The amazing thing about living in or visiting the city of Toronto is that there is no shortage of sites to see, people to meet, content or food to consume, not to mention the number of festivals that take place in this multicultural megacity. Known as having the most festival per capita in North America, that says a lot about a city that might eventually mirror New York in the coming decades.
Last week (through September 21-27), I took part in one of the newest and innovative festivals to arrive in Toronto, Elevate. It’s a four day, city-wide “tech fest” that is a diverse and inclusive event that features inspiring keynotes, topical content streams, experiential programming, and epic socials. As a Creative, I was joined by global professionals, tech leaders, investors, and many more looking to learn, network and negotiate in the ongoing and growing digital landscape.
As the Canadian tech and innovation ecosystem is vast and ever-expanding, Elevate chose of include influential guest such as Al Gore, Whitney Wolfe Herd, Wyclef Jean, among many to engage in thought-leading discussions about the future. The festival’s programming also contained a series of content tracks, held at various venues across downtown Toronto, dedicated to specific subjects on technologies, paradigms, and events that shift and shape our lives. I managed to take in some of the Digital Transformation tract co-created by Capital One, which focuses on the innovation, growth and digital transformation companies must undergo when it comes to strategy, customers, products, processes, and culture.
But Elevate isn’t just about auditorium discussions and celebrity speakers. There was ample room to connect and socialize in a lighter atmosphere such as the first-ever Capital One House in Canada created at Baro on King West. During my experience at the venue, I took in delightful tapas and cold beverages, engaged in interactive installations and let loose with old and new friends. The musical lineup rivaled its SXSW counterpart with headliner Majid Jordan and local performances by Bravestation. I will admit that I might’ve slightly, missed out fellow countryman Wyclef Jean performing at another venue but I’ve spent plenty of time with Jean (both in Canada and Haiti) to know that he’s an influence that will continue to thrive in the future.
Attending the Elevate tech fest was a great investment of my time. Meeting people at the forefront of fields in technology and innovation and sharing ideas with individuals that want to double-down on emerging talent and digital creatives is what I appreciated the most. The discussions I had about cutting-edge ideas, technologies, and movements that will shape the future was in abundance and exciting. If you have the opportunity of attending one of the many festivals in Toronto in the near future, make it Elevate. It’s a unique opportunity to boost your career, stay up to date in the tech world, and make connections that can fuel your professional growth.