Amplify 2020 takes place on October 28, 2020 from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Centre for International Governance Innovation.

Admission costs $25 and includes lunch. More information, including ticket sale dates, will be available in Fall 2020.

About Amplify

Amplify is a full day summit celebrating creativity and innovation in Waterloo region. It gathers researchers, artists, designers and creative industry members to showcase cutting-edge ideas that explore the fusion between art and technology. Participants will discover a unique opportunity for knowledge sharing, networking, and community building.

2019 Keynotes

Kelsey Carriere

Kelsey Carriere, senior project manager at Park PeopleA headshot of Kelsey Carriere"Parks: Where Community-Led Placemaking Grows"

As cities grow in size, density, and complexity, communities need to create balance in urban lives by infusing them with nature, creativity, and humanity. This includes offsetting the increasing social isolation, the diminishing social capital, and the growing polarization by creating inclusive practices that inspire people to build stronger community connections. This can be achieved by community members who know, love, and steward their local parks and public spaces.

Through diverse programs including the Public Space Incubator Program, Arts in the Parks, and the nurturing of local “Friends of” park groups, Park People is helping to support the animation and activation of public spaces to connect communities and improve the quality of life in cities across Canada.

Elena Soní

Elena Soní and Vanessa Barnett, creative partners and co-founders of Making Art Making 

Headshot of Elena Sohi and Vanessa Barnett

Change"Dislocation, Transformation: Re-Invention"

Making Art Making Change's creative practice taps into the communities’ inherent essence and diversity exploring the possibility to work creatively with the participating group and thereby enrich their own practice.

Working together, Soni and Barnett have partnered with cultural institutions to showcase community based artwork. In doing so, they have highlighted the richness of the community and have brought visibility to issues beyond community geography.

They identify as art facilitators and co-learners. Together, they use clips from films, to highlight how they foster the link between identity, belonging, and placemaking and how their collaborative projects create safe and stimulating environments for each participant to invest in a shared experience as they weave their voices together.

Jane Tingley

Jane Tingley, assistant professor in hybrid media, University of WaterlooHeadshot of Jane Tingley"anyWare - from conception to realization"

Jane Tingley is the creator of anyWare, an Internet of Things distributed sculpture comprised of three identical objects that are individually connected to the Internet and physically mirror each other.

The anyWare sculptures are art objects that telematically connect three different locations in the world and enable distal physical communication. The objects simultaneously respond to people who interact directly with them, as well as allow them to interact with each other through the sculptures.

Structuring these interactions is a number of games and puzzles for people to play/solve, either individually or collaboratively. The objects transform in the experience of exploration (either with one person or potentially with many people) and in so doing reveal different levels of interactivity and aesthetic experience.

2019 Peer to peer sessions


Sharon Whittle headshotSharon Whittle, 2019 MAST coordinator
"30 Years of Placemaking - The evolution of artist run studio tours"

MAST is as a grassroots community group that has worked for 30 years bringing together many talented, thoughtful artists willing to share their vision and artistic expression to the public in hopes of creating an art experience in Uptown for all community members.

And while this has always been the goal, this has not always been easy for MAST. A change in the way we access and interact with art, as well as changing neighbourhoods and demographics, has meant MAST has needed to evolve and collaborate to remain relevant.

Sharon Whittle, the 2019 MAST coordinator, will share with participants the struggles and successes of this event and create an open discussion on how "finding ourselves" and "placemaking" is a process that happens every day and is never static.

Narine Sookram's headshotNarine Dat Sookram
"Caribbean Dreams"

Taking place in early summer each year, the award-winning Caribbean Dreams Concert is where new and young artists get to showcase their artistic talent. Now in its 18th year, the Caribbean Dreams Concert, offering the best of West Indian Culture, has built its reputation on bringing a little taste of Caribbean life and culture to the Region of Waterloo.

The Dreams Concert is the only event in the Region of Waterloo to be named the Top 15 in Ontario, named one of the ideas to change the face of Waterloo Region and won the Ontario Tourism Award (only event to in the Region of Waterloo). Narine Dat Sookram, the founder of the Caribbean Dreams Concert, the Caribbean Spice and “Let’s Chit Chat with Narine Dat” radio shows will share their success story (how they got to where they are now) with limited resources.


Marit Collective logoStephanie Rozek and CJ Perez, co-founders of Marit Collective & The Causerie
"Listening, Learning, & Connecting Across Perspectives"

Stephanie and CJ co-founded The Causerie, a new community space in downtown Kitchener in October 2018. The goal of this space, and the non-profit Marit Collective, is to encourage a culture of depth and thoughtfulness through exploring personal insight and human connection.

They create space for respectful discussion and consciousness-raising within their groups and community, working at a personal level to foster more empathy and awareness of each other.

Hosting a talk, leading into conversation (similar to those they host at our own space), you are invited to converse equally with them about topics including: What fosters connection or disconnection within a local community? How to speak to others we don't know, or may not agree with, about issues that are important to us?

Asking attendees to engage in a thoughtful and respectful manner, being aware of the space they are taking up in the room, and being cognizant of other's lived experience. They believe that individual shifts in understanding can lead to larger societal evolution in an increasingly polarized world.

MT Space logoMTSpace
"Space for the Arts in Waterloo Region"

MT Space was founded on the value of centralizing marginalized and racialized artists and stories, filling what seemed to be a great void in a community of many different peoples. MT Space will bring together panelists to explore the power art can have on quality of life, drawing on their experience touring to multiple cities. They will go on to discuss how accessible spaces facilitate the creation of art and MT Space's own struggle to find space in the region. Finally, panelists discuss their vision for how more art spaces can emerge hand-in-hand with the developing tech sector in Waterloo Region.


Lacey Heels headshotLacey J Heels
"The Power of Podcasting: Build a Brand, Grow a Business and Connect with Community"

The Maker's Collective community organization as well as the educational interview based podcast have proven to be a valued resource and space where people from all backgrounds can unite to find a place of belonging. Podcasting is on the rise and now more than ever, it is a great tool to build community, strengthen your brand, and grow your business online.

Kitchener based marketing strategist and business coach Lacey Heels will be sharing the story of how starting a podcast helped her to:

  • beat isolation when she left her corporate marketing job to pursue entrepreneurship
  • build a flourishing community and support network
  • position herself as a brand and business building expert and mental health advocate which led to meaningful connections

Lacey will share her story and discuss how starting a podcast with the right strategy, clarity and purpose can help you in your life and business as well. 

David Trinh's headshotDavid Trinh
"Building an innovative RP Group"

Artemis, a spaceship bridge simulator is a social role playing and video game that actively engages individuals on social media. Members across Canada can participate in joint spaceship training and missions online.

At the end of each of their monthly games at the local board game café, people are asked if they had fun and feel a sense of belonging. The public space allows for both an inclusive and safe space for attendees.

Members range from ages 10 to 60 years old, laptops are provided and a rank structure is used to play Artemis, a spaceship bridge simulator. A customized web based CMS is used to announce the next game day. A modified open source help desk ticket system, used as an RPG Order System from Fleet Command. These technologies used to drive the back office, allow for participants to focus on what builds community, engaging with people with a common interest. The operating model has been implemented in Hamilton, Oshawa, London, Chatham-Kent and Windsor.