The HTML500 attracts over 5,000 registrants across Canada, shows clear demand for digital literacy

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SCHEDULE: Toronto — February 22, 2015 MaRS Discovery District – 101 College St. Toronto, ON; London — February 7, 2015 London Convention Centre – 300 York St. London, ON; Calgary — January 31, 2015 (ended) Red and White Club; U of Calgary Vancouver — January 24, 2015 (ended) The Rocky Mountaineer Station

The idea behind The HTML500 is simple: To champion digital literacy by providing 500 people a free opportunity to learn basic HTML and CSS skills from Canada’s top technology companies. Over 5,000 Canadians, some as young as seven years old, have registered for The HTML500 events thus far and this number continues to rise. Their reasons for signing up vary but the biggest motivators are curiosity and a desire to manifest ideas.

“Based on the total number of registrants we have for The HTML500 events in Vancouver, Calgary, London and Toronto, it’s clear that there is a huge demand for digital literacy in Canada. Lighthouse Labs created The HTML500 because we wanted to empower people through code by helping them turn their big ideas into reality,” says Jeremy Shaki, Lighthouse Labs co-founder. “As a community and a country, we miss out on good ideas that are not launched into action. The HTML500 is all about providing encouragement and the tools necessary to get people creating with code because the possibilities are endless.”

“Engineers have the ability to imagine a better world, and then build it,” says Farid Najm, chair of The Edward S. Rogers Sr. Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering (ECE) at the University of Toronto. “We foster this creativity to help the next generation of programmers design the future. As education partner for The HTML500, we hope to spark that engineering spirit in novice coders from all over Toronto.”

The HTML500’s learn-by-doing approach mirrors Lighthouse Labs 8-week coding bootcamp for people who have little to no previous coding experience. Participants are expected to bring their own laptop to the event. Internet connection and lunch will be provided.

“As a leading global company in data analytics and consulting, we see firsthand the incredible value data can have across industries from healthcare, to retail and education. LoyaltyOne is honoured to be part of the innovation journey by helping provide access to coding education. It all starts here, with inquisitive thinkers helping to generate the insight-driven solutions we need to create healthier communities and stronger businesses,” says Bryan Pearson, President and CEO of LoyaltyOne.

With the support of over 200 sponsors, The HTML500 helps demonstrate the community’s commitment to building a global technology hub in Canada.

“The HTML500 illustrates MaRS’ commitment to supporting our technology community and developing the next generation of engineers by providing students with an invaluable opportunity – to learn firsthand from local startups and partners in the technology industry,” said Salim Teja, EVP Ventures, MaRS Discovery District. “As North America’s largest urban innovation hub, equipping Canadians with the skills they need to be tech innovators is fundamental to our mission. We’re thrilled to be a part of this vital digital literacy initiative.”

After creating their own landing page through an easy, hands-on HTML and CSS curriculum, participants can immediately apply for jobs and explore career opportunities at The HTML500’s on-site career fair presented by founding partner, Vancouver Economic Commission. The career fair is a new feature to The HTML500 experience, boosting networking opportunities between participants and recruiters.

The HTML500’s 2015 National Founding Partner, TELUS, will also be participating at the career fair. “We’re looking forward to joining attendees at The HTML500 event, sharing our expertise and meeting participants at our career booth,” said Shawn Mandel, Vice-President at TELUS digital. “We’re always looking for talented individuals to join our team who have a passion for the web and all things digital and can thrive in a collaborative, customer-focused and fast-paced environment.”

Check out TELUS digital’s latest job postings at

About Lighthouse Labs and The HTML500
Lighthouse Labs is an immersive coding education boot camp that provides hands-on training in web and mobile software development. Through a mixture of lecture and lab environments, students are given the opportunity to work on open source and real world projects with the support of instructors. Students acquire practical coding skills in multiple programming languages that prepare them to enter the workforce after this intensive 8-week training program. Lighthouse Labs created The HTML500 to champion digital literacy in Canada. The HTML500 gives access to anyone who is looking to make the first step towards digital literacy.

Twitter: @TheHTML500 – #HTML500

About MaRS Discovery District
MaRS Discovery District in Toronto is one of the world’s largest urban innovation hubs. MaRS cultivates high-impact ventures and equips innovators to drive economic and societal prosperity. MaRS provides expert advice and market research, and makes connections to talent, customers and capital. MaRS startup ventures have created 6,500 jobs and, in the last three years alone, they have raised $1 billion in capital and generated $500 million in revenue.

TELUS (TSX:T)(NYSE:TU) is Canada’s fastest-growing national telecommunications company, with $11.8 billion of annual revenue and 13.5 million customer connections, including 8.0 million wireless subscribers, 3.2 million wireline network access lines, 1.45 million Internet subscribers and 888,000 TELUS TV customers. TELUS provides a wide range of communications products and services, including wireless, data, Internet protocol (IP), voice, television, entertainment and video, and is Canada’s largest healthcare IT provider. To learn more about TELUS visit

TELUS digital is dedicated to building innovative, data-driven, customer-focused digital experience for TELUS customers. Our Future Friendly culture fosters collaborative learning and innovative, out-of-the-box thinking in a relaxed environment. TELUS digital uses customer insights, validated data and analytics to build our knowledge and understanding of design from the perspective of our customers. To learn more about TELUS digital visit

About LoyaltyOne
LoyaltyOne is a global leader in the design and implementation of coalition loyalty programs, customer analytics and loyalty services for Fortune 1000 clients around the world. LoyaltyOne’s unparalleled track record delivering sustained business performance improvement for clients stems from its unique combination of hands-on practitioner experience and continuous thought leadership. LoyaltyOne has over 20 years history leveraging data-driven insights to develop and operate some of the world’s most effective loyalty programs and customer-centric solutions. These include the AIR MILES Reward Program, North America’s premier coalition loyalty program; a majority stake in European-based BrandLoyalty, one of the largest and most successful campaign-driven loyalty marketers outside of the Americas; and a working partnership with Latin America’s leading coalition program, dotz. LoyaltyOne is also the owner of COLLOQUY, a group dedicated to research, publishing and education for the global loyalty industry. LoyaltyOne is an Alliance Data company. For more information, visit

About The Edward S. Rogers Sr. Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering
Founded in 1909, The Edward S. Rogers Sr. Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering (ECE) at the University of Toronto maintains a proud history of innovative education and world-leading research. We are the top-ranked ECE department in Canada and among the best in the world. Our strong emphasis on teaching excellence means both undergraduate and graduate students learn from professors who are international leaders in their fields, in a vibrant and diverse environment. ECE graduates become leaders in every possible field, from mobile to medicine, energy to entertainment. For more on our degree programs, research and events, visit

For more information, contact:

Lara Torvi
MaRS Discovery District

Kei Baritugo
BoldLove Communications

SOURCE: Lighthouse Labs