You are right and you don't have to blame and there is no sense to excuse the current rejection of visas.

Instead of speaking always of a division Global North and Global South there should be a support for your action to save an important event like Wikimania.

Kind regards

On 23/06/2017 16:24, Jean-Philippe Béland wrote:
Wikimedia Canada was not the requester behind having Wikimania in Montreal, so it cannot be blamed for that. A "Wikimania Montreal Committee", now defunct, was behind the request to WMF to have Wikimania in Montreal and they did not coordinate with the chapter in doing this. As a chapter, we are picking up some of the slack right now to ensure a smooth conference, but I don't think it is fair to blame the chapter for not doing this.

Jean-Philippe Béland
Vice President, Wikimedia Canada

On Thu, Jun 22, 2017 at 6:57 AM, Lodewijk <> wrote:
I wonder, do we keep track of the number of visa rejections year over year, so that we know in comparison?

There are of course many factors that go into venue selection - one of them is visa (another is security, political stability etc). The countries that I remember going relatively smoothly were the ones where the organizers sought a collaboration with the foreign affairs of their country, to get some help. I don't know if Wikimedia Canada was able to accomplish that. But it does mean that a general bad reputation is not necessarily a bad rejection rate for this particular conference. (if memory serves me well, WMIL did a great job in this respect in 2011, for example)


On Thu, Jun 22, 2017 at 12:48 PM, Felix Nartey <> wrote:
This is a big issue and I think should be looked into more seriously. Similar challenges were faced by participants from the Global South selected to attend the CC Summit in Toronto early this year.

This should inform future selection for all conference venues as it allows for poor representation of the Global South at international conferences.


On Thu, Jun 22, 2017 at 10:13 AM, Gnangarra <> wrote:
These issues are a symptom of the closed processes that have occurred firstly with Montreal and next year with middle eastern attendees to Cape Town .  Acknowledging that the change was because of the amount effort put in by unsuccessful bidders was said to be wasted its showing that some things need to be opened for community discussion before decisions are made.  

 That it may be better for the WMF to require applicants to first obtain a visa before being confirmed for the scholarships in the future.  Perth/Australia is another place that visas for attendees wouldnt have been a big issue.    

On 22 June 2017 at 17:43, cs <> wrote:
That’s one of the  reasons why  I  proposed Bangkok, Thailand, for 2019 - apart  from its extremely tolerant  social cultures and very  low cost, while being  a very  modern hi-tech city easily  accessible by  direct  flights from most  parts of the world. Almost  everyone can enter the country  for  at  least  15  days without  even a visa. Thailand only makes it difficult for people wanting to stay longer (years) in the country  on the pretext  of being  tourists.

It’s a shame for the visa refusals, but  perhaps this will open up the possibility to some refused scholarship applications. 

On 22Jun, 2017, at 16:23, Bodhisattwa Mandal <> wrote:


The main topic of discussion among the scholarship recipients from global south this month is the high visa rejection rate by Canadian embassies from these countries.

This year, we had 7 scholarship recipients from Bengali community, 4 from India and 3 from Bangladesh. Already 3 out of 4 scholarship recipients from Indian part of the communities got their visa rejected, others are waiting. Although I am hoping for the best for all the scholarship recipients, but may be news of more rejections are coming soon.

Wikimania should be organised in a visa friendly country, and not in those countries where global south citizens are not allowed to enter even for a 6-days conference. Otherwise, a global community is not truly presented.

Best wishes,

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