GRAND announces recipients of the 2014 Canadian Digital Media Pioneer Awards
Tribute to be held in Ottawa on May 16th, 2014, as part of GRAND 2014 (May 14th-16th).
Posted by GRAND NCE, May 8, 2014

(May 8, 2014 – VANCOUVER BC) The GRAND NCE (Graphics, Animation and New Media Network of Centres of Excellence) is pleased to announce the recipients of its 2014 Canadian Digital Media Pioneer Awards (CDMP Awards): Drs. Nestor Burtnyk, Ken Pulfer, and Marceli Wein; Nancy Knowlton and David Martin; and Dr. Barry Wellman.

Created in 2011, the annual awards honour outstanding Canadians who have made significant and pioneering contributions to the advancement of digital media. The awards recognize artists, scholars, researchers, designers, engineers, entrepreneurs, and others. Awardees for 2014 will be honoured at a tribute in Ottawa on May 16th, 2014, as part of GRAND 2014, the network's 5th Annual Conference (May 14th-16th).

Drs. Burtnyk, Pulfer, and Wein were research scientists and engineers at the National Research Council of Canada. Their work in developing computers for musicians and animators in the early 1970's was groundbreaking not only for advances in creative technologies, but also in the field of human-computer interaction. Their 1970 computer replaced punch cards and introduced one of the first uses of a computer mouse in Canada to control a colour screen displaying graphics in real time.

Knowlton and Martin co-founded SMART Technologies Inc. based in Calgary, Alberta in 1987 where they pioneered the first interactive white board, introduced to the market in 1991. The company, which grew to $800 million in annual revenue, developed other innovative technologies specifically designed to support education, presentations, and collaborative work. The impact of Knowlton and Martin’s innovation in educational technology has been global. In the UK, over 90% of classrooms have an interactive whiteboard, and a significant majority of those come from SMART.

Dr. Wellman, Co-Director of NetLab at the University of Toronto's Faculty of Information and GRAND researcher, has been studying social networks since well before the advent of social media. His research has been highly influential in laying the groundwork for understanding how information technology impacts social interaction. His 2012 book Networked: The New Social Operating System with Lee Rainie that shows society’s shift to “networked individualism” triggered by a “triple revolution” is a landmark analysis of networked society.

Full citations for all CDMP Awards recipients are available on the GRAND website at


Quote from Dr. Kellogg Booth, Scientific Director, GRAND NCE

“You can't create a direction for the future unless you understand your past. The Canadian Digital Media Pioneer Awards give us an opportunity to reflect on the people who helped make Canada an international leader in many areas of digital media.”


The GRAND NCE (Graphics, Animation and New Media / Graphisme, animation et nouveaux médias NCE Inc.) is Canada’s largest digital media research network and knowledge mobilization engine with the goal of improving the quality of life of all Canadians and maintaining Canada’s role as a significant player in the global digital economy. Launched in 2009 through the federally funded Networks of Centres of Excellence program, GRAND addresses complex issues in digital media through receptor-driven interdisciplinary research, training, partnerships, and policies, as well as through the commercial development of emerging research technologies and innovation.



Spencer Rose
Communications Officer