Vol 2, #45, Nov. 9, 2010
Email Link Print Page
November 9, 2010


Santa embraces social media, geotracking
Barrett Xplore taking high-speed to rural regions
LCBO debuts live online bidding on vintages
Trillium scholarships attract top tech talent
Edmonton agency celebrates 40 under 40 nods
Open Text and Oracle expand partnership
Red Urban appoints new president
Rapp Canada hires Barb Williams R.G.D. as ACD
Voting opens for 2010 Front Line Awards

Santa embraces social media, geotracking

The Santa Claus Parade is gearing up for its 106th year in Toronto and this time Santa is spreading the fun through social media and a revamped look.

The 2010 Parade boasts a newly-designed website by Dashboard which invites people to reminisce and share their favourite Parade memories online at www.thesantaclausparade.com. Torontonians are further encouraged to share these memories via Twitter by using the hashtag #TOSanta.

The Santa Claus Parade has also launched a new iPhone application called SantaParade. The new app has two features: Ring out! and Track Him! which can be downloaded from the iPhone app store for free.

RingOut! is a set of jingle bells that when shaken will ring loud and proud for everyone in the Parade to hear. TrackHim! follows Santa’s location on the route, so you’ll know where he is at all times. Top of Page

Barrett Xplore taking high-speed to rural regions

Barrett Xplore Inc., provider of Xplornet Internet services, has been awarded funding to deploy rural broadband infrastructure to regions in Ontario.  This announcement comes as part of Broadband Canada: Connecting Rural Canadians. This program is a federal incentive program to bring high-speed Internet to Canadians in unserved or underserved regions.

The announcement, made by the Honourable Tony Clement, Minister of Industry, on November 6th, follows on previous announcements that awarded significant percentages of overall funding to Barrett Xplore Inc.Barrett Xplore Inc. has been awarded the funding for 3903 households in Grey, Bruce, Huron, and Perth Counties.  These households represent approximately 40% of the Ontario households awarded in this round of funding.

"This award speaks to the strength of our business model," said John Maduri, CEO of Barrett Xplore Inc. "We are committed to executing on a solid plan for growth in Ontario with an approach that will involve the latest 4G technologies and which will ensure full coverage in the regions we serve.  This Federal award will complement, accelerate and expand existing programs and builds in these regions.  That means better infrastructure and a major win for rural consumers.

"Barrett Xplore Inc's success in these regions reflects the strength of the relationships that Barrett has built with local communities and government leaders, as well as meeting rigorous Broadband Canada criteria, understanding local markets, and a proven ability to execute on-time and on-budget. Top of Page

LCBO introduces live online bidding on vintages

The LCBO and Waddington's Auctioneers are inviting wine enthusiasts from around the world to bid live over the internet during this year's Vintages Finest and Rarest Wines Auction being held November 12-14 at Waddington's Galleries in Toronto.

"The addition of Internet bidding puts this annual auction on par with the world's best," according to Barry O'Brien, LCBO Corporate Affairs Director and a chief organizer of the auction.

The Internet bidding is facilitated through web provider Artfact.com. Collectors can also bid in person at Waddington's Galleries at 111 Bathurst Street, in writing or by phone, fax or email. 

More than 2,300 lots of rare wines valued at $3.1 million  will be up for bid at this year's auction. The selection will feature many first-time offerings, including top Burgundy vintages, such as Domaine Romanée-Conti, in 1,500 mL bottles, and highly-prized vintage Bordeaux in their original wood cases. There are also rare pre-World War II vintages and classic Champagnes. Top of Page

Trillium scholarships attract top tech talent

A new scholarship program designed to attract top talent to Ontario will pay dividends for the Waterloo Region tech sector. The Province has recently announced the Ontario Trillium Scholarships, which are designed to attract international talent to Ontario universities.

"Access to talent is the number one challenge facing tech companies in Waterloo Region, and across Ontario," said Iain Klugman, president and CEO of Communitech, Waterloo Region's technology organization.  "As regions around the world ramp up efforts to compete for workers in the knowledge economy, it is essential for government and industry to coordinate our efforts and ensure that tech companies have the talent necessary to compete globally."

The Province's announcement integrates with recent federal initiatives that make it easier for foreign students to stay in   Canada  once their studies are completed. These measures, along with the investments of private companies to fund scholarships at universities, help companies to attract the best and brightest minds to Ontario's tech sector.

Communitech works with more than 700 tech companies in Waterloo Region, and operates a series of initiatives to address the need for top-quality talent, including tech talent recruitment events, and the online jobs portal waterlootechjobs.com.

Tech company growth in Waterloo Region has burgeoned over the past two years, with a 21 per cent increase in the number of tech companies and annual revenues that now top   $18 billion. Waterloo Region has more than 30,000 professionals working in its tech industry, and more than 2,000 job openings at local firms.  Top of Page

Edmonton agency celebrates 40 under 40 nods

McRobbie Optamedia is celebrating the success of two of its key employees. Chris Bolivar, Managing Director, and Michael Brechtel, Director of Strategy, have both been featured in Avenue Magazine's annual Top 40 Under 40 list.

Bolivar was featured, because at a young age, he created one of the largest, fastest-growing and youthful advertising agencies in Edmonton. Brechtel was recognized primarily as a community-builder and advocate for Edmonton's future through groups he has co-founded, like interVivos, artsScene Edmonton, TEDxEdmonton and Reboot Alberta.

"It's an honour to be mentioned with this outstanding group of people," says Bolivar, "Having both of us featured on the same list is something we are very proud of." "When it comes down to it," adds Brechtel, "it's just really exciting to see how many young people in Edmonton are taking leadership, and driving the evolution of our community."

Bolivar and Brechtel are both University of Alberta alumni, and Brechtel is also an alumni of Grant MacEwan University. Top of Page

Open Text and Oracle expand partnership

To help organizations meet expanding requirements for archiving, eDiscovery and regulatory compliance, Open Text will embed Oracle technology to deliver a new set of enterprise content solutions.

Open Text is obtaining a technology and distribution license specifically for the Oracle Universal Online Archive Content Management SDK. As part of this agreement, Open Text can embed Oracle technology in its products, allowing the company to fully utilize the capabilities of Oracle Database 11g  as an enterprise content repository.  This will also permit rapid uptake of Oracle Fusion Middleware 11g  and other Oracle platform capabilities. The solutions can help Open Text customers capture large volumes of emails, documents, images, and application data and manage their entire lifecycle in an integrated environment.

By leveraging Oracle technology Open Text can deliver a set of highly scalable and secure archiving and risk mitigation solutions.  The agreement will also help Open Text customers leverage their existing investment in Oracle technology by integrating into existing Oracle infrastructure deployments.

"With today's ever-changing regulatory landscape and growing litigation pressures, organizations can't afford to treat archiving and risk mitigation as afterthoughts," said   Rich Buchheim, Vice President of Open Text's Oracle Solutions Group. "A strategic priority for us is to expand our information governance capabilities across more systems to help customers manage more of their content, which for many organizations is exploding out of control. With this deal, our customers will be able to benefit from our experience in providing solutions that help them manage their content, and reduce the costs and risks of compliance and litigation." Top of Page

Red Urban appoints new president

Christina Yu, Executive Creative Director, Red Urban is pleased to announce the appointment of Steve Carli as President of Red Urban in Canada.

“Steve’s experience leading agencies during their key growth phases, coupled with his expertise in strategic planning and new business development make him the ideal partner to help lead and grow Red Urban in Canada,” says Yu.

As President of the Canadian operation, Carli will partner with Christina Yu to manage the Toronto office, oversee the development of Red Urban in Canada and provide strategic leadership to senior-level clients, including Volkswagen Canada, Fortnight Lingerie, Ontario’s Own and Red Canoe.

Carli has over 20 years experience working for agencies in both Canada and the United States. Previously, he managed the U.S. outpost of Zig (now Crispin Porter + Bogusky Canada) and oversaw new business development and provided strategic and business consulting to clients.

“Returning to Canada to help build an entrepreneurial communications firm like Red Urban and working with Christina is an amazing opportunity I could not pass up,” says Carli. “We share the same philosophy that strategy and research are nothing without craft and storytelling. The true measure of an idea is the willingness of its audience to share and spread the idea on their own.” Top of Page

Rapp Canada hires Barb Williams R.G.D. as ACD

Rapp Canada, DDB Canada's integrated database and customer relationship-marketing (CMR) group, is pleased to announce that Barb Williams R.G.D. has returned to the   Toronto office as associate creative director.

Williams will partner with ML Lalonde to lead and build the Rapp Canada's creative team, strengthening their reputation as relentless pursuers of winning ideas.

She will spearhead the creative for a number of clients, including Scotiabank, Plan   Canada, Sick Kids Foundation and Canadian Blood Services.  Her strength in developing creative business solutions for a diverse group of clients comes from her lessons learned during 18 years in the industry.

"Barb's creativity and strong strategic thinking inspires clients and colleagues alike," says   Amanda Mitchell, managing director, Rapp Canada.  "She and ML are a proven team and together they will help build our clients' brands through insight driven, targeted communication."  

Williams worked as an art director at Communicaide when they merged with Rapp Collins in 1997.  After three years in Dubai, she returned to work for Rapp Collins in 2000, working with Lalonde and the group for over seven years before leaving to work for DDB partner agency, MVNP, in Hawaii.  At the time of her departure she held the position of associate creative director and now she's glad to be back, guiding the group's creative direction with her strategic vision and international experience.

"I operate from the perspective that every project, regardless of size should be treated as a one to one conversation," says Williams.  "There are so many opportunities to get people talking and engaged with our brands it can sometimes be too broad of a stroke.  The best ideas come from having the sharpest focus." Top of Page

Voting opens for 2010 Front Line Awards

The editors of Game Developer magazine, a sister publication to Gamasutra and the leading worldwide magazine for game creators, have named the finalists for the 2010 Front Line Awards, its 13th annual evaluation of the year's best game-making tools -- adding that voting on winners is now open.

Each year, Game Developer looks at the powerful lineup of new products and new releases of favorite tools, from networking tools to middleware and engines, and selects the top five products in each category.

Front Line Award finalists represent the most innovative, user-friendly, and useful products from behind the scenes of the world's best video games -- whether they be for AAA console titles, smartphone games or social network games.

The diversity of 2010 FLA finalists reflects the continuing expansion and shift of the video game industry into new areas. They span key open-source tools such as Box2D through smartphone and tablet networking add-ons like OpenFeint and Plus+, to vital larger-scale game tools such as 3ds Max and Scaleform GFx. Top of Page