Next Toronto speaker
May’s theme, SERENDIPITY was chosen by our Moscow chapter and illustrated by Anton Yermolov.The term serendipity' was coined in 1754 by the aristocrat Horace Walpole. While reading a Persian fairytale called "The Three Princes of Serendip," he wrote to a friend to share his realization. "The princes were always making discoveries, by accident and sagacity, of things they were not in quest of."
When you hear stories about serendipity, they have an undertone of delight, pleasure, and sometimes profound transformation. These unforeseen, joyful accidents are often the opportunities we seek and cherish—and above all, they're moments that we don't forget.
How might we see, embrace, or cultivate serendipity?
I remember my first CMTO like it was yesterday. I was brand new to Toronto, and was still finding my bearings. I’d been an attendee at CreativeMornings Vancouver for several years, and knew that in coming to Toronto it would be my go-to event for meeting interesting folks in my new hometown. The event was at 401 Richmond, and Kyle Baptista was the host at the time. I accosted him immediately, and started volunteering at check-in the next month. In early 2014, I joined the organizing committee, and a year later, was invited by Kyle to take over hosting duties.
I spent 10 years working in health research, and whenever I came to CreativeMornings as an attendee and told people what I did, they said things like, “it’s so great that you work in research but you’re still interested in creativity.” This made me sad. Not just that many people didn’t see science as creative, but that I was often viewed as a ‘non-creative’ person for not being a graphic designer. So my main goal in becoming host was to expand the idea of what creativity meant for the CMTO audience. And I think that we’ve achieved that. In the past two years, we’ve had a run crew leader, a chef, an illustrator, a visual artist, a cycling activist, an opera director, a graphic novelist, a tarot card reader, a coffee expert, a spoken word artist, a financial advisor, and a scientist who 3D prints with NASA to name a few. We’ve written with squid ink, learned to set work boundaries through song, played with dinosaur poo, and confessed our secret creative projects. We’ve been in 4 different venues. We held our first speaker sponsor dinner, started doing attendee feedback surveys, created collaboration station (which has since been adopted by other chapters around the world), had strategic planning sessions, and reached speaker gender parity both years that I’ve been host.
CreativeMornings Toronto is organized by myself and a core team – Christina Hug, Angelique de Montbrun, Eleni Alpous, and Jillian Gora, who work tirelessly to try to bring a little bit of magic to CMTO. With these women, I’ve spent countless hours planning, talking strategy, brainstorming speakers, budgeting, crafting, staying up all night skyping into chapters around the world, and taking a trip to the CM Global Summit in Austin to meet with other hosts and organizers to be inspired to make CMTO even better.
I’m pleased to announce that in May, Christina Hug is going to take over as CMTO host. I have no doubt that she is going to blow this community’s socks off. She is a magical, wonderful, hard-working, intelligent, and thoughtful human, who will undoubtedly take CreativeMornings Toronto to soaring new heights.
As for myself, I’m heading back home to the West Coast. This time though, I’ll be skipping over Vancouver and heading to the small town of Gibsons on the Sunshine Coast of BC. From there, I’ll be filling my days continuing my freelance writing practice, trail running through the forest, and swimming in the sea. I am also BEYOND EXCITED to announce that I’ll be continuing my CreativeMornings journey, piloting a small town model of CreativeMornings to highlight creativity in rural communities, and to help form stronger city/country connections. Introducing CreativeMornings Sunshine Coast.
I want to thank each and every one of you for bringing your energy to this community. For getting up early month after month to join us on a Friday morning to connect with each other, and learn about an amazing creative person in this beautiful city. Thank you for your thoughtful icebreaker nametag answers, for your 30 second pitches, for your smiles, and laughs, and tears. Thank-you to our volunteers for getting up even earlier, for sharing your spirit with attendees and always having a smile on your faces and a spring in your step, for giving a part of yourselves to this community. Thank-you to our speakers for sharing your stories, inspiring our attendees, and helping every person who watches your talk to think about the world a little differently and to really know that everyone is creative. Every one of you plays an absolutely essential role in making CreativeMornings the experience that it is. And we could not do it without you.
It has been a joy and a privilege to be able to share and connect with so many of you. Thank-you for giving me the opportunity to host this community for the past 2 years. For every ounce of energy I’ve put into this chapter, I’ve gotten it back ten-fold. You have made me into a better person, who believes beyond a doubt in the power of community, in giving a damn, in face-to-face connections, in learning from others, in hugs and high fives.
April’s theme, BEYOND was chosen by our Bangaluru chapter. This mesmerizing Escheresque illustration was produced by the talented Ranganath Krishnamani. We want to shoutout our ever supportive global sponsor Shutterstock who is presenting this month’s theme.
We loved the thoughtful rationale for this month’s theme put together by CreativeMornings HQ:
We are tempted by the possibilities of the beyond. Whether it’s deep space, the range of our talents, or a first date, our minds conjure stories that carry us aloft.
This unwavering, deep-seated determination to go far and wide is the fire that which keeps us alive, always marching forward, determined to lift the veils that are hiding unfounded beauty.
What a trait to embody. Without the urge to go beyond perceived limitations or boundaries, we would be a dull, stagnating species indeed. The price to go beyond anything is never free; we’re called to face our fears, and the reward of reaching that next level is the privilege to do it again.
March’s theme #CMTaboo, was chosen by our sister chapter Oslo, and illustrated by the incredible David Stenmark. You can also peep David's work on Instagram.
We’re so thankful to our Global Partner MailChimp for sponsoring this month's theme. We love them as much as we love high fives!
We’d like to take a moment to announce Christopher Rouleau as our speaker for February’s theme of Moments.
See what we did there. :)
We’ve been obsessed with Christopher’s Instagram for over a year, watching his daily imaginative alphabets come to life (If you haven’t seen his project 12 Months of Type prepare to be blown away). His dedication to executing on daily inspiration make him a perfect fit for this theme.
You may also know Chris by way of Ligatures – Toronto’s Typography hub. A group Chris co-founded, where he continues to instruct local lettering aficionados.
Regularly featured in Spacing, Flare, and Uppercase Magazine, Chris was also a fixture at City of Craft offering live-hand lettered posters. His use of analog brush lettering techniques evoke the pre-digital commercial arts style of the 1940s-1960s, that combined with his signature wit result in work that feels fresh and contemporary.Generic Inspiration Message might just be our favourite.
Talk to him about collecting antique signage, his obsession with lettering Toronto, Canada and the Great Lakes and finding inspiration while travelling.
When he’s not out in the world speaking about typography and lettering you can find him working on new projects at his Ossington studio.
February’s theme, Moments, was chosen by our Montréal chapter and illustrated by Patrick Seymour, check out his incredible work and read CreativeMornings Content manager Paul Jun's interview with Patrick here.
In the spirit of this month’s theme, we’d love to know how we’ve done, are doing and what you’d like to see us do more of to bring you moments of joy and inspiration. Share your feedback in our year-end survey, and if you’ve got any speaker suggestions, we’d love to hear them!
Yessss! Take me to the Survey!
In honour of this month’s theme Moments, we’ve brought back the much loved CreativeMornings Toronto Time Capsule.
We’ve given the questions a bit of a refresh and brought back some old gems. If you didn’t take part last year, it’s your very own personal digital time capsule. It features a half dozen odd questions dedicated to helping you record who you are today, at this very moment. Some questions also invite you to look outward, to your practice or workplace, to your community, to your city.
Write whatever you like. And in a year’s time, it’ll arrive in your inbox, just like that.
Thank you to our December 2015 speaker Teva Harrison for inspiring the idea in the first place when she spoke on the theme of time.
This month we welcomed Michelle Latimer (Métis/Algonquin) to speak on the theme of Mystery. Michelle is a Toronto based filmmaker, programmer, actor and activist.
Her films include Choke (Sundance Special Jury Honorable Mention in International Short Filmmaking), The Underground, Nimmikaage and the feature doc ALIAS. Michelle is currently adapting the bestselling novel The Inconvenient Indian for screen and directing a short doc for Field Of Vision. She programs for Hot Docs Film Festival and the Dawson City International Short Film Festival.
This past Friday, Michelle shared some of her current work, an episodic series she directed and produced called RISE. Made in partnership with Vice Canada and APTN, RISE documents “the largest gathering of indigenous people in more than a century [coming] together to protect the area’s water”.
Watch Ep 1 and Ep 2 now on VICELAND.
Grounded in finding truths, Michelle shared her account of witnessing the response to the Dakota Access Pipeline. We were so honoured to have her share her first hand account, and the translation of that account into a powerful story worthy of the world’s attention. Our audience shared the impact of Michelle’s talk too:
January’s theme is Mystery, chosen by the Houston chapter and illustrated by Joseph Alessio. This month in 160+ cities around the world, we’ll learn how creatives from various backgrounds dance with mystery and infuse it into their lives.