LibreWaterloo: Building the LibreOffice community in Canada

If you’ve seen our LibreOffice contributor map, you’ll note that we have a few community members in north America. (Of course, the map doesn’t show absolutely everyone in the LibreOffice project – just people we’ve interviewed recently.) So we want to grow this community! Marc Paré has set up LibreWaterloo, to:

have a local presence on the Canadian scene with respect to the LibreOffice project and software. We would like to connect with local LibreOffice coders and users, and “to have fun” should be one of the pillars and principles we strive for.

So, how did Marc go about it, and what was the first meeting like? Here’s what he had to say:

I spoke at a meeting of the KW Non-Profit Sys Admin (KWNPSA) where I am a co-coordinator, and I announced the creation of the new LibreWaterloo community group. There, I did a two hour presentation on the status of The Document Foundation, along with LibreOffice and the benefits of starting a group.

There were approximately 15 people at the meeting, and a couple of people came to trouble-shoot their software; however, the meeting was not to trouble-shoot issues, but to discuss if there was an interest from the Sys Admin group.

We now have an organizing committee of three people, and we’ll meet in the next two or three weeks to start formalizing the community and shape its mission statement etc. I will be placing an advert in the local student newspaper at University of Waterloo announcing the community and hope to attract some young devs to the community, I also hope to meet with a local technical writer who teaches technical writing courses at our local college and universities – I will see if she would like to cooperate on her classes and perhaps have her students work on some of the LibreOffice Guides.

I also plan on contacting a national indigenous organization and see if they or we could help to organize indigenous language versions of LibreOffice. The Canadian government has put aside a large sum of money to help groups conserve indigenous languages in Canada; we are losing approximately one indigenous language every two-three weeks, as our indigenous elders are dying and their culture is also dying with them. I will see if we could apply for funds.

We will be organizing monthly meeting on a regular schedule and hope to have working groups set up sometime by October or November.

Thanks Marc! Everyone in the Waterloo area is welcome to come along – check out Twitter for updates, or this page on Meetup. Want to start (or expand) the LibreOffice community in your region? drop us a line on the marketing mailing list and we’ll give you a hand!