APRIL 22 – 28

Viafoura and Ryerson University bring the global event to Toronto for the first time

Big Data Week Toronto is co-hosted by Viafoura and Ryerson University. It takes place April 22 – 28, 2013

 TORONTO, April 22, 2013 —- Viafoura and Ryerson University are proud to co-host Big Data Week Toronto, taking place April 22nd to 28th. The week-long event will consist of a series of meet-ups, a hack-a-thon and a cocktail networking soirée, all designed to bring together business and technology leaders to explore the challenges and opportunities inherent in ‘big data.’ To learn more about or register to attend Big Data Week Toronto, visit

The term ‘big data’ has emerged in recent years to refer to the proliferation of data that has resulted from the advent of the Internet, social media and other digital technologies. Experts warn that the current pace and scale of data generation will bring about significant technological and societal challenges. Conversely, entrepreneurs and business leaders see ‘big data’ as a potential treasure trove, a resource with which entirely new products, services and even industries will be built.

“In the next ten years, big data will cause as much transformation in the way we live and work as the Internet has in the past ten,” said Ali Ghafour, Chief Technology Officer at Viafoura and co-chair of Big Data Week Toronto. “We’re organizing this event to better understand what that transformation will look like, for businesses and individuals alike.”

The marquee event during Big Data Week Toronto will be a cocktail and networking soirée to be held at the Drake Hotel the evening of Thursday, April 25th. Senior executives from three media companies will convene for a panel discussion titled “Media Meets Big Data,” which will explore the unique challenges and opportunities that big data holds for the media industry. Panelists include Tom Cochran, Chief Technology Officer at Atlantic Media, Tessa Sproule, Director of Digital at the CBC, and Craig Saila, Director of Digital Media at the Globe and Mail.

The Toronto edition is part of an international affiliation of Big Data Weeks, 25 of which will concurrently take place in cities all over the world. This is the second annual Big Data Week internationally but the first year Toronto will be participating.

 “We’re honoured to co-host with Viafoura to help create a platform to better understand this important technology trend,” said Valerie Fox, Executive Director Digital Media Zone at Ryerson University (DMZ), which is providing venues and support for Big Data Week Toronto. “Given Ryerson’s deep ties to the technology world, the startup community and the media industry, it makes sense to start these important conversations at the DMZ, a hub of digital innovation.”


“Humans now create in two days the same amount of data that it took from the dawn of civilization until 2003 to create.” – Eric Schmidt, Chairman of Google

 Human civilization is creating data at a nearly incomprehensible pace and scale. The advent of the Internet and subsequent creation of social media have caused millions of organizations and hundreds of millions of people to be data generators. Every day, the connected world produces billions of individual pieces of content, via web pages, tweets, blog posts, status updates, location check-ins, video and photo uploads, and much more.

The scale of data proliferation represents many challenges. How are businesses and governments to store, organize and secure such huge amounts of data? But for every challenge there is a corresponding opportunity. In these haystacks of data there lie needles of insight that could make governments more effective, businesses more profitable, individual lives more fruitful, civilization itself more self-aware.

Viafoura is the leading audience engagement and monetization platform for large media companies. Our software-as-a-service platform helps our clients increase audience engagement, capture valuable user data and deliver smarter, data-driven monetization strategies. Our growing client roster includes Hearst Media, France 24, Bell Media, Discovery Channel, Gatehouse Media, and other top-tier media brands. To learn more about our technology and how it can drive monetization for your company, visit

Ryerson University is Canada’s leader in innovative, career-oriented education and a university clearly on the move. With a mission to serve societal need, and a long-standing commitment to engaging its community, Ryerson offers more than 100 undergraduate and graduate programs. Distinctly urban, culturally diverse and inclusive, the university is home to more than 38,900 students, including 2,300 master’s and PhD students, nearly 2,700 faculty and staff, and more than 140,000 alumni worldwide. Research at Ryerson is on a trajectory of success and growth: externally funded research has doubled in the past four years. The G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education is Canada’s leading provider of university-based adult education. For more information, visit

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 If you would like more information on Big Data Week Toronto or to schedule an interview with the event’s organizers or speakers, contact:

Chris Advansun,
Director of Marketing

Ryerson media contact:      

Lauren Clegg
Media Relations Officer
Digital Media Zone, Ryerson University
416-979-5000 x 2997