14th December 2008

Game Design Expo Industry Day Sold Out

Game Design Expo Vancouver – For the second year in a row, tickets to Industry Speaker Day (February 7, 2009) at Game Design Expo 2009 have sold out!

Missed out on tickets? For aspiring game designers and anyone interested in game design and development, Game Design Expo also features a free Open House on Sunday, February 8, 2009 at Vancouver Film School’s acclaimed Game Design programme.

Attendees will hear about the world-renowned one-year Game Design program, meet faculty, students, and alumni, play student games, and experience sample classes covering subjects like Level Design and Storytelling.

The day also features a special schedule of industry presentations – featuring speakers from LucasArts, Big Fish Games, and Vicarious Visions (Activision) – and an exclusive Women in Games panel, where you can be the first to hear the details of a $30,000 Women in Games Scholarship.

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14th December 2008

Tale of Despereaux Is A Delightful Treat

Vancouver The Tale of Despereaux starred in an special advance premiere yesterday afternoon at the VanCity Theatre. Hosted by our ACM SIGGRAPH Vancouver chapter with support from Universal Studios, Framestore and the Vancouver International Film Centre, the premiere was also a fundraiser for the Metro Vancouver Food Banks – and only the second public showing of Despereaux in the world.

The Tale of Despereaux is the story of a seafaring rat and a non-conformist young mouse. While Roscuro the rat (Dustin Hoffman) learns lessons about cause, effect, actions and consequences, our young hero, Despereaux (Matthew Broderick) lives his life in a Quixotic way, basing his actions on chivalry, courage, and honour is a constant source of concern among the other mice. He doesn’t even let his banishment into the dark dungeons below Mouseworld divert him from quest to save the Princess Pea (Emma Watson), who is living in a prison of her own. This tiny mouse with the heart of a knight sets out to right wrongs and save the Kingdom of Dor from an eternity of gloom, reuniting family and changing lives forever.
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10th December 2008

WIGI Vancouver Officially Launched

Vancouver – The brand new Women In Games International Vancouver Chapter was officially launched last evening at a networking mingler hosted by Wired Woman at Subeez Cafe. Well over one hundred members of the local digital media industry were in attendance to welcome the new Chapter, witness a little guy vs. gal Rock Band play, network and win a few prizes.

The Women In Games International Vancouver Chapter came into being after a similar event was held in September, when strong local interest was expressed in regards to having our own WIGI Chapter. The new local Chapter, led by Krissie Franco and Maria Ruiz-Isaac is still in the organizing stages and new members are welcome to join. In the very near future, an Advisory Board, Board of Directors and Steering Committee will be formed. There will be ample opportunity for community input as solid goals and directives are investigated.

WIGI Vancouver will be striving towards adding value to the gaming community through mentorships, scholarships, industry awareness programmes and of course networking minglers. WIGI will be an active participant in local events such as VFS’ Game Design Expo and GDC Canada, and an online community willbe launched in the near future. WIGI Vancouver currently has a group page on Facebook, which interested parties are welcome to join.

Sponsors for the WIGI Vancouver Launch included: Big Fish Games, Radical Entertainment, Blue Castle Games, Vancouver Film School, Deep Fried Entertainment, 7 Group Digital Media, Hydrogen Whiskey, Relic Entertainment, New Media BC, EA Canada, Captain Morgan, Ketel One Vodka and Subeez Cafe – my apologies to any sponsors I may have missed. Many thanks to all of you for sponsoring, and for everyone else who helped to make this launch event a great night.

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9th December 2008

Bloggers face controversy at “Best of 604 Awards”

Vancouver bloggers “shocked” over last-minute nomination of Currents

VANCOUVER – Bloggers in the run up to a major vote in the tech mecca of Canada’s west coast are up in arms over a surprise nomination for the Best of 604 Awards.

A late-in-the-campaign nomination for Vancouver-based political commentator Jonathon Narvey under the Best Politics Blog category for his blog, Currents, has outraged some voters. They suggest Narvey’s blog should be disqualified on a technicality.

“It’s not really a political blog at all,” says social media consultant Dave Olson, author of the Choogle On With Uncle Weed blog. “Sure, he’s been on top of the crisis in Ottawa, and his posts on the local election were not entirely lame. But half the stuff Narvey writes about isn’t even politics. He wrote about his favorite iPhone song on Saturday! Sure, he’s a nice guy, but he doesn’t have the right experience.”
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9th December 2008

MDM’s First Tournament of Hearts Charity Food Drive A Success

A note from MDM’s Dennis Chenard – On Wednesday December 3rd the Masters of Digital Media programme held our first ever ‘Tournament of Hearts charity food drive event’…We had around 80 participants in the evening complete with a free poker tournament, pizza, pop & popcorn as well as ping-pong, big screen Wii and foosball.

Students, staff and players from companies like Threewave Software, ACRONYM, Bardel, Radical Entertainment, PowerUp Studios, Deep Fried Entertainment, Shift Control Media, Piranha, Fit Brains, Microsoft Game Studios, and many others spent time hanging out in ‘The Hangar’ of the Centre for Digital Media in an evening of casual games and networking.

With generous item donations from our friends at Annex Pro, EA, Microsoft, Radical, Hothead Games and Big Fish Games we raised $631 in cash (between our silent auction table and other donations) and pile of can goods and other food items for the Vancouver Food Bank!

Sidenotes:

1. The ‘Tournament of Hearts’ is actually a Curling Tournament… We borrowed the ‘Tournament of Hearts’ name as we located free old curling trophies and it seemed like the heart reference fit well with ‘giving back’ and poker!
2. The bounty prizes for knocking out our ‘Wanted players’ included a sheriff’s badge (Sheriff is a common term in poker) (The prizes were Wild West play sets purchased from the Salvation Army)
3. The ‘Big Fish’ prizes used at the final table also have a special poker reference as ‘FISH’ are players that are known to like to see a lot of cards while trying to catch a good hand

Photos courtesy of the MDM Tournament – you can see more event photos by clicking here

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8th December 2008

ACM SIGGRAPH Vancouver Hosts Food Bank Fundraiser

The Vancouver chapter of ACM SIGGRAPH is pleased to present a special preview showing of The Tale of Despereaux this Saturday, December 13 (2:00 pm) at the VanCity Theatre on Seymour Street. The show begins at All tickets are $10.50 each for members and non-members alike, with all proceeds to benefit the Vancouver Food Bank. Tickets can be purchased online through the SIGGRAPH Vancouver site.

About The Movie:

Framestore Feature Animation, a new UK-based animation house, has just completed their first feature length film, an adaptation of Kate DiCamillo’s children’s book, The Tale of Despereaux. With a fairy tale palette and images full of whimsy and wonder, directors Sam Fell and Robert Stevenhagen, together with the talented artists at Framestore Feature Animation have brought the characters and the story magically to life. Follow Despereaux, Roscuro and Mig as they struggle to overcome their mousiness to rescue their world and their Princess from the gloom that has besieged them.

The all-star line-up of actors voicing the characters includes; Matthew Broderick, Dustin Hoffman, Kevin Kline, Robbie Coltrane, Ciaran Hinds, Christopher Lloyd, William H. Macy, Stanley Tucci, Tracey Ullman, Emma Watson and Sigourney Weaver as the story’s narrator.

Universal Studios and Framestore Feature Animation have kindly donated a print of the film, and our friends at the Vancouver International Film Centre have generously provided the space for this pre-screening event. All profits from the screening will be donated to the Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society, so come and see a great film for a great cause!

The Tale of Despereaux opens in theatres everywhere December 19 2008.

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29th November 2008

Social Media Conference Puts Out A Call For Speakers

The 2009 Northern Voice Personal Blogging & Social Media Conference has put out a call for speakers. The upcoming conference, which is being held at the Forestry Sciences Centre at UBC, February 20 & 21 2009, covers a wide variety of topics. According to their web site, “Previous years have had plenty of geekery mixed with panels on how blogging interacts with family life, education, travel, photography, community building and establishing professional profiles. Speakers range from the big names at the top of the Technorati rankings to first-time presenters with a passion to share.”

Interested speakers need to apply by December 19, 2008 by completing the conference’s application form. The organizers note that “We’re not necessarily looking for vast public speaking or punditry experience — we just want people who are experienced and passionate about social media and blogging.” Tickets for the conference have not yet gone on sale, but as per previous years the Conference will be affordable, fun and family-friendly.

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29th November 2008

Fundraising Through Games

Lumby, BC – The JW Inglis Elementary School Parent Advisory Committee and Starlit Citadel, an online board games store are working together to hold a fundraising evening of board games on Wednesday, December 3, 2008 at JW Inglis Elementary School.

“This is a brand new fundraising venture for the school and one that we are very excited about. We love the idea of selling games as a fundraiser as it is not only an educational past-time, but it also encourages family and social interaction,” said Jennifer Greenwood, Vice-President of the JW Inglis Elementary School Parent Advisory Committee. “We look forward to seeing the children and their family members at this combined games night and bake sale.”

“Introducing board games to children encourages critical thinking and math skills at an early age. Furthermore, it is an environment that emphasizes interaction and competition which an entire family can participate in,” said CEO Tao Wong of Starlit Citadel.
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28th November 2008

BCIC To Host Canadian Financing Forum

Vancouver – The BC Innovation Council (BCIC) is sponsoring the 12th Canadian Financing Forum, featuring 30 presenting companies and Western Canada’s best investor audience. The forum will take place on January 29, 2009 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Vancouver with a focus on Information Technology and Cleantech & Advanced Technology. Up to 30 Companies will present at the Canadian Financing Forum. Past presenters have raised over $1 Billion and 45% of the Presenting Companies attending the Financing Forum have successfully raised funds over the last 8 years (2001-2008). Meet investors from Canada’s most active venture funds and US investors that invest in Canadian companies. Establish and maintain the relationships you need for the future.

The Canadian Financing Forum matches North American Corporate and VC investors with serious entrepreneurs looking to build world-class technology companies. The Forum is one of the most respected resources for North American investors who seek to recognize, gain exposure to, and facilitate partnerships with the best and most promising Technology entrepreneurs and companies that are based in Canada.

Confirmed investors who will be present at the Forum thus far include: Blackberry Partners Fund, BC Advantage Fund, BDC Venture Capital Group, Cascadia Capital LLC, Celtic House Venture Partners, Yaletown Venture Partners, RBC Capital Partners and more. Those companies who are interested in presenting at the Forum need to apply in advance; all applications will be considered as they are received.

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22nd November 2008

Portfolio Day At Emily Carr University

Emily Carr University’s Granville Island Campus will be participating in National Portfolio Day on Saturday, December 6 from noon until 4pm. National Portfolio Days help promote the artistic development of young artists by bringing together experienced representatives to review work and offer feedback. While this free event does not require pre-registration, it is recommended that students arrive early with their portfolios. Portfolio Day is open to the general public, however informational sessions and tours of the campus will not be taking place on this day.

The National Portfolio Day Association (NPDA) was created in 1978, solely for the organization and planning of National Portfolio Days. The Association consists of representatives from regionally accredited colleges and universities, which are members of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design. The NPDA is the only organization of its kind, and its membership represents the highest standard of visual arts education available in the United States and Canada.

Please see the National Portfolio Day’s event information page for full details.

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