Posted in: Charity, Cocktails, Events, Fundraising, Networking, Vancouver, Wine
This year, a La Dolce Vita theme was chosen to highlight the 11th annual event that raises funds to help support women in their journey to entrepreneurship.
A silent auction was held throughout the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel’s ballroom lobby while an accordionist entertained guests.
By 6 pm, the room was fully packed with women (and men) from all industries, mingling and networking over wine and canapés.
I had a few moments to sit inside the beautifully decorated ballroom with keynote speaker Alexis Maybank. Alexis started eBay Canada in 1999, leaving the US for one year to live in Toronto. She’s currently part of the Gilt Groupe duo, an online shopping site currently worth over $1 billion dollars with more than five million members. Together with fellow New York City mom Alexandra Wilkis Wilson, they started with a combined passion for sample sale shopping that’s led to an enormously popular “flash sale” e-commerce site. Gilt Groupe is now the go-to source for online fashion deals.
Alexis has a business background, and spent the 90’s in Silicon Valley, honing her e-commerce, product development, and marketing background. She’s all about creating online experiences.
As I spoke with Alexis, it dawned on me that even though last night was her first Canadian speaking engagement, she does as much as possible to support female entrepreneurs as a member of New York City’s FWE. She’s also involved with two organizations, Springboard Enterprises (on the Media/Tech Council), and Girls Who Code (on the Board of Directors), fostering high school girls to continue their tech/coding interests, even though “it’s not cool”.
And if that’s not time consuming enough, she’s recently been added to the Audubon Society’s board of directors.
We also bonded over our former beloved San Francisco neighbourhood, Noe Valley, and learned that we lived about four blocks away from one another (though at different time periods)! Alexis is an easy-going, soft-spoken woman who’s given a tremendous amount of her time and talent to several organizations throughout the States.
The evening continued with a delicious supper and live auction. Premier Christy Clark gave a speech at this year’s gala as well. Clark’s most memorable comment? “I believe that government should get out of the way of entrepreneurs like you”, with regard to Alexis Maybank. Alexis seemed to engage the Twitter crowd as well, proclaiming “It’s no longer OK to have a 30 second pitch. Find a way to get your message out in 5 to 10 seconds”.
As if 140 characters weren’t hard enough to formulate a brilliant thought.
The sold out gala saw over 500 attendees. That’s truly amore.
As a small design business, I get a healthy amount of resumes sent my way, whether from students, recent graduates, newly-transplanted folks from all corners of the globe, or someone trying to help me out by offering an extra talent.
This afternoon, I was sent the most ridiculous letter, and thought, why not share it with my readers? Depending on your mood, you might find it worth a chuckle. Maybe you’ve got an even “classier” letter to share. And yes, the subject of the message was “hello!”.
Ready or not, here it is:
I was thinking because your company hires employees and because I make a perfect employee, we would be a great match! I am skilled in all areas of design from print, drawing and illustration, character design, logos, branding, photo retouch and photography. When using typography I do not always gravitate towards Helvetica, amazing no? My strong suit has always been my outstanding communication, people and interpersonal skills. They are second to none. I am fun as well as professional and driven. I work well on my own or as a part of a team.
So, you need someone to work in your place of business and that fits perfectly with my background of working in a place of business! …And why would you want to hire me specifically? I love food, eating is a habit I’ve been developing since birth. I’ve also got loads of other bills and genuinely love being able to pay them! If I wasn’t working for you, I would spend all my free time on my computer designing and creating anyways so you see why this makes sense. You can see I am very motivated and will enjoy working for you immensely!
Please let me know where I may send you a copy of my enthusiastic resume. I would be more than happy to present my portfolio in person so I could walk you through my unique design process and explain the motivation and inspiration behind all my ideas!
…hire me… hire me…hire me…
Posted in: Charity, Cocktails, Events, Fundraising, Networking, Vancouver, Wine
By all accounts, last night’s Forum for Women Entrepreneurs Gala was an overwhelming success. Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the FWE holds the annual Gala in order to help local female entrepreneurs grow their businesses. This year’s theme was sparkle.
The event featured BC’s Premier, the Honourable Christy Clark, who gave opening remarks, as well as Eira Thomas (aka Queen of Diamonds), founder of Stornoway Diamonds. I was again invited to both the event’s pre-dinner VIP and guest receptions.
[Justine Brooks earrings for silent auction table]
A wealth of BC businesses stepped up to the plate, donating items for the silent auction. The FWE recognizes both community leaders who contribute to the organization’s success as well as its support of female entrepreneurs.
Held again at the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel, all 450 tickets were sold in a year that marks the non-profit organization’s decade in existence.
According to FWE Chair and Founder, Christina Anthony, “We couldn’t be more excited for this year’s Gala. Celebrating 10 years of helping women entrepreneurs, as well as the community leaders who have supported them, is significant. It’s quite an honour to acknowledge the many female entrepreneurs in Vancouver who have been through our programs and grown successful businesses as a result.”
“98% of business in BC is small business and 36% of businesses are owned by women.” Says Jill Earthy, FWE’s CEO. “Female entrepreneurs are a driving force in this economy and FWE brings the best and brightest together, to enhance connections, education and ultimately business growth.”
My friends at Facebox Media were also on hand to photograph guests at their on site photo booth. Always fun!
[The faces behind Facebox Media]
Here’s a look at the evening in photos. Additional FWE Sparkle Gala photos can be found here. Congratulations to the event team, board, and members of this vital organization on providing 10 years of support to local women entrepreneurs!
[blo dry bar services on site]
[Matthew Greenwood of SNAP Downtown Vancouver]
[L: George Moen of Blenz Coffee]
[R: Lunapad's Madeleine Shaw]
[FWE Gala's Caya gift bags were filled with great goodies and services.]
The 7th Annual Vancouver Women in Film Festival (VWIFF) is set to coincide with this year’s International Women’s Day on Thursday, March 8, and run through Sunday, March 11. All films screened at VWIFF are created by women in at least three of the key creative roles (one woman may serve in more than one role): Writer, Producer, Director, D.O.P., Lead Actor, Lead Animator/Editor, or Lead Composer.
Women behind the lens play a key role in the world of film, but still face challenges when it comes to receiving recognition. VWIFF helps to showcase talented women around the world through both film and industry events. The festival, presented by Women In Film and Television Vancouver (WIFTV), will showcase six feature films and more than 50 short films, made by both first time and seasoned women filmmakers.
Kicking things off with the Spotlight Awards Gala™ and the WIFTI short film showcase, three top BC filmmakers will be chosen to receive the Legacy Award, while the coveted Women in the Director’s Chair (WIDC) Feature Film Award will go to one outstanding filmmaker, who will pocket a prize of $120,000.
According to festival Director, Roslyn Muir, “The Vancouver Women in Film Festival and Women In Film and Television Vancouver programs are an integral part of the industry. Without our support, women filmmakers in Western Canada would not have the same filmmaking opportunities that exist today.” Muir continues, “Each year, our submissions and audience numbers continue to grow and, to me, that proves that there is a need to have women’s stories seen, heard and celebrated in the public arena.”
The festival short films and director highlights include: Mina Shum’s comedy ‘Hip Hip Mom‘, Rainmaker’s animated production ‘Luna‘ directed by Donna Brockopp, and MPPIA winner ‘Move Out Clean‘ by Kelly-Ruth Mercier.
Additionally, VWIFF will showcase the ‘Wise + Wild‘ Yukon shorts curated by filmmaker Lulu Keating, which includes festival award-winners such as ‘Time Lines’ by Suzanne Crocker, ‘Soft Spoken’ by Evan Rensch, and ‘Longest Dream’ by Kim Beggs, to name a few.
The festival’s feature-length highlights will include:
Desiree Lim’s horror ‘The House‘
Kaat Beels drama ‘Hotel Swooni‘
Amy Bohigian’s same-sex adoption documentary ‘Conceiving Family‘
Tracy D. Smith’s ‘Everything and Everyone‘, showcasing some of Vancouver’s premier talent
Film genres will include Comedy, Dance, Music, Hip-Hop and Art, Dramedy, Drama, Documentary, Environmental, French language, Foreign language, Gay/Lesbian, History, Horror, Human Rights/Social Issues, Latino, Romance, Magic Realism, Sci-fi, Spiritual, and Western.
In addition to the gala and screenings, a pre-festival launch party, Digital Media Masterclass (“Exploring Platform + Content”), pitching sessions receptions, and networking lunch will round out the three day festival.
Posted in: Business, Education, Events, Granville Island, Inspiration, Networking, Technology, Vancouver
Profit x Design is a conference aimed at creatives, educators, and managers involved in either the creation or commercialization of new products and services. The event will take place at Emily Carr University of Art + Design on Granville Island, February 24 and 25. Profit by Design aims to engage leading businesses with both top designers and investors across many innovative industries. Sounds like a fantastic networking opportunity!
Industry Canada and the Institute for Product Development will also unveil a report, entitled Product Design, Research and Development: A Canadian Manufacturing Perspective. Within this report, attendees will discover the metrics of design valuation (ROI), learn creative methods best practices, and take home the full impact of integrated creative approaches in the marketplace today.
Some of the highlights will include speakers from Bombardier, Lululemon, and Research in Motion. You’ll gain insight regarding behind-the-scenes competition, strategies, research, investment and market intelligence.
Celebrity Entrepreneur W. Brett Wilson, host of Risky Business TV and former Dragon’s Den panelist will present a networking lunch keynote sure to inspire discussion on Wilson’s diverse experience in innovation, business, entertainment and philanthropy.
“Creative-led innovation is today’s key driver for business success,“ according to Chris O’Brien Wheeler, President of Unique Industrial Design Inc. and the visionary behind Profit By Design.
“By convening design and business leaders in a series of interactive workshops and stimulating presentations, this event will give businesses the strategic models, thinking and know-how they need to drive innovation in their companies.”
Profit x Design
Venue: Emily Carr University of Art + Design, 1399 Johnston Street, Granville Island
Dates: February 24 and 25, 2012
Tickets: Register online