There’s never been a better time to be a Drupal user in Canada.
Since I started using Drupal in 2008, I’ve seen anecdotal evidence that Drupal is popular in Canada. Since 2006, and probably earlier, there have been active users groups in Toronto, Vancouver, and Montreal, that organize regular conferences and meetups. These local groups are key to the Drupal community’s culture of open source and knowledge sharing. So I wasn’t surprised to learn that Canada is fourth in the world in terms of active users on Drupal.org (behind the US, Great Britain, and India).
Now, with the trend towards using Drupal for enterprise-level projects, the Canadian federal government, which has been using Drupal for years across a myriad of departments, is moving towards Drupal as the go-to platform for building digital experiences. It’s already being used by almost every government department you can think of in some capacity, but with the government's new Open First philosophy, Drupal is poised to become the default choice.
On November 21, Dries Buytaert (the founder of Drupal) will be in Ottawa talking about digital transformation for government. And at the 2019 DrupalCamp Ottawa this year (a sold-out event) I encountered a wave of government agencies eager to adopt Drupal for building the next wave of digital services and information portals for citizens and public servants. The ability to standardize on a platform that is secure, multilingual, and accessible, and also flexible enough to meet the needs of a whole range of applications and audiences is what makes Drupal so appealing.
Recently, I’ve also seen growing momentum behind Drupal in the Quebec. Sites for Tourism Quebec, Viarail, and the Aéroports de Montréal are built with Drupal. And beyond public organizations, iconic Quebec brands like Agropur and Videotron are using Drupal for their large-scale web projects.
At Drupal North earlier this year (the largest Drupal event in Canada), I co-hosted a higher education summit that was attended by web managers and developers from some of the largest educational institutions in our country: the University of Toronto, McGill, Université Laval, and the University of Waterloo to name but a few. Many of these organizations also contribute to the Drupal project, sharing code, best practices, and techniques for scaling Drupal.
Even at non-Drupal web conferences, Drupal is a common topic of conversation. When I presented at year's #PSEWEB in Saskatoon (the Canadian version of HighEdWeb Conference), where I heard that the University of Calgary is continuing to re-platform their sites onto Drupal 8.
Pantheon sponsored Drupal North this year, announcing that they would be expanding their hosting services to Canada, joining Acquia in catering to organizations that are mandated to host on Canadian soil or who want hosting close to home.
I'm looking forward to seeing the market for Drupal expand further in Canada. I'd love to hear your thoughts on how we can grow the community!
One thing we do at Evolving Web to keep Drupal growing is by providing Drupal training, including free community trainings online and at Drupal Camps, and more in-depth trainings. We have trainings coming up in Ottawa and Vancouver. And training on-demand in Toronto, Montreal, Quebec City, Calgary, Winnipeg, Halifax, Victoria, and your corner of Canada. Just give us a shout if we should do a training in your town.