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Apr 25th
2013

A Night At The Canadian Videogame Awards

O Canada

Last Saturday I headed down to the Vancouver Convention Centre for the fourth annual Canadian Videogame Awards (CVAs). Canada, in case you didn’t know, is the third largest producer of video games in the world after USA and Japan. On a per capita basis, the amount of games that come out of this country would easily eclipse any other.

I had been looking forward to this event for months and despite one of the biggest snowsports festivals in the world going on in my hometown of Whistler two hours away, I opted to instead join my gaming brethren down in the city for the evening.

On my way to the bathroom I ran into CVA co-founder Victor Lucas, whom I interviewed over the phone last year. Being already a couple pints deep from an earlier celebration, I wasted no time in introducing myself and to congratulate him on yet another job well done getting the Canadian industry together for a night of celebration of their amazing work. Vic was due for his red carpet entrance so we parted ways but I caught him for a quick interview a few minutes later just outside the awards room. He was joined by his beautiful daughter Ruby.

 Victor Lucas and his daughter Ruby on the red carpet

Victor Lucas and his daughter Ruby on the red carpet

Victor Lucas and his daughter Ruby on the red carpet

“Canadian (video game) developers are enormous, they make some of the best games in the world,” said Lucas.

“I think that this is one of the biggest cultural exports that our country creates and Canadians, en masse, need to be really proud about that. We touch, interact and get in the heads of more people around the world with our games than more than any other medium we make. More Canadians need to know, more Canadians need to be proud and I think that’s exactly what’s happening. Every year we do this it’s a little more of a surprise with more people.”

Hosting the awards was the raspy voiced Elias Toufexis, best known in the videogame world as the voice of Adam Jensen in Deus Ex: Human Revolution. Last year’s host David Hayter (voice of Solid Snake) was back to present some awards, as were Jennifer Hale and Mark Meer (female and male Commander Shepherd) and the star from 1991′s The Rocketeer, Billy Mitchell.

Bioware’s Mac Walters joins Jennifer Hale and Mark Meer, the voices of Commander Shephard in the Mass Effect series

Bioware’s Mac Walters joins Jennifer Hale and Mark Meer, the voices of Commander Shephard in the Mass Effect series

If there was a clear winner for the evening, it was global games giant Ubisoft. Directors from its largest development house in Montreal walked home with eight awards, including Game of the Year, Best Visual Arts and Best Game Design for their title Far Cry 3. Ubisoft also took home awards for Best Technology and Best Audio for Assassins Creed III.

An emotional Anne Gibeault accepts the Game of the Year award for Far Cry 3

An emotional Anne Gibeault accepts the Game of the Year award for Far Cry 3

 Ubisoft took home a total of eight awards at the 2013 CVAs

Ubisoft took home a total of eight awards at the 2013 CVAs

But the CVAs is by no means a AAA lovefest. Canada acknowledges the changing environment of video game development by including categories that recognise indie studios. Vancouver’s Klei Entertainment proudly hoisted Best Downloadable and Best Indie Game for Mark of the NinjaSound Shapes by Toronto-based Queasy Games and published by Sony for PS3 and Vita, was awarded Best Game on the Go and Best Game Innovation.

Jamie Cheng, owner of Klei Entertainment, accepts the award for best Downloadable Game

Jamie Cheng, owner of Klei Entertainment, accepts the award for best Downloadable Game

Xbox consoles were set up at the back of the hall to play before the event

Xbox consoles were set up at the back of the hall to play before the event

A lot of the mystery on how games have been made has started to change,” said Lucas regarding the rise of indie development.

People are more in tune, they’re more aware, they’re sharing more information, there was a big indie games summit today in Vancouver as a matter of fact. The shared knowledge, the shared appreciation and the shared respect for games is kind of universal now, people can get in at every single level.”

Despite controversy last year over its ending of Mass Effect 3, Bioware/EA took home awards for Best Original Music and Best Console Game. The awards were judged by panels of experts from all over the videogame and digital media industries.

While the CVAs are just four years old, the annual ceremony will continue to gain popularity around the country  and the world as more folk recognize the amount of quality games that are produced here.

The VIP seating at the CVAs

The VIP seating at the CVAs

Here’s a complete list of awards from Saturday night.

Future Shop Fans’ Choice Award

Far Cry 3 (Ubisoft)

Game of the Year

Far Cry 3 (Ubisoft)

Best Console Game

Mass Effect 3 (Bioware/Electronic Arts)

Best Downloadable Game

Mark of the Ninja (Klei Entertainment/Microsoft)

Best Game on the Go

Sound Shapes (Queasy Games/Sony Computer Entertainment)

Best Social/Casual Game

The Secret World (Funcom Games/Electronic Arts)

Best Animation

Far Cry 3 (Ubisoft)

Best Audio

Assassin’s Creed III (Ubisoft Montreal)

Best Game Design

Far Cry 3 (Ubisoft)

Best Game Innovation

Sound Shapes (Queasy Games/Sony Computer Entertainment)

Best Indie Game

Mark of the Ninja (Klei Entertainment/Microsoft)

Best New Character

Far Cry 3 (Ubisoft) – Vaas

Best Original Music

Mass Effect 3 (Bioware/Electronic Arts) – Leaving Earth

Best Technology

Assassin’s Creed III (Ubisoft Montreal)

Best Visual Arts

Far Cry 3 (Ubisoft)

Photos taken by our resident Senior Contributor at Awesome Games Vince Shuley – Visit Vince’s Portfolio here

About The Author

Vince Shuley is a Senior Contributor at Awesome Games. An Australian expat living in Whistler, Canada, Vince is a freelance writer for magazines and websites around the world specialising in action sports, mountain pursuits and video games.

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