Digital Media Zone

What is a Digital Media Zone?

A Digital Media Zone (DMZ) is a multimedia and production space designed to support students working on web design, graphic design, code, animation, audio production, video production, 3D design and more.

The Britannia Woods DMZ will provide children and youth with access to opportunities to interact with technology, encourage exploration, learning, creation, play and creativity.

Can we start a digital media zone at home?

Yes! If you have access to a laptop and Wi-Fi, we recommend the following free online resources to get you started with building the digital skills of your choice:


Is this a collaborative project?

The Britannia Woods Digital Media Lab is a collaboration between the Britannia Woods Community House and Networking4Youth – a program of Jewish Family Services & Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

In June 2015, the partners launched a community campaign”All Kids Can Code” in collaboration with the generous support of the United States Embassy of Ottawa, Office of Public Affairs, culminating in the creation of the Britannia Woods Makerspace camp in August 2015 and March 2016.

Many other generous partners contributed to the creation of the 2015 Britannia Woods Makerspace camp including: Ottawa Bytown Rotary, Gowlings, Citizenship and Immigration Canada, UOttawa Makerspace, PrototypeD, and Maker Faire Ottawa.

Local Impact Investments

Your donation of any size will have an impact on local communities. Digital Media Zones encourage team work, youth to youth mentorship, creativity, collaboration, and self-confidence building. Through the digital creative process, youth will strengthen their individual and collective capacity to share a story and innovate.

Over 70% of jobs will require core STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) skills.

Currently, there exists a lack of diversity in STEM fields and STEM jobs. For example, 2015 Silicon Valley diversity reports revealed that less than 2% of the workforce at software giants such as Facebook or Google are black or Hispanic. It is critical that public and private sectors respond to this diversity issue through multiple approaches including early education and youth digital skills training.

The Britannia Woods DMZ will function as a pipeline to the broader local and global innovation ecosystem by creating awareness of other digital media zones (for example, schools, campus, library, makerspaces, incubators and innovation centres) and link to volunteer and employment opportunities in STEM fields.

National organizations with a mandate to raise awareness on past, current and future Canadian Innovation through education, exhibits and digital skills training include Actua and Innovation150.


Why create a Digital Media Zone at Britannia Woods Community House?

The Britannia Woods Community is home to approximately 800 residents. 70% of the total population is under 29 years of age. Languages spoken in households include English, French, Somali, Arabic, Kirundi, other.  

Families at Britannia Woods are connected through year-round social and recreational events including after school programs, summer camps, potluck dinners, parental engagement programs, field trips and sports teams.

Youth (ages 10 and up) from the community and beyond will be invited to co-create a day or week-long learning experience of their choice. Through the DMZ, youth will brainstorm project ideas and share what matters to them. Software tools can amplify and enhance personal and collective voice(s) and bring to life a young person’s vision for a better world.

Project-based learning (PBL) ideas for the DMZ include: 

  • Electronics-based projects
  • Data collection and Data visualization projects
  • Social entrepreneurship
  • Writing and producing a game or story

Goal & Vision

With 10 brightly colored laptops, the Britannia Woods DMZ will offer digital skills training including beginner’s coding classes, field trips to local tech companies, and project-based learning with exit surveys and course completion certificates. 

Through our pilot DMZ in the summer of 2016, our goal is to provide capacity building supports to communities with an interest in creating DMZs in their communities.


How can I help?

1/ Purchase your tickets today to our Family Makerspace Day

When: Sunday, May 22nd, 2016

Leap Motion Controller
Michael Bourda, the Illusionist
Face Painting
Little Bits Electronics Lego EV3
IoT Greenhouse Sensors
3D printers
LEDs in bottle caps & Ice cream!

Where: Boys and Girls Club, 2825 duMaurier Avenue

Time: 11 am – 2pm

Cost: $5/individual and $10/family

Tickets for the Family Makersapce Day can be purchased at the Britannia Woods Community House (115 Ritchie St.) or on Sunday, May 22nd at the door.

2/ Donate online. Make a donation today and label your donation “Britannia Woods Digital Media Zone”. Thank you for your generous support. Your donation is tax deductible.

An LED Wall of Appreciation will be proudly displayed in our digital media zone. 

Kindly indicate in the “Message to Charity” box your preference as a donor: anonymous or name as you would like it to appear on the wall of appreciation.

Media & Contact



In 2015, over 150 parents, children, community partners and tech specialists gathered in Ottawa, Canada to develop and deliver “Maker and STEM” activities for beginners. Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) workshops is not about the stuff we can make; it’s about the meaning we can make and creating access for all to the new economy. Through STEM partnerships, perceptions were changed and new skills were learned. We’ve built a menu of maker activities in this film for you to share with your community. Directed by Agamjot Singh and Erica Bregman.
Program Sponsors: Britannia Woods Community House, Jewish Family Services of Ottawa, Networking4Youth, Citizenship and Immigration Canada, United States Embassy Office of Public Affairs, Ottawa Bytown Rotary Club, Gowlings, MakerFaire Ottawa
TAGS: Ottawa, Canada. maker movement, MakerED, STEM training, community partnerships, cross cultural collaboration, social services, community housing, MakerFaire, youth employment strategies, new economy, Scratch, Makey Makey, Little Bits, Tinkercad, 3D design, 2D design, 3D printing, e-commerce, smart technology, sustainable development.



Get your robot started! On March 15, 2016, 6th grade visitors from St.Gabriel Catholic school in Kanata joined campers from the Britannia woods Maker space to build their first robot. This creative and collaborative process encouraged youth to think about batteries, wires, motors and raw materials like plastic beer cups and feathers as interconnected and interdependent. With special thanks to Madame Rola Tibshirani, and her students, Jana, Sofea, Nick, Edwin and Brianna for guiding us through these connective steps. At any age, we’re all teachers and learners.


Britannia Woods Community House



For more information:

Mohamed Sofa

Executive Director

Britannia Woods Community House / Maison Communautaire
9-115 Ritchie St, Ottawa, ON


Phone: 613-820-0853

Erica Bregman

Program Coordinator

Networking4Youth, a program of Jewish Family Services

2255 Carling Avenue, #300

K2B 7Z5

Phone: 613-722-2225 x426

ebregman at jfsottawa dot com