29th April 2011

National Gallery of Canada Unveils New Site

National Gallery of CanadaThe National Gallery of Canada (NGC), home to the most important collections of historical and contemporary Canadian art, including the extensive collection of the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography, has launched a completely restructured website. Using a powerful new search engine that makes its collections, exhibitions, events and touring programs much more easily accessible to Canadians and international visitors alike, making a visit to the NGC’s website both more informative and more fun.

The NGC’s five previous sites – the corporate website, the Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography, CyberMuse, the NGC Foundation and Shop NGC – are now integrated into one at gallery.ca. In excess of 30,000 pages of content-rich information in both official languages have become simple to navigate and easy to use. Social media and a new mobile website are other key components that enhance public accessibility to the Gallery.

“This new site gives our audiences a “one-stop-shop” for everything that is happening at the Gallery,” said NGC Director and CEO Marc Mayer. “Now, an extraordinary wealth of information on the Gallery’s programs and collections are just a few mouse-clicks away.”

Simple and elegant in design, the Gallery’s new site is loaded with exciting features that will appeal to experts and neophytes alike:

Navigation is intuitive. A series of simplified tabs and section signs guides visitors seamlessly through the site. New headings that invite them to Visit, See, Learn, Shop, Give and Join are just the start of unlocking a treasure trove of information.  A new collections’ application allows visitors to search by artist, by category and by century. Art aficionados and researchers will appreciate the enhanced Library and Research functions.

The Visit section of the site offers comprehensive information on everything that the public needs to know before coming to the Gallery. This ranges from admission fees to hours of operation, from accessibility to amenities and much more besides. The calendar function is one of the site’s great features. It gives visitors a complete and up-to-the-minute guide to the Gallery’s exhibitions and programs. A new i-Calendar function allows them to save events they would like to attend directly into their computers or smart-phones.

Retooled for the social media age, the new corporate site features a blog written by staff from all parts of the Gallery which is designed to not only keep people informed but also to let them peek behind the scenes. Public comments can now be posted. The new site enables users to share pages with friends and family and tell the Gallery if they “like” what they see.

The National Gallery of Canada boasts one of the largest On Tour exhibition programs in the world and showcases over 20 exhibitions in 11 cities or more across Canada in any given year. Also, as a result of recently-formed partnerships with museums in Edmonton and Toronto – the National Gallery of Canada@the Art Gallery of Alberta and the National Gallery of Canada@the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art – the NGC also showcases works from its collection on a longer-term basis. Through the new website, the public can now easily find out which exhibition is on view at their nearest geographic location.

In addition to accepting credit cards, a new PayPal service makes it easier to purchase items online, whether it is for merchandise at the Bookstore or a Gallery membership. Tickets for special exhibitions are available through ShopNGC which links directly to Ticketmaster.

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29th April 2011

Youth Music Movement Takes To The Road

Northern VoiceReminder: Get your tickets now for Canada’s oldest social media conference, Northern Voice because there are fewer than 100 tickets left. Northern Voice takes place at the UBC Life Sciences building this May 13th and 14th. Tickets are only $90.00 for two days’ worth of sessions on the very latest in social media trends and how-to presentations.

Youth Music MovementEvery successful musician remembers the long and hard road travelled on their journey to get noticed. This summer, a group of four, passionate, fresh-out-of-school cultural aficionados from Québec are about to give 11 budding young musicians their first big break.

Last night, Youth Music Movement (YMM) and members of Montréal’s renowned pop punk band Simple Plan announced the launch of a cross-country tour designed to discover Canada’s brightest up-and-coming musical stars.

From May 1 to July 31, the Youth Music Movement Powered by Pepsi tour will make 11 stops across the nation, where the YMM team – armed with a mobile recording and film studio – will produce a sound recording and a video for free, featuring young Canadian musicians on the cusp of making it big.

One song from each band will be featured on a CD that will be released at the end of the tour highlighting the diversity of musical talent across Canada. A portion of the proceeds from the compilation will go to the Simple Plan Foundation, an organization that encourages the practice of music to help young kids find a passion in life.

Canadians can follow the movement on Twitter (using the #YMMove hashtag and the @youth_music handle) and on Facebook. While on the road, Youth Music Movement will also produce 12Tracks.tv, 12 weekly webisodes that document their adventure across the country and feature the music videos and songs of each act they record. Read the rest of this entry »

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29th April 2011

VIATeC Announces 2011 Technology Award Finalists

2011 VIATeC Technology AwardsThe 2011 VIATeC Technology Award Finalists were announced last night at a gala ceremony interspersed with cheers for the Canucks as they won the first game in their second round series against the Predators. VIATeC also announced a new branding campaign in Victoria’s Times Colonist newspaper which will see the capitol region using the moniker “Tectoria.”

The VIATeC Technology Awards will be held on June 2, 2011 at the Victoria Conference Centre. You are invited to help celebrate the achievements of technology companies responsible for making Greater Victoria the fastest growing technology region in British Columbia. Now in its tenth year, the awards provide well deserved recognition for some of Victoria’s most innovative firms and a great opportunity for the local tech community to gather and celebrate each other’s successes.viatec

“We look forward to another exciting night of recognition and networking. We are proud that so many look forward to this event and honoured to play a role in highlighting the people, companies and innovations that make technology Victoria’s largest revenue producing industry,” explains Dan Gunn, Executive Director of VIATeC. “We’ve received a record number of nominations this year and we are thankful to everyone who takes the time to nominate and get involved.”

The finalists for the 2011 VIATeC Technology Awards are:

Technology Company of the Year:

-Backstage
-Contech Enterprises Inc.
-GeoDigital International Inc.
-HP Advanced Solutions Inc.
-Terapeak
-UNIT4 Business Software

Emerging Technology Company of the Year:

-Bet Smart Media
-Checkfront Inc.
-EvoShift Communications Inc.
-Reef Safe Fish Inc.
-Wifarer Inc.

Product of the Year:

-Contech Enterprises Inc.
-northStudio.com
-ParetoLogic
-ShipConstructor Software Inc.
-Terapeak

Executive of the Year:

-Alex Mendelev, CEO, Backstage
-Darren Larkins, CEO, ShipConstructor Software Inc.
-Scott Phillips, CEO Starfish Medical Inc.
-Phillip Stanger, CEO, Wifarer Inc.

Innovative Excellence:

-cebas Visual Technology Inc.
-NetroMedia Streaming
-RaceRocks 3D
-UNIT4 Business software
-Wifarer Inc.

Environmental Excellence:

-Carmanah Technologies Corporation
-Hydra Cat Performance Systems

Online Strategy of the Year:

-AdviceScene Enterprises Inc.
-Atomic Crayon
-Business Performance Solutions Inc.
-bWEST Communications Inc.

Member’s Choice for Service Provider of the Year:

-Adamek Financial
-Farris, Vaughan, Wills & Murphy LLP
-LL Brougham Inc.

Employee/Team of the Year:

-GeoDigital International Production, Project Management & Innovation Team
-Denis Morais, ShipConstructor Software Inc.
-Terapeak – Development Team

Employer of the Year:

-Backstage
-Edoc Systems Group Ltd.
-Reliable Controls Corporation
-RevenueWire

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28th April 2011

Youth Mental Health Discussion To Be Held On Facebook

kinark child and family servicesPSA: Kinark Child and Family Services – in conjunction with Children’s Mental Health Week May 1 to 8, 2011 – is pleased to announce they will be hosting Ask the Experts, a special Facebook event designed to increase conversation about child and youth mental health.

“It is important to talk openly about child and youth mental health to build awareness, reduce stigma and support our children, youth and their families,” says Peter Moore, Executive Director. “Through the direct access that Facebook offers, it is our hope that providing the public with an opportunity to connect immediately with our experts will encourage discussion and shed some light on children’s mental health issues.”

From Monday to Thursday during Children’s Mental Health Week, a different expert will lead a one-hour, question and answer-style discussion on the wall of the Kinark Child and Family Services Facebook Page. The four experts will be ready to answer questions on their specific topics from anyone and everyone who is signed on to Facebook and “likes” the Kinark page.

Who:

Executive Director, Peter Moore; Director of Clinical Services
Dr. Rod Evans; Executive Director at Parents for Children’s Mental Health
Sarah Cannon; and former Kinark youth, Jessica Vallentyne Clements

Topics By Date:

May 2 – Stigma – 12 – 1 p.m.
May 3 – Teen Suicide – 12 – 1 p.m.
May 4 – Child and Youth Mental Health, Parent Perspective – 12 – 1 p.m.
May 5 – Child and Youth Mental Health, Youth Perspective – 9 – 10 p.m.

Where:

The Wall, Kinark Child and Family Services Facebook Page.

Why:

To increase conversation with the intention of eliminating the stigma surrounding child and youth mental health, to promote awareness for Children’s Mental Health Week, and to reach parents and youth in a unique and innovative way through social media.

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28th April 2011

BlackBerry Partners Fund Developer Challenge Is Online For 2011

blackberryBlackBerry Partners Fund™ has launched the fourth annual BlackBerry Partners Fund Developer Challenge. This year, developers of BlackBerry® smartphone and BlackBerry PlayBook™ tablet applications can enter their applications in a series of competitions to win US$3 million in prizes. Winners will be selected on a regional basis across four global regions – North America, Latin America, Europe/Middle East/Africa and Asia Pacific.

This year’s Challenge includes the following three competitions:

  • Best Adobe Flash®/AIR app
  • Most Innovative BlackBerry WebWorks™ app on the BlackBerry PlayBook and BlackBerry 6
  • Most Addictive social app using the BBM™ Social Platform

“The BlackBerry Partners Fund Developer Challenge was created three years ago to recognize, reward and celebrate innovation within the BlackBerry developer community. While the structure of the Challenge has evolved each year, our focus remains the same – to uncover the best apps around the globe that people cannot live without,” said Kevin Talbot, Co-managing Partner at BlackBerry Partners Fund. “For this year’s Challenge, we’re also very excited to be inviting app submissions for the BlackBerry PlayBook tablet.”

Both newly developed and existing applications are eligible to compete in this year’s BlackBerry Partners Fund Developer Challenge. To participate in the Challenge, application forms for each competition must be completed and submitted within the following dates:

  • Best Flash/AIR Mobile App for BlackBerry PlayBook can be submitted starting today, April 28, 2011 through August 12, 2011
  • Most Innovative BlackBerry WebWorks app on the BlackBerry PlayBook and BlackBerry 6 can be submitted from May 9, 2011 through August 26, 2011
  • Most Addictive social app using the BBM Social Platform can be submitted later this summer; check the Challenge website for submission dates

New this year in addition to the Challenge, the BlackBerry Partners Fund will be honouring applications in six categories to receive a Recognition Award. The recipients, which will be recognized regionally, will be selected in the following categories:

  • Best B2C application developed for a customer by an Agency or ISV
  • Most useful enterprise application
  • Best website conversion using the BlackBerry WebWorks platform
  • Most creative implementation of Super App characteristics
  • Top Performers – Most innovative use of Payment Service and/or Advertising Service
  • Academic – Most compelling application created by student or faculty

All winners of the 2011 BlackBerry Partners Fund Developer Challenge will be recognized at DEVCON, the 2011 BlackBerry Developer Conference which takes place October 18th through 20th in San Francisco. Judges will evaluate all applications submitted based on their quality, innovation, creativity and compelling user experience.

This year’s prizing is valued at $3 million, almost double the value of prizes awarded last year. The first 100 eligible applications submitted to each of the three competitions in the Challenge will receive prize packages. In addition, prizes will be awarded to applications selected as the first and second runners-up and winner in each competition in each region.

Prizes and awards include placement on the BlackBerry App World™ featured carousel for one week; BlackBerry smartphones and tablets; membership in the BlackBerry Alliance Program; BlackBerry accessory gift certificates; and more.

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28th April 2011

Communitech Hub Set For Expansion

communitechThe Communitech Hub, a digital media innovation centre that officially opened for business in October 2010, is already expanding to accommodate demand for commercialization support in the digital media sector. The Hub, which currently occupies 30,000 square feet at Kitchener’s downtown Tannery building, will be expanding to occupy another 12,000 square feet of space on the first floor of the Tannery by early 2012.

“The success of The Communitech Hub has exceeded our expectations and demonstrates the potential of the digital media sector in Ontario which holds great promise for job creation and opportunities going forward,” said Glen Murray, Ontario Minister of Research and Innovation.

The expansion will accommodate more Peer2Peer program space, expanded strategic partner space, and more room for established companies.

“It’s rewarding for everyone involved to see how quickly The Hub has become a venue for nurturing digital media entrepreneurship,” said Kevin Tuer, VP Digital Media at Communitech, Waterloo Region’s technology organization. “We’ve learned a great deal about the support needs in the digital media ecosystem, and are filling more gaps and expanding our programs to meet those needs.”

The Hub currently houses a mix of tenants that include:

  • 28 start-up companies – and growing
  • 5 leading tech multi-nationals
  • 14 innovation partners, including legal, advertising and accounting firms
  • 3 post-secondary institutions: Conestoga College, Wilfrid Laurier University and the University of Waterloo
  • provincial and federal government partners.

The attraction for digital media entrepreneurs is a supportive venue where the infrastructure which companies need to succeed is already in place, Tuer said. That includes everything from the ‘bricks and mortar’ office space enabling entrepreneurs to move from their basements and garages to a suitable office location; to mentoring from executives who have ‘been there, done that’ to collaborating with established partner companies that include RIM, OpenText, Desire2Learn and Christie Digital Systems Canada Inc.

Strategic partner platforms at the Hub enable research, commercialization, and job creation in mobile computing, digital asset management and healthcare IT. Federal and provincial contributions and the City of Kitchener also made the creation of The Hub possible, Tuer said.

“The appeal of The Hub is that companies can focus more on development of their projects, market development and revenue generation than on operational logistics,” said Tuer. “An integral part of our success has been dialogue with those companies; tailoring the space and our services to provide the greatest impact for them. With the new space will come new programs and services as we continue that dialogue.”

The concept and venue for The Hub were announced in October, 2009; renovations to The Tannery, occupancy and the grand opening took place less than a year later; and the expansion comes less than five months after the official opening. The Hub recently celebrated its first ‘graduation’ of a resident startup company – ClevrU — through the Accelerator Program in partnership with the Waterloo Accelerator Centre.

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28th April 2011

Visimonde and The NHL Launch Rinksters

NashClash Image Borrowed off FacebookImportant Play-off Note: The Twitter hashtag for Series Two Canucks vs Predators is #nashclash and don’t forget to follow the Canucks on Twitter for the latest play-off updates: @VanCanucks because now, we are all Canucks. Even you Easterners. Note: I am truly sorry that the Habs have not advanced to Round Two – I really was hoping to see them oust Boston.

visimondeEdmonton-based Visimonde Inc. and The National Hockey League have announced the official launch of Rinksters – a new hockey-themed virtual world aimed at fans ages 6-12.  Rinksters is an online community for kids that promotes a healthy lifestyle, social well-being, and a lifelong pursuit of fun.  Through free and subscription-based features, kids who visit Rinksters.com can safely and securely play hockey-themed games, collect virtual currency, chat with friends, customize their own avatar and more.

Not only are more children using the internet, but they spending more time online and gaming:

  • The number of internet users in the U.S. ages 11 and under will climb from 20.2 million in 2011 to 25.7 million by 2015 (eMarketer, Jan. 2011)
  • Children globally are spending more time online, averagingrinksters more than 1.6 hours per day and 11.4 hours per week, which is up 10 percent from 2009 (Norton Online Family Report, June 2010)
  • 8 out of the ten top websites used among children aged 2-11 are gaming sites (eMarketer, Jan. 2011)

Partnering with Visimonde to develop a safe, compelling and fun virtual world experience enables the NHL to capture its share of the marketplace while cultivating the next generation of hockey fans.

“The explosion of virtual games and Internet usage among kids has created a significant opportunity for the NHL to create new relationships with a younger generation of hockey fans.” said Perry Cooper, the NHL’s senior vice president of digital media.  “Rinskters will provide these new fans with an unprecedented, fun way to connect with the game and its players, safely and securely.”

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28th April 2011

Coca Cola Spreading Happiness Across Canada

coca colaEveryone knows it’s better to give than to receive, and on May 7th, Coca-Cola will celebrate its 125th anniversary by hosting free live concerts in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal.   Recording artists These Kids Wear Crowns, Kardinal Offishall, and Duke Squad will perform in their respective cities in concerts which will also stream live on iCoke.ca.

Leading up to the tri-city musical celebrations, special Coca-Cola Happiness Trucks will deliver moments of happiness to unsuspecting Canadians in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal. No matter where they are, Canadians can follow the Happiness Trucks and find out where happiness will strike next on Twitter @CocaCola_CA (at press time this account was protected, I’m hoping it is unlocked soon, because protecting a marketing account really doesn’t make sense).

“Sharing happiness is at the core of Coca-Cola and has been for 125 years” said Bobby Brittain, Vice President, Marketing with Coca-Cola Canada. “With these surprise deliveries and free concerts, we aim to bring a little more happiness through these random acts and musical celebrations.”

This isn’t the first time that random acts of happiness have struck.  As part of its 125th global anniversary campaign, Coca-Cola (@CocaCola on Twitter) has celebrated happiness around the world, most recently in Brazil and the Philippines with surprise visits from the now infamous Happiness Truck

The concert performances will take place the evening of May 7th at the following locations:

  • Vancouver: These Kids Wear Crowns will perform at Robson Square at 3:00 p.m. PST
  • Toronto: Kardinal Offishall will perform at Yonge and Dundas Square at 6:00 p.m. EST
  • Montréal: Duke Squad will perform at Stationnement Centre-Ville, located at the corner of Boulevard de Maisonneuve Ouest/Rue de la Montagne at 6:00 p.m. EST
  • Digital Live Stream: iCoke.ca/125 and iCoke.ca/125ans

Coca-Cola is thrilled to be celebrating its 125th with some of Canada’s most exciting performers.  Vancouverites will be entertained by Chilliwack’s own These Kids Wear Crowns who were first introduced to fans through the popular MuchMusic series, DISBAND.  The six member band is known for their energetic live show and recently completed a cross Canada tour with Fefe Dobson in support of their debut release Jumpstart.  In Toronto, Canada’s hip-hop ambassador Kardinal Offishall will take the stage at Yonge and Dundas Square. Best known for his distinctive reggae and dancehall-influenced style of hip-hop, in 2007, his hit Dangerous peaked at #5 on the Billboard Hot 100. In 2010 he sang in the Young Artists for Haiti’s version of Wavin’ Flag to raise money for disaster relief.  In Montréal, fans will be delighted by the pop-rock style of The Duke Squad who hail from Québec.  The band’s second album Infamous was launched in March 2010.  Both videos from that record went to #1 On Musique plus and the band’s tv show has been aired on Vrak tv.

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28th April 2011

Fisher Price Canada Celebrates Milestones With Contest and Panel

fisher price canadaFisher-Price Canada has launched Fisher Price Play, a site where moms and gift-givers can easily find the right toy that matches the recipients’ developmental milestone. Also on the site is a Fisher-Price Play Panel, comprised of eight Canadian moms from various locales across Canada who  test Fisher-Price toys with their little ones and will blog and tweet about their experiences. Canadians can “meet the moms” virtually on the site by reading their bios and reviewing their posts. Fisher-Price encourages all Canadian moms to join in on the conversation and register on-line to receive play-time tips as well as special offers from Fisher-Price Canada.

“Being a Fisher-Price Canada Mom Ambassador was an easy fit for me, given Fisher-Price is a brand I have used with my kids for many years,” said Tammi, Fisher-Price Mom Ambassador and mother of three young children from Red Deer, Alberta. “I look forward to sharing the experiences me and my kids have with the products to other moms around the country.”

With Mother’s Day just around the corner, Fisher-Price wants to celebrate moms and their tots with its new Celebrating Milestones contest. Canadian moms and caregivers are invited to register information about themselves and their children on fisherpriceplay.ca for a chance to win a “Celebrating Milestones” prize pack of Fisher-Price toys valued at $200, plus a spa gift card valued at $200 for mom to get pampered for all of her efforts. One prize pack will be given away each month for a total of six months. Winners will be drawn on the last day of each month, starting on May 31 until October 31, 2011. Winners will be contacted directly by email, and may be asked to share a special milestone story at that time.

“As a leader in the toy category, Fisher-Price recognizes what moms want for their babies and toddlers when it comes to playtime and helping them grow and develop through play,” said Riza Javellana, mother of two young children and Manager – Marketing for Fisher-Price. “This year, with the Celebrating Milestones contest, Fisher-Price not only recognizes what moms want for their children when it comes to play, but rewards the special milestone moments moms and their little ones share and discover together that contribute to their child’s overall growth and development.”

To help launch the milestone program across the country, Fisher-Price has developed special PlayCentral kiosks that will be set up during special events and in malls across Canada from March to November 2011 that give mall-goers access to a fun-filled space where children can play with the latest and greatest Fisher-Price toys while moms can receive information on the latest products through catalogues and by using the Fisher-Price touch-screen Toy Selectors.

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28th April 2011

ProtoGalaxy Now On Impulse

Deadline Extension: The final closing date for the Canada Media Fund English POV Program has been changed from May 9th to May 20th 2011.
Final Deadline: Online Registration for Canada 3.0 Forum closes today.
Live Tweets: Are you like me and couldn’t attend Merging Media? Follow the live tweets at #mergingmedia and #transmedia.

source studioSource Studio has released their space shooter game ProtoGalaxy on Impulse for the PC, giving you arcade action, smart puzzles, space exploration and a built-in level editor for only $9.99.  In ProtoGalaxy, up to four players can team up, configure their ship and upgrade their weapons in order to defend Earth from powerful alien invaders. Throughout the game players will brave fierce battles, solve challenging puzzles and explore the far reaches of the galaxy in order to end the attacks and rebuild a home for the survivors.

You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video

“ProtoGalaxy is an intense space themed dungeon crawler,” said Alex Brown, company founder. “The game includes a built in editor which allows players to easily create entirely new levels. Players can share their creations online and download other people’s levels for endless game play,” Brown added.

Game features:

·         Level editor to create new galaxies
·         Single and multi-player mode (up to 4 players)
·         Array of weapon choice
·         Ship customization with large selection of parts
·         Use physics to solve problems
·         Includes free DLC: Proto Defense

Game publisher and distributor G4Box Inc. has announced the results of the donation drive for victims of the G4Boxdisaster in Japan hosted by its popular online military shooter, Cross Fire. G4Box and Cross Fire held the month-long “Cross Fire For Japan” charity drive from March 24th to April 24th and donated 10% of all sales of the game’s Panda and Japan Name Card Items to the Red Cross Japan Disaster Relief Fund. The Cross Fire player community showed their love and support for Japan by sporting Panda items and Japan Flag Name cards in-game and collectively helped Cross Fire and G4Box to donate more than $5,000 to the Red Cross Japan Disaster Relief Fund.Crossfire Humans

“The people affected by the tragedy in Japan are still facing so many tribulations and our community really stepped up to support them and donate to the cause during their time of need,” said Jason Yang, CEO of G4Box Inc. “We are lucky to have a very loyal and caring Cross Fire community who gladly supported this very important cause.”

Cross Fire is a free online military first-person shooter for Windows PCs. Players assume the role of either a Black List or Global Risk operative and compete in various modes of play including Team Death Match, the Mutant infested Mutation Mode, attack and defend Escape Mode, and the exclusive stealth-action Ghost Mode. Cross Fire includes a military ranking system, in-game friends lists, an integrated clan system, deep character customization options and social media integration via the Cross Fire website. Cross Fire is part of the Z8Games platform of free-to-play games.

gamerkraftAnother Toronto publisher, Game Bridger Entertainment, has revealed two more playable character classes in its upcoming Free-to-play MMORPG Brawler, Aida Arenas. In these dual gameplay trailers, the Gladiator and the Priestess, after a brief warm-up, venture into Aida’s seedy underbelly to fight some baddies and round up some treasure.

When it comes to swords, the Gladiator has no problem wielding a blade almost twice his size. The bigger the better is his motto; just remember to hold on tight with both hands.  Overall, the Gladiator is a well-rounded class that can hold his own against monsters and arena PvPers alike.

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With her faithful pet Cocoli and a library of magical knowledge at her disposal, the Priestess comes equipped with a spell for just about any situation. On a story quest or in the competitive PvP arena, the Priestess is an essential part of any complete party.

You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video

Create a hero, explore dungeons, fight monsters,compete  with friends and discover hidden treasure in AIDA Arenas, the new MMORPG Brawler from GamerKraft. Combining elements of the classic beat ’em up arcade genre with the character progression and social features of modern MMORPGs – Aida Arenas offers an action-packed game-play experience unlike any you’ve seen before.

Women Presidents OrganizationsWell this makes me feel somewhat better, even though only one Canadian company made the Top Fifty list and most of these women started their businesses years ago. They aren’t currently trying to mash a whole slew of ideas into one cohesive business unit while trying to extricate oneself from an unrelated family business.  The Women Presidents’ Organization (WPO), in partnership with American Express OPEN, the small business division of American Express, has released the fourth ranking of the 50 Fastest Growing Women-Owned/led companies in North America. The Top 50 generated a combined $4.1 billion in 2010 revenues (mean of $82.7 million) and collectively employed 24,650 in 2010 (projected average for 2011 is 557 employees).

The lone Canadian company on this US-dominated list is SIMAC Canada, Inc., an Ontario-based company lead by President and CEO Gloria Bajkumar. SIMAC is a company that co-ordinates independent medical assessments.

“The Top 50 list includes a group of trailblazing women entrepreneurs who represent a variety of industries ranging from staffing to electronic systems providers, language services to security,” said Marsha Firestone, Ph. D., president and founder of the WPO. “We are pleased to partner with American Express OPEN to honor these powerful women and recognize their triumphs.”

In order to help the Top 50 continue to seize even more business opportunities, each of the honored business owners will be offered a Business Platinum Card(based on approvals) from American Express OPEN. The card will include 100,000 Membership Rewards® points, which may be used on capital investments including: the funding of employee recognition programs, business travel or the purchase of office equipment and supplies.

“Based on American Express OPEN’s ‘State of Women-Owned Businesses’ report, there are an estimated 8.1 million women-owned businesses in the United States, generating nearly $1.3 trillion in revenues and employing nearly 7.7 million people,” said Nancy Hood, Vice President at American Express OPEN. “We at OPEN are honored to support this elite group of women who diversify the full spectrum of industries and have become leaders within the women business community.”

All eligible companies were ranked according to a sales growth formula that combines percentage and absolute growth. From this list, the 50 Fastest were selected. To be qualified for the ranking, businesses are required to be privately held, woman-owned/led companies in the U.S. or Canada and have reached revenue of at least $500,000 by the first week of 2006 and $2 million in 2010.

More about the 2011 Top 50:

  • Founded the Business: 90%
  • Current CEO is actively involved in the day-to-day operations: 100%
  • Average years in business: 16
  • Average age: 47
  • Average Number of Projected 2011 Employees: 557

All 50 companies will be honoured tonight at a special event hosted by American Express OPEN at the 2011 WPO Annual Conference taking place here in Vancouver. The awards reception will take place from 6:30PM to 9:30PM at the Fairmont Vancouver Hotel.

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