September 2017 just got a little more interesting. On the heels of Toronto's FanExpo (and kids going back to school, YAY!), the city will be geared to celebrate a key aspect of Toronto Life: Elevate Toronto, a festival supporting our love of technology innovation.\n\n\n\nThis is Razor Suleman,\u00a0Founder & Former CEO of Achievers, who got the party started yesterday morning within CN Tower's Horizons Restaurant, that is 1136 feet up high above Toronto.\n\nAs part of Elevate Toronto's Leadership Team, he got the rather large crowd absolutely excited for Toronto to move forward with a festival celebrating not only technology, but diversity in technology.\n\nEager to share his passion for the technology community in Toronto, Suleman reminded us of what Prime Minister Justin Trudeau stated not so long ago, "Diversity is our strength."\n\nDiversity is a key component to\u00a0elevate Toronto's standing as "Silicon North". Multiculturism is a celebrated fact of Toronto life, which is why diversity will be on centre stage for Day 1 of this new tech fest.\nWe will feature high profile global trendsetters and disruptive thinkers in Diversity and Inclusion. The day will include impressive keynotes, inspirational talks and curated high-value networking. Launch party to follow. ~ ElevateToronto\nSuleman decided that Elevate Toronto's Leadership team would not work blindly for this first festival. Learning from the best, he's spoken to organizers of both TIFF and SXSW to get an idea of how a globally staged festival is done right.\n\n"It's our time!" exclaimed Suleman near the end of his speech, "We don't collaborate enough. We don't market enough."\n\n\n\nJodi Kovitz, CEO of AceTech Ontario and founder of #MoveTheDial, a movement to increase female participation in the tech industry, took the stage to explain what will be experienced at this year's Elevate Toronto.\n\nProgrammed events include TED Talk-esque\u00a0staging for thought-provoking ideas, exhibitions throughout the city to impress upon Toronto's leading discoveries in AI technology and improvements within the health sector, and the King Street Social which is an "open-door" event to explore some of Toronto's biggest tech companies.\n\nKovitz then introduced Toronto's Mayor John Tory.\n\nhttps:\/\/www.instagram.com\/p\/BWaTJyKAdod\n\nTory pleased the crowd by emphasizing our need to ramp up diversity, and ensuring the City of Toronto's commitment to making this festival a world-stage success. The City has "a commitment to disruption."\n\n"Disruptor" is a buzzword within the marketing community, and when particularly aimed at Silicon Valley, it describes how innovators strive to change the status quo in any way they know how.\n\nTake Uber for instance (ignoring the ongoing strife with taxi drivers, in paying its drivers fairly, and its apparent "boys club" culture.) It violently changed a rather stagnant aspect of city living within a matter of five years (and is still making waves nine years since its inception).\n\nTired of the choice of either hailing a cab, or paying an exorbitant amount for a private driver, Travis Kalanick and Garret Camp created an app that at its basic model, would let you hire a black car at a click of a button on your smartphone at an affordable price.\n\nTory is calling for disruptors, but with diversity in mind, in hopes of Toronto building similarly billion dollar brands.\n\nWith well-rounded knowledge at hand in all levels of creation (executives, designers, developers, etc,) these disruptive innovations can change the way we live and think, without the chaos that continues to follow Uber today.\nElevate Toronto - Right in The Metaphors\nHonestly, couldn't ask for better weather for an announcement to elevate Toronto's footprint within the tech industry.\n\nIf you check out Instagram's #ElevateToronto photo thread, you'll notice that many of the pics from yesterday's announcement were of shots looking outside of the CN Tower.\n\nToronto was experiencing weird weather, especially for a summer month, and it piqued the interest of both amateur and pro photographers alike, while we were all waiting for the announcement to begin.\n\nHere are some of my fave shots from my DSLR, including how well they gel with yesterday's topic.\n\nIn The Cloud\n\nTechnology loves to be "in the cloud", and here were a bunch of geeks and nerds, well above it to talk all things tech fest. (Okay, it's fog, but still. Roll with it?)\n\n\n\nClear Above a Distorted View\n\nA closer shot of downtown Toronto, slowly unveiled from the thick fog cover on Tuesday morning, while high above, Elevate Toronto's leaders reveal their drive to showcase Toronto's original tech story with the world.\n\n\n\nRise and Shine\n\nAs the fog lifts, making its way to roll over Lake Ontario, Toronto is ready to truly take a stand and\u00a0disrupt the global stage of technology innovation.\n\n\nTicket to Change\nSO looking forward to Elevate Toronto's 3-day technology fest in September (12 to 14,) though there is no word yet on ticket prices.\n\nWhile we're waiting for registration to unlock, there are ways that you can possibly enjoy the conference on a complimentary basis.\n\nCheck out Elevate Toronto's website for guidelines, as there are ways to snag a complimentary ticket to what will be one of the best fests in town!\n\nIf you happen to check the box for being part of an under-represented group in the tech industry (female for instance,) be sure to apply for a complimentary pass!