[indoor playground: come to our grand opening!]

I am a freshly minted partner at the amazing Jouer Café playground! We are run by three mums (yay for mompreneurs right?!) in Beaumont, Alberta (just about a 5 min. drive from South Edmonton).

We are celebrating on Sunday with our Grand Opening (drum roll!). We will have the festivities from 10:00 am - 2:00 pm with loads of fun things to do like have your caricature drawn, ride some Strider Bikes (from We Play, another local business) Princess Nails (from Anne-Marie from The Nail Boutique, another mum business) and more. Plus we'll have yummy treats to try.

We hope to see you there!


[6 Types of Custom Content]

Today’s customers consume more digital content than ever before. And brands are jumping at the opportunity to create it.
Content volume is growing at a rate of 200% annually, according to Forrester Research. Moreover, 70% of B2B marketers are creating more content than they did one year ago, states the latest B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends—North America report from MarketingProfs and the Content Marketing Institute.
With the use of custom content on the rise, brands are beginning to think like publishers. That means producing content that stands on its own merits, not as a promotion of a product or service.
For custom content to be successful, it must provide relevant and valuable information that attracts, acquires, and engages a target audience.
It all sounds simple enough.

Click Here!
Learning to Become Publishers
Although brands have been using content for years, they are not natural publishers.
Since the 19th century, the functions particular to publishers—including selecting, editing, and designing material, as well as arranging its production and distribution—have made publishing a distinct occupation, with skills and practices out of reach for most other industries.
Brand marketers may not be trained publishers, but with more self-publishing and online promotion strategies available, they can draw from publishing's long successful history. Brands can become publishers in their own right.
The Lesson No. 1 that brands can learn from publishers is the importance of various content types.
As your business considers how lessons from publishing can influence your content marketing strategy, make sure that you consider the following types of custom content:
1. E-books
The widespread prevalence of tablets, e-book readers, and mobile devices has increased the popularity and effectiveness of e-books. Although the name suggests otherwise, e-books can serve as both a digital and print asset, especially for businesses that can take advantage of the Internet as a distribution channel.
Although e-books can be used by businesses to differentiate products and services by adding value, the same e-books can often be used internally to train and motivate an organization. Consider Avaya's VoIP For Dummies, which was used not only to educate customers but also partners and employees about emerging communication trends.
2. Cheat sheets
Normally a single sheet, a visually appealing cheat sheet can arm a sales force with a truly memorable leave-behind. Digital cheat sheets can also be used kick-start a product launch, especially for more technical products, by providing users with information they can easily download and save.
3. Whitepapers
Some 33% of survey respondents ranked whitepapers within the top five most influential assets businesses provide. When done well, this type of content can not only help readers to understand an issue, solve a problem or make a decision but also position the whitepaper author as an authority on that topic.
4. Videos
Although typically not thought of in terms of publishing, video can help explain a complicated concept in a compelling way. With the widespread availability of video-recording devices and the variety of avenues for hosting and promoting video, at a relatively low price, video as a content tool is more accessible than ever.
Video is also arguably more important, with brands seeing more ties to conversion. Over 70% of marketers said their video content’s conversion performance was better compared to other types of marketing content, according to a 2014 video benchmark report by Demand Metric and Vidyard. 
5. Infographics
Visual content, such as infographics and data visualization, can help communicate a message in both a concise and engaging way. Infographic usage increased among B2B marketers from 51% in 2013 to 62% in 2014, according to CMI and MarketingProfs latest B2B Content Marketing Report.
Infographics can be a compelling brand-side asset used for company blogs and social media, as well as a press asset, helping brands earn media coverage.
6. Audio recording and podcasts
Programming like Chicago Public Media's hugely successful Serial podcast, which debuted in October 2014, has shown the potential reach of this type of audio recording. According to data from MarketingPodcasts.com, the number of podcasts on iTunes has surpassed 250,000, up from 200,000 in 2010, and Apple has more than one billion subscriptions to podcasts via its iTunes app.
* * * 
Understanding the types of content at your disposal is only part of what it takes to make custom content effective. With more content being produced than ever, marketers who think like publishers and consider the needs of their readers are more likely to stand out among the noise.

Read more: http://www.marketingprofs.com/opinions/2015/27477/think-like-a-publisher-and-use-these-six-types-of-custom-content#ixzz3XxJZgXZz


[uni of alberta and entrepreneurship]

Start up a revolution

TEC Edmonton helps U of A innovators turn tech ideas into commercial successes. A university’s output of research and innovation can boost an entire region’s economy—but only if those inventive sparks can make the jump and catch fire in the business community. Since 2006, TEC Edmonton has helped that happen. The transformation has been stunning. “In the 1990s, the University of Alberta had no defined strategy for encouraging spinoff creation,” says Chris Lumb, CEO of TEC Edmonton. “Today, it’s a North American leader in this area.” More like a world leader. In 2014, Sweden’s University Business Incubator Index ranked TEC Edmonton as the world’s 10th best university business incubator. Closer to home, the Startup Canada Awards named it “Incubator of the Year.” TEC Edmonton currently works with approximately 125 active clients. Those clients have generated $310 million in revenue since 2011, and they now employ over 1,800 people in and around Edmonton. The organization is a non-profit joint venture between the university and Edmonton’s Economic Development Corporation, was built off of the earlier success of the U of A’s technology transfer office, created in the mid-1990s to help U of A innovators take their ideas to the marketplace. U of A Vice-President (Research) Lorne Babiuk observes, “We were one of the first North American universities to recognize the role that institutions like ours can play in regional economic development through successful commercialization of university research.” The partnership with EEDC leveraged that existing expertise and opened it up to the wider community. Now, anyone in Edmonton with a promising tech-related idea can approach EEDC for support. During its short history, TEC Edmonton has become our region’s hottest accelerator for early-stage technology companies, including many spinoffs from the university. Many of TEC Edmonton’s U of A-related successes have already made waves. A biomarker for breast cancer, discovered by researcher and professor Ing Swie Goping could lead to a diagnostic test to help doctors personalize drug therapies for individual patients. TEC Edmonton also helped U of A researcher Richard Fedorak launch Metabolomic Technologies, which has already developed urine diagnostic tests for colon cancer (and is working to develop tests for other conditions). Results from clinical trials suggest the tests could save money—and lives. Although Lumb gratefully accepts the national and international accolades, he insists that the real credit belongs to TEC Edmonton’s clients. “It’s all about the companies we serve. The entrepreneurs, who put their resources and reputations on the line to launch and grow companies, are the reason we exist.” Meanwhile, Babiuk sees TEC Edmonton’s current success as a mere hint of what lies ahead. “We have come a long way,” says Babiuk. “Together we will do so much more, strengthening the university’s reputation as a commercialization leader and Edmonton as a centre of technological innovation.”


[feature project lab in whistler]


Application Deadline: April 24, 2015 

Imagine meeting, work-shopping, dining and brainstorming in Whistler, North America’s top mountain resort with key industry experts who aim to help you tap into significant opportunities. Up to six producers from across Canada will be selected to participate in the WFF Feature Project Lab, an intense business and creative content development experience presented in association with Telefilm Canada. It's all about getting it made! 

New in 2015, Feature Project Lab has been extended to include two-phases:  Phase I takes place over four months starting with an intense four day Lab in Whistler from Sunday, June 21 to Wednesday, June 24 follow by four months of ongoing feedback and project development with advisors. Producers will be required to revise and resubmit their packages, and will be assessed by October 1 to determine if they are eligible to advance to Phase II.  Phase II includes a four day follow up from Tuesday, December 1 to Friday, December 4 where they will regroup with their advisors, participate in a pitch boot camp and receive the opportunity to meet with and pitch international sales agents, complimented by access to the Whistler Film Festival + Summit taking place December 2 to 6.  For more information, please visit the Feature Project Lab webpage or read the Submission Guidelines.

Read more at http://affta.ab.ca/Arts-In-Alberta/Arts-Opportunities/WFF-Announces-Call-for-Submissions-for-Feature-Project-Lab


March 26Call for Applications
April 24Application Deadline
May 4 - 8Final producers and projects invited and announced (up to 6) along with Industry Advisors.
May 11 - June 5Selected producers receive feedback on their package and a proposed strategy is discussed so they can revise package if need be.
June 15Deadline for producers to resubmit revised materials that are sent off to consultants/advisors to prep.
June 21 - 24WFF Feature Project Lab takes place in Whistler, B.C. (Sunday - Wednesday)
June 30Deadline for producers to follow up with lab facilitators and experts
July 31Check-ins by the end of the month with the producers to assess progress of their action & resubmission plan as required. 
September 1Producers receive feedback on any revisions to their package to date. A proposed strategy is discussed so they can further revise package and outreach as required. 
October 1Deadline for producers to resubmit revised materials. These materials will be reviewed by the Industry Advisors. 
October 15Producers deemed eligible to advance to Phase II are notified.
December 1 - 4
Selected producers will be invited to experience the Whistler Film Festival + Summit. Here they will receive feedback on their revised package as well as the opportunity to meet and pitch their projects to international sales agents. 
** Discounted room nights are available for participants who want to stay in Whistler for the remainder of WFF15 on December 4 and 5 if booked by October 31, 2015


[effective social media communication course at U Alberta]

STARTS April 27

Effective Social Media Communication

Apr 27 - May 15
+ In-class 
May 7 & 8 (Thu & Fri)
9:30 am - 4:30 pm
Instructor: Jessica Laccetti
Strategy and skills are needed for effective social media communication. Focusing on these, learn how to create content for various popular social media platforms, and engage communities and customers in conversation through these platforms. A special focus of this course will be the different writing needs of several major social media platforms, and the development of strategic and skillful writing for these platforms.