CIRA Canadians Connected Event 2023


Byron Holland - President and CEO - CIRA

Andrea Mills - Executive Director - Internet Archive Canada

Julie Lepine - Manager of Membership Relations - CIRA

Last week, we had the pleasure of attending the CIRA Canadians Connected Event in Vancouver. CIRA (the “Canadian Internet Registration Authority”) focuses on a net positive approach to building a safe internet for all Canadians through infrastructure and policy engagement. CIRA has grown from solely offering .ca domains to Canadian businesses to developing a suite of products and programs to help protect Canadians in the digital space. Their focus on cybersecurity includes DNS services to protect all Canadians from online threats such as malware and phishing.

For those of you wondering “what in the world is a DNS?” the Domain Name System (DNS) is the phonebook of the Internet. Humans access information online through domain names, like or Web browsers interact through Internet Protocol (IP) addresses. DNS translates domain names to IP addresses so browsers can load Internet resources.1 There are several professional roles which involve using a DNS (Domain Name System) system:

  • Network administrators: Network admins are responsible for managing and maintaining the organization's network infrastructure, including DNS servers. They configure DNS servers, create DNS records, troubleshoot DNS-related issues, and ensure the availability and performance of DNS services.
  • System administrators: System admins are responsible for managing and maintaining the organization's servers and computer systems. They may be responsible for configuring DNS servers, creating DNS records, and ensuring the availability and performance of DNS services.
  • Web developers: Web developers use DNS systems to map domain names to IP addresses, allowing users to access websites by entering domain names instead of IP addresses. They may also configure DNS records to support various web-related services, such as email, FTP, and SSL.
  • Cybersecurity professionals: Cybersecurity professionals use DNS systems to monitor and analyze network traffic for potential security threats. They may use DNS logs to identify malicious activity, such as domain name hijacking or phishing attacks.
  • Technical support professionals: Technical support professionals use DNS systems to troubleshoot network and internet connectivity issues. They may help customers configure their DNS settings or diagnose DNS-related problems.

Overall, DNS plays a critical role in ensuring the availability and reliability of network services, and professionals in various roles may need to use DNS systems to perform their job duties effectively.

CIRA’s Canadian Shield (this name “rocks”) product offers enterprise-grade security for any device for all Canadians.

Aside from software products, CIRA helps Canadians with community-led programs. Their grant program funded $1.7M in Canadian digital projects last year and at the event they announced the introduction of the CIRA “netgood” program. CIRA grant program offers funds for community-led, digital projects for up to 100K for Canadian registered charities, indigenous communities, academic institutions and non profit organizations. Applications for qualified businesses opened on Thursday March 2nd, 2023.

CIRA Grant Recipients

We also heard from a couple of CIRA’s previous grant recipients which are creating “netgood” impacts for their communities.

Rhea Doolan

First Nations Technology Council

FNTC’s focus is to support the collective rights for implementation, exercise and recognition of BC First Nations in the emerging digital landscape. This includes inherent Title Rights, Treaty Rights and how they relate to the digital transformation of socio-economic factors in the province.

Want to chat about a CIRA Grant Proposal?

Owen Cameron

BC Civil Liberties Association

BCCLA is active in developing and protecting the digital privacy rights for youth in Canada. They also offer free education for parents/public on digital rights for youth within smaller jurisdictions such as schools.

A huge thank you to CIRA for hosting Acorn and many other Canadian entrepreneurs and businesses at the Canadians Connected event. It is encouraging to see the projects which are being developed in BC and across Canada to build a safe and secure internet for everyone. Check out more about CIRA at

Get in contact with us to see how Acorn Interactive can help you with a CIRA grant project.