It’s no secret to the Estonian community that both the technology and music from this small Baltic country is phenomenal, but spreading the word far and wide will take place at an innovative series of events in November.
Latitude 44, a conference aimed at bringing together key players in the technology world from Estonia and Canada is being combined with Estonian Music Week in Toronto this year.
The conference will take place November 14 and 15 at the WE Global Learning Centre and Estonian Music Week will be held November 14 – 17 at various venues throughout the city.
Conference organizer Eric Morrison, former vice-president of CTV News and past president of Canadian Press, has a huge interest in nurturing the development of the digital world, and got excited about Estonian music after attending some of the concerts last year.
“I thought it was going to be folk music,” Eric said. “But it’s so much more than that. The quality and types of music are fantastic.”
It was a match made in heaven, and Eric discussed the stepped the idea for a conference with his friend Toomas Treumuth, who took it to the Estonian Studies Centre. The plan received a thumbs-up and will go ahead with support from the Estonian Foundation of Canada and the Estonian Credit Union.
“We can learn a lot from Estonia, which is the most ‘eco-friendly’ country in Europe for technology start-ups,” he said. “Their digital government is an example to all of us, and is the way the world should be going.”
Canada is a world leader in this field, with advanced expertise in artificial intelligence, financial and block chain technology.
Joining Eric as presenters and interviewers at the conference will be Bruce Croxon, a well-known digital entrepreneur and partner in Round13 Capital and Amanda Kanwar, anchor of The Open and The Disruptors on the BNN Bloomberg network.
Eric explained that both countries are well-kept secrets from one another and there are many advantages to encouraging ties between the two. Estonian start-ups and established companies can grow their businesses with new investments. On the second day of the conference, those who work in e-government initiatives in Canada will be encouraged to come to learn about how to digitize public services.
“We are also encouraging young people with Estonian roots – particularly those who work in technology or are interested in it - to come and be a part of these events,” Eric said.
And, of course, the music will be incredible. Stay tuned for an announcement of the full lineup of musicians this summer, which will include a range of genres from ethno to classical to rock and electronic.
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By Karin Ivand, Toronto