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Portable North Pole celebrates 10 years of video messages from Santa Claus

Click to play video 'Montreal-based firm makes sure kids can stay connected with Santa even amid the pandemic' Montreal-based firm makes sure kids can stay connected with Santa even amid the pandemic
WATCH: Worried the pandemic will keep your kids from seeing Santa in person this year? Don't be. A local Montreal software engineering firm has come up with a solution to help little ones connect with the big guy in the North Pole. As Global's Raquel Fletcher explains, there's an app for that – Nov 23, 2020

Santa Claus won’t be visiting malls this year, but he will still be available on the app, Portable North Pole. This year two developers of apps for kids are celebrating their 10th anniversary.

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You may have received one of these personalized video messages in past years from Santa Claus in the North Pole, but you may not have known that the platform’s creators are from Montreal.
UGroup Media has been working with the big guy for the last 10 years.

“An elf on the North Pole contacted us to create that amazing platform as a way for Santa Claus to reach out to the world,” explained UGroup Media CEO, Alexandre Bérard.

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Since 2010, Santa has sent a quarter of a billion videos. Bérard expects him to be even busier this year because of the pandemic.

“With the special year we have, we all need an extra dose of Christmas magic, kids and grown-ups,” Bérard said.

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Another Montreal-based app developer is also celebrating ten years of business this year. Like UGroup, Budge Studios started developing apps for kids the same year Apple released the iPad.

“The iPad really did change everything. It was a game-changer, pun-intended, I suppose,” said Budge Studios co-CEO, David Lipes.

Budge Studios has reached 1 billion downloads of dozens of apps.

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Lipes said he understands if parents are concerned their kids are getting too much screen time during the pandemic: “We think it’s ultimately up to each family to make that decision for themselves,” he said.