Next Vancouver speaker

Shauna Sylvester (online)

More info

October 2, 8:30am • CMVan | Transit • part of a series on Transit

← Load previous

Wow! Look what @jeckenzibbel doodled during our event last week! Amazing.
First online session of the #CreativeMornings Vancouver breakfast talk. This month’s topic was #CMPurpose. So cool to be in a Zoom meeting with 220 people. There was even a live DJ @alexmahermusic, and Marianne Alvarez @honuswim spoke about her 1985 swim across the English Channel, and coaching Pedro Rangel Haro who in 2018 became the first person with a disability to do a solo crossing of it. Inspiring talk and great community this morning, thank you @MarkBusse and the #CMVan team @creativemorningsvancouver for making this happen. #gouache #drawing (at Vancouver, British Columbia)

To continue its mission to connect Vancouver to its live music community during these challenging times, Locals Lounge is seeking a support partner willing to donate a Windows-based PC with high powered processing and graphics capabilities so that the team can deliver engaging, high quality virtual performances via online streaming services.
Please direct message or email if you can help.

#VanMusic #musicvancouver #livemusic #livemusicvancouver #Vancouver #YVRmusic #MusicScene #VanCity #vancitymusic #localmusic #music #Musician #LocalsLounge (at Vancouver, British Columbia)

Beloved CMVan community,

We’ve been monitoring the international and domestic response to the growing concerns over COVID-19. Public health authorities are strongly advocating the use of “social distancing” as a way to slow the spread of the coronavirus, and calling on community organizations to seek out alternatives to large social gatherings. We care about your safety, and the safety of the broader community, and feel it is more important than ever to find ways to connect and celebrate creativity, culture, conversation, and community.

After discussions with CreativeMornings headquarters and partners at SFU Woodward’s Cultural Programs we have decided to make some temporary but significant changes to our upcoming programming. Our April 3rd event (featuring Marianne Alvarez) will be moved online with a livestream presentation, breakout discussions, and live Q&A with our speaker. As a special treat, we are adding a live musical performance to this edition and hope that you will join us and help make this a memorable gathering.

Stay tuned for details how you can participate, but we are likely going to employ, so now would be a good time to sign up, download, or update your software (don’t worry, it’s free). One silver lining is that we are opening registration immediately and can host hundreds of participants with no need for a waitlist, so this is a great time to participate, meet new folks in your community, and introduce your friends and colleagues to what CMVan means to you.

We believe in the power of gathering face to face. But we also believe in protecting the health and safety of our creative community, so the hugs and high fives will have to be digital during these extraordinary circumstances! We look forward to updating you with more information as it becomes available.

With affection,
The CreativeMornings/Vancouver team

PS - If you have any questions or concerns, please email

Next month, come join us for an amazing morning with Marianne Alvarez.

Marianne was born in Mexico, and moved to Canada in 1987 with her husband, raising her family (four beautiful daughters) in the Okanagan with a focus on strong values and a healthy lifestyle through sports. She re-located to Vancouver in 2005 and in the fall of 2014 she organizing the first ever Para-Relay to swim the English Channel. Marianne has 30 years of coaching and coaches Honu, a para swim team in Vancouver, that she started in 2008.

Dedicated and committed to swimming, Marianne was part of the National Swim Team at the FISU Games and was the first swimmer to represent Mexico in Fin Swimming. A passionate open water swimmer, in 1985 Marianne was the first Mexican and first German woman to swim the English Channel. Having coached Para athletes at an elite level (the London 2012 Paralympics and Toronto 2015 Para Pam American Games), Marianne is eager to share her expertise, experience, and passion for swimming with both competitive and fitness swimmers.

Marianne has a true passion for swimming and her coaching philosophy is “Believing is Achieving”, a motto which continues to guide her daily life.


How do you define creativity and apply it in your life and career?
“My creativity is to dream and to believe I can achieve, to never give up and with passion follow the purpose in my life. We only live once, and I am certain that there is no dream too big or too crazy to pursue.

Where do you find your best creative inspiration or energy?
In myself, I believe in always sharing a smile and helping others. I believe health is our biggest treasure we have no matter who you are, where you are or what you do.

What’s one piece of creative advice or a tip you wish you’d know as a young person?
Don’t trust everyone, we all have different values in life.

Who (living or dead) would you most enjoy hearing speak at Creative Mornings?
Sunny Lowry (1911-2008) I had the pleasure to meet her at the English Channel. Now I would like to talk to her about what we share in common and why we do what we do. Her legendary swimming achievements, her consistent contribution to our sport.

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?
There are two equally crazy things I have done in my life, and both have actually inspired and created my creative moment, which have influenced in who I am and what I do.

1- Swimming the English Channel at age 24 and starting a new adventure 29 years later.

2- To leave everything I knew behind at the moment when I had the most opportunities in my life, to start a new adventure in Canada.

\What are you proudest of in your life?
What I am proudest of is raising 4 women who want to make the world a better place, who live and share the values that have inspired our family and to know that they are not only sisters, they are best friends for life.

What is the one question we haven’t asked that you want to answer?
I would like to be asked what my next crazy project!

Here I want to talk about the Honu Center and the work I want to continue. It’s a a center to help People with a disability through the water to improve their health and “feel the freedom water can give us all”

Come join us in March as broadcaster, host and master communicator Riaz Meghji tackles the theme of Identity.

Hosting for brands such as Citytv’s Breakfast Television, CTV News, TEDxVancouver and MTV Canada, during the past two decades Riaz Meghji has interviewed over 10,000 people and studied what it takes for leaders to connect and have their message resonate with audiences. He has a degree in business from Simon Fraser University and has also studied Leadership Communication at Harvard’s Extension School and the Canadian Management Centre, critical training that has helped develop the tangible takeaways he shares to make ‘Every Conversation Count’.

Photo credit where possible: Charles Zuckermann


How do you define creativity and apply it in your life and career?

Creativity = Subjective Curiosity. I believe creativity is a necessity to thrive in whatever it is we may be doing. In fact, creative thinking is what allowed me to break into the television business with no experience almost twenty years ago.

Where do you find your best creative inspiration or energy?

Two things help drive my creative inspiration: silence and solitude. I find with the overwhelming amount of information and distractions at our fingertips, when I turn everything off and go for a walk to clear my head, some of the greatest ideas to mind.

What’s one piece of creative advice or a tip you wish you’d known as a young person?

“The best way to predict the future, is to create it for yourself.”

Who (living or dead) would you most enjoy hearing speak at CreativeMornings?

Someone from the audience who was inspired by an idea they heard at a previous CreativeMornings showcase, made big changes in their life because of it, and then be able to share tangible results that would inspire everyone else to not just listen to an idea, but take charge and do something with it. Extras:

What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?

Surprised my wife buying tickets at the last minute to Game 6 of the NBA Finals when the Toronto Raptors won the Championship. Woke up at 3:30am that morning, hosted Breakfast Television Vancouver, then flew to San Francisco right after and made it inside Oracle Arena just before tip off for one of the craziest nights of our lives.

What did you learn from your most memorable creative failure?

That one person’s perception of my worth doesn’t define my worth. I took rejection personally when I first got into the TV business. Now, I realize, decisions can be more subjective vs. objective, and can have nothing to do what I can actually offer.

What are you reading these days?

“The Coaching Habit” by Michael Bungay Stanier. It’s an easily digestible read and useful resource on the power of questions to teach and help people grow.

How does your life and career compare to what you envisioned for your future when you were a sixth grader?

When I was in the sixth grade I wanted to be like Arsenio Hall and have a talk show. I’m still searching for my own Dog Pound.

How would you describe what you do in a single sentence to a stranger?

I teach leaders, coaches and introverts how to create meaningful connections and make every conversation count.

What’s the most recent thing you learned (big or small)?

That everything is temporary. It was a lesson my father shared with me five years ago over brunch hours before I got married. He talked about overcoming adversity and embracing all the highs and lows that will come our way. Last October, my brother and I spoke to him on the phone on a Thursday night. He was his normal, upbeat, jovial self. The next day his heart suddenly stopped and we never got to speak to him again. It rocked us, yet his passing reminded all of us that no matter how hard you work, you can’t buy more time. I have never been more motivated to create than right now.

What keeps you awake at night?

Our 14 month old boss Nico. He keeps crazy hours and likes to take his parents along for the ride.

What are you proudest of in your life?

Aside from building a family with my wife Lori, taking risks to create change and deviate from a complacent career path.

If you could do anything now, what would you do?

Exactly what I’m doing. Being a dad, husband and building a platform to help people connect on a deeper level.

What music are you listening to these days?

H.E.R., Snoh Allegra, Jhene Aiko

What books made a difference in your life and why?

“The Truth” by Neil Strauss. Powerful book on relationships that advocates for opening up to others and revealing the difficult truths in your life no matter how harsh they might be.

What practises, rituals, or habits contribute to your creative work?

Biggest habit this year is a commitment to a new mindset. “Be Brave Enough to Suck at Something New” has been the mantra driving a new creative direction.

What was the best advice you were ever given?

Be as human as possible.

When you get stuck creatively, what is the first thing you do to get unstuck?

Call my brother Zain. He’s a creative genius that always offers a fresh and unique perspective.

What is the one question we haven’t asked that you want to answer?

“How did you meet your wife?” Lori is by far my queen of quality control. She sees everything, the good and the bad and tells it like it is.Eight years ago, I was asked to audition to Host ‘Bachelor Canada’. I thought “How hard could it be to remind people….heads up everyone, this is the final rose before someone ugly cries.” I auditioned and it came down to two potential hosts. I had to pre-negotiate the deal with the production company in case the decision went my way. Using a friend’s referral, I reached out for legal support and this led to an introduction to Lori. I told her what the potential contract would be and she told me “Sorry, I can’t help you, I’m the lawyer for the show.” Turns out, I didn’t get the gig, but hey I got my wife in the process. Who says you can’t find true love through ‘The Bachelor’?