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Wilfrid Laurier University Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing
March 29, 2017
Canadian Excellence

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Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing

Laurier to participate in Great Canadian Appathon3

Sep 20/12| For Immediate Release


Chính Hoàng, Professor, Physics & Computer Science
Wilfrid Laurier University or 519.884.0710 ext. 2613


Kevin Crowley, Director, Communications & Public Affairs
Wilfrid Laurier University
519-884-0710 ext. 3070 or

WATERLOO – Game on. For the first time since the events began, Wilfrid Laurier University will be a hub in the Great Canadian Appathon, a 48-hour event in which teams of college and university students vie to create the best mobile gaming app.

Approximately 30 students are expected to compete at the Laurier location, including Laurier Computer Science students as well as contestants from other nearby institutions.

“This is a chance for the students to make a name for themselves,” said Chính Hoàng, professor of Physics and Computer Science, who is organizing Laurier’s participation in the event. “It also lets people know that something interesting is going on at Laurier. We have courses on making iPhone and Blackberry apps – we’re teaching the state of the art in mobile programming.”

The Great Canadian Appathon3 runs from Sept. 28 to 30 at more than 40 locations across Canada, and gives contestants the opportunity to win a $25,000 grand prize and possibly have their title published by a leading gaming company.

“You can take courses and develop your programming knowledge, but in a competition you have to think on your feet and troubleshoot quickly – those are very valuable skills,” said Hoàng.

Hoàng has been working hard to nurture such skills in his students. He created Laurier’s iPhone app design course in 2010, making it one of the first such courses in Canada. “I was reading articles about young designers who were developing successful apps and doing very well for themselves financially,” he said with a chuckle. “I thought, we need to be part of this.”

The Great Canadian Appathon events were founded in April 2011. Last year’s Great Canadian Appathon2 is the largest “hackathon” held in Canada to date. The Great Canadian Appathon3 is sponsored by The Globe and Mail, gaming-focused television program The Electronic Playground, and XMG Studio, a developer and publisher of mobile games. XMG will also monitor and judge the event.

“Canada is the third largest producer of video games in the world – trailing only the United States and Japan – and houses some of the world’s greatest studios and many of its most promising startups,” said Tony Clement, president of the Treasury Board of Canada and a member of this year’s national judging panel. “This is something we should celebrate.”

The Great Canadian Appathon3 runs from 5 p.m. Sept. 28 to 5 p.m. Sept. 30, 2012. Laurier’s section of the event will be held in the courtyard of the Science Building on the university’s Waterloo campus. The winning games will be evaluated on criteria such as innovation, fun and entertainment, polish and stability, with the grand prize announced at an event Nov. 12.

In addition to the $25,000 grand prize, there are prizes for second- and third-place finishers, both of which include the opportunity to have the game published, as well as 10 runner-up prizes in various categories.

For more information on the Laurier event or to register, contact Chính Hoàng at or 519-884-0710 ext. 2613.

For more information on the Great Canadian Appathon, visit


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