True North Centre Stage

True North Centre Stage events take place during the Festival, on June 2-3. It’s two days of great speakers, brain-busting summits and more—all brought to you by Communitech.

Your True North Centre Stage pass gets you access to exclusive events including:

  • True North Centre Stage programming.
  • Attendance at one True North Centre Stage summit.
  • True North Centre Stage networking events. 



True North Centre Stage programming

True North Centre Stage pass holders converge at Centre in the Square, featuring keynote speaker Carole Cadwalladr, our host (with the most) Talia Sanhewe and more to be announced!

  • When: June 3, 2020 | 1:30 - 5 p.m.
  • Where: Centre in the Square, 101 Queen St N, Kitchener, ON



Carole Cadwalladr, opening keynote

Carole Cadwalladr is an investigative journalist and features writer for the Guardian and Observer in the United Kingdom. She has been called “a brave, irreverent, truth-seeking missile, exposing a nexus of corruption that is subverting our body politic.” She has investigated social media interference in politics, and uncovered criminal activity linking Facebook data, Brexit and threats to democracy. Her work has earned her the Polk Award, Orwell Prize and a Pulitzer Prize nomination.

Talia Sanhewe, host

Talia Sanhewe is known for her wit, insight, humor and charisma. She draws reference from her life as a reporter, entrepreneur and successful business owner.

Prior to starting her production company, Talia was a reporter and producer for CNBC Africa. She has reported for the BBC World Service, CNN International, Forbes Africa Magazine and Oprah Magazine. Talia holds a BA Film & Media Degree from the University of Cape Town and attended the UCLA School of Film & Television.

Mystery guest, closing keynote

We can’t tell you. We really, really want to, but there’s a thing with his movie and… damn, I’ve said too much!




Communitech Summits

It’s time to dig deeper! Communitech’s True North Centre Stage Summits dive into key areas of concern for the community, companies and other stakeholders. You’ll hear speakers, participate in workshops and roundtables and come away with actionable items designed to address concerns relevant to your business, your industry and your future.

Tech For Good

Best for: anyone who wants to examine what it means to be human—and humane—in our tech-driven world. This summit is open to all attendees

At the beginning of the True North journey, we started to explore the good, the bad and the unintended consequences of tech -- as well as provide a forum for healthy conversation and intentional creation of a positive path forward. The outcome of these discussions is the Tech for Good Declaration hosted by the Rideau Hall Foundation.

In 2020, this conversation has never been more relevant - the need for dialogue never more necessary. Join us as we dig deeper. As we engage our community and examine what a technological future holds for humanity, and as we reaffirm our actionable commitment to tech for good. 




Corporate Innovation

Best for: people who are responsible for growth and innovation in an enterprise-level corporation.

The speed of change in technology, society and customer needs puts increasing pressure on corporations. Add new stressors – including economic uncertainty and an ongoing war for the best talent – and the demand for corporations to focus, add value and satisfy strategic imperatives while being nimble and efficient is more critical than ever. 

In this summit, we will examine how corporations can create impact at scale and maximize the ROI of growth and innovation initiatives.

This summit is by invitation-only. If this summit interests you, you can apply to attend when you get your pass for True North Centre Stage. We will let you know if your request for this summit has been approved by May 11, 2020.




Data & Advanced Technologies

Best for: data practitioners and c-suite execs who are on a data-driven innovation journey.

Data is the new oil and the new asbestos. It represents both great opportunity and, potentially, great harm. But those who choose to ignore data do so at their own peril. Studies show that organizations that excel at extracting value from data outperform their peers in revenue growth and profitability. To remain competitive, every organization needs to explore how they can best leverage data to their advantage.

In this summit, we will explore how to turn data-driven inspirations into action plans. You will learn how organizations currently use data to create their strategic advantage. And you will walk away armed with new skills and tools to start unlocking the value in your organization’s data.

This summit is by invitation-only. If this summit interests you, you can apply to attend when you get your pass for True North Centre Stage. We will let you know if your request for this summit has been approved by May 11, 2020.




Start & Scale

Best for: founders and other decision-makers from startups and scaling companies will find practical insights to help grow their businesses in areas that may be outside of their core expertise, including operations, sales, marketing and finance.

The founder’s journey is more than building a product and raising money; it’s about creating a solid foundation for growth. Defining values and culture, learning to hire and creating an operations plan can help prepare startups and scale-ups for inevitable challenges and changes. This summit examines the skills, labour and culture challenges facing high-growth firms and provides strategies for success.

This summit is by invitation-only. If this summit interests you, you can apply to attend when you get your pass for True North Centre Stage. We will let you know if your request for this summit has been approved by May 11, 2020.




True North Centre Stage networking events

True North Opening Night Reception

Let's kick things off with a party! True North Centre Stage pass holders can register now to attend our exclusive True North Festival Opening Night Reception at the Communitech Hub in Downtown Kitchener.

  • When: Tuesday, June 2, 2020 | 6 - 9 p.m.
  • Where: Communitech Hub, Kitchener

True North CEO Dinner

Traditionally an event exclusively for Communitech members, this CEO Dinner is opening up to also include C-suite leaders attending True North Centre Stage! Invited guests will gather for an exclusive evening of cocktails and conversations with 200 C-level execs. It’s a great opportunity to make connections in the Waterloo Region tech-driven ecosystem.

  • When: Wednesday, June 3, 2020 | 6 - 9 p.m.
  • Where: Communitech Hub, Kitchener

By invitation only.




True North Centre Stage pass fees

General admission pass: $499*

Startup, student and not-for-profit pass: $249*

* These are advance purchase rates; pass prices will go up May 11, 2020.

After you buy your pass…

Check out True North Festival and plan your visit. Take in other awesome business events, live music and free happenings going on all week!