CIRA Meet-up: Calgary



Hotel Arts
Meeting room: Spectrum 5
119 12 Avenue SW
Calgary, Alberta
T2R 0G8

Not in Calgary? Join us by webcast!


None! To promote communication among members, we have made this event free of charge.


Registration is now closed.


As part of CIRA’s primary goal of building a better online Canada, one of our strategies is to support the development of Canada’s internet. One way we are doing this is by raising awareness of digital issues affecting Canadians.

As more and more people come to rely on the internet as part of their daily activities, it’s not surprising that gaps in the internet’s infrastructure that impact availability and affordability are becoming increasingly evident. The impact of poor internet infrastructure and lack of affordability is prevalent mostly in rural and underserved communities across Canada, although urban centers are also struggling with these challenges. A little over a year ago, the CRTC declared broadband internet access a basic service. Since then, funding has become available and discussions to pave the way for this universal access have ensued. The work continues, but many issues have yet to be addressed, while the impact of this disparity grows.

Join the conversation on June 14th to learn about the growing digital issues that are affecting so many Canadians. The event will feature Bruce Buffalo, Founder of Mamawapowin Technology Society, who will share his inspiring story about the challenges and opportunities he faced when bringing internet access to his community. An expert panel will also discuss the growing digital divide in the internet’s infrastructure and affordability from both rural and urban perspectives.

Featured Speaker

Bruce Buffalo

Bruce Buffalo, Founder of Mamawapowin Technology Society (formerly Maskwacis Fibre), grew up bouncing around foster homes and struggling to make ends meet. Despite this, today he is driven to help others rise up out of poverty and life circumstances to create a better life for himself, his family, and his community. Convinced that connectivity will open up new job and education opportunities, Buffalo has developed a system that offers free internet access for his community.

Future plans for Bruce and Mamawapowin Technology Society include creating a centre for technology that can act as both a community gathering place, an incubator for budding entrepreneurs and an educational hub to open doors and help community members discover opportunities in technology. 


Jacques Latour

Jacques joined CIRA in March 2010, bringing more than 25 years of experience in the IT sector. With 20+ years in the private sector, Jacques honed his skills as an innovator, whether working in research and development, software development, IT operations, or business development.

As a CTO at one of the fastest country code top-level domain in the world, Jacques understands the national Canadian internet environment and the need to promote IPv6 and DNSSEC technologies. Jacques also represents the .CA registry at international fora. Recognizing that the Canadian internet access is heavily and unnecessarily dependent upon United States infrastructure, Jacques has spearheaded an initiative at CIRA to develop a robust infrastructure of internet exchanges in Canada. Under his direction, CIRA has undertaken an initiative to support the development of new IXPs in Canada, and the enhancement of existing ones.

Shelley Robinson

Shelley Robinson is Executive Director of National Capital FreeNet (NCF), a not-for-profit Internet Service Provider and digital literacy organization that is one of the founders of Digital Access Day. NCF works to ensure everyone in the national capital region has access to the internet, meaning its affordable, high quality, people understand how to use it, and feel safe online. Her background is in community access to communications, including work in Rwanda, Afghanistan, Northern Ireland and across Canada.

Mitch Thomson

Mitch Thomson is the Executive Director of the Olds Institute for Community and Regional Development, a community owned and volunteer driven not-for-profit in Alberta that is focused on community economic development. Mitch is charged with helping the community reach its goal of becoming the small to medium sized enterprise capital of the province.

Olds is entrepreneurial. It has differentiated itself by being innovative and creating successful social enterprises that continue to spur new development. Mountain View Power is a boutique retailer of electricity, natural gas and green energy. The Olds Connected Community Network is Canada’s first 100% community owned fibre optic broadband network. O-NET is an ISP that offers a triple play package that includes Canada’s fastest internet speeds.

Mitch is actively engaged in these initiatives, developing community capacity and quality of life for the residents of Olds and region.

Presentations will begin at 5:30 p.m. MST. The webcast will only be available English.

Worried about ransomware?

CIRA’s products are helping organizations be more secure online. Join us for a cybersecurity workshop taking place before the meet-up! Registration for this event is also free.

Not a CIRA Member?

Applying for membership is easy, free and open to any .CA holder. Become a member online or on-site at the CIRA Meet-up.