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Dave Olson


Another amazing night at the Vogue Theatre. Over 1050 people sold out the venue for Pecha Kucha 10. Pecha Kucha is a global event that’s grown to over 299 cities around the world since it started in Japan in 2003. The format is simple, each presenter speaks on a topic they are passionate about and is allowed 20 images, each shown for 20 seconds each – giving 6 minutes 40 seconds of fame before the next presenter is up.

I arrived at the Vogue Theatre to find a long line of people still waiting to get inside the venue. I decided it was a good chance to interview people on why they had come to Pecha Kucha. As the event is about stories, I also spent some time learning more about their background and stories.

Mike woods, and Sam gomolka outside Vogue theatre

Diana Lee, and Erika Rekis outside Vogue theatre

An inspiring group presented at Pecha Kucha 10: Jay Balmer, Isabelle Dunlop, Dave Olson, Dani Vachon, Gair Williamson, Martha Sturdy, Doug Haddow, Bing Thom, Stephanie Corker Irwin, Vanessa Leigh, Marc Baumgartner, and Pamela Masik. If you don’t recognize all the names, you’ll probably be touched by their work which ranges from snowboards, skateparks, video games, fashion design, jewelry, art, writing, , social media, curated news, crowd sourcing news.

I taped the Pecha Kucha presenters using a 30$ mp3 player. I was holding the mp3player and my camera, so ignore the occasional clicks and noise and enjoy hearing the inspiring speeches!

Jay Balmer - Experience Director at ( bigpark.com ) speaks at Pecha Kucha.

Isabelle Dunlop – Fashion Designer/Singer (combinethevictorious.com ) speaks at Pecha Kucha.

Dave Olson – Story Maker/Writer/ Producer ( uncleweed.net ) speaks at Pecha Kucha.

Dani Vachon – Director ( oliofestival.com ) speaks at Pecha Kucha.

Gair Williamson – Architect ( gwarchitects.ca ) speaks at Pecha Kucha.

Martha Sturdy – Artist/ Designer ( marthasturdy.com ) speaks at Pecha Kucha.

Doug Haddow – Writer/ Designer ( pblks.com ) speaks at Pecha Kucha.

Pamela Masik – Artist ( masik.ca ) speaks at Pecha Kucha.

Bing Thom – Architect ( bingthomarchitects.com ) speaks at Pecha Kucha.

Stephanie Corker Irwin – Founder of Bliss at NoMoSolo ( nomosolo.com ) speaks at Pecha Kucha.

Vanessa Leigh – Publisher/ Fashion Director ( ionmagazine.ca )speaks at Pecha Kucha.

Marc Baumgartner – VP Product/ Design Director ( nowpublic.com) speaks at Pecha Kucha.

After the event was over I spoke with a couple of people to get their feedback on the event. I had two very different but interesting conversations Denise Liu and Mathew Arthur on the impact of Pecha Kucha on the Vancouver cultural scene.

Denise Liu ( a former Pecha Kucha presenter )
Mathew Arthur

Bankground on Pecha Kucha

Pecha Kucha is a global event that’s grown to over 299 cities around the world since it started in Japan in 2003. Jane and Steven Cox from Cause & Affect with help from Becki Chan Begovic from Milbec are the local Organizers of the Pecha Kucha Night. The Vancouver event has grown very quickly since Cause & Effect organized the first event in 2008 . Two hundred people showed up at each of the first two shows, then 500 people came out for each of the next seven shows at the Park Theatre. On April 0810, Pecha Kucha sold out the Vogue Theatre with 1050 people. Vancouver has one of the largest events and reaches a broader audience because the Presenters represent the best and most creative from a broad range of fields.

According to Steven Coe “Pecha Kucha brings together Vancouver’s culturally minded to enjoy an hour and a half of inspiration, viewpoints and ideas on creativity, culture and design by our City’s own cultural makers. Our goal is two-fold 1) for Pecha Kucha to be the “glue” that connects our diverse cultural instigators and 2) to raise the profile of our city’s cultural identity to mainstream audiences.”

The basic concept is: the presenter picks their own topic (anything that gets you going and is meaningful to you) and is allowed 20 images, each to be shown for 20 seconds. There will be 12 presenters per night.

Pecha Kucha 10 Presenters:

Jay Balmer – Experience Director at ( bigpark.com )

Isabelle Dunlop – Fashion Designer/Singer (combinethevictorious.com )

Dave Olson – Story Maker/Writer/ Producer ( uncleweed.net )

Dani Vachon – Director ( oliofestival.com )

Gair Williamson – Architect ( gwarchitects.ca )

Martha Sturdy – Artist/ Designer ( marthasturdy.com )

Doug Haddow – Writer/ Designer ( pblks.com )

Bing Thom – Architect ( bingthomarchitects.com )

Stephanie Corker Irwin – Founder of Bliss at NoMoSolo ( nomosolo.com )

Vanessa Leigh – Publisher/ Fashion Director ( ionmagazine.ca )

Marc Baumgartner – VP Product/ Design Director ( nowpublic.com)

Pamela Masik – Artist ( masik.ca )

Presenter list: Jay Balmer, Isabelle Dunlop, Dave Olson, Dani Vachon, Gair Williamson, Martha Sturdy, Doug Haddow, Bing Thom, Stephanie Corker Irwin, Vanessa Leigh, Marc Baumgartner, Pamela Masik

Click on the link below for more info. and past presenters:

site: Pecha Kucha Vancouver

Pecha Kucha Vancouver Facebook group: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/group.php?v=info&gid=9698446098

The Flash slide show of my photos on flickr.com/pixelate


A rainy day in Vancouver presented an interesting opportunity for Tweeters of all stripes to come together this past Thursday at the CBC radio building for the second
Vancouver Twestival (#YVRTwestival, #Twestival ). Beyond being a chance to meet all the people they previously only knew online, the Twestival may just demonstrate how the face of fundraising could forever be altered by social media. Indeed, the attendance of between a 150-200 people successfully raised over $9000.

Tarlan @capsusbridge and volunteer in front of Silent auction table.Rebecca Bollwitt, Vancouver social media blogger and local Twestival organizer.
1st photo: Volunteers, Tarlan (@capsusbridge ) and Sonia (@sonsryan), 2nd photo: Rebecca Bollwitt (@miss604) Vancouver Twestival Organizer

Nick Molnar ( @nickmolnar ) is a self-described web-strategist who has worked on several social media projects in Vancouver and recently started a web-site called adoptaband to pair indie musicians with aspiring photographers to boost the profile of both. He describes his most recent endeavor as a means of making poor people less poor as opposed to making wealthy people more wealthy. He’s been excited to watch the emergence of Twitter as a real force for social change. “If this were a gathering of all the people on Twitter in 2006, it’d be pretty boring,” noting that the existence of these tools becomes even more powerful when real people start to use them.

Danielle Sipple (@fiercekitty) and Kris Krug ( @kk )

Danielle Sipple (@fiercekitty) agreed that Twitter is an amazing forum for bringing together people of many stripes and giving communities that otherwise would not interact the chance to do so. A “word nerd” whose been tweeting for over a year and a half joined because she found it fascinating before any of her friends has even heard of it. She follows 600 people and is followed by around 1700. Danielle noticed her initial Tweets have evolved from snarky insights into her own personal life to more profound and reflective and less self-deprecating as a function of how her way of being and community have changed so much with her involvement in the Twittersphere.

There were plenty of folks on hand helping out the local organizer Rebecca Bollwitt (@miss604) who were stoked about the charity benefiting from the efforts of the Twestival, Concern Worldwide ( @concern). Kirsten (@6oz) is inspired by their holistic approach to combining health care and education strategies to the alleviation of poverty, although a few people I talked to knew only the basics about the organization, gleaned from the link on the Twestival website. So although a few people mentioned the “good cause” they were supporting not many actually knew a whole lot about the charity itself, which in no way detracted from their enthusiasm for the event and socal media itself. Second year marketing student at UBC’s Sauder School of Business, Vivian Lou ( @vivianlou) was exuberant about the power of Twitter for social good. She went so far as to say “social media is breaking down the old school corporate culture.” When I asked her to clarify she proclaimed, well, if they want to know how to be effective in social media, they have to come to us. It was a powerful, confident statement delivered with an assured smile.

After the event I spoke with Vancouver Twestival organizer, Rebecca Bollwitt.
“We don’t have all the silent auction donations in yet but our grand total is above $9,000 so far.

From what’s been calculated an inputted globally (see here: ) it looks like Twestival around the world has already raised enough to build 18 schools, provide close to 12,500 meals, and educate over 3,000 children with Concern Worldwide.
In Vancouver it’s about getting out from behind your computer and being social with those you know through your social networks. So many people met for the first time last night even though they had been communicating over Twitter for years, it was great to see those connections. The fact that this is 100% volunteer-driven and that it’s all for a cause makes it that much better. As you can see from the numbers, this is our most successful Twestival yet in Vancouver – we have doubled what we raised last February at the first Twestival and tripled what we did in September at Twestival Local. This is my third time organizing and my first time rallying an amazing team to help out. Azita, Kirsten, Kim, Melissa, and Sonia were key. They worked the door, brought prize sponsors on board, and gave valuable input. Marc Smith from Amuse Consulting donated his event planning services which were a big part of the event’s success.
Volunteers, organizers and sponsors were all rallied through Twitter – it’s just so amazing that social media can be used for social good.”

Article co-authored by Jaia ‘Quarian ( @jaiaquarian ) and Jonathan Hanley, with photos taken by Jonathan (@musicgiving )

Photo gallery: Social Media & Twitter folk at Vancouver Twestival

Rob Cottingham ( @robcottingham ) and Victoria Ronco ( @victoriaronco )Rob’s twitter quote ( 140 characters ): “irresistable combination of great cause and bringing social network into the real world. Love seeing so many friends. Thanks miss604″

Victoria’s twitter quote: “nice to put faces to names and meet people in person”

Chris Mathieson ( @cogno ), Rebecca Bollwitt ( @miss604)
Dave Olson ( @daveohoots ) and Noah Bloom ( @nbloom )
1st photo: DJ’s Patrick Lok ( @djpatlok ) and Jeremy Lim ( @jeremylim ).
2nd photo: Live band Mojave ( @mojaveband ) with Paul and Lisa Jarvis )
Jen Grebeldinger ( @jgrebby ), Adam Cullen ( @simonfiction ), Trina Isakson ( @telleni )Jen’s twitter quote ( 140 characters ): “CBC green glass artwork display is cool”

Adam’s twitter quote: “Glorious sushi. Too many social marketing types.”

Trina’s comment on why she is at Twestival: “My New Year’s resolution was to meet new people and socialize more.”

( Alisha Mann @iglooqueen ) Cole Johnston ( @vanragazine ), Josh Rimer ( @joshrimer ), Raul Pacheco ( @hummingbird604 )
Janis Behan ( @janisbehan ), Erin Buttler ( @EzzaAtGap ), Emily Inram ( @emilymarieinc )Erin’s comments: “I came to socialize. It’s a great opportunity to meet other twitter peeps. I work for an adventure Travel company. I’ve been on twitter for a year, and I’m learning it for business. “

Emily’s twitter quote: “Cheap drinks. Good people. Nice and open atmosphere”

At Registration table: Kim Werker ( @kimpwerker ) and Miranda Lievers ( @mirandaL )
Susan Main ( @susanmain )Comments: “I’m not here for business, but to socialize and meet people who I follow on twitter more than I should. I go to lots of tweetups.”