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February 8, 2016

Bell teams up with IBM to bring new hybrid cloud capabilities to Canadian market

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Easy access to IBM Cloud services over Bell's secure and reliable private broadband network

MONTRÉAL, Feb. 8, 2016 /CNW Telbec/ - Bell Business Markets and IBM today announced a new partnership to expand the cloud computing services available through Bell Business Cloud. This partnership will give businesses across Canada access to the IBM Cloud via a secure, high-speed private connection from Bell, simplifying the way customers adopt and build out their hybrid clouds.

More and more organizations are looking for a reliable and secure connection to the cloud, that doesn't rely on sending data over the public Internet. Bell Business Cloud addresses this issue by enabling enterprises to plug into the IBM Cloud, giving them direct access to a wide range of on-demand computing and storage options.

These new services include:

Bell Cloud Connect: connecting the largest and most advanced IP network in Canada to IBM Cloud for end-to-end performance, security and reliability

Bell Cloud Compute: running on IBM Cloud to offer a secure, scalable, self-serve environment for managed virtual machines that improves operational performance while reducing costs

Backup & Restore: providing access to IBM Cloud to protect customer data and applications through a secure backup location as well as ensuring availability of data and applications.

"Bell is an established leader in data hosting and cloud computing, providing customers with exceptional support from an expert nationwide team," said Tom Little, President, Bell Business Markets. "With businesses of all kinds increasingly relying on cloud services for their mission critical applications, adding IBM Cloud services to Bell Business Cloud provides customers with the seamless integration, security and dependability they expect and require."

"The world's appetite for data is increasing and with this comes a greater need for organizations to support cloud workloads. IBM Cloud is the leading platform for data-driven cloud and analytics that enables organizations to open the doors to more responsive and innovative ways of doing business," said Nevil Knupp, VP of Cloud, IBM Canada. "IBM Cloud supports Bell's new client offerings to help companies gain more control of their data, improve application performance and efficiencies with enhanced collaboration, centralize IT management, reduce costs and achieve greater efficiencies."

IBM is equipped with one of the highest performing cloud infrastructures available to offer organizations speed, power, and flexibility, while delivering a high degree of customization, transparency, predictability, and automation. According to analyst findings from Synergy Research around Infrastructure-as-a-Service, Platform-as-a-Service, and private cloud, IBM is positioned as a top performer and leader in the private and hybrid cloud space.

IBM Cloud delivers fast, easy and automated access to a public, private and hybrid cloud services that enable companies to lower their overall IT costs while increasing agility and productivity. IBM offers a complete portfolio of cloud services, with over 40 data centers in every major financial market around the world, supporting a wide range of applications including big data, analytics, mobile and cognitive.

As Bell's Business Cloud ecosystem continues to evolve through new partnerships, customers will benefit from additional solutions, enterprise applications and business tools, with the ability to increasingly acquire their technologies on a utility basis.

Driven by industry-leading innovation and supported by a strong expertise, Bell Business Markets offers a comprehensive portfolio of products and services including data centre solutions, unified communications, security and professional services supporting all the customer's ICT needs.

Bell's Business Cloud in partnership with IBM is available across the country to all mid and large businesses. For more information, please visit bell.ca/businesscloud.

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February 8, 2016

DHX Media Licenses Backstage to Disney Channel in the US & Internationally

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New teen drama an original Family Channel commission
HALIFAX, NS, Feb. 8, 2016 /CNW/ - DHX Media ("DHX" or the "Company") (NASDAQ: DHXM; TSX: DHX.A, DHX.B), a global leader in kids and family entertainment content, has licensed its new original performing arts drama, Backstage (30 x 30'), to Disney Channel in the US, UK, France, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Nordics, Benelux, Germany, CEE, Turkey, Middle East, Africa, Australia and New Zealand.

Backstage was created and developed by Fresh TV in association with DHX Television. The series was filmed in Toronto and is slated to air on Family Channel in Canada in spring 2016, and Disney Channel in the UK and US in spring 2016, with international roll out in 2016.

Josh Scherba, SVP Distribution, DHX Media, said: "There has been significant international interest in Backstage. With Disney and Family Channel on board, we're building strong international foundations for this new live action series. We are confident that teens all over the globe will find the characters and storylines compelling viewing."

Backstage, a scripted series (shot docudrama-style), follows a group of outstandingly talented teenagers as they live through the highs and lows that come with attending the prestigious Keaton School of the Arts – from new friendships and crowning achievements to the angst and disappointments of the high stakes competition. Through diary-style confessionals and dramatic cliff hangers, Backstage lifts the curtain on these rising stars as they chase their dreams and deal with the day-to-day reality of being a student, a sister, a son, a girlfriend — a teen.

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February 8, 2016

SUPER BOWL 50 is Second Most-Watched on Record in Canada with 8.3 Million Viewers on CTV and RDS

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TORONTO (February 8, 2016) – Last night’s SUPER BOWL 50 on CTV and RDS is Canada’s second-most-watched SUPER BOWL on record. Preliminary overnight data from Numeris confirms that the game attracted an average audience of 8.3 million viewers on CTV and RDS (CTV: 7.3 million; RDS: 1 million), as the defensive juggernaut Denver Broncos rolled to a 24-10 victory over the Carolina Panthers. The game’s total audience is second only to last year’s all-time record for SUPER BOWL XLIX (9.23 million viewers).

Overall, 18.2 million unique viewers – or more than one in two Canadians (52%) – watched some part of the 2015-16 NFL championship game on CTV or RDS.

Ratings Highlights
With a technicolour performance by Coldplay, an epic dance-off showdown between Beyoncé and Bruno Mars, and a “Believe In Love” send-off, the Pepsi Super Bowl 50 Halftime Show captivated Canadians, as audience levels for SUPER BOWL 50 on CTV and RDS peaked with an average minute audience of 10.3 million viewers during the highly anticipated halftime show
The game on CTV received more than 50% or higher shares among all key adult demos in all markets in English Canada
Total viewing of all SUPER BOWL programming on CTV and RDS, including pre-game and post-game shows, was 39 million hours

Top 5 SUPER BOWL audiences on Canadian television (CTV and RDS)
SUPER BOWL XLIX in 2015 – Patriots 28-Seahawks 24 – 9.23 million
SUPER BOWL 50 in 2016 – Broncos 24-Panthers 10 – 8.3 million
SUPER BOWL XLVI in 2012 – Giants 21-Patriots 17 – 8.18 million
SUPER BOWL XLVIII in 2014 – Seahawks 43-Broncos 8 – 7.94 million
SUPER BOWL XLVII in 2013 – Ravens 34-49ers 31 – 7.38 million

Sponsors and Advertising

Once again the SUPER BOWL was the hottest television property for Canadian advertisers and a coveted platform for key sponsors, including Labatt Breweries of Canada, Nissan Canada Inc., and Toyota Canada Inc. Key advertisers showcased during SUPER BOWL 50 included Doritos Canada, Hyundai Canada, KitKat, Burger King, Mazda Canada, President’s Choice, President’s Choice Financial, Scotiabank, Sun Life Financial, and Volkswagen Canada, BMO, Chartered Professional Accountants, GlaxoSmithKline, Mackenzie Investments, and Wealthsimple.

TSN used the massive SUPER BOWL 50 broadcast to launch the network’s newest multi-platform campaign – aptly titled CHAMPIONS LIVE HERE – underscoring the unrivalled range of iconic championships that live on TSN, and the incomparable value that TSN’s five national feeds deliver to subscribers. Following its debut, the campaign will be featured in heavy rotation across Bell Media’s industry-leading TV, radio, digital, outdoor, and social platforms.

Bell Media also delivered a multi-million dollar promotional campaign inSUPER BOWL 50 showcasing original Canadian productions including LETTERKENNY, MASTERCHEF CANADA, ORPHAN BLACK, SAVING HOPE, BITTEN, and JADE FEVER.
Bell Media’s CTV, TSN, and RDS are the official broadcasters of the NFL in Canada.

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February 8, 2016

104.5 CHUM FM Announces Shaggy, Nick Jonas, and DNCE to Join BREAKFAST IN BARBADOS

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TORONTO (February 8, 2016) – This morning, 104.5 CHUM FM’s ROGER & MARILYN announced that internationally renowned “Boombastic” singer Shaggy, “Jealous” hit-maker Nick Jonas, and American pop rock band DNCE, will join them for the 2016 edition of BREAKFAST IN BARBADOS. The giveaway to the hottest week-long party provides lucky listeners with the opportunity to witness the concert of a lifetime, in an exclusive music event from April 9-16 on the spectacular beaches of Barbados along with ROGER & MARILYN.

Each morning, ROGER & MARILYN will announce the BREAKFAST IN BARBADOS “Artist of the Day”, and for every double play – two songs played in a row from that artist – the 104th caller instantly wins an all-inclusive trip for two to Barbados.

“We are happy to unveil the list of hit-makers headlining BREAKFAST IN BARBADOS, one of the most anticipated contests of the year for 104.5 CHUM FM listeners,” said David Corey, Vice-President, Programming, Bell Media Radio. “From Enrique Iglesias and Pitbull to Maroon 5 and Katy Perry, some of the hottest musical artists performed for our lucky listeners over the years, and this year’s lineup is no exception.”

CHUM FM’s longest-running contest, more than 1,600 lucky winners have enjoyed a music-filled week on the beach with BREAKFAST IN BARBADOS. The grand prize includes round trip airfare for two from Air Canada Vacations, one week at the new, all-inclusive Sugar Bay Barbados, and $1,500 spending money from CIBC VISA AVENTURA® INFINITE™ card. For complete contest details, please visit CHUMFM.com.

ROGER & MARILYN airs weekday mornings from 5:30 9 a.m. on 104.5 CHUM FM.

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February 8, 2016

Portfolio Entertainment and Giggle Media Embark on New Mission to Develop Animated Series for Corus Entertainment’s TELETOON

(February 8, 2016 – Toronto, Canada) – Leading producer and distributor Portfolio Entertainment and U.K-based Giggle Media are pleased to announce a development deal with Corus Entertainment’s TELETOON for a new comedy animation series, Invasion of the MooFaLoo! The kids 6-11 co-production comes hot on the heels of Portfolio-produced Freaktown, an upcoming series commissioned by TELETOON.

Invasion of the MooFaLoo! (26 x 11’), created by Steve Garratt, follows three genetically-modified, rocket-powered sheep – Fluffy, Byron and Telisa – as they fight to protect the world from the MooFaLoo, a race of alien monk cows who conquer planets with their duck-shaped battleships.

“We are thrilled to be working on another animation series for TELETOON, this time with an extraordinary flock of defiant sheep and marauding cows,” said Lisa Olfman, CEO and Co-Founder, Portfolio Entertainment. “We are also pleased to be joining forces with U.K.-based Giggle Media on this series which speaks to Portfolio’s continued strength in identifying the right animation partners, nationally and internationally, and collaborating with top talent from around the globe.”

“Invasion of the MooFaLoo! is an absurdly random and funny series bursting with colourful and comical characters,” said Athena Georgaklis, Director of Content, TELETOON. “We look forward to developing this series with Portfolio and Giggle Media and bringing this concept to life.”

“To make a show like Invasion of the MooFaLoo! really work you need creative collaborators who live and breathe kids’ comedy,” said Steve Garratt, Creator & Creative Director of Giggle Media. “That’s what we found at Portfolio and TELETOON.”

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February 8, 2016

Canada builds on international reputation at Kidscreen Summit

(Miami, February 8, 2016) – Canada will be well represented at Kidscreen Summit, one of the world’s leading children’s entertainment content markets, to be held in Miami, from February 8 to 11, 2016. Nine Canadian corporations, associations and agencies have pooled their resources to feature Canadian productions and foster business opportunities for Canadian producers. A branded meeting space, a networking reception, a session featuring Canadian producers and support of the Kidscreen awards will keep Canada top-of-mind at this important international trade event.

A delegation of over 350 Canadian content creators and audiovisual industry leaders will come together to promote Canada’s leading role in producing quality children’s programming sold around the world, and to showcase Canada’s wealth of talent and content.

A series of initiatives designed to feature Canada has been developed as a collaborative strategy between the Canada Media Fund (CMF), Youth Media Alliance, la Société de développement des entreprises culturelles (SODEC), Creative BC, Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC), Bell Fund, Canadian Media Production Association (CMPA) – BC Producers’ Branch, Consulate General of Canada in Miami, and Nova Scotia Business Inc. The strategy will be accentuated by a unified and cohesive new design to Canada’s delegate booth on the trade room floor.

On behalf of the Canadian industry, the CMF will help celebrate the year’s best children’s programming as sponsor of the Kidscreen Summit Awards Ceremony on Tuesday, February 9.

In support of the development and production of audiovisual content for Canadians and world audiences, the Consulate General of Canada in Miami and Canadian partners will host a networking reception on Wednesday, February 10.

The Kidscreen program will include a panel discussion featuring Canadian projects titled, “Igniting social awareness with kids.” Producers and creators will share how they are using inventive storytelling to highlight global and local social issues, engage kids and drive change. The session, which takes place Tuesday, February 11, will include moderator, Amy Friedman (President, Redhead Consulting), and speakers Judith Beauregard (Executive Producer, Tobo), Anthony Leo (Co-President, Aircraft Pictures), Shabnam Rezaei (President, Big Bad Boo) and Gerry Shirren (Managing Director, Cartoon Saloon Limited).

Canada has earned a reputation of producing compelling children’s programming for world audiences to enjoy, in both English and French, and Canada’s strong presence at Kidscreen Summit 2016 is set to build on this reputation.

Visit Kidscreen Summit for further details.
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February 5, 2016

Corus Entertainment Closes Over-Allotment Option on Public Offering of Subscription Receipts

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Corus Entertainment Closes Over-Allotment Option on Public Offering of Subscription Receipts

NOT FOR DISTRIBUTION TO U.S. NEWS WIRE SERVICES OR DISSEMINATION IN THE UNITED STATES  

(Toronto, Canada) Corus Entertainment Inc. (“Corus”) (TSX: CJR.B) announced today that the underwriters for the company’s previously completed public offering of 25,400,000 subscription receipts have elected to exercise their option in full to purchase an additional 3,810,000 subscription receipts at a price of $9.00 per subscription receipt. The sale of the additional subscription receipts was completed today and increases the gross proceeds from the public offering by an additional $34,290,000, resulting in total gross proceeds from the public offering of $262,890,000, which is in addition to the gross proceeds from Corus’ previously completed concurrent private placement of 3,560,000 subscription receipts to certain members of the Shaw family and their related entities for total gross proceeds of $32,040,000.

The public offering was made through a syndicate of underwriters led by RBC Capital Markets and TD Securities.

The securities offered have not been registered under the U.S. Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and may not be offered or sold in the United States absent registration or an applicable exemption from the registration requirements. This news release shall not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy, nor shall there be any offer, solicitation or sale of the securities in any state in which such offer, solicitation or sale would be unlawful.

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February 5, 2016

Zelda Williams, Eli Goree and Alberto Frezza Sign Up for Camp in ABC Spark Series Dead of Summer

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(Toronto, Canada) Zelda Williams (Teen Wolf), Alberto Frezza (Charlie’s Angels) and Eli Goree (The 100) have been added to the cast of the highly anticipated series Dead of Summer that will air on Corus Entertainment’s ABC Spark this summer. Dead of Summer creators and executive producers Adam Horowitz and Edward Kitsis will direct the first episode of the series. Williams, Frezza and Goree join already announced cast members Mark Indelicato (Ugly Betty), Ronen Rubinstein (Orange Is the New Black) and Paulina Singer (Gotham).

Set in the late 1980s, school is out for the summer and a sun-drenched season of firsts beckons the counselors at Camp Clearwater, a seemingly idyllic Midwestern summer camp, including first loves, first kisses—and first kills. Clearwater’s dark, ancient mythology awakens, and what was supposed to be a summer of fun soon turns into one of unforgettable scares and evil at every turn. Part coming-of-age story, part supernatural horror story, Dead of Summer is a bold, new series that mixes genres as it examines the light and dark of a summer like no other.  Production on the series will begin in March.

Williams will be portraying a counselor at Camp Clearwater who is a mysterious loner with no interest in bonding with the rest of the group.

Frezza will be playing the role of “Deputy Garrett Sykes,” a young deputy who has ties to Camp Clearwater and who grows immediately suspicious when events at the camp don’t add up.

Goree will be portraying “Joel,” an aspiring filmmaker who is returning to Camp Clearwater as a counsellor and begins to buy into the idea that something weird is happening.

Dead of Summer will be produced by ABC Signature Studios and Kitsis/Horowitz. Adam Horowitz, Edward Kitsis (Lost, Once Upon a Time) and Ian Goldberg (Once Upon a Time, Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior) will write and executive-produce the series.

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February 5, 2016

STINGRAY WINS “BEST IR FOR AN IPO” AT THE 2016 IR MAGAZINE AWARDS - CANADA

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Montreal, February 5, 2016 — Stingray Digital Group Inc. (TSX: RAY.A; RAY.B), a leading business-to-business multi-platform music provider, was awarded “Best IR for an IPO” at the 2016 IR Magazine Awards - Canada held on February 4 at the Carlu in Toronto. Stingray was shortlisted in November 2015 along with Cara Operations, Seven Generations Energy and Tidewater Midstream and Infrastructure.

“We are thrilled to be recognized at the IR Magazine Awards - Canada for our dedication to quality investor relations services during our 2015 IPO,” said Mathieu Péloquin, Senior Vice-President, Marketing and Communications at Stingray. “It is an absolute honour to be acknowledged by the Canadian investor relations community in our first year as a publicly-traded company. We wish to thank IR Magazine and congratulate all other nominees and award winners.”

IR Magazine Awards - Canada is the country’s largest annual gathering of investor relations officers along with their senior management, advisers and analysts. Award nominees are selected by close to 300 Canadian analysts and portfolio managers.
For more information about Stingray’s Investor Relations: http://www.stingray.com/investors

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February 5, 2016

Broadcasting Accessibility Fund Issues Second Call for Letters of Intent

Ottawa, February 3, 2016 – The Broadcasting Accessibility Fund (the Fund) today announced it has issued its second Call for Letters of Intent, the initial step in its application process. The Fund is mandated to provide financial support for initiatives that advance accessibility to broadcasting content for Canadians with disabilities.

The Fund recently announced the completion of its first round of applications, which resulted in a commitment of $723,500 to seven different projects.

“We had strong success with our first round of applications and have elected to follow the same process as we launch the second round,” said Board of Directors Chair Allister Byrne. “The Call for Letters of Intent allows anyone interested in applying for a grant to first tell us about their ideas, to ensure that their specific initiatives are in line with the Fund’s mandate.”

“Once the Grant Committee of our Board has reviewed a Letter of Intent, we’ll get in touch with the potential applicant to let them know whether their proposal fits our mandate, or perhaps needs a bit of work, or is simply not a match for our objectives,” said CEO/Funding Officer Richard Cavanagh. “We’ll request a full application from those that the Committee wishes to proceed with.”

Anyone interested in submitting a Letter of Intent to the Fund, in English or French is invited to visit www.baf-far.ca and follow the links to How to Apply and Call for Letters. Alternative formats are welcome; simply contact the Fund’s office.

The deadline for submitting a Letter of Intent to the Fund is March 24, 2016.

The Broadcasting Accessibility Fund was established as an independent and impartial funding body supporting innovative projects to increase the accessibility of broadcasting content in Canada.  The fund was created as part of the tangible benefits package associated with Bell Canada’s acquisition of CTV.  The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) approved its creation together with initial funding of $5.7M. 
Contact: Richard Cavanagh, CEO/Funding Officer, Broadcasting Accessibility Fund, (613) 729-1891, richard@baf-far.ca

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February 5, 2016

Profile 2015 - State of the Canadian On-Screen Media Production Industry

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Ottawa, February 5, 2015—The latest edition of Profile 2015: An Economic Report on the Screen-Based Media Production Industry in Canada will be available on the Canadian Media Producers Association website this afternoon at 12:00 p.m. ET.

Profile 2015 marks the 19th edition of the annual economic report published by the Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA) in collaboration with the Association québécoise de la production médiatique (AQPM), Telefilm Canada, and the Department of Canadian Heritage.

The Canadian Media Producers Association is Canada's leading trade association for independent producers, representing more than 350 companies engaged in the production and distribution of English-language television programs, feature films and digital media.  The CMPA works on behalf of members to promote and stimulate the Canadian production industry. Our goal is to ensure the continued success of Canada's independent production sector and a future for content that is make up Canadians for both Canadian and international audiences.

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February 5, 2016

TVO's social network, TeachOntario, receives 2015 Deloitte IPAC Public Sector Leadership Award

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TORONTO, Feb. 5, 2016 /CNW/ - Yesterday evening, TVO was awarded the platinum 2015 Deloitte IPAC Public Sector Leadership Award by the Institute of Public Administration of Canada (IPAC) for its social network for teachers, TeachOntario. Recognizing organizations demonstrating outstanding leadership, the IPAC award highlights the TeachOntario online community, which was created for Ontario teachers to explore, create, and share educational information.

"We are honoured that TeachOntario has been recognized by IPAC for our role as Ontario's partner for digital learning inside and outside the classroom," said Lisa de Wilde, Chief Executive Officer, TVO. "Developing TeachOntario, TVO worked hand in hand withOntario's educators to create a place to share and collaborate so that they can elevate their students' learning experience."

The social network is available to teachers in all grades across the province. Some recent TeachOntario activity includes sharing math problems for the classroom, webinars on cyber-bullying, and establishing student pen pals across Ontario. In addition to teacher-driven content, TeachOntario is administered by a professional community manager and includes resources that are relevant to both teachers and parents.

TeachOntario was created by TVO in partnership with the Ontario Teachers' Federation (OTF), its Affiliates, and the Ministry of Education (EDU), and in consultation with teachers from a variety of districts across the province. It is available at tvo.org/teachontario.

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February 4, 2016

Corus Radio Hamilton’s AM900 CHML Now Available on HD Radio

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Corus Radio Hamilton’s AM900 CHML Now Available on HD Radio
(Toronto, Ontario) Corus Entertainment Inc. is pleased to announce it has launched another HD Radio station in Canada. Listeners with access to HD Radio technology can now tune into the digital signal of Hamilton’s AM900 CHML (CHML AM), in addition to Talk Radio AM640 (CFMJ AM), found under Hamilton’s 95.3 Fresh Radio (CING FM).

“We are excited to add AM900 CHML to our current list of HD Radio stations,” says Mario Cecchini, Executive Vice President, President, Corus Radio and Corus Média. “We strive to offer accessible content across multiple platforms, and as the first multi-market radio operator to offer HD Radio in Canada, we look forward to expanding into this format in the upcoming months.”

Given the strength of 95.3 Fresh Radio’s signal, listeners can experience AM900 CHML in clear HD Radio format by selecting the sub channel 95.3 HD3.

“Corus Radio is committed to delivering dynamic and locally-driven content that moves with its audiences. As the widespread availability of HD Radio receivers shows continued growth, we’ve recognized this platform as another touch point we can leverage to reach our listeners,” says Mario Cecchini.

To find out more about HD Radio on AM900 CHML, visit www.900chml.com/hd.

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February 4, 2016

Legendary Satirist Al Yankovic to Voice Title Role in Disney XD’s Animated Comedy Series Milo Murphy’s Law From Acclaimed Animation Producers Dan Povenmire and Jeff “Swampy” Marsh

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(Toronto, Canada) Legendary satirist and Grammy Award-winning recording artist Al Yankovic (professionally known as “Weird Al”) will voice the title role in Disney XD‘s Milo Murphy’s Law(formerly known as Mikey Murphy’s Law), an animated comedy series from creators and executive producers Dan Povenmire and Jeff “Swampy” Marsh of the globally acclaimed animated series Phineas and Ferb. Premiering this fall, Milo Murphy’s Law introduces Milo, the fictional great-great-great-great grandson of the Murphy’s Law namesake. Yankovic will also sing the opening theme song and throughout the series, will perform original songs as his character Milo Murphy.

Starring with Yankovic are Sabrina Carpenter (Disney Channel’s Girl Meets World) and MeKai Curtis (Disney XD’s Kirby Buckets) as Milo’s friends Melissa Chase and Zack Underwood. Povenmire and Marsh will also voice pistachio protectors Vinnie Dakota and Balthazar Cavendish.

Also joining the cast are: Christian Slater (Mr. Robot) as school crossing guard and Milo’s foe Elliot Decker; Vanessa Williams (Desperate Housewives) as Zack’s mom Eileen Underwood; Sarah Chalke (Scrubs) as science teacher Mrs. Murawski; Jemaine Clement (Flight of the Conchords) as popular television show character Dr. Zone; Mackenzie Phillips (American Graffiti) as Principal Milder; Chrissie Fit (Disney’s Teen Beach Movie) as classmate Amanda Lopez; Vincent Martella (Disney’s Phineas and Ferb) as classmate Bradley Nicholson; Diedrich Bader (The Drew Carey Show) as Milo’s dad Martin Murphy; Pamela Adlon (Californication) as Milo’s mom Brigette Murphy; Kate Micucci (“When in Rome”) as Milo’s sister Sara Murphy; Dee Bradley Baker (Disney’s Phineas and Ferb) as Milo’s dog Diogee; Gregory Michael Cipes (Marvel’s Ultimate Spider-Man) as classmate Mort Schaeffer; Michael Culross (Disney’s Phineas and Ferb) as high school teacher Kyle Drako; and Kevin Michael Richardson (Disney’s The 7D) as Coach Nolan Mitchell.

The series follows Milo Murphy, who is the personification of Murphy’s Law where anything that can go wrong will go wrong. Suffering from Extreme Hereditary Murphy’s Law condition (EHML), Milo always looks to make the best of the cards he’s been dealt and his endless optimism and enthusiasm can turn any catastrophe into a wild adventure. Armed with knowledge, a backpack full of supplies and his fearless friends, Melissa and Zack, Milo is always prepared for every possibility. Together, he and his friends will learn that it’s all about a positive attitude and not to sweat the big stuff… and it’s all big stuff.

Povenmire and Marsh’s creative team includes Phineas and Ferb colleagues – producer and director Robert F. Hughes, story editor Scott Peterson, and staff writers Joshua Pruett, Dani Vetere and Martin Olson. Milo Murphy’s Law is produced by Disney Television Animation.

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February 4, 2016

Strategic Shift Key to Capitalizing Canada’s Content Business, New Study

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Ottawa February 4, 2016 — Canadian content creators do not have the same access to venture capital (VC) financing as their U.S. counterparts, and must think strategically about partnerships, acquisitions and mergers to grow their businesses, according to a new industry study by Duopoly’s Catherine Tait.

Strengthening the Business: Capitalizing Canada’s Content Business was released today at the Canadian Media Producers Association’s annual Prime Time in Ottawa conference. The report received funding support from the Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC), and the Canada Media Fund (CMF). It discusses how traditional content entrepreneurs can attract increased investor activity by learning the basic “rules of the road” and reassessing the management tools used by their companies.

“In order for Canadian content businesses to reach their maximum growth potential, they must develop and constantly refine a concerted corporate strategy,” says Catherine Tait. “Companies need to set business objectives and execute upon them—everything from thinking about expanding into global markets, finding new revenue streams or entering into new lines of business.”

The study does a comparative analysis of the current investment climate for media deals in the U.S. and Canada. VC investment is more limited in Canada than the U.S. because investors are largely interested in technology-based media opportunities, even if they are content players. But companies like DHX, eOne and 9 Story are highlighted as recent Canadian examples of success that have made acquisitions in other production financing territories like the U.S, U.K and Europe.

“What Catherine’s study offers is a unique perspective of Canadian challenges in the global marketplace. She offers best practices from dozens of production companies and financiers to provide guidance and offer potential solutions for small and medium-sized companies to grow their businesses,” says Reynolds Mastin, President and CEO, CMPA.”

As a special feature at Prime Time, business plans from three Canadian companies were pre-selected to participate in a special interactive workshop to put this report to the test.  The panel, led by Catherine with other industry experts, will test the viability of their plans and look for hidden opportunities for growth. The selected companies are; Bandwidth Digital Releasing —exploring new feature film distribution models for Indigenous and First Nations communities not currently served; Arcana, a successful IP developer looking to leverage  their large library of graphic novels; and Relish Interactive — a company that focuses on creating game changing digital content and products for ambitious startups and innovative brands.

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February 4, 2016

Name Change for the CMPA announced at Prime Time in Ottawa

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The Canadian Media Production Association (CMPA) announced today it is evolving its brand to more accurately reflect its membership in its name. It will now be known as the Canadian Media Producers Association. President and CEO Reynolds Mastin made the announcement today during his opening remarks at the Prime Time in Ottawa conference.

The Association will now be using this name on all correspondence and communications. Our logo has also been updated and can be downloaded here.

The Canadian Media Producers Association is Canada's leading trade association for independent producers, representing more than 350 companies engaged in the production and distribution of English-language television programs, feature films and digital media.  The CMPA works on behalf of members to promote and stimulate the Canadian production industry. Our goal is to ensure the continued success of Canada's independent production sector and a future for content that is make up Canadians for both Canadian and international audiences.

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February 3, 2016

BIG BROTHER CANADA IS BACK WITH ALL THE 24/7 ACTION CANADIANS CAN HANDLE – SEASON 4 PREMIERES MARCH 2 ON GLOBAL

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TORONTO, February 3, 2016 - Global's smash-hit original series Big Brother Canada is back and bigger than ever with Season 4 premiering on Wednesday, March 2 at 9 pm ET/PT. Hosted by Arisa Cox, the much-anticipated fourth season promises more surprises, more challenges, and more houseguest shenanigans all under the watchful eye of Big Brother.

Recently nominated for a sixth Canadian Screen Award, Big Brother Canada also welcomes the return of an all-new season of the Big Brother Canada Side Show,  premiering on Friday, March 4 at 10 pm ET on Slice and Saturday, March 5 at 8 pm ET on Global. This year Arisa Cox is joined by panellists Peter Brown (Season 1 houseguest) and Sarah Hanlon (Season 3 winner) who talk through the exploits of the week, analyze game strategy, make predictions, and discuss those oh-so important showmances.

For die-hard fans, Big Brother Canada After Dark is back seven days a week where the cameras never stop rolling in the Big Brother Canada house. Viewers can catch all the late-night activity, secret conversations, and backroom alliances beginning Friday, March 4 at 3 am ET on Slice. And for those who still want more #BBCAN4 action, free live feeds from theBig Brother Canada House will also be available on BigBrotherCanada.ca.

“The support viewers have shown Big Brother Canada over the past three seasons has been nothing short of phenomenal,” said Christine Shipton, SVP, Content, Shaw Media. “Last season was the most-watched, most-talked about season yet and in season four we’re taking Canadians on an even wilder ride.” 

"Each season we look to raise the bar and give viewers of Big Brother Canada even more riveting surprises and unpredictable turns. Season 4 is no exception - viewers will love what we have in store for them," said John Brunton, Chairman & CEO, Insight Production Company Ltd.

Following a coast-to-coast casting call, a new group of houseguests are moving into an overhauled Big Brother Canada house outfitted wall-to-wall with cameras and microphones capturing their every move. The houseguests compete for a grand prize of $100,000, a $25,000 gift card from The Brick, and an OxiCleanTM prize pack valued at $10,000 that includes $500 of fabric care products and a $9,500 wardrobe makeover. The upcoming season of the fan favourite series continues to offer unparalleled digital extensions that augment the social dynamics and real-time momentum of the 24/7 television production. Big Brother Canada extends from series to site at BigBrotherCanada.ca with exclusive content, full episodes, 24-hour live streams, and a host of surprises and opportunities that allow fans to directly impact the show.

Based on Endemol Shine Group's worldwide hit franchise and commissioned by Shaw Media, Season 4 of Big Brother Canada is produced by Insight Productions in association with Shaw Media. Erin Brock and Sue Brophey serve as Supervising Producers. John Brunton and Barbara Bowlby serve as Executive Producers.

Big Brother Canada premieres on Global, Wednesday, March 2 at 9 pm ET/PT and airs Wednesdays at 9 pm ET/PT, Thursdays at 8 pm ET/PT (eviction episode), and Sundays at 7 pm ET/PT. Viewers who miss the premiere can catch up on Big Brother Canada for free following the broadcast the next day on BigBrotherCanada.ca and Global Go.

Additional details on new season of Big Brother Canada will be announced soon.  

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February 3, 2016

Beautiful From Head to Toe: Bell Media Sales Launches New Jergens® Campaign in Québec Featuring Comedian Korine Côté

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MONTRÉAL (February 3, 2016) – Bell Media Sales announced today the launch of a television and digital campaign in Québec promoting Jergens® moisturizer. Commissioned by Toronto-based firm Gaggi Media Communications, the initiative features three Bell Media-produced, 15-second TV spots starring stand-up comedian Korine Côté. The campaign is airing now through September on Canal Vie, VRAK, Canal D, and Séries+ channels, and their associated digital properties.

The campaign, entitled “Votre beauté c’est bien plus qu’un joli visage” (“You’re more than just a pretty face”) was inspired by a similar campaign in the U.S. featuring actress Leslie Mann. The spots take a light-hearted, self-deprecating approach to promote the importance for women of taking care of their entire body. All three ads feature Korine Côté sharing the benefits of hydrating the entire body, with a script written by the comedian herself.

“Bell Media developed a great partnership with Gaggi Media Communications to create this turnkey media initiative,” said Anouk Bourassa, Senior Director, Media Creativity. “With the power and reach of our brands, the creativity of our team, and our deep knowledge of Québec consumers, the campaign demonstrates how our resources can deliver results for Jergens®.”

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February 3, 2016

GET READY TO FLIP OUT! SEASON FOUR OF THE NEXT STEP PREMIERES FEBRUARY 15 ON FAMILY

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Toronto, 3 February 2016 – Killer choreography, dynamic dancing and non-stop drama are set to takeover Family Channel on Family Day Weekend as the network’s flagship series The Next Step returns for its fourth season. Starting at the crack of dawn, on Saturday, February 13, audiences can experience all the kicks, tricks and hair flips the popular tween drama has to offer with a nonstop three-day, full series marathon which culminates with the highly anticipated season four premiere on Monday, February 15 at 5:30 p.m. ET/PT. Following the Family Day festivities, new episodes will air regularly Fridays at 7:30 p.m. ET/PT.

Known for its jaw-dropping dance routines and high-energy performances, The Next Step follows the lives of an elite group of dancers who train at The Next Step dance studio. Season four begins with A-Troupe returning home from their win at the International competition. The studio is now considered one of the best in the world, but achieving victory at the highest level has the dancers questioning their futures – some feel they’ve reached their full potential, while others are still waiting for their chance to shine. Riley is offered a surprising new position with A-Troupe, while James, West and Eldon are swept off on a whirlwind escapade to London, England. Amidst the changes a crop of talented but untested newbies are welcomed to the studio and the team must use every ounce of their talent and determination to recapture the old A-Troupe magic in time to defend their title at Regionals.

The Next Step stars Victoria Baldesarra as Michelle; Brittany Raymond as Riley; Logan Fabbro as Amanda; Myles Erlick as Noah; Trevor Tordjman as James; Lamar Johnson as West; Isaac Lupien as Eldon; Jordan Clark as Giselle; Briar Nolet as Richelle and Skylar Alexis Healey as Skylar. New to the cast this season are Giuseppe Bausilio as Alfie; Alexandra Chaves as Piper; Erika Prevost as Sloane; Akiel Julien as LaTroy; Isaiah Peck as Henry; Shelby Bain as Amy; and Allie Goodbun as Cassie. The new season will also feature special appearances by fan-favourite characters from past seasons, cast members from spin-off series Lost & Found Music Studios, and mark the directorial debut for cast members Trevor Tordjman and Lamar Johnson.

Leading up to the season premiere, fans won’t want to miss a full series marathon beginning Saturday, February 13 at 6 a.m. ET/PT. In addition to every episode ever made, the 3-day event (which will span the entire holiday weekend) will include an encore presentation of The Next Step Live: The Movie and special extended episodes. In the premiere episode, the fates of the current A-Troupe dancers will be revealed, and on February 19, when the series moves to its regular timeslot (Fridays at 7:30 p.m. ET/PT) auditions begin as talented dancers from across the world flock to The Next Step studio in hopes of landing a spot on the regionals team. Family OnDemand will also offer new episodes as they become available weekly beginning March 1, with select episodes available for viewing on Family.ca.  

The news of the series’ return comes as cast members prepares to take the stage tonight in London, Ontario for the first stop of the international The Next Step Wild Rhythm Tour. The interactive live stage show features the amazing talents of the series’ stars featuring group numbers, solos and duets alongside musical performances by cast members from Lost & Found Music Studios. To find out if the tour is visiting a city near you, for detailed ticketing information and VIP passes, and to learn more about the series, please visit Family.ca.

The Next Step is produced by Temple Street, a division of Boat Rocker Studios, in association with Family Channel and is executive produced by Frank van Keeken (Lost & Found Music Studios, Wingin’ It, Kids in the Hall), Ivan Schneeberg and David Fortier (Orphan Black, Being Erica, Wingin’ It), and Laura Harbin (Lost & Found Music Studios, Wingin’ It). BBC Worldwide handles the international rights to the series. 

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February 3, 2016

Rodeo FX Wins VES Award for Game of Thrones: City of Volantis

Montreal, Quebec: Feb. 3, 2016 . . . Rodeo FX has won a Visual Effects Society (VES) Award for its work on Season 5 of Game of Thrones. The award for Outstanding Created Environment in an Episode honoured the studio’s creation of the city of Volantis. Rodeo FX received the award last night at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles and can add it to the VES Award it won last year for its work on Birdman.

The Rodeo FX artists who created the Volantis environment and whose names are on the VES Award are Dominic Piché, lead modeler, Christine Leclerc, lead texture artist, Patrice Poissant, CG artist, and Thomas Montminy-Brodeur, digital compositor.

“We are very proud that our work has been rewarded with this prestigious award,” said Matthew Rouleau, VFX supervisor who led the Rodeo FX team. “Game of Thrones gives us an opportunity to shine and it’s gratifying to have our VFX contribution recognized by our peers.”

The city of Volantis was created completely in CG, replete with a crowded market atop a majestic bridge and surrounded by large buildings humming with activity. Working from a live plate using a Roman bridge in Córdoba, Spain as a stand-in, the Rodeo FX team created the buildings and market on the bridge, as well as the background matte painting. The artists modeled everything in the scenes, including gutters, roof tiles, and windows.

In addition to Volantis, Rodeo FX relied on its proficiency in animation, crowd simulation, and digital matte painting to build other key sequences, including the destruction of the Harpy statue and the eerie Smoking Sea of Valyria as part of the over 200 visual effects it delivered for the show. Rodeo FX worked closely throughout the season with Joe Bauer, VFX supervisor, and Steve Kullback, VFX producer on Game of Thrones. The popular TV series also won a VES Award in the Outstanding Visual Effects in a Photoreal Episode category for a fourth year in a row.

”Our work on Game of Thrones is the result of a complete team effort at Rodeo FX,” added Sébastien Moreau, president of Rodeo FX. “Congratulations to our winners and to all the VFX crew for this recognition of their achievements!”

Rodeo FX was also nominated for The Walk (Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature) and delivered visual effects for two other VES Award nominees, Furious 7 (Outstanding Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature), and In the Heart of the Sea (Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Photoreal Feature).

In addition to its two VES Awards, Rodeo FX has won two Emmys for its VFX artistry on Game of Thrones.

Adapted from A Song of Ice and Fire, by George R.R. Martin, Game of Thrones is produced by HBO and stars Peter Dinklage, Emilia Clarke, Lena Headey, and Maisie Williams. It is the most popular series on HBO. To read more about the contribution of Rodeo FX to Game of Thrones, visit http://www.rodeofx.com/all-films/got5

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