March 26, 2013

Saving the world with smaller feet

Tyler Nelson wants you to have less impact.

The St. James born and bred graduate of Red River College's Environmental Protection Technology course (2012) is fired up about people lowering the amount of waste they produce as well as the energy and resources they consume: their carbon footprints. Nelson says even as a child, protecting the environment was on his mind.

Continue reading at Red River College's Going Places blog

March 20, 2013

Creative gifts

When is the last time you had trouble finding a jaw-drop-warm-heart-high-pitch-squeaky gift for your special someone? The kind of thoughtful gift that shows you care.

The last time you had to get a present, amirite?

I don't know what kind of treat you're looking for, but I do know a wellspring of local creativity you can hit up to up your chances of finding the perfect present: my classmates. A number of second year Creative Communications students have their fruits of the labour up for sale after the independent professional project presentations. In no particular order, check out.

Impressions - A Young Professional's Survival Guide to Business Dress & Etiquette by Sydnie Payne

Have a friend heading off into the workforce with no clue how to dress for the office. Sydnie will guide them through what to wear with hardly any payne. (See what I did there? I bet you've never heard that joke before, Syd.)

Wolseley Stories

Cyclist, granola cruncher, awesome communicator and author Laina Hughes has collected tales from one of Winnipeg's most storied communities. From the amusement park that used to fill the neighbourhood to women defending an ancient tree, it's a great look into what turns a street into a home.

Penetrator: Extended Play

Hair metal didn't die. Hair metal will never die. (Guitar drops from ceiling.)

Fauves | West

Haunter lead singer Matt Williams has released a concept EP, with each song following a woman's journey to cities across western Canada. Bonus: a portion of each purchase will go to the West Central Women's Resource Centre.

Northfield: Poems for Cigarettes

Guitarist Mark Schram, bassist Steve Kesselman and poet Steve Currie weave tremendous work of pain and beauty. Warning - this music will break your heart.

Late Bloomers

Kristy Hoffman's collections of stories gathered from the trials of female adolescences was the most provocative content of the IPPPs. And she earned every bit of it. Check out the launch of her book on April 3 at McNally Robinson.

Lazer Beam Love Box

A graphic novel about a girl who can shoot lazers from between her legs. Brilliant, but what less would you expect from CreComm's Courtney Brecht (aka Coco Moloko).

Threads of Hope

Jackie Doming created a line of urban clothing (as well as a marathon of events) to raise money for the Children's Wish Foundation. Maybe you missed the concert and bake sales, but you can still grab some of her stellar clothing (I have the t-shirt, I know whence I speak).


There are more projects just crossing the line to the point where you can pick up you copy. Plus, many of the final products are completely free and online. Check out the IPPP blog to see them all.


Creative Communications is rapidly wrapping and I'm pounding the pavement for work, If it interests you, surf on over to my online professional portfolio and check out what two years of shenanigans will produce.

When I look back on what I've accomplished, I'm deeply grateful — for the opportunity, for the company I've kept and for the supporting friends and family who got me in (and through) the program.

If there's something good in this work, it's all your fault.

Thank you.

PS: The site is a work in progress. Any feedback you have is appreciated.

March 16, 2013

Partner shot in the face

Tomorrow is the 1001 Donations Telethon at the Winnipeg Humane Society. I'm co-executive producing the day, so I've had a sneak peak at some of the deeply moving stories that will be on Shaw from 11am to 8pm.

Stories such as Partner's recovery from being shot in the face.

I've seen this story a few times and it still chokes me up. Producing this telethon, I thought I would come away from each story and visit to the WHS depressed. And while there have been moments of anger and darkness, I've never walked away feeling defeated thanks to the passionate staff and volunteers.

And the resiliency of animals who refuse to hold grudges.

Tune in. Make a donation if you can. Thanks.

March 14, 2013

Readin' Writin' and Representin'


On a certain someone's insistence, I read five pages of fiction before going to bed the other day, rather than my usual nightcap of Twitter and blog posts. Holy glob, did I find out how much I miss reading for pleasure. Soon my beloved novels, novellas, poems and essays, soon we'll be reunited and spend the day lying in bed.
(And if you haven't read the Piano Man's Daughter, fix that situation. That Canada produced an author like Timothy Findley alone makes it a great country).


Deadlines may gang up on me, but there's a deep deep pleasure in doing the freelance journalism/writing beat - mostly because I get to bring attention to notable things and people in my community. The recent wordsmithing includes...

Artist Jordan Miller sells work to the province
Dropping revenue prompts Winnipeg Film Group to consider relocation


Tomorrow morning I'm giving my final report on Heartbeat at the Winnipeg Convention Centre as part of the 2013 CreComm Independent Professional Project Presentations. The first two days have been stellar and my classmates have raised the bar (curse them). I'm on at 9am. You can watch it live, since the technical gurus of are streaming it here.

March 9, 2013

Update from the front / MTYP Board Chair interview

In CreComm land, the four nations (Public Relations, Advertising, Journalism and Media Production) are hustling toward major project presentations at the Winnipeg Convention Centre this coming week. You're very welcome to attend and see some absolutely outstanding work from up-and-coming communicators — from tea parties that raised $30K for eating disorders to documentaries on beer league hockey to silly little radio shows.

The public relations and advertising majors just finished their alchemical experiments, combining their two disciplines to produce three dynamite integrated marketing campaigns for FriendMatch, a platonic friendship-making site. Thanks to my teammates — particularly Jaclyn Leskiw, for being the perfect team co-leader. Employers take note, she's an advertising triptych (knows what to say, who to say it to and why she's saying it).

Here's a wee taste of FriendMatch: The World is Friendlier than you Think.

While cobbling together these campaigns, the public relations majors have also been practicing hostile/aggressive media interviews (with Melanie Lee Lockhart bringin' the heat).

My friends in journalism grumble every now and then about "being handled" by PR people — getting explanations and redirections instead of juicy, controversial remarks. The flip side is, of course, aggressive, sensationalism-seeking journalists who've only had five minutes prep to grapple with complex, long-standing and often confidential issues.

As a freelance arts writer and a public relations major, I have a foot in both camps, so it's a fun discussion. Especially when worlds collide and a beloved member of my theatre community is "released" from the theatre she founded 30 years ago.

Here's the CBC Information Radio interview with Manitoba Theatre for Young People's Board Chair Gloria Koop after Artistic Director Leslee Silverman's contract was not renewed amid ongoing financial struggles.

Let's agree this isn't really a hostile interview. (Not like some of the take-no-prisoners flayings you can find online.) The questions are reasonable, the tone is polite. Marcy Markusa asks the questions Ms. Koop's audiences and key stakeholders must be asking.

Remembering there is a legal obligation to maintain confidentiality on some issues (and pretend you're neutral... which is hard...), you decide if the interview went well.

I'll see you in media training.

March 2, 2013

Building Red River College

I just snuck out for lunch the other day at the Paterson GlobalFoods Institute - Red River College's latest downtown campus and a testament to the stellar results Winnipeg can hit when institutions, governments and businesses do a proper restoration.

The two guys above? They made it happen. You can read the profiles of Glenn Garbett (Project Manager) and Chris Sousa (Site Supervisor) over at Red River College's Going Places blog.