Compute Canada’s annual conference, Shaping the Digital Landscape, featured several firsts for Canada’s largest gathering of campus IT leaders and advanced research computing experts and researchers. This year’s event was held June 19-22 at the University of Alberta’s Centennial Centre for Interdisciplinary Science in Edmonton and drew more than 660 faculty, computational researchers in academia, industry and government, technical experts, vendors, and IT professionals in the higher education community across Canada, in addition to over 40 sponsoring companies.

Not only was this the largest High Performance Computer Symposium (HPSC) in the 29-year history of the conference, it was also the first time partnering with CUCCIO. Their university IT leaders work with the same excellent researchers Compute Canada supports.

CUCCIO oversees the annual Canadian Higher Education Information Technology Conference, known as CANHEIT, which featured discussions on opportunities and challenges on the most topical themes in higher education IT today, from cloud computing to security, big data and shared services. HPCS provides insight into new tools, techniques and discoveries in computational intensive research.

The conference provided many valuable opportunities to discuss how the two organizations can work together more effectively.

The conference was also the greenest on record for Compute Canada. No conference bags or materials — just a glass water bottle, transit pass and a handy app that provided real-time updates on sessions. Trees were planted as a carbon offset and even hotels were chosen based on their sustainability credentials.


  • Compute Canada’s first “Raspberry Jam” boot camp, where 35 young students introduced youth to computer coding and programming using the Raspberry Pi microcomputer.
  • A Town Hall session on Compute Canada’s planned $250-million renewal of Canada’s advanced research computing platform
  • The annual research poster competition. The two top prizes went to two University of Alberta-led research teams that used mathematical simulations to provide a critical window into the complex ecosystem changes happening in our northern oceans
  • Total number of attendees: 661