the new Eye On Canada brand to promote Canadian audiovisual content. Interactive Ontario has joined a number of other organizations as contributors to the project.
Numerous initiatives will be undertaken, such as a content library, set visits and event promotions here and abroad.
Hashtag your social media posts about Canadian interactive content with #eyeoncanada to join the discussion!
This summer CineFocus Canada's Green Heroes premieres Season 2 on TVO. With a new website and Green Heroes Academy App, Green Heroes aims to turn inspired viewers of the TV shows into passionate do-ers with fun missions and challenges and short shareable videos on the web. Users of the app receive points for environmentally friendly actions. Learn more at greenheroes.tv.[ read more » ]
With interest in crowdfuding continuing to grow, the Canada Media Fund has created a new online resource with information on crowdfuding that is specifically tailored to Canada. The site features a directory of crowdfunding platforms accessible to Canadians, legal and regulatory information, statistics, and best practices to help your campaign succeed. Head over to crowdfunding.cmf-fmc.ca to learn more.
We are sad to report the passing of longtime Interactive Ontario member Alan Sawyer. Alan was a great supporter of Interactive Ontario, offering his time and expertise to numerous advisory committees, in addition to producing our ICE 2007 conference.
Alan was a familiar face at many of our events and he will be greatly missed. We offer our sincerest condolences to his family and friends.
Visitation will be on Wednesday, June 12th, 2-4 p.m. and Thursday, June 13th, 6-8 p.m. at Giffen-Mack Funeral Home, 2570 Danforth Ave. (near Main St.). There will also be a Celebration of Life (followed by a reception) on Saturday, June 15th at 10:30 a.m., also at the Giffen-Mack Funeral Home.
Additional information is available here.
The Entertainment Software Association of Canada has released new findings from their comprehensive research into the Canadian video game industry. According to the research, conducted by Nordicity for ESAC, Canada’s 329 video game studios are a critical component of this country’s new digital economy generating over $2.3 billion in GDP for the Canadian economy in 2012. 16,500 men and women are working full time in Canada’s video game industry – up 5% from 2011.
Watch for the full report later this summer.
IO member marblemedia has reached a deal to acquire Distribution360, a distribution company that works with both traditional and emerging platforms.
Distribution 360 was co-founded by marblemedia and SEVEN24 Films in 2010. This new deal, expected to close later this year, brings the distributor fully under the marblemedia umbrella.
marblemedia develops, produces and distributes multiplatform content that includes This Is Daniel Cook, Skatoony and Dating Guy.
The MIGS Advisory Board is seeking submissions from top level professionals interested in speaking at the tenth edition of the event.
Please complete the online form before June 18th.
For the tenth annual edition, world-class professionals will take part in MIGS as part of a series of lectures on the six main disciplines of the game industry: arts, visual effects, audio, design, production and technology.
UK Trade & Investment has just launched their second annual Global Adventure Competition, with the aim of introducing innovative Canadian companies to the UK tech community.
4 winners will receive a bespoke business trip from Canada to the UK, including two days in the UK, mentoring, meetings with investors and tours of technology hubs.
The contest closes June 14th - visit www.ukti.gov.uk/competition to enter.
DHX Media has been selected to be part of an elite group of content partners to launch the first paid YouTube channels. DHX will offer three kids' channels as part of the subscription service, which features free two-week trials and a monthly subscription fee of $2.99 US.
DHX's channels will include beloved programming such as Inspector Gadget, Super Mario, The Doodlebops and The Busy World of Richard Scarry.
Sago Sago (formerly zinc Roe) has launched their first content since
being acquired by Toca Boca. In addition to a new (and adorable!) promotional video, Sago Sago has released the Sago Mini Sound Box, a music making app for kids.
IO member and mobile game development studio Big Blue Bubble has acquired The Ant Firm,
winners of the 2011 Venture London Business Competition. The Ant Firm
is Ontario’s leading independent Quality Assurance services facility for
the videogame and interactive entertainment industries.
Damir Slogar, CEO of Big Blue Bubble, says “The addition of The Ant Firm’s Quality Assurance services and experience is a strategic growth area for Big Blue Bubble to not only expand in development capacity, but meet our rising needs for our latest title, My Singing Monsters, and all future titles.”
Last month, Big Blue Bubble's award-winning My Singing Monsters was included on USA Today's list for "The  best free games every smartphone user should have."
Interactive Ontario President & CEO Donald Henderson was interviewed for an article in the Toronto Star about the Ontario Interactive Digital Media Tax Credit. Read the article to learn more about how you can take advantage of the credit and cut your expenses.
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IO member Game Pill's Shape Buster, initially created as a gift for President Mike Sorrenti's wife, was featured as Amazon's Free App of the Day on April 6th. Check out the game on Kindle Fire, Google Play and the Apple App Store.
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FITC Toronto 2013 kicks off this weekend! With more than 70 renowned digital creators from around the globe, FITC Toronto attendees will be given the opportunity to learn from some of the most influential names in the digital space. Covering everything from user experience to the awe-inspiring world of Film Holographic VFX, this three day festival will leave attendees stimulated and eager to create in new and innovative ways. There will also be ample opportunity to network at FITC’s one-of-a-kind parties and through chance encounters as the events unfold – meet your next boss, business partner or employee.
Interactive Ontario members receive a 20% discount on tickets - check your email for the details or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
With interactive digital media generating $1 billion in revenue and comprising one thousand companies in Ontario, it is vital that the next provincial budget includes financial support for initiatives designed to grow the industry. As part of the pre-budget consultation process Interactive Ontario (IO) has submitted comments to the Minister of Finance outlining recommendations.
“Interactive Ontario is eager to see the Government of Ontario maintain and enhance their record of success in the field of interactive media,” said Interactive Ontario President & CEO Donald Henderson. “Ontario is already a leader in this sector and with the right financial and policy supports, there is tremendous potential for increased growth.”
The strength of Ontario’s industry - which boasts products garnering worldwide acclaim and blockbuster sales - is thanks in part to carefully considered programs, tax credits and funding mechanisms. To allow Ontario’s interactive digital media sector to continue to thrive, the Government of Ontario must continue to support and enhance these initiatives.
Priorities identified by Interactive Ontario include:
Ontario Interactive Digital Media Tax Credit
IO President & CEO Donald Henderson appeared on the most recent
PROFIT BusinessCast podcast, discussing the ins and outs of
crowdfunding. Joining him was Ryan North, who
successfully raised $580,000 through a Kickstarter campaign. Listen here.
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After a successful expansion in 2012, TIFF Industry presents a robust week of TIFF Kids programming from April 16th to April 19th geared towards inspiring and engaging creators of children's content. TIFF Kids Industry 2013 has attracted a diverse group of content creators, filmmakers, producers, distributors, curators, educators and investors to speak as part of TIFF Industry's continuing professional development stream. Conference events include a Master Class on Inspiring the Global Child with Sesame Street, a Case Study on their opening night Canadian film The Legend of Sarila, and an Industry Dialogue on New Technologies & Creative Opportunities with speakers from Firefox Mozilla, Aesthetic, and DruMeBa. To learn more about their other exciting conference events and to register for an industry pass please visit http://tiff.net/industry.
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From video games and TV to toys and eBooks, there is an ever-increasing focus on interactivity and the interconnections between platforms in the kids’ media space. Interactive Ontario’s INplay conference will highlight new insights and opportunities in kids’ creative industries when it returns on May 15 & 16, 2013 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Now in its fourth year, the 2013 edition will take place in partnership with Canada 3.0, the national digital media conference presented by the Canadian Digital Media Network.
“Canada 3.0 and INplay are both centred on innovation and on the importance of the digital economy in Canada, so it seemed like a natural fit to bring the conferences together for a day. We’re pleased to be partnering with CDMN in order to bring greater programming and networking opportunities to delegates of both conferences,” said Interactive Ontario President & CEO Donald Henderson.
INplay delegates will have access to CDMN Canada 3.0 programming on May 15th, with the option to attend Canada 3.0 on May 14th at a reduced price. Canada 3.0 attendees will also have access to INplay speakers on May 15th, with the option to attend the second day of INplay at a reduced rate. Of particular interest to delegates from both conferences is the May 15th appearance of Lane Merrifield, co-founder of Club Penguin. He will deliver a keynote presentation on the creation and growth of Club Penguin, the opportunity that Disney saw in opening a studio in Kelowna, thanks to digital production enabling the brand to utilize Canadian animation and programming expertise while also capitalizing on the business benefits of a studio outside L.A. or New York. Sharing a true Canadian success story, Merrifield will speak to the confluence of benefits to Canadian digital media production and how to realize them in other fields.
“Today’s children will be the innovators of tomorrow, so it’s critical that we target the imaginations of young minds for digital media engagement,” said Kevin Tuer, CDMN Managing Director. “The convergence of INplay and CDMN Canada 3.0 provides a great opportunity to broaden the experience and collaboration at both these important conferences and advance objectives for Canada’s digital economy.”
Previous INplay conferences have featured speakers from academia, government and industry, including Mozilla, Schell Games, CBC, Monster Factory, Children’s Technology Review, TVO, BBC, Toca Boca, Fuel Youth Engagement, Sesame Workshop, Pancake Mountain and many more.
Visit www.cdmn.ca/canada30 to learn more about CDMN Canada 3.0 2013. Visit www.inplayconf.com to learn more about INplay.
On April 3, 2013, the 3rd annual Level Up Showcase will kick off at the Design Exchange, featuring studentdeveloped games and over 600 attendees from Ontario's diverse video games community. The event is cohosted and organized by faculty from the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT), University of Toronto and OCAD University.
Level Up turns the spotlight on the most talented students in design, animation and computer science programs from colleges and universities across Ontario. This event has become synonymous with up-and-coming creative talent, offering an exclusive opportunity for industry professionals and the public to get their hands on playable games from graduating students.
This year’s free event will see a recordbreaking 50 team projects across 12 different institutions: the University of Toronto, OCAD U, UOIT, Centennial College, Humber College, Seneca College, Sheridan College, George Brown College, TriOS College, Ryerson University, York University and Brock University. Level Up attendees can expect games that use the most current technology and gaming platforms, from PCs to mobile devices, and more.
"We're proud to highlight the dynamic graduates entering our evolving games industry," said Steve Engels, Level Up coorganizer. “It’s the only time and place where prospective employers can see our budding talent firsthand under one roof.”
There will also be a competition and a judging panel of industry sponsors including NBC Universal, Microsoft, Big Viking Games, XMG Studio, Zynga and Sennheiser with awards from 3D printing company Anubis presented to the winning teams.
For more information, visit www.levelupshowcase.com and follow @levelupTO for updates. Attendees can RSVP through Facebook or Eventbrite.
In comments filed with the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC),
Interactive Ontario (IO) has urged the OSC to quickly approve proposed
prospectus exemptions for crowdfunding capital.
IO supports these exemptions as a means to increasing the available pool of capital for Ontario digital media companies. Moving quickly would put the OSC’s exemption in effect before the US JOBS Act, triggering a competitive boost to Ontario companies. By contrast, coming in much later than the US could be a material competitive disadvantage.
The interactive digital media industry in Ontario employs approximately 16,000 people; two-thirds of those are working at companies with ten or fewer employees. Though Ontario has a supportive environment for interactive digital media that includes incentives such as the Ontario Interactive Digital Media Tax Credit, access to capital is an ongoing challenge for Ontario’s small-and-medium enterprises in this field. Crowdfunding and capital were two of the most-discussed topics at IO’s recent conference dedicated to the business of games, GameON: Finance.
“Canadian digital entertainment products are highly export-oriented and many Canadian properties have seen immense success outside of Canada in recent years,” said Interactive Ontario President & CEO Donald Henderson. “Giving companies the opportunity to access funding from investors across the globe will expand the capital pool and allow them to flourish even further.”
IO considers the proposed terms and conditions in OSC’s crowdfunding exemption Concept Idea to be sound. In particular, Interactive Ontario is supportive of OSC proposals to:
Interactive Ontario recently partnered with a trade delegation from Edinburgh to host an Interact Networking Mixer. While they were here, Creative Edinburgh and Caledonian Mercury sat down with Interactive Ontario President & CEO Donald Henderson for a discussion.
IO member company zinc Roe has been acquired by Toca Boca, the world’s leading digital toy app developer. The deal includes the award-winning Tickle Tap apps series and the company’s 10-person development team. zinc Roe Founder Jason Krogh will serve as the CEO of the newly named studio, Sago Sago. Congratulations![ read more » ]
Kidobi, an Interactive Ontario member company which uses technology to create tailor-made video playlists based on a child's age, interests and skills, was the winner in the Best Streaming Video Platform in the Preschool category at the iKids Awards last month. Kidobi was the only Canadian company recognized at the event.
Visit us on Tumblr for links, images and videos highlighting innovative interactive projects by our members, event speakers and anyone else doing inspiring work![ read more » ]