Markham

City of Markham celebrates Innovation Month

Monday, June 1, 2020

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MARKHAM, ON – June 1, 2020 – Today, the City of Markham launched Innovation Month with a virtual flag raising at markham.ca/innovation to celebrate the rich and diverse talent that is driving innovation in Markham. From the businesses who pivoted to re-think, re-tool and re-deploy in support of the national, provincial and local response to COVID-19, to the individuals who stepped up to support our community-at-large, to our essential workers, they have all made Markham proud.

“At the City of Markham, we believe in embracing technology and leveraging the latest tools to better serve our community. We are using AI to detect and fix potholes, we are the first Canadian city to use IBM Watson Assistant for Citizens, a virtual agent that can respond to your COVID-19-related questions in real time, and we joined the ShopHERE program to support small businesses as they fast track their digital transformation,” said Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti. “We are also seeing innovation like never before as companies shift, retool and rethink the way we interact with each other and with the world during and after this pandemic. We are hearing stories of resiliency, generosity and outstanding leadership. Markham is proud to be home to rich, skilled and diverse talent. We are on the precipice of another exciting chapter in our shared digital journey.”

Markham businesses, community groups and City departments are innovators and so it comes as no surprise that we have mobilized to adapt and respond to COVID-19. This month, we are proud to highlight inspiring Markham innovators and initiatives on our Markham Innovation Month 2020 webpage including:

  • City initiatives implemented to support our community during COVID-19, and to support our essential workers;
  • The City of Markham’s Web and Telephone Assistant that answers COVID-19 questions 24/7, anywhere, anytime and on any device – powered by IBM Watson Assistant for Citizens;
  • Local businesses working with the City of Markham’s Economic Growth, Culture and Entrepreneurship department and ventureLAB to retool and to provide essential personal protective equipment (PPE);
  • The launch of ShopHERE, a program that helps independent businesses and artists develop online stores and boost sales;
  • Markham Cares Community Hub, launched to rally the community to donate PPE and now provides a virtual space for community connections;
  • And more…

Join us in celebrating Markham’s Innovation Month by following, liking and sharing our stories under the hashtag #MarkhamInnovation.

The COVID-19 impact will last throughout the coming months. The City of Markham will continue to work with all levels of government, our community and local businesses during these unprecedented times.

For more information on the City of Markham’s COVID-19 response and service adjustments, please ask our 24/7 Web or Telephone Assistants at markham.ca/covid19 or 1.833.926.0929.



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Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti's Office:
Lama Nicolas, Senior Communications Advisor at lnicolas@markham.ca or 416.671.2890.

All other media inquiries / interview requests for the City of Markham:
Jennifer Yap, Coordinator, Communications and Media Relations at jyap@markham.ca or 437.229.2450.

For COVID-19 announcements from the City of Markham:

Visit markham.ca/covid19 or listen to 105.9 The Region – Markham’s information and emergency radio station.

About Markham: Markham, an award-winning municipality with over 355,000 residents and the largest of nine communities in York Region, is home to over 400 corporate head offices and more than 1,500 high tech and life science companies. Markham is a leader in attracting foreign direct investment with more than 210 foreign companies located in the City. Founded in the 1790s, today Markham is Canada’s most diverse community and enjoys a rich heritage, outstanding community planning and services, and a vibrant local economy. Markham has received the Excellence Canada Gold Award for Organizational Quality & Healthy Workplace, and multiple heritage and environmental awards.

Stay Connected: Visit our newsroom or search #MarkhamNews and #MarkhamEvents for the latest information on City programs, services and events.





MARKHAM, ON – June 1, 2020 – Today, the City of Markham launched Innovation Month with a virtual flag raising at markham.ca/innovation to celebrate the rich and diverse talent that is driving innovation in Markham. From the businesses who pivoted to re-think, re-tool and re-deploy in support of the national, provincial and local response to COVID-19, to the individuals who stepped up to support our community-at-large, to our essential workers, they have all made Markham proud.

“At the City of Markham, we believe in embracing technology and leveraging the latest tools to better serve our community. We are using AI to detect and fix potholes, we are the first Canadian city to use IBM Watson Assistant for Citizens, a virtual agent that can respond to your COVID-19-related questions in real time, and we joined the ShopHERE program to support small businesses as they fast track their digital transformation,” said Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti. “We are also seeing innovation like never before as companies shift, retool and rethink the way we interact with each other and with the world during and after this pandemic. We are hearing stories of resiliency, generosity and outstanding leadership. Markham is proud to be home to rich, skilled and diverse talent. We are on the precipice of another exciting chapter in our shared digital journey.”

Markham businesses, community groups and City departments are innovators and so it comes as no surprise that we have mobilized to adapt and respond to COVID-19. This month, we are proud to highlight inspiring Markham innovators and initiatives on our Markham Innovation Month 2020 webpage including:

  • City initiatives implemented to support our community during COVID-19, and to support our essential workers;
  • The City of Markham’s Web and Telephone Assistant that answers COVID-19 questions 24/7, anywhere, anytime and on any device – powered by IBM Watson Assistant for Citizens;
  • Local businesses working with the City of Markham’s Economic Growth, Culture and Entrepreneurship department and ventureLAB to retool and to provide essential personal protective equipment (PPE);
  • The launch of ShopHERE, a program that helps independent businesses and artists develop online stores and boost sales;
  • Markham Cares Community Hub, launched to rally the community to donate PPE and now provides a virtual space for community connections;
  • And more…

Join us in celebrating Markham’s Innovation Month by following, liking and sharing our stories under the hashtag #MarkhamInnovation.

The COVID-19 impact will last throughout the coming months. The City of Markham will continue to work with all levels of government, our community and local businesses during these unprecedented times.

For more information on the City of Markham’s COVID-19 response and service adjustments, please ask our 24/7 Web or Telephone Assistants at markham.ca/covid19 or 1.833.926.0929.



– 30 –

Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti's Office:
Lama Nicolas, Senior Communications Advisor at lnicolas@markham.ca or 416.671.2890.

All other media inquiries / interview requests for the City of Markham:
Jennifer Yap, Coordinator, Communications and Media Relations at jyap@markham.ca or 437.229.2450.

For COVID-19 announcements from the City of Markham:

Visit markham.ca/covid19 or listen to 105.9 The Region – Markham’s information and emergency radio station.

About Markham: Markham, an award-winning municipality with over 355,000 residents and the largest of nine communities in York Region, is home to over 400 corporate head offices and more than 1,500 high tech and life science companies. Markham is a leader in attracting foreign direct investment with more than 210 foreign companies located in the City. Founded in the 1790s, today Markham is Canada’s most diverse community and enjoys a rich heritage, outstanding community planning and services, and a vibrant local economy. Markham has received the Excellence Canada Gold Award for Organizational Quality & Healthy Workplace, and multiple heritage and environmental awards.

Stay Connected: Visit our newsroom or search #MarkhamNews and #MarkhamEvents for the latest information on City programs, services and events.