TELUS Spark Adults Night Recap: Beakerhead 2013

Every second Friday of the month, TELUS Spark keeps its doors open late and adopts a no-kids-allowed policy. It makes for a great date night—my husband and I made it for the Adults Night Beakerhead Edition back in September 2013.

There were a lot of exciting things to try, from building structures and dams and playing with blocks to painting with glow paint and bacteria. Read on to the end of the article for my tips on making the best out of your next Adults Only Night.  Read More…

Happening in Calgary: Calgary Expo

Karen Gillan, Calgary Expo

Karen Gillan (Amy Pond from Doctor Who) triumphs over The Doctor!

It’s the one weekend of the year that geeks all over Calgary have been waiting for. From April 24-27, I’ll lose most of my friends to a constant stream of volunteering, herding cats, and meeting amazing people (only some of whom are famous.)

Calgary Expo has been going strong since 2006, and to be honest, this is my first time actually visiting. My husband and I aren’t a big fan of crowds, so we bought Thursday evening tickets several weeks ago. While we won’t have the chance to see some of our favourite stars (Karen Gillan and Matt Smith of Doctor Who among them), we’ll have great fun wandering the geeky halls, taking photos and meeting some of those amazing people our volunteer friends run into. And all without the claustrophobia.

As of Monday morning, only Thursday and Friday tickets are available for sale, so hurry up and get yours now!

All images are taken from the Calgary Expo Facebook Page.

#SMBYYC50 Recap: Back to the Future

Last month, Social Media Breakfast Calgary (@smbyyc) hosted its 50th event, hosted by one of my favourite venues in Calgary, Heritage Park! (@HeritageParkYYC) It was perfect timing: a talk about vehicle-to-vehicle communication and the future of the auto industry, two floors above the Heritage Park exhibition Cars of the Big and Small Screen. Not to mention that Heritage Park is celebrating its 50th year.

Of course, the DeLorean took centre stage in the exhibition:

Cars of the Big and Small Screen: Ends April 21, 2014
01 Back to the Future

You have one more day to head over to Heritage Park with your camera, so definitely take the opportunity if you can. Read More…

SMBYYC Recap: Come ELF Yourself!

I always love Social Media Breakfast. There’s something about being able to communicate with people on social media in advance, during a talk, and afterwards that makes everyone involved spectacularly friendly. Or maybe it’s just the type of people that come. Either way, #SMBYYC47 had all the fun and friendliness that I’ve come to expect out of these events.

This was a rare afternoon “breakfast” that didn’t feature a talk. Instead, the SMBYYC committee organized the December social as a fundraiser for a local charity. The Melrose Café (@MelroseRedMile) and KooL 101.5 (@KooL1015Calgary) were finishing up their #fillthebus campaign on Sunday, so this was a great chance to collect more donations for The Magic of Christmas. And since the campaign included a draw for tickets to an exclusive turkey dinner at Melrose, the winners could be announced during the event.

The featured photo for this blog post features Neil Zeller (@Neil_Zee), who donated his time and expertise to create “Elf Yourself” photos for SMBYYC’ers who donated to the campaign. He was also at last month’s event to shoot some free headshots for attendees. This month’s photos were a little less on the serious side, as The Costume Shoppe donated a trunk full of elf gear that everyone could get decked out in.

A little bit of goofiness for the holidays…
Elf Yourself: Jack Giesen and Glynn Stewart

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Beyond Networking Events: Dec 16 – 22

Glynn Stewart's serialized novel, Starship's Mage: Episode 1

Starship’s Mage is one of the few space opera fantasy stories out there. Lead by the Mage King of Mars, humanity has finally figured out interstellar travel.

It was a busy weekend for the Glynn Stewart/Jack Giesen household. On top of a work Christmas party and #SMBYYC, the two of us were putting the finishing touches on Glynn’s first Amazon Kindle release, Starship’s Mage: Episode 1. Doing the cover art for the book gave me some ideas about keeping my drawing and digital painting skills sharp, so expect to see a blog post on that soon.

And in the spirit of getting back into art, this week’s events include a few creative choices! Just remember that all events require pre-registration, unless otherwise indicated.

Monday (Evening)
Creative Writing Club by the Calgary Public Library. Want to meet other aspiring writers? Get the ink flowing with some creative writing exercises and take this chance to share some of the writing you’ve done.
Time: 6 to 7:30 p.m.
Location: Central Library (2nd floor program room), 616 Macleod Trail SE
Price: Free with library card, register here  Read More…

Beyond Networking Events: Dec 9 – 15

Melrose Cafe & Bar Fill the Bus Campaign

From Twitter: “Matt & Emily are excited for another box of donations full to the @MagicoChristmas! keep it coming #yyc.”

I feel like half of the events that I go to take place at Melrose. Certainly, several events this week are located at Melrose Cafe & Bar, including this weekend’s Social Media Breakfast bash. That makes for incredibly good timing: it’s the last week of Melrose’s #fillthebus campaign to benefit The Magic of Christmas. If you stop by Wednesday’s JCI Christmas Party, Thursday’s Third Tuesday Calgary or Sunday’s SMBYYC, consider bringing a cash donation or a toy to contribute to the cause.

Monday (Evening)
Intro to Joke Writing Co-ed Class by ZEDS Communication Consulting. If you’re looking for a challenge, try this joke-writing class, hosted by Derek Wilken and Steele Duncan. You’ll get a chance to get up behind the microphone and share your jokes with the small group. If you’re still not sure, check out my recap of their last event.
Time: 6:30 to 8:15 p.m.
Location: ZEDS new HQ (207 14 Street NW)
Price: $10, RSVP on meetup or email  Read More…

Beyond Networking Events: Dec 2 – 8

You might notice that I don’t have many events for you this week, but all isn’t quiet on the networking front. While public events sometimes slow down in anticipation of the busy holiday season, many of our workplaces, friends and family members are hosting great events for the holiday season. Relax, stick to what interests you, and make some time for friends and family.

A couple of tips for holiday networkers:

  1. Buy/RSVP all of your holiday party tickets now (if you haven’t already). Given that tonight’s Ad Rodeo and IABC/CPRS holiday parties are both sold out, I highly recommend buying tickets to Christmas parties well in advance. Let me know which ones you’ll be attending in the comments!
  2. Stay in tonight! The weather in Calgary is truly frightful, so look for a webinar, Twitter chat, or Google Hangout that interests you and dive in. Or just sit back and watch Agents of SHIELD.

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#lolyyc Recap: Reinventing Holiday Letters

Holiday letters: they’re what happens when relatives dump their entire Facebook feed into a two-page letter.

Posted to my Twitter feed.

I suspect this might be because my mom doesn’t give out my address to relatives, but I don’t receive status updates via Canada Post (unless you count the occasional family photo.) From what I’ve heard, though, a lot of people do, and these status updates are incredibly long screeds detailing where a family unit spent its vacation and which awards the children won. So, pretty dry stuff.

ZEDS Communication has set out to change all that. In this week’s women-only writing class, instructors Eva Pettinato and Zoey Duncan showed us the power that comedy has over our relatives, and how we can use it to make them read our letters. (Getting our relatives to write letters that we’ll want to read is a little more complicated. ZEDS gift cards?)

My own family unit of two needs to write a bunch of wedding/Christmas/thank-you cards anyway, so I thought I’d look for a little bit of inspiration. Read More…

Beyond Networking Events: Nov 25 – Dec 1

This week, I’m featuring straight-up networking events, writing classes, productivity workshops, holiday fairs—and even a dodgeball night. Pre-registration is required unless otherwise noted; click on the title of each event for more details.

Monday (Evening)
Network Mondays by Calgary NW Business Network. Classic networking at Jamesons Pubs—talk about your business and learn about the other attendees. Meet potential clients and referral partners and build your network.
Time: 5:30 p.m.
Location: Jameson’s Pubs, 3802 Brentwood Road NW
Price: Free, buy your own food

Tuesday (Evening – 3 spots left!)
Women-Only Comic Writing Class: Reinvent the despised holiday letter! by ZEDS Communication Consulting. Learn to reinvent the despised annual holiday letter so that your clan is passing around your update instead of burning it!
Time: 6:15 to 8:15 p.m.
Location: 207 14th Street NW
Price: $10, refreshments included Read More…

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