Sunday, July 03, 2011

Who's Who in Canadian Digital Media & Technology

In honour of Canada's birthday, I'm updating my list of Canadian individuals and companies who contributed to digital culture or technology.

My goal is to document an aspect of Canadian history and culture that is overlooked. I'm fairly loose in my definition of Canadian. Some people or companies got their start in Canada, but were acquired or lured to the United States. Some innovations were done by Canadians while abroad. The point is not to debate citizenship, but rather to document innovations and their Canadian connections to demonstrate that Canada has made and continues to make a significant contribution to digital media and technology.

Update September 2011 - since writing this I've added over 30 more entries (and could add even more).


Companies or Projects

This list is not exhaustive - but it was exhausting to put together.

I know I missed entries. My inclusion criteria is completely subjective and I have an Internet bias, but every year this list grows so hopefully it'll become increasingly definitive and encompass more elements of the digital sphere.

I'm particularly keen on capturing individuals and companies with a historic or international influence. Please help me out by letting me know of any additions.

July 14, 2011 Update:  Thanks to the expertise of Sara Grimes, I was able to add a bunch of entries on Canadian gaming luminaries that was previously lacking.


saabs_saab said... is major player across Ontario.We also operate & Most info is on our web sites.New updated sites will be going online soon.For any
more info please call sardool at 519 621 4852

Brennan said...

Piccsy is Canadian, I think. Sort of like a vimeo for flikr, I think.

Lee Dale said...

Thanks for putting this together.

I'm happy to say we've had a hand in shaping the design of three of those companies/projects and count a number of the people listed as friends.

While certainly not exhaustive, the list is a great snapshot of a rich community. Another list worth putting together is a list of Canadians working abroad. I haven't seen anything that shows how we're infiltrating the tech space abroad, but I think San Francisco is about 15% Canadian.

Perhaps it's time for a Web focused update to the Canadian Conspiracy doc:

And, you can see a lot more Canadian startups here, though it looks like the content won't be fresh for much longer:

Tara Hunt said...

Hey there! Thanks for including me on the list (honored!), though I shudder at the title of 'social media guru'. I'm actually CEO and Co-Founder of Canadian startup,, and though I'm widely known for my work on the social web over the years (book and speaking), I've tried to distance myself from the social media movement since day 1. Still...I shouldn't look a gift list in the mouth, right? ;)

Glen Farrelly said...

Hi Tara:

Thanks for commenting on my blog (first person from the list to do so). I have to say that making this list was significantly more work than I ever wanted it to be. Truthfully, I don't have the time to do it full justice. Also trying to reduce someone's lifework to a few words is rather ludicrous in itself.

I do think it is important that aspect of Canada's history and culture be documented and shared.

I can't believe, however, that I used the trite terms "guru" and "czar" (almost as bad as "maven"). I adjusted the description to get rid of the offending term (but I just couldn't bring myself to get rid of "privacy czar" yet).

Glen Farrelly said...

Hi Lee:

I love the film Canadian Conspiracy. Canadian talent has a long history of emigrating south.

I probably have too many start-ups on my list - unless they have introduced something completely new, have an impressive market share, or sold for an incredible sum of money (as Club Penguin did) they haven't necessarily distinguished themselves to the level of say Bell. (Not that I have the guts to launch a start-up, an incredible accomplishment in itself!)

Marcus Daniels said...

Glen, great list! A few companies and people I didn't even realize were Canadian.

One to add would be and its founder Based in Toronto, Trend Hunter is the world's largest trend community with over 35 million monthly views, 110k+ trends, and over 1 million Facebook fans.

Jeremy recently won BDC Young Entrepreneur of the year for Ontario and Trend Hunter was recognized as a finalist last year by the CIX as one of Canada's top digital media companies

Anonymous said...

Bioware- Canadian game developer.
Greg Zeschuk and Ray Muzyka - principals


Glad Trejo said...

Great list!
Agility CMS, a cloud-based software for managing internally produced and user generated content across web, mobile and social media. system located in Toronto.

Michael Assad, CEO
Jonathan Voigt, CTO
They're EO members as well.

Asa Zanatta said...

Hi Glen, this is a great list! Thanks for putting it together. Another person to consider for your list is David Laclaren, President and CEO of VRX Studios and latest venture MediaValet - the first 100% Cloud-based Digital Asset Management system.