Blogs

  • 14 Mar 2018 by DigiBC

     On February 12, the Entertainment Software Association of Canada (ESAC) hosted their annual Video Games on the Hill showcase for parliamentarians and hill staff.  The event was held for the first time at the Sir John A Macdonald building in Ottawa, offering an opportunity for members to once again expand their booths and interactive experiences. Member participation included: Ubisoft Montreal, Nintendo Canada, Other Ocean, EA, PlayStation Canada, Xbox Canada, Ludia, and Eidos Montreal.

     

     Sean Casey, MP for Charlottetown and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage greets the Canadian entertainment software industry.

     

    #VideoGamesontheHill brought together 23 Members of Parliament, 2 Ministers and over 200 guests, with special appearances from the world’s most beloved plumber Mario and his trusty sidekick Luigi. Guests were immersed in the world of games and given the opportunity to play some of the most recent games and consoles on the market, including NHL 18, Cuphead, Starlink, Jurassic World, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation VR, and many others.

     

     

    The event was presented with the participation of Sean Casey, MP for Charlottetown and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Canadian Heritage. Mr. Casey spoke on behalf of the federal government and their ongoing support for Canada’s innovative and established video game industry. In addition to the evening showcase, ESAC and board members participated in a number of meetings with government officials in Ottawa. The meeting program included discussions on the upcoming review of the Copyright Act and updates for officials on the effectiveness of the recently implemented Global Talent Stream.

     

     

     

    ESAC would like to thank its members and guests for their participation, which contributes to the growth and development of the annual Video Games on the Hill showcase & parliamentary day. For more information, contact Jayson Hilchie at jhilchie@theesa.ca

     

  • 13 Mar 2018 by DigiBC

    Shelley Coultish and Karyn Derby from Telefilm Canada were in Vancouver on February 22 and Victoria on February 23 to promote the Experimental Stream of funding through the Canada Media Fund (CMF). The Experimental Stream encourages the development of interactive digital media content and software applications that are on the leading edge of innovation. It was a successful event with opening remarks provided by Catherine Warren, President of the Centre for Digital Media & Great Northern Way Trust, and Brenda Bailey, Executive Director of DigiBC, which led into an informative presentation by Shelley Coultish and then a full schedule of individual meetings for companies that have projects looking for funding.
     

    We’d like to thank The Centre for Digital Media for hosting the event in Vancouver and Fort Tectoria for hosting the event in Victoria.

     

    For more information on the Canada Media Fund click here.

     

     

     

     

     

  • 13 Mar 2018 by DigiBC

    Blackbird Interactive is an independent video game studio located in Vancouver, BC. It was founded in 2007 by a team of former Relic Entertainment and Electronic Arts employees and in true start-up fashion, the company began in the garage of the CEO, Rob Cunningham. In 2010, the studio moved to its current location, a converted industrial space on Great Northern Way that was formerly used for servicing heavy machinery and vehicles. BBI currently has over a 100 employees and is rapidly continuing to grow. They have more than doubled in size in the last year and a half, and are subsequently moving to a brand new 29,000 square foot studio by the end of 2018.

     


    The studio launched its
    firstgameHomeworld: Deserts of Kharak™ in January of 2016. This is a PC real-time strategy game available on Steam, and published by Gearbox Publishing. It is the prequel to the acclaimed Homeworld series originally made by Relic and published by Sierra in 1999. In 2017, BBI partnered with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory to create Project Eagle, an interactive art demo of a future Mars colony in Gale Crater at the base of Mount Sharp (near the original landing site of the Mars Curiosity Rover). It is set in 2117, 44 Martian years (82.8 Earth years) after the first human mission to Mars. Project Eagle was built to be presented live on stage at the 2017 D.I.C.E. Summit. Currently, BBI is working on three super exciting secret projects. While they are not quite ready to share any of the details, the studio can assure you that they are incredibly stoked to be working on all of them!

     


    Blackbird prides itself on having a company culture that is founded on creativity, community, and collaboration. They believe that great ideas can come from any position in any discipline and they strive to make certain that every voice is heard. The studio has worked hard to ensure that employees have a solid work/life balance and are provided an environment where they are truly happy to come to every day. In addition, company events such as picnics, board game nights, field trips, camp days, movie trips, and parties are regular occurrences throughout the year.

     

     

     


    If you’ve liked what you’ve heard and think BBI could be the place for you then you’re in luck! They are currently hiring and have a number of new openings, so be sure to check the website for further details on what positions are available.
    https://blackbirdinteractive.com/jobs/

     

     

     

  • 12 Mar 2018 by DigiBC

    WHAT’S NEW IN PERSONAL TAXES

    It’s time to start thinking about your 2017 Personal Tax Return – April 30 is fast approaching. The following is a summary of changes and updates that may impact your taxes and the information you need to gather.

     

    ELIMINATED TAX CREDITS

    • Education and textbook tax credit– Effective January 1, 2017, the federal education and textbook tax credits were eliminated. This measure did not eliminate the tuition tax credit, and it does not affect the ability to carry forward unused education and textbook credit amounts from years prior to 2017.

    • Canada caregiver credit– The caregiver credit, infirm dependent credit, and family caregiver tax credit have all been replaced by the new Canada caregiver credit. This provides a tax credit of 15% of up to $6,883 of expenses incurred for the care of dependent relatives with infirmities, and 15% of up to $2,150 on expenses incurred for the care of a dependent spouse, common-law partner or minor child with an infirmity.

    • Children arts and fitness credit– The federal children's arts and fitness tax credits have been eliminated for the 2017 taxation year. The BC child arts and fitness tax credits will be eliminated in 2018.

    • Public transit tax credit– This credit was eliminated as of July 1, 2017, which means you can only claim eligible public transit expenses if they were incurred prior to that date.

     

    CHANGES AT CANADA REVENUE AGENCY

    • File My ReturnCRA has launched a new service which will allow eligible Canadians to file their tax returns over the phone through an automated service. This service is for those individuals who have simple tax returns.

    • Launch of BizApp CRA has released a new app to allow small businesses and sole proprietors to make pre-authorized payments to their corporation, GST or HST tax and payroll account.

    • Paying taxes in personCRA has now made it easier to pay your individual taxes and other select payments in person. Individuals can now pay using debit or cash at any Canada Post outlet but first need to create a payment barcode online.

     

    OTHER THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND

    • The deadline to contribute to your RRSP is on March 1, 2018, for the 2017 taxation year.

    • Sale of principal residence Starting in 2016, if a taxpayer sells their primary residence, it will need to be reported on the tax return (date of acquisition, proceeds of disposition and description of property)

    • Increase in tax rateThe top federal/B.C personal marginal tax rate has increased from 47.7% in 2017 to 49.8% in 2018.

    • Charitable donations 2018 will be the last year that taxpayers can claim the Federal First-Time Donor’s super credit if the taxpayer and their spouse has not claimed it from 2008-2016. This credit provides up to additional 25% tax credit on the first $1,000 of donations claimed.

     

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