Next Vancouver speaker

TJ Dawe

More info

September 6, 8:30am • SFU Woodward's — Goldcorp Centre for the Arts • part of a series on Muse

← Load previous

Our speaker for January is Elaine Carol, an artist, writer, solo performance artist, theatre and film director whose work has been seen and heard internationally.  Born, raised and educated in Montreal, she has made her home in Vancouver for the past 18 years.

In 2000, Elaine Carol co-founded Miscellaneous Productions with a group of activist queers and women of colour in East Vancouver.  She has been the Artistic Director since that time. 

Elaine is a senior professional interdisciplinary artist with more than forty years of experience in the arts.  Her community-engaged practice includes: solo performance art, video art, documentary film, experimental theatre, public art, sound art/music, hip hop music and dance, and lens-based art (photography, film and video). 

As the “benevolent drill sergeant” of Miscellaneous Productions, Elaine Carol has directed, produced and co-wrote numerous ground breaking and innovative community-engaged productions in Vancouver and area with multi-barriered and mainstream youth, women, GLBTIQ youth, GLBTIQ migrants and Indigenous adults, refugees, immigrants and Indigenous adults, culturally and socially diverse inner-city youth and children. 

Elaine’s approach to community-engaged practice is based on the principle of nurturing long-term relationships. Her long-standing and sustained commitment to create community-engaged art with multi-barriered youth has made Elaine a community art pioneer in Vancouver.

Using this long-term, community-engaged artistic model, Ms. Carol and her company focus on creation and production of large-scale, original interdisciplinary, hip hop and World musical performances and documentaries in collaboration with a team of professional artists and culturally and socially diverse youth in East Vancouver and throughout BC.

Emerging multidisciplinary artist Rachael Ashe talks a little about what the audience can expect to see, hear and learn about creativity and the global theme “make” at our Dec 6 event sponsored by Hemlock Printers.

Tickets registration begins at 11am on Mon, Dec 2. Due to popularity causing tickets to sell out too quickly, we use our waitlist as a registration system from which we distribute tickets using a lottery system. Lucky ticket winners will be informed by email by end of day Wed, Dec 4.

If you cannot use your ticket, please inform us ASAP so we can allocate the ticket to individuals on waitlist. Remaining applicants will remain on the waitlist and informed if a ticket becomes available. Anyone who hasn’t checked in by 8:45am on morning of the event forfeits their tickets.


Our october talk featured entrepreneur and two-time Emmy nominee Mike Tippett, who explored the meaning of bravery and how we can be more brave in our everyday lives.

Musician and writer Shaun Huberts tackles the theme of play by engaging the audience in a live video experiment. He examines the definition of play and questions why it is something adults avoid and view as juvenile. Looking at the various forms play can take, Huberts reveals the role and value of play and a key underlying aspect of creative collaboration. He also argues that we must learn to embed failure into play as it leads to breakthrough, success and ultimately joy. Huberts encourages all of us to play and release our creativity to the world through play and let others respond and be inspired by it.

"Synapses and Synecdoches" will be an exploration of the intensely personal biographical and biological connections that prove that you can make a living out of channeling neuroses. "Synapses" will examine how the connections in his brain don’t quite work properly and how events in his life have connected in a way that lead him to this point, which "Synecdoches" will explore metaphor and wit (the connection of ideas) in creativity and how Clark strives to create that in the work he does.

Our speaker for December is Rachael Ashe, a Vancouver-based visual artist who works in paper cutting, mixed media altered books, and photography.

As an emerging multidisciplinary artist, Rachael began her career as a graduate of the Creative Photography program at Humber College. For sixteen years she focused solely on film photography, as well as exploring alternative photo printing processes, and specializing in portraiture and toy cameras.

Over the past five years her artistic practice has evolved away from photography and on to paper-based work. She is self-taught in altered book sculpture, paper cutting, and paper engineering. Rachael has a self-directed artistic practice and is centred on process driven work. She believes in learning by doing and is constantly experimenting to push the boundaries of her abilities and potential as an artist.

Recent commissions include creating artwork for Vancity Credit Union, as well as a paper engineering project commissioned by Giant Ant studio of ten full-sized musical instruments for a music video shoot. She has also created paper-based public art installations for events such as Container Art Vancouver, Creative Mix, and the Illuminares Lantern Festival. Her mixed media yarn mural installations grace the walls of numerous private residences and office spaces in Vancouver and Seattle.

She participates in the creative community by taking part in events such as the Vancouver Mini Maker Faire, Got Craft, Word on the Street, and the Eastside Culture Crawl. Rachael is currently on the board of Maker Foundation, and is a volunteer with Creative Mornings. She also curates Hot Talks, a monthly speaker series at Hot Art Wet City gallery in Vancouver.

Rachael has exhibited in Toronto, Vancouver, Salt Lake City, Los Angeles, Portland, San Francisco, Florida and the UK, as well as been published in numerous books and magazines. Her work is held in private collections across Canada and the US. She works from a home studio in East Van.

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

MT: I define creativity as an innate ability all human beings have, it’s just some of us are more tapped into this ability than others. At its core concept, creativity involves keeping an open mind to possibilities. I apply this to my career by constantly experimenting and evolving the work I create as an artist.

CMV: Where do you find your best creative inspiration?

MT: I can find creative inspiration anywhere. Sometimes it comes from the materials I choose to make a piece of art, especially since I work through a spontaneous process. I often get inspired by plants, trees, leaves, and all sorts of natural objects I come across in my wanderings outside. I also get inspired by my interactions with other artists, by seeing their work, discussing each others ideas, or even sharing new materials or process.

CMV: What’s the one creative advice or tip you wish you’d known as a young person?

MT: As a young person I wish I’d had more confidence in my natural abilities and wasn’t so quick to put limitations on myself. I spent many years thinking I could only be a photographer, and stopped cultivating my abilities to draw and paint in order to do so. It’s taken me a long time to come back around to the idea I can create art in any medium I choose to.

CMV: Who would you like to hear speak at CreativeMornings?

MT: I’d love to hear Marian Bantjes, Barbara Cole, and Kim Werker.

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

MT: When I am stuck creatively I often step away from what I am working on and either go for a walk or meeting up with a friend and discuss the problem. Sometimes stepping away brings the solution to the problem, while other times it helps to talk things through with another person.

CMV: If you had fifteen extra minutes each day, what would you do with them?

MT: If I had fifteen extra minutes a day it’s a toss up between using them for napping, or reading.

Musician/author Shaun Huberts encourages play, collaboration and failure :: Design Edge Canada:

VANCOUVER - At last Friday’s CreativeMornings/Vancouver, musician and writer Shaun Huberts tackled the global CreativeMornings theme of play for the month of October.

As well as touring for the past 10 years with a number of rock and indie bands, including Tegan and Sara, Huberts wrote a book titled How to Pack Like a Rockstar which offers a new way to organize a suitcase—using a file folder concept rather than traditional stacking.

Considering the theme of play, having a bass-player as the speaker seemed natural, obvious. But instead of talking about playing music, Huberts talked about other forms of play—outlets for creativity that are unrelated to what you do as your profession.

Displaying a dictionary definition of play: “Engage in activity for enjoyment and recreation rather than a serious or practical purpose., esp. by children” it is the “by children” part that caught his attention. “Why are children better at that than us?” asked Huberts.

When in our lives do we decide we can’t play anymore? For Huberts, it was when he was 13 years old. He recalled phoning a friend who was one year older than him (which meant he was in high school now) and asked him if we wanted to come over and play. And then he thought, “I can’t ask someone to play!” thinking it was too juvenile.

Huberts believes there is “a common thread in all of us in our need and desire to play.” He went on to say that play is not dead for adults; it merely takes different forms.

He suggests that creative collaboration is a form of play, and it’s one way that adults can achieve joy as well as use it to achieve success in their work.

Huberts went on to explain that a lot of famous intellectuals were huge proponents of collaboration. Einstein is often pictured alone and gets all the credit for being a genius, but he actually had a team of 100 collaborators including Niels Bohr working with him all the time. Picasso collaborated with Georges Braque to develop Cubism; they saw each other every day for a period of time and would sign the back of each other’s paintings. Einstein himself said, “Play is the highest form of research.”

Ending his presentation, Huberts encouraged the audience to play, and as part of that, to fail, saying that everyone sees things differently. Release what you’ve created through play to the world and they may respond well to it and be inspired by it, even if you don’t like it.

Our speaker for November is Mike Tippet, a two time Emmy nominee and successful entrepreneur for almost two decades. Tippett is recognized an as international expert on early stage business innovation and emerging media models. He is currently the CEO at Ayoudo.

As a speaker, he has presented through out Europe, Asia and North America. In 2011 he served as the first Executive Director at GrowLab, an technology start up accelerator in Vancouver. He manages the Made in Vancouver startup directory, is on the Provincial Steering Committee for Startup Canada also donates his time to run Vancouver’s Startup Weekend.

In 1995, Tippett founded The WebPool Syndicate, one of Canada’s first Internet companies. The company was sold and became part of of Telus.

After the success of the WebPool venture, Tippett worked in New York when he was recruited by to advise on acquisitions and marketing strategy prior to The Company going public. Theglobe became one of the most trafficked websites in the world (#20 according to Comscore).

Tippett then joined as one of the first employees, to run The Company’s marketing. Within 18 months The Company had been sold to where Tippett became the General Manager.

In 2005, Tippett co-founded NowPublic. The company has been named one of the top five most useful new sites on the web by The Guardian and Time magazine named it one of the Top 50 Websites for 2007. The Company was sold in 2009 to The Anschutz Corporation in Colorado.

Tippett is a member of the University of British Columbia’s Continuing Studies Advisory Board as well as the School of Journalism Advisory Board as well as the UBC Digital Strategy Advisory Committee. He is also on the Professional Communication Program’s Advisory Committee at Capilano University. He is also a board member of CABINET, a Vancouver-based arts organization.

Tippett is also involved in the visual arts. In 2004 he collaborated with Kate Armstrong to produce Grafik Dynamo, a net art piece that loads live images from blogs and news sources on the web into a live action comic strip. Grafik Dynamo was a commission of Turbulence, made possible with funding from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. The piece is now included in the Rose Goldsen Archive of New Media Art — curated by Timothy Murray — in the Division of Rare and Special Collections at Cornell University.

Tippett graduated from Queen’s University with a degree in Philosophy. He and Kate Armstrong were married in the middle of the Nevada desert next to Double Negative.

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

MT: The key attribute of creativity is originality. In good art schools you learn how to spot and avoid cliches and conventionality but this kind of thinking is critical in inventing new businesses. If there’s a playbook then it’s not new. You need to change the game to win the game.

CMV: Where do you find your best creative inspiration?

MT: Virtually every good idea I’ve had, has occurred to me while running in the woods. I always run with a notepad.

CMV: What’s the one creative advice or tip you wish you’d known as a young person?

MT: The building blocks of a good idea are analysis and synthesis. Breaking things apart or combining them in new ways always builds a deeper understanding and can provide the perspective to see new landscapes. But it’s not sufficient. You need to infuse this thinking with a deep, personal and emotional attachment to have an impact.

CMV: Who would you like to hear speak at CreativeMornings?

MT: Donato Mancini. Hank Bull of The Western Front.

CMV: What keeps you awake at night?

MT: The plight of the oceans. It terrifies me that we may not know how bad things are out there.

CMV: What was the best advice you were ever given?

MT: There’s the story about the Cherokee Indian who told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. He said, ‘My son, the battle is between two ‘wolves’ inside us all.One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other is good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.’

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: ‘Which wolf wins?’

The old Cherokee simply replied, ‘The one you feed.’