Civic Tech Playbook for Canadian Municipalities: A Guide to Engaging with Your Local Civic Tech Community

Across Canada, data and technology are becoming increasingly synonymous with city-building. With the rapid uptake of new technologies in our daily lives, Canadians have come to expect a certain level of convenience and efficiency with government public services and products. Governments seeking to meet these new expectations face a number of barriers: procurement processes which haven’t been adapted for “agile” approaches, challenges engaging with users, and a mismatch between enthusiasm for new tools and the capacity to effectively use them can make it challenging and costly for cities to deploy new technology solutions.

But there’s a different path available for public servants. In towns and cities large and small, there are passionate and dedicated people coming together to create simple digital tools—like apps, websites and browser add-ons—that make their communities better. In the past, these groups were almost exclusively made up of software developers and designers, but they’ve come to welcome a wide swath of the public to make sure technology responds to real challenges in a way that is empathetic and inclusive. Many of them are motivated by a common ethos that it’s better to build a technological solution “with” their community, not simply “for” their community.

The playbook is arranged into six easy steps (plus a step “zero”) that will put you on sure footing for constructive collaboration with civic tech communities:

  • Play 0. Show up, Make Friends, Share Your Work
  • Play 1. Share Opportunities
  • Play 2. Host a Hack Night
  • Play 3. Supply Resources to Civic Hackathons
  • Play 4. Fund Civic Tech Projects
  • Play 5. Build on What Already Exists
  • Play 6. Start a Civic Tech Community

Authors: Aaron Wytze Wilson & Hebah Masood

Published By: Code for Canada

Publication Date: 2018

View Civic Tech Playbook for Canadian Municipalities

Niagara Knowledge Exchange & Community Calendar

Age-Friendly Niagara Consultation: 5-Year Review of Niagara’s 10-Year Housing and Homelessness Action Plan (HHAP) @ BCM Insurance Co. - Community Room
Feb 20 @ 9:00 am – 11:30 am

This event will support the 5-year review of Niagara Region’s 10-year Housing and Homelessness Action Plan (HHAP).

It will provide the Age-Friendly Niagara Network an opportunity to:

  • Hear about the recent and ongoing work of the HHAP
  • Share about the experience of older adults related to housing and homelessness from 2013-2018 (the first 5 years of the HHAP)
  • Review and validate input received from community stakeholders through the 5-year review process
  • Provide input on the housing needs of older adults and how those needs could be addressed in 2019-2023 (the next 5 years of the HHAP)

Refreshments will be provided. Space is limited to 50 participants.

RSVP to Jennifer McKenzie by phone (905-980-6000 ext. 3808) or email (

For more information, please contact Jeffrey Sinclair, Homelessness Action Plan Advisor, Homelessness Services, Niagara Region by phone (905-980-6000 ext. 3814) or email (

This event will be held in the Community Room at BCM Insurance Co. Plenty of free parking is available behind the building. Please enter through the front doors. The Community Room is at the back of the building, past the main reception desk.

This event is hosted by Niagara Region and the Age-Friendly Niagara Network.

Strategies to Reduce Alcohol-Related Harms and Costs in Canada @ Online
Feb 20 @ 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm

The Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research (CISUR) and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) are pleased to present findings from the Canadian Alcohol Policy Evaluation (CAPE) project.

Building on the report released in 2013, the CAPE project provides a rigorous assessment of whether evidence-based alcohol policies were being implemented in each of Canada’s 13 provinces and territories as well as by the Federal government as of 2017.

During this webinar participants will learn about:

  • high-level findings and project methods
  • selected findings from key policy areas demonstrating their potential for protecting public health and safety
  • This research will inform evidence-based alcohol policies in Canada to reduce and prevent alcohol-related harms. Additional project information and resources are available on our CAPE project page.

    Presented by the Canadian Alcohol Policy Evaluation (CAPE) Project Research Team. Presenters include:

    • Tim Stockwell, Director, Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research, Victoria, BC
    • Norman Giesbrecht, Emeritus Scientist, Centre for Addiction & Mental Health, Toronto, ON
    • Ashley Wettlaufer, Research Coordinator, Centre for Addiction & Mental Health, Toronto, ON
    • Kara Thompson, Research Associate, St. Francis Xavier University, Antigonish, NS
    • Samantha Cukier, Doctoral student and Research Fellow, Dartmouth College

    Target audience includes: public health, policy makers, system planners, researchers.

    This webinar is hosted by Canadian Institute for Substance Use Research (CISUR) & Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH).

    Social and Emotional Learning Through Nature and Play @ Online
    Feb 20 @ 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

    This webinar will explore the development of Social Emotional Learning through nature and play. Join us as we speak with Marlene Power of Child and Nature Alliance of Canada.

    Marlene will highlight the Forest and Nature Schools movement which offer children “opportunities to build an on-going relationship with the land, to a dedicated educator, to one another, and to themselves.”

    This webinar is hosted by the Ontario Trillium Foundation.

    Richard Pierpoint @ Grimsby Town Hall
    Feb 20 @ 7:30 pm

    Richard Pierpoint: Donna Ford – President of Central Ontario Network for Black History

    Donna is a researcher on early Black Settlers who as Runaway Slaves arrived during the Underground Railroad era and settled in St. Catharines and Niagara region.

    Richard Pierpoint was a child slave brought from Senegal in West Africa across the Atlantic Ocean to the United States. He became a soldier in the Revolutionary War in the United States and fought in the War of 1812 in Canada. In the latter stages of his life, he was a leader in the community.

    Richard Pierpoint served a pioneer in John Butler’s rangers. By 1780 he was stationed with them in the Niagara region and was granted 200 acres of land on Twelve Mile Creek, in what later became Grantham Township.

    In 1812 he enlisted in the Coloured or Black Corps and saw action at the battle of Queenston Heights on 13 October 1812 and was also involved in heavy fighting during the siege of Fort George (Niagara-on-the-Lake) on 27 May 1813.

    He wished to return to the West African settlement he had left in the hold of a slave-ship some 60 years earlier but instead the old soldier received a location ticket for 100 acres of land in unsettled Garafraxa Township on the Grand River, near present-day Fergus.

    In May 1825 Richard Pierpoint completed the settlement duties in clearing and fencing five acres and erecting a house. He probably died in late 1837 – an old African brought by the slave trade to the frontier of settlement in a land he never took for his own.

    This event is hosted by the Grimsby Historical Society.

    The Importance of Recreational Programs for Those Diagnosed with Young Onset Dementia @ Online
    Feb 21 @ 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm

    This webinar will touch on the importance of recreational programs specifically designed for people living with Young Onset Dementia (YOD) and their care partners.

    Learn about The Alzheimer Society of Toronto’s Boomers Club, a weekly social program for YOD and their families and explore ways to support the unique needs of this population.

    This webinar is hosted by brainXchange.

    Introducing the 2019 CharityVillage Salary and Benefits Report @ Online
    Feb 21 @ 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

    CharityVillage is pleased to be releasing a brand new, fully updated edition of their popular Canadian Nonprofit Sector Salary & Benefits Report – the most comprehensive of its kind in the country!

    This webinar will give you a basic introduction to the report, unveil the executive summary, and will provide tips and pointers on how to read the report and interpret the data.

    This webinar is hosted by CharityVillage.

    Ask the Expert: The Immigrant and Refugee Mental Health Project @ Online
    Feb 21 @ 1:30 pm – 2:15 pm

    Do you have any burning questions related to your work and the mental health of immigrants and refugees?

    If so, join the Immigrant and Refugee Mental Health Project for an online live-session with subject matter experts Dr. Debra Stein and Bonnie Wong.

    You will be joining social, settlement, and health service providers across Canada in asking our experts questions to support your every day work with immigrants and refugees.

    This session is hosted by the Immigrant and Refugee Mental Health Project.


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