Summary of organization/program
OpenMedia.ca is a grassroots organization that safeguards the possibilities of the open and affordable Internet. We work towards informed and participatory digital policy.
We empower people to participate in Internet governance through fresh & engaging citizens’ campaigns. We’re known for co-ordinating Stop The Meter, the largest online campaign in Canadian history, involving over half-a-million people. We’ve proven that the pro-Internet community can come together and make change.
OpenMedia.ca works to engage, educate, and empower citizens to defend and advance their communication interests, values, and rights.
Engage: Through online campaigns and participatory events that resonate with everyday people, and civic engagement around media and communications policy in Canada.
Educate: Through events and online resources.
Empower: With online tools and open processes that enable citizens to advance their vision for open media.
Our programs, tools, and campaigns serve as an incubator for a community of advocates for open and innovative media. We provide resources for volunteer organizers, collaboration tools, and leadership development.
Dominant Media Forms
Statement of Principles
OpenMedia.ca is a network of organizations that have come together based on the following principles:
Every citizen, business and civic institution in Canada must have access to a high-speed, world-class communications and media infrastructure. Fast, affordable Internet access is a cornerstone for access to news and information, economic development, participatory democracy and healthy communities. Media, telecommunications and information policy in Canada should be more transparent, with broader and more representative public participation.
Every Canadian should enjoy real choice and diverse options for news, online content and Internet service providers. Fostering real options for Internet access and content will help lower prices and increase Internet speeds, strengthening Canada’s digital future. To ensure choice is informed, we believe citizens need access to media literacy, knowledge, and media production programs more than ever before.
Canada’s communications infrastructure, media ecology and policy framework should promote diversity and support cultural creators, media workers, citizen producers and consumers. Diverse Canadian ownership models, including independent, non-profit, campus, community, and public media, help to ensure more diverse content and voices. An Open, non-discriminatory Internet is a precursor to media and communication diversity.
Canada needs a media system and digital infrastructure that drives innovation at all levels – social innovation, media innovation, and economic innovation. The Internet should continue to foster free expression, entrepreneurship, spread new ideas, and serve as an engine for Canada’s innovation economy.
An open media system is essential to our democracy. Every Canadian should enjoy basic communication rights, including freedom of expression, privacy and access to information online and off, without gatekeepers or discrimination. We advocate for Net Neutrality rules that ensure Canadian Internet users have open access to the applications and content of their choice. Open standards should be adopted for telecommunication networks, data, documents, software, maps, governance, and other media wherever possible.
How does OpenMedia.ca operate?
OpenMedia.ca is a networked, community-led, post-partisan organization, and the majority of our support comes from small, individual donations by concerned Canadians.
OpenMedia.ca is a networked organization. This means that we collaborate with a fluid and broad ranging network of organizations and people. Each member of this diverse pro-Internet community has unique talents, resources, and energy to contribute to our shared objective: to safeguard the possibilities of the open and affordable Internet.
From event coordination to policy submissions, from web development to online outreach, and from media production to research and strategy, we know that our work is made successful when we connect pro-Internet community members’ unique creativity and ingenuity together.
OpenMedia.ca is a community-led organization. Our operational style is inspired by the open participation in culture and commerce enabled by the Internet, and OpenMedia.ca strives to crowdsource wherever we can. Our grassroots community is embedded deep in the DNA of our organization and regularly inspires us to push our work further than we could have imagined or carried out on our own.
Our best campaigns are always crowdsourced from the start (see here, here, here, and here).
It doesn’t stop there: we also crowdsource most of our government meetings (see here and here) and presentations (see our CRTC presentation on usage-based billing), and we do our best to always report back. We even get Canadians actively involved in some of our reports—check out our 150-page research report andAction Plan for a Connected Canada.
We don’t just want a seat at the table when government makes decisions, we want and actively work to put citizens at the center of government decision-making. One of our proudest moments came when our community successfully forced the CRTC to open one of its closed-door meetings to public participation.
Samples of work
Where does OpenMedia.ca get its support?
The 21st century is a connected century, where the divisions between government and citizens, business and consumers, and people from all walks of life are being transformed. OpenMedia.ca is proud to enjoy support from a broad pro-Internet community of individuals, civil society organizations, and businesses. We have an open donation policy1 and we’ve worked hard since our founding to ensure that no one source of support for our work is strong enough to influence our operations.
Small donations from individuals is the foundation of our support: nearly 75 cents of every dollar raised comes from small, individual donations. Our average donation from our monthly allies program is just $8, and we stretch every dollar to ensure this grassroots funding goes a long way. Our most important source of support is our amazing pro-Internet community of engaged citizens: approximately 20 interns every year, a robust and expanding group of deeply committed volunteers, and the 600,000+ members of our online community across Canada (the largest organized group of engaged citizens in the country).
This pro-Internet community drives and guides our work. Our famous Stop The Meter campaign hit its stride and was successful largely due to the network of people and organizations that came together to stop usage-based Internet billing from being punitively imposed on all Canadians.
The same thing happened with the Stop Online Spying campaign where a diverse coalition of groups and people came together to fight warrantless online spying, including citizens like Jeremy Brown of Rattlesnake Films and other members of our Digital Action Team who made crucial video and audio PSAs. The Stop Online Spying campaign also benefitted from two volunteer developers, Connie Fournier and Quincy Lam, who headed up the development of a cutting-edge letter-to-the-editor tool, which allows Canadians to easily write and submit letters to their local newspaper editors.
It’s stories like these—of personal contribution to help educate and mobilize Canadians—that give our community the grassroots power to help make the Internet in Canada more open, affordable, and surveillance-free.
Our small, dedicated team will ensure your contribution goes a long way. Please join us.
- If you’re an individual, you can make a donation to OpenMedia.ca here, or join our special Allies programhere.
- If you operate or work at a business, you can support our work by contacting us here.
- If you represent a civil society organization interested in supporting us or joining our network of organizations, contact us here.