Who the heck goes to Canada in February? The SCTE, apparently.

The Society’s Canadian Summit is scheduled for Feb. 3-4 at the Toronto Congress Centre in Ontario.

Asked about the event’s timing, SCTE VP of Marketing and Business Development Deb Swann simply replied, "The Canadian Summit program committee felt that this time of year, although cold, would be the best for the Canadian market."

The SCTE Canadian Summit Program Committee consists mainly of Canadians, who presumably are inured to the cold, as well as a few Americans: Dermot O’Carroll (program chairman), Rogers Cable Communications; Ben Bekele, Cisco Systems; Denis Bélanger, Cogeco Cable; Tony Faccia, Rogers; Preston Gilmer, Sigma Systems; Steve Irvine, EastLink; Pamela Nobles, SCTE; Greg O’Brien, Cartt.ca; Laura O’Hare, Crossover Distribution; Daniel Proulx, Videotron; Oleh Sniezko, Aurora Networks; Dennis Steiger, Shaw Cablesystems; and Mark Vogel, CommScope.

The Summit is scheduled to include two days of exhibits, technical breakout sessions, and general sessions, with a focus on new technologies generally and the Canadian cable environment specifically.

Swann said the event is not intended to be a mini-Expo.

"We were not trying to pattern this after any one event," she said. "In essence, our hope was to take the aspects of all of our major events that best meet the needs of the Canadian market. It is not ET, nor Expo, nor a symposium. Rather, it is a Canadian-driven event."

The Canadian focus is important – Canada is not simply "America North." It has its own unique regulatory environment and competitive landscape, and in some ways, the Canadian operators are ahead of their Southern neighbors.

"Canada is already well down the road with what has been termed the "quad play," Swann said. "Rogers, for instance, has been the equivalent of a CLEC for years and also has a cellular play that has been quite successful for them."

(For more on Canadian cable, click here to read an interview with Shaw’s Peter Bissonnette in the 2008 issue of CT’s Communications Executive.)

In some ways, the Canadian Summit is a trial balloon. Asked if the SCTE plans to make the Summit an annual event, Swann said, "If the Canadian engineering/technical market finds this event a useful tool, we will certainly consider continuing the Summit in the future."

For more information on the Summit, click here. And if you go, don’t forget your woolies.

– Ron Hendrickson

Read more news and analysis on Communications Technology‘s Web site at www.cable360.net/ct/news/.

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