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Grants:Conference/WCNA/WikiConference North America 2023

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WMCA/WikiConference North America 2023
The annual WikiConference North America. This year's conference will take place in October in Toronto, Ontario.
targetMostly English language Wikimedia projects, but also French and Spanish Wikimedia projects as well as North American Indigenous Languages User Group.
strategic priorityIncreasing Participation
amountplease add the amount you are requesting (USD)
contact• lgermain(_AT_)wikimedia.ca• info(_AT_)wikimedia.ca
organization• Wikimedia Canada

Event overview[edit]

Purpose and vision

Please give a brief description of the event you are planning. What do you hope to accomplish during the event? Why is this event important for your community?

WikiConference North America is the annual gathering of Wikimedia volunteers, stakeholders and enthusiasts from throughout the continent, providing a meaningful setting for Wikimedia-related discussions and activities. The conference also invites non-Wikimedians, such as academics, students, librarians, and archivists, to engage with the Wikimedia movement through conference programming, collaborative events, cultural initiatives, discussions, and more. The conference nurtures grassroots Wikimedia communities, addresses long-standing online and local community issues, spurs the creation of new content, and facilitates partnerships with cultural and educational institutions.

This year, the WikiConference North America will be held in Toronto. It's gonna be the 1st year in-person since pandemic. It is the second time that this gathering will be held in Canada but the first time that it will be organized by Wikimedia Canada. The organizers are experienced in organizing such events since a lot of them were involved in organizing Wikimania 2017 in Montreal.

As a follow up to our Strategic transformation plan, this event will capitalize on Wikimedia Canada's strengths in the area of initiatives related to equity and inclusion. We plan to build the conference around themes drawn from the Wikimedia movement strategy of knowledge equity and knowledge as service. We plan to have specific streams devoted to critical issues related to human rights, and issues and strategies related to the implementation of knowledge equity projects, community outreach, and initiatives. Indeed, Wikimedia Canada has among its priorities the inclusion of Indigenous knowledge and languages on Wikimedia projects as well as the gender gap on Wikimedia projects. We have a very successful partnership with the Atikamekw First Nation that allowed us to create the Wikipetcia Atikamekw Nehiromowin, the most active Wikipedia in a North American Indigenous language, and we now plan to use lessons learned from this project to expand it to other Indigenous communities in Canada as well as across the Wikimedia movement globally. See WMCA Annual Report 2021 for more details on our activities with the Indigenous communities and the GLAM sector.

Toronto has been named numerous times as the most multicultural and multiracial city in the world and is home to several strong diasporic communities. The Toronto region is home to a large Caribbean community, as well as communities from Mexico and Latin America and we plan to specifically use this to connect this meeting to North America as a whole.

WikiConference North America has been held annually since 2014 (called WikiConference USA through 2015). Our previous events were located in-person in different cities: New York (2014), Washington (2015), San Diego (2016), Montréal (2017), Columbus (2018), and Boston (2019). In 2020 and 2021, WikiConference North America was online.

Do you consider this to be a Regional; Thematic or Growth event? You can read more about each category.

Regional event

Is it a Remote, or in-person event?

In-person event

Important details

Please add key information to the table below. The dates, location and number of participants can be estimates and do not need to be finalized at this time.

Proposed date(s) PLACEHOLDER TEXT
Proposed location University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario
Number of participants 225
Primary contact person Louis Germain (WMCA)


Previous conferences[edit]

Community input[edit]

Our Community Engagement Survey was sent out to registrants of WikiConference North America 2018 and 2019, several Wikimedia affiliates, and groups in Canada.

Below we have highlighted the key points from the answers, especially re-occurring ones. For priority, all four categories (Strategic, Capacity, Working Groups, and Community) were met with strong positive support; the difference in priorities represents a < 10% difference in score. WikiConference North America is large enough to be able to host sessions on virtually all described topics, but the priorities will be used to determine the portion of sessions dedicated to each topic area.

Description Priority
Strategic discussions:

What are the top issues affecting your community that need to be discussed in person?

The following is a summary of issues respondents described affecting the North American Wikimedia community, both locally and on a regional level.
  • North America is large and spread out; need to nurture user groups in new areas to expand the North American network and build partnerships throughout (common response).
  • Diversity
    • Every locale needs a more diverse pool of Wikimedians.
    • The Movement as a whole (including WCNA) needs to reflect a broader demographic.
  • Need to enhance content in non-English languages.
    • In particular, a common response was focusing on indigenous languages and equity issues.
  • Need to improve outreach strategies, to recruit new community members on a per-locale basis.
  • Community health is a big issue, both online and offline (harassment, being more welcoming, etc.)
  • Difficulty in new editor experience (not welcoming, quickly reverted, etc.).
  • Need more training opportunities for those new to the Movement.
  • Editor retention is under-emphasized.
  • Need to focus more on incubating communities at universities.
Capacity development:

Are there important skills that many people in your community need to learn?

  • Effective outreach / Growing the community (very common response)
  • Developing partnerships, particularly with GLAMs
  • Wikidata
    • Utilizing Wikidata in cultural heritage institutions (GLAM)
    • Wikidata tools (querying, Listeria, Mbabel, etc.)
  • Working with Structured Data on Commons
  • Bringing Wikipedia and Education together in the classroom
  • Leadership skills, to lead local groups and communities
  • Effective edit-a-thon hosting strategies
  • Translation skills
  • Source evaluation and fact checking
Working groups:

Are there joint projects that need to be planned in person?

Listed below are some of the projects respondents listed. A common theme between several responses was the value of face-to-face interactions when working on projects, particularly with those who are new to the Movement. Some of the more sensitive projects described having the benefit of being able to apply Chatham House rules (meaningful face-to-face conversation in a private setting).
  • Leadership development
  • Projects related to improving community health
    • Developing networks of people in real life to support each other
  • Wikidata trainings
  • Discussions with external platforms
    • Role of Wikipedia in credibility
  • Reliable sourcing and journalism
  • Indigenous language projects
  • Non-English language projects
  • Queer projects
  • Wiki Loves Monuments
  • As a developer, understanding what's important to user communities
Community building:

Are there other in-person activities are important for community building?

Below is a selection of the most common types of activities respondents described for community building:

  • Building connections (through sessions, breaks, receptions, etc.)
    • In particular, building connections among minority members of the community.
  • Leadership trainings
  • Sharing of best practices around outreach and community building, through sessions, workshops, etc.

As one respondent described, "one face-to-face meeting greatly advances online conversation for a long time".


Survey analysis:

  1. How many people did you send the survey to? How many people responded to the survey?
  2. Did you see consensus around shared goals that this community wants to focus on in the next 12 months? What were the top 2 goals?
  3. Based on survey responses, what are the most important things your community should do at the conference to achieve those goals?


It is helpful to get an understanding of why this event is important to your community, and what experiences you have had in the past. Please answer the applicable questions below.

1. What inspired your community to begin planning this event?
2. How does this event relate to other activities that your community is working on?
3. Do you have any Thematic or Regional committee or group? (Such as WISCom, CEE, Iberocoop, etc.)


Venue and Logistics[edit]

1. Do you have any proposed venue for the event? If so, please share details (such as
how far is it from the airport or transportation hub; how close is it to the hotel, do you anticipate any challenges with using the space for the event you are planning?)
2. Is the event venue and hotel accessible for people with physical disabilities?
3. Are you planning to outsource some of the services? For example - a travel agency, an event production service?

Friendly space policy[edit]

Please link to the friendly space policy that your community will be using for this event.


It is crucial that most participants have a minimum level of Wikimedia experience so that they can engage actively in workshops and discussions. Please answer all applicable questions below.

1. Please describe the target audience for this conference or event.
2. If your conference has an outreach component to also target non-wikimedian individuals or mission aligned institutions, can you explain your intention for this outreach (for example
how will you ensure engagement with these participants after the conference, and what impact do you see them having on the projects)?
3. Are you thinking about collaborating with potential partners? Such as national; educational or thematic groups and organizations? If so, will this partnership be a financial one (such as sponsorship), or a visionary one (to collaborate in regards to the content of the event)? Please share some details if you have any.
4. In which ways can Wikimedia Foundation staff support your event onsite? If you would like support, please list the different capacities in which we can support, or describe how you would like Wikimedia Foundation staff to be involved in the event. (Some examples of Wikimedia Foundation support or involvement might be
for outreach and communication efforts; to lead specific sessions; for legal or safety reasons, etc).


1. How many scholarships would you like to offer and what expenses will the scholarship cover?
2. How will scholarship recipients be selected?
3. Do you plan to target or prioritize specific communities or participants?
4. How will you insure diversity and inclusion in your scholarship process?

Resources and risks[edit]

Describe the resource potential for successfully executing this project and the key risks/threats.


Organizing team[edit]

Team User Names
Wikimedia Foundation Liaison
Conference Program
Volunteer Coordinators
Other team members


Examples of risks, along with how you would minimize or overcome them, are:

  • Skill gaps in project leadership team (e.g. no financial management experience)
  • Components of the measurement process that are hard to quantify

Examples of how to minimize these risks include:

  • Recruiting volunteers with desired skills to project leadership team.
  • Working with the Wikimedia Foundation Learning & Evaluation Team to develop an appropriate measurement and evaluation plan.


Please provide a detailed breakdown of project expenses according to this template. (sheet 2)

You can find all past proposals, you can use these for inspiration and reference but you are required to do your own local research and come up with your own budget numbers. Keep in mind that each event is different, has local context and needs, and there is not a one-size-fits all for our communities events. While making decisions on what to fund we will consider the local context and community needs for each event.

Event budget table
Total cost of event
Total amount requested from the Conference and Event Grants program
Additional sources of revenue that may fund part of this event, and amounts funded
Please confirm that you are aware that changes to the approved budget beyond 10% in any category must be approved in advance.



Do you think this project should be selected for a Conference Grant? Please add your name and rationale for endorsing this project in the list below. Other feedback, questions or concerns from community members are also highly valued, but please post them on the talk page of this proposal.