Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Fourgrounds in the news

Taken from the St. Catharines Standard:

Federal cash up for grabs


Posted 7 hours ago

The race is on for local businesses to apply for a new round of federal funding aimed at recession-battered southern Ontario communities.

Gary Goodyear, minister of state for southern Ontario's new federal economic development agency, announced a second round for the Community Adjustment Fund Tuesday morning in downtown St. Catharines.

The first phase of the fund doled out more than $101 million to 90 projects in cities hard-hit by the recession, including about $3 million to expand nGen, the St. Catharines-based Niagara Interactive Media Generator.

The second round is unique, said Goodyear, because $128 million in loans and grants are available for projects submitted by small and medium-sized businesses in addition to non-profits, cities and academic institutions.

"We are looking for businesses to expand, improve competitiveness, perhaps adopt a technology they haven't had the funding to put forward in the past," Goodyear said following the announcement at the St. Catharines-Thorold Chamber of Commerce on St. Paul Street.

"There are a number of good examples (of businesses) right here in St. Catharines that are doing that."

After shedding jobs and companies for years, St. Catharines unfortunately qualifies as a community in need, chamber general manager Walter Sendzik said.

However, he said the city is also bursting with small-and medium-sized businesses ready to bounce back with a little cash encouragement.

"This is perfect for our emerging hi-tech and bio-tech companies, our construction companies that want to retrain workers in green technologies," he said Tuesday.

The chamber has already made its own application for help creating a new website, tentatively namedgobigniagara.com,which would form a one-stop shopping point for local companies seeking project tender information.

Sendzik added the emphasis on rewarding cutting-edge research and development fits in well with the city prosperity council's focus on digital media and biotechnology.

Two other small St. Catharines companies at the announcement were also eyeing a potential loan.

Fourgrounds Media Inc. and Morro Images have already benefited from the federal hard times cash -- they're primed to move into the expanding nGen office space, which was made possible by $3 million from the fund in September.

The two companies are already seeking private investment for a digital TV project they've partnered on, Fourgrounds president Adrian Thiessen said.

"As soon as I heard (Goodyear) make the announcement, the wheels started turning," he said. "I think we'll definitely apply."

Not everyone who applies will get lucky, of course.

Goodyear said he expects the program to be "oversubscribed."

The funding is geared in particular towards small communities hit by big job losses, he said, with priority also given to projects creating "the most jobs per dollar."

The money takes the form of a no-interest loan for private companies, but non-profits and cities generally won't have to repay the cash.

Applications for the job-creating cash will be accepted starting today until Jan. 18 of next year.

For more details on project eligibility, visit www.southernontario.gc.ca.



Wednesday, November 25, 2009

"Grads help build a new media industry"

Fourgrounds was pleased to be featured in Brock University's first ever Surgite Magazine.

Vol. 1, No. 1 of the Alumni centered publication opens with a two page spread on Fourgrounds' efforts to stimulate a new media industry in Niagara with the help of nGen the new business incubator.

Thanks to Brock for all their support, a version of the magazine will be sent to all Brock alumni, to get a copy of the magazine visit the Brock Campus.

- A.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Fourgrounds is pleased to debut our 2009 Willowbank marketing video.

You can see the video on www.willowbank.ca

The website itself was also entirely produced locally by a company in nGen. Thanks to Tom @ Furi and Tobias @ morro for the web design and special effects.

- A.

more knowfire.ca news

Fourgrounds had the pleasure of presenting at the 2009 Public Safety Educators Conference in Niagara Falls, Ontario.

The Knowfire.ca team unveiled the finalized campaign to those in attendace and presented a project overview including, goals and results, as well as a summary of the efforts taken to get the high concept video campaign from an idea on paper into a working product as it exists today.

The Knowfire.ca safety campaign garnered a ton of buzz at the event and we were proud to be a part of it.

You can see the campaign here.

- A.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

the demos

Fourgrounds proudly presents the newest demo reel. This reel is a selection of works from 2008-2009.


Monday, September 28, 2009

more CAF press regarding nGen and the future of Fourgrounds

The St. Catharines Standard wrote a feature cover story on the $3.02 million for our future office, and interactive media production centre.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

nGen mashup.

Fourgrounds is proud to be the sponsor for September's nGen Media Mashup.

These mashup events were a huge success last year and we hope to help kick this year off in style.

The mashup is on:
Wednesday, September 30th, 2009
5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
One St. Paul Street Lounge
1 St. Paul Street
St. Catharines, ON

Friday, September 11, 2009

Community Adjustment Fund Announcement

A mini Hollywood for downtown St. Catharines

Posted By DON FRASER, Standard staff

Posted 17 days ago

Standard Staff

A production studio to make complex live-action video.

A state-of-the-art motion capture system for tracking and analyzing movement.

These and other leading technologies will soon be available thanks to more than $3 million in federal cash for the Niagara Interactive Media Generator, a centre for interactive media projects and business developments in Niagara.

The goal — to transform nGen into a top media development hub.

Adrian Thiessen, president of FourGrounds Media, is thrilled by Thursday’s announcement.

The nGen tenant is especially pumped about the giant, full-service production studio.

“It’s going to have blue and green screening capabilities to create virtual live action film environments,” Thiessen said.

“It is going to be a mini-Hollywood.”

David Oakes, nGen’s board chair and St. Catharines economic development director, said said nGen’s current space “has rapidly exceeded capacity.”

“We have now found ourselves in need of expansion that meets the needs of this emerging cluster,” said Oakes, at Thursday’s funding announcement inside nGen’s St. Catharines facility.

There are now four nGen tenants and other projects in progress, employing about 25 people.

The community adjustment fund money will allow its One St. Paul Street offices to expand to three floors.

As many as 80 new jobs could be created through the upgrading and future technology tenants that sign on.

Construction should begin shortly, with the project likely finishing by March 31, 2010.

Speakers at the media event said many players stand to benefit from the revamped facility, including Niagara College and Brock University.

“This funding will create an environment that will attract key players from the interactive media industry all over Ontario and U.S. to come to St. Catharines and Niagara,” Oakes said.

“We’ve really positioned ourselves to be a true industry leader in interactive media.”

The expansion will support technologies like interactive design, 3-D animation, digital film and video, computer gaming and webcasting, he said.

“That’s essentially what this is all about,” Oakes said. “Trying to help students and graduates define some entrepreneurial goals and create businesses that help this industry cluster move forward.”

St. Catharines MP Rick Dykstra hailed the new development as the “type of stuff that’s going to put us on the map in North America.

“It’s going to be a cutting-edge facility that will allow nGen to push its path forward into the economy of tomorrow,” Dykstra said.

“And I think the federal government ... is going to receive a full return on its investment.”

This next phase will mean “the access to technology for (post-secondary) students will go through the roof,” said nGen executive director Jeff Chesebrough.

“From that standpoint, the schools are obviously overjoyed with the resources they’re going to have,” he said, in an interview after the event.

Chesebrough said the precise amount of the federal funding commitment is still being worked out, but it’s at least $3 million.

The 18-month-old nGen was founded by Brock, Niagara College, the City of St. Catharines, Niagara Economic Development Corp., Niagara Enterprise Agency, Ontario Media Development Corp., Interactive Ontario and Silicon Knights.

It began with an initial investment of $560,000 over two years.

Niagara College president Dan Patterson said the next phase will encourage Niagara and Brock students and faculty to work together as they use nGen’s new technologies.

“It’s a really important model for us, as we look at the growth of small and medium-sized enterprises,” Patterson said.

“It means some really exciting opportunities for our graduates to work in an emerging and important sector of our economy.”

Article ID# 1748023

Click here to see the announcement video.

Monday, September 7, 2009


Fourgrounds is proud to launch knowfire.ca.

knowfire.ca is an interactive fire safety campaign tailored for the 18-24 demographic. This campaign is a partnership between Fourgrounds, Brock University, Niagara College, Niagara Regional Fire Chiefs Association, and the Niagara Chapter of Ontario Provincial Fire Prevention Officers.

Campaign concept and content was produced solely by Fourgrounds Media Inc.

Sunday, September 6, 2009


Fourgrounds would like to congratulate Beckie Jas on winning an APEX Communication Award on her Air Quality Video Campaign.

Beckie won the APEX Award for "One-of-a-Kind - Energy Efficiency Publications" with Nick Goes Nowhere, and Joules on Juice, two videos co-produced by Aexian Studios and the Fourgrounds Team for the Halton Regional Health department.

The videos were also submitted to the INCHES Film Competition.

Congratulations Beckie, and we at Fourgrounds were happy to help create these videos.

To see the videos on the Halton website click here.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

the nGen experience

Fourgrounds presents: the nGen experience:

This is a marketing video for nGen, produced by Fourgrounds Media Inc. and morro images inc.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

fourgrounds wins nitsopoulos family entrepreneurship award

Nitsopoulos Family Entrepreneurship Award

A press release from Brock University regarding Fourgrounds' as the first ever Nitsopoulos Family Entrepreneurship Award recipients.

- A.

Monday, July 20, 2009


Check out odime.ca.

O.D.I.M.E. is an investment attraction tool for the Niagara Region. All video content and some creative design was produced by Fourgrounds. odime.ca is a product of the synergies in nGen. FURI Enterprises Inc., morro images inc. and Fourgrounds collaborated to produce a one stop shop product for the City of St. Catharines.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

fourgrounds' first post


This blog is our primary source of connectivity and interactivity from Fourgrounds to it's current, past, and future clients, as well as stakeholders, and interested parties.

As our company progresses we hope to bring you a continuous stream of project updates, news, and press.

As Fourgrounds ushers in a wave of new media innovation we hope this digital space serves as a hub for interactivity, information dissemination, and local to global connectivity.

- A.