Archive for the ‘Sponsors’ Category

GGD Ottawa presents: Data for Mental Health – November 20th

Shelley McKayOf the 6.7 million people who have a mental health problem, about one million are children and teenagers between nine and 19 years old. The high cost of treatment and care of teenagers with mental health concerns and the lack of available services is a serious problem in Canada. Emergency room visits often occur when youth are in a crisis state and outcomes for these youth are poor. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among Canadian youth. Suicide is influenced by social media as well as social and environmental factors.

Can social media data serve as an effective early warning system to help prevent such tragedies?

Join us on November 20th as strategic consultant Shelley McKay answers this question as she discusses the pilot project she is leading that will use social media, analytics and predictive models using keywords and phrases associated with known risk factors to identify suicidal behaviours/ideations at the earliest possible point. This project is a first in Canada and the outcome objective of the project is two-fold: proactive rather than reactive support for our youth and reduce the pressure on our region’s emergency rooms by proactively identifying youth in crisis and directing them to appropriate treatment.

Shelley is a strategic consultant living with PTSD, working to integrate mental health into National Health Strategy and to raise funds to deliver more mental health services.  She is a former Canadian National Team athlete and Woman of Distinction Award winner. Through keynote addresses and lobbying, Shelley shares her personal experiences and challenges in an effort to inform the public, media, employers, government and healthcare communities about the urgent need to build a more coordinated national healthcare strategy by including initiatives and strategies to meet the needs of people impacted by mental illness.

Event details:

When: Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Where:  SideDoor (18 York Street) NOTE NEW LOCATION

Time: Doors open at 5:30 p.m.

Event starts at 6:00 p.m. (including food order)

Event ends at 7:30 p.m.

Cost: $10.00 (does not include meals and drinks)

CLICK HERE to reserve your spot for Wednesday, November 20th. We hope to see you!


Thank you to our door prize sponsors!






GGD Ottawa presents The Maker Movement, October 24

GGD Ottawa is kicking off the 2013-2014 season on Thursday, October 24th, with guest speaker Britta Evans-Fenton from Artengine, as she discusses the rise of the ‘Maker Movement’ and how it harnesses ideas and empowers creative communities.

What IS the Maker Movement? It is BrittaEvansFentonthe ultimate Do it Yourself (DIY) movement! It’s an evolution of millions of people who are starting their own projects, creating their own businesses, making and selling self-made products. Modern technology, such as 3D printing, has made it easier than ever for a single individual to create and distribute items that are customizable and unique without having middlemen like manufacturers.

Britta will delve into the new Maker and Hacker movements, globally and locally here in Ottawa. She’ll discuss how local women and artist organizations (like Ottawa’s Artengine) are creating hackerspaces; as well as how the media and other cities have affected the Ottawa Maker trend. Participants will also get to see a 3D printer in action “making” something and be able to do their own DIY mini-project to take home!

Britta Evans-Fenton is the Technical Coordinator at Artengine, a technology based Artist Run center located in Ottawa. Well known in the Maker Movement of Ottawa, Britta is the host of Modlab, Ottawa’s only hackerspace, and a co-organizer of the Ottawa Mini Maker Faire. By night, she is an emerging electronic artist with works shown in the Ottawa Art Gallery, Gallery 115, Interacess (Toronto) and commissioned for Nuit Blanche Ottawa + Gatineau 2013.

Event details:

When: Thursday, October 24, 2013

Where: Black Tomato (11 George Street)

Time: Doors open at 5:30 p.m.

Event starts at 6:00 p.m. (including food order)

Event ends at 7:30 p.m.

Cost: $10.00 (does not include meals and drinks)

Click here to reserve your spot for Thursday, October 24th. We hope to see you!

Thank you to our door prize sponsors!





Event Recap: “Overcoming anonymous in search of more fully clothed role models”

Shari Informed OpinionsAt our most recent dinner on April 16th, Shari Graydon, founder and catalyst of Informed Opinions, presented “Overcoming anonymous in search of more fully clothed role models.” Shari stressed the importance of the female voice; drawing awareness to the obstacles faced by influential women who speak up. Shari reminded us that we all have informed opinions, knowledge and experiences worth sharing. The unfortunate truth is women are more likely than men to give up the opportunity to voice an opinion when given the opportunity. When Shari polled our attendees if they ever declined the chance to speak because “they weren’t the right person to ask” or because “someone else would be better suited to comment,” more than half of us raised our hands.

Sometimes it seems we are our own worst enemy, allowing self-consciousness and doubt prevent us from expressing our opinions. Statistically speaking, men’s opinions out-number women’s at least four to one in the media. Empowering women to express themselves is not only important for the individual, but also for the collective. Shari spoke from the heart when she said “it’s a sad day when a woman remains silent.” Women experience things differently from men – in regards to sexuality, appearance, safety and maternity ­– which need to be considered in public discourse.

However, operating in a position of influence and having a strongly informed opinion isn’t a walk in the park. There’s still gender-specific challenges which affect influential and opinionated women today. Shari offered a number of examples of inspirational women who chose to speak up, be powerful in their own right, and influence others. While these “fully clothed role models” are an inspiration, their presence in the media reveals that strong and opinionated women still face gender discrimination – gender-specific criticisms, harassment and cruelty – not typically experienced by male counterparts. Female leaders contend with public focus on their looks and wardrobe, rather than their opinions. Marissa Mayer, President and CEO of Yahoo! was heavily scrutinized for taking her position during her pregnancy. Hilary Clinton was slammed in the press for her wardrobe choices. Sexism is still prevalent, despite living in these “modern times.”

The good news is, as more women choose to have a public voice, the more these opinions will become the focus of discussion. We all benefit from women in power. When women are included in senior corporate positions, companies perform better and operate with higher ethical practices. In countries where women are educated, the quality of life is raised for everyone.

Shari inspired us to find our voice. As Alice Walker once said, “The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” The next time you have the opportunity to speak, be confident that your voice is as strong as those around you. If you have an informed opinion, share it. What if you really are the best person to ask?

If you’d like to purchase Shari’s book I Feel Great About My Hands…And Other Unexpected Joys of Agingplease contact Ashley Armstrong at ashley(at)informedopinions(dot)org.

You can also check out photos from the event on our Facebook page and read what attendees posted on Twitter.

Our Sponsors

A special thank-you to our sponsors for their generous door prize donations:















And, congratulations to our door prize winners!

Kate Wetherow

Camille De Baets

Jennifer Turner

Lysanne Sacoutis

Lara Bender

Event Recap: Geek-fest on March 26, 2013

legosmallWhat do you get when you put a group of smart women in a room with LEGO, food and a microphone?

A Girl Geek Dinner Geek-fest!

On Tuesday March 26, we hosted a Geek-fest in lieu of a traditional dinner. This fly-by-the-minute event idea turned out to be a huge success and it seems attendees want more! Check out photos from the event on our Facebook page.

Thanks to Ellen Grove, everyone had the chance to take part in LEGO® Serious Play® (LSP).

What is LSP?

LEGO® Serious Play® is a powerful thinking, communicating and problem solving technique that can help you and your team do serious work through structured play activities using a popular and playful 3D modeling toy. Through a facilitated process of building models that, storytelling and reflection, every person at the table is engaged and actively participating in the discussion. Whether the topic is individual aspirations, team relationships, developing a new product or solving a wicked organizational problem, everyone builds and everyone tells their story, unlocking new perspectives and exposing the answers already in the room.

Nine attendees completed three builds: a warm-up, one to answer the question “what made you happy in the past week?” and a final build on the topic of “what do you get out of participating in Girl Geek Dinner Ottawa?” It was great to hear some of the responses such as “an opportunity to meet and learn from successful and talented women,” and “this is my first time coming to GGDOttawa. I’m glad I joined,” and also “constantly learning new trends and hot topics to help me in my career.”

If you participated in the LEGO activity, feel free to leave a comment about your experience or if you’re interested in learning more, you can email Ellen at ellen(dot)grove(at)gmail(dot)com or send her a Tweet @eegrove.

Although LEGO was a huge highlight of the evening, we still kept some tradition with door prizes, community announcements and a good ol’ mind trap question for a grand prize:

Q: What is unwanted by the maker, not used by the buyer, and never seen by the user?
A: Coffin

Congratulations to Patricia Saravesi for knowing the answer and winning free access to a webinar courtesy of The Conference Board of Canada.

Congratulations to the other door prize winners:

Olga Dewar – two vouchers for The National Arts Centre.

Yayoi Akita-Brunet, Janet Hockey and Basia Vanderveen – $30 gift card for CanvasPop.

Mary Beth Baker – $25 gift certificate for Rinaldo’s Spa Services.

Lisa Leves – 50% off coupon to Crepella’s.

And last, but not least, save the date for our next event! We also asked our GGDOttawa community what’s coming up in Ottawa, so why not save all these dates!

Next GGDOttawa event:

Speaker: Shari Graydon, founder of Informed Opinions
Date: April 16 (to be confirmed)
Time: 5:30 p.m . to 7:30 p.m.
Location: (to be confirmed)

Ladies Learning Code is hosting a workshop on Saturday April 6 called “Introduction to App Design for Beginners”. If you have any questions, you can contact Nicole Belanger by email at nicole(at)ladieslearningcode(dot)com or on Twitter.

IABC Ottawa is hosting their final professional development event for the season on April 11 at the Black Tomato restaurant. “A Successful Lesson in Social Media Crisis Communications” will be presented by Melissa Carroll, the wizard behind the Montreal’s Police Service (SPVM) Twitter account who communicated with civilians of all stripes and in both official languages during the 2012 student protests.

OpenData Ottawa is also planning an event in April. No date has been confirmed just yet, but you can follow their blog for updates or follow them on Twitter.

Canadian Public Relations Society Ottawa chapter is hosting their National Conference June 9 to 11 which features a combination of keynote speakers and workshops.

Have a great long weekend!

‘Til next time,

Your GGDOttawa Organizers

Join us for a Geek-fest on March 26


Hello Girl Geeks!

We’re back again with another event, but this time we’re switching it up and making YOU our guest speakers.

Ok, in all honesty we weren’t able to book a speaker for this month (who knew March Madness really existed!) So, we decided to improvise.

On Tuesday March 26, join us for a Geek-fest to mix and mingle with your fellow Girl Geeks and past speakers and sponsors. Did you miss an event and topic you wanted to learn about? This is a great opportunity to connect again or for the first time with past speakers and learn more about their expertise. Unlike past events, we will provide food instead of ordering individually from the menu. If you register and have dietary restrictions or preferences, please email us at And as always, we will have amazing door prizes!

So, how are YOU the guest speakers? We’re giving the mic to anyone who would like to announce a local event, fundraiser, workshop or initiative/project in the making. If you’d like to speak, email us your topic and a few details. Please refrain from sales and marketing tactics. We’re not afraid to yank the mic out of your hand!

Would you like to promote your company’s products/services? Be a door prize sponsor! Email us at

When: Tuesday March 26, 2013

Where: Fox & Feather Pub (283 Elgin St.)

Time: Doors open at 5:30 p.m.



Thank you to our door prize sponsors!




Upcoming event: Hacking is a mindset, not a skillset.


The idea of hacking has a very specific — and wrong — definition in present culture. Born at MIT, hacking was originally a mindset shared by an intellectual community to infuse creativity and an element of fun into their lives. Somewhere along the way, this message got lost.

For Girl Geek Dinner Ottawa’s next event, Tanya Snook (a.k.a. spydergrrl) will teach us the core tenets of hacking and how it can be applied to non-hacking uses. Whether you’re a developer, a designer, a project manager or even an accountant, spydergrrl will seek to either convince you that you’ve been hacking all along or that you really should be adopting a hacking mindset.

Bringing 5 principles of hacking and a ton of real-world examples, we will explore when and how you can hack challenges and opportunities to infuse some creativity and fun both at home and at work.

When: Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Time: 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Where: The Lunenburg (14 Waller St. – downtown)


5:30 – Doors open

6 – 6:30 – Introduction and food order

6:30 – 7 – Speaker presentation

7 – 7:20 – Q’s & A’s

7:20 –  7:30 – Closing remarks and announcements




Thank you to our event sponsors!












Would you like to promote your business or products/services? Contact us about being a door prize sponsor!

Upcoming event: What to do with all that data?

Join us for the first event of the season on Wednesday, November 21, 2012 for a discussion about “big data” with Amanda Shendruk, founder of Aesthetic Intelligence and a leading expert in data visualization.

In an age of “big data” and “information overload”, the ability to use compelling graphics to accurately represent complicated concepts is increasingly valuable. When well executed, easily digestible visuals can provide at-a-glance comprehension while revealing significant connections and relationships. And, they can be fun!

Using examples primarily from the journalism industry, we will explore some of the considerations that go into making an effective infographic, learn how to avoid visual lies with data, and learn how to balance aesthetics (and Lady Gaga references) with practicality. Amanda believes data is a driving force to decision-making and it should reflect visual creativity to improve understanding and clarity.

When: Wednesday November 21, 2012

Where: The Black Tomato, 11 George St. (directions)


5:30 – Doors open

6 – 6:30 – Introduction and food order

6:30 – 7 – Speaker presentation

7 – 7:20 – Q’s & A’s

7:20 –  7:30 – Closing remarks and announcements


Thank you to our event sponsors!


*** Please be advised that photographs are taken at our events for use on the Ottawa Girl Geek website. By attending any Ottawa Girl Geek event, you consent to having your picture taken and for Ottawa Girl Geek to use your image and likeness on this site.***

Sponsor Appeal:

GGDOttawa launched in 2009 and since then, has attracted over 1,300 women in the Ottawa area with a special interest in business and technology. Although our events are focused around bringing women in technology together, our unique topics and speakers have also attracted women from other fields including non-profit, government, agency, hi-tech and small business’.

As a volunteer-run non-profit group, GGDOttawa is in need of in-kind or cash sponsorships to help support our events.

To help facilitate every event, we require AV equipment such as projectors, screens, mics and speakers. We’re also very lucky to have such amazing and talented speakers to volunteer their time, so we like to treat them to a courteous gift. We would also not exist without our loyal members, so for every event,  we like to draw names for door prizes as a token of our appreciation.

Sponsoring GGDOttawa is a great way to showcase your company and its products or services, and to target 1,300 women across many industries.

Sponsors of any kind will be promoted on our website two times per event, will be mentioned in two email blasts per event, will be promoted on our Twitter, and will be displayed at the event.

If you would like to sponsor or for more information, please email the GGDOttawa organizers at

Event recap with Girl Develop It Ottawa

Last Wednesday, Serena Ngai of Girl Develop It Ottawa presented her case about the revolution of women in technology. From Mattel’s Barbie career innovations to five-year old girls dreaming of being astronauts, Serena pointed out the large social gap between girls and boys in the field of computer science and everything related.

When you Google search “computer scientist”, what’s the first image that appears? Is it a guy with glasses and a plaid shirt? Trust us, we’re not being biased. In fact, research has shown the number of women with bachelor degrees in computer sciences has decreased rapidly over the past 20 years from 37 per cent to less than 20 per cent. Today, less than one per cent of women would be interested in studying computer science as an elective in university. But, there is hope!

In 2010, Mattel posted a public survey asking girls which career they would like Barbie to pursue. To everyone’s surprise, the number one career was computer engineer. Are women beginning to see technology as a fun, innovative, career savvy form of income?  Let’s hope so!

To help regain the number of women in computer sciences, Serena and Gail Carmichael founded Girl Develop It Ottawa to bring back the flare and fun of building websites in a supportive environment. Serena taught us how technical skills can be valuable for your career and any career, why this “women in technology” thing really matters, and how their upcoming workshops can help you become the next Marissa Mayer. Well, in part.

Girl Develop It is hosting their next workshop Intro to HTML and CSS on Nov. 29 and Dec. 6, from 6:30 – 9:30 p.m. They’re also looking for volunteers to help teach workshops and share technological skills with Ottawa women. If you or someone you know likes to teach and is tech savvy, contact Serena or Gail.

And lastly, congratulations to our Girl Geek prize winners who went home with fabulous gifts from our event sponsors – the National Arts Centre, Media Miser, and Ingrid Aesthetics.

To read more about this month’s event, check out the following reviews from our Girl Geek attendees:

Amy Campsall (blog post)@AmyCampsall

Alexandra Reid – @TechAlly

Mel Gallant – @MelGallant

Hana Abaza – @HanaAbaza


New #GGDOttawa Sponsor: Canadian Internet Registration Authority

We are pleased to announce a new long-term sponsor of Girl Geek Dinners Ottawa, the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA). CIRA is the not-for-profit corporation that manages the dot-ca domain space on behalf of all Canadian.

We’re also excited to tell you about a contest CIRA is running that could land you $5,000 in your pocket and national recognition! The .CA Impact Awards program is searching for people and organizations using their .CA websites to make a positive difference in the lives of their users and their communities. Impact can be social, cultural, political, technological, or economic.

There are four broad categories for entries: E-Learning, Small Business, Not-for-Profit, and Web Technology. Entries for the 2010 awards will be accepted until March 25, 2011. Judging takes place in April 2011 and the $5,000 winners will be announced at the mesh Conference in Toronto on May 24, 2011.

Visit for more information or to enter.

We’re particularly excited because CIRA is a great fit for girl geeks (many of us like to create websites!) and they even featured well known girl geek @ambermac in this video call to entry:
(disclosure: produced by my employer):