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CreativeMornings Toronto is looking for a few awesome new folks to join the volunteer organizing committee!

If one of the positions below interests you, please get in touch at toronto at creativemornings.com subject line JOIN OUR TEAM, with your resume, and answers to the following questions:

1. What do you love about CreativeMornings, and why do you want to get involved?
2. Why are you the best person for the role you’re applying for?
3. Who is your dream CMTO speaker and why?

Please submit by Friday October 2nd. We look forward to hearing from you!

Social Media and Content Facilitator | 10-15 hours per month
Create social media calendar for CMTO, and act as primary driver of social media posts
Post CMTO Event day page each month
Create Mailchimp campaign to coincide with Event day page each month
Liaise with photo and video teams to post and promote event day content
Coordinate CMTO org committee to write blog content
Think of creative ways to connect with our audience using social channels

Speaker Engagement Lead | 10-15 hours per month
Help speakers to develop, and prepare for their talk each month
Seek out potential speakers for future CMTO events
Speaker follow-up communication, post event day
Think of ways to better aid, facilitate a thoughtful and fruitful experience for each speaker from start to finish

Video Editor | 5 hours per month
Experience with Adobe Premiere, multi-camera editing, and adding stills from PowerPoint.
Time to edit one video every month in the week post event

Calling all Trailblazers!

Are you looking to get more involved in the Toronto creative community? Well then, have we got an opportunity for you!

The Creative Mornings team is looking for volunteers to form a Trailblazing Task Force (TTF). Working closely with Christina Hug, our resident Trailblazer you’ll set forth to take CMTO to new height.

Here’s an example of just a few of the initiatives we’d be tackling together.

1) Monthly Craftaculars for on-site decorations based on the global monthly themes - You’ll be part of the entire creative process! From mapping out what would be relevant for each event, to deciding on materials, hot gluing, painting, laser cutting, and designing in preparation for the big day.

2) Outreach expansion initiatives - How do we get a more diverse audience at CMTO? How do we reach surrounding areas in the GTA?

3) How do we surprise and delight the CMTO community of speakers, sponsors, attendees, and volunteers. Let’s create incredibly memorable experiences that will keep the creative high going all month long!

We’re looking for creative thinkers, yea-sayers, experience builders, crafters, makers, and doers! All skill levels are welcome and all creative backgrounds, interests, and curiosities are encouraged! Enthusiasm and high fives will get you everywhere with this team :)

We’ll host our brainstorms over Google Hangouts to accommodate as many schedules as possible and will aim to meet in person once a month for a creative extravaganza.

If you’re interested answer three quick question on this form and we’ll get you on the list!

Community Spotlight: Hot Pop Factory

This month we hosted a talk with Steven Artemiw of Parkdale Road Runners, on the global theme of UGLY. Steven shared stories about the ugly side to running, and pulled us through to the other side, highlighting the beauty that can exist when you build community around one of your passions. This January, the CMTO organizing committee came up with a few running-related shenanigans to complement the Ugly theme and Steven’s talk. We asked for ugly race photos on Instagram (just search Instagram #CMTO to see the incredible submissions we received), and we encouraged attendees to run to the talk. In return, the runners and social media participants received their very own CMTO finisher’s medals! Our goal with all of our CMTO events is to find new ways to integrate and showcase the talents that exist in the broader Toronto creative community into each Friday morning. Enter Hot Pop Factory, with the design from our own Eleni Alpous in hand the Hot Pop Factory folks donated their mad laserbeam skills to make our idea a reality. If you haven’t met Hot Pop Factory before, they are a 3D-Printing and Lasercutting studio located in downtown Toronto. They specialize in creative applications of digital fabrication. And they’re awesome! Aside from offering workshops and helping to turn amazing ideas into reality through their services, the Hot Pop Factory team are true supporters of the Toronto creative community and are the first to cross the finish-line of our hearts. CreativeMornings Toronto would like to send a huge high-five to everyone at Hot Pop Factory for bringing our CMTO medals to life!

Photo by Yuli Scheidt (yulischeidt.com)

Are you a sucker for details? Do you love bringing people together to make events come to life?

CreativeMornings Toronto is looking an Event Day Coordinator to make sure that all of the details run smoothly for our monthly events.

The coordinator will work with our amazing team of volunteers, and will coordinate with food and beverage vendors, venues, photographers and videographers, to make sure that all the details are taken care of on event day. The coordinator will also be an integral part of the CMTO organizing committee.

Time commitment is roughly 15-20 hours per month, including two monthly committee meetings. We are looking for a year long commitment.

If you’re interested in joining the CMTO team, send us a little bit about yourself, along with answers to the following questions: 1) What interests you about being involved with CMTO?

2) What do you like about putting events together, and what experience do you have with event and volunteer coordination? Please send your application to toronto@creativemornings.com with subject line Coordinator by February 6th. We can’t wait to hear from you!

Please note: for this position, you must be able to attend monthly CMTO events, these will be held one Friday morning a month, and volunteers are there from 7:30 am - 10:30 am.

CreativeMornings: Your Stories

After three years, 33 events, and over 6000 attendees, we’ve been reflecting lately on the connections, collaborations and creative projects the CreativeMornings/Toronto community has pursued together.

We reached out to the community recently to hear what has transpired in your creative career as a result of a CreativeMornings event. If you have a story to share, get in touch with us at toronto@creativemornings.com.

To start us off is CMTO 14 speaker Dave Meslin, who reflects on his CreativeMornings talk:

"I had a great time speaking at CreativeMornings last year, but the traditional ‘speaker at a podium talking an audience’ is kind of disempowering for everyone, because it creates a hierarchy where one person has the mic, and the others are passive. So the part of CreativeMornings that I’m really excited about, is the part that begins as soon as the microphones are turned off: the collaborations that are conceived through the networking capacity of the event. You could call these projects the "offspring" of CreativeMornings. It’s been great to be a part of one of these offsprings, and the organizers of CreativeMornings should take pride in knowing that they created a space for that to happen".

Regular attendee Jay Wall took Dave up on his offer, and shared what happened next:

At a CreativeMornings Toronto talk back in January 2013, my ears perked up. Dave Meslin was speaking about the role of visual communication in fostering civic engagement. As the creative director of a social impact graphic design studio, I felt that Dave was speaking my language – about something that I’d never really noticed: public notices.

I knew about Dave’s track record of non-partisan community activism and I’d even read his work, but CreativeMornings was my first time hearing him speak in person. Dave talked about the need for creativity in the way governments engage citizens. Specifically, he showed examples of public notices – you know, those typically black and white “development proposal” ads and signs that often fail to engage citizens in making decisions about their cities.

In 2012, Dave established the "Dazzling Notice Awards" to recognize municipal governments who are raising the bar and re-designing their public notices to better “dazzle” and engage the public. At that point, the awards were still a small, fledgling project. That day at CreativeMornings, Dave extended an invitation to the audience. He asked that if anyone was interested in being a part of the project, to speak with him after the talk. So I did.

I told Dave why his talk had resonated with me. Although I hadn’t really thought about public notices before – perhaps because of their very invisibility – I saw the potential for design and visual communication to make an impact and to make an important civic process more accessible. Dave was game to have more hands on deck. And with that, my company STUDIO JAYWALL came on board as the design partner of the Dazzling Notice Awards.

Over the last two years, Dave and I have worked together to create an identity and website for the awards and to scale the project with a Canada-wide call for entries and a national jury panel. Along the way, Spacing and the U of T Cities Centre have joined us as partners.

We’re thrilled to present the 2014 Dazzling Notice Awards, December 17th at Toronto City Hall. This year, we are recognizing six Canadian municipalities who are actively encouraging public engagement through their notices.

Looking back on that first morning when I heard Dave speak, I’m filled with gratitude for the way CMTO sparked this collaboration and ultimately contributed to building a more democratic city and country. My Toronto friends, you continue to inspire me. Thank you.

–Jay Wall, Creative Director/Designer, STUDIO JAYWALL

We hope that CreativeMornings has had an impact on you. We’d love to hear your story.

Kyle Baptista, Organizer

CreativeMornings: Your Stories

After three years, 33 events, and over 6000 attendees, we’ve been reflecting lately on the connections, collaborations and creative projects the CreativeMornings/Toronto community has pursued together.

We reached out to the community recently to hear what has transpired in your creative career as a result of a CreativeMornings event. If you have a story to share, get in touch with us at toronto@creativemornings.com.

To start us off is CMTO 14 speaker Dave Meslin, who reflects on his CreativeMornings talk:

"I had a great time speaking at CreativeMornings last year, but the traditional ‘speaker at a podium talking an audience’ is kind of disempowering for everyone, because it creates a hierarchy where one person has the mic, and the others are passive. So the part of CreativeMornings that I’m really excited about, is the part that begins as soon as the microphones are turned off: the collaborations that are conceived through the networking capacity of the event. You could call these projects the "offspring" of CreativeMornings. It’s been great to be a part of one of these offsprings, and the organizers of CreativeMornings should take pride in knowing that they created a space for that to happen."

Regular attendee Jay Wall took Dave up on his offer, and shared what happened next:

"At a CreativeMornings Toronto talk back in January 2013, my ears perked up. Dave Meslin was speaking about the role of visual communication in fostering civic engagement. As the creative director of a social impact graphic design studio, I felt that Dave was speaking my language – about something that I’d never really noticed: public notices.

"I knew about Dave’s track record of non-partisan community activism and I’d even read his work, but CreativeMornings was my first time hearing him speak in person. Dave talked about the need for creativity in the way governments engage citizens. Specifically, he showed examples of public notices – you know, those typically black and white “development proposal” ads and signs that often fail to engage citizens in making decisions about their cities.

"In 2012, Dave established the "Dazzling Notice Awards" to recognize municipal governments who are raising the bar and re-designing their public notices to better “dazzle” and engage the public. At that point, the awards were still a small, fledgling project. That day at CreativeMornings, Dave extended an invitation to the audience. He asked that if anyone was interested in being a part of the project, to speak with him after the talk. So I did.

"I told Dave why his talk had resonated with me. Although I hadn’t really thought about public notices before – perhaps because of their very invisibility – I saw the potential for design and visual communication to make an impact and to make an important civic process more accessible. Dave was game to have more hands on deck. And with that, my company STUDIO JAYWALL came on board as the design partner of the Dazzling Notice Awards.

"Over the last two years, Dave and I have worked together to create an identity and website for the awards and to scale the project with a Canada-wide call for entries and a national jury panel. Along the way, Spacing and the U of T Cities Centre have joined us as partners.

"We’re thrilled to present the 2014 Dazzling Notice Awards, December 17th at Toronto City Hall. This year, we are recognizing six Canadian municipalities who are actively encouraging public engagement through their notices.

"Looking back on that first morning when I heard Dave speak, I’m filled with gratitude for the way CMTO sparked this collaboration and ultimately contributed to building a more democratic city and country. My Toronto friends, you continue to inspire me. Thank you."

–Jay Wall, Creative Director/Designer, STUDIO JAYWALL

We hope that CreativeMornings has had an impact on you. We’d love to hear your story.

Kyle Baptista, Organizer

The 2014 Awards Ceremony is Wednesday December 17th, 1pm at Toronto City Hall Committee Room #1 100 Queen St. W. The awards are co-hosted by Josh Matlow, CMTO 14 speaker Dave Meslin, CMTO 32 speaker Matthew Blackett and Jay Wall. Click for more details.

(photos by Bekka Palmer and Ace Boothby)

If you follow CreativeMornings Toronto on social media, a few weeks ago you probably noticed that several of our team’s members were in NYC attending the first ever CreativeMornings Global Summit.

The purpose of the Summit was for CM organizing committees from around the world to finally meet face to face, and talk about their experiences, their triumphs, and their failures. When I registered to attend the Summit, I knew that it would be a memorable experience. I knew that it would be fun and educational. I knew that I would come away knowing more about organizing CreativeMornings events than I had in the past.

But when I touched down in New York, I was not prepared for the overwhelming outpouring of love, generosity and emotion that would come in the days to follow. I will not go into specifics, and will instead encourage you to take a look at Flickr (also albums 2, 3, and 4), and #CMSUMMIT14 on Instagram and Twitter to view some of the details. What I will write about here is the same message that myself, Kyle and Christina all took away from this experience. And that is that we are not alone.

I know that we mention every month that there are new chapters starting in different cities, but what don’t always mention is how being a part of CreativeMornings along with these chapters makes us part of a huge global family. Every month as you’re getting up early to head to CMTO, there is someone else in another city somewhere on Earth who also set their alarm clock an hour ahead, and will fill out an icebreaker nametag, and grab a coffee, and hear a great talk and be inspired and meet someone new in their community.

So the biggest lesson to come out of the Summit is that wherever your travels may take you, if there is a CreativeMornings chapter, you already have a built-in community waiting there for you.

What adds to this magic even more is the fact that all of these chapters around the world are run exclusively by volunteers. This means that there are HUNDREDS of volunteers worldwide working to make CM events special and magical, and working to build accessible, ego-free, creative communities in their cities.

On that note, we encourage you to reach out when you travel, and if you’re not travelling, check out some of the amazing talks happening in other cities every month on the CreativeMornings website.

And to give you a little taste of what the Summit was like, and the feeling of warmth and fuzziness we got from attending, we’ll leave you with the CM Summit summary video. Thank-you all for being a part of the CMTO and global CreativeMornings community. We couldn’t do it without you.

CreativeMornings Summit 2014 from Bas Berkhout on Vimeo.

-Altaira Northe

Every now and then on the CMTO blog, we like to feature an upcoming event that helps to highlight Toronto’s amazing creative community. The Makers Nation’s upcoming Meet + Make workshop happening this Sunday September 28th is one such event.

What is Meet + Make?

Meet + Make is the first event of its kind that the Makers Nation will be hosting. The Makers Nation founder Christina Hug says that, “the goal of the event is to create a space for people from all different backgrounds and experience levels to come together around the art of making. Basically it’s an excuse to get people out, tap into their creativity, and learn new skills!”

Of course, being Maker focused, the other main purpose of Meet + Make is to showcase some of the amazing and talented makers that have set up shop in the city of Toronto. While Meet + Make is the baby of The Makers Nation, Hug likes to think of this event as a collaboration between The Makers Nation and all of the Makers involved.

What can I expect at this event?

The folks from The Makers Nation of course, as well as Makers from The Shop, Nightjar Books, Peach Berserk, and MAKELAB, along with Kaye Prince, Sabrina Doyle. Attendees will be able to choose two intensive workshops in which they will learn skills ranging from wood carving, to how to perfect your Instagram posts. A lunch and learn session will be catered by YamChops with a talk by the founders of BRIKA, and coffee to keep you going will be provided by the folks at R Squared.

The whole event will wind down with a happy hour session, where you can chat with other Makers and attendees, and enjoy some cocktails and snacks.

Sounds like the perfect day to us.

Register using the discount code “CMTO” at checkout, and the whole shebang will cost you a mere 75 bucks. And if you see one of the CMTO organizing committee members while you’re there, be sure to say hello!

This past month, the CreativeMornings global theme was COLO[U]R, and here in the Toronto chapter, we decided to take the theme very literally.

Enter Tiffany Pratt. On her website, Tiffany describes herself as, “… a fairy godmother. [Whose] joy is to sprinkle possibilities everywhere [she goes], into everything [she does], and elevate the world to a more beautiful place.” Before meeting Tiffany, you might imagine that this is somewhat of an exaggeration, but when she enters the room, you immediately know that it is not. Tiffany Pratt literally embodies the spirit of everything colourful and good in the world – she is glitter and rainbows and hearts and unicorns all wrapped up into one amazing, warm, and genuine human being. Tiffany Pratt will greet you with a bear hug even when you’re covered in bike sweat. Tiffany Pratt will bring you cocoa when you’re sick.

Bright and early on the morning of her talk, Tiffany led a crew of volunteers in transforming 918 Bathurst into a colourful wonderland. Every free surface was draped in streamers, and every chair was donned with a wooden rainbow beaded mandala bracelet, which had been made in a CMTO volunteer craft night with Tiffany earlier in the week.

CMTO 31 Tiffany Pratt (by Laura Crowell)
(Image by Laura Crowell)

Attendees filtered in, and after a brief introduction by CMTO’s Trailblazer Christina Hug, Tiffany Pratt took to the stage.

CMTO 31 Tiffany Pratt (by Yvonne Bambrick)
(Image by Yvonne Bambrick)
CMTO 31 Tiffany Pratt (by Laura Crowell)
(Image by Laura Crowell)
CMTO 31 Tiffany Pratt (by Yvonne Bambrick)
(Image by Yvonne Bambrick)

There were so many amazing quotes from this month’s event, and I’m sad to say that not many of them were actually captured in my personal notes or on the twittersphere. I attribute this to the fact that the air at 918 Bathurst was so filled with magic, that being wrapped up in tweeting about it rather than being present seemed like it would not have been true to the spirit of the event itself.

But if I can paraphrase, some of the overall lessons learned went something like this:

  • When you wake up in the morning, stand tall, take a deep breath, raise your arms to the sky, and imagine rainbows shooting from your fingertips.
  • You can be all the things; you do not have to pick one path in life, nor should you. Do all the things, and be all the things.
  • Plant seeds today, and tend your garden, because you never know when the seeds you’ve planted will come to fruition. Sometimes a project that you start today will finally all make sense and hit its stride years down the road.
  • Everything in life is a balance between shit and luxury.
  • Be true to yourself. Love completely and with abandon. See beauty in everything.

Tiffany’s energy as she spoke on stage, about her journey as a designer and in life, had the audience absolutely captivated. She is so incredibly passionate about what she does and the world around her, that listening to her talk, you can actually feel yourself starting to believe that you are stronger and more capable than you had previously thought. This is how Tiffany Pratt is a true Fairy Godmother; not just for all of her glitter and colours, but because being around her will make you believe that anything is possible, and it will make you believe in yourself.

To end, I will leave you with the same Roald Dahl quote with which Tiffany Pratt, overwhelmed with emotion, closed this month’s talk: “And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.”

———-

See more photos at http://bit.ly/1sggGEq

Thanks to Shutterstock sponsoring September’s event!

If you’re involved with the creative community here in Toronto (or anywhere else in Canada for that matter), you’ve probably heard of Cossette. Started in 1972 as a small Communication-Marketing firm in Quebec City, over the years Cossette has expanded to include offices across Canada and now in the US.

Along with this growth in footprint and reach, Cossette has also garnered a slew of impressive clients and awards, positioning themselves as highly sought after innovators in the field of marketing communications both here at home, and abroad. But as they say, with great power comes great responsibility – and Cossette takes this responsibility seriously.

On August 18th, Cossette announced an official ongoing sponsorship relationship with the Toronto CreativeMornings chapter (adding on to its existing sponsorships with Vancouver and Montreal). As stated in their press release announcing this new partnership –

“Realizing our potential means constantly seeking out new and exciting perspectives on creativity and how it will impact our future and the world around us,” says Glen Hunt, Chief Transformation Officer of Cossette in Toronto. “Cossette was built on a foundation of independence, innovation and entrepreneurialism and we are proud to support a program that reflects that same spirit by celebrating and inspiring the creativity in all of us,” adds Hunt.

Thanks for having our back, Cossette! Looking forward to a strong and happy relationship over the next year!

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