CIRA announces over $1 million in funding to make Canada’s internet better

June 11, 2018, OTTAWA - Today, the Canadian Internet Registration Authority announced 28 organizations from across Canada who will receive a grant from its Community Investment Program. This program provides roughly $1 million annually to Canadian not-for-profits, charities and academic institutions doing good things for and through the Canadian internet. To date, CIRA has provided $5.45 million in grants for projects that improve digital literacy, internet infrastructure, access and online services.

"We are excited to embark on the fifth year of CIRA's Community Investment Program by funding 28 new and innovative projects," says David Fowler, vice president of marketing and communications at CIRA. "CIRA has an ambitious goal to build a better online Canada and we know this can't be achieved on our own. The Community Investment Program is one of the key ways we invest in Canada's internet and we're proud of the many organizations we've funded over the years, including these latest recipients."

Announced earlier this year, CIRA is also pleased to offer all grant recipients access to Amazon Web Services (AWS) programs for Canadian public sector startups to help scale up online activities and accelerate the delivery of new products and services. This relationship bolsters the existing $1.25 million in funding from CIRA's Community Investment Program in 2018 with in-kind technology and support services.

To learn more about the Community Investment Program, visit cira.ca/cip.

About CIRA's Community Investment Program

CIRA is building a better online Canada through the Community Investment Program by funding charities, not-for-profits and members of the academic community who are making the internet better for all Canadians. CIRA is best known for our role managing the .CA domain on behalf of all Canadians. While this remains our primary mandate, as a member-based not-for-profit ourselves, we have a much broader goal to strengthen Canada's internet. The Community Investment Program is one of our most valuable contributions toward this goal and funds projects in digital literacy, online services, research and infrastructure. Every .CA domain name registered or renewed contributes to this program. To date CIRA has contributed $5.45 million in Community Investment Program grants.

Community Investment Program grant recipients 2018

Acorn Institute Canada - Digital equity action project

This project will connect policy makers with the lived experience of low-income communities who face barriers to accessing the digital economy. It will provide excellent leadership development training on the critical issue of internet accessibility to amplify the voice of marginalized community members, empowering them to increase access to the digital economy within their communities and beyond.

Aids Community Care Montreal (ACCM) - Digital literacy at the margins: Navigating the internet while aging with HIV

This project will empower people aging with HIV to become actively involved in their health and well-being through online access to treatment information.

Black Boys Code - Black Boys Code learning management system

This project provides an opportunity to scale the organization's programs in order to have greater reach and impact. Their vision is to provide black youth access to technologies that develop digital literacy, computer coding skills, social collaboration, critical thinking and problem-solving skills that they will need for future education pathways and careers in the digital economy.

Canadian Network for Arts and Learning Foundation - National digital map of arts and learning

The arts matter more than ever today, because it is through participating in the arts that we acquire the creative skills needed to solve the social, cultural and economic problems facing our country. This map will increase awareness of, and access to, dynamic arts opportunities available in every Canadian community - increasing online usage, collaboration, expanded marketing and increased revenue generation.

Canadian Virtual Hospice a division of the International Centre for Dignity and Palliative Care - KidsGrief.ca for educators

Grieving children are among society's most vulnerable members. While children often spend more waking hours with educators than they do with their parents, few educators receive training in recognizing and supporting children's grief. KidsGrief.ca for Educators will address this significant information gap by making accessible and engaging online grief education modules specific to the school setting available to educators.

Community Based Environmental Monitoring Network - Saint Mary's University Department of Geography and Environmental Studies - From Water to Web: Developing data stream training labs for water monitors and volunteers

This project will improve Atlantic Canadians' digital literacy through tools and developed training to upload and share water quality data on an open-access platform - Atlantic DataStream. Additional analytical training to communicate the results of data to their local communities will also be developed and provided to users of Atlantic DataStream.

CompuCorps - Indige-preneurs: Empowering Indigenous women through e-commerce

This project will increase the number of Indigenous peoples who participate in the Canadian internet space and ever-growing e-commerce economy. More specifically, Indigenous women, with an increased knowledge of website building and online branding, will have the opportunity to better their lives by breaking down digital divide barriers.

Concordia University Montreal - A global view of web tracking and TLS anomalies

Tracking internet users, and the interception of end-to-end- secure web traffic (HTTPS) by a man-in-the-middle pose serious privacy implications for all internet users, Canadians and non-Canadians alike. This study will provide a global perspective on these problems, leading to actionable items for a more privacy-friendly internet environment for all.

Conseil de la Coopération de l'Ontario - Building a more engaged world: Project for strengthening the community sector and the social economy

Development of an online platform that would allow for unification of the community sector and social entrepreneurship in a centralized virtual space where citizens can gather together based on their interests and the causes that are important to them. The project involves developing a solid tool that would make it easier and faster to access and join organizations.

Cowichan Green Community - Food recovery online tool: Connecting surplus food with people in the Cowichan Region

The Food Recovery Online Tool will connect businesses with surplus food to community organizations providing food to those in need. This contributes to social and environmental sustainability through capturing and redistributing surplus food, keeping it from the landfill.

Cybera - Building a methodology to fill the gaps in First Nations internet speed test data monitoring

This project will develop an open source methodology outlining how to configure inexpensive devices to conduct internet performance tests, collect the resulting data, and analyze it. The collaboration will help provide a clearer picture of the speed and quality of internet services available in First Nations communities and how it changes over time.

Fédération des harmonies et orchestres symphonique du Québec - Digitization and education

By providing access to the same high-quality training to Francophones of all ages from every region of Canada, this project will democratize the learning of music for everyone, regardless of their financial means or the advantages of living in proximity to a large urban centre.

Gluu Technology Society - Gluu Digital Coaches Network

The Digital Coach Network will turn volunteers and staff at partner organizations into Digital Coaches by building their digital skills and confidence. Through structured training, ongoing support and mentorship this program will empower and inspire people to pass on their online skills to help seniors get the basic digital skills they need to be active members of society.

Institut national de recherche scientifique (INRS) / Centre urbanisation culture société - Barometer for Smart Cities, artificial intelligence and algorithmic culture (VIA/CA). Assessing the disruptive potential of emerging Internet technologies in Canada

Within a context of accelerated technological development, the goal of this project is to answer the following question: How will the interrelations among artificial Intelligence, the Internet of Things, Big Data and the Blockchain contribute to the enhanced connectivity of Canadian cities, with a main focus on reconciling the interests of major technology groups with the expectations of citizens?

Metro Vancouver Aboriginal Executive Council (MVAEC) - MVAEC digital knowledge interface for Aboriginal youth

This project will create an innovative, culturally appropriate mobile interface system that reduces the barriers to access online information sought while creating more engaged and personalized connections between aboriginal communities and organizations delivering online knowledge and services. Improving access and creating stronger connections and culturally appropriate knowledge sharing is on the path to reconciliation.

Naut'sa mawt Tribal Council - Before Vancouver

This project will allow Indigenous Canadians to take a leadership position in telling their own stories by obtaining and providing their own data. In a process called "Reconciliation Through Innovation", the project will focus on strength and heritage, turning participants into leaders.

Ready to Rent BC Association - Online Services Platform to Assist Communities to Prevent Homelessness

This project will develop an online platform to support local communities and non-profits to provide housing education, capacity building and additional tools to support successful tenancies and prevent homelessness.

Richmond Centre for Disability - Super cyber project

This project will empower citizens of all abilities to take ownership of safe internet surfing, to be responsible for making informed choices with technology, and using the internet to connect people to people, and people to technology through the removal of financial, technological and literacy barriers.

Selkirk College Geospatial Research Centre - Open data for open government in rural Canada

This project aims to improve participation in the knowledge economy by reducing barriers to open data for rural communities. Through research and awareness raising, the Selkirk Geospatial Research Centre (SGRC) will work with local governments and rural communities to improve open data policy and open data access across Canada.

TakingITGlobal Connected North project - Connected North: Content bank expansion project

Connected North is a leading edge program that delivers immersive and interactive education services, through high definition, two-way video technology. The program is made possible through a strong ecosystem of Canadian content providers and participating schools located in some of Canada's most remote areas.

The Students Commission of Canada -- Youth storytellers on diversity

This project will provide virtual reality experiences of diversity created by youth in order to expand their horizons and protect youth from prevalent narratives of hatred, bigotry and violence. With their partners, they will package the VR stories for Canadian organizations and schools.

Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) (Chaire de recherche du Canada sur les enjeux socioculturels du numérique en education) - Developing a mobile application to facilitate the settlement of newcomers to Canada (AMFINAC)

The objective of this initiative is to support newly arrived immigrants to Canada during the settlement phase by developing an application for smartphones that will be built around current Internet advances and will help them to integrate into Canadian society by facilitating access to the information, services and human contacts that are likely to meet their immediate needs.

Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) (Centre d'études sur l'intégration et la mondialisation (CEIM)) - French-Canadian content: Seeking visibility in a digital world

The objective of this project is to understand, improve and promote the practices/strategies related to the dissemination, promotion and access/consumption of French-Canadian content on the internet through a diagnostic study, training workshops, a contest highlighting best practices and a website intended to raise awareness among the Canadian population and increase their interest in local online content, which faces stiff competition from foreign sources.

University Health Network (de Souza Institute) - Re-storing sensual and sexual-self: An online support group for cancer (ReSASS)

This project will address a service gap in cancer care. This online therapist-led support group program will address cancer survivorship issues that occur due to treatments, such as an altered body image or sexual functioning, with the goal of improving a women's quality of life. This topic is highly personal, sensitive and limited research or specialized services exist in the Canadian healthcare system.

University of Ottawa (School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science) - Improving the privacy of internet users

This project will study more advanced noise injection models and provide its privacy fundamental limits. Prototypes for noise injection tools will be developed and deployed for public use. Theoretical results will be applied by building a web tool and an application to inject intelligent noise queries and conversations to help users hide their activity from data mining algorithms.

University of Saskatchewan (The Office of First Nation & Metis Relations) - Circle of Indigenous languages

The Circle of Indigenous Languages is a digital learning centre and database created to revitalize the endangered languages of Canada's Indigenous peoples. Its goal of revitalization encompasses three key offerings: digitization of existing recordings; real-time, online language mentoring; sharing of user-made content, meaning anyone with access to a phone/computer can easily add their own recording to the site.

Water Rangers - The Water reader: Transforming citizen science for waterways

This project will empower water lovers in Canada by developing an affordable way for them to test phosphorus using an inexpensive sensor and a phone to interpret results. Canadians can learn how to test and share their results on an open, citizen-led, accessible platform.

Wilfrid Laurier Centre for Sustainable Food Systems - Testing on-line farmers' markets in food insecure neighbourhoods

This project brings two under-represented groups (urban food insecure communities and isolated rural ecological farmers) into the rapidly expanding digital food economy using open access tools. These new tools can improve efficiencies for small-scale producers and enhance the internet experience for urban food consumers.