Dan Rankin, for the Gazette
To accommodate the more than 3,000 people expected to attend, this year’s Canada 3.0 conference will be held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.
While Stratford may be losing out on holding that annual event, which it had hosted since 2009, Mayor Dan Mathieson says a new event geared towards a younger generation and taking place at the University of Waterloo Stratford campus will ensure the city remains a focal point for technological innovation.
Dubbed “Canada 3.0 for Youth,” Mathieson said the new conference will take place in May to coincide with the events in Toronto.
He said one of the goals of the conference will be to engage future digital media professionals with ideas such as the “moon shot” goal, first described at Canada 3.0 in 2010, which seeks to make it possible for anyone to do anything online in Canada by 2017.
“Getting the next generation of digital thinkers engaged with that idea can only help move us in that direction,” Mathieson added. “It’s a multi-generational goal. It’s not just people in the field today. It has to be young people, seniors – it has to be across all generations and economic levels.”
Mathieson credits the previous Canada 3.0 conferences, which invited delegates representing industry, government and academia to discuss the future of technology in Canada, with helping build Stratford’s brand as a digital media centre.
“I think it allowed us to make contact with some of the larger players in the technology landscape and gave us partnership opportunities with them,” he said. “Also, it was great for tourism and hospitality in the city. It brought new people to town and introduced them to our theatre and to our restaurants, shops and accommodations.”
In a StratfordSmartCity.ca blog post from August last year, after the Canadian Digital Media Network announced Canada 3.0 would be moving to Toronto, CDMN managing director Kevin Tuer thanked Stratford for playing “a pivotal role in the growth and success that CDMN has achieved so far, thanks to the opportunities at previous Canada 3.0 events.”
An agenda of events for Canada 3.0 for Youth as well as speakers and special guests will be announced in the coming weeks, Mathieson said.