Blogs

  • 24 Aug 2018 by DigiBC

    Calling all B.C. immersive creators! The Vancouver International Film Festival is looking for VR, AR, and MR experiences from creators in the province for their VIFF Immersed Exhibition. Submissions are now open and will be accepted until Monday, September 3. This could be your chance to be featured alongside some of the best XR storytelling of 2018 at VIFF Immersed.

    To find out more details you can click the following link or the image below - https://viff.org/Online/2018-viff-immersed

     
     
     
  • 23 Aug 2018 by DigiBC

    The 45th SIGGRAPH conference concluded last Thursday with over 16,500 attendees from 88 countries including Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the USA. DigiBC was on hand for the jam-packed week where close to 700 papers, courses, lectures, installations, and artworks were shared, along with almost 1,000 speakers participating.

     

    DigiBC’s Executive Director, Brenda Bailey, moderating the SIGGRAPH Business Symposium at the Vancouver Convention Centre
    Photos credit: Melissa Dex Guzman

     

    Things kicked off with the SIGGRAPH Business Symposium taking place on August 11 & 12. The was an incredible two days that had the most diverse set of speakers and participants (237 people from 22 countries) exploring the past, present, and future of computer graphics. A fascinating range of topics were explored including big data, machine learning, AI, and emerging business models. DigiBC's Executive Director, Brenda Bailey, was in attendance and did a wonderful job as the MC and panel moderator. Congratulations to the organizers who did an excellent job - Adele Newton, Angela Pan, Cam Wind, Chase Denomme, Elaine He, Jessica Glass, Kial Natale, Melissa Dex Guzman, Patrick Pennefather, Paul Salvini, Ross Waring, Shirin Escarcha, Vivian Tang, and all the CDM volunteers.

     

     

    The Exhibition played host to nearly 160 companies showcasing the latest technologies, products, and services. Remarkably, nearly one-quarter of the exhibitors were presenting for the first time due to the dramatic increase in the amount of new technology. In addition, attendees got to see installations from around the world in the Experience Hall and the brand-new Immersive Pavilion, which featured a VR museum, Vrcade, Village, and the Computer Animation Festival VR Theater.

    The conference was the most successful edition in Vancouver yet and attendees enjoyed an incredible week full of inspiration and learning. In case you’re wondering, the date for SIGGRAPH 2019 has already been set so mark your calendars for July 28-August 1 in Los Angeles!

     

     


     

  • 23 Aug 2018 by DigiBC

    DigiBC partnered with the Ministry of Jobs, Trade and Technology (JTT) and the Consulate General of the Republic of Korea to put on a complimentary event to SIGGRAPH called the 2018 British Columbia – Korea Digital Games Driving Computer Graphics Seminar. This took place on August 14 and Norton Rose Fulbright generously hosted us at their beautiful sky garden in the TELUS building downtown. We ended up with a fantastic turnout and had a nice mix of Korean and Canadian companies on hand to discuss collaboration and accessing global markets. During the networking segment, there were many active conversations taking place so don't be surprised if you soon start seeing some new business opportunities arising in both Korea and BC!


    To learn more about BC Trade + Investment office in Seoul, click here.

     

     

  • 22 Aug 2018 by DigiBC

    Education Update

    DigiBC is devoted to ensuring the creative tech sector (video games, animation, VFX and AR/VR) continues to grow and thrive in our province. To do this, it is absolutely clear that we need to garner the interest of homegrown talent. How do we do that? With your help! DigiBC has two major initiatives launching this year - Music in Games and Animation and an expansion of the Play to Learn program.
    Our Music in Games and Animation initiative is geared towards reaching every grade eight student in the province (all 46,000)! We will be sharing stories of how folks in the industry found their career path – by creating videos and presenting in person. Digi on the Road will then see us taking industry professionals to many communities in the province with the goal of getting students excited about the potential for work in our sector.

    We are also planning to hold a competition in spring 2019. This involves studios providing clips from video games and animated film/TV shows, and then explaining by video what they are looking for. Once a student has selected a clip, they will then be invited to create an original score that sets the correct tone and message to go with it. We will work with music teachers throughout the province to select the top entries, and winners will then get to tour the studio who provided the clip that they scored.

    If you are interested in providing materials for this, being interviewed, or participating with Digi on the Road, please contact brenda@digibc.org.

     


    Play to Learn is an EA digital education initiative that teaches kids to code and is currently used in more than 50 classrooms in the Lower Mainland. Developed in partnership with EverFiPlay to Learn offers online gaming and simulations to engage middle and high school students on a number of topics including binary numbers, scientific notation, the Pythagorean Theorem, probability, and basic coding languages. The course modules are designed to reinforce the real-world application of these skills while getting students interested and excited in new career fields. In fall 2018, we will launch this program to over 60 new schools across 11 districts from Vancouver Island to Prince George!
    Education is a primary focus for DigiBC and we are delighted to have partnered with the Ministry of Education, Electronic Arts, the Ministry of Tourism Arts and Culture to be able to deliver these high-quality, life-changing initiatives. Exciting times ahead!


    Brenda Bailey
    Executive Director
    DigiBC


    Government Relations Update

    DigiBC is working for our members and meeting with elected officials and government representatives to ensure the success of our sector in the province. Here are some of the initiatives that we now have underway.
     

    2019 IDMTC Recommendations
    Did you know that Alberta has created a comprehensive digital strategy that focuses on growing their digital sector by 3,000 people? In March 2018 they announced the creation of a 25% IDMTC (Interactive Digital Media Tax Credit). There is an additional 5% for traditionally underrepresented team members – women and minorities. In addition to creating a competitive tax credit, the Growth and Diversification Act is designed to stimulate growth across sectors to create more jobs, economic diversification, and training for the high tech sector.

    Alberta’s act aims to:

    • create 3,000 new tech spaces in post-secondary institutions
    • invest in new scholarships and programs to support a high-tech workforce
    • launch an Interactive Digital Media Tax Credit
    • continue support for the existing Alberta investor and capital investment tax credit programs
    • strengthen Alberta’s ties with the unmanned aerial systems sector
       

    I am concerned that this is a threat to creative technology jobs in BC. It is apparent to me that our neighbours to the east would like to woo some of our sector over the Rockies. How do we counter this? At 17.5%, BC’s IDMTC is currently the lowest in the country, making us particularly vulnerable to this move by Alberta.

     


    DigiBC is recommending the provincial government increase our IDMTC to 25% across all IDM. Furthermore, we recommend an additional 10% incentive to those studios working outside of the Metro Vancouver and Victoria regional districts. An incentive for regional diversification is not only good for smaller cities and towns in the province, it meets the need we hear from a number of member companies who have employees wanting to settle where the cost of living is more conducive to raising a family.  This, in turn, could alleviate some of the housing stress in our urban centers. We will be presenting these recommendations in September in order to have them duly considered for the 2019 provincial budget.


    Brenda Bailey
    Executive Director
    DigiBC
     

  • 17 Aug 2018 by DigiBC

    Capcom was founded in 1979 in Osaka, Japan by businessman, Kenzo Tsujimoto. In 2010, Capcom Vancouver was established when they acquired Blue Castle Games. Since then, the studio has been the home of Capcom's award-winning hit franchise, Dead Rising, having put out DR2, DR3, and DR4. In 2017 they also released a mobile game called Puzzle Fighter.

     


    Based out of their newly launched award-winning studio in Burnaby, which happens to be one of the largest studios in Canada, they have built a talented and passionate team of developers who are working on the next generation of games. They are always pushing themselves into new frontiers by combining their signature standard of quality with the experience of their dev teams. Seeking to deliver high-quality entertainment and having a motto of never settling for ‘good enough’ are two key factors in their company culture.

     


    Unfortunately, they are not able to divulge what projects they are currently working now, but you can probably bet it’s something innovative that will be new and groundbreaking. Capcom Vancouver strives to provide rewarding career development opportunities and is always looking for talented people. To see if you might fit in, you can check out their current openings.

     

    Fun Fact: Did you know that the name Capcom is a clipped compound of "Capsule Computers"? It’s a term coined by the company to describe the arcade machines it solely manufactured in its early years, designed to set themselves apart from personal computers that were becoming widespread at that time.

     

     

     

    Want to be featured in the DigiBC newsletter? We chose to highlight a member company each month to help keep the games, animation, and visual effects space in BC connected. Let us know if you’d like to be featured! It’s a great way to reach potential talent and network your studio (free and available to members only). Please email us at team@digibc.org

     

  • 15 Aug 2018 by DigiBC

    Vancouver Startup Week is a celebration of community and it strives to bring together entrepreneurs, investors, community leaders, and friends for one engaging week, commemorating Greater Vancouver's innovation and technology communities.

    During VSW, organizations in the startup community host events at their offices, community-centered spaces, and hospitality venues around the city. One event partner may have an intimate talk at their office featuring a nuanced discussion on a specific technological breakthrough. Another may host an evening event attracting 400+ people to a local venue featuring company demos, panel discussions, and a networking reception. Either way, the VSW team works with event partners, sponsors, and marketing partners to provide support, spread the word, and make sure all attendees get to experience VSW at its best.

    VSW events are organized by dozens of amazing community partners which in turn are supported by the Vancouver Startup Society. They strive to have as many events as possible covered under one centralized, low-cost access pass to help participants enjoy the benefits of VSW with minimized logistical hassles.   

     

    Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased here.

     

     

     

     

  • 15 Aug 2018 by DigiBC

    The Animation and VFX (A&VFX) Group of BC is a new collaborative structure that was launched in July 2018, powered by both MPPIA and DigiBC. This is a joint membership that provides animation and visual effects studios the ability to be involved in both trade associations without having to pay twice. The A&VFX Group will have representation on the boards of both MPPIA and DigiBC (depending on the level of membership) and continue to partner and align with CMPA.
    We are all devoted to ensuring studios experience value for their membership, and we know that a shared voice and vision for the creative tech sector in our province is the strongest way to ensure our mutual objectives are met. This group was established to ensure interests are being represented and simply put, we are stronger together.

     

    For more information, contact Brenda at brenda@digibc.org

     

     

     

     

  • 14 Aug 2018 by DigiBC

    Capstone brings companies together with the UBC fourth year electrical and computer engineering teams to design a technological solution to a significant challenge. It was launched in 2014 in a strategic effort to integrate design into these programs and to expose the students to real-world, open-ended problems. The course addresses the following three objectives:

     

    • Engage industry and community partners by creating an opportunity for them to work with the next cohort of graduate students, and to explore how emerging technologies can further their organization's goals.
    • Allow students the freedom to apply their skills to a project of their preference and to launch their careers through a partnership with a client.
    • Develop students' professional skills in technical writing, communication, and teamwork. 

     

     

    Capstone attracts a wide range of companies and organizations such as BX Hydro and MDA to not-for-profits and public organizations such as the Neil Squire Society and BC Children's Hospital. It also covers a wide range of sectors from construction and IT networking to education. A showcase of previous project videos can be viewed here.


    The Capstone course runs from September to April and the Electrical and Computer Engineering department provides each project with a budget of up to $650. Students also have free access to design labs as well as specialized equipment and software. Clients are encouraged to cover any additional projects costs, but there is also a process to receive additional funds from the department. Proposals must be submitted by September 3, 2018. However, potential clients are encouraged to submit projects as soon as possible. The faculty will review each proposal and provide feedback to the client on how to make their submission attractive to their target audience of students.

    Further details on Capstone can be found on their website -http://www.ece.ubc.ca/CapstonePartners

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • 14 Aug 2018 by DigiBC

    (Vancouver, BC) –  The Vancouver User Experience Group (VanUE) has announced that the 2018 Vancouver User Experience Awards (Vancouver UX Awards) are now open for entries. The fifth annual awards celebrate the incredible UX experiences developed in Vancouver. Free to enter, entries are submitted online at www.vancouveruxawards.com/submissions until Friday, September 28th, finalists announced on Wednesday, October 31st and winners celebrated at a gala event on Thursday, November 29th at The Imperial in Vancouver.   Finalists are also invited to present at a “Demo Day” event on Wednesday, November 7th that features lightning talks from 10 award finalists and five award sponsors at the Microsoft Vancouver office.

    “The Vancouver UX Awards is an opportunity for all who work in this industry,” says JP Holecka, VanUX Awards Organizing Team member and Founder and CEO, POWERSHiFTER, “From growing startups, freelance practitioners, agencies, to user-centric enterprises, all can showcase their work and get recognized by their peers for the incredible UX experiences they create every single day.”

     

     

     

    2018 Vancouver UX Award Categories


    UX for Work:  This category celebrates any solution—intranets, business applications, or other systems—that provide great user experiences for people inside organizations of any size.

    UX for Emerging Experiences:  The future is no longer at a distance—wearables, voice experiences,  internet of things, bots, virtual, augmented and mixed reality is already here. These devices and experiences are creating a new opportunity for user experience. This award category allows us to surface the emerging interactions and immersive experiences that our community is creating.

    UX for Products:  Digital products play an important role in our everyday lives. Whether to monitor our health, finances, or happiness, we increasingly rely on digital apps and services to make our lives easier to manage and to make intentional decisions about our behavior. This award honours the incredible Vancouver-based products whose digital experiences enrich and engage across a wide spectrum of domains.

    UX for Good:  Great user experiences are essential to improving the way non-profits work with their partners, communities, and stakeholders. This award recognizes charities, foundations, social campaigns, professional associations, and public-sector enterprises. Entrants should demonstrate how they’ve created a user experience that helps a non-profit organization achieve its goals and/or serve its members.

    UX by Students:  Up-and-coming practitioners are making huge contributions to innovation in this region’s UX community. This award celebrates the work done in courses, extra-curricular activities, or portfolio projects—provided the solutions were not designed for commercial purposes. To submit for this award, applicants must be registered at a B.C. post-secondary institution during the 2017-2018 academic year.

    UX for Marketing:  Websites, e-commerce, contests, and marketing-driven campaigns are successful when they create authentic and impactful user experiences for their audiences. This category requires that submissions are or were live during the past year (October 2017 to 2018) and include metrics that matter and can demonstrate their impact. No concepts will be accepted.

    People's Choice:  Using social media and the awards website, the Vancouver UX community will vote on the best experience from among the finalists, across all categories. Voting will occur in the weeks just before the awards gala event.

    Best UX:  Grand-prize category will be a juried selection from finalists across all categories (with the exception of UX by Students). The winner represents some of the best in user experience design the Lower Mainland has to offer.

     

    All award submissions will be evaluated and scored by the judges on how they satisfy five criteria:  elegance, clarity, innovation, impact, and emotion in the UX experiences created.  Submissions are judged by a panel representing different sectors of the UX industry and with varying levels of experience.


    The 2018 Vancouver UX Awards are only made possible with the support of a growing sponsor family including local organizations such as:  OpenRoad Communications, POWERSHiFTER, Habanero Consulting Group, Finger Food, Domain7, RED Academy, SAP, Microsoft, TEKsystems Digital, Clio, Major Tom, BluePrint UX, Spatial research + design, BDC, Noravera, ThoughtFarmer and BrainStation.

     

    About the Vancouver User Experience Group:

    The Vancouver User Experience Group (VanUE) is a diverse community of practitioners and students who are passionate about building better experiences and advancing their skills.  VanUE was founded in 2003 and has since grown to 2,400 members.  Hosting monthly meet up events with speakers and professional development opportunities, the organization is managed by Vancouver UX Award sponsors OpenRoad Communications, POWERSHiFTER, and Habanero Consulting Group. 

     

    For more information on how to participate, from award submissions, gala attendance or event sponsorship, please visit the Van UX Awards website at www.vancouveruxawards.com. Follow the awards on Twitter: @VanUXAwards and on Instagram: @vanuxawards.com