Friday, March 29, 2013

University of Guelph Students Drive Home Winners in National Contest

GUELPH, Ontario March 28, 2013 - University of Guelph News Release - Two University of Guelph students walked into a Toronto advertising competition this week and drove away with brand new cars as Canada’s Next Top Ad Execs.

Marketing students Alyssa de Hoop (left in the photo) and Kennedy Crawford won the national competition, Canada’s Next Top Ad Exec, on March 26. Their proposed advertising campaign for the Chevrolet Equinox beat out entries from 113 teams from 41 schools, earning each Guelph student a red 2013 Chevrolet Cruz.

The annual contest held by McMaster University draws students from across the country. This year, teams developed a national advertising campaign, with a proposed budget of $5 to $7 million, to promote the Chevrolet Equinox. The first phase – an elevator pitch in January -- cut the field to 25 teams, and a strategy document round in February further narrowed the competition to the top 10.

Those finalists each had 30 minutes to pitch their plans to 22 judges in Toronto. Then, Kennedy and de Hoop had to wait.

“While we were confident in our campaign and presentation, when they didn’t call us up for second or third place, we began to become doubtful, because winning two cars was such an insane, wild, never-in-a-lifetime achievement,” said Crawford, a marketing management major. “This is the first car I have ever owned, so to be able to say that I won it is unbelievable. We feel so lucky, although we can assure you that hard work played a much more prominent role than luck.”

Despite the pressure of facing a panel of advertising professionals, de Hoop says she was ready to pitch their campaign.

“Before going on stage to present, Kennedy and I were extremely nervous,” said de Hoop, a studio arts major who is minoring in marketing. “However, once we started, we loosened up and grew comfortable with presenting. We based this campaign on logic and evidence so that there were no holes or gaps in our execution. We wanted to have an answer for everything.”

Best friends for 15 years, they credit the help of their Guelph business faculty.

“The faculty and teaching assistants were tremendous in supporting us,” said Crawford. “They met with us four or five times, allowed us to present to them our ideas, and did practice Q-and-A sessions.”

One of those supporters was Prof. Bharat Sud, Marketing and Consumer Studies.

“When they started practising, their ideas were wonderful, but their skills at presenting and answering questions were a bit raw,” he said. “But they went through multiple rounds of practice presentations and improved every time. They were confident of their strategy and willing to defend their thinking – so open-minded to suggestions and criticism but defending what they felt strongly about.

“I believe the analysis of numbers and target markets and in-depth understanding of consumer needs helped them focus in so specifically on their chosen target. They planned for marketing in various media, including TV, magazines and social media. It was a very thorough, well thought-out and carefully executed communications campaign.”

Thursday, March 28, 2013

City launches new Guelph Culture Map

GUELPH, Ontario, March 19, 2013 – Today, more than 150 community members attended the official launch of the new Guelph Culture Map.

The afternoon celebration, which took place at River Run Centre, featured a live demonstration of the new online portal for information on Guelph’s arts, culture and heritage resources. Following the demonstration, attendees had the opportunity to explore the new Culture Map at computer stations set up in the Canada Company Hall.

The searchable database and interactive map is open to the public and is designed to connect the community to Guelph’s artists, creative entrepreneurs and enterprises, culture workers, events, cultural organizations, volunteers, creative spaces, venues and public art. The site can be used to strengthen networks and spur creative collaborations between individuals and organizations. It also lends visibility to cultural enterprises, links venues with practitioners, and helps Guelph’s creative economy to grow.

“With a clear picture of Guelph’s arts, culture and heritage resources and assets, we are in a better position to strategically support culture as the fourth pillar of sustainability and prosperity,” said Mayor Karen Farbridge. “The Guelph Culture Map will help strengthen our creative advantage—making Guelph an even better place to live and work.”

To date, more than 700 assets have been added to the site by community members, and data collection is ongoing. This initiative, funded in part by the Government of Ontario and led by the City of Guelph in partnership with Guelph Arts Council and Guelph Chamber of Commerce, provides an essential tool for effectively leveraging our community’s existing cultural assets, and is a valuable planning tool for cultural and economic development.

Members of the public are encouraged to explore the site at

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Ontario Veterinary College Teaching, Research Featured in New Video

GUELPH, Ontario - March 18, 2013 - University of Guelph Campus Bulletin - The Ontario Veterinary College (OVC) will be featured in a new promotional video to begin airing on public television channels in the United States this spring.

The eight-minute video highlights OVC teaching and research facilities, and includes interviews with University of Guelph president Alastair Summerlee, OVC dean Elizabeth Stone, faculty, students and graduates.

The video was commissioned by Summerlee to mark the college’s 150th anniversary in 2012 and its many achievements.

Interviews and voice-overs discuss OVC’s growth and development, and underline connections between animal and human health, especially in cancer and cardiology research.

Stone said the project was

“an opportunity to help spread the word about OVC, especially how the college is helping shape the future of veterinary education and research, to a new and diverse audience.

“My overall vision as dean is to help bring about a shift in how society values veterinarians and the veterinary profession, so that in every interaction with their family vet, people recognize that they are there to see a true health professional.

“This video helps tell that story. It also shows how OVC has staked out its territory as an internationally renowned and respected leader working at the intersections of animals, people and the environment.”

The video includes extensive footage of the Mona Campbell Centre for Animal Cancer, opened last fall as Canada’s most comprehensive animal cancer treatment and research centre. Viewers will see state-of-the-art tools for cancer diagnosis, treatment and teaching, and will learn how studying diseases in animals helps us understand human illness.

The video was produced by American Milestones, which creates news-style documentaries about educational institutions. The company’s segments appear on public television stations regionally, nationally and internationally.

The OVC video will run regularly before and after programs airing on several channels, including the Fox Business Network and public TV affiliates.

The company has also produced two commercial-length segments about OVC to air beginning in April.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Recognizing and reporting scams helps everyone

March is Fraud Prevention Month - if it sounds 2 Good 2 B true, it probably is!

OTTAWA, March 1, 2013 /Canada NewsWie/ - "This investment will give you high returns with little or no risk—guaranteed!" "Act now, tomorrow will be too late!" "Don't tell anyone else—then everyone will know about this loophole!" These pitches are only a few of the red flags that will help you recognize scams and frauds.

"One of the most effective ways to keep yourself safe is to learn how to spot a possible fraud," says Ursula Menke, Commissioner of the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC). "To help consumers who want to learn more about fraud, the Agency has developed a wide range of materials—including videos, tip clips, case studies, tip sheets and quizzes."

On March 12, FCAC will be participating in "2 Good 2 Be True" Day, during which Canadians will be encouraged to talk about fraud on Twitter using the #2good2Btrue hashtag and share tips for recognizing, reporting and stopping it. They can also share experiences they've had and scams they're aware of.

To educate the public about financial crimes and fraud, a one-hour forum on Twitter called "#Fraudchat" takes place every Thursday, from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. EST. This live online chat, moderated by the Financial Crimes Unit of the Toronto Police Service and the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO), seeks to educate and exchange ideas with the public about financial crimes and fraud through the use of social media.

During Fraud Prevention Month 2013, #Fraudchat will cover the following topics:

...March 7: home renovation scams
...March 14: auto insurance fraud
...March 21: life insurance fraud
...March 28: staged motor-vehicle accident fraud.

Financial fraud is a growing problem worldwide. In Canada, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre (CAFC) received almost 39,000 complaints of mass marketing fraud with reported losses of over $53 million in 2012. Another 17,000 claims related to identity fraud/identity theft, and cost victims more than $16 million. In many cases, victims are too embarrassed to report fraud or even tell their family and friends they've been scammed, making it easier for fraudsters to ensnare new victims.

What can you do to keep your money and your financial information safe? Here are some tips to help you avoid becoming a victim of fraud, as well as what to do if you are scammed.

Tips to protect yourself:

...Don't share personal information freely.

...Destroy documents with personal information.

...Keep your wallet or purse safe.

...Don't carry ID you don't need, such as your Social Insurance Number (SIN).

...Lock your household mailbox if possible.

...Check your credit report once a year (you can order it for free from the two credit reporting agencies).

...Make sure websites are secure before transmitting personal information.

...Delete emails that ask for personal information.

...Keep computer firewalls and spyware filters up to date.

...Keep your computer passwords in a safe place.

...Be skeptical—if an offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is!

...Save paper bank records for at least a year in a safe place.

Steps to report fraud:

...File a report with your local police.

...Advise all financial institutions and other companies where you have accounts, such as your phone or cable provider, about the fraud.

...Contact Canada's two credit reporting agencies, and ask them to put a fraud alert on your file.

...Contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre's national call centre at 1-888-495-8501 or by email at

...Write down the steps you take as you report the fraud.

FCAC's website has information on identity fraud, debit card fraud, credit card fraud, email and phone fraud and real estate fraud. Online Fraud includes tips on how to prevent identity theft and fraud when using public wireless Internet access and social networking sites. There are also tips on spotting housing frauds and scams, employment fraud, investment fraud, payment scams and other kinds of financial fraud.

About FCAC

With educational materials and interactive tools, the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) provides objective information about financial products and services to help Canadians increase their financial knowledge and confidence in managing their personal finances. FCAC informs consumers about their rights and responsibilities when dealing with banks and federally regulated trust, loan and insurance companies. FCAC also makes sure that federally regulated financial institutions, payment card network operators and external complaints bodies comply with legislation and industry commitments intended to protect consumers.

You can reach us through FCAC's Consumer Services Centre by calling toll-free 1-866-461-3222 (TTY: 613-947-7771 or 1-866-914-6097) or by visiting our website:

Follow @FCACan on Twitter

Like Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC) on Facebook
Like Financial Literacy Month in Canada on Facebook.

Subscribe to FCACan on YouTube

Follow Financial Consumer Agency of Canada on LinkedIn
Join the Partnering to Turn Financial Literacy into Action group on LinkedIn.