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Activity Reports

Wikimedia Canada's chapter[edit]

Live Board meeting[edit]

On January 29, 2012, members on Board of Directors of Wikimedia Canada gathered face to face for the first time together. It was an opportunity to meet and discuss the future of Wikimedia Canada. The meeting was open to members of the local community and ultimately led to the recruiting of new members including the present Treasurer Linda Chew. It was the occasion to talk about banking, delegates to Chapters Meeting in Berlin Mar. 30—Apr. 1, 2012, budget, funding, recruitment, projects, and plan our next live meeting at Wikimania in Washington, DC.

Chapters Meeting in Berlin[edit]

From March 30 - April 1 two Board members attended the 2012 Chapters Meeting in Berlin. Members participated in sessions teaching how to run chapter events and chapter bureaucracy, discussed global issues about the movement with the WMF and other chapters, and networked with the global community.

General meeting[edit]

On April 25, 2012, Wikimedia Canada has its first general meeting.

Aboriginal languages[edit]

Cree Wikipedia.

Outreach to Aboriginal communities[edit]

Active outreach to Mi'kmaq communities and speakers has also being performed through emails and Facebook, resulting in two contributors speaking micmac and one translator volunteering time for Wikipedia. Outreach has also been performed with Cree speakers and linguists and an active discussion has begun to see how to develop the Cree Wikipedia and how to make all Cree, Atikamekw and Innu dialects co-exist on the same project.

Canadian Aboriginal Languages Wikipedia Coordination[edit]

Amqui created the Canadian Aboriginal Languages Wikipedia Coordination's group to encourage the cooperation between the different Wikipedias in Canadian Aboriginal languages and to offer a place for Native languages speakers to seek support from experienced Wikipedians.

Wikimedia Incubator[edit]

Due to the efforts of Amqui, very active member of Wikimedia Canada and in several spheres of Wikimedia movement, two Wikipedias in Canadian Aboriginal languages have been created in the Wikimedia Incubator.


GLAMcamp DC[edit]

On the week-end of 10–12 February 2012, on invitation of Wikimedia District of Columbia, Benoit Rochon attended the GLAMcamp DC. It was, among other things, an opportunity to connect with the Wikimedian community of Washington, and to discuss with several people about the relationship between Wikimedia DC and Washington's GLAM institutions.

Benoit also met the Wikipedian in Residence at NARA, Dominic McDevitt-Parks, who told him about his project "ExtravaSCANza" at the National Archives at College Park, Maryland, and germinated the idea of ​​a collaboration between Wikimedia Canada and the Biodiversity Centre of the University of Montreal who is in charge of the Marie-Victorin herbarium. The idea behind this is to scan the million specimens and their datasheets, often old from early twentieth century, often written by hand or in a language other than French or English. This project is a work in progress, but the ultimate goal is to import these datasheets on Wikisource in order to allow the community to make digital transcriptions. Marie-Victorin herbarium and Montreal's Botanical garden is looking to put all this work under free licence CC0.

At GLAMcamp DC, Benoit also met Sarah Stierch and Lori Byrd Phillips, respectively instigators of the projects "Gender Gap" and "The Children's Museum of Indianapolis." Since that time, Benoit is very sensitive to the integration of Canadian women editors of Wikipedia, as well as projects QRpedia at the Children's Museum.

Backstage pass at the Biodiversity Centre of the University of Montreal[edit]

Biodiversity Centre of the University of Montreal, under construction.

On March 16, some Wikipedians from WikiProject Quebec met in Montreal to socialize and share experiences. Taking advantage of their presence in the city, Benoit Rochon requested and obtained the permission for a "backstage tour" at the Biodiversity Centre of the University of Montreal.

Professor Luc Brouillet, curator of the Marie-Victorin Herbarium, did a private tour where Wikipedians had the unique opportunity to see the brand new building which houses one of the oldest herbarium in North America. The Marie-Victorin Herbarium contains over one million specimens, and requires a specific care to preserve it.

Discussing with the professor Brouillet, Wikipedians learned that all of the herbarium will be scanned and put on the Internet under the CC0 license. However, the datasheets are very old, and a lot are handwrited, some in other languages than French or English, so text recognition (ORC) is almost useless in these conditions. Some suggested to put datasheets on Wikisource in order for the community to transcribe and/or translate them.

As of today, this project is pending until the University of Montreal completes digitization of herbarium.

Montreal Museum of Fine Arts[edit]

Letartean taking a picture in Montreal Museum of Fine Arts

On March 17, Letartean, Benoit Rochon and ChristianT visited the Montreal Museum of Art and took pictures of public domain paintings. Many of those paintings were made available on Commons. After the visit, photography was disallowed in the museum, making the releasing of public domain paintings more difficult. In the future, talks with the museum to have access to the collection for photography could be interesting.

Some painting available on Commons from that day

Contribution days[edit]

Contribution day at Université Laval[edit]

Contributors worked at Université Laval to improve Jean Talon on February 18, 2012.

A Contribution day is one of the Quebec Committee projects, where Wikipedia editors gather in order to significantly contribute on an article and to fraternize with local Wikipedians and ultimately recruit new editors. All day on February 18, 2012, a dozen of the most active contributors of French Wikipedia gathered in a room of the Université Laval and improved the article w:fr:Jean Talon.

In the morning, participants divided tasks:

  • researchers: collect books, find the passages of interest, add sources and references, etc.
  • editors: write the encyclopedic text, build the bibliography, etc.
  • media: find free illustrations, high quality scanning, upload to Commons, etc.
Concrete results

School projects[edit]

Training for the APOP[edit]

On January 18, 2012, Simon Villeneuve gave online training to many stakeholders in collegial education. He also developed the teaching material for these online lessons.

School project at Cégep de Chicoutimi[edit]

During the 2012 winter school session, Simon Villeneuve, physics teacher at the Cégep de Chicoutimi and Quebec Committee core member, organised several educative projects in his astronomy and astrophysics classes. His lessons aimed to initiate his students to Wikipedia in order to improve astronomy articles.

Conferences and forums[edit]


James Heilman gave the keynote address at a local tech conference regarding Wikipedia / Wikimedia. One of the printing companies present was interested in the possibility of printing low cost, open source, medical textbooks based on Wikipedia content for distribution to Africa and other areas with poor access to the Internet. These copies would ideally be in the languages of the local population.

International Scientific Conference on ICT in Education[edit]

Presentation in Quebec City by Wikimedia Canada

On 4 May 12, Antoine Letarte and Simon Villeneuve, both Cégep teachers and active members of Quebec Committee, gave a presentation during the International Scientific Confenrence on ICT in Education held in Montreal. It was a moment for them to establish contact with the french speaking teaching community of all over the world.

Both teachers also presented their educational projects and explained how they use Wikipedia in their classrooms. A video was produced and is now available under a free license on Commons.

Forum mondial de la langue française[edit]

From July 2 to 6th, 2012, four wikimedians kept a stand at the Forum mondial de la langue française held in Quebec City, Canada. It was the first time that people speaking French from around the World met together to exchange on the French language. Letartean and Adrienne Alix were invited on a panel to speak about the state of Wikipedia in French. Simon Villeneuve was invited to another panel. Cantons-de-l'Est was only at the stand. All the four answered visitors questions and gave very short introduction to Wikipedia to many : how to contribute, what is Wikipedia, etc.

Wikimania 2012 in Washington DC[edit]

Photographic scavenger hunts presentation, WTMTL and WPQC.

From 12 to 15 July 2012, several members of the board of Wikimedia Canada and Quebec Committee participated, mainly for the first time at Wikimania in Washington, DC : Dr. James Heilman (WMCA President), Jeffery Nichols (WMCA Secretary), Ray Saintonge (WMCA treasurer), Benoit Rochon (WMCA coordinator, COMQC member), Antoine Letarte (COMQC member), Simon Villeneuve (COMQC member). In addition to all of the presentations that we attended, the conference was an opportunity to meet and develop relationships between the two Canadian entities who nationnaly supports Wikimedia projects in both official languages of Canada.

On July 13, Benoit Rochon and Antoine Letarte did a presentation of the photographic scavenger hunts Wikipedia Takes Montreal (2011) and Wikipedia prend Québec (2012) in the Grand Ballroom. It was an opportunity to explain the advantages and disadvantages of these events from the media visibility, financial and organizational point of views. This was followed by the "Local Photo panel events" where Benoit Rochon and other panel members were answering questions from those present in the room, and explain differences between all type photographic events.

On July 14, members of Francophone Wikimedia chapters & supporters (France, Switzerland, Belgium, Canada, Tunesia, Italy) organise a meetup in order to have discussions about coordination and future collaborations. It appears that an association of Francophones and Francophiles chapters should be established to allow a better cohesion of French Wikimedia sister projects. Due to the dispersion of the Francophonie, this was a unique opportunity to allow contributors working together for years to meet face to face, and fraternize.


Wikipedia Takes Quebec City[edit]

The winning picture from the WTQC contest, as decided by a jury of photographs from different photo clubs

On June 16, people from Quebec City gathered for the Wikipedia takes Quebec City contest. Organised by the Comité Québec (Quebec Committee), the contest took place at the cégep Limoilou in downtown Quebec City. 30 people went all around the capital to take quality and useful pictures of this historic city. On a perfect day for photography, participants took over 5000 pictures of which 1071 were uploaded on Commons after a selection by the users.

The winners were selected in the summer and were announced by the end of August. It was particularly hard to choose a winning picture and portfolio because of the great quality of the images taken by the participants. Two great winners were declared in two categories: best picture and best portfolio and each won an iPad. Also, two runnerups received prizes for their uploads of the second and third best pictures.

The event was a success on many levels. First, many participants from the contest became regular Commons users. In particular, users Mcturcotte and Malimage are now active uploaders and contributors on Commons and French Wikipedia. Second, the event received a good media coverage in the regional medias and helped build bridges with many people in the Quebec City community (Cégep Limoilou, local antena of Radio-Canada, other media partners as Le Soleil and Vox, local tourism bureau, etc.). Participants were informed of the existence of the contest by different means, suggesting a good communication strategy. Also, the contest was innovative in its ways. Users uploaded themselves the pictures and used Commons, a conference about free-licenced photography was given in the morning, the contest was aimed at quality images more than at images illustrating things on a list with points. Finally, Commons received a very nice set of free-licenced images about Quebec City and its surroundings. Some images received the Quality Image status on Commons.

Interested users can find more information (in French) on the official webpage of the contest and in the links below.

Aboriginal languages[edit]

Outreach to Aboriginal communities[edit]

Outreach has been performed with the Gwi'chin Social & Cultural Institute in Northwest Territories and discussions are on-going to develop the Gwi'chin Wikipedia. Discussions on the Cree Wikipedia are still on-going and two new contributors speaking Cree have started to contribute. A plan to have a session to teach other Cree speakers how to contribute to Wikipedia is also being developed in partnership with a Cree language coordinator.

Wikimedia Incubator[edit]

Six new Wikipedias in Canadian Aboriginal languages have been created in the Wikimedia Incubator.

Wikimedia Indigenous Languages[edit]

Amqui, founder of the Canadian Aboriginal Languages Wikipedia Coordination group and active Wikimedia Canada member, has engaged discussion with the wider Wikimedia movement to put in place a new international body to encourage the cooperation in the development of small and endangered languages Wikimedia projects, Wikimedia Indigenous Languages. Amqui also initiated the creation of a new Wikimedia mailing list dedicated to languages.

Google's Endangered Languages Project[edit]

Amqui has engaged a discussion with the newly created Google's Endangered Languages Project to explore how the Google project and Wikimedia projects can help each other to develop content in Canadian Aboriginal languages and attract new contributors speaking Native languages. This cooperation has since been expanded to the wider Wikimedia movement through the Language Committee.

Outreach to medical community[edit]

Meeting with Pubmed[edit]

James Heilman was involved with a telephone meeting with Pubmed regarding potential collaboration.

Medical outreach at Coventry UK[edit]

A meeting in Coventry in the UK to discuss the importance of Wikipedia in Medicine

In Aug 2012, James Heilman, was involved in organizing and spoke at a meeting regarding the significance of Wikipedia in Medicine in Coventry in the UK. Other speakers included Wikipedian, Jacob de Wolff and founder of the TRIPdatabase Jon Brassy.

Meeting with Cancer Research UK, London[edit]

In Aug 2012, James Heilman, met with members of Cancer Research UK at their London office. Discussed was the possibility of them hosting a Wikipedian in Residence as well as them releasing all their images and possibly some of their content under a compatible license.

Meeting with PloS Medicine[edit]

In Aug 2012, James Heilman, met with one of the editors of the PLoS Medicine in Coventry, England to discuss the possibility of Wikipedia and the BMJ collaborating.

Meeting with the British Medical Journal, Oxford[edit]

In Aug 2012, James Heilman, met with one of the editors of the BMJ in Oxford, England to discuss the possibility of Wikipedia and the BMJ collaborating.

School projects[edit]

School project at Cégeps[edit]

Since most students are on vacation from school during May to August, teachers and other stakeholders in education use this time period to update themselves and share the results of their researches and experiments. Antoine Letarte and Simon Villeneuve, both Cégep teachers and core members of Quebec Committee, participated in the International Scientific Conference on ICT and Education held in Montreal on May 3 and 4. They shared with several international stakeholders in education their own academic initiatives and the results of their researches and experiments with involving Wikipedia in classroom. Simon Villeneuve also presented his work at the colloque annuel de l'Association québécoise de pédagogie collégiale (AQPC) held in Gatineau from June 6 to 8. He also published an article in the local newspaper of his Cegep, L'idéephile.

Training for the APOP[edit]

On two separate occasions, an online conference was developed and given by Simon Villeneuve, with the presence of Letartean for support, to teachers and professionals from the Quebec's post-secondary education system. The goal of the presentations was to explain Wikipedia and to show possible uses that can be made of it in a classroom. A combined total of 25 people attended both conferences. The conferences were publicized by the APOP and given on their online platform.


Wiki Loves Monuments in Canada[edit]

Promotional poster for WLM 2012 in Canada

During the summer of 2012, Wikipedians have prepared lists of historic places in Canada (English) and Liste des lieux patrimoniaux du Canada (French), for the country's participation in the largest photo contest in the world, Wiki Loves Monuments. During the entire month of September, amateur photographers could upload their images of historic sites recognized by the Canadian government and thus enlarge the free licensed image collection on Wikimedia Commons.

Within few weeks, we got over 5,500 photos of Canada related to the country's history, in addition to promoting the free media repertoire, Wikimedia Commons, and Wikipedia.

Top 10 finalists

Wikipedians Photo Club of Quebec City[edit]

Under the initiative of Letartean, a photo club called "Club des photographes wikipédiens de Québec" had been created to coordinate the photography efforts in Quebec City. As a first activity, the club went to a Quebec Remparts QMJHL hockey game in Colisée Pepsi on 25 Oct 12.

Collaboration with sports teams[edit]

Wikimedia Canada volunteer at the Bell Center in collaboration with Hamilton Bulldogs, Montreal Canadiens, and Evenko.

During the weekend of November 9 to 11, some Wikipedians gathered together to photograph sporting events in Montreal and Quebec city and upload pictures on Wikimedia Commons under free licence. It happended with the collaboration of Wikimedia Canada, Quebec Committee, Hamilton Bulldogs, Montreal Canadiens, Evenko, Laval Rouge et Or, and Quebec Remparts.

Letartean, from the Quebec Committee of Wikimedia Canada, took the initiative to contact the organizations from three sports teams in Hamilton, Montreal and Quebec city in order to obtain credentials. With these press passes, it was possible to carry photographic equipment in sports amphitheaters, as well as having good places, besides footbridge for journalists, to make high quality photo sessions.

This first collaboration between professional sports teams and Wikimedia Canada opens the door for future nationwide sport events.

School projects[edit]

School project at Cégep de Chicoutimi[edit]



School project at Cégep de Saint-Hyacinthe[edit]

In 2011, Simon Villeneuve, active Wikipedian and school teacher, gave couple online presentations in collaboration with the association APOP, to show teachers how to use Wikipedia in class. One of the attendee of these online trainings was MCPearson, teacher in "English Second Language". She did an extra mile, in collaboration with Simon, and start to prepare and develop her ESL course on Simple English Wikipedia. Between October and December 2012, her 60 students will start to work Simple English articles.


Outreach to medical community[edit]

World Health Organization[edit]

In Sept 2012, James Heilman, meet a couple of times with members of the World Health Organization. One meeting was with the legal team to continue the discussion regarding the WHOs position on copyright which has been ongoing for the last couple of years. A number of issues where discussed including the situation of the WHO being unable to use the current CC BY SA licenses. In collaboration with Creative Commons however the next version of the CC BY SA license 4.0 coming out in the new year will be compatible with the WHOs position of being an International Governmental Body. It was agreed that the WHO would release some content under a CC license when the new licenses become official.

James Heilman, also gave a one hour talk at WHOs headquarters in Geneva Switzerland about the importance of Wikipedia in Medicine hosted by the head of the International Classification of Diseases division. After the talk he meet with this department to discuss possibilities of further collaboration between ICD and Wikipedia / Wikidata. The possibility of a Wikipedian in Residence was also discussed.


Meeting with Translators Without Borders[edit]

In Oct James Heilman meet with the co founder of Translators Without Borders to discuss in person the ongoing translation efforts. The possibility of hiring some staff to help manage the project was discussed.


Aboriginal languages[edit]

Cree Wikipedia[edit]

Discussions are on-going with the Cree Aanischaaukamikw Cultural Institute and the Institut linguistique atikamekw (in French) both in Québec; cleaning and sorting of existing articles on the Cree Wikipedia had began as a result of those discussions to make the Wikipedia ready for the viable co-existence of several dialects.


Wikimedia Indigenous Languages[edit]

Amqui represented Wikimedia Canada at the first meeting of Wikimedia Indigenous Languages, which he also chaired.