WCNA 2023: an key event for North American users

The 2023 WikiConference North America happened earlier this month (November 9-12), in Toronto, Canada. During four days, over 250 participants gathered at the Toronto Reference Library.

A pre-conference Culture Crawl was organized on Thursday, November 9. Editathons and visits were organized at the Royal Ontario Museum, Art Gallery of Ontario, the Bata Shoe Museum, and the Thomas Fisher Rare Books Library. Overall, 124 references were added, and 65 articles edited, and some pictures were also added to Commons (see Campaign). The participants were also able to join a lunch walking tour of the Kensington Market. In the evening, an opening reception was held at a board game bar, allowing the participants to mingle and get to know each other while playing games.

Kensington Market tour by Mitchazenia – CC BY-SA 4.0

Each conference day opened with a keynote:
– on Friday, Selena Deckelmann (Chief Product and Technology Officer at the Wikimedia Foundation),
– on Saturday, Sue Gardner (former Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation),
– on Sunday, Ha-Loan Phan (Wikimedia Canada Chair) and Pierre Choffet (consultant for Wikimedia Canada).

Over the span of the conference, over 70 sessions were organized, on a wide range of topics such as Wikimedia governance, GLAM, community updates, or education. Quite a few were presented in a lecture format, but some people also organized editathons and workshops. Most presentations can be found on Commons. Optional evening sessions were also organized on Friday and Saturday, to brainstorm about global and hub strategies.

Session during the WikiConference North America, Toronto 2023 Eldarado CC BY-SA 4.0

Since the conference was happening in Canada, Wikimedia Canada organized a Canadian users lunch Sunday. It was a great occasion for users and Wikimedia Canada staff to meet and exchange ideas about the Wikimedia movement in the country. Quite a few people from the Greater Toronto Area were present, giving some new energy to the Toronto WikiClub (the club will meet on January 14th, for the 2024 Wikipedia Day).

These three days were filled with discussions, ideas, and human connections. The host city for the 2024 conference has not yet been determined, but the conference will certainly continue to be a key event for users in North America.