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April 26, 8:30am • Ottawa Art Gallery • part of a series on Inclusive

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We’re obviously NOT talking about super babe Jesse Alberto! This dude oozes cool from head to toe and might just be the most fashionable man in the ByWard Market. For years, he’s been raising the bar in this city’s hair game and has been delivering everything BUT ugly cuts. Now as co-owner of Ottawa’s urban retreat for men - House of Barons - Jesse has a unique take on entrepreneurship, the industry, and the ugly side of the beauty and barber biz.

This talks theme is all about embracing the ‘ugly’ beginnings of making any vision real. We’re exploring the messy part of the creative process with the theme Ugly in our third annual Creative Mornings holiday party at a familiar yet brand new location. Special guest appearance by our first holiday party speaker Steve Beauchesne of Beau’s All Natural Brewing Co.

Registration is already more than half sold out! Be sure to get your tickets here!

Wednesday, February 11th, 5:30 p.m.
Kivuto Solutions Inc.
126 York Street #200
Ottawa, Ontario ON K1N
(Shopify’s former space in the Market)

Get directions here.

CM: Craig, this month’s theme is chance, rolling the dice and letting the cards fall how they may. Can you elaborate on two occasions where this might have worked out in your favour and where it might not have? 

Craig: There are 2 moments in particular I remember, that changed my life.  In fact, both were starting companies.  But the great leaps faith they took are what I have to laugh to myself a bit when I remember them.

 When I started my first company (Devshop), I had experienced a straight upward climb in my career, for the last 10 years.  The economy was good, jobs were plentiful, and I was hitting my stride.  I’d known nothing but good times to this point.  Life seemed pretty easy.  I had a beautiful country home, a corvette for the summer, a 4x4 for the winter, a motorcycle, home music studio with drums and piano and other toys.  I ate out at nice restaurants most nights and took vacations whenever I wanted.  Then something changed.  I got bit by the entrepreneur bug.  I decided it was time to go out on my own.  I sold EVERYTHING I own.  Literally down to my laptop and the clothes on my back.  I went back to living in a $500 student apartment in Vanier and ate Kraft dinner most nights.  A life as an entrepreneur began.  No biggie, I thought.  I’m going to be rich in a couple years - this idea is gold!  lol.  Some say that naiveté is a critical ingredient in the DNA of an entrepreneur - I couldn’t agree more.  Needless to say, things didn’t quite turn out the way I planned…
Fast forward some years.  I’m contemplating starting a new company.  Everything’s coming up gold at first.  I even get an acquisition offer right out of the gate!  But, nah, I can do better.  People are verbally offering to invest all over the place.  I can do WAY better!  But alas, verbals and head nods are not done deals…  Oh shit. What did I JUST DO?!  Ah but life changes once again…
CM: Creative Mornings is all about community. How has living and working in Ottawa impacted your success?
Craig: I’m sure anyone who’s asked this question feels like they should jump right into how wonderful Ottawa is and start on a cheerleader kick.  Ottawa’s a great city in a lot of ways - overall quality of life being the biggest.  But let’s talk business.  I’ve spent my whole career in the private sector here and have been an entrepreneur in this city for the last 12 years.  7 startup companies in total, 2 of those I founded.  Ottawa has a pretty tight knit startup community, which is really great when you’re going out on your own for the first time.  It’s great to be able to swap stories and ideas with the other folks who are trying to do the same thing.
But…  In the grand scheme of things, we are pretty small potatoes.  If the community of movers and shakers in this city is going to grow and really put Ottawa on the map, then I believe we have a couple things to work on.
1) I see disconnected communities in the arts, and those in business or technology - and very rarely do they mix.  We’re very cliquey.  The social good folks hang out together in one room.  The techies have their own events.  The marketing communicators have their own events.  And who the hell knows where all the sales people are.  This is not good!  I think all of these communities have a lot to learn from each other.  I’d love to see more blending and cross pollination.

2) Our startup culture here is all “product” (or “service”) people.  Inventors.  In order for this city to have more wins, in any domain, we (collectively) need to recognize that in a lot of cases, having a great product, service or idea isn’t going to cut it.  At least half the battle, if not more than half, is being great at selling and marketing our ideas.  We need to figure out how to cultivate those people and skills, and draw them into whatever we’re trying to build and promote.  Whether it’s a social movement, not for profit, something in the arts, or startup company trying to be the next Google, without cracking that nut, a lot of good ideas just die on the vine.

So in short, Ottawa is a nice place to live, but we can do a lot better.
Hear more of Craig’s thoughts this Friday, 8:30am at Creative Mornings. Registration is open here.


What two talks in one month? That’s right Ottawa and this time we’re welcoming Craig Fitzpatrick, child nerd, college dropout, and serial entrepreneur.  A startup lifer, Craig’s career spans seven software startups, one dot-com boom and bust, one near personal bankruptcy, and most recently, founder and CEO of PageCloud - something he believes can fix the Internet.

The days of needing a programmer to put some content on the Web are numbered.  So are the days of WordPress and other clunky CMS’s.  Like desktop publishing in the 90’s, PageCloud will democratize publishing once again, only this time on the Web.  Anyone, any time, from anywhere, can crack open their browser, create a new page, and hit save.  Instant publishing and sharing for everyone.

Craig has been leading product teams for 20 years, has raised financing for three startups, two of which he founded.  He is a well respected product designer, and member of the startup community.


This month’s theme is chance, rolling the dice and letting the cards fall how they may. It was chosen by our Sydney chapter, find out more here

Creative Mornings with Craig Fitzpatrick is Friday, November 28, from 8:30 a.m. to10:00 a.m. Get your tickets Tuesday morning at 9:00am here!


(Photo credit to Lee Towndrow as originally appeared in Gavin McInnes: The Godfather of Vice)

Yes Ottawa, you heard right. Ottawa’s enfant terrible is back for an enormous Creative Mornings. As we approach our second birthday, we thought we thought what better way to celebrate than to bring you the godfather of Vice, and the “primary architect of hipsterdom.

Once a young punk in Kanata, and front man of Anal Chinook, Gavin along with two other co-founders transformed a small, government-funded Montreal into the edgy Vice Magazine in 1994. 

Upon leaving in 2008, he began a series of careers including: filmmaking, directing, acting, stand-up comedy, and TV development. During this time, he also co-founded an ad agency called Rooster NY where he presently serves as Creative Director. 


Our international theme this month is "Freedom" brought to you by Shutterstock. It was chosen by Daria Belinskaya and the Budapest team. Find out more here. 

Next Tuesday (a little different than usual, get it in your calendars!) we’ve got a brand new venue lined up thanks to Wallack’s, and we will be checking out their flagship store at 231 Bank St. We’ve bought our favourite pens there for years, now we’ll get to see how it holds up with over 100 of Ottawa’s creatives packed inside. 

Creative Mornings with Gavin McInnes is Tuesday, May 27th, from 8:30-10:00am. Get your tickets Wednesday morning at 9:00am here!


(Photo credit to John Finnigan Linn)

If you’ve heard of Ottawa’s burgeoning burlesque scene then you’ve crossed paths with Miss Helvetica Bold. If you haven’t, you will in no time as this rubenesque redhead is putting it on the map in a big way. Dubbed “Ottawa’s Favourite Freak” by Daily Xtra, Helvetica Bold is a veteran performer in the Canadian Burlesque Scene; Her performance style incorporates both physical comedy and classic striptease, clearly influenced by her personal penchant for raunch and satire.

Helvetica proudly founded Rockalily Burlesque, Ottawa’s longest-running burlesque troupe, and is a founding member of the Ottawa Burlesque Festival.


Our international theme this month is “Sex” as chosen by our Toronto chapter and we couldn’t think of a more suitable figure to ruffle a few feathers and share all that is Ottawa’s burlesque scene than Miss Helvetica Bold.

We’re also incredibly excited to call the Bridgehead Roastery at 130 Anderson home for the first time. Ever since they opened the gorgeous space we’ve had our eyes on it and welcome you all out to experience this Ottawa gem.

As usual, we’re running from 8:30-10:00am this Friday, May 2nd. Get your tickets Tuesday at 8:00am here!


An artist, prankster, historian, and explorer walk into a bar…

Joke’s on you. That bar has one man, and it is Andrew King.

We’re incredibly excited to welcome one of Ottawa’s most interesting and inspiring figures to Creative Mornings this Friday March 28th to explore the theme of “Hidden”. 

We couldn’t think of anyone more suitable than Andrew to share his tales of Ottawa’s hidden gems. If you haven’t seen his blog and what he’s uncovering check it out now at Ottawa Rewind and see some of his amazing art and concepts at Andrew King Studio.


We’re happy to be back at Arts Court Theatre this Friday and as always are incredibly grateful to Kevin Waghorn and his fantastic team for pulling out all the stops for us and our community.

Tickets go live here at 10:00am on Monday, March 24th and don’t delay because something tells me they won’t last long for this talk!

For some articles on what Andrew’s been up to lately, check out this piece on Ottawa’s largest lost theatre and another on a shipwreck in the Ottawa river

(Photo credit to Kathleen Wilker, which originally appeared in the Ottawa Citizen Style article by Jennifer Campbell).

The man, the legend, the rebel? We’ll find out as one of the most prominent figures in Ottawa’s music scene - Eugene Haslam - joins us as we take on the topic of Rebel. 

For those involved in the music scene in town, Mr. Haslam is no stranger. In 1995, he resurrected Barrymore’s and hosted bands such as the Tragically Hip and Radiohead. In 1999 he gained full ownership of the institution Zaphod Beeblebrox and became a staple in the fabric of musical community. Zaphod’s is about to celebrate its 22nd rockin anniversary and we’re eager to hear Eugene’s story from banker, to local rock legend, to politician and much more. 

The Rebel theme is presented by Shutterstock, and was chosen by the Portland chapter. This event is being hosted in a very special place, and we’re excited to call the Enriched Bread Artists Studios - Ottawa’s largest artist studio co-op - home this Friday morning. Rumour has it breakfast is taking on a bit of a rebellious spin and we’re ditching coffee and pastries for some Gongfu Bao!

Tickets are available right here so get at em and don’t delay because seating is limited. For a great write up on Eugene, check this piece in the Ottawa Citizen from a couple years back. 


Our international January theme is Childhood. Pretty sure we’ve all been there, and some of us might even remember it, but childhood ain’t necessarily easy. Thank goodness for some amazing initiatives (and our next speakers!) like Ottawa Rock Camp for Girls to foster some Ottawa based teens inner musical creativity. 

Ottawa Rock Camp for Girls (ORC4G) is a three-day camp held annually in Ottawa since 2006. The camp was first organized locally by the feminist arts collective, Ladyfest Ottawa. In 2012 campa small arts collective comprised of volunteer local female musicians and music lovers took over the project. Our camp seeks to empower young women aged 13 to 17 by offering them the chance to learn an instrument, meet new friends and perform at a showcase concert. 

ORC4G believes that all girls, regardless of age, race, economic status, gender expression, size, developmental ability, religion or sexual orientation, should be able to attend camp. As such, we fundraise extensively to allow a variety of girls to participate - our suggested donation for participating in the weekend is of 20$, which includes use of instrument, rehearsal space, all meals and a showcase concert. 


Their next camp will be held in the fall of 2014, and they are actively looking for more volunteers to help fundraise, plan new activities and outreach to more communities so they can make their next event the most successful yet! 

Tickets for Maxime Brunet’s talk on ORC4G are going live Monday at 11:00am, and are available here

Now that you’ve finally built up the courage to work off those holiday pounds, have sworn off the booze, and channeled your inner hermit to dive into a deep hibernation… it’s the Creative Mornings holiday party!

Hey, we figured we’d let you recover just a bit before keeping that holiday cheer going for at least one more night. If you remember last year’s holiday party, it was a ball, and Steve Beauchesne of Beau’s shared his vision on what went into creating the company. If you missed his talk, check it out here.

This year we’ve got another fellow who knows a thing or two about how to make a meal, and a business, and a food truck. To speak on the theme “Make” we’ve got Mr. Tim Van Dyke of LUNCH.

Tim is an entrepreneur who knows how to make a mean, socially conscious, ethical, and delicious sandwich. He will be sharing his story that’s sure to leave you as hungry as entertained, but we’ve got you covered…

Since this is a holiday affair, we’re mixing things up a little and hosting this Creative Mornings in the evening. We want to make it nice and easy for you to make it out, so it’s going down from 5-7:30pm at HUB Ottawa (71 Bank St, 6th floor). Tickets will be available starting at 10:00am here.

Next Friday is shaping up to be a huge day for us and our next speaker. As Herd Mag celebrates their 1 year anniversary, we’re lucky enough to have their co-founder and Editor-in-Chief join us for Creative Mornings!

Stephanie and Herd have been huge supporters of Creative Mornings from day one, and now’s our change to turn the mic to them as Stephanie joins us to speak about Bravery. 

Stephanie Vicente has been writing since she could hold a pencil and spell a handful of words. For years, she wrote as a means of therapy and remedy for her struggles with Borderline Personality Disorder, something that until recent years, she kept hidden from her colleagues and comrades. Stephanie worked in film and television for years until a major breakdown and revelation led her to give in to her true passion: writing. Giving up a career in which she gave many years of herself was not an easy decision. But the decision was made on the grounds that her sanity was more important than her successes. By sharing her true self, whether through her art or conversation, Stephanie has found her lifeline. It was in the quest to find happiness, emotional stability, and inner strength, that Herd Magazine came to fruition. Stephanie invites you to revisit her journey from the depths of her darkness through the uplifting strides taken to follow a dream that became a reality. As Editor-in-Chief and co-founder of Herd, creativity as a form of rehabilitation is her mantra, and she will share with you the unabridged story behind her beliefs and successes.