Gather North attendees sit by the fireplace at Gather North 2017 event

The Vision

A group of Gather North attendees, posing for a photograph at Gather North 2017

Gather North changes lives.

When I co-created the Gather North conference 3 years ago, I had a vision. That vision was to create an intentionally small, thoughtful event where women and non-binary people in tech could connect with each other in a way that goes much deeper than exchanging business cards. I wanted us to gather in a retreat setting where we could hear from speakers chosen for their ability to challenge and inspire, and enjoy meals together while we swap stories of hard-won insights from our lives and careers. The conference needed to be a safe space, where attendees could be honest, vulnerable and feel supported. And we should have some fun and relaxation time too, so we could all return to our work feeling refreshed and energized.

Gather North is a truly special event. Attendees have told me that it changed their lives. I’ve watched Gather North participants deeply connect with each other, forging personal and professional relationships. I’ve seen companies grow out of connections made at Gather North. It’s a real community, and it’s everything I envisioned.

After 3 successful events (in 2015, 2016 and 2017), I invite you to join me in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada for Gather North 2018. It’s going to be an exceptional and memorable weekend. I can’t wait to share it with you.

Avery Swartz, Gather North host

Who Should Attend

A group of women posing for a photo during a curling game at Gather North 2017

Our community is open and inclusive.

Gather North is for anyone who identifies as a woman or a non-binary person with an interest in tech. It is a friendly, open and inclusive event.

We encourage participants of colour, non-binary participants, queer participants, transgender participants, immigrant participants, participants with disabilities, and participants from all ages and career stages to attend Gather North 2018. If you are from a background that is underrepresented at Gather North, we want you to join us. We have half-price tickets for those that need them – see the registration page for details.

The Pillar and Post Inn is family-friendly and attendees are welcome to bring their families with them for the weekend. Babes-in-arms (or strollers) are welcome at meals, sessions and activities. There will be ample free time to hang out with your family outside of the official Gather North schedule (the heated indoor pool will definitely be popular with families).

There is a code of conduct in effect for all Gather North participants, and we’re serious about its enforcement.


The Venue

Front entry of the Pillar and Post Inn, venue for Gather North 2018

A charming, historic building rich with character.

The building now known as Pillar and Post was first built in the 1890s as a canning factory for peaches and tomatoes. Originally known as Factory 13, the cannery was regarded as one of the foremost producers of quality produce in the Niagara Region.

In 1914, at the onset of the war, the cannery’s upper floor was converted to a supply storeroom for several hundred Polish soldiers being trained in Canada. In 1957, the last can came down the line at Factory 13. Later that year the cannery reopened as a basket manufacturer until 1970 when the building was converted into a restaurant and craft centre.

In 1972, 35 guestrooms were built and it was renamed The Pillar and Post Inn. Guestrooms grew to 122 with a major addition in 1994. The original post and beam construction of the 19th century structure is still evident today in the main wall in the sunlit lobby and throughout the restaurant.

The Pillar and Post has received top awards from Condé Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure, Tripadvisor and Spas of America. It features a 13,000-square-foot indoor and outdoor spa, a Tuscan-style fine dining restaurant, a wine bar and lounge, and beautiful guestrooms and suites. The Pillar and Post is fully wheelchair accessible. It is located with walking distance to parks and town attractions in Niagara-on-the-Lake, and is a short drive from Niagara’s top wineries.