Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

Raves & Reviews

Thursday, November 18th, 2010

A Post-it Note from the giant sticky comment wall at CREATIVEMIX 2010

The reviews are in. Here’s what people had to say about their experience at CREATIVEMIX 2010:

“CREATIVEMIX is a great place to network, get inspired and tap into the creative community in Vancouver. We had a blast and are already looking forward to next year.” – Christa LeCraw, VanArts

“Creative inspiration! It’s mishmash of fresh ideas and perspectives, good ol’ fashioned creative fun.” - Kim McMullen, Flipside Creative

“It was a well planned event that had good energy within a casual atmosphere. There were lots of people interested in what was actually happening and what people had to say rather than just passing out cards to try to make their own thing happen; people seemed to understand that sometimes it’s nice to make something new together.” – Steve Wright, Sound and Music Workshops

“Very inspirational! A great way to meet a diverse collection of people from a variety of backgrounds with common interests and inspirations. Definitely a good place to be. We need more of them – how about two or three a year?” – Sushant Sound, MetroLeap Media

“I found CREATIVEMIX a fresh approach for people who do creative work. By bringing in people of different artistic/creative disciplines it’s a great way to hear about and learn about how others work. Stimulating!” - John McLachlan

“Very interactive and the presentations give people a new perspective on ways to view and interpret new and different ideas. The speakers do a fantastic job of putting the audience in their shoes and describing how they use their creativity to achieve success in specific industries. Makes you think. Inspiring. Enough said.” – Kira Campbell

“CREATIVEMIX is innovative and unique in the way we’re encouraged to share and collaborate with other creatives and bring everybody to the same level. There is no “I’m at the top of my class and I am speaking down to you, because I know it all”. The environment is very open and driven towards personal as well as community success. I came away inspired, excited, ready to create and collaborate!” – Sharon Barnes

Ah, gee. Thanks everyone! Stay tuned for 2011 details! -Corwin & Eileen

More Post-Event Buzz

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

VanArts blogs about their experience in the CREATIVEEX:

Blog post from the peeps behind “The Tree of [Un]common Knowledge”:

Post Event Buzz

Monday, November 8th, 2010

The 2010 conference was a huge success! Want to see what all the buzz was about? Take a look:


CREATIVEMIX 2010 – Event Day from CREATIVEMIX on Vimeo.

Flickr Set (by Jeremy Lim):

VanArts CREATIVEEX Display – Stop Motion Clip:

Stop-Motion Jam @ Creative Mix 2010 from VanArts on Vimeo.

Mighty Ugly CREATIVEEX Display – Time lapse:

Sharon Barnes Blog Post:

Leah Gregg Blog Post:

Be Inspired – Get the TED iPad App

Friday, October 15th, 2010

Oh man! Am I so freakin’ excited! TED released the new TED iPad app yesterday and in short, my review is: AWESOME!. Last night I took some time to dive into this amazingly simple and beautiful app – it’s the most exciting app I’ve had in months (I needed something to knock Angry Birds off its pedestal). It delivers all those super cool TEDTalk videos in a slick and simple user interface. Thel iPad-only features for exploring, saving and watching make for a much improved experience from their website – if that’s possible.

I love the catalog of 800 TEDTalks. I love the time-centric custom play list. My fav is the “Inspire Me” light bulb in the lower-left corner which reveals videos by category. The app is free and can be downloaded through the App Store in iTunes. Best video watching experience on my iPad yet!

Posted by: Corwin Hiebert

Shot of Inspiration & a Kick in the…

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

Here’s a video and a book that have inspired me this week:

TEDTalk – How Great Leaders Inspire Action by Simon Sinek
Simon Sinek has a simple but powerful model for inspirational leadership all starting with a golden circle and the question “Why?” His examples include Apple, Martin Luther King, and the Wright brothers.

Ignore Everybody And 39 Other Keys to CreativityIgnore Everybody
I’m not sure what I can say that hasn’t already been said about MacLeod’s latest book Ignore Everybody And 39 Other Keys to Creativity (mostly because it came out awhile ago and I just read it now). If you’ve read it I’d love to hear from you. I also really loved his other book which I did a short blog post on last year (I seem to be a year behind – lame eh?):

First off, I have to say that this book is a must-read for anyone who wants to, or already does, make a living through idea making or has a creative pursuit of any kind. I’m serious.

Secondly, here’s a few highlights that really stood out to me:

  • #2 – The idea doesn’t have to be big. It just has to be yours. As creative people we strive to birth something that is unique but we so often fall into the trap of trying to come up with something EPIC. Or, we think it’s epic and are disappointed when those around us aren’t blown away by our inspired idea. Don’t focus on the magnitude, focus on the authenticity of your ideas.
  • #3 – Put the hours in. Yeah – it’s no secret, work hard at something you love and it ‘might’ pay off because what other choice do you have? Work hard, work harder, work till you drop so that when barriers pop up you’ll know that it’s not from a lack of trying. Don’t leave anything on the table, especially time.
  • #8 – Keep your day job. No poop Sherlock. Oh wait, that’s a good point. If you put in major time on the side you’ll have a much better idea of what it would be like to turn your passion into your job. If the goal is to create then don’t add pressure on yourself to pay the bills with your creation unless you have to OR it’s built up in such a way that it’s viable. Maybe just don’t take your day job to seriously.
  • #10 – Companies that squelch creativity can no longer compete with companies that champion creativity. I’m not really qualified to speak to this one (I’m in sole proprietor land) but I think we’re seeing a major shift in corporate culture: there are companies that foster creativity and those who have training manuals and productivity seminars. If you’re at a job that embraces individuality and personal workflow then count your luck stars. If you’re a leader in a company be sure to celebrate those hard working peeps with the opportunity to contribute to the company without suffocating them with unnecessary processes and conference calls.
  • #28 – The best way to get approval is to not need it. Good ideas aren’t always liked by everyone. Be confident. Repeat after me: “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough, and dog-on-it I don’t care if people like my idea”.

Ignore Everybody And 39 Other Keys to Creativity is a really quick read but don’t let that fool you – it’s packed with groovy moments that will give you a lifetime of ass kickin’.

Posted by: Corwin Hiebert

My Moleskine – A Tool for Creativity

Friday, March 26th, 2010

If you’re looking for an update on CREATIVEMIX – sorry; you’ll have to wait a bit longer. For now, I thought I’d rant on something totally useless.

I carry a notebook around with me EVERYWHERE. I’ve forgotten my wallet, my keys, my cell phone, but I’ve never forgotten my notebook. It’s not a journal, it’s a notebook. I write things of a more personal nature from time to time but really I treat my notebook more like an Etch a Sketch. I don’t take it to seriously. I use it for brainstorming sessions, business planning, checklist making, remembering measurements for the next Ikea run, drawing useless diagrams, taking minutes, and rambling about stuff I’ll never read again. Oh, and I always scribble, no penmanship here.

I use a Moleskine. Without my Moleskine I would feel lost. I can’t believe I’ve only used them for just a few years. It wasn’t that long ago that I knew nothing of Moleskine. Sure I had used journals and booklets in the past but they varied in size, durability, quality, and style. It was David duChemin that showed me the light. Nearly every time we got together for coffee or a pint he would arrive before me and he’d be writing in his Moleskine until I got there (he’s a regular-notebook guy, he thinks the reporter style is stupid). When I’d walk up to the table he’d look at me, smile, say hi, and close his notebook. He’d close it! Like as if he was hiding CIA secrets or something. Can’t I see his creative musings? Why can’t I see what he’s writing? Eventually I had to do what he was doing just so I could return the Moleskine snobbery and snap it shut when he walked up to me. Ha! In your face photog boy. So, that one single act of revenge has turned into an obsession. Now, I could care less what David or anyone else is writing in their notebooks, I’ve got mine and mine is better.

My style is the Moleskine Ruled Reporter Notebook. I’m already a messy writer and so I need the lines, without lines it’s chaos (and not in a good way). The flip-style, though some find it to police-like, is perfect because I don’t have to deal with that horrible seam and I like the amount of vertical real estate for those ideas that belong together (turning a page can kill the flow, I think).

I like to think of my Moleskine as a tool for my creativity because it’s a safe place for me to work stuff out. Bad ideas take comfort with other bad ideas and once they’re on paper I can move on. The good ideas flourish when I jot them down because I often flip through old pages and I love seeing the journey of something that inspires me. The reality is I spend to much time on my computer and a little pen+paper action is always a good idea. Besides, I don’t have that many good ideas, if I don’t write them down I’m screwed!

Here’s my take on a few rules to live by when it comes to being the proud owner of a Moleskine:

  • Always buy two Moleskines at a time so that you never run out
  • Always buy the same format so that they look cool stacked up next to each other
  • Write messy on the first page because you know where this is going so don’t even try to be careful – consider starting with a stupid checklist or a diagram of your living room (3D cubes with shadows are a good standby)
  • Never start a new Moleskine until you’ve finished the other one (skipping to the end, writing really big, or tearing out pages doesn’t count)
  • Don’t start a new page when you have a new idea, just keep writing, blank space is bad
  • Always use the same pen; like my Father-in-law Hugh Rothe, I prefer the Zebra F-301 (it’s an inexpensive pen that never fails and lasts forever)
  • When in awkward social settings flip through the pages to appear focused on an important task or give the impression that you’re writing something profound
  • If you are meeting with someone who also has a Moleskine ask to see what’s in the expandable inner pocket – you know you want to (it’s a “I’ll show you mine if you show yours” kinda thing)
  • Take pride in the fact that it’s the legendary notebook of Hemingway and Picasso

Newly added rules (inspired by David duChemin):

  • Pre-crease each page to ensure a non-stick environment
  • Manhandle bookmark ribbon (if applicable) because a flat, stiff piece of string is just lame
  • Stick it in your back pocket for a minimum of 1 week, if it’s still not broken in… repeat

Posted by Corwin Hiebert

The Reviews Are In

Friday, November 27th, 2009

Here’s what people had to say about their experience at CREATIVEMIX 2009:

“This was a day of mind-expanding learning experiences. I’m glad I came. Thanks!” – Mary Mahon Jones

“Working in a creative field is one thing, but learning how to connect with other creative people in other fields and getting to broaden your experiences in an overall creative community is something quite spectacular.” – Ewan Johnstone

“It is a collaboration for generating and indulging in new ideas! It is a way to connect yourself to your creative passion and with others who share it.” – Cecilia Daude

“CREATIVEMIX was an awesome mish-mash of creatives from all over Vancouver doing all sorts of things that you wouldn’t expect you could make a living doing. I got so much inspiration and I loved the approach that was taken.” – Colleen Keith

“We attended CREATIVEMIX for some “inspirational disruption” and were happy we did! It was a great reminder that as creative professionals we’re part of a vital, interesting community, and that it’s important to not only stay connected with this community, but indeed reach out to foster new relationships.” – Ryan Thompson

“Vancouver has been starved for this kind of conference that happens here and is about here. We need to stop identifying ourselves just with our amazing geography and start sharing how the creative mix of people are truly this city’s killer app.” – Darren Roberts

“The quality of speakers was impressive, the topics engaging, the organization outstanding, and registrants were taken care of at every turn. From the flowers to the fruit to the lounge, it was like you were at a friend’s house. Everything was comfortable, well thought out, and my brain is still processing the plethora of images and information. I am definitely looking forward to next year’s conference.” – Carol Fergusson

Kuba Oms @ MIX Lounge

Friday, October 16th, 2009


Olympic dreams turned to music . . .

Since writing my blog post about Ben Sigston, I have discovered something new about the guy. It turns out that he was a Canadian National Team cyclist (with a World Cup win!) and the recipient of a US college scholarship – how crazy is that?! And not only that, but this is something he has in common with another great music performer at CREATIVEMIX . . . Kuba Oms.

Kuba was an accomplished tennis player who also had a scholarship dangling before him – but he too opted for a life of music. And lucky for us they did! He and Sigston are both finalists in the Peak Performance Project (check it out here: and their success in this venture depends on your votes so go cast yours today!

More About Kuba

As the long-time musical director of the live house jam band Velvet, Kuba has taken a contemporary approach to his own project that could be likened to a cross between Jamiroquai, Paolo Nutini, David Gray and Ben Harper.

Born in Victoria to a Scottish mother and Indian father, Kuba is a third generation Canadian. As a kid, his parents held bible studies every Thursday evening, which ended in huge sing-along jams with his dad and uncle hosting on acoustic guitars. “This was when I’d come into the room,” he remembers. “I’d sit cross legged and just listen.” He started at age 15 by singing covers at school and around bonfires. His first original band, Out Of Nowhere, built quite a following in the west coast with its influence of rock from the ‘60s and ‘70s, such as Led Zeppelin and the Rolling Stones.

To hone his chops, he started a cover band called Souled Out that became really big in B.C. with renditions of old soul classics from the likes of Marvin Gaye, Otis Redding, and Stevie Wonder. “That’s how I really learned how to sing,” says Kuba. “Covering those songs was quite challenging.

I had the privilege of seeing Kuba perform at the Railway Club a couple of weeks back and the place was packed. The crowd was completely into it and didn’t stop dancing for the entire set – and neither did Kuba!

Kuba will perform in the MIX Lounge on Thursday, Oct.22 at 12:30pm. Don’t forget that exhibition-only passes are FREE if you register online here: ($10 at the door).

Check it Out

Both Kuba & Sigston have just released new recordings. Check them out here:

Posted by: Eileen Rothe

Creative Filmfest

Thursday, October 15th, 2009

With the Vancouver International Film Festival coming to a close this Friday, you might mistakenly think that the cool screenings have come to an end, that you didn’t get your fill, or that you missed your chance completely. Fear not. The CREATIVEMIX Exhibition includes a mini theater where we’ll show short films by local directors. Exhibition-only tickets are FREE (if you sign-up online by October 21st) so there’s no reason to miss out. Learn more about our short film showcase here.

Here’s are two films that we are excited to include, both of which have been screened at the VIFF:


This short film is written and directed by Alan Miller. It’s based on a short story by Saki (AKA H.H. Munro) called “Sredni Vashtar.” The film is a darkly comic tale about a young boy who uses his imagination to fight the oppressive rule of his uptight guardian, Miss Anthrop, and is Miller’s “first” film. The quotations mean that the line between being a filmmaker and being an aspiring filmmaker is getting pretty blurry these days. If you want to get really technical about it, he’s been making films ever since middle school when he got his hands on the school’s first mac. But “Conrad the Wise” is a bit different in that he had, for the first time, the aid of a crew. And a budget. And a script. Ah… the sweet joy of funded collaboration.

In true CREATIVEMIX form, this film is the result of the contributions of people from all over the Vancouver film industry; from old pros, to film students, and one very talented kid. Miller managed to get the thing done without paying full price for anything, and without making too many enemies (as far as he knows…). The short of it is: it’s a tale of imagination, revenge, and hot buttery toast. You’ll love it.


Allison Beda, writer and director, calls a spade a spade with this witty and masterfully edited short about the rise and demise of a long-distance relationship played out over a game of tennis. What better way to answer the ultimate question, “Why is it called love if I’m losing?” than through–yep, that’s right–poetic tennis and dance. Brilliant.

Beda (Tea Party, How To Be A Model) worked with producer Stephanie Symns (ControlAltDelete) on this project. It was choreographed by Claire French (artist in residence Leeds University UK 2006-2007), scored by Leo award winning composer Teresa Connors (Dog Boy, How To Be A Model) and photographed by cinematographer James Liston (ControlAltDelete). The film features dancers Delia Brett and Daelik (who are the dance company Machine Noisy) and the voice-over was performed by recording artist Adrienne Pierce (songs from her album Faultline have been featured on The L Word, Veronica Mars and Grey’s Anatomy).

Ben Sigston @ MIX Lounge

Wednesday, October 14th, 2009


What do good coffee, local radio, and live music have in common? Oh come on people!

So if you haven’t heard yet, our CREATIVEMIX Exhibition includes the Mix Lounge, where you can enjoy some good coffee . . . we’ve told you about the coffee . . . and meet some new peeps. But what we haven’t told you is that you’ll also get to experience live performances by some amazing local talent.

For those of you who are tuned in to the newest and coolest local station here in Vancouver, 100.5 The PEAK, you will have heard of a little thing called the “PEAK Performance Project.” This is a seven-year, $5.29 million contest open to all musicians in BC, and was created by 100.5 The PEAK and Music BC to develop BC based emerging artists. To say the least, they hit the mother load right off the bat and we are ecstatic to have two of the finalists performing at CREATIVEMIX this year. Let me start with Ben Sigston.

Ben is one of those rare artists who can capture an audience’s attention with only a piano or acoustic guitar. He crafts melodic gems that work as well stripped down as they do produced with a full band. His early works, filled with bright, tasteful piano playing, weeping Beatle-esque guitar lines and instantly memorable vocal melodies, found instant success with numerous placements in both TV and film. A 2007 development deal with Warner Music put Sigston into contact with producer Warne Livesey (Midnight Oil, Matthew Good). The two discovered that they shared a common musical vision and enjoyed collaborating, and so decided to work together to record Ben’s first EP “Free Now.” It is Sigston’s unique ability to marry the abstract with the well-crafted pop song that makes him such a unique addition to the current crop of singer/songwriters.

Not to mention he goes great with an Americano. Mmmmmmm!

Ben will perform in the MIX Lounge on Thursday, Oct.22 at 10:30am and exhibition-only passes are $10 (but they’re FREE if you register online here.

Posted by: Eileen Rothe

How to be Creative (by Hugh MacLeod)

Monday, August 31st, 2009

change_this_be_creativeLooking for some help? Need to crank out an idea or develop a creative venture? Checkout ChangeThis, an online hub with one mission: to challenge the way important ideas are created and spread. It’s where you can find Hugh MacLeod’s “How to be Creative” manifesto. He’s offered up 26 tried-and-true tips for being truly creative (just download the PDF). MacLeod highlights the value of authenticity and hard work, and reveals the challenges and rewards of being creative. It’s the perfect remedy for jump-starting an idea, working out a concept, and flushing out the details.

More About the Author
Hugh MacLeod is a brand consultant, copywriter and cartoonist. Born in America but educated in the UK, he has spent most of his life shuttling between the two countries. He started out in straight TV advertising writing in the early 90s but with the advent of new media it evolved into new brand thinking and cultural transformation. His website,, is widely read in the blogosphere.

Calling All Tribes

Thursday, August 6th, 2009

tribesHave you read Tribes by Seth Godin? I just finished this bite-sized book, my first by Godin, and though I’m not all that keen on the writing style (a bit too blog-ish) I do feel it was time well spent. I love to read and sometimes when things are busier than normal it’s nice to have a light book that can spark ideas, drum up good feelings, and give a little positive reinforcement along the way; Tribes did this for me.

Since starting my own event production company I’ve never been busier than this past month (Camp Moomba Yogathon & GeoWeb – just two weeks apart). The next big event on the calendar is CREATIVEMIX and I just can’t switch gears that fast (yogi-fest to geospatial uber-tech to artsy-fartsy think tank) so I needed something to ease my brain into a place where I could make that transition. I needed an exercise that would help me prepare for the next 10 weeks of planning. Ultimately I needed to focus on what truly matters when it comes to working towards CREATIVEMIX: building community.

I loved reading Tribes because it spoke directly to the unique planning effort for CREATIVEMIX (and gave me a buzz word to attach to all this work, hehe). We’re calling it Vancouver’s Ideation Conference but it is much more than a conference. The event, by its nature, requires the existence of a community – both before, during, and after October 22. In the spirit of all things Godin, it requires a tribe in order for it to be successful, to truly contribute to the lives of creative people.

The scary part is… one just can’t create a tribe. Despite all the high praise for social and viral marketing it would be foolish to think that we could spontaneously muster up a group of people that want to attend an event like this. Even if we could it’s not how we’d want it to happen – generating demand is overrated with respect to event marketing, meeting demand is vital. When Eileen and I birthed this event (read Behind it All) it came out of a desire to simply connect our creative friends together. That’s it. We’re surrounded by so many inspiring people that it felt like if we don’t do this we’ll miss out on all the fun. When we started planning CREATIVEMIX we’d talk it up with friends as well as people we had just met to see what the response would be and it was clear right from the get-go that it resonated with people (phew). Since January we’ve dedicated ourselves to the discovery of, and connection to, as many local creative leaders and tribes as possible. How fun is that?!

The result has has looked, at times, like we’re pulling together a macro-tribe, though that sounds grander than necessary, even a bit cyborg-ish, sorry. The fact of the matter is: creative people want to be around other creative people and we’re honoured to contribute to that cause. Godin says that “Tribes are about faith – about belief in an idea and in a community” and our hope is that CREATIVEMIX will be a gathering of Vancouverites who share our passion for, and dependence on, creativity, creative expression, and idea making. We want to celebrate and foster the cross-pollination of creativity. We want to see as many tribes come together as possible so that each person can take their own creativity to the next level and contribute to the growth of their own tribes.

We’re having a blast discovering all these tribes, especially the heretic leaders behind them, and we’re really excited about how this CREATIVEMIX community is coming together.

Tell us about your tribe! Okay – now it’s your turn. Our city is full of creative groups, clubs, teams, companies, meetups, projects, charities, schools, and clusters of friends that feed and grow the creative spirit in Vancouver. We want hear about them all! Leave a comment below, send us a DM (@CREATIVEMIXca), or post a comment on our Facebook Fan Page and tell us about the creative tribe(s) you lead or are a part of.

Posted by: Corwin Hiebert