Vancouver – Approximately 50 ladies and gents attended the Women In Games Vancouver  networking event which took place last evening in the Harbourview  Room at Steamworks Brew Pub. This event was held to introduce the group’s mandate, representatives and committees to members of the interactive industry, and many attendees signed up to participate in those committees.
It was great to see so many studios represented, including Fit Brains , Radical Entertainment , Hothead Games , Microsoft , Propaganda Games , Ubisoft Vancouver  and 80 Elements  to name but a few. Many thanks to event sponsors AnnexPro  and Ubisoft Vancouver  who provided nibblies and prizes. If you were unable to attend but would still like to get involved, please contact the WIGeh! group  through their web site.
Toronto – HotDocs  has launched the HotDocs Library , making hundreds of Canadian-made documentaries available to the viewing public. The Library is completely searchable, and there are also reference playlists which have been compiled by experts. The HotDocs Library is an excellent resource for students and researchers, and is free to use. The 2010 HotDocs Festival will be taking place from April 29 through May 9 in Toronto. The Festival will present over 170 films from more than 35 countries and welcome hundreds of visitors from around the globe. Festival passes  are available online, but the official selection will not be announced until March 23rd, which is also when advance show tickets will go on sale.
Montreal – Ubisoft  has confirmed that April 13th will be the release date for Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell: Conviction . For those not already familiar with this latest iteration of the Splinter Cell franchise, Sam Fisher finds himself doing battle from the outside after an investigation into his daughter’s death unwittingly leads him to discover he’s been betrayed by his prior agency, the Third Echelon. Now a renegade, Fisher finds himself in a race against time to thwart a deadly terrorist plot that threatens millions.
Uniting revolutionary gameplay enhancements with a high-octane, no-holds-barred storyline, Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Conviction arms you to the teeth with all the high-tech weaponry and lethal skills of an elite operative and invites you to enter a dangerous world where justice means making your own rules.
Vancouver – Mingleverse Laboratories  has won the award for Best “First Look” Company at the 13th Annual Canadian Financing Forum that took place in Vancouver on January 28th, 2010. The Financing Forum features presentations from the best and most promising private technology companies in Canada, with 30 technology companies competing for attention from over 70 top tier investors from across Canada and the United States. “We were pleased to have a strong group of Presenting Companies this year. They drew a lot of investor interest. The award winners were especially strong – a good sign for the future”, commented Dave Thomas, Financing Forum General Manager.
“We are all very pleased that the attendees at the Canadian Financing Forum Awards recognized Mingleverse as the top “First Look” Company for 2010”, said Ron Stevens, Co-Founder and CEO, “and with a small and dedicated team of just six people this award is a tremendous validation and morale boost for our tireless engineering efforts in developing the first 3D voice and visual immersive communications service. Over the last four months we have experienced fantastic growth in 164 different countries and this award further strengthens our goal to pioneer big changes in the communications industry by providing a fun, interactive service for everyone to connect 2 to 50 people instantly in 3D audio space”. 
Mingleverse’s recent growth has also won them a spot on the Rocket Builders “Emerging Rockets” list for 2010. Also named to the Rocket List for 2010 was Fit Brains , who is seeing a growing popularity in their game titles with several top-rated brain-training products. My personal favourite Fit Brains casual title is Treasure Hunt ,a cognitive memory game which sends you in search of hidden objects as well as take note of image changes and the order of appearance for other items. It gets quite challenging, but what I like most is that the title forces me to put other concerns out of my thoughts and concentrate solely on the task at hand.
Vancouver – The Masters of Digital Media  programme has confirmed that their next Student Portfolio event will be held at the Great Northern Way Campus on Thursday March 4, with an Industry Exclusive presentation taking place from 4-6pm, followed by a public presentation from 6-7pm. For those who work in the local digital media industry, please see the school’s event page  for information on how to register. Industry pre-registration cut-off is February 19. Pre-registration is not required for the public access part of the programme.