Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Ontario boosts production tax credits.

TORONTO -- The Ontario government has come to the rescue of the beleaguered local film and TV industry, upping tax credits for domestic production to 30% from 20% and for foreign production to 18% from 11%.

That percentage of the labor portion of a production's budget--usually between 70% and 90% of overall cost--will be tax exempt. For domestic productions shooting outside of Toronto, there will continue to be an additional 10% credit.

Foreign productions lensing outside of Toronto will, however, no longer get an extra 3% credit.

Friday, December 7, 2007

The Big Table

Our pals at PriceWaterhouseCoopers looked at digital media and animation incentives in Canada. Yeah team!! And it put the results in THE BIG TABLE. Cool or what!!!!


Friday, November 16, 2007

What's in a name?

Telefilm calls our industry New Media; Telefilm has a New Media Fund. Industry Canada calls it New Media--a part of its much larger Information and Communications Technologies sector.

At the provincial level, there's the successful New Media BC. Alberta uses Digital Media (the Digital Media Association of Alberta changed from the original New Media Association of Alberta). Saskatchewan and Manitoba opted to use "Interactive Digital".

So the question: can we get more action with New Media New Brunswick or Digitial Media NB or Interactive Digital Media NB than we are getting with GAS??? Changing the name should broaden the audience--at least in theory. Thoughts?

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

8th Virtual CareerFair November 1 - 8, 2007

CareerBeacon.com and the New Brunswick Department of Post-secondary Education, Training and Labour are teaming up to produce the 8th Virtual Career Fair - a one week online recruitment event where all employers can advertise positions for free on the Fair’s website.

During that week, November 1 - 8, 2007, an aggressive print and online advertising campaign draws tens of thousands of job seekers of all ages and backgrounds. It attracts a lot of former New Brunswick residents.

For more info, go to http://www.careerbeacon.com/vcf/vcfadv.html.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Seven Steps to Successful Problem Solving

TEC speaker Gerry Faust says most problems are not truly solved because people don't:

1. Clearly define the "real problem" well enough.

2. Get the right people to solve the problem.

3. Use an effective problem-solving process.

In fact, you can simplify problem solving -- and succeed at it -- by following seven logical steps, which were developed by Richard L. Lyles, Ph.D., who co-authored "Responsible Managers Get Results" with Faust.

Success in Seven Steps

Faust distills Lyles' method for success at problem solving as follows:

1. Define the problem.

Identify what is wrong by including both a cause and an effect in the definition.

Questions to answer:
* What is really wrong?

* What is happening, or what isn't?

* What do we find unacceptable?

2. Define the objective(s).

What is the outcome you want to achieve as a result of solving the problem? This is your objective.

3. Generate alternatives.

This is where solutions lie, so be creative in this step.

How many alternatives can you generate? Don't try to judge them until you have come up with as many alternatives as possible.

4. Develop an action plan.

Use detail. Most action plans for tough problems involve taking several steps over a period of time.

Questions to answer:
* Who will do what?

* By what date(s)?

* How will this be accomplished?

5. Troubleshoot.

Don't get so carried away about your solution that you avoid this step.

Questions to answer:
* What could go wrong here?

* What could be the side effects?

* How can we ensure this plan will work?

Answer these questions before you proceed.

6. Communicate.

Getting information to the right people is key for getting the buy-in to make it a success.

Questions to answer:
* Which individuals or groups might affect the success of your action plan?

* Who will be impacted by it, and therefore who needs to be informed about it?

* Who will communicate with affected parties?

7. Implement.

Carry out the plan and monitor its implementation.

Questions to answer:
o Who will monitor the plan?

o Who is accountable for each part of the solution?

o What will be the consequences for failure to meet the plan?

Problem Solving vs. Decision Making

When you are using a systematic approach to sort out issues facing your company, problem solving and decision making can follow nearly the same process.

"In problem solving, the first step is to define the problem. The second step is to set the objectives or define desired outcomes," explains Faust.

"In decision making, the first step is to identify the desired outcomes. A systematic decision-making process is pretty much the same as a systematic problem-solving method."

But TEC speaker Mike Murray reminds us that -- in his view -- they are not the same thing, and should be approached separately.

"The mental processing to create the diversity needed for problem-solving is different from 'deciding,'" he says. "The word 'decide' comes from a root word that means 'to kill.' What you don't want to do is mix problem solving -- which is creating alternatives -- with decision making, which is killing alternatives."

If you are deciding while you are problem solving, you may prematurely eliminate alternatives that are workable.

BitTorrent Bets on New CEO, New Business Model

Here's a business conundrum Henry Ford never had to face: How do you convert a popular service built largely on the appeal of illicit file sharing into a legitimate business?

The challenge has caused headaches and grief for executives at Napster, Kazaa and YouTube, to name a few. Now BitTorrent will make an attempt at the same perilous transition.

The San Francisco-based peer-to-peer file-sharing firm debuts Doug Walker as its new CEO Wednesday. He replaces the technology's inventor, Bram Cohen, who will become chief scientist. The news comes hot on the heels of last week's unveiling of the company's enterprise platform, BitTorrent DNA, as well as the firm's announcement that internet video-service provider Brightcove will be the product's first major customer.

In a meeting with Wired News, BitTorrent's new CEO and the privately held firm's co-founders, Cohen and Ashwin Navin, laid out an ambitious strategy: They want to own the world of streaming content.

"YouTube makes low-quality videos available, not because people wouldn't watch high-quality ones," says Cohen. "That's all it can afford."

With BitTorrent DNA, the company now offers a protocol for streaming high-definition video, including 780p and 1080i. Until now, the BitTorrent protocol only worked for downloading files, not for streaming media files (playing them as they download).

Cohen's goals as chief scientist include improving the streaming and making the protocol more "polite" to the end user. Because BitTorrent's peer-to-peer protocol both uploads to and downloads from a user's computer, it has in the past interfered with web browsers and other applications. The new release is more polite in that respect, though Cohen will continue to work on the issue, he says.

BitTorrent has more than YouTube in its sights. In February, the company launched an iTunes competitor, the BitTorrent Entertainment Network, selling downloadable movies, TV, games, music and software. The majority of its commercial files are protected by digital-rights-management technology and only play on Windows PCs. The company claims much of that content will be free to the customer by the end of the year, with revenue coming from ads.

BitTorrent is now applying the same P2P distribution model it uses in its store to a distribution service for companies that want to sell video, games and commercial software. The larger goal is to allow content creators to save on the infrastructure costs associated with online downloads, while also enabling higher-quality images and faster download times.

The few gray hairs on Walker's head should go a long way towards soothing entertainment execs, whose panic over letting go of old business models is rivaled only by their panic over losing market share to internet upstarts. While Cohen, 32, and Navin, 30, inspire confidence respectively as tech genius and sharp dealmaker, they admit that a seasoned CEO helps their cause.

Walker, 48, was previously an executive with IBM, Sun Microsystems and Silicon Graphics. He most recently served as CEO of Alias Systems, creator of the leading 3-D animation software, Maya. About half of Alias Systems' customers were in the entertainment sector that BitTorrent is targeting.

"High-level diplomacy within the entertainment sector is the area where the P2P industry needs the most work," says Marty Lafferty, CEO of the Distributed Computing Industry Association. Lafferty's reaction to BitTorrent's announcement: "Finally!"

BitTorrent DNA's first major customer, Brightcove, delivers the streaming content for major content sites including CBS, MTV and Warner Music. The outcome of the partnership will serve as a bellwether for BitTorrent DNA. If cost savings prove real and image quality is improved, additional big-name customers will likely follow.

BitTorrent also opened a two-person satellite office last week in Japan, a country whose broadband infrastructure is a generation ahead of the U.S. market. BitTorrent hopes that Japan will serve as a model for where the American market might take legal P2P technology.

Is Cohen pleased to be giving up the CEO job?

"Yes I am," he says with a grin.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Software New Zealand to Pioneer Wiki-based Laws

New Zealand will allow citizens to decide what is legal or not via wiki

New Zealand's Policing Act governs what is legal and what is illegal for its citizens. Now New Zealand will take a grand, bold step by allowing its citizens to collectively rewrite its laws in pure democratic fashion.

While the idea hearkens back to ancient democratic forums, the medium is decidedly high-tech -- the nation will use a wiki to allow citizens to contribute to the new policing act. The page will help people organize their thoughts and collectively make decisions.

Ward Cunningham, inventor of the wiki, chose the Hawaiian word "wiki" rather than the English term "quick" to avoid coining the term "quick-web." Cunningham's first collaborative database was a simple, quick way to store vast amounts of user-contributed data. His idea would eventually seed one of the most trafficked sites on the Internet: Wikipedia.

New Zealand Police Superintendent Hamish McCardle, responsible for the review, calls the move "a new frontier in democracy" and sees the pilot as essential for police to understand public sentiment. "It's a novel move but when it comes to the principles that go into policing, the person on the street has a good idea ... as they are a customer," he claims.

The old Policing Act dates back to1958, and modern police feel the code could not accurately and fairly police its citizens in the modern landscape.

New Zealand Police boldly decided that changing the law should not be relegated to government politicians and bureaucrats.

Allegations that criminals will exploit the process to write legal loopholes do not concern McCardle. "We have been asked if we are worried about it being defaced, but wikis generally haven't been defaced internationally -- people generally are constructive and productive," claims McCardle.

McCardle specifically notes the success of Wikipedia as proof wiki-based contributions can lead to something constructive.

The Wiki is also open to people worldwide, so everyone from academics to amateur politicians can have a say in what they think would help make a safe and productive society. However, the site is temporarily not accepting new entries due to the volume of new entries.

New Zealand successfully launched a smaller wiki, dubbed ParticipatioNZ, to study the effectiveness of wikis in government.

Jason Mick

Monday, September 17, 2007

Wanted: Fortune Hunters

CBC TV's Dianne Buckner, host of Dragons' Den and Venture, is working on a new show called Fortune Hunters. The show looks at current and emerging trends in the global marketplace and how Canadian entrepreneurs are capitalizing on those trends.

The producers are looking for entrepreneurs from New Brunswick to feature in a 6 minute segment on national television. Criteria: you have started businesses related to franchising or are looking to start franchising your business; your business is related to on-line social networking; and/or you offer unique products or services that cater to the aging boomer demographic.

Interested? Contact Lindsey Neely, 416.205.3498 or NeelyL@toronto.cbc.ca

Monday, September 10, 2007

Canada Bombshell

Canada Bombshell. Modestly billed as a superfantastic Canadian digital interactive blog. Mission: to promote new media events and companies in Canada.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007


Think NB

Think New Brunswick ICT Showcase will be a trade show like no other!

Designed solely to create awareness, partnerships and business development between both developers and users of ICT within the province.

The format of Think New Brunswick ICT Showcase will have a strong focus on exhibitor to exhibitor networking and feature an exclusive group of New Brunswick companies currently developing and marketing leading edge technologies right here in New Brunswick.

In addition, Think New Brunswick ICT Showcase will attract a strong attendance from New Brunswick based industries including, Department of National Defence, Regional Health Corporations, municipalities, regional agencies, organization, and leadinginformation communication technology users.

New site launched

Thanks for the news Steve Kelly!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

We're no Danes but ...

Canadian Press

ROTTERDAM, The Netherlands — Compared with the rest of the world, Canadians are a pretty happy lot.

Canada sits ninth of 95 nations ranked in a “global happiness index" created by Dutch academic Ruut Veenhoven in 1999.

Canada has a score of 7.6 on the World Database of Happiness, compared with the U.S. score of 7.4, which ranks 17th. The top rated countries are Denmark (8.2) and Switzerland (8.1). At the bottom, Tanzania, by contrast, received a score of 3.2.

Mr. Veenhoven told CTV News that all countries in the top group – mostly Western and rich – scored closely, with small variations. He pointed out that they are all democratic, have gender equality and are fairly tolerant.

Mr. Veenhoven's major factors contributing to happiness are the quality of society as a whole, quality of employers and education, and personal choice.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007


BREAKTHRU, New Brunswick’s Business Plan Competition is a unique opportunity for entrepreneurially minded New Brunswickers to transform their innovative business ideas into profitable business ventures.

One of the competition’s main goals is to support would-be entrepreneurs and encourage them to take the next step and create their own business venture. Breakthru is also open to tried and true entrepreneurs that are ready to launch their next business venture. It provides participants with an unparalleled opportunity to access feedback, mentoring, start-up capital and support; exactly what an emerging company needs to get off the ground successfully. Participants will compete for their share of over $200,000 in prizes and in-kind support.

Are you ready to Breakthru?

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Digital Content Association of Japan event

FYI - Digital Creators Competition 2007
  • Deadline to be September 10, 2007 (to arrive at DCAJ)
  • No age limitation for applicants
  • Animation length to be three minutes or shorter; if it is a abbreviated version of a longer original, the applicant should indicate that fact and the original length.
  • One Gold Wing Award winner to receive 200,000 Japanese Yen as scholarship money; two Silver Wing Award of 100,000 Yen; and three Excellence Award of 50,000 Yen.
  • Awarding ceremony will be held on October 11, 2007 as part of ASIAGRAPH in Tokyo.
  • Winner's work will be screened at ASIAGRAPH (October 11 to 14, 2007) and on other occasions.

For more information or to register, please contact :
Eddie Suzuki
Digital Content Association of Japan (DCAJ)
23-3 Icgiban-cho, Suite #LB
Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-0082, Japan
Tel.: 81-3-3512-3901
Fax: 81-3-3512-3908

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Deal with problem clients responsibly

Deal with problem clients responsibly

Jacksonville Business Journal - January 9, 2004

By Ben Leichtling

Every company has them: clients that aren't worth the problems they create. They eat up your profits and are so nasty, deceitful and frustrating that your good employees quit. If you think your company doesn't have any, you're too far away from the firing lines.

Successful training or timely firing is in order before they ruin your business. The trick is to do it in a way that costs less, preserves your reputation and helps your company grow with better clients.

Don't hesitate because of fear and inexperience. A typical fear is thinking that if you stop working or push for timely payment, they'll get insulted and won't pay or will bad mouth you. Problem clients are less likely to pay after you finish the job.

Here are some suggestions for dealing with problem clients:

* List your top three "problem children" and your timeline for their professional development or firing. What keeps you from taking action right now? Is that fear exaggerated?

One surveying company owner had a client who refused to pay during a project, no matter how much the entrepreneur compromised. The client claimed they'd never received invoices, and stalled and lied many times about mailing checks. In order to receive the finished drawings, the client finally cut a check but then canceled payment as the owner was driving to the bank.

* Know your clients and employees. Who pays on time, who avoids paying and who nickel-and-dimes you? Which employees are afraid to pursue clients, which skillfully handle different types of clients and which escalate problems instead of clearing the air?

* Plan ahead. Do your contracts give you enough leverage to stand firm?

* Owner-to-owner honesty can distinguish problem clients who have been blaming difficulties on poor systems or employees from good clients who have problem employees. Some clients and managers treat your staff like dirt but will listen to you. Develop a timetable with staff: clients must deliver by a certain time or get bumped up to you.

* Educate inexperienced or fearful managers on when and how to stand firm. Many managers, afraid of the repercussions if a client complains or leaves, jump inappropriately to please clients. Meet regularly with staff to determine when to get firm with which clients. Tell them that clients who take advantage will get no more slack while good clients will get some. Managers must know that you'll stand behind decisions and plans.

For example, when clients call with urgent change orders, fearful managers can create future payment problems by sending crews before the new work is described, priced and signed for. Get signatures when the client is anxious to get the work done.

* Some clients can be educated if your service is good enough. For example, a civil engineering firm had a client that withheld payment. Cash flow suffered while the firm carried the account. The client valued the firm's accuracy, attention to details and timely adherence to budget, and wanted to hire it again. I asked the engineer, "What would that client have to do in order for you to be willing to work with them again?" The answer was to agree to pay a retainer that would be replenished at each milestone or the work would stop. The client agreed and cash now flows.

* Be clear, persistent and matter-of-fact when educating or firing a problem client. Most entrepreneurs want parting to be amicable so they do it indirectly. They'll eat the present contract, and never again bid or bid high for that client. Explain that you're probably not the right fit for the next job and send problem clients to your competitors.

Don't react emotionally to their emotions. Learn to say calmly, "We can go on to the next step when you've signed off on this step or paid the outstanding bill."

* Some problem clients are so abusive that good employees burn out. Rotate staff to see if a different personality or style solves the problem. Make sure employees know when you've fired a difficult client. Be aboveboard if you ask employees to put up with a client for a finite time. Consider offering them a bonus or some perk for their "hazardous duty."

If you're desperate, you'll take any client just to survive. However, a different strategy is necessary in order to thrive. Stand up to your fears and stop wasting time, energy and good employees on problem clients. Focus on your best clients and grow with other good ones.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Harold's Intro

You've seen my name on the sidebar and may be wondering what the heck I'm doing with GAS. I don't have much experience with animation or computer gaming but I did do a fair bit of war-gaming (with the military) as well as helicopter flight simulation in a previous life.

My interest in GAS is as someone who has chosen New Brunswick as home [I'm originally from BC] and like many companies in this industry my clients are outside the Province. I started with the e-learning industry here in '98 and saw it flash, fizzle and partially rise from the ashes. My experience with industry associations has been not all that great but I like what GAS is doing, in that it's real conversations with real people and focused on the grassroots.

I think that there is some great potential here, as long as government keeps a hands-off approach (sorry about that my friends in govt, but let entrepreneurs do their own thing). One lesson I learnt from the e-learning industry was that the government propped-up too many businesses that should have failed. With GAS, I hope that the government concentrates on infrastructure, like making this province more open to immigrants. Better public transportation would be something positive. Also, I know people who would love to move here but our immigration laws are too strict. The Province should put pressure on the Feds.

Anyway, I'm interested in systems and strategy and new business models, and you can always get more than you want of my opinion on my blog.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Human Resource Development in the sector

In March 2006, the Enterprise Network was contracted by the department of Post-secondary Education, Training and Labour to form a workforce adjustment committee for the Information Technology sector in New Brunswick. The primary objectives of this committee were to understand the workforce needs of the sector and develop a strategy to ensure the long-term sustainability of the industry.

Nineteen companies contributed to the strategy and developed 6 key goals:
  1. Implementation of a provincial ICT Human Resource structure with appropriate staff and resources to facilitate sector communications, growth and prosperity.
  2. Retention of appropriately skilled and experienced ICT employees and managers in New Brunswick.
  3. Education of an adequate number of new ICT graduates to a job ready skill and experience level to meet evolving industry needs.
  4. Attraction of appropriately skilled and experienced ICT employees and managers from outside NB.
  5. Develop a strong positive image of the NB ICT industry with enhanced pride and esteem of sector participants and strong awareness of sector employment opportunities through enhanced sector communications.
  6. Ongoing professional development of experienced ICT sector employees and managers to adapt their skill sets to meet evolving industry needs.

Autodesk purchases Skymatter

Skymatter the creator of Mudbox, a high resolution brush based sculpting software was, on August 6, 2007, Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADSK) announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire substantially all the assets of Skymatter, Inc., the developer of Mudbox. This acquisition will augment Autodesk’s offering for the film, television and game market segments, while offering additional growth opportunities for other design disciplines. Autodesk anticipates that the transaction will close in the next two months.

For the full press release check it out here

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Bell Broadcast and New Media Fund announce new funding

Bell Broadcast and New Media Fund announced new funding forHD production and increased matching broadcaster support for new media digital productions. The Board has approved new funding of up to $75,000 for television programs that are shot and broadcast in HD format and has also doubled the eligible bonus to $100,000 to match broadcaster cash contribution to the production of new media digital projects.

Funding for the television component of eligible Bell Fund projects is in the form of a grant of up to 75% of the total Canadian broadcast licence fees for the program, to a maximum of $75,000. Now, in addition to this, if the program is both shot and broadcast in HD, the production will receive double the eligible grant, to a maximum of $150,000.

The cap on the grant matching any broadcaster cash contributions to the financing of the new media component has now also been increased from $50,000 to $100,000. This is in addition to the standard new media grant of up to 75% of the cost of production of the project, to a maximum of $250,000.

Therefore, successful Bell Fund applicants can now receive up to $500,000 for their television and associated digital projects. Both of these increases will take effect at the next Bell Fund application deadline of October 1, 2007.

The Bell Fund continues to adapt to the changing needs of the industry and these new funding opportunities are designed to help maintain the leadership and competitive role that Canadian producers have established in the world of cross-platform production.

For more info: www.bellfund.ca; bellfund@ipf.ca; 416. 977.8154

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Club Penguin founders strike it rich

Disney pays Kelowna entrepreneurs $350-million for virtual penguin world

From Thursday's Globe and Mail
August 2, 2007 at 4:18 AM EDT

They may be flightless in the real world but penguins are soaring in the virtual one, as borne out by Walt Disney Co.'s agreement to pay $350-million (U.S.) for Kelowna, B.C.-based Club Penguin.

The online club lets subscribers take on the identities of penguins that waddle and chat in spots such as a ski hill, custom-furnished igloos and a coffee shop. The deal, announced yesterday, generates a windfall for the company's three founders, who are its only shareholders, and highlights the burgeoning appetite for social networking sites that cater to a preteen audience.

Having fended off multiple offers from venture capital investors and would-be buyers, Club Penguin's creators decided deep-pocketed Disney would be the best partner to help a company based on a flightless bird spread its virtual wings, co-founder Lane Merrifield said yesterday.

"We have been offered a lot of money from a lot of different people at various different points," Mr. Merrifield said on a conference call with reporters.

"For us, this whole decision was based around being able to connect with infrastructure that we wouldn't be able to build on our own and being able to take this thing further, and to more countries and more children around the world than we would be able to on our own."

Club Penguin launched in October, 2005, and now has more than 700,000 subscribers who pay $5.95 a month or $57.95 a year. The privately held company does not release financial information, but Mr. Merrifield said it was designed to be self-sustaining from its inception and is profitable.

Founded by Mr. Merrifield, Dave Krysko and Lance Priebe, the site was designed to appeal to youngsters from 6 to 14 and provide an advertising-free zone that features penguin avatars through which subscribers chat, play games to earn cash and decorate their igloos. The founders, who all have children of their own, wanted to create a virtual playground that would emphasize fun and creativity.

As the site snowballed, picking up subscribers in the United States, Britain and across Canada, calls and e-mails started pouring in from would-be investors and purchasers who wanted to join the march of the penguins all the way to the bank.

The Club Penguin partners held out, aiming to find a partner that would respect the company's approach.
"For us, the process of finding the right partner was paramount," Mr. Merrifield said. "We are passionate about this, this is our baby."

Under the terms of the deal, Club Penguin and its current 130 employees will remain in Kelowna. The company's three founders will join Disney, which says it plans "no immediate changes" to the operation or business model of the company.

About 10 per cent of the purchase price will go toward Club Penguin's foundation, which is involved in child-focused charitable work in countries including Uganda, Kenya and Romania, Mr. Merrifield said.

Virtual worlds and immersive environments are key elements of Disney's strategy, said Steve Wadsworth, president of the Walt Disney Internet Group.

"So when something like a Club Penguin comes along, it's a very obvious fit," Mr. Wadsworth said.
Through Disney, Club Penguin hopes to see its waddling birds make inroads into markets in Europe and Asia and possibly branch out with more merchandise or even movies.

"That's going to be something that when the time comes, we will evaluate it, listen to the audience and see if that's something that the kids will want to see," Mr. Merrifield said.

Thanks to William Langley for this news.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Nice work !

Good Day all;

Kudos to everyone who contributed to developing the idea for a GAS blog, and thanks to those whose hard work set this up.

- Tony

"I am happy to report that I received an email from Beans today, though it did give me GAS."

Fellow GAS members

I do hope that our unity as a group puts out a strong message to the provience about trying to help us be and build a stronger face to the rest of the country. I want to continue to build my studio and have all the technical and financial abilities to do that. But want more resources for HR and also need less taxes to help successfully build out a strong P&L for the future.

Monday, July 30, 2007


“Quality of work and quality of life for those we work for and those we work with”

Hey hey Kats and Kittens!

Let's get this ball a rollin' yo! First, lets start off with a little bit of an introduction from everyone! First off, I'd like to introduce Fatkat...

Fowler, with a dream to have his own studio, started Fatkat Animation Studio with its head offices in Halifax, Nova Scotia. After a successful stint creating over 40 animated training films for companies like Nike and Hasbro, Fatkat's largest client pulled the plug on project development and the summer of 2003 saw Fatkat disband.

This was an opportunity in disguise for Fowler as he then seized the moment to re situate the company to his hometown of Miramichi. With tremendous support and a few good employees, Gene incorporated Fatkat's new headquarters in Miramichi City in the fall of 2003.

Fatkat's first assignment in New Brunswick was to produce an animated series for television. The show 'And Yet I Blame Hollywood' for CBC Television was very well received and stemming from that experience more TV production jobs poured in. We’ve worked on shows like Caillou, Carl Squared, Family Guy, Odd Job Jack and with commercial clients such as Pepsi, Yahoo, Unilever, Microsoft, Gee Guides, Heritage Gas, Century 21 and Toyota.

Fatkat is currently in production of TV shows; “SuperNormal” with World Leaders; “Chaotic” with Bardel and “4Kids!” for Teletoon and YTV; “Skunk-Fu” with Cartoon Saloon out of Ireland. Our Commercial department is also busy on stuff that’s top secret though, we can’t tell you or we’d have to strip you down and cover you with molasses.

Over the last 18 months the company has quickly doubled in size as more and more of these great gigs come in. Fatkat is fast approaching the 100 employee mark and with Gene's desire to have a company grow and blossom in his hometown, Fatkat has been aggressively marketing itself on a global scale to keep up with supply and demand.

The financial support received from the Miramichi Regional Economic Development Fund, and local government agencies, including the Province of New Brunswick has allowed Fatkat to set its sights on being the largest animation studio in Atlantic Canada and the fastest growing animation company in the country.

You haven’t seen nothing yet!