CreativeMornings/Toronto

Sep 25

Every now and then on the CMTO blog, we like to feature an upcoming event that helps to highlight Toronto’s amazing creative community. The Makers Nation’s upcoming Meet + Make workshop happening this Sunday September 28th is one such event.

What is Meet + Make?

Meet + Make is the first event of its kind that the Makers Nation will be hosting. The Makers Nation founder Christina Hug says that, “the goal of the event is to create a space for people from all different backgrounds and experience levels to come together around the art of making. Basically it’s an excuse to get people out, tap into their creativity, and learn new skills!”

Of course, being Maker focused, the other main purpose of Meet + Make is to showcase some of the amazing and talented makers that have set up shop in the city of Toronto. While Meet + Make is the baby of The Makers Nation, Hug likes to think of this event as a collaboration between The Makers Nation and all of the Makers involved.

What can I expect at this event?

The folks from The Makers Nation of course, as well as Makers from The Shop, Nightjar Books, Peach Berserk, and MAKELAB, along with Kaye Prince, Sabrina Doyle. Attendees will be able to choose two intensive workshops in which they will learn skills ranging from wood carving, to how to perfect your Instagram posts. A lunch and learn session will be catered by YamChops with a talk by the founders of BRIKA, and coffee to keep you going will be provided by the folks at R Squared.

The whole event will wind down with a happy hour session, where you can chat with other Makers and attendees, and enjoy some cocktails and snacks.

Sounds like the perfect day to us.

Register using the discount code “CMTO” at checkout, and the whole shebang will cost you a mere 75 bucks. And if you see one of the CMTO organizing committee members while you’re there, be sure to say hello!

Sep 22

Tiffany Pratt talks colour at CMTO

This past month, the CreativeMornings global theme was COLO[U]R, and here in the Toronto chapter, we decided to take the theme very literally.

Enter Tiffany Pratt. On her website, Tiffany describes herself as, “… a fairy godmother. [Whose] joy is to sprinkle possibilities everywhere [she goes], into everything [she does], and elevate the world to a more beautiful place.” Before meeting Tiffany, you might imagine that this is somewhat of an exaggeration, but when she enters the room, you immediately know that it is not. Tiffany Pratt literally embodies the spirit of everything colourful and good in the world – she is glitter and rainbows and hearts and unicorns all wrapped up into one amazing, warm, and genuine human being. Tiffany Pratt will greet you with a bear hug even when you’re covered in bike sweat. Tiffany Pratt will bring you cocoa when you’re sick.

Bright and early on the morning of her talk, Tiffany led a crew of volunteers in transforming 918 Bathurst into a colourful wonderland. Every free surface was draped in streamers, and every chair was donned with a wooden rainbow beaded mandala bracelet, which had been made in a CMTO volunteer craft night with Tiffany earlier in the week.

CMTO 31 Tiffany Pratt (by Laura Crowell)
(Image by Laura Crowell)

Attendees filtered in, and after a brief introduction by CMTO’s Trailblazer Christina Hug, Tiffany Pratt took to the stage.

CMTO 31 Tiffany Pratt (by Yvonne Bambrick)
(Image by Yvonne Bambrick)
CMTO 31 Tiffany Pratt (by Laura Crowell)
(Image by Laura Crowell)
CMTO 31 Tiffany Pratt (by Yvonne Bambrick)
(Image by Yvonne Bambrick)

There were so many amazing quotes from this month’s event, and I’m sad to say that not many of them were actually captured in my personal notes or on the twittersphere. I attribute this to the fact that the air at 918 Bathurst was so filled with magic, that being wrapped up in tweeting about it rather than being present seemed like it would not have been true to the spirit of the event itself.

But if I can paraphrase, some of the overall lessons learned went something like this:

Tiffany’s energy as she spoke on stage, about her journey as a designer and in life, had the audience absolutely captivated. She is so incredibly passionate about what she does and the world around her, that listening to her talk, you can actually feel yourself starting to believe that you are stronger and more capable than you had previously thought. This is how Tiffany Pratt is a true Fairy Godmother; not just for all of her glitter and colours, but because being around her will make you believe that anything is possible, and it will make you believe in yourself.

To end, I will leave you with the same Roald Dahl quote with which Tiffany Pratt, overwhelmed with emotion, closed this month’s talk: “And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.”

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See more photos at http://bit.ly/1sggGEq

Thanks to Shutterstock sponsoring September’s event!

Aug 25

CreativeMornings Toronto + Cossette

If you’re involved with the creative community here in Toronto (or anywhere else in Canada for that matter), you’ve probably heard of Cossette. Started in 1972 as a small Communication-Marketing firm in Quebec City, over the years Cossette has expanded to include offices across Canada and now in the US.

Along with this growth in footprint and reach, Cossette has also garnered a slew of impressive clients and awards, positioning themselves as highly sought after innovators in the field of marketing communications both here at home, and abroad. But as they say, with great power comes great responsibility – and Cossette takes this responsibility seriously.

On August 18th, Cossette announced an official ongoing sponsorship relationship with the Toronto CreativeMornings chapter (adding on to its existing sponsorships with Vancouver and Montreal). As stated in their press release announcing this new partnership –

“Realizing our potential means constantly seeking out new and exciting perspectives on creativity and how it will impact our future and the world around us,” says Glen Hunt, Chief Transformation Officer of Cossette in Toronto. “Cossette was built on a foundation of independence, innovation and entrepreneurialism and we are proud to support a program that reflects that same spirit by celebrating and inspiring the creativity in all of us,” adds Hunt.

Thanks for having our back, Cossette! Looking forward to a strong and happy relationship over the next year!

Jul 23

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Apr 24

The Great Inspirer… (hint: SEX)


Well… I did say that “SEX is the great inspirer” in the last post, so now I need to back it up. But instead of boring you with historical references to art and sexuality, or an incomplete study on how SEX has inspired artists and creatives throughout human history, I’ll share what tomorrow’s speaker, Sonya Barnett, finds inspiring.

(yeah, we asked her)

Without further ado, here’s a brief list of Sonya’s SEX inspiration:

- Clayton Cubbitt’s Hysterical Literature, or you try reading while having an orgasm.

- Can Pornography Be Art? A discussion on New Statesman
- A collection of vintage erotica, or forget vegan smoothies, THIS is what Pinterest was made for.

- Gardens of Pleasure, the largest collection of erotic art from ancient China is on display at Sotheby’s Gallery Hong Kong
- The Kama Sutra Alphabet by French illustrator Malika Favre, or methinks I need to brush up on my ABCs…
- The New York Society for the Suppression of Vice, or a bit of the history of how humans have tried to supervise public morality. This reminds me of a new book -> Sex and Punishment: a 4000 year History of Judging Desire
- The Invention of Pornography (book review and essays), self explanatory ;)

And if the above really piqued your curiosity, here’s some extra SEX resources…

- The Origins of Sex: a History of the First Sexual Revolution, by Faramerz Dabhoiwala. Named “Book of the Year” by The Economist, The Times, The Sunday Times, The Sunday Telegraph, The Observer, The Sunday Herald, Hindustan Times. BBC History Magazine, Brain Pickings.
Here´s another Guardian review, and a Brain Pickings post.

Some other illustrated SEX book posts by Brain Pickings:
- “Legendary Anthropologist Margaret Mead on the Fluidity of Human Sexuality"
- Susan Sontag on love and sex.
- Alain de Botton’s “How to Think More About Sex”, a tremendous book in explaining why sex is mesmerizing and how it grounds us. (a review)
- The first ejaculation in history: Death & Sex, by Tyler Volk and Dorion Sagan. Here´s an interview.
- An ABZ of Love: Kurt Vonnegut’s Favorite Vintage Danish Illustrated Guide to Sexuality… wow!

Enough! It’s sunny…go play outside.

See you tomorrow ;)

- @AmigoJor

Apr 19

SEX! Or why Toronto made you do it.

You see it in every billboard. It’s written in every pop song. The greatest works of film and literature are sprinkled with its power. SEX. No other human topic captures our collective imagination like the act (or the thought) of getting it on.

But behind the obvious allure of SEX, beneath our hormones and the natural impulses that put SEX at the centre of our thoughts and daily actions, there lies a mountain of history, cultural traditions, man-made rules, and taboos that mediate (or even repress, or enhance) our experience of SEX.

And if SEX is the great inspirer, the impulse behind some of humanity’s most daring creations, then we need to discuss it. We need to hear from every corner of the world about it’s creative potential, about it’s intellectual impact. Most importantly, we’re curious to know, with the advent of the internet and all things instant, where SEX is taking us as we venture into this 21st century. After all, we are the Tinder generation.

So, why did Toronto pick SEX? Well… why not. We live in one of the most diverse and progressive cities in the world, but with some lingering conservative Protestant traditions. So perhaps this is a way to challenge that old perception of Toronto and show off our own sexual revolutions.

It is no accident that Toronto will host WorldPride 2014, the first North American city to host a pride festival of this scale. Toronto is also the home of SlutWalk, a global movement that has caused a widespread conversation about sexual violence and dignity.

Aaand that brings us to this month’s speaker. Sonya Barnett is an activist and advocate for sex-positivity, who founded The Keyhole Sessions (NSFW) “as a safe and welcoming community for people to experience the union between sex and art”. She also co-founded SlutWalk to combat victim-blaming, slut-shaming, and sexual profiling. Sonya won Feminist Porn Awards in 2013 and 2014 for her erotic art, and rumours say that #CMTO attendees may or may not be subjected to the screening of award-winning porn. Just a treat ;)

So as proud Torontonians, we felt like challenging our own audience with a topic that taps into our private thoughts and behaviours. We also wanted other Creative Mornings organizers to think about SEX. We wanted them to live and breathe SEX and show the world how to address a complicated topic with grace and creativity. More importantly, after a month of talks about SEX in 30 countries and 75 cities, we hope that April 2014 will be forever remembered as a time when Creative Mornings chapters everywhere got a little playful with their creative boundaries.

With this firm conviction in mind, our only hope is that things do get a little awkward. #fingerscrossed

- @AmigoJor

Apr 13

Announcing CreativeMornings/Toronto Popups

To date, CreativeMornings/TO has been very successful at coalescing Toronto’s creative community around informal and unstructured learning and inspiration. Month after month, our events continue to sell out in minutes with waitlists longer than the number of attendees, but we’re still not reaching the full potential of this community.

Toronto is a massive city, the fourth largest in North America, with a bustling diverse population of more than 2.5 million people. While we continue to serve the creative heart of Toronto by hosting our events centrally, we could do more to feature and showcase creativity in every corner of Toronto.

That’s why we’re proud to announce CreativeMornings/Toronto/POPUPs. Smaller events which feature local creativity to a local audience, that are showcased to the world via creativemornings.com.

We hope to host at least two POPUP events this spring and summer, and hope you’ll come along for the ride. To get involved in planning these events, please get in touch with CreativeMornings/Toronto Trailblazer Christina Hug or contact us at toronto@creativemornings.com.

Dec 16

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Nov 03

Welcome to the home of CreativeMornings Toronto! Browse previous lectures, meet members of the community, and stay in touch!

Photo Courtesy: Shutterstock

Welcome to the home of CreativeMornings Toronto! Browse previous lectures, meet members of the community, and stay in touch!

Photo Courtesy: Shutterstock

Oct 08

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