True North Centre Stage

True North Centre Stage events take place during the Festival, on June 2-3. Consisting of great speakers, brain-busting content and more—all powered by Communitech.

Your pass gets you all of this:

TUESDAY, JUNE 2

Opening Night Reception

6 - 9 p.m. | Communitech Hub, 151 Charles St W #100, Kitchener, ON N2G 1H6

Let's kick things off with some fizz, clink, boom, pop - you know the drill. Time to party! True North Centre Stage pass holders can register to attend our exclusive Opening Night Reception at the Communitech Hub in Downtown Kitchener. We’ll see you there, right?!  Register for this event when purchasing your True North Centre Stage pass.

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 3

Tech For Good Stage

8 a.m. - 12 p.m. | Centre in the Square, 101 Queen St N, Kitchener, ON N2H 6P7

For anyone who wants to examine what it means to be human—and humane—in our tech-driven world. Communitech’s Tech For Good Stage dives into key areas of concern for the community, companies and other stakeholders.

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.

Carole Cadwalladr, opening keynote

Carole Cadwalladr is a Pulitzer-nominated investigative journalist and feature writer for The Observer - sister to British newspaper, The Guardian. In 2018, Carole worked with The New York Times to break a story that sent shockwaves around the world: that Cambridge Analytica, a political consulting company, had illicitly harvested data from millions of Facebook accounts to influence political campaigns, including Donald Trump’s successful 2016 U.S. presidential bid. The story is featured in Netflix’s documentary, The Great Hack released at Sundance Festival in 2019.

Talia Sanhewe, host

Talia Sanhewe is a dynamic and engaging international moderator and keynote speaker, whose work has seen her host tech and thought-leadership conferences across Europe, North America and Africa.

Talia has worked for CNN International (London), BBC World Service (London), CNBC Africa, Forbes Africa as a journalist, interviewing heads of state and captains of industry including hosting the World Economic Forum on Africa. As an award-winning reporter, Talia is the recipient won the Vodacom Journalist of the Year Award (South Africa) and has since 2010 been a Current Affairs jury judge for the International Emmy Awards (New York).

Talia holds a BA Film & Media degree from the University of Cape Town (South Africa) and University of California, Los Angeles (USA).

Mystery guest, closing keynote

Nice try - but this secret is still very much under wraps. We know you want us to give you a hint or a teaser, but there’s a thing with his latest movie and… we may have just broken our NDA.

Happy Hour

5 - 6 p.m. | Centre in the Square, 101 Queen St N, Kitchener, ON N2H 6P7

After all those great keynotes, you’ll have lots to talk about! Stay for Happy Hour—the first drink is on us, the thought-provoking conversations are up to you.

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.




Invite-only events

TUESDAY, JUNE 2

Data & Advanced Technologies Stage

Tuesday, June 2, 2020 | 8 a.m. - 12 p.m. | Perimeter Institute 31 Caroline St N, Waterloo, ON N2L 2Y5

Best for those who want to learn how to use data to create a strategic advantage. Want to attend but didn’t receive an invitation? Let us know - while there is limited space at this event, there’s always room for a few more.

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 3

Corporate Innovation Stage

8 a.m. - 12 p.m. | Centre for International Governance Innovation, 67 Erb St W, Waterloo, ON N2L 6C2

Best for people who are responsible for growth and innovation in an enterprise-level corporation.  Want to attend but didn’t receive an invitation? Let us know - while there is limited space at this event, there’s always room for a few more.

Start & Scale Stage

8 a.m. - 12 p.m. | Kitchener Public Library, 85 Queen St N, Kitchener, ON N2H 2H1

Best for founders and decision-makers in startups and scaling companies. Want to attend but didn’t receive an invitation? Let us know - while there is limited space at this event, there’s always room for a few more. 

Leaders’ Reception

6 - 9 p.m. | Communitech Hub, 151 Charles St W #100, Kitchener, ON N2G 1H6

Are you a C-suite leader in your organization? Are you a key leader moving your company closer to unicorn status? Invited guests at this event will gather for an exclusive evening of cocktails and conversations with 200 executives at the CEO-ish level (we see you managing partners, and we hear you). This event is a great opportunity to make connections in Waterloo Region’s tech-driven ecosystem.




Exact times are subject to change but don’t worry, we’ll let you know by email.