The National Post and XMG Studio Present The Great Canadian Appathon(TM)

Canadian college and university students to create a mobile game in 48 hours for a chance to win a $25,000 grand prize provided by TELUS.

TORONTO, Feb. 28 /CNW/ - The National Post, Canadian game developer XMG Studio, TELUS, and KPMG have teamed up to launch the first ever Great Canadian Appathon (GCA), a 48-hour event open to college and university students coast-to-coast. Up-and-coming coders will race against the clock to design and create a mobile game and submit it for a chance to win a $25,000 grand prize provided by TELUS.

"Honing in on what makes a game fun and addictive is the key to success in this competition," says Ray Sharma, founder and CEO of XMG Studio, a Toronto-based game developer. "With game development cycles often spanning months or even years, the biggest challenge facing participants will be tight time constraints."

Hackathons or Game Jams are popular grassroots events that encourage creativity and innovation in the face of tough competition and a ticking clock. Taking place over the weekend of March 11, GCA will challenge students from across the country to work around the clock to build a game, designed to run on a mobile phone, from the ground up.

"At National Post we embrace digital innovation and great design every day and we are thrilled to support these young entrepreneurs as they battle it out under intense pressure.," said National Post Publisher, Douglas Kelly. "Our journalists will be covering this event around the clock, on all of our platforms."

The GCA will start at 5:00 p.m. (local time) on March 11, 2011 and continue for 48 hours, ending at 5:00 p.m. on March 13, 2011. Event locations will be set-up at a variety of university and college campuses across the country where participants can work around the clock for the duration of the event. Food and drinks suitable for all-night coding will be available and event sponsors will be on-site at some campuses to give away prizes and recruit for job openings.

Individuals, or teams of up to four people, will compete for a prize pool valued at $45,000 provided by TELUS including a grand prize of $25,000, a second prize of $10,000 and 10 $1,000 cash prizes in a variety of game categories.

"TELUS believes that commitment to innovation is essential to Canada's success in this new digital age," said David Fuller, Chief Marketing Officer at TELUS. "We are pleased to support this first Great Canadian Appathon and invest in our future mobile leaders."

Winners will also be considered for two job opportunities at XMG Studio's Toronto offices - one game programming position and one game artist position. XMG will also work with the winning teams to polish their games and get them ready to be published in the appropriate App Store.

Following the event, the winning games will be chosen and winning teams will be honored at the "Grand Finale" sponsored by KPMG in Toronto.

More information about the event including supported platforms, team registrations, rules and regulations, campuses already signed-on or information on how to get your campus involved, please visit www.greatcanadianappathon.ca.

About XMG Studio Inc.

XMG Studio is an award-winning developer of hit games for mobile devices. Current titles include Cows vs Aliens, Drag Racer: Pro Tuner, Style Studio: Fashion Designer, Cannon Cadets, Little Metal Ball, Marine sharpshooter, and Pandemica. XMG puts special focus on creating games with unique user interfaces and which allow players to deeply engage with their games through user-generated and user-customized content. XMG's games have been nominated for numerous awards and have won such honors with Best App Ever awards in several categories in both 2009 and 2010.

About National Post

National Post is a division of Postmedia Network Inc., the largest publisher by circulation of paid English-language daily newspapers in Canada, representing some of the country's oldest and best known media brands. Reaching millions of Canadians every week, Postmedia Network engages readers and offers advertisers and marketers integrated solutions to effectively reach target audiences through a variety of print, online, digital, and mobile platforms.

About TELUS

TELUS (TSX: T, T.A) (NYSE: TU) is a leading national telecommunications company in Canada, with $9.8 billion of annual revenue and 12.3 million customer connections including 7 million wireless subscribers, 3.7 million wireline network access lines and 1.2 million Internet subscribers and more than 300,000 TELUS TV customers. Led since 2000 by President and CEO, Darren Entwistle, TELUS provides a wide range of communications products and services including data, Internet protocol (IP), voice, entertainment and video. In support of our philosophy to give where we live, TELUS, our team members and retirees have contributed $211 million to charitable and not-for-profit organizations and volunteered 3.7 million hours of service to local communities since 2000. Nine TELUS Community Boards across Canada lead TELUS' local philanthropic initiatives. TELUS was honoured to be named the most outstanding philanthropic corporation globally for 2010 by the Association of Fundraising Professionals, becoming the first Canadian company to receive this prestigious international recognition. For more information about TELUS, please visit telus.com.

SOURCE Great Canadian Appathon

For further information: Media Contact: Patti Mikula press@greatcanadianappathon.com 416-619-0700

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