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Observed: Canadian New Media Awards Celebrates Industry Achievers

The Canadian New Media Awards made a triumphant return this week after being postponed in 2004. Nineteen “Pixel” awards were presented on May 30, 2005 at the fifth annual award show, held this year at Toronto’s recently restored Art Moderne gem, The Carlu. The award recipients were selected from 54 national finalists, and each received a hand-blown glass Pixel award in recognition of their significant achievements in new media over the past year. The mood among the crowd of approximately 400 industry movers-and-shakers was decidedly upbeat, with many commenting that business was finally booming again.

Finalists and winners came from all parts of Canada and represented a diverse spectrum of commercial, educational, and scientific disciplines. Wireless applications and videogames got their fair share of limelight this year, due in part to the inclusion of a new category of awards devoted to products instead of people. Speaking of people, women also had an increased profile at this year’s event thanks to a number of award categories devoted to highlighting the significant contribution that women have made to the industry. (It’s a little known fact that the Canadian New Media Awards began as the Canadian Women in New Media Awards in 1999.)
The Lifetime Achievement award went to videogame entrepreneur Don Mattrick, President Worldwide Studios, Electronic Arts. (Mattrick began his videogame career while still a Burnaby teenager, and he now runs the world’s largest videogame development company.) Senator Laurier LaPierre received a Special Recognition Award (and gave the evening’s most heartfelt acceptance speech) for his long-time support of the new media industry in Canada. One Degree readers will be particularly interested to learn that Blast Radius won Company of Year for the second time running; the Web services firm had previously netted this award in 2003.
For a complete list of this year’s winners, visit the Canadian New Media Awards Website at