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Stratosphere logo.png Stratosphère 2020
The Government of Canada Online Event for Cloud & DevOps

Connect, Share, and Learn From Your Peers

This year we're going online to bring you Stratosphere 2020. Join us on October 6th and 7th to find out what your colleagues across the Government of Canada are doing to adopt Cloud services and DevOps methodologies. This year's event will have over 15 breakout sessions broadcasted with live chats with the presenters and attendees.

Some of this year's themes include:

  • Application Modernisation & Migration
  • Cloud-powered Collaboration (Office 365)
  • GitOps/DevOps
  • Delivering Programs and Services using cloud services
  • Demos and Tutorials

Register for Stratosphere 2020
By registering you will be updated on scheduling changes and event updates

This year we are asking participants to join our MailChimp mailing list. Using this list we will continue to push updates on scheduling changes and general updates. This list will also help us forecast and plan for the number of participants.

You can register on the mail list here

Steps to Prepare for the Event

We look forward to your participation in Stratosphere 2020. To help you get organized, we’ve put together these planning essentials.

Before the Event

Get to know the content

Review the agenda below and decide on which sessions you would like to attend. Keynotes and sessions are streamed according to the schedule.

Verify your technology

The preferred browser for the conference is Google Chrome. You will watch streamed and participate in the live chat and sessions using your computer. We recommend the full-screen experience of a laptop or computer, although you can join sessions with your phone or tablet using the YouTube app. Make sure you can access the Stratosphere YouTube Channel.

Live Chat

Each streamed session will include a live chat. The presenter will be part of that live chat. Attendees can ask questions of the presenter and their peers. To participate in the live chat, you must have a YouTube (Google) account. It is recommended you test your account in advance of the event.

Social Media.

Follow the @stratospheregc account on twitter to see the latest updates and changes.

What to Expect on the Day

Choose a session

Navigate the to event schedule, find the sessions you want to attend and then click “Join session.” Please note that the countdown will start 2 minutes before streaming begins.

Participate in the conversation

The presenter will be part of that live chat. Attendees can ask questions of the presenter and their peers. To participate in the live chat, you must have a YouTube (Google) account.

Social Media

Use the #stratosgc hashtag. Follow our @stratospheregc account on twitter.


All sessions are delivered using YouTube. Sessions are streamed according to the schedule below and a live chat will start at the same time. If you want to participate in the live chat you need to register for a free YouTube account. If you already have a Google account, you can use that account to login. We recommend reviewing our tips for making the most of your Stratosphere experience in the days before the event to ensure technology compatibility.

Day 1 - October 6th, 2020

Opening Keynote and Kick-off (Join session)
October 6th 13h00 to 13h30
25 minutes, Bilingual

Session 1A: Authorized List App: First to the Cloud (Join session)
October 6th 13h30 to 14h30
Jayson McIntosh, Omar Nasr
Employment and Social Development Canada
55 minutes, English
Details Coming soon


Session 1B: Journey to the Cloud on Boats, Automobiles, Trains, and Planes - Part 2: We have lift-off! (Join session)
October 6th 13h30 to 14h30
Kofi Arthiabah, Joyce Lee
Transport Canada
55 minutes, English
Part two of our movie themed story of TC's Journey to the Cloud : The lift off phase. We discuss Cloud Adoption, Workload Migration, Launching a protected-B application (before SCED), partnerships, taking risks, automation and sharing Microsoft 365 and Teams. COVID as a driver - it's got it all. Join us for some edge of your seat stuff!

Session 2A: High Performance Computing in the Cloud (Join session)
October 6th 14h30 to 15h00
Greg Cormier
Department of Fisheries and Oceans
25 minutes, English
High Performance Computing is powering scientific research that informs public policy and impacts the lives of Canadians. Scientists are seeking every growing compute and storage capacity for analysis and modeling. Learn from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ experience with HPC on Azure.

Session 2B: TBS adoption of Agile, DevOps, and Cloud (Join session)
October 6th 14h30 to 15h00
Paul Girard, Sevac Eskibashian
Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
25 minutes, English
How did the IT organization at TBS shift from being behind on technology to leading the way? This session will tell the story and how other government departments can leverage the some of the lessons learned of TBS.

Session 3A: Cloud Service Offerings and Workload Migration at ISED (Join session)
October 6th 15h00 to 15h30
Houda Hamdane, Artur Przybylo
Innovation, Science, and Economic Development
25 minutes, Bilingual
ISED has initiated a Work Load Migration (WLM) and transformation initiative to modernize its workloads and move to the Cloud. The initiative is big and the impact on the way ISED delivers IT services is huge which requires a clear Cloud Strategy and a solid understanding of what Cloud Service offerings and practices are going to be used for the migrations. The presentation focuses on how ISED is organizing its Cloud Service offerings to execute efficiently its work load migrations to the Cloud

Session 3B: Integrating custom applications into Microsoft Teams platform for interoperability with on-premise systems (Join session)
October 6th 15h00 to 16h00
Chang Shu
Public Services and Procurement Canada
55 minutes, English
Microsoft Teams has quickly become the ultimate collaboration and teamwork application. Users can add, customize, and find everything they need in one place without the need to navigate to different places. Custom applications hosted in a cloud environment can interact with on-premise systems through APIs. The custom applications can be further integrated into Teams or other M365 components to expose the data and functionalities of the on-premise systems. Integrating custom applications and services into Teams platform can improve the productivity, provide focus and enhance collaboration. The presentation will go through the following parts:
  • 1. Interoperability between SaaS-based solutions and GC internal resources in accordance with the security standard;
  • 2. Exposing on-premise data and business logic through APIs;
  • 3. Hosting a custom application in Azure;
  • 4. Integrating a custom application with Teams;
  • 5. Live demonstration to show how it works.

Session 3C: Evaluating Technical Lock-in (Join session)
October 6th 16h00 to 16h30
Scott Levac
Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
25 minutes, Bilingual
As the GC becomes increasingly reliant on commercially provided services, the risk of lock-in

weighs on the minds of departments. However, It is important to have a balanced perspective and properly weigh the risk of lock-in against the opportunities gained when using as-a-service models.
Information Technology has increasingly become commoditized. as-a-Service models and public cloud are at the forefront of this commoditization. Using these services to modernize application portfolios and at-risk technologies involves increasing reliance on private sector providers. This brings with it the fear of lock-in. Lock-in is not unique to cloud, for years the GC has been managing the exit strategy from a variety of technologies such as mainframe, data centres, operating systems, databases, and Enterprise Resource Planning systems to name a few. As this guide will show, the decision to commit to a technology and when to exit cannot be driven by fear and risk alone, but must be weighed against the opportunity gained. TBS guidance can be found here:

Day 2 - October 7th, 2020

Fireside Chat: Making the Treasury Board Secretariat a Cloud First Department (Join session)
October 7th 13h00 to 13h30
Paul Girard, Sevac Eskibashian, Scott Levac
25 minutes, English
After successfully migrating its entire application portfolio from a legacy data centre to public cloud, the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat is now all-in on cloud. Currently, many cloud adoption strategies are begin advocated; amongst them are multi-cloud and hybrid cloud/IT strategies. Why then did TBS decide to modernize using one public cloud provider and commit all its applications to cloud? In this fireside chat we'll hear from Paul Girard, Chief Information Officer and Sevac Eskibashian as to why TBS has gone all-in and the journey to migrate, retire, and modernize its application portfolio.

Session 4A: Cost for new products to get online - “Hello Pro-B World” (Join session)
October 7th 13h30 to 14h00
Gray O'Byrne
Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
25 minutes, Bilingual
How much would it cost you to stand up a bare-bones web page in government that was “approved” to collect personal information? In other words, what’s the price tag for a government site that only says: “Hello world” but had gone through all the paperwork, infrastructure setup and approvals for collecting “Protected B” information. For our small project we estimate it's been over $500,000... and we're still not there yet. This represents a massive burden for small projects that will greatly limit innovation in the GoC if it persist. I will look at where we spent this money, then share my advice for small projects looking to prototype new services in government and share some thoughts on the broader implications for government.

Session 4B: Building for Automation (Join session)
October 7th 13h30 to 14h30
Mike Williamson
Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
55 minutes, English
TBS Cyber's Tracker project will scan web and email security settings to automate compliance. Automating compliance more broadly will require more than TLS and DNS settings to be observable. Everything from workflow to infrastructure to the running system needs to be programmatically inspectable. This talk will center on work TBS Cyber is doing to build systems in a way that enables automated analysis and lay the foundation for automated compliance.

Session 5A: Can a ‘horizontal cloud’ approach leveraging leading edge geospatial technology revolutionize the way departments and agencies respond to future emergencies? (Join session)
October 7th 14h00 to 14h30
Janice Sharpe, Executive Director, FGP. & Chris Melnick-MacDonald, Enterprise Architect, COVID-19 Cloud, FGP
Natural Resources Canada
25 minutes, English
The sudden onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada, and the crucial need for public situational awareness, brought several departments together with an urgent and shared requirement for a means to create and deliver key data and information to decision-makers and the public. Within 72 hours of the ask for a shared cloud environment, Natural Resources Canada’s Federal Geospatial Platform team deployed a horizontal, multi-jurisdictional, geospatially enabled cloud that provided Public Health Agency Canada, Statistics Canada and NRCan, as well as provincial, territorial and private sector partners, with a shared environment for the rapid consolidation of key data, which was used to create online data visualizations and situational dashboards to inform on the unfolding crisis. Updated every 12 hours, the online maps and dashboards are publically available on the PHAC web site and are used in daily briefings with Canada’s Chief Public Health Officer, Dr. Tam.

The quick and agile deployment and marked success of the COVID-19 horizontal cloud has shown the true potential of an open, horizontal, cloud-based platform when working across jurisdictions. From the geospatial perspective, the COVID-19 cloud clearly demonstrates how the federal government can work effectively, across departmental and jurisdictional boundaries, and respond to crises in a timely manner. In this presentation, we will explain how a horizontal cloud approach that leverages leading edge geospatial information could revolutionize the way departments and agencies respond to future emergencies: how the collaboration was formed and governed, what technology was put into place, how the data was shaped and presented, and the key outcomes of this highly successful collaboration.

Session 6A: From communications systems research to public health: pivoting in the cloud to address Covid-19 (Join session)
October 7th 14h30 to 15h30
Neil O'Brien, Sarah Dumoulin
Communications Research Centre
55 minutes, English
The Communications Research Centre’s (CRC’s) Virtual Research Domain (VRD) is a cloud-based data processing and research environment. CRC’s data science team works in the VRD on big data problems relating to wireless telecommunications. When the pandemic hit, CRC was able to quickly pivot, repurposing existing research and data sets to study and measure mobility metrics for the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC). Learn how the VRD and access to hundreds of terabytes of anonymous telecommunications data allowed the CRC to help PHAC understand how Canadians were self-isolating.

Session 6B: DAaaS: Data Analytics as a Service using CNCF technologies (Join session)
October 7th 14h30 to 15h00
William Hearn, Zachary Seguin
Statistics Canada
25 minutes, English
In response to COVID-19, Statistics Canada quickly developed it's Data Analytics as a Service platform using Kubernetes, CNCF, Kubeflow and other cloud native technologies to quicky empower the department's data scientists in an isolated section of our public cloud infrastructure. Developed entirely in the open on GitHub, this talk focues on the technologies, the processes and the lessons learned in quickly responding to a challenge. The environment is fully automated using Terraform for Infrastructure as Code, and GitHub Actions for CI/CD. (

Session 7A: Learning from failure while innovating (Join session)
October 7th 15h00 to 15h30
William Hearn, Zachary Seguin
Statistics Canada
25 minutes, English
Cloud technology is quicky advancing, and with it comes larger opportunities for failure whether human led, system led or both. This talk covers some of the different failures that the Cloud Native Platform team at Statistics Canada has encountered while building a platform based on Kubernetes, CNCF and other open source technologies and growing as a team. On the human front, we'll focus on how errors can easily happen and how we can learn from them to prevent them from occurring again. On the system front, we'll walk through how to identify the problem and working with the community to find a resolution.

Session 7B: Advanced Analytics Workspace: Rapidly Deploying Data Science Capabilities in the Cloud (Join session)
October 7th 15h00 to 15h30
Brendan Gadd, Christian Ritter
Statistics Canada
25 minutes, English
We would like to share our story of how we rapidly deployed a modern and open analytics platform in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. Using a combination of Azure platform-as-a-service and open-source technology, we were able to deliver core analysis and collaboration capabilities to our data scientists – accessible from home equipment – within fifteen business days.

We will cover topics such as:

  • Partnership: Creating a multidisciplinary team across the organization to contribute directly to the platform.
  • Azure Services: How we leveraged core cloud services to enable authentication for internal and external users across loosely coupled components.
  • Process: Lightweight agile methodology, working in the open, and leveraging GitHub for repository management and CI/CD.
  • Tooling: Some of the open tools and services we set up that give scientists quick access to auto-scaling compute, storage, and specialized hardware (e.g. GPUs).
  • Example use case: Demonstrate an actual data science product created using our Advanced Analytics Workspace.

Session 8A: Fold The North - How GC public servants mobilized to help fight Covid19. Grass roots style ;) (Join session)
October 7th 15h30 to 16h00
John Bain
Government of Canada Public Servant
25 minutes, English
  • How we self organized and collaborated using cloud apps.
  • How we used social media platforms to get our message out.
  • What we're trying to do related to Protein Folding and our recruitment message.
Team Site:

Session 8B: Cloud adoption: accomplishments and lessons learned (Join session)
October 7th 15h30 to 16h00
Ari Rizvi, Scott Levac
Shared Services Canada & Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
25 minutes, Bilingual
Discuss the accomplishments on cloud adoption across the GC (brokerage, intake, auditing, accelerators, etc.) and the lessons learned.

Session 9A: Azure Landing Zone and Guardrails Compliance Testing (Join session)
October 7th 16h00 to 16h30
Gerald Hill, Tarek Ali
Shared Services Canada
25 minutes, English
The first part would be to present Azure Landing Zone developed by SSC to the GC. What was done, what were the needs, the challenges, and the avenues to explore. The second part will be focused on demonstrating the guardrails compliance tool.

Session 9B: Digital Transformation via Collaborative Product Visioning (Join session)
October 7th 16h00 to 16h30
Keith Colbourne
Code for Canada Fellow
25 minutes, English
The path to the cloud is essentially about change. Technical advancement is not the only area of our work that is changing. Across the government, more and more departments and teams are moving to a multi-disciplinary approach, moving away from projects and towards products, and recognizing the importance of conducting research with users to make data-driven product decisions.

A key element in how our work is changing is the focus on user outcomes rather than team outputs. This talk will focus specifically on product visioning and how our team at Code for Canada and Transport Canada developed a product vision for ongoing work aimed at transforming the seafarer certification process with that goal of achieving positive outcomes

Information for Presenters
Without presenters, Stratosphere is a platform without content.

Last year, over 25 presenters came forward to share with their peers across the GC. We need your help again. This year, we will be asking presenters to record and submit a video of their session. Your video will be scheduled to stream at a designated time on the Stratosphere YouTube channel. While streaming, we are asking presenters to participate in a live chat with viewers.

Key dates

  • Provide any changes or corrections to the draft schedule (August 28th)
  • Deadline for presenters submit a recording (September 17th)
  • Event takes place (October 6th & 7th)
  • See tips for recording your presentation:
    • How to use PowerPoint Office 365 to record presentations (YouTube)
    • Using conferencing tools such as Team, Zoom, or Google Meetup is another method of recording a presentation
    • Remember your audience and what they can learn from what you have accomplished.
    • Be professional. No vulgarity. Criticisms should be constructive.
    • While your recording does not need to be well polished, clear audio without echos or background noises will help the audience focus on your message. If needed, place pillows around the room to eliminate echos.
    • If you have one, use an external microphone. Even inexpensive lav and headset microphones can provide clearer audio.
    • Sessions are all pre-recorded and will be scheduled to stream according to a pre-determined schedule using YouTube Premiere Live.


This site is maintained by the Core Technologies team at the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat, Office of the Chief Information Officer