Charting a New Course to Evolve Canada’s Digital Action Plan
The following post written by Dr. Kevin Tuer, Managing Director, Canadian Digital Media Network, originally appeared on the Stratford Smart City blog and is posted here with permission.
“Home is a tall strong tree, and we the leaves free to travel with the wind, yet always knowing that our roots will remain, firmly planted.” – Unknown
The Canadian Digital Media Network (CDMN) has a close relationship with the city of Stratford – the founding hub of CDMN’s Canada 3.0 Digital Media Forum, our national conference. Since its inception in 2009, Canada 3.0 has brought together more than 7,000 inspired leaders, and an additional 12,000 Canadians online, to share ideas and expertise, shape government policy, and collaborate across sectors toward a common goals: ensuring Canada’s success in the global digital economy, and formulating an actionable plan to become a world leader in digital media.
For the first time, we’ve decided to hold the event in Ontario’s capital, Toronto. In July, we announced that CDMN Canada 3.0 2013 will be held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre on May 14 & 15, 2013.
Hosting Canada 3.0 in downtown Toronto will provide greater capacity for attendees and put us at the heart of Canada’s largest city where there is a concentration of ‘digital natives’ who want to join the conversation and influence the future of digital media in Canada. A Toronto venue will also enable closer ties with the GRAND 2013 conference which will further increase industry-university networking at Canada 3.0. (GRAND is a government funded Network of Centres of Excellence for researching and commercializing digital technology.)
By bringing together industry, government and academia, CDMN is a catalyst for commercialisation, spurring the creation of Canadian companies, jobs and wealth. Since 2009, CDMN has grown from two to 10 nodes – with the recent addition of Ryerson’s Digital Media Zone (DMZ). We will continue to grow the network in 2012 to increase exposure and new revenue opportunities for affiliated CDMN node startups and SMEs.
To support our mission, a Soft-Landing Program was recently piloted across CDMN nodes. The program offers qualified startups and SMEs exposure to an economy-of-interest by providing them the opportunity to take residence in a partnered facility that can provide regional support to grow their business. The locations are determined by each startup and SME based on their market pull, but all of the landing sites are based on the needs of the company and run for up to three months.
Stratford has played a pivotal role in the growth and success that CDMN has achieved so far, thanks to the opportunities at previous Canada 3.0 events. The University of Waterloo | Stratford Campus, a CDMN node, is now booming with oversubscribed enrolment in its undergrad and graduate programs, thanks in part to the opportunities to inspire high school students at previous Canada 3.0 conferences.
The legacy of Stratford’s collaborative vision to accelerate Canada’s digital economy lives on in a continued CDMN presence at the Stratford Campus building on Patrick Street.
Moreover, plans are underway to hold a Canada 3.0 companion event in Stratford in and around the same time as the Toronto event with similar content. This provides a real opportunity for Stratford to build on the Canada 3.0 foundation and develop an event that reflects the issues that matter to the city as an emerging digital media centre.