True North Festival FAQs

What is True North Festival?

True North Festival is a “festival of festivals.” It’s a multi-layered, week-long event series that combines serious conversations with serious fun. In 2020, True North Festival will be host to over 25,000 attendees and consist of more than 50 events. It will also provide a forum for critical conversations on society and technology, integrates expert seminars and conferences as well as bookends each day’s thoughtful conversation with the best of Waterloo Region entertainment and eats. 

As part of True North Festival, Communitech presents True North Centre Stage—the nexus of our continuing conversation around tech for good and the site of some sweet networking events and announcements. In addition to our keynote presentations and on-stage events, attendees will also have the opportunity to attend our Tech for Good summit or receive an invitation to attend a closed summit run by Communitech’s Corporate Innovation, Data & Advanced Technologies or Start & Scale teams. 

In addition to these exciting Communitech-run events, the community is going to be ablaze (not literally, of course) with activity. After you’ve pencilled in your attendance for True North Centre Stage events, check out what else is happening in the community as part of the True North Festival. 

Join in the festive action. Join in the conversation. Join us for whatever tickles your fancy and help make tech for good the core of digital life, work and play.

General FAQs:

Communitech is a public-private innovation organization that helps technology companies start, grow and succeed. We work with our partners to create the places, programming and ecosystem that make great things happen for tech-driven companies. Communitech hosts hundreds of events every year and we host thousands of visitors from around the globe. We do this to bring fresh ideas and perspectives to our ecosystem, our country and the companies we support.

The True North Festival and the True North Centre Stage events help us engage influencers, innovators and policy-makers in conversations about the intersections between humanity and technology. Our intent is to help industries, communities and individuals by examining the values that guide technology innovation.

The True North Festival will take place in Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada. True North Festival attendees and True North Centre Stage pass-holders will attend events at venues throughout Uptown Waterloo and Downtown Kitchener. 

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Waterloo Region anchors the western end of the Toronto-Waterloo innovation corridor. It’s a rapidly growing urban centre surrounded by beautiful countryside situated in the heart of southern Ontario. We’re an hour’s drive from Toronto, two hours from Buffalo, NY and three hours from Detroit, MI. The Region is home to the three cities of Waterloo, Kitchener and Cambridge and the four townships of Wellesley, Woolwich, Wilmot and North Dumfries. Please visit our Amenities page for location and travel information.

Yes. We are happy to send you an invitation letter once your ticket is purchased. Please email us at with your request. To determine if you need a visa, please visit the Government of Canada Visitor Page.

Absolutely! We’ve provided a letter template to help explain why this is an important opportunity for organizations concerned with technology, society and tech as a force for good. Click here to download and use the template.

Yes. A select number of True North Festival and True North Centre Stage passes will be made available to members of the news media. If you’re interested in media accreditation, please submit this application form.

True North Centre Stage payment questions:

True North is a week-long, grassroots community festival powered by Communitech. Each event manages its own registration and ticketing process. All happenings are listed on the Events page, clicking on the event information reveals it's details, including any registration and ticketing requirements. Communitech manages the ticketing for True North Centre Stage only.

No. Passes are unique to an individual attendee and they are non-transferrable once the True North Centre Stage events have started. Lost or stolen passes can be replaced at a cost of $100 CDN. We’ll need to see your government-issued ID first, please.

Remember: Most of the True North Festival activities are free! Please check out the schedule for a complete listing of festival events.

Yes, Communitech members receive 10% off any of the True North Centre Stage passes. Please contact us at for more details.

Yes. We can invoice your organization for orders of 10 or more passes. Please contact us at for more details. Invoices must be paid in full before ticket codes can be issued.

Yes. Refunds will be issued until May 4, 2020 at 11:59pm. No refunds will be issued after this date. We really wish you could make it, but we get it: life and work may interfere. As an option, you can also transfer your pass to someone else before May 4, 2020 at 11:59pm. Sooner would be awesome—but we know plans can change. Please contact us at for information about pass refunds.

You can transfer your pass before May 19, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. Go to and select the ‘get your pass’ tab. Scroll to the bottom of the page until you find “Already Registered? View or modify your existing registration,” and follow the hyperlink. If you can’t find your registration or need help with the transfer, please reach out to

You will receive a receipt via email when you purchase your pass. If you do not receive an email or you can’t find it, you can log into the registration page and print another one.

Travel questions:

Easy answer: planes, trains and automobiles. Waterloo Region is located in Ontario, Canada about an hour west of Toronto’s Pearson International Airport. We’ve provided information on how to get here and around on our Amenities page.

The True North Centre Stage venues are conveniently located along or very near to the ION light rail, Waterloo Region’s newest transit service. (Very near = within five blocks. Yes, we counted.) You could also grab a taxi or use a ride-sharing service.

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For additional travel information, visit the Amenities page.

Yes. You will need to cover your own travel costs and hotel. Travel expenses to Waterloo Region are not included in the pass fees. 

Sorry, your luggage must remain at your hotel. Luggage is not allowed at the True North Centre Stage venues. (And we don’t recommend hauling it around to Festival events!)