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  • 23 Mar 2021 by DigiBC

    The HR Tech Group will be running a three intensive Diversity & Inclusion leadership training programs between April and July of this year. These are free to attend and have been designed specifically for tech industry leaders with the learning outcomes and goals being to:
     

    • provide skills to build a workplace where everyone has access and equal opportunity to succeed
    • expand awareness around diversity and inclusion in the workplace and create more productive and inclusive teams
    • provide skills to develop inclusive and diverse workplaces
    • drive positive change and overall success through knowledge, understanding and action within and outside of the workplace
       

    Inclusive Organizations – Executive Training

    This half day training program is for executive-level leaders who are seeking to expand their awareness of diversity and inclusion in the workplace and understand how their involvement can impact the positive change and overall success of their organization.

    • Session Dates: April 20, May 18, June 8
    • REGISTER HERE by completing a short survey

     


    Inclusive Leadership Program (facilitated by Refinery Leadership)

    This 3-day training program is for leaders who are seeking to expand their awareness of diversity and inclusion in the workplace and help build a workplace where everyone has access and equal opportunity to succeed.
     

    • Session Dates – Cohort 3
    • Full day sessions: April 29, May 28 and June 28
    • Intersession calls: May 11 and June 14 (1-hr calls between 9-4:30pm, exact time TBC)
    • REGISTER HERE

       
    • Session Dates – Cohort 4
    • Full day sessions: May 4, June 7 and July 13
    • Intersession calls: May 18 and June 23 (1-hr calls between 9-4:30pm, exact time TBC)
    • REGISTER HERE

     


    Inclusive Change Agent Program (facilitated by Refinery Leadership)

    This 3-day training program is for HR and organizational leaders who want to develop and foster inclusive and diverse workplaces.
     

    • Session Dates – Cohort 3
    • Full day sessions: April 30, May 27 and June 29
    • Intersession calls: May 10 and June 15 (1-hr calls between 9-4:30pm, exact time TBC)
    • REGISTER HERE
       

    ­

    • Session Dates – Cohort 4
    • Full day sessions: May 6, June 8, July 14
    • Intersession calls: May 20 and June 24 (1-hr calls between 9-4:30pm, exact time TBC)
    •  REGISTER HERE

     

  • 21 Mar 2021 by DigiBC


    We’d like to congratulate all the BC studios who received nominations for this year’s Canadian Game Awards, and we look forward to watching the broadcast on April 9 when they announce the winners.

    The full list of nominees can be viewed here: http://cgameawards.ca/nominees
    The show airs on April 9 @ 5:00PM PST on www.twitch.tv/squad


    Hardspace: Shipbreaker (Blackbird Interactive)
    - Best Game Design
    - Best Score/Soundtrack
    - Best Audio Design
    - Best PC Game
    - Game of the Year
    - Fans Choice Award


    Gear Tactics (The Coalition)
    - Best Game Design
    - Studio of the Year


    Dauntless (Phoenix Labs)
    - Best Audio Design
    - Studio of the  Year


    Archer: Danger Phone (East Side Games & Truly Social Games)
    - Best Mobile Game


    MARVEL Realm of Champions (Kabam)
    - Best Mobile Game


    Industries of Titans (Brace Yourself Games)
    - Best PC Game

     

     


    About the Canadian Game Awards

    As the third largest developer of video games in the world, the Canadian Game Awards celebrates Canada’s spot on the world stage as a leader in interactive entertainment. This has been designed to be “by the industry and for the industry” with an interest in engaging public and fan participation.
    2020 was a tremendous year in the gaming space. While the industry adapted to the difficulties of developing games in quarantine, gaming communities around the world embraced indie gems and big budget AAA titles with the same excitement. 2020 has been anything but uneventful for gamers, and this is just as true in Canada as it is in the rest of the world. The Canadian Game Awards are founded and produced by Northern Arena Productions. The producers are joined by a National Advisory Board of Developers and leaders in the Canadian digital entertainment industry.

  • 24 Feb 2021 by DigiBC

    Doberman Pictures is best described as a storyteller studio that specializes in pre-production for animated series doing boards, animatics and design. The company is located in Vancouver and was initially founded in 2018 by Jim Corbett, Craig Roberts, Dallas Parker with Rob Simmons joining shortly after. Each of them brings 20+ years of experience in the animation business having produced, directed and financed many shows over the span of their careers. Jim has a long history with CG production, while Craig and Dallas come at things from the creative side of the business, originally as traditional animators but also having done every job from script to screen. Rob has helped grow the Vancouver animation sector over the years and is now Doberman’s business head. We recently caught up with Doberman to see what’s been happening at the studio, what’s on the horizon and how they have been adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic.

     

    Jim Corbett, Craig Roberts, Dallas Parker

     


    What projects are you currently working on? 

    We’re currently working on a yet-to-be-announced CG series with our valued partners at DreamWorks Animation. 

     

    What shows have you previously worked on? Which of these are you most proud of? 

    Really tough question, who’s your favourite child? Collectively we’ve worked on a LOT of shows. Jim might say Reboot, as it holds such a place in people's hearts and means so much to the history of animation in Vancouver and for CG in general. Craig and Dallas had a lot of fun working on the series The Mr. Peabody and Sherman Show and The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle (which are also the shows that helped us build our relationship with DreamWorks). But the show we are all most proud of is Rhyme Time Town as it was Doberman’s first series completed as a studio and we’re really proud of the way it turned out. 

     

     

    How would you describe your company culture?

    Doberman strives to keep our team sizes small. By focusing on smaller pieces of the production pie, we’re able to achieve more intimate team sizes and it’s really worked well so far. Animation can be challenging and having those bonds between crew mates is an inspiration to strive for better. We have 'DoberScrums' twice weekly where within the course of about 20 minutes everyone can talk about what they’re doing that day and we can all have a couple of laughs along the way.  

     

    What would you say sets Doberman apart from other studios?

    Being very much an artist run studio where our focus is squarely on the craft of animation. We want to continue to nurture our talented crew in order to create better and better content, while always moving towards being the studio that is synonymous with quality and innovation. We really just want to do great work and have fun doing it.

     

    Has the studio won any awards or received any accolades?

    As a studio, no awards yet - but we’re young, the awards are coming! A testament to the quality of work that we do is the ongoing relationship we’ve built with DreamWorks though. Over the last seven years we’ve worked exclusively with them, completing five series of varying scopes of work. Since Doberman started, we’ve also worked with the DreamWorks development team on a dozen different television properties from design to boards to animation to all of the above!

     

    Gabby's Dollhouse (DreamWorks Animation Television)


    Are there any exciting facts about Doberman we may not know about?

    We have an amazing coffee machine that nobody knows how to use and we built all of our own desks from plywood and 2x4s.

     

    Are you currently hiring? If so, what are the open positions? 

    WE ARE hiring! We’re a growing studio and are always looking to establish connections with talent who want a relationship with a studio that’s a bit more cozy. Right now we’re looking for an Orthographics Artist and details for that be found here - dobermanpictures.ca/jobs

     

    Are there any updates you would like to share about how the studio has been adapting to WFH and working through the COVID-19 pandemic?

    Like our peers in the animation sector, we rapidly adapted to a studio dominated by a WFH reality, and we’ve been impressed with the tenacity and resilience of our crew. They’ve been, in a word... remarkable! We’ve learned a lot about the enduring benefits of working remotely but have also learned to cherish the studio environment as it’s impossible to replace the collaboration digitally. We aspire to take the best of both situations when ‘normal’ is normal again.

     

  • 23 Feb 2021 by DigiBC

    VIFF is now accepting narrative-driven VR and AR submissions for the International VIFF Immersed Competition


    The Vancouver International Film Festival is inviting immersive storytellers from around the world to submit their narrative-driven VR and AR content to the International VIFF Immersed Competition. The VIFF Immersed Competition rewards creative achievements in commercially distributable VR and AR storytelling from live-action, documentary and animation. Competition finalists will be showcased at the VIFF Immersed Exhibition – a celebration of the best in immersive storytelling from Canada and around the world, taking place across several online XR platforms during VIFF 2021, September 30 – October 10.

    In 2020, the VIFF Immersed Exhibition was hosted on six channels — making it the most widely accessible festival platform for story-driven XR content. 31 works were featured across the Immersed Exhibition and Volumetric Market, including three world premieres, seven North American premieres, and two Canadian premieres in the exhibition. Revisit the VIFF Immersed 2020 Exhibition, here.

     

    CLICK FOR MORE INFO

     

    VIFF Immersed Submission Categories

    • Virtual Reality – Cinematic Live Action
      Narrative-led VR experiences created from the live-action capture of human participants using camera or volumetric methods that exemplify works of narrative fiction.
    • Virtual Reality – Animation
      Narrative-led VR animation experiences created using original crafted artwork to embody the characters, setting and objects of its story.
    • Virtual Reality – Documentary
      Immersive VR stories created to document and explore an aspect of the real world.
    • Augmented Reality - Live Action / Animation / Documentary
      This category is designed to showcase narrative AR experiences. Content may be interactive and include fiction, documentary or animation.
    • Virtual & Augmented Reality – Curated BC Showcase
      A showcase of curated VR and AR works emerging from the creative nexus that is British Columbia.

    Eligibility
    Entries to the VIFF Immersed Competition must be narrative (story-driven) and able to be distributed to consumers through one or more commercially available platforms. Should you have any questions about your project, please email immersed.submissions@viff.org

    Click here to read the complete eligibility rules and regulations
    Click  here for submission FAQs

     

    CLICK HERE TO SUBMIT


    Submission Deadlines

    Early Deadline: April 23, 2021
    Regular Deadline: May 28, 2021
    Late Deadline: June 11, 2021

     

     

  • 17 Feb 2021 by DigiBC

    This year's NewImages Festival will be held from June 9-13 (in Paris and online) and they currently have a call for XR projects (completed and in development). Submissions are being accepted until March 22 for any type of work (film, game, installation, performance, etc) that explores new forms of narration through immersive technologies.
     

     
    International XR Competition

    Have you completed an XR project between 2020 and May 2021? Submit it to the XR Competition! Compete for one of three prizes and showcase your project to XR professionals and members of the general public in Paris. A virtual exhibition presenting the competition works will also be co-organized with Tribeca and Cannes XR, offering a unique international component to the selected experiences.
    An international jury made up of renowned artistic personalities will award the following prizes: Golden Mask (€6,000), Special Jury Prize – VR (€3,000)  & Special Jury Prize – AR (€3,000)

     

    XR COMPETITION REGULATIONS

    APPLICATION FORM 


    XR Financing Market

    Are you looking for co-producers, distributors or financiers for a project that’s in development? Apply to the XR Financing Market! Ideal for presenting your projects to some of the most innovative and influential leaders in the XR industry. Don’t miss the opportunity to meet the key international decision makers and find the right partners.

     

    FINANCING MARKET REGULATIONS

     APPLICATION FORM

     

    Feel free to contact the festival team with any further questions. They are also happy to discuss your projects in more detail with you.

    Festival / Competition / Residency:
    Karine >> karine.lagrange@forumdesimages.fr
    Rebecca >> rebecca.gallon@forumdesimages.fr
    Alizee >> alizee.breant@forumdesimages.fr 


    XR Financing Market:
    Elie >> elie.levasseur@forumdesimages.fr
    Ayrton  >> ayrton.sakot@forumdesimages.fr

     


    About NewImages:
    NewImages Festival is a pioneer event for professionals and the general public that is dedicated to virtual worlds. Hosted by the Forum des Images with the support of Paris City Hall (France), the five-day event takes place in iconic locations in the heart of Paris and introduces XR artworks, performances, concerts, exclusive shows and an international competition. The 2019 edition gathered together more than 11,000 people and some 50+ immersive works. In 2020, NewImages was one of the few events to be held online and onsite.

     

  • 11 Feb 2021 by DigiBC

    Whether you’re a startup seeking capital or an investor looking for new deals, Venture Summit Virtual Connect West is an event you won't want to miss. Taking place from March 16-18, the conference will feature venture panels, startup workshops, one-on-one online networking, and presentations by more than 100 top innovators and keynote speakers.

     
    Are you planning to attend?

    Take advantage of the 20% discount we've arranged on the current ticket prices. Register using the code DIGIBCVIP 
     

    Click here to register

    *Input code, select ticket type & click 'Order Now' button
    *Discounted price will then show up on next page

     


    Call for Top Innovators
    Get Noticed > Get Funded > Grow Faster 

    A select group of more than 100 Top Innovators will be chosen to present their breakthrough investment opportunities to an exclusive audience of venture capitalists, corporate investors, private investors, investment bankers, and strategic partners.

    Apply to Present / Nominate a Company

    For more information or to be considered for one of the Top Innovator slots, click here.

    Seed Pitchfest

    If you are a seed stage company seeking angel funding of less than $1M (and have raised less than $300,000), click here to apply.

     

     

  • 10 Feb 2021 by DigiBC

    VMF Winter Arts Festival brings art to life on the streets of Vancouver! Blurring the line between the virtual and physical worlds, the festival will transform public space across Vancouver’s core into an interactive open-air gallery featuring Augmented Reality (AR) art. Download the VMF mobile app to find and explore 20+ AR locations safely with your core bubble. Presented by Vancouver Mural Festival and the Downtown Vancouver BIA. Check out vanmuralfest.ca and @vanmuralfest for details.

    Discover AR art by IM4 Media Lab curated artists: Chrystal Sparrow, Casey Koyczan, Kayla Simpson (BBiskwew), Zachary George, Cease Wyss and Tracey Kim Bonneau! Be sure to tune in to IM4's upcoming webinar featuring all IM4 curated artists on February 24th @ 7:00PM PST.
     


    HOW TO EXPERIENCE VMF WINTER ARTS (February12-28): 

    • Find the AR locations: (1) Download the VMF mobile app (App Store/Google Play), or (2) Download the digital map from vanmuralfest.ca 
    • Scan the QR codes (on signs at the AR sites) via the camera on your smartphone. Select Instagram or Facebook to activate the filter. 
    • Share your photo/video on social media with the hashtag #VMFWinterArts (automatically enter to win prizes)
    • Learn more about VMF/art/artists: (1) Visit vanmuralfest.ca, (2) Follow @vanmuralfest on Instagram and Facebook, and (3) Download the (free) VMF mobile app
    • Participate in a free VPL-hosted online Discussions or Workshop (details on our website soon)
    • Full FAQ  
       

    ABOUT VMF:
    Vancouver Mural Festival is the world class evolution of a grassroots initiative to transform the way art is experienced in Vancouver. We create experiences that connect art and people in public space. Since 2016, VMF has…

    • Produced over 250 murals
    • Featured 80% local artists
    • Highlighted 42% female-identifying artists and 47% marginalized groups including BIPOC and LGBTQ+
    • Produced 45 Indigenous artist murals

    Vancouver Mural Festival and the VMF Winter Arts are produced by Create Vancouver Society, a registered non-profit dedicated to artistic and cultural development in the Lower Mainland. 

     

  • 03 Feb 2021 by DigiBC

    Creative industries in Canada and Mexico have been exposed to unprecedented challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The industry has had to transform itself, looking for new stakeholders with whom to collaborate to design effective and sustainable responses. As such, the Canadian Embassy in Mexico and MIMEC (Monterrey Interactive Media & Entertainment Cluster) would cordially invite you to participate in this business event where you can have meetings with Mexican companies and educational institutions in the creative sector. This would be ideal for those who are:
     

    • Looking to offer services to Mexican companies
    • Looking to offer study programs to Mexican educational institutions
    • Wanting information on what is happening in international markets
    • Looking for a Mexican supplier 

     

    Event Details:

    • Taking place virtually on March 26, 2021 @ 7AM – 1PM PST
    • Will be held in English and is free of charge

     

    Registration Info:

    • Limited to one representative per company
    • Deadline to register is February 12, 2021
    • After registering, you will receive more information about the participating Mexican companies and educational institutions, as well as details for creating your company profile on the B2B platform

     

    Registration Link

     

     


     

  • 28 Jan 2021 by DigiBC

    I’m very grateful for the warm reception I have received from the industry, our board and members after being named DigiBC's new Executive Director on January 4. Since assuming the role of Interim ED in October 2020, I've had the opportunity to meet with the provincial government and our member companies over the last few months, sharing what DigiBC is working on and the many accomplishments of our world-class membership. I’m now focused on DigiBC’s strategic plan and have been meeting with many of you virtually to hear how you’re doing and what your priorities are for 2021. 


    We’re currently wrapping up the Creative Technology SLMP Benchmark Study, in partnership with ICTC, for the provincial government which has involved many post-secondary institutions in BC and a number of our member companies. Once we find out from the province when the study will be released publicly, we will be happy to talk about the recommendations. We’re also working on some new member benefits and we may poll you in the next few months to gauge interest in some of these potential opportunities.


    If you’d like to connect or talk about your company and provide input into our strategic planning, please contact me at loc@digibc.org. And of course, if you’re not a member and are considering joining then please get in touch!

     

    Loc Dao
    Executive Director

     

     

     

  • 22 Jan 2021 by DigiBC

    You may be eligible to deduct home office expenses (work-space-in-the-home expenses, office supplies, and certain phone expenses) if you worked from home in 2020 due to COVID-19. Utilize CRA’s home office calculator to determine if you require a T2200S form.

     

    The Canada Revenue Agency has introduced a temporary simplified process for employees to claim a deduction for home office expenses while working from home due to COVID-19. For the 2020 taxation year, employees will have two options to choose from if/when claiming home office expenses as long as all eligibility criteria are met. This amount is claimed on your personal income tax return and could reduce the amount of your income tax liability.
     

    Option 1: Temporary Flat Rate Method 

    • Applies to eligible employees working from home in 2020 due to Covid-19. 
    • Individuals can claim $2.00 for each day worked from home up to a maximum of $400 annually (200 working days) per individual. Days off do not count.
    • Multiple people working from the same home can each make a claim
    • This method can only be used for the 2020 tax year
    • You do not need to: calculate the size of your workspace, keep supporting documents or get Form T2200S (Declaration of Conditions of Employment) from your employer
    • You cannot claim any other employment expenses (line 22900) if you are using the flat rate method

     

    Option 2: Detailed Method

    • Applies to eligible employees working from home in 2020 due to Covid-19 and eligible employees required to work from home
    • Individuals can claim actual amounts paid with supporting documents & calculation of workspace
    • Must have a completed Form T2200S/T2200 from your employer
    • Deduction amount may vary dependent on your residence situation (rent vs. own)

     

    To determine which is the best method for you, please visit the CRA’s online Home Office Expenses calculator to estimate a detailed work from home expense claim. You may find the flat rate method provides a greater deduction. If you wish to opt for Option 2, your employer should provide a T2200S form upon request. (Please note this form only validates the condition of employment requiring you to work from home because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It does not provide the value of your eligible deductions, as that is a personal tax matter. In the event of a CRA audit, you must be prepared to present valid proof (e.g. receipts, floorplans, rental contracts, etc.) of any deductions you have claimed. The CRA also occasionally performs in-person inspections of home office claims looking at, among other details, proof that the space is being used solely or jointly for working purposes).

     

  • 21 Jan 2021 by DigiBC

    Centre for Arts and Technology is a private post-secondary institution that is focused on delivering high-quality digital arts and technology diploma programs. CAT is located in Kelowna, BC and the foundation for the school was built over 30 years ago by leaders in both media training and educational excellence. Today, they are now one of Canada’s leading colleges in digital arts and technical training, and recognized for continually having successful and employable graduates in the areas of filmmaking, animation, audio engineering, interior design, photography, graphic design, and network security.

    The school prides itself on not being your typical community college or university, and is described as more than just students, hallways, classrooms and instructors. CAT nurtures students along their educational journey by providing challenges, opportunities, mentorship and motivation, all while fostering a collaborative environment where they can reach their full potential. We caught up with CAT to hear more about the programs they offer that relate directly to the creative technology industry.

     


    How many types of courses do you offer that feed into the creative technology (video games/interactive, animation, VFX) sector?

    We have a wide range of programs, most leading to careers in creative technology, however, our animation, filmmaking and graphic design programs align with emerging VFX industries most frequently. Our graduates can be found working on feature length and series projects locally in the Okanagan and around the world. Taught by current industry professionals, our programs are structured to operate as close to real-world studios as possible, giving graduates a leg up on the competition.


    Are these full-time or part-time?

    We primarily enroll students in full-time programs, but our programs can be taken part-time. Due to the highly focused nature of our delivery model, we see the most employability from full-time program completion; however, many students have received great value from part-time courses, especially when used for professional development.

     

     

    Due to the impacts of COVID-19, are courses now fully online? Or are some held in-person?

    When the pandemic first hit, we took many preemptive actions to safeguard our student body and staff, one of which included online curriculum delivery. CAT was already working on an online delivery model for several programs and COVID simply accelerated that process. Our entire roster of programs are available on-campus, in-person, while a select few are available for remote, online delivery. A few of our programs are currently not good candidates for online delivery as they feature a large amount of hands-on learning, which is hard to replicate online. In the process of evaluating our programs, we were able to identify several that were excellent candidates for online delivery and prospective students in these programs can now choose between online, remote delivery and on-campus options. Currently, we offer online options for Digital Music Production, Graphic & Web Design, Network Administration and Security, and Veterinary Hospital Assistant.

     

    Do students need to have any previous training or work experience in a certain field before signing up?

    We do not require any previous training or work experience in related fields prior to admission. However, any previous industry knowledge or involvement can improve the overall student experience and their initial learning curve. Our instructors work with individual students to ensure they meet industry standards upon graduation, and we bolster their success by providing free peer tutoring, a dedicated Student Success team, and accelerated career coaching.

     

     

    Who are the instructors? How do you select them?

    Our Instructors must meet the standards set by the Ministry of Advanced Education. We pride ourselves on employing working professionals in the industry of the program they are instructing in, and those relationships are even more valuable when they are able to directly recruit from our students and alumni. We aim to exceed the Ministry’s requirements and have long-term instructors on faculty who have been in industry for 40+ years. Instructors are interviewed by our Education Department to evaluate skills, personality and team fit. As we boast working professionals as instructors, we often schedule classes around their existing work schedules. This can be tricky for our Scheduling Department, but industry relevance is a key factor to our success model.

     

    What are some of the possible jobs and career paths someone could go into after completing one of these programs?

    As we offer a wide variety of programs and encourage holistic career planning, the jobs and career paths for graduates are only limited by imagination. In speaking directly to our programs that most closely relate to creative technology, you will find our graduates in junior and mid-range level positions in studios and production houses as animators, FX artists, character designers, camera operators, editors, etc.

    We should also mention that a significant advantage of attending a private school is the ability for our education team to be nimble and responsive to industry feedback and needs. We are constantly evaluating our programs to ensure the best learning outcomes and industry placements. The latest program to undergo an evaluation is our 3D Animation program. It is now shorter and more focused on the areas and roles most in demand by our industry partners and we look forward to welcoming new students this October.

     

     

    How are your programs different from similar ones offered at other post-secondary schools?

    Our programs may feature similar curriculums as other comparable institutions, as we all align with industry expectations, but our unique value is in our staff and delivery/support model. Students who attend CAT are not simply another number. Our individualized approach meets students where they are at, to ensure their own personal success path is laid out. We offer support for students in various forms including one-on-one mentorship, coaching and goal setting, and believe this is where our strength can be found.

    Many who have walked through our doors have said, “You can really feel the difference here.”  We want to feel different and be different. This feeling is what makes Centre for Arts and Technology and our students special.
     

    What is the best way for somebody to find out more information about Centre for Arts and Technology?

    We have inquiry forms online for prospective students (https://digitalartschool.com/inquiry-form) that will connect them with a program advisor for assistance. Finance, curriculum, job outcomes can all be covered in a one-on-one meeting with our helpful advisors.

    Industry connections and job opportunities for students and alumni are always welcome and an email to inquire@digitalartschool.com will connect you with the appropriate department.

    We are also very active in high schools around the Okanagan and province-wide and our recruitment team can offer customized presentations focused on our programs, instructors or job outcomes. Teachers, counsellors or students interested in a presentation can contact us through inquire@digitalartschool.com.

    We have a robust website with a lot of info for anyone curious to learn more about us and if social media is your thing, we are also very active on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.

    Facebook: @centreforartsandtechnology

    Instagram: @digiartcat

    YouTube: @CanDigiSchool

     

  • 22 Dec 2020 by DigiBC

    A social lifeline of sorts through the pandemic, video games have kept us connected and entertained from the very beginning. Wrapping up the year, here are 20 B.C. games you can play, from idle to mystery and player versus player with energetic storylines, original music, and a broad range of artistic direction. This #PlayBC list is made up of video games that have all been made right here in the province!
     

    #PlayBC Video Game List

     

     

  • 17 Dec 2020 by DigiBC

    Over the course of 2020, DigiBC has continued its work to strengthen the creative tech sector in the province and we are grateful for the interest and active participation of our members and the wider creative tech community -- all while many of us grappled with homeschooling, working from makeshift home offices, and separation from our extended family and circle of friends.  

    With your support over the past year, we are proud to have expanded our reach across Canada, partnering for the first time with other provincial industry associations to produce the inaugural Canada Games Online event. Additionally, we were able to expand our reach here in BC, delivering programs like DigiMusic and Play to Learn throughout the province. In fact, despite the challenges of 2020, we were able to make great progress across DigiBC’s three areas of focus -- Education & Programming, Government Relations and Community Building -- and encourage you to read the full list of details below. We also said goodbye to our former Executive Director, Brenda Bailey, and wish her all the best in the next phase of her career in public service. Once formally appointed, we look forward to introducing our new Executive Director in January. 

    In closing, we encourage you, if you’re reading this and are not already a DigiBC member or you have let your membership lapse, to sign up or renew. Together we are stronger, so join us as we continue to grow this fabulous creative tech sector in the province. Please support us to ensure a healthy future for our industry.  

    Sincerely,
    ~ The DigiBC Team

     



    Education & Programming

    • DigiMusic Summer 2020 Program

      DigiMusic exposes BC high school students to music-related careers in the video game and animation industries. Students are asked to create and submit original scores for either a video game or animation clip. Despite the struggles with COVID-19, this year's DigiMusic Challenge was a success. To celebrate the amazing music entries we received and all the hard work the students put in, we held a virtual finale event on August 12. The event included a showcase of the top entries from the young composers, along with a virtual animation studio tour and an industry Q&A. To end the event on a strong note, we had a beautiful musical performance by renowned BC musician, Tyler Shaw.

     

     

    • Play to Learn (in partnership with EA and EverFi)

      DigiBC continued to see interest in the Play to Learn program even in the summer months. DigiBC delivers this program outside of the Lower Mainland, inviting BC students to consider careers in Creative Technology. During the last school year, this program reached 837 students in 38 rural schools, providing more than 995 hours of learning. 

     


     

    • Sector Labour Market Partnership (SLMP) Project

      Beginning in January 2020, DigiBC undertook a year-long research project to benchmark the creative technology industry in BC. Supported by The Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training, this first-of-its-kind study includes over 70 interviews with industry and academic organizations to provide a comprehensive overview of the creative technology labour and education ecosystem in BC. We look forward to sharing the report in early 2021. 

     

     

    • DigiBC & WIA Report on Workplace Equity, Diversity & Inclusion

      In 2019, DigiBC and Women in Animation (WIA) received funding from Creative BC to deliver an industry-specific Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI) Strategy with a focus on creating and adapting tools for the sector. The report is the product of this collaboration and it includes key recommendations, short and medium-term strategies, and practical tips to make a successful transition into building an inclusive workplace environment for both leaders and employees. Link to full report here: https://bit.ly/2GvqbNY

       
     

    Government Relations

    Over the course of 2020, DigiBC has continued to work closely with government partners as the voice of the creative tech industry. This year, our work included specific programs to measure the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and plan for industry recovery and rebuilding post-crisis.

    • COVID-19 Response: CMF Emergency Relief Funds Phase 2 (IDM)

    DigiBC and our partner trade associations from across the country wrote to the Canada Media Fund and requested that they create a second fund to help studios that were not served by the first COVID-19 Emergency Support Fund. In September, the CMF created a Phase 2 Fund in September which made $10M available to Canadian IDM companies. 

    • COVID-19 Response: IDM Business Analytics Survey (Monthly Data Collection)

    DigiBC is collecting data on how COVID-19 has impacted IDM studios. Once completed, this survey data will be available to our government partners, both federally and provincially, to help inform policy decisions for economic rebuilding post-COVID.

    • COVID-19 Response: Revival of the CIAIC & Canada Games Online 2020

    The CIAIC is a national organization that had been dormant since 2018; we revived it to access national funding to assist member organizations in supporting SMEs that are impacted by COVID-19 challenges. As a result, DigiBC has been participating in regular meetings with our provincial counterparts, as well as with ESAC. This unprecedented level of country-wide collaboration in the IDM sector led to funding from the Ministry of Heritage for the inaugural Canada Games Online 2020, an event designed to assist provide SMEs with training and direct connections to publishing and investment partners.

    • 2020 Budget Consultation Report

    The 2020 Budget Consultation Report was released on August 19. DigiBC presented to the committee and highlighted the request to add 5% to our IDMTC in order to support diversity hiring, something that we recognize is of priority to this administration. Research indicates that women and people of colour have been disproportionately affected by layoffs during COVID-19, and government is looking for ways to help them back to work. Our recommendation made it into the report this year. 

    • Tech industry Roundtable with Minister Mungall & Premier Horgan

    DigiBC participated in this roundtable in April and was one of six associations asked to brief the Premier. The report, Putting Innovation to Work for British Columbia: Growing B.C. Companies, outlines five recommendations focused on helping innovative B.C. companies thrive and grow, while supporting more innovation across all sectors of the economy. 

    • Representation during the Provincial Election

    We held eight meetings with six ministries in Victoria sharing our presentation requesting to enhance the Interactive Digital Media Tax Credit, to increase it to 25% and to provide incentives for regionality and diversity.

    We also met with industry partner CEOs at the CMF, Creative BC, BC Tech and Innovate BC to align and discuss potential collaborations for 2021.
     


    Community Building

    • The Backpack Buddies fundraiser we held in April raised $4,000 for kids in need in BC 

    • Created BIPOC & COVID-19 Member Resources

    • Sent out a weekly COVID-19 Update to share information and strategies with members (ran for 13 consecutive weeks) 

    Events
    01.24: F*ckUp Nights vol. 4
    03.02:
    Animation & VFX Alliance of BC Leadership Dinner
    03.12:
    Trailblazrs Project Celebration
    08.12:
    DigiMusic Summer 2020 Celebration of Talent
    09.09/10:
    Canada Games Online 2020 - Market Pulse Training
    09.17/18
    : Canada Games Online 2020 - B2B Connect


    Business Resiliency Webinar Series

    05.15: PwC & BDC: Accessing Funding During COVID-19
    05.20: EA & Fasken: Returning to the Workplace
    06.20: DigiBC Town Hall: Assistance for Indie IDM Studios
    07.09: IRCC & BC PNP Q&A Webinar (in collaboration w/Animation & VFX Alliance)
    07.15: CBRE: The Changing Landscape of the Workplace


    Trailblazrs
    Project
    Trailblazrs is an amazing project about female funders and founders that was initiated by Gerri Sinclair, managed by Jeannette Kopak and produced by many MDM grad students. It was officially handed off to DigiBC in March.


    Membership

    • New Members: 18 new members joined this year

    • New Perks & Discounts: TELUS Exclusive Pricing Program, SPUD, Fresh Prep, Navas Apparel, Sheraton Wall Centre, Kwela Leadership Training, UME Academy 

     

     

     

  • 16 Dec 2020 by DigiBC

    The Digital Skills For Youth (DS4Y) Program

    Did you know you can get $26,000 to hire and train your intern through Innovate BC's new Digital Skills for Youth program?  Whether you have recently hired talent, or are looking to hire, to be eligible for the funding you just need to be a B.C. based company with less than 500 employees, with an intern between the ages of 15 and 30.

    Here’s how the funding breaks down: 

    • $17,000 to cover salary
    • $4,000 to cover training costs
    • $5,000 to cover direct costs (e.g., small repairs or renovations) 


    Your intern must be working in a tech role – for example programming, automation, UI/UX, digital marketing, or cybersecurity, amongst others.
     

    Even if this grant isn’t suited for you, perhaps you know a friend or a local business that may benefit from the funding at this time. 

    Learn More

    Limited funding available. Deadline to apply is January 15, 2020

     

  • 18 Nov 2020 by DigiBC

    Canadian Heritage (PCH) and Global Affairs Canada (GAC) are now accepting applications for a Gaming & Interactive Entertainment Profile Book. The purpose of the book is simple – submit your company’s profile and latest project, and if accepted, our team of trade commissioners will get this information into the hands of potential investors, publishers, and partners. When an expression of interest for your company and project is received, you will be directly connected with the interested contact for a warm introduction.

    Additionally, the book will be used to recruit global contacts for business matchmaking at key gaming shows in 2021 including Game Developers Conference, Devcom, China Joy, G-Star, Game Connection Europe, Nordic Games, Reboot Develop, Tokyo Game Show, MEGA+MIGs and XDS. Companies that are featured can expect their information to be shared with the Trade Commissioner Service network in gaming markets worldwide.


    Click here to apply

    Application Deadline: December 4 @ 12:00AM PST

     

    Eligibility
    To be eligible for funding, a company/organization must:

    • be incorporated under the laws of Canada, a province or a territory;
    • be a for-profit company or not-for-profit organization;
    • support the promotion of Canadian interactive and digital media abroad;
    • expect to generate new export revenues (with a project under development or investment opportunity, for example);
    • plan to participate at the July 2021 GDC event at their own cost; and
    • be made available for consultation on the content of the profile book as well as a showcasing video. 

  • 30 Oct 2020 by DigiBC

    Canuck Place Children’s Hospice has partnered with EA Sports to put together this exciting team building opportunity and fundraiser for tech companies in Metro Vancouver.

    Why is an online game tournament a great team building activity for your company and a way to give back to the community?

    Online competitive sporting video games create collaborative environments by inviting communication and synergy between the players as they learn each other’s styles. They’re prompted to work together to organize their players according to their team’s overall strengths and weaknesses as well as their own. The goal is to create a back and forth competitive atmosphere that will invoke teamwork, boost team morale and bring people together.
     

    Benefits:

    • Company name mentioned in 2020/2021 Annual Report
    • Social media promotion and communication of participation
    • Event only open to affinity groups, mostly employees of Metro Vancouver’s tech sector
    • 1st prize: signed Canucks jersey for the team
    • 2nd prize: signed Canucks hockey stick for the team

     

    Tournament Details:

    Game: NHL 2.1 EA (electronic access code provided for each player)
    Console: Xbox (not provided)
    Start Date: November 13
    Duration: 10 hours approx.
    Platform: Final game will be broadcast live on Twitch
    Capacity: 16 teams of 5 players each
    Entry Fee: $ 1,000 charitable donation to Canuck Place  
    Entry Deadline: Teams must register by November 10
    Schedule: 

    Day

    Time

    1st Game November 13th

    4:00 pm to 6:00 pm

    2nd Game November 20th

    4:00 pm to 6:00 pm

    3rd Game November 27th

    4:00 pm to 6:00 pm

    4th Game December 4th

    4:00 pm to 6:00 pm

    Final Game December 11th

    4:00 pm to 6:00 pm



    Registration Info:

    For more information and to register, please contact:

    Luigi Ronchi
    Corporate & Business Development Strategist
    (604) 730-3308 or luigi.ronchi@canuckplace.org

     


    About Canuck Place:
    Canuck Place Children’s Hospice provides innovative, holistic clinical care with compassion through our hospices, in hospitals and communities in BC & Yukon. We provide respite, family support, pain and symptom management, end-of-life care and bereavement services to newborns, children, youth and their families living with progressive life- threatening conditions.

  • 30 Oct 2020 by DigiBC

    Canada Games Online Recap

    • Canada Games Online wrapped up last month and BC had a strong showing in both Market Pulse Training (33% of attendees) and B2B Connect (21% of participants). This high-value event was the result of the collaboration between provincial trade associations to support our industry, especially the smaller/newer/indie studios, during COVID-19. It was designed to assist them, as well as support the continued growth of the many successful studios in Canada. DigiBC continues to work for indie studios... even if they aren't a member (yet)!
       

    DigiBC & WIA Report on Workplace Equity, Diversity & Inclusion

    • This EDI Report includes:
      • Key recommendations
      • Short and medium-term strategies
      • Practical tips to make a successful transition into building an inclusive workplace environment for both leaders and employees

    Download Report



    Call for Sponsors: BC Game Developers Innovation Award

    • The BC Game Developers Innovation Award is for students participating in science fairs across the province with a project that demonstrates innovation in computer science, mathematics, engineering or astronomy. As part of DigiBC's ongoing commitment to promoting creative technology-related educational activities, we are asking for your support through sponsorship of the award, in conjunction with the Science Fair Foundation of BC.
       

    Click here to sponsor
     


    Animation & VFX Alliance News

    • The Diversity & Inclusion Committee is excited to invite you to the next panel in their D&I Panel Series on November 24. We will continue discussions on equality, diversity and inclusion in the industry. If you would like to participate as a panelist, please sign up via this form before November 4.

     


    New Membership Discounts

    • We've secured new discounts with SPUD (grocery delivery), Fresh Prep (meal kit delivery), TELUS (exclusive rates) and Navas Lab Apparel (premium quality clothing). These perks are available to all employees at our active DigiBC and Anim&VFX member companies. Not sure if you are a current member? Interested in signing up for a membership? Contact team@digibc.org for further assistance.

     

  • 29 Sep 2020 by DigiBC

    Canada Games Online 2020 Recap

    • Thank you to everyone who participated in Canada Games Online 2020. The conference was a massive success thanks to the collaboration of the Canadian video game sector’s industry associations from Ontario, Quebec, BC, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia and PEI. As a part of B2B Connect, Canadian studio leaders met with 65+ investors and publishers from top global companies such as EA, Nintendo, Konami, NetEase, Square Enix and 505 Games. Additionally, attendees were able to benefit from the insight shared by industry experts during the Market Pulse Training webinars.

    Click here to view Market Pulse webinars

    • We'd like to give a big thanks to our partners and sponsors for their generous support in making this event possible! Funding: Canadian Heritage & Canada Media Fund // Sponsors: Ubisoft & Fasken // B2B Provider: MeetToMatch


    IDM Business Analytics Survey (Monthly Data Collection)

    • DigiBC is tracking basic analytics in order to have factual data on the impact that our sector is experiencing from COVID-19. We will use this data to advocate on behalf of industry. If you are in the video game sector, it is in your best interest to participate in this simple data collection exercise. We ask only five questions that measure changes in deal flow, productivity, revenue and staffing.
       
    • We currently have 20 game studios participating and have collected monthly analytics from March to August. This represents (by headcount) about 50% of the industry. We'd like to hit 65% to ensure it is reflective, so please contact team@digibc.org if you would like to participate and share your anonymous data.

     


    DigiBC & WIA Report on Workplace Equity, Diversity & Inclusion

    • In 2019, DigiBC collaborated with Women in Animation (WIA) and received funding from Creative BC to deliver an industry-specific Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (EDI) Strategy. The following report and recommendations are the product of this strategy which consisted of an EDI audit across DigiBC’s membership, inclusion literacy and unconscious bias training of industry leadership, and establishing tools and policies for members.
       

    Download EDI Report



    SLMP (Sector Labour Market Partnership) Project Update

    • DigiBC is nearing the end of our Creative Technology Education SLMP Project research. We look forward to sharing more findings from this pivotal benchmark study when the final report is released in November. 
       
    • While we are still analyzing the data and writing the report, there are some interesting initial findings. For example, we asked about Work Integrated Learning (WIL) and discovered the following:
       
      • All participants suggested that WIL students demonstrate a higher competency level when entering workforce 
      • 95% of studios found WIL programs to be important
      • 90% of studios currently hire or have hired co-ops or interns
      • Those that have, would like to, but do not have capacity to dedicate resources to effectively supervise, train and support the students
      • Most successful WIL students are those that have stronger “soft skills” (passion for industry, strong communication skills, agility and ability to adapt, strong learning attitude, professionalism)
      • Most studios report approximately a 50% conversion rate from WIL student to full-time hire
         
         

  • 24 Sep 2020 by DigiBC


    Cloudhead Games is an award-winning VR studio located on Vancouver Island and was founded by Denny and Tracey Unger. As an early adopter and being a ‘90s VR garage hacker enthusiast’ from building collimated displays to designing Oculus’s first logo, Denny’s involvement in VR spans decades. His early work includes the creation of a board game company deploying over 104 products, advergaming design and creative direction, and a deep dive into groundbreaking VR video game production culminating in the creation of Cloudhead Games. Tracey has a history in general management with their previous company, as well as experience and formal education in stage management. She has also helped open several franchise restaurants with a focus on human resources, including hiring and training.

    Cloudhead has been developing in VR since late 2012 and this led to a successful Kickstarter campaign in the spring of 2013 that gave them the mandate to create the first-ever announced, built-for-VR game, previously known as The Gallery: Six Elements. They have since gone on to release other prominent titles such as Pistol Whip and Aperture Hand Labs. Cloudhead has partnered with industry-legends Valve, Sony, HTC and Oculus to create for the next-gen VR hardware. Always innovating, Cloudhead is best known for their early solutions in VR locomotion/comfort with snap turns and teleportation, as well as VR motion capture and hand interactions. We recently caught up with Cloudhead to see what’s been happening at the studio, what’s on the horizon and how they have been adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic.


    How would you describe your company culture?

    Collaborative, Creative, Innovative. We are an open, honest, and accepting culture that values hard work and dedication to crafting the best VR experiences. We have quite a diverse team that relies heavily on collaboration, which allows us to create the best entertainment experiences possible.

     

    What would you say sets Cloudhead apart from other studios?
    The people, no doubt! Cloudhead Games is a diverse team of VR veterans and enthusiasts with a combined drive and passion for creating.
     



    What games have you previously released?

     

    What projects are you currently working on?
    We are currently hard at work on our first action pack for Pistol Whip called, 2089. It’s a cinematic action campaign with new scenes, weapon types, enemy types and mechanics, slated for release this holiday season. It’s by far the biggest Pistol Whip release we have created and we’re extremely excited about all the interest we’re receiving.

     

    Has the studio won any awards or received any accolades?

    ● Nominee: Canadian Game Awards 2020 – Game of the Year

    ● Finalist: 4th International VR Awards 2020 - VR Game of the Year

    ● Winner: UploadVR Best of VR Awards 2019 - Developer of the Year

    ● Winner: D.I.C.E. Awards 2020 - Immersive Reality Game of the year

    ● Winner: UploadVR Best of VR Awards 2019 - Developer of the Year

    ● Winner: Road to VR's 2019 Game of the Year Awards - SteamVR Game of the Year

    ● Winner: VR Fitness Insider's VR Fitness Awards 2019 - Best New VR Fitness Game of the Year

    ● Winner: VR Fitness Insider's VR Fitness Awards 2019 - Best Action VR Fitness Game of the Year

    ● VRGear's Best VR Games of the Decade (Top 10)

    ● Polygon's 50 Best Games of 2019 (#50)

    ● Gamespot's Best VR Games of 2019 (Top 5)

    ● Forbes' Top Ten VR Games of 2019 (Top 10)

    ● VRFocus' Best Oculus Quest Games of 2019 (Top 10)

    ● VRFocus' Best Oculus Rift Games of 2019 (Top 10)

    ● GameRant's Top 10 Virtual Reality Games of 2019 (Top 10)

    ● Eurogamer's Favourite Games of 2019 (Ian Higton's Top 5)

    ● Giant Bomb's Top 10 Games of 2019  (Mike Drucker's Top 10, Kahlief Adams' Top 10, Will Smith's Top 12)

    ● Winner: 2018 VR Awards - Game of the Year

    ● Winner: 2018 Viveport Developer Awards - Best Entertainment Experience

    ● Winner: 2018 Cinequest Awards - Best Episodic Game

    ● Road to VR Best of 2017 - Top 5 Oculus Rift Game

    ● Road to VR Best of 2017 - Top 5 HTC Vive Game

    ● Winner: 2017 Cinequest Awards - Best Game

    ● Winner: 2017 Cinequest Awards - Best Game

    ● Winner: 2016 UploadVR Awards - Best Narrative

    ● Winner: 2016 Canadian Video Game Awards - Best Narrative

    ● Winner: 2016 Canadian Video Game Awards - Best Technology

    ● Winner: 2016 Canadian Video Game Awards - Best Game Innovation

    ● Winner: 2016 Proto Awards - Best Narrative

    ● Winner: 2016 Proto Awards - Best Narrative

    ● Winner: 2016 UploadVR Awards - Best Narrative

    ● Winner: 2016 Canadian Video Game Awards - Best Narrative

    ● Winner: 2016 Canadian Video Game Awards - Best Technology

    ● Winner: 2016 Canadian Video Game Awards - Best Game Innovation

    ● Winner: 2016 Proto Awards - Best Narrative

    ● Winner: 2016 Proto Awards - Best Narrative

    ● Winner: 2015 Proto Awards - Most Transportive

    ● Winner: 2015 Proto Awards - Most Transportive

    ● Winner: 2014 Proto Awards - Best Sound Design

    ● Winner: 2014 Proto Awards - Best Sound Design

     

    Are there any other exciting facts about Cloudhead we may not know about?
    How about some fun holiday-themed facts? Cloudhead Games loves giving back and for the last four years has hosted an annual charity haunted house in conjunction with the city where we are located. Check out some eerie examples on our Instagram page! Unfortunately, there won’t be a haunted house this year due to COVID-19, but we’re already brainstorming on how we can give back while staying safe this holiday season.



    Are you currently hiring? If so, what are the open positions?

    While we aren’t actively looking to fill any particular positions, we are always interested in hearing from smart, creative people who are passionate about virtual reality. Apply or keep an eye on our website to stay up-to-date on future career opportunities. https://cloudheadgames.com/careers/

     

    Are there any updates you want to share about how the studio has been adapting to WFH and working through the COVID-19 pandemic?
    COVID-19 certainly presented some challenges, particularly with a team like ours which is quite close but it was nothing we couldn’t handle! We’ve been working fully remote for the last six months, during which we have released two major updates, been involved in some massive events such as Facebook Connect, and also launched on a new platform with our PlayStation VR debut.
     

  • 23 Sep 2020 by DigiBC

    Dames Making Games (DMG) is a nonprofit organization that provides free education, social support and community for queer and gender-marginalized artists working in games, immersive and interactive media. They recently announced their all-new accelerator online program called the Damage Labs Studio Startup, and applications are being accepted until October 14.


    This is a free program open to marginalized creators interested in starting their own game or media studio. Participants will explore ethical labour frameworks, alternative financing, and cooperation structures. There will also be a wonderful team of mentors and coaches supporting participants through the 24-week online program. Check the links below for further details and to apply.


    ➡Info Session Video
    ➡ Frequently Asked Questions
    ➡Program Overview
    ➡Application Form

     

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