Proposed Stratford Institute for Innovation in Digital Media

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For those that haven’t yet heard, the University of Waterloo has yet another big project in the works! The university has been collaborating with the City of Stratford and other partners since 2006 to create a satellite liberal arts college campus in the city of Stratford. The college will be named the Stratford Institute and funding has been provided by the federal government, the Province of Ontario, the city of Stratford and Open Text Corp.

Stratford is located approximately a thirty minute drive west of Kitchener-Waterloo.  Stratford is best-known for the Stratford Shakespearian Festival. The presence of the University of Waterloo was projected to add 38 million dollars a year into the Stratford economy according to Stratford’s Beacon-Herald newspaper in 2008.

According to the Stratford Institute webpage, the Stratford Institute will have a liberal arts focus on “new media.” The goal is to create a “forward-looking research, education and convergence centre that will drive the next generation of digital media applications and content models.”

The Stratford Institute will explore the dissemination of culture and creation of art through digital media and new technologies.  It will also study the changing ways we use technology and innovating unique ways to use emerging technology.

The University of Waterloo plans to build the strength of the digital media specialization with the introduction of the Stratford Institute. There will be collaboration between multiple fields such as digital media, international commerce and culture within the college.

Many hope and believe that Canada will take a place as a worldwide digital media leader. In 2009, digital media and associated fields were projected to be one of the fastest growing sectors in the “knowledge economy” by the Council of Canadian Academies. The University of Waterloo clearly aims to be a leader in the digital media world.

The 11 acre former site of CNR steam locomotive repair shops in Stratford is the tentative site of the Stratford Institute.

Photo from the Beacon-Herald

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