The Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers informed its members yesterday that it has cancelled this year’s SCTE Canadian Summit.

Citing the cost of travel and the goal of maximizing members’ time and the organization’s efficiency, the STCE board of directors is currently evaluating a virtual version of the Canadian Summit for this year while looking at the timing, location and format for 2014 and beyond.

The new program is slated to be announced in the near future and will be free to all SCTE members.

The SCTE came up with its Canadian Summit concept in 2008, and the first one was held a year later at the Toronto Congress Centre, with 600 attendees and 40 vendors on hand. The 2009 Canadian Summit also marked the debut of new SCTE President and CEO Mark Dzuban, who spoke at the awards luncheon.

With the Summit based in Toronto, a large contingent of Rogers Communications employees were on hand in the past, while Dermot O’Carroll, formerly Rogers’ senior vice president of network engineering and operations, played a prominent role. O’Carroll retired from Rogers last year but has remained active in the cable industry.

The SCTE Canadian Summit also featured the Young Canadian Engineering Professional of the Year Award, which was won last year by Chris Skarica, Arris’ vice president of strategic accounts for Canada. Also last year, Aurora Networks won the Summit’s Technology Challenge.

On a personal note, I only attended the Summit the first year, but three things still stand out: the bitter cold when walking the short distance from the hotel to the conference center, the lack of an Internet connection at the conference center, and my first introduction to ice wine. It was also enjoyable to speak with O’Carroll in a relaxed atmosphere and to hear Dzuban expound on his cannonball collection, among other things.