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Historically, WestGrid was governed by institutions in Western Canada that paid a membership fee and received funding through the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) Major Science Initiatives (MSI) program. However, in 2016, WestGrid’s Member Council voted unanimously to move forward with WestGrid’s incorporation after a thorough investigation of various options. 

On February 9, 2017, WestGrid became a Canadian not-for-profit organization, with an applicant board and membership of three independent individuals. These individuals will provide governance and oversight to the organization. This interim governance structure will allow the organization to do the administrative, financial and operational activities associated with the corporation in parallel with the development of the long term governance plan. It also allows for the stakeholder community to spend the time necessary to perform ample consultation to develop a robust governance structure.

Compute Canada is supportive of this path as it ensures the risk for the region is managed separately;  governance and representation for the region is inline with the other regions, and WestGrid is better able to set and manage regional priorities and parternerships.

Applicant Board

WestGrid has incorporated with three independent individuals who will serve as both the Members and the Directors for the new entity until WestGrid is ready to move forward with a formal long-term governance structure complete with bylaws, which will define the full membership and the inaugural Board of Directors. The Directors are legally responsible for the organization, and will guide the organization based on the advice of the WestGrid Member Council and Executive Committee until a governance structure is in place, following a community consultation.

Ken Hewitt has played a significant role in the development of advanced research support in Western Canada and is a former CEO of WestGrid. In addition to participation in the creation of WestGrid, Ken assisted in the writing of the National Platforms Fund (NPF) proposal which led to the creation of Compute Canada in 2006. Prior to WestGrid Ken worked with Cybera from 1995 to 2006 and was the president.
Seamus O’Shea is the former VP Academic of  the University of Lethbridge. Seamus was an active member of the WestGrid Member Council. After leaving his role at the University of Lethbridge, Seamus stayed involved in the Research and Innovation sector in a variety of roles including as a Board member of Cybera.
Jay Black is a retired professor of Computer Science, and has been CIO at both Simon Fraser University and the University of Waterloo.  He has been an active participant in strengthening digital research infrastructure (DRI) in Canada, as Chair of the Board of BCNET, and as a founding co-chair of the Leadership Council for Digital Infrastructure, a national coalition of institutions, individuals, and organizations dedicated to improving the Canadian DRI ecosystem.