Digital Alberta Awards 2012The Digital Alberta Awards, now in its second year, is a program designed to recognize leaders in innovation, creativity and the evolving digital media sector in Alberta. Join Digital Alberta on Monday, June 4th at Hotel Arts in Calgary to celebrate achievement in Digital Media in Alberta. Two new categories this year — Best Campaign by a Media Outlet and People’s Choice Award for Most Inspirational Digital Leader. Sixteen awards will be handed out during the Digital Alberta Awards Gala on June 4. Submission deadline is May 16.

New Award: Best Campaign by a Media Outlet

This category recognizes excellence in an interactive, innovative website or online campaign by a traditional media outlet (Newspapers, Broadcast Television, Radio and/or Magazines) on digital platforms, including mobile. Eligible projects could include websites, social media tools and/or mobile applications associated with the media outlet. Entrants should demonstrate a successful overall campaign through convergence (with ROI), as well as increased connections between outlet and consumer. The content should be of a high standard, originality and innovation. The design and usability of the website or campaign needs to be of a high standard and examples of user feedback or results generated must be included in submission.

Community and Education Category

1. Best in Student Interactive Digital Media and Creative Design

This award recognizes the best and brightest in student projects that will chart a course for the future of innovation and entrepreneurial spirit in digital technologies in Alberta. Applicants must be registered as full-time students at a recognized Albertan post-secondary institution in 2010-2011 academic year. Projects may incorporate any medium or combinations of media or digital technologies. Entries will be assessed on their innovative use of technology, an inspired presentation of content and unique/memorable user/audience experience, the ability to solve a problem or fulfill a targeted market niche, and the overall potential contribution to the digital content and technology industries in the province. Entrants must submit concise documentation of the project, which may include text descriptions, photographs, videos, audio clips, audience descriptions and testimonials.

 2. Best in E-learning  

This category recognizes unique interactive learning experiences. Entries should demonstrate innovation or excellence in the use of digital technology to deliver e-Learning or training. Judges will be looking for excellence in e-Learning and how courses and digital courses or applications derived real benefits for organizations and/or individuals.

3. Best Digital Media Leader – Community Leader, Educator, Program Leader, or Department Head

This award recognizes achievements in educational institutions, community programs and educational leaders who have demonstrated a comprehensive and rewarding curriculum to teach new media in a recognized accredited educational institution. Submissions should demonstrate an overview of the curriculum, evaluation process, and how innovation and creativity are augmented and managed within the program.  An example of at least one project lead by students during the 2010-2011 academic year should be included with submission. Judges will consider an overview of leadership qualities and experience, unique skills and program delivery methods as well as project viability for commercialization or cultural impact.

Philanthropy Category

4. Best Digital Philanthropy Innovation

Entrants should demonstrate the success of a website or online campaign in achieving a positive social impact, or in improving the ability of a third party project or organization to achieve its objectives of achieving measurable social good.. This category is open to all non-commercial websites and online campaigns (charity, state agencies, social enterprise, and not-for-profit organizations). The content should be of a high standard, originality and innovation. The design and usability of the website or campaign needs to be of a high standard and examples of user feedback or results generated must be included in submission. Judges will need to know overall budget and resources but such information will be treated confidential.

Film, Television and Gaming Category

5. Best in Cross-platform Content

This category recognizes excellence in interactive digital enhancement of a television, film, book or gaming property on digital platforms, including mobile. Eligible projects could include games, websites and/or mobile applications associated with a television, games, books or film program.

6. Best Use of Film, Animation or Special FX

This category is open to any film or animated film or game created using digital techniques and delivered via a digital medium. This award considers narrative and character development as well as technical ability, innovation and overall aesthetic. Entries should demonstrate exceptional creativity and originality, whether 2D or 3D, computer animation or flash animation, for games, for web or mobile platforms.

7. Best in Gaming

Any program using online gaming (online, mobile, casual, social etc.) to create an engaging experience for the target audience and achieve the marketers objectives. Entrants should demonstrate exceptional innovation and an overall individuality in this field, as well as deployment strategy. Submissions must indicate if the game has been commercialized or is tied into a broader production project and timelines for deployments. Judges will be looking at user experience, compelling case for story, originality and innovation.

Software, Mobile and StartUps Category

8. Combined Hardware & Software Experience

This award recognizes the ability to create a unique user experience by integrating technology such as multi-touch screens, gesture based user interfaces, or custom hardware in a commercial or conceptual application. Entrants should demonstrate the ability to combine hardware and software or web applications into experiences like digital point of sale tools, storefront displays, gaming peripherals, art instillations or educational tools. The most innovative, intuitive, and well-designed interface will be selected as the winner of this category.

9. Mobile Entertainment

This award recognizes individuals and companies who are excelling within creating and delivering entertainment content in the mobile space. Entries should demonstrate how they used this platform most effectively, through offering innovative, useful or engaging entertainment content, applications, services or utilities including music, games, movies, television or digital publications. Submissions will need to demonstrate examples of user uptake, platforms (including HTML 5) or devices the app is available for, whether or not the app has been commercialized. As well, applicants will need to provide an overview of the business model.

10. Mobile Applications

This award recognizes individuals, organizations, companies and institutions who are excelling within the mobile space. Entries should demonstrate how they used this platform most effectively, through offering innovative, useful or engaging mobile content, applications, services or utilities. Submissions will need to demonstrate examples of user uptake, platforms (including HTML 5) or devices the app is available for, whether or not the app has been commercialized. As well, applicants will need to provide an overview of the business model.

11. Best In E-Commerce Solutions

This category recognizes excellence in the use of e-commerce solutions as part of a digital media property within any sector. This category is open to any business, organization or institution website that facilitates a financial transaction. Including commercial websites/applications, online banking, shares & securities trading website/mobile applications, insurance, loans, payments and cards and other finance related websites/ applications. It also covers interactive financial services created for new and emerging platforms including mobile transactions. The website, application service or product should be easy to use and judges will be looking for creative delivery of financial or other transactional solutions, business processes and educational resources.

12. Best Digital Startup 

This category is open to any individual, freelancer or enterprise that has been in business since January 2010 and is based in Alberta. The award recognizes enterprises that show particular promise of becoming successful, have shown innovation in achieving national and/or international success by completing a cross-country or international transaction, achieved global growth or demonstrated the potential for further growth. Entries are invited from Alberta/Canadian incorporated companies providing digital content, services and technology.

Design and Creative Category

13. Best Digital Design  

This award recognizes the importance of design in achieving successful and engaging user interface for a business, organization or an institution’s objectives. Creating visuals that are successful, have high impact and engaging design in the digital space. This includes design that works well across multiple digital platforms (including mobile), or is especially effective at just one particular media. Entries should demonstrate how visual creativity has enhanced the appeal, effectiveness or usability of a product, project or service in any digital medium.

Marketing and Social Media Category

14. Best In Social Media

This category is open to all social media campaigns. Entries can be for advertising, PR and advocacy campaigns, provision of entertainment, cultural, customer services or other services, or for how social media was used for market research, news and communication. Judges will be looking for the most creative, innovative and effective use of social media that delivered business benefits to clients. Submissions should demonstrate the viral nature of the campaign; earned vs. purchased impressions; analytics and SEO strategies will also be considered to measure success of campaign.

15. B2C Innovation

This award aims to reward excellence in a digital media product, service, website or mobile website that has encouraged consumers to embrace digital media technology, or has allowed consumers easier access to digital media. Entrants should demonstrate how they developed a new technology, new use of existing technology or delivered content in an innovative and engaging manner. Judges will review data demonstrating usage and retention and how interactive the product.

16. Best Digital Advertising/Marketing Campaign

Judges will be assessing the strategic, creative and technical talents of the interactive multimedia sector in Alberta. Based on an evaluation of a portfolio of three (client) campaigns, the judges will be reviewing the overall quality of the work, the technologies deployed, development, the standard of design, measurement criteria and results generated. Both agencies  and independent contractors which provide clients with excellent strategic direction, strong visual and interactive design, innovative interfaces, powerful and original creative concepts will be rewarded in this category.

Submission deadline is May 14, 2012

See more about Submission Requirements

See more about the Digital Arts Awards

Register for the Awards at the Hotel Arts in Calgary on June 4, 2012.