Last year the country celebrated Canada's 150th birthday. We took that opportunity to talk about a few of the things we love about being a Canadian company, check it out here. Canada Day is here again, and we still feel an overwhelming sense of pride being in business in this amazing country. In Canada everyone is invited, and anything is possible.
This year we wanted to speak to our own story and tell you why we love being a start up in KW.
GLOBAL LEADERS THAT RAISE EACH OTHER UP
The Waterloo Region has been dubbed the most innovative hub in Canada, the next Silicon Valley, and it’s no surprise why.
We house some of the best, most influential businesses and educational institutions in the world. Whether you are a start-up company or a world-renowned business looking for a new space to play in, KW has something to offer.
We are proudly the first Canadian home for Google and have been the first ground for companies like Blackberry, Thalmic Labs, Red Tree Robotics, Plum.io, Vidyard, Auvik and Piin Point. Starting a new business is not only encouraged but the support, guidance and resources to get you there from the community makes it impossible not to follow your dreams and launch a company. Companies like WaterlooEDC, an independent, not-for-profit that offers many services, programs and resources for companies looking to locate or expand in the region OR Communitech, founded by a group of entrepreneurs aiming to raise the profile of the local tech community that has now grown into an incredible hub supporting over 1,000 companies.
On the note of Communitech and their impact on KW, this year they hosted a conference focusing specifically on Tech for Good (a conference, about good movements?? How Canadian, am I right?!) The whole conference was around being inclusive, accepting and reshaping the way you think and from that, came this powerful declaration that speaks volumes to our region and to our country.
We live and work in a community where we are encouraged to try, guided when we fail and are accepted no matter what industry we come from, gender we are, cultural background or personal preferences... THAT is a country of leaders.
DIVERSIFICATION IN EVERY SENSE OF THE WORD
As our Prime Minister says, "diversity is Canada's strength" and the KW community is no exception – from our demographics and social views to employment opportunities.
Statistics Canada projects that by 2031, over a quarter of the Canadian population will be foreign born and 32% will be a visible minority group and one thing that encourages people to reside here is our labour market...
We are home to a wide range of tech focused businesses from big data, embedded security, autotech and artificial intelligence to quantum and nanotechnology. Did I also mention that we are home to 150 leading research facilities? This speaks to the variety of skills that our region needs and utilizes. While on the job topic, can we talk about how amazing it is to see so many Canadian women in both leadership and tech focused roles, kicking all the male focused stereotypes down?! How about that we are a region that doesn’t discriminate against sexual preferences, race or religion?
Differences are welcomed. Who wouldn't want to launch a career here?
In our region it's not unusual to go out for an afternoon and hear five different languages around you.
In typical Canadian fashion, we believe that this is a thing we don't celebrate this enough.
WORLDLY CULTURE WITH A SMALL-TOWN VIBE
There is something for everyone here and these special moments are what weave the KW fabric together. Waterloo Region has a feel like no other city. It has a small-town vibe where everyone knows each other and smiling at strangers is essential but it also has this culture… one where every single person is included and valued, where your beliefs are important and celebrated no matter what they are.
This is showcased through many annual events such as the Multicultural Festival, Oktoberfest, Culturefest, our many food festivals, summer and winter kick off events and porch parties in various neighborhoods.
We celebrate all kind of art including busking, music, dance, theatre. The region even commissioned local artists to design murals and art for our new bus terminals and it's hard to go a few blocks without noticing a beautifully painted brick mural.
This year, the city installed the first ever PRIDE crosswalks at Victoria Park and Waterloo Town Square.
As if that wasn’t enough reason to be in love with what our city has to offer, we are fortunate to have 3,000 acres of parks, six conservation areas and the grand river all within our region that appeal to many nature lovers and athletes.
People no longer have to travel to big cities around the world to feel a sense of inclusion. Waterloo Region offers a little something for everyone and they offer it with a big, friendly smile and open arms.
We may have our differences as all people would, but we find a way to live harmoniously and usually with a greater sense of respect in humanity as a whole, while we move forward as a nation. That is being Canadian to us and why we are so proud to be here.
Happy Canada Day, friends!