About the Interactive Society of Nova Scotia (ISNS)

The Interactive Society of Nova Scotia (ISNS) was formed in October 2017, to advocate for interactive and video game development and foster collaboration within the industry in Nova Scotia. According to the Entertainment Software Association of Canada (ESAC), over 300 people are employed in 20 studios around the province, making it the 4th largest provincial game development industry in Canada. ISNS members are committed to the further development of the industry in Nova Scotia, hiring graduates from local Universities and Colleges, and working to promote high standards of relevant education. In addition to its advocacy and educational outreach work, the ISNS also organizes events to foster collaboration within the Nova Scotia game developer community.

Mission Statement

The Interactive Society of Nova Scotia strives to grow and strengthen the interactive entertainment industry in Nova Scotia, by fostering a collaborative environment and advocating for its members.

Our Mandate

  • We create and promote activities aimed at fostering a greater role for the interactive media,  game, and animation industries;
  • We participate in forums affecting policy-making and provincial budgets; acting as an advocate for expanding the interactive media, game, and animation industries;
  • We sponsor research aimed at analysis to improving professional development in the  interactive media, game, and animation industries;
  • We recognize our member’s outstanding contributions to the field of game development and animation;
  • We offer conferences, networking activities, publications and communication networks designed to leverage the successful efforts of individuals and studios in order to promote the collective advancement of interactive media, game, and animation industries in Nova Scotia;
  • We bridge the gap between academic research and industry application, via mentorships, fellowships, game jams, and lecture engagements.

Membership & Outreach

Marina Vidal Garre

Membership & Outreach Director - Interactive Society of Nova Scotia

Marina is an Internationalization Specialist and Transmedia Educator with a particular interest in digital technologies, committed to improving the Nova Scotia game industry through cluster competitiveness strategies. Focusing on womxn in technology, Marina is a proponent of womxn in games. With an extensive experience around the globe, supporting family in game development, Marina has lived and worked in multicultural environments for more than 15 years, and brings fluency in Spanish, Catalan, French, English, Portuguese and Mandarin Chinese to the team.

As Membership & Outreach Director, she focuses on expansion, engagement and retention of ISNS members, and encourages a strong sense of Community among Nova Scotia interactive media industry.

Marina Vidal Garre

Membership & Outreach Director - Interactive Society of Nova Scotia

Marina is an Internationalization Specialist and Transmedia Educator with a particular interest in digital technologies, committed to improving the Nova Scotia game industry through cluster competitiveness strategies. Focusing on womxn in technology, Marina is a proponent of womxn in games. With an extensive experience around the globe, supporting family in game development, Marina has lived and worked in multicultural environments for more than 15 years, and brings fluency in Spanish, Catalan, French, English, Portuguese and Mandarin Chinese to the team.

As Membership & Outreach Director, she focuses on expansion, engagement and retention of ISNS members, and encourages a strong sense of Community among Nova Scotia interactive media industry.

Board of Directors

Selena Landon

ISNS President – HR Manager Ubisoft Halifax

Selena has been working in the Nova Scotia Arts Community for 20 years, with a career ranging from Theatre, TV, Film, Animation and Video Games. Her diverse background has allowed her to see how industries develop from the ground up and she applies this knowledge towards developing a robust and sustainable Games industry in Nova Scotia. Selena proudly works at Ubisoft Halifax as their HR Manager, where she recruits top talent, manages International mobility, immigration processes, deploys strategies for organizational and talent development, and heartily advocates for Nova Scotia and the resources we harbor here.

Selena Landon

ISNS President – HR Manager Ubisoft Halifax

Selena has been working in the Nova Scotia Arts Community for 20 years, with a career ranging from Theatre, TV, Film, Animation and Video Games. Her diverse background has allowed her to see how industries develop from the ground up and she applies this knowledge towards developing a robust and sustainable Games industry in Nova Scotia. Selena proudly works at Ubisoft Halifax as their HR Manager, where she recruits top talent, manages International mobility, immigration processes, deploys strategies for organizational and talent development, and heartily advocates for Nova Scotia and the resources we harbor here.

Lori Shepherd

ISNS Vice President – Chief Executive Officer, Creative Director, & Civil-Military Liaison at Early Warning Entertainment

Lori builds games. Lori also builds teams from the ground up, ensuring the effectiveness of the team through collaboration. Lori is Chief Executive Officer, Creative Director, & Civil-Military Liaison of Cold Furnace Studios Cold Furnace Studios. Sitting on the Executive Board of Directors with the Interactive Society of Nova Scotia, Lori advocates for the game industry in Atlantic Canada.

Lori Shepherd

ISNS Vice President – Chief Executive Officer, Creative Director, & Civil-Military Liaison at Early Warning Entertainment

Lori builds games. Lori also builds teams from the ground up, ensuring the effectiveness of the team through collaboration. Lori is Chief Executive Officer, Creative Director, & Civil-Military Liaison of Early Warning Entertainment. Sitting on the Executive Board of Directors with the Interactive Society of Nova Scotia, Lori advocates for the game industry in Atlantic Canada.

Jeff Cameron

ISNS Treasurer – Co-Studio Director Alpha Dog Games (Bethesda)

With over 20 years in the industry, Jeff has led game development teams on numerous titles in Canada and the US for publishers such as Microsoft, THQ, Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, HBO and 2K. In 2012, he co-founded Alpha Dog Games where he manages the studio and provides technical and development direction. As President of the Interactive Society of Nova Scotia, Jeff aims to further the interactive media and video game industry and foster collaboration and growth within Nova Scotia.

Jeff Cameron

ISNS Treasurer – Co-Studio Director Alpha Dog Games (Bethesda)

With over 20 years in the industry, Jeff has led game development teams on numerous titles in Canada and the US for publishers such as Microsoft, THQ, Electronic Arts, Ubisoft, HBO and 2K. In 2012, he co-founded Alpha Dog Games where he manages the studio and provides technical and development direction. As President of the Interactive Society of Nova Scotia, Jeff aims to further the interactive media and video game industry and foster collaboration and growth within Nova Scotia.

Steve Cooke

ISNS Secretary – Studio Technical Producer at IoM Media Ventures Inc.

Steve is the Studio Technical Producer for IoM Media in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He’s worked in the Animation Industry for over 20 years, the majority of those being in the Halifax area, but has also worked in studios in Moncton, and Toronto. He’s worked in many different fields in animation, from VFX to Stop Motion, and many others. He’s dedicated to seeing the animation and gaming industries grow across Nova Scotia.

Steve Cooke

ISNS Secretary – Studio Technical Producer at IoM Media Ventures Inc.

Steve is the Studio Technical Producer for IoM Media in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He’s worked in the Animation Industry for over 20 years, the majority of those being in the Halifax area, but has also worked in studios in Moncton, and Toronto. He’s worked in many different fields in animation, from VFX to Stop Motion, and many others. He’s dedicated to seeing the animation and gaming industries grow across Nova Scotia.

Marcelo Careaga

ISNS Director - Studio Manager Ubisoft Halifax

With over 15 years background in the video games industry, Marcelo Careaga has an extensive in-depth knowledge of mobile and social games. In his previous roles, Marcelo notably held several key positions in Production & Publishing, like Head of Tencent Publishing at Miniclip, or Executive Producer at Zynga. Since September 2019, Marcelo is proud to be part of the burgeoning Nova Scotia game development community as Studio Manager at Ubisoft Halifax, to accompany the studio in strengthening even further its mobile free-to-play expertise. He also sits on the Board of Directors of the Interactive Society of Nova Scotia, advocating for the growth of a healthy video game industry in the province.

Marcelo Careaga

ISNS Director - Studio Manager Ubisoft Halifax

With over 15 years background in the video games industry, Marcelo Careaga has an extensive in-depth knowledge of mobile and social games. In his previous roles, Marcelo notably held several key positions in Production & Publishing, like Head of Tencent Publishing at Miniclip, or Executive Producer at Zynga. Since September 2019, Marcelo is proud to be part of the burgeoning Nova Scotia game development community as Studio Manager at Ubisoft Halifax, to accompany the studio in strengthening even further its mobile free-to-play expertise. He also sits on the Board of Directors of the Interactive Society of Nova Scotia, advocating for the growth of a healthy video game industry in the province.

Shawn Woods

ISNS Director – Co-Studio Director Alpha Dog Games (Bethesda)

Shawn is an award-winning artist with 20 years experience in the interactive and video games industry. Formerly an Art Director of Microsoft, Relic Entertainment and Fit Brains, his experience spans all aspects of leadership, design, development, and all platforms from PC to Console to Mobile to Web and Video Editing. He strongly advocates for ITC, the fastest growing sector in Nova Scotia, and guest speaks at schools around the province.

Shawn Woods

ISNS Director – Co-Studio Director Alpha Dog Games (Bethesda)

Shawn is an award-winning artist with 20 years experience in the interactive and video games industry. Formerly an Art Director of Microsoft, Relic Entertainment and Fit Brains, his experience spans all aspects of leadership, design, development, and all platforms from PC to Console to Mobile to Web and Video Editing. He strongly advocates for ITC, the fastest growing sector in Nova Scotia, and guest speaks at schools around the province.

Darryl Wright

ISNS Director – Technical Director at Ubisoft Halifax

Darryl has been a developer and leader in software and video games for over 20 years, shipping titles on multiple generations of consoles including Electronic Art's groundbreaking Ultimate Team franchise. Since returning to Nova Scotia, Darryl opened Punk Science Studios Inc. as a platform for his own creative ideas and previously worked as the managing director of Gogii Lighthouse Studios, the new Halifax arm of Gogii Games. He is now the Technical Director at Ubisoft Halifax.

Darryl Wright

ISNS Director – Technical Director at Ubisoft Halifax

Darryl has been a developer and leader in software and video games for over 20 years, shipping titles on multiple generations of consoles including Electronic Art's groundbreaking Ultimate Team franchise. Since returning to Nova Scotia, Darryl opened Punk Science Studios Inc. as a platform for his own creative ideas and previously worked as the managing director of Gogii Lighthouse Studios, the new Halifax arm of Gogii Games. He is now the Technical Director at Ubisoft Halifax.

Adam McLellan

ISNS Director – Owner/Operator at Cosmocat Games

The intersection of art and technology has fascinated Adam for as long as he can remember. This has led to an exciting convergence of skills: equal parts creator, technologist, and leader. As a creator and technologist, he enjoys connecting the dots between disparate ideas; often combining them in unique and compelling ways. As a leader he works in much the same way: connecting people with new ideas, and novel ways of seeing the world.

Adam currently heads up Cosmocat Games, a Dartmouth-based indie game studio with a diverse range of games across several platforms. He also works regularly with technology companies to establish innovative, self-sustaining delivery teams by providing clarity of vision and leading with context.

Adam McLellan

ISNS Director – Owner/Operator at Cosmocat Games

The intersection of art and technology has fascinated Adam for as long as he can remember. This has led to an exciting convergence of skills: equal parts creator, technologist, and leader. As a creator and technologist, he enjoys connecting the dots between disparate ideas; often combining them in unique and compelling ways. As a leader he works in much the same way: connecting people with new ideas, and novel ways of seeing the world.

Adam currently heads up Cosmocat Games, a Dartmouth-based indie game studio with a diverse range of games across several platforms. He also works regularly with technology companies to establish innovative, self-sustaining delivery teams by providing clarity of vision and leading with context.

Miriam Simmonds

ISNS Director – Director of People & Culture at Gogii Games

Talent and Recruitment professional with corporate and agency experience. Hired for roles across the organization with a focus on technical talent (JavaScript, Machine Learning, Java, PHP Developers, DevOps, IT, Finance, Marketing, Product).

``Sourcing top talent is not a matter of good luck, it is a matter of consistently applying an effective hiring process``.

Miriam Simmonds

ISNS Director – Director of People & Culture at Gogii Games

Talent and Recruitment professional with corporate and agency experience. Hired for roles across the organization with a focus on technical talent (JavaScript, Machine Learning, Java, PHP Developers, DevOps, IT, Finance, Marketing, Product).

``Sourcing top talent is not a matter of good luck, it is a matter of consistently applying an effective hiring process``.

Hal Richman

Advisor – COO, Blue House Energy

Hal has a Ph.D. in Political Science from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he studied how facilitation can help overcome power disparities in task-oriented groups. His undergraduate and graduate work includes studies in mathematical game theory, cybernetics and the philosophy and psychology of science. Hal has strong business planning and “startup experience”, as well as an entrepreneurial bent in a variety of technically focused industries such as software and energy efficiency.

Hal Richman

Advisor – COO, Blue House Energy

Hal has a Ph.D. in Political Science from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he studied how facilitation can help overcome power disparities in task-oriented groups. His undergraduate and graduate work includes studies in mathematical game theory, cybernetics and the philosophy and psychology of science. Hal has strong business planning and “startup experience”, as well as an entrepreneurial bent in a variety of technically focused industries such as software and energy efficiency.

Contact

Womxn of ISNS: March 2020

Address:

Interactive Society of Nova Scotia
Halifax, Nova Scotia