Grants talk:Programs/Wikimedia Community Fund/Wikimedia Canada 2022-2024
Follow up questions
Hello/Bonjour! Our proposal review team has been looking over the Wikimedia Canada 2021 proposal for WM Community funding. We would be grateful if you could respond to a few follow up questions about your proposal:
- it appears that your proposal is rather heavily weighted on outreach to Francophone communities. Do you have any specific plans to engage English-speaking communities, or communities in Western Canada?
- I wouldn't agree that our proposal is "heavily weighted" on outreach to Francophone communities. For instance, we are planning even a greater outreach to Indigenous communities, and we are also doing and planning outreach to other under-represented communities, such as the sexual diversity, regardless of language, and the gender gap continues to be one of our top priorities, regardless of language. That being said, it is true that the "Francophonie" is one our program. The reason for this is that French speakers are a minority in Canada and in North America, and their representation on the Wikimedia projects is very important to us. This does not mean that we don't plan to engage with English-speaking communities and communities in Western Canada. In fact, in the first program, we aim to increase the number of active WikiClubs across Canada, and we will conduct outreach to active communities in Western Canada to create new WikiClubs. JP Béland (WMCA) (talk) 14:16, 22 November 2021 (UTC)
- To add to JP Béland (WMCA) comment : "Francophonie" is one of our 6 programs, which are equivalent in terms of importance. Francophonie is not limited to the French language. It is also an alliance with other French-speaking communities/user groups, especially on the African continent, or Haïti (WikiFranca group). It is an open door to new collaborations worldwide. Since the beginning of our organization, we noticed that English-speaking communities in Canada have strong ties with the US community, which has long been active, long before the creation of WMCA. They thrive without our help, but we will always be there to back them (individuals or user groups/WikiClubs). We also had James Heilmann as president, founder of the Wiki Project Medecine, which primarily started in English, as a lot of scientific projects do. If you have any suggestion for us to engage English-speaking communities in WMCA, we would be pleased to hear from you in a near future. Our Board of Directors is very sensitive to the issue of language diversity and we always make sure that everyone feels included. Sara Severson, one of our Director, is also very active in Western Canada. Ha-Loan Phan (talk) 16:37, 22 November 2021 (UTC)
- your outreach work with the Atikamekw First Nation is commendable. Do you have any other First Nations identified for expansion of this outreach?
- Indeed, the work with the Atikamekw First Nation will be used, and is already being used, as a model to outreach to other Indigenous communities in Canada and in North America. We are already talking with a few other Indigenous communities, and have met some already. The Atikamekw members involved in the Atikamekw Wikipedia Project will be the ones doing the actual outreach, with the support of Wikimedia Canada, so the project continues to be led by Indigenous People. For example, members of the Atikamekw Wikipedia Project gave presentations to Indigenous school board conferences this year, and also a presentation at University of Victoria. JP Béland (WMCA) (talk) 14:16, 22 November 2021 (UTC)
- To add to JP Béland (WMCA) comment : as you may already know, it takes time to build trust. Our goals are ambitious, and we are doing the best we can with our volunteer capacities at this time. I think it will be easier once our permanent team will be up and running and we can count on Thérèse Ottawa, one of our Directors, to lead this outreach. Ha-Loan Phan (talk) 16:37, 22 November 2021 (UTC)
- what about outreach to other rural communities (given that so much of Canada is rural)? i.e. activities & events beyond face-to-face WikiClubs & GLAM or university involvement?
- We are actually currently conducting brainstorms on how to better involve rural communities. One idea that emerged is to organize a campaign "Summer of villages" or something similar where we will invite the population to document the villages across Canada for the Wikimedia projects, since many don't even have a picture on Wikipedia. The involvement of rural communities, and of Wikimedians and volunteers where there is no WikiClubs nor GLAMU involvement, continues to be very important to us. This is actually the reason why our first program is called "Support to WikiClubs and volunteers", and not only "WikiClubs". It is very important for us to continue to support volunteers across the country wherever they are located, regardless of the fact if they are part of a WikiClub and a GLAMU partnership or not. That being said, we found that partnerships with regional cultural associations is also a way to better involve rural communities. For instance, one of our most recent and most active WikiClubs is a WikiClub from a rural area created in partnership with a regional cultural association and other local partners. This model is already attracting other regional cultural associations in other rural areas wanting to do same, and some already reached out to us for our help and support to do so. Also, we welcome ideas from the Committee, and the larger Wikimedia community, about how to better engage rural communities if you have some to share with us. JP Béland (WMCA) (talk) 14:16, 22 November 2021 (UTC)
- To add to JP Béland (WMCA) comment : We have a good example of how rural communities can leverage Wikimedia projects and exercise their leadership : Croissant boréal/Boreal Crescent - The objective of this project is to coordinate the development of articles concerning the territory of the Boreal Crescent, a geographic area that includes the regions of Abitibi-Témiscamingue, Nord-du-Québec and Northeastern Ontario. It aims to facilitate work in this area for all contributors. Ha-Loan Phan (talk) 16:37, 22 November 2021 (UTC)
- thanks for posting your Strategic Transformation Plan - this helps us a lot in understanding the direction you want to go. However, note that "multiyear funding", in terms of WM Community Funds, looks only at 2- & 3-year plans. With that in mind: your proposed funding request for the next 5 years shows a significant funding request increase from year to year. Are you planning to significantly ramp up your activities & outreach over that time period, or is the year-to-year funding increase intended to maintain a set group of projects over that time period?
- Indeed, we were not aware of the fact that multiyear funding is for 2-3 years only. From the pages I read, this is not indicated on Meta nor in the applicant guide. I have already coordinated with the WMF Regional Program Officer, and our funding request is for 3 years now. We are indeed planning to significantly increase our activities and outreach over the next five years. In fact, we believe that our plan is very bold, while remaining feasible and realistic. This is the idea behind a "Transformation Plan" versus simply a "Development Plan". There are so many opportunities in Canada that we are not even touching now, both in terms of partnerships with GLAMUs and funding opportunities from governmental institutions, as examples, because we don't have the capability to do so right now with our current structure. Our core volunteers are getting exhausted, and we need to better support them in order to avoid losing them, and to attract and welcome new ones. This is why a renewal is needed. This work is already in motion. We would be happy to share more if the Committee has specific questions about this plan. 14:16, 22 November 2021 (UTC)
- To add to JP Béland (WMCA) comment : a multiyear funding will help WMCA to support this transformation plan. Mutiyear means an ability to project into the future, a vision. This being said, we will do a report at the end of each year and we will adjust our goals depending on the results. Our fundraising campaigns may go better than we think, which will be a lever to increase our targets and grow even more than planned. Ha-Loan Phan (talk) 16:37, 22 November 2021 (UTC)
- you have mentioned that you will be sending out a general survey to volunteers, contributors, and readers to learn what is most important for them, and how the WM can better support them. This sounds rather generic: could you provide a survey from previous years to help us understand what you will be looking for?
- The first survey was already sent: in English and in French. This survey is specifically about our "Programs Committee", which is in a period of redefinition, and will become the central online hub for exchanges between volunteers and partners in Canada, in both English and French. Later, we will send a more general survey to readers and contributors in Canada. We are also coordinating with Wikimedia France to develop a "satisfaction survey" to be sent to GLAMU partners. If the Committee, or the larger Wikimedia community, have any insight to share with us about those surveys, please do so. JP Béland (WMCA) (talk) 14:16, 22 November 2021 (UTC)
- To add to JP Béland (WMCA) comment : The program "P5 - Collective for free knowledge" in our transformation plan will be an opportunity to hear about the needs from the base. From our daily experience, before engaging, people have to know who is WMCA, what is our mission, etc. Our 2nd strategic goal "Increase the visibility and reputation of Wikimedia Canada and its activities" will help us in this way. Ha-Loan Phan (talk) 16:37, 22 November 2021 (UTC)
- a question about your progress on activities conducted in 2021: does this report show your most up-to-date midpoint data?
- Yes, the mid-point data are accurate. As everyone knows, 2020 and 2021 were very tough years because of the sanitary circumstances. As such, the "standard" metrics of contribution will be way lower than expected. However, we didn't lose time during those years. We used it to re-group and re-focus on our future development, as can be seen from the Transformation Plan. JP Béland (WMCA) (talk) 14:16, 22 November 2021 (UTC)
- Can you clarify any changes in staffing from your previous year? We see that the budget for staff is increasing slightly (by about 6,000 CAD). Does this reflect slight increases to existing roles, a new contractual role, or some other set of shifts?
- Right now and in previous years, all of our "staffing" budget was used to hire independent consultants for specific tasks. In 2022, we are planning to hire our first regular employee, while continuing to retain the services of the key independent consultants to ensure continuity and the transfer of knowledge, and avoid wasting resources by starting from square one with new employees. It is true that it represents an increase of the staffing budget, but the main tasks for this new employee will be to secure more diverse funding sources, because right now we rely heavily on the WMF. We are planning to diversify our revenue sources, and we already know that funding opportunities exist in Canada (for example, we got funding from the Canadian Government to conduct the Weather Project that is now attracting international attention). In order to do so, we need to have personnel dedicated to grant writing in order to successfully apply for this funding as well as someone in charge of the communications and fundraising to better capitalize on our charity status that we got in Summer 2020 in order to attract more donations, especially from the corporate sector, but also to increase individual donations, which already saw a significant increase in the past year. We will publish a detailed "human resources" annex to our Transformation Plan in the coming month, but, in the meantime, we are happy to answer any questions about staffing from the Committee. JP Béland (WMCA) (talk) 14:16, 22 November 2021 (UTC)
- To add to JP Béland (WMCA) comment : JP mentioned the Weather Project which started back in 2019 and consisted in the upload of 100 Years of weather data from Environment and Climate Change Canada, a governmental agency, in WikiCommons and Wikidata (a world premiere). It was an immediate success within the Wikimedian communities and the "outside world" i.e. the scientists communities in Canada and elsewhere in the world + outreach projects (article 1, article 2). We have a fundamental need to create a permanent team to realize such ambitious projects. Currently, as a volunteer, I meet several times a month with my internal work team and with members of the World Meteorological Organization management and task teams. It's been years now that I combine my roles of director on the board and project manager. This project has a strong potential but I feel lonely, I am exhausted, and need people to bring the project to its destination. Ha-Loan Phan (talk) 16:37, 22 November 2021 (UTC)
Apologies if any of the above questions have already been answered in your proposal &/or Transformation document & missed during our reading. Redwidgeon (talk) 23:50, 18 November 2021 (UTC)
- @Redwidgeon: Good day, I have added my answers directly under each question above. Thank you very much for taking the time to review our grant proposal and our Transformation Plan. Thank you for your questions and certainly please do not hesitate if you need more clarifications, JP Béland (WMCA) (talk) 14:16, 22 November 2021 (UTC)
- Dear @Redwidgeon: and commitee, thank you for your questions and careful reading of our grant proposal and Transformation Plan. Your work is deeply appreciated. Ha-Loan Phan (talk) 16:37, 22 November 2021 (UTC)
Follow up to the follow up
@JP Béland (WMCA) and Thekidpossum:
JP Béland & Ha-Loan Phan: thank you both for your detailed answers & explanations. This helps me a lot to understand the project beneath the proposal & I will be sure to bring the additional information you have provided to our committee when we deliberate funding decisions. I appreciate that you are volunteers (& no doubt busy) but if time permits, it would be helpful to receive a bit more info about the following:
- it would strengthen the proposal quite a bit if you could add (bullet points would be fine) more specific examples in the Project Proposal section, of how you plan to expand your outreach. For example:
- when you refer to increasing WikiClubs, could you suggest a few communities you have in mind? I see only Edmonton listed west of Toronto.
- Although, they are not organized as WikiClubs, we have supported activities in different cities across Canada, including in Western Canada, for example in Victoria, BC. We don't want to create empty shells just for the sake of creating new WikiClubs. WikiClubs are created by motivated volunteers, often in partnership with local and regional institutions. So to answer your question, cities were activities are already organized, such as Vancouver, Nanaimo and Winnipeg, will be the first places where we aim to create new WikiClubs. JP Béland (WMCA) (talk) 14:34, 6 December 2021 (UTC)
- when you refer to engaging other Indigenous communities, could you identify 1 or 2 other communities (e.g. besides Atikamekw) that you have in mind?
- We are already in contact with the Innu First Nation in Northeastern Quebec, and the organizers of the Atikamekw Wikipedia project made some presentations to the Quebec First Nations School Board, where many Indigenous communities are represented. We are planning to do a project with an Indigenous college in Quebec, where different First Nations are represented. The reason that the identified communities so far are all in Quebec is because the participants of the Atikamekw Project don't speak English, and it is important for us that this project is led by the Indigenous communities themselves. That being said, they also made a presentation at the University of Victoria, and we hope that we can start similar projects with Indigenous communities in other provinces as well. JP Béland (WMCA) (talk) 14:34, 6 December 2021 (UTC)
- when you refer to strengthening contributions from Francophonie, would it be possible to identify specific communities you might target? e.g. specific Acadien groups in Canada and/or other Francophone communities or partnerships in North America?
- Indeed, the Acadians are a target group. A WikiClub Acadia was created in partnership with the Société Nationale de l'Acadie. We also conducted a project with the Franco-Ontariens community in the past. In this plan, we are planning to increase our support to French-speaking minorities across Canada. JP Béland (WMCA) (talk) 14:34, 6 December 2021 (UTC)
- under Diversity of Topics and knowledge and high-impact topics (and/or Collective for free knowledge) you might like to specifically mention increasing knowledge /access to data about climate change initiatives in Canada (this seems particularly relevant right now!)
- Indeed, the Weather Project is one of our main initiatives right now. We are in discussions with the World Meteorological Organization to further develop this project and collaborate with the international community to encourage other countries in carrying similar projects. 14:34, 6 December 2021 (UTC)
- one more thing: it would be most helpful if you could provide just a little more detail in your budget. If nothing else: how your budget line for Staffing & consulting will be spent; how many full-time positions, part-time, contracted services etc.
- The details of our staffing plan for the next five years will be published as an annex to our Transformation Plan shortly. In 2022, in the budget line for 'Staffing & Consulting', we will continue to pay for an independent consultant as 'Institutional Advancement Manager' to ensure a smooth transition with our first paid staff, to transfer knowledge, and to avoid having to restart from zero with a new employee (which wouldn't be cost and time effective). We also plan to continue to hire independent consulting services to maintain our IT services. In the second half of 2022, we are planning to hire our first full-time employee, whose main roles at the beginning will be to seek external funding to diversify our revenue sources and to be less dependent on the Wikimedia Foundation, and to take full advantage of funding and grant opportunities in Canada. We also plan to hire a communications specialist at the end of 2022, whose first main task will be to organize our fundraising campaign, especially to take full advantage of year-end donations. Do not hesitate if you have further specific questions about our staffing & consulting. JP Béland (WMCA) (talk) 14:34, 6 December 2021 (UTC)
Redwidgeon (talk) 19:31, 23 November 2021 (UTC)
- @Redwidgeon: Good day, I have answered directly above. Thank you, JP Béland (WMCA) (talk) 14:34, 6 December 2021 (UTC)
- @JP Béland (WMCA): Thanks so much for the additional information -- very helpful. Redwidgeon (talk) 18:57, 6 December 2021 (UTC)
- In the answer about "Francophonie", I forgot to mention our support and collaboration with the emerging Wikimedians of Haiti User Group, which we plan to continue, and our strong ties with the WikiFranca international cooperation group. For instance, a Board member of Wikimedia Canada was recently elected as part of the first Board of Directors of WikiFranca. Amqui (talk) 18:13, 7 December 2021 (UTC)
Tardy Comments & Thoughts
@Redwidgeon, greetings! Please forgive me for joining this conversation at a later date. I really appreciate the thoughtful question you have asked us and I have been asking myself if there is anything meaningful I could add to this conversation. I currently occupy the role of VP of Wikimedia Canada and have been on the board of WMCA since 2018. I am a cisgender gay Korean-American man from Michigan and an immigrant to Canada, an academic librarian and have been learning Wikipedia and Wikimedia projects since August 2017 when Wikimania came to Montréal.
I wasn't present when Wikimedia Canada started, but I think that as a young association that moved around the country, they had to focus somewhere, and I am convinced that focusing on Francophone communities in Canada, particularly in Québec, has been central to the success and growth of Wikimedia Canada. My predecessors have been able to motivate a minority community that is hyper aware of the importance of the preservation and promotion of their language and culture. In North America, there are about 12 million Francophones out of a 367 people: 10 million in Canada out of 38 million (StatsCan https://www12.statcan.gc.ca/census-recensement/2011/as-sa/98-314-x/98-314-x2011003_1-eng.cfm) and 2 million in the USA out of 329 million (US Census Clock https://www.census.gov/popclock/ & French language in the United States https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_language_in_the_United_States). I don't know if back in 2014 may predecessors were thinking about language equity when they chose to focus on Québec, but I can say without a doubt that equity has been central to our Strategic Transformation Plan and explains why there is a specific program for Francophone Peoples and Cultures and another for Indigenous Peoples and Cultures. However, this does not mean that anglophones are also not a part of these two programmes. We want to contribute to preserving and promoting Francophone culture not only in French, but also in English and other languages. Just as we are going to work with Indigenous Peoples to promote their languages and cultures in Indigenous Languages, as well as in French, English and in any other language Wikipedia we can encourage people to contribute to.
I believe that building a strong foundation for Wikimedia Canada in Québec and focusing on minority languages and cultures has allowed us to create partnerships at a local, national and international level. Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (BAnQ) (the National Library and Archives of Québec) was our first major partner back in 2014 and one of the first national libraries to bring Wikipedia into its doors and openly support it. We have then expanded to partner with other public and univesity libraries in Québec, but also in the rest of Canada. Wikimedia Canada was able to partner wth the Atikamekw Nation to contribute to the establishment of an Indigenous Language Wikipedia (I am looking forward to supporting more projects like this one). We signed a partnership agreement with Library and Archives Canada in May 2019. We have also been able to work with a Federal Government agency, Environment and Climate Change Canada, on opening 100 years of meteorological data. Most recently, we were invited to participate in a Pan-Americas Francophone WikiChallenge in partnership with the Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie (AUF), École nationale d’administration publique (ÉNAP), Acfas and BAnQ. We have built an extremely solid foundation on which we can begin expanding into other parts of Canada and that is partially why we are asking the committee to support us in our five-year plan. We need actual employees and project managers if we want to expand. If we are not able to obtain the financial support from the WMF to build an actual core group of employees for WMCA, I don’t see how it will be possible the 100% volunteer Board of WMCA to grow the association outside of Québec. Our board members need to administer and let actual employees take on our ambitious and realistic expansion and transformation plan.
Finally, I have an anecdotal observation (this would be an excellent research project) that could explain why Wikimedia Canada has had more success with the Francophone community. I myself, as an anglophone that navigates between both English and French on a daily basis, have noticed that Wikimedia Canada can be more easily circumvented for Anglophone Canadians because we can more easily navigate foundation groups and websites (particularly grant websites). So many "international" user groups in the Wikimedia Mouvement function primarily in English. Nearly everything in the Foundation is by default in English with maybe translations in other languages, but not always in French. We English Speakers (both native and non-native) are extremely privileged to have the default language of the Movement be English. However, with Francophones (both indigenous and non-indigenous, native and non-native speakers), they don’t have this same privilege. I believe there is a general impression that when going directly to the Wikimedia Foundation for financial support or any type of support, one needs to do everything in English. Now I know this is not necessarily the case and francophones can submit grant requests directly to the foundation in French, but this perception still exists, and this creates a large barrier for people who do not speak English or who are not comfortable in English. I find that for Francophones of all origins in Canada, Wikimedia Canada serves as a group that helps them navigate the Anglo-dominant Wikimedia World, connect them with other groups that can support them and provides them with a guaranteed "organization" with which they do not have to worry about communication in English. Wikimédia France, Wikimedia Germany, Wikimédia Spain, Wikimédia Brazil, etc. all play this role for their local groups and that is one of the primary roles we want to play for Francophones in Canada. On that, I think it is important that Wikimedia Canada continues to approach language in an equitable manner as we have been doing for years now.
Thank you again for your questions. We are going to bring them back to our board and find ways that we can incorporate your valuable feedback into our future plans. Merci, this has been a very educating experience for me. Best, --BiblioQC (talk) 16:16, 11 December 2021 (UTC) (Vice-President of Wikimedia Canada & Associate Librarian at the McGill University Library) BiblioQC (talk) 16:16, 11 December 2021 (UTC)
Thanks/merci for your additional information & comments, @BiblioQC. This helps to explain the original focus on the Canadian Francophone community. Redwidgeon (talk) 23:23, 11 December 2021 (UTC)
General Support Fund proposal approved in the amount of 169,000 CAD
Congratulations! Your grant is approved in the amount of 169,000 CAD (~135,823 USD) for your first year, with a grant term starting 1 January 2022 and ending 31 December 2024.
In the coming year, Wikimedia Canada will be focused on a number of important programmatic goals, including expanding its national outreach with WikiClub programs, engaging indigenous communities in the Wikimedia movement with language and free knowledge projects, and supporting French-speaking communities both within and beyond Canada. The committee appreciates learning about how these programs fit within a cohesive organizational strategy documented in your Strategic Transformation Plan. Wikimedia Canada has also requested an increase in funding to hire a staff member in order to focus attention on diversifying your revenue sources. The committee supports this investment in the organization as a means to support your future sustainability and growth.
The committee appreciates your engagement with questions regarding your staffing, outreach, and scope of work, and we recommend some improvements for Wikimedia Canada’s future planning during the funding period. Given that Wikimedia Canada's current geographic coverage and support in Canadian communities is limited, the committee would like to further support Wikimedia Canada in its goal to reach a wider audience and more fully achieve its national mandate. Acknowledging that the work of expansion carries risks and is costly, the committee offers an additional 25,000 CAD to develop a pilot program that expands the geographic coverage of the chapter to areas where the active volunteer base is underrepresented. A meeting to discuss this possibility can be arranged as early as January 2022.
We appreciate your engagement and effort on the proposal, and look forward to working together with you in supporting the Wikimedia movement. On behalf of the committee, I JethroBT (WMF) (talk) 23:03, 15 December 2021 (UTC)
- Thank you very much to the Committee for its work, support and recommendations, and thank you I JethroBT (WMF) for your support. We will coordinate to arrange a date in early 2022 to discuss this additional funding and pilot program to extend WMCA's geographical reach. Thanks again, Amqui (talk) 14:30, 16 December 2021 (UTC)
- Merci / Thank you / Mikwetc everyone for the hard work done on this proposal, thank you I JethroBT (WMF) and the committee. A special mention to my colleagues Jean-Philippe Béland, Michael David Miller and Ha-Loan Phan for leading the discussions of this proposal. Happy New Year! Benoit Rochon (talk) 07:13, 29 December 2021 (UTC)