Chinook Blast Winter Edition


Calgary's Biggest Hackathon

February 3 - 5 | Platform Innovation Centre
Grab your hot steamy cocoa and prepare to hack and backslash!
Platform Innovation Centre
Feb 3-5, 2023
Hackers Attending

Be a Part of Reinvigorating Calgary as a Winter City Destination!

Albertan winter is often associated with Banff and mountain culture but Calgary itself is a dynamic city and hosts many enjoyable winter activities and events!

The goal of this hackathon is to promote software development as a tool to activate Calgary as a winter destination by creating engaging and innovative approaches to showcasing our winter tourism industry. Participants of all coding abilities will learn, network, and be a part of a community that can change how locals and visitors connect with our beautiful city.

Problem Statement

How can we activate Calgary as a winter city destination for tourists, and engage citizens in winter activities?

WatchFireside Chat with Mayor Jyoti Gondek and Pixeltree CEO Serene Yew

SpeakersMeet the Speakers

Jyoti Gondek

Jyoti Gondek

Mayor of Calgary

Jyoti Gondek served as city councillor for Ward 3 from 2017 to 2021. She holds a Ph.D. in urban sociology, and an M.A. in organizational sociology.

Mayor Gondek’s professional background includes leading the Westman Centre for Real Estate Studies at the University of Calgary’s Haskayne School of Business where she examined the challenges facing Calgary’s commercial sector as property values in the core plummeted. She also ran a successful consulting practice for 12 years helping clients in the energy and city-building sectors evolve their business models to fit a changing regulatory and economic environment.

Throughout her career, Mayor Gondek has been known to be a driven community builder and diversity champion who understands the power of cross-sector partnerships where business, social organizations, and educational institutions are connected to local governments to better serve the people. She is honoured to serve Calgarians as Mayor.

Serene Yew

Serene Yew

CEO & Founder of Pixeltree Inc

Entrepreneur and founder of Pixeltree Inc., co-founder of, and a lead organizer of both YYC Dev and YYC.js, Serene combines her vision of empathy-based leadership with value-focused software development. An experienced innovator and problem solver, Serene collaborates with startup founders, business pioneers, and software developer talent across multiple business domains. A passionate believer in community and capacity building, her vision and dedication drive her goal of creating a sustainable mentorship ecosystem that fosters stewardship within the Calgary tech community.

Brad Perry

Brad Perry

President & CEO at Calgary Economic Development & Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund

With more than two decades of business, management and marketing leadership experience across industries that span public, private, startup and not-for-profit organizations throughout Canada, Parry has a history of building data-centric organizational cultures focused on spearheading digital and technology transformation and driving innovation.

Parry joined Calgary Economic Development in 2019 as the Vice President of Marketing & Communications and in that role also led Research & Strategy for the organization. Since July 2021, he has served as Interim President and Chief Executive Officer.

Our three day schedule is jam-packed with support and resources for aspiring developers and entrepreneurs.

ScheduleFebruary 3-5

To launch the event, we're starting things off with a bang.

The second day of the event is when the bulk of product and business development occurs.

We close out the event with presentations from each team about the products that they've built.

  1. Doors Open and Registration Begins

    Registration beings! Enjoy snacks and refreshments while networking. Stagehand presents music performed by Dave Hirschman

    3:30 PM
  2. Keynote Opening

    Fireside chat with Mayor Jyoti Gondek moderated by Serene Yew

    5:00 PM
  3. Team Formation

    Group up, make your base, and get to work!

    6:00 PM
  4. End of Day 1

    Doors close

    8:00 PM

JudgesMeet the Judges

Terry Wong

Terry Wong

Ward 7 City Councillor

Derek Armstrong

Derek Armstrong

Manager, Innovation Ecosystems, Prairies Economic Development Canada

Sabrina Grover

Sabrina Grover

Principal, Shakti Strategies
Government Relations and Communications Strategist

ScoringGet the high score

Design and Implementation (maximum 50 points)

Does it work? Is it implementable? Did the team think about the user interface (UI) and user experience (UX)? Was the product designed with humans in mind?

Innovation (maximum 25 points)

How innovative/creative/unique is the idea? Was there a novel approach applied to solve a problem?

Impact (maximum 25 points)

How impactful is the idea? Can it impact the lives of many people in a significant way? Is the idea aligned with and addresses one or more of the challenge problems?

Viability (maximum 25 points)

Is this product realistic? How original is the concept Has the team considered route to delivery and has made proactive actions to execute an action plan? Is the idea feasible, does it have economic and societal value, and is it sustainable?

Open Data Set (10 bonus points)

10 points will be added to your score if your project utilizes an open data set.

MentorsMeet the Mentors

Daniel is a software developer who leans on Test Driven Development to help build clear and communicative code, primarily in Ruby and JavaScript. He's very excited to spend the weekend with Calgary devs, and see our creative and technical talent on display.

Daniel Huss

Daniel Huss

Tech Mentor

eCommerce entrepreneur, experience with Shopify, Ruby on Rails + React builds, UI/UX and branding strategy. Marketing background with Facebook AdsManager, social media management, event production & vending, Mailchimp, HooteSuite. Experience in raising capital, offshore dev, onshore dev, data rooms, pitch decks. Please take a look at my LinkedIn.

Ryan Corry

Ryan Corry

Entrepreneurship Mentor

Sean brings over 8 years of software mentorship and coaching experience through his work with Lighthouse Labs. Having run businesses in several countries and worked as a senior software developer for nearly three years, Sean is keen to empower attendees with industry knowledge and best practices to hit the ground running.

Sean Goresht

Sean Goresht

Tech Mentor

Jean-François is vice president of engineering at Neo Financial, where he contributes to changing the way Canadians are banking. He has more than 20 years of experience in software development, artificial intelligence and research. Previously, he worked as a CTO at Stamped Technologies (an ai based audit tech firm), as the director of research and development at Coveo (a data insight and enterprise search company) and as a tech entrepreneur. He also has 7 years of experience as a software development consultant and lean management coach. If you catch him outside of work, he is an aerobatic and race pilot as well as an outdoor enthusiast and a craft beer lover.



Tech Mentor

Sudeep got his start in software development building an iOS app for the Winnipeg Transit system to learn mobile dev. More than 10 years later he's at Neo Financial as a Director of Software Development. Over the years he has worked with teams of all sizes, including growing the SkipTheDishes team in Calgary when he moved to help start up a new office after being part of the early dev team in Winnipeg. Sudeep has also participated in large scale hiring efforts both locally and internationally and now is using his experience to develop high caliber individuals and teams at Neo.

Sudeep Sidhu

Sudeep Sidhu

Tech Mentor

Our Event Sponsors

Title Sponsors

Pixeltree Inc.
The City of Calgary

Gold Sponsors

Calgary Economic Development

Community Partners

Chinook Blast

Venue Host

Platform YYC

Media Sponsors

LiveWire Calgary

Educational Sponsors

Bow Valley College

Sponsorship Opportunities

Sponsorship Inquiries

PrizesMore than bragging rights!

1st place winners will receive $3k

2nd place winners will receive $2k

3rd place winners will receive $1k

RulesCode of Conduct

This hackathon will follow the open source Hack code of conduct

  1. 1.

    Teams must have a minimum of 6 members, but no more than 10 members.

  2. 2.

    Teams should be made up exclusively of registered participants who are not organizers, volunteers, judges, sponsors, or in any other privileged position at the event.

  3. 3.

    All team members should be present at the event.

  4. 4.

    Teams can of course gain advice and support from organizers, volunteers, sponsors, and others.

  5. 5.

    All work on a project should be done at the hackathon.

  6. 6.

    Teams can use an idea they had before the event.

  7. 7.

    Teams can work on ideas that have already been done. Hacks do not have to be “innovative”. If a team wants to work on a common idea this is allowed and will only be judged on the quality of the hack.

  8. 8.

    Teams cannot work on a product that they have worked on before. Adding new features to existing projects is not allowed.

  9. 9.

    Teams can use libraries, frameworks, or open-source code in their projects. Working on a project before the event and open-sourcing it for the sole purpose of using the code during the event is against the spirit of the rules and is not allowed.

  10. 10.

    Teams must stop hacking once the time is up. However, teams are allowed to debug and make small fixes to their programs after time is up. e.g. If during demoing your hack you find a bug that breaks your application and the fix is only a few lines of code, it's okay to fix that. Making large changes or adding new features is not allowed.

  11. 11.

    Teams must be registered by 10pm on Friday, Feb 3, 2023. However, individuals may switch teams, and teams may change their ideas after that time.

  12. 12.

    Projects that violate the Code of Conduct are not allowed.

  13. 13.

    Teams can be disqualified from the competition at the organizers' discretion. Reasons might include but are not limited to breaking the Competition Rules, breaking the Code of Conduct, or other unsporting behavior.

VignetteWhat are you hacking for?

ResourcesDatabases and datasets

Statistics Canada Open Databases

Open Data Areas Alberta

University of Alberta data APIs