Fantastic inaugural Python meetup



The first ever Python Hamilton meetup took place last night at The Pheasant Plucker! About 25-30 or so attendees took in the inaugural meetup, and I’m glad to say it was very successful.

I missed the talk, but Colin Gorrie (@colingorrie) spoke about inflect, a string formatting package that makes plurals, verb-agreement, and spelling out numbers a breeze.

Brandon Aubie (@brandonaubie) talked about Boost.Python, which allows for interoperability between C++ and the Python, and how he used it as part of his SpikeDB neuroscience data analysis platform:

“SpikeDB is a cross-platform database and analysis application for use in electrophysiological labs that employ the SPIKE data acquisition software. SpikeDB is useful for organizing data files from multiple cells and animals and for quickly viewing the results of each recording session. For analysis, SpikeDB integrates the Python scripting language to enable users to write arbitrary data analysis scripts that operate over their entire collection (or a subset of) their data.

SpikeDB was written by and is currently maintained by Brandon Aubie while working in the McMaster Bat Lab. SpikeDB is open source and free for anybody to use.”

And to close it off Danny Vacar (@FlyingDan) talked about his Wifi User Detection System application!




There were a bunch of things I really liked about this new meetup:

1) Like every other “new group” that starts, I saw a bunch of faces I’ve never seen before. The more people engaged in the tech community the better, and the more events targeting different niches within tech the more people that will become engaged.

2) The focus on a specific technology / programming language helps in terms of putting everyone on the same page and giving the event a focus and direction.

3) The talk line-up was nice and technical. There’s an added level of problem solving when you go from using APIs and tools that perform computation/analysis/rendering, to creating the APIs and tools that perform the computation/analysis/rendering. The former is more akin to software carpentry or plumbing – which is critically important, but the latter is more akin to software R&D or software architecture. It’s a small point, and I’m not sure I’m making it correctly or elegantly… but especially for a more nascent tech community such as Hamilton, it was great to see technical talks with that added level of problem solving.

4) There was some kind of venue double-booking mix-up with GameDevDrinks, and the meetups chose to collaborate, with the Python meetup being followed by board game talks + fun!




Hats off to organizer Colin Gorrie (@colingorrie) for the community leadership! There’s so many “technology areas and subareas” that could be catalyzed in Hamilton (e.g. JavaScript, AI, hardware, big data, etc.), and I hope others follow this leadership with even more meetup groups catalyzing new subareas. Make sure you join the Python Hamilton meetup group and/or follow them on Twitter for details on future meetups!


Talk by Denis Dyack this Thursday at McMaster



When: Thursday April 28th 2016 at 1:30pm

Where: Sherman Centre for Digital Scholarship (first floor of Mills Library @ McMaster University)

“The Most Important Factor In Video Game Creation” by Denis Dyack

If you are thinking about making a video game, it is critically important to understand what is the most important factor in creating something that will resonate with gamers. There are many factors to consider from audio, visuals, technology, game play, and story. This talk will examine each one of these areas and determine which of them is the most important. This talk will also attempt to forward a universal theory for game design that transcends technology, platforms, and devices. A fundamental foundation that creators can use for any gaming project, an “Aristotle’s Poetics” for the games industry if you will.

Denis Dyack is the Chief Creative Officer of Quantum Entanglement Entertainment.

A video game industry veteran of more than 25 years, he founded Silicon Knights in 1992 creating titles such as Blood Omen: Legacy of Kain, Eternal Darkness: Sanity’s Requiem, Metal Gear Solid: Twin Snakes, and Too Human. Denis is responsible for the direction of the brands across all mediums.

In 2011, Denis was inducted into the Canadian Game Developers Hall of Fame. Denis was awarded the Outstanding Achievement in Character or Story Development by Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences for his work on Eternal Darkness. Denis is known for his unique approaches and understanding of the video game medium; and has garnered multiple industry and business awards.

Denis is moved by the positive potential of converging media forms and is inspired to creating content that is original, challenging and engaging. Denis is a firm believer in ties between academia and industry, and has consulted or been on several advisory boards such as MIT, Waterloo University, Wilfred Laurier University, Brock University, McMaster University, and others to work in this regard. He has spoken on a variety of provocative topics from Engagement Theory, One Console Future, to Cloud Computing at conferences such as GDC, GDC Europe, Games Con, and DIG.

Denis has a B. Physical Education, H. BSc in Computer Science, M. Sc in Computer Science. Denis recently graduated from Miskatonic University with full honors in Quantum Theory believing one can never be educated enough to deal with the unknown.

New Python meetup (with board game bonus)

Screenshot 2016-04-25 at 00.56.06


When: Wednesday April 27th 2016 7:00pm to 10:00pm

Where: The Pheasant Plucker @ 20 Augusta Street


Organizer: Python Hamilton (@PythonHamilton) by Colin Gorrie (@colingorrie)


For the inaugural meetup of Python Hamilton, we’ve got two presentations scheduled:

• Brandon Aubie will talk about embedding Python within other applications using Boost.Python, with examples drawn from his project SpikeDB (a neuroscience data analysis platform).

• Colin Gorrie will be giving a presentation on inflect, a string formatting package that makes plurals, verb-agreement, and spelling out numbers a breeze.

• Danny will be showing us around an app called Wifi User Detection System, which was inspired by the need to alert you when zombies are approaching your house.

The rest will be an informal meet and greet. Looking forward to seeing everyone there!


Board Game Bonus

Due to a scheduling conflict, game development meetup GameDevDrinks actually got booked on the same night, at the same venue. The cool thing is the meetups have decided to work together, and following the Python talks, there will be a bit of a “fireside chat” with some great board game creators (Aron West of Catacombs, Thomas of Lynnvander, and Jason of Drinking Quest), followed by board game fun. Sounds like a great night to me!


WordPress meetup this Wednesday



When: Wednesday April 27th 2016 6:30pm – 8:30pm

Where: CoMotion on King @ 115 King St East, Hamilton, ON


Organizers: Adam Wills (@adamwillsdev) and Brian Hogg (@brianhogg)


Join us for our next meetup! Come and meet other WordPress users, developers, bloggers and more in and around Hamilton!


WordPress and Newsletters


6:30pm – doors open, networking
7pm-7:30pm – news, presentation
7:30pm-8pm – networking, discussing WordPress, Q&A
8:pm-? – Post-hangout beverage(s) – TBA

Grab a coffee, tea or soft drink before heading up at one of the nearby cafés.


360 Story Lab shooting Bvrned scripted Virtual Reality films



Hamilton, ON – 360 Story Lab founded by TV and Broadcasting veteran Jeff Preyra, is shooting Bvrned, a ground-breaking Virtual Reality short film in Hamilton, Ontario on April 23rd. Produced by an all-star team of media veterans and innovators including Karen Vanderborght, Grant Edmonds, Romano D’Andrea & Lucie Lalumière, and featuring cast members Karen Brown and Tyler Tanner, Bvrned is charting new ground in the world of Virtual Reality storytelling. 

“It’s the early days of VR and we are in the process of inventing the grammar of virtual reality storytelling,” says Jeff Preyra. “The payoff is that we will be able to tell deeply immersive, emotionally transformative stories that can’t be told with any other technology.”

Executive Producer Lucie Lalumière adds “Scripted storytelling in VR is a new frontier that promises to disrupt the worlds of TV, theatre, and cinema.” 

The film will be shot at St-Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton. The team at St-Joseph’s and the incredible space they provided were instrumental in 360 Story Lab’s decision to choose Hamilton for this production and reflects the City’s leadership in digital media. 

360 Story Lab, St-Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton and the City of Hamilton are proud and excited to be inventing the future of storytelling right here in Ontario.

Karen Brown – (Mom)
Karen is a veteran stage performer with a resume of over 50 plays and musicals. She can be seen in a soon-to-be-aired episode of Fear Thy Neighbor. Karen is excited to be one of the first professional actors working in Virtual Reality.

Tyler Tanner – (Mike)
Tyler is very happy to be making his virtual reality film debut. For the past two years Tyler has been involved with the East Side Players, Scarborough Players, Scarborough Theatre Guild, and Amicus Productions. His film credits include: Fifteen Minutes, Grozota, and Fear Thy Neighbour.


Jeff Preyra – Founder, Writer and Director
Jeff Preyra is an innovator in the TV and Media industry who has spent more than 25 years creating entertaining, informative, and groundbreaking programming. His specialty is gathering talented, energetic artists and production specialists and creating high-octane story teams. Jeff’s work has appeared on broadcast, narrowcast, and interactive platforms in dozens of languages around the world. He was a founder and creative partner in the company that produced the international mega-hit shows

Style by Jury and Brides of Beverly Hills.

Karen Vanderborght – CTO, DoP, Editor
A creator with 10 Years of broadcast experience and 20 Years as a digital artist and curator, Vanderborght is a passionate digital storyteller. After creating and curating new media art in Europe, Karen Vanderborght moved to Canada and worked as a DoP and Editor for over 15 television series and documentaries. Now, 10 years laters, her early background in innovative technologies converge with her professional video expertise in (re)-inventing visual narrative for VR productions.

Production and Crew

Romano D’Andrea – Executive in Charge of Production
Lucie Lalumière – Executive Producer
Grant Edmonds – Producer & Sound Designer
David Federman – Composer
Gurjeet Mann – Lighting Designer
Brent Robichaud – Sound Recordist


For further information or media inquiries:
Sarah Drew
tel: (416) 697-8625




Export opportunities in edtech, fintech, digital media and more

Export opportunities in the ed:tech, fintech, digital media, wireless, M2M, cyber security and other technologies with seven upcoming Ontario IT trade missions overseas, two international buyers and a local sourcing forum. Summary below with details after my signature.

Ontario IT trade missions abroad:
1. Cyber security mission to RSA 2017, San Francisco, CA (must apply before May 27, 2016 so we can book space)
2. 9th annual SEUS–CP conference and B2B meetings, May 26-28, Tennesee – several tech subsectors
3. Connected Car trade mission to TU Automotive, Novi, MI, June 8-9, 2016 (3 spaces left)
4. Canadian Technology Hub in Japan (Jun-Sep, 2016), Free
5. Mobile tech mission to Mobile World Congress Shanghai, China, June 23 – July 1, 2016
6. Ontario ICT Trade Mission to Australia, (Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, August 1-5, 2016)
7. Wireless & M2M trade mission to CTIA, Sept 7-9 – Las Vegas, NV (4 spots left)
8. Ontario ICT Trade Mission to Japan (October 24-28, 2016)

Incoming Buyers and local tech seminars
1) April 20, Toronto: Join Branham’s top 300
2) May 11: One-on-one meetings with TDSB’s CTO and briefing with Kevin Custer, founding principal of Arc Capital – attached
3) U.S. fintech firm seeks Ontario software development firm
4) Japan firm seeks to invest in Ontario technologies (cyber sec, big data, digital media, etc)

Details after my signature. Please follow up DIRECTLY with the person indicated on each item.

Mauricio Ospina
Area Director, ICT sector
International Trade Branch
Ministry of Citizenship, Immigration and International Trade
5th Floor, Hearst Block, 900 Bay St.
Toronto, Ontario, Canada M7A 2E1
Tel. (416) 325 6151, Mobile: (416) 845 0862
Fax (416) 325 6509


1) Ontario cyber security trade mission to RSA Conference 2017 (must apply before Friday, April 22, 2016)
The Canadian Embassy in Washington, DC and the Government of Ontario’s International Trade Branch invite you to be part of the planned trade cybersecurity mission to RSA Conference 2017 ( Deadline to apply: Friday, April 22, 2016 or sooner. Qualified companies must have never exhibited at RSA or be on their list of potential exhibitors. Your cheque, which must be included with the application, will be processed after your company is approved. RSA is the premier annual information security conference in cyber security including cyber threats, data breaches, social engineering, compliance, risk management and cloud security. This year’s program builds on last year’s successful trade mission. It is open to eight Ontario companies and will include turn-key exhibit space at the Ontario-Canada booths, plus meetings with major international integrators, a market intelligence briefing, a breakfast with members of the C100 and two exhibitor passes to RSA. Cost: $3,500 plus travel and accommodation. Financial assistance may be eligible through Ontario’s and Canada’s CanExport Program. Travel and accommodation are extra. Applications are required by Friday, April 22, 2016 so we can confirm industry interest and book space before May 1, 2016. For details contact


2) 9th annual SEUS–CP Conference and B2B meetings, May 26-28, Nashville, Tennessee
The Ontario Ministry of Citizenship, Immigration and International Trade invites you to participate in the upcoming Trade Mission to the 9th Annual SEUS-CP 2016 Conference and B2B Meetings in Nashville, Tennessee, May 26-28, 2016. Participate in the Business-to-Business (B2B) Meetings Program and meet with fellow delegates from six southeastern U.S. States in the following industry sectors featured at this year’s Conference:

• Entertainment (IT firms with digital & mobile technologies with application to film/music, digital game developers/animation software developers; IP/copy right protection technologies; and accounting & financial management solutions).
• Health Care (IT firms with self-health measurement systems; mobile health applications; solutions that integrate health status data with medical provider processes and the doctor-patient relationship; systems integrators)
• Transportation (including digital/mobile technologies, connected intelligence software)

For details contact


3) Ontario connected car trade mission to TU-Automotive Detroit, June 8-9, 2016 – Michigan (3 spots left)
The Government of Ontario’s International Trade Branch would be leading a trade mission to TU-Automotive 2016, the world’s largest event dedicated to the connected car attracting over 3,000 delegates and 300 exhibitors. The program, open to eight Ontario-based companies in the sector targeting U.S. and international markets, will include an Ontario pavilion featuring 8 companies, databases, an Ontario Business reception, market briefing and possibly meetings with local decision-makers. Cost: $2,400 for first time participants in an Ontario IT mission to the U.S. (deadline for “Early Bird” is March 31, 2016). Regular fee is $2,700 (travel and accommodation is extra). Past participants have priority registration only if applying with a first time participant approved for the mission. Financial assistance to eligible companies from the may be available through Ontario’s and Canada’s CanExport Program. For details contact


4) Canadian Technology Hub in Japan (Jun-Sep, 2016), Free
Canadian Embassy in Tokyo has established a new initiative “Canadian Technology Hub in Japan (CTJ Program)” and is calling for application from Canadian ICT companies offering innovative solution/technology, who are interested in receiving an enhanced market-entry virtual program from trade commissioners. Ontario companies providing the following technology are welcome to consider this good opportunity for FREE: IoT & Connected Vehicles, Big Data Analysis; Digital Media, including Digital Marketing (AdTech), Omnichannel, E-commerce, and FinTech, Public Security, Smart Homes and Transportation, Distribution and Logistics. Contact


5) Ontario mobile technology mission to Mobile World Congress Shanghai
Shanghai, Hangzhou and Guangzhou/Shenzhen, China, June 23 – July 1, 2016
With 1.3 billion mobile phone owners and 700 million Internet users, China is the most populous digital telecom market in the world. MWC Shanghai is Asia’s best annual gathering of mobile C-Level executives as well as the consumers passionate about mobile. In 2015, MWC Shanghai attracted nearly 350 exhibitors and 40,000 attendees, a 54% increase in attendees from the 2014 show with over 100 countries represented. 3,400 people attended the main conference, 55% at C-Level. The Ontario government will participate in the exhibition in the Ontario Pavilion at MWC Shanghai with a trade mission. Market briefing, technical seminar company visits and one-on-one meetings will be arranged with the support of Canadian Trade Commissioners in China and local Chinese partners including Huawei and ZTE. Please contact if you are interested in learning more.


6) Ontario ICT Trade Mission to Australia, (Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, August 1-5, 2016), Participation fee: $800/company)
Are you an Ontario ICT company and looking to supply to the Australian public sector? Ontario will lead a trade mission of ICT companies to Canberra, Sydney and Melbourne, in partnership with Canadian trade commissioners in Sydney and Canberra. Mission members will exhibit in Technology in Government, Australia’s largest ICT event for the public sector. Business to business meetings and related programs will be prepared for mission members in each visiting city, and Ontario companies can take advantage of this mission to showcase their ICT software, platforms, services and solutions that can contribute to drive Australian public sector & enterprise transformation. Contact for more details.


7) Ontario wireless & M2M trade mission to CTIA, Sept 7-9 – Las Vegas, USA (4 spots left)
The Ontario Ministry of Citizenship, Immigration and International Trade invites you to be part of the Ontario wireless and M2M trade mission to CTIA ( Twelve new and established companies will have the opportunity to exhibit in the Ontario Pavilion (# 2425) located on a main aisle next to Verizon and Samsung. Participants will also receive several value-added services including an up-to-date database, promotion at the Ontario Business Reception and a market intelligence briefing. In 2016, CTIA’s Super Mobility Week will feature the entire wireless ecosystem – Connected Heath and Home, M2M, content and networking technologies. Close to 50,000 people, over 1,000 exhibitors and more than 1,200 press and analysts worldwide. $2,200 for first time participants in an Ontario IT mission to the U.S. (deadline for “Early Bird” is June 30, 2016). Regular fee is $2,700. (travel and accommodation is extra). Past participants have priority registration only if applying with a first time participant approved for the mission. Financial assistance to eligible companies from the may be available through Ontario’s and Canada’s CanExport Program For details contact or call 416 325 6151


8) Ontario ICT Trade Mission to Japan (October 24-28, 2016), Participation fee: $500/company
The Government of Ontario, in partnership with Canada Embassies in Tokyo, invites you to join with us to visit Japan in late October with the focus of IoT, mobile/wireless/digital solutions/FinTech. While in Japan, you will exhibit within the Canadian Pavilion at Japan IT Week Autumn, the largest B-to-B ICT event in Japan attracting 40,000+ visitors and 535 exhibitors in 2015. Business to Business meetings will be arranged for every participating company. Contact for more details.



1) April 20, Toronto: Join Branham’s top 300
Every spring Branham Group announces the results of our annual research into Canada’s Information and Communication Technology sector. The Branham300 is the definitive listing of Canada’s top publicly traded and privately held ICT companies, as ranked by revenue. We also highlight Up and Coming companies that are about to make a splash, and prominent multinationals operating in Canada. Come out to our free event on April 20th in Toronto to share some good food and drink, and to hear Branham CEO Wayne Gudbranson analyse the results of this year’s research. Be sure to arrive before 6:00 so you don’t miss his keynote. The results will go live on our Branham300 Web site on the same day. Details at


May 11: Ontario ED:TECH tech sourcing forum in Toronto:
Apply for one-on-one meetings with the CTO at the Toronto District School Board and a briefing with Kevin Custer, founding principal of Arc Capital. Joins us for the first Ontario technology sourcing forum focused on ed:tech. Learn about Do’s and Don’ts, Lessons Learned and Export Opportunities for Canada’s ed:tech sector, and meet with potential buyers for your technology. Partners include The Canadian Federal Government and ITAC. Details with and (attached applicatin)


2) Japan firm seeks to invest in Ontario technologies (cyber sec, big data, digital media, etc)
Marubeni ( is one of the largest Japanese trading houses with annual revenues of 7,834 billon Yen and 4,485 employees (excluding 1,931 local employees of overseas subsidiaries). Marubeni is interested in investing in Ontatrio companies with the following technologies: Cyber security, big data analytics, digital media for digital signboard and fintech (payment using smart device – ex. Paypal, International fund transfer – ex. Transferwise, Online venture ex. big data service – ex Affirm, Personal finance management – ex. Mint, Cloud accounting ex. Intuit, Investment support, big data – ex. Betterment, Crowdfunding service ex. Zopa). For details please contact


3) U.S. fintech firm seeks Ontario software development firm
A US fintech company that is developing a technology platform to facilitate interest rate swaps is looking for a development firm that has the financial services experience (ideally in swaps) to engage with them on a contract on all Software Development Phases. Languages (Java, Erlang, JavaScript, Python, Bash); Development Expertise (Multithreading, FIX protocol, Spring, Camel, React); DevOps Expertise (Linux (Ubuntu), Jenkins, Puppet, Git, Continuous Integration); QA Expertise (Test automation, Potato); General Expertise (Finance experience – ideally swaps, Good communication skills). Interested parties please send a 200 words company profile including strengths, experience, awards and major clients to (contact Roshan also for details)

ProfanityFilters demo video

Screenshot 2016-04-17 at 22.29.44


ProfanityFilters (@FilterProfanity) demo’d at DemoCampHamilton24 last month and have posted a video of their demo on their Facebook page – check it out below!