SVP 8x10 Expose Potential

Friday night was Social Venture Partners Waterloo Region’s annual 8x10 Expose event. As noted in my preview post a few weeks ago, I’ve been fortunate to take part in this event over the last few years. The evening has 8 speakers who have 10 minutes each to tell the crowd a story that changed how they see the world.

Another part of the evening is an auction of some work from some local photographers. David McCammon, Mark Essner, Mark Walton, Laura Cook, Raegan Little, Brian Douglas, and myself all had some work up for bidding. I had four pieces and am happy to say that all of them sold. SVP gets a 25% cut from the sales of these so it’s nice that we’re also able to contribute to the cause.

My friend Lori, who works as a therapist at the Kitchener Downtown Community Health Centre, was one of the speakers and told the audience about of one of the many people who she has encountered over her fourteen years as a professional therapist. Other speakers included former Kitchener Rangers captain Ben Fanelli; palliative care consultant Cathy Joy; Mark Clubine, a local school board trustee; Rufus John, a soul/R&B singer and Youth Coordinator, Kinbridge Community Association; Gael Gilbert, Executive Director, SHOW; and National Geographic Young Explorer Andrew Wong. An 8th speaker, Rahma Abukhouse, was unable to attend.

Each speaker had their own unique story that, while it might’ve been a sad story, they were able to see some good come out of it. There were definitely a few stories that made us in the audience realize how lucky some of us really are.


Night\Shift is a late-night arts and culture festival held in downtown Kitchener and is similar to Toronto’s Nuit Blanche. During last year’s event, my friend Darin and I did the bike face photo booth. It was a ton of fun, but I was looking forward this year to checking out some of the exhibits instead of operating one of them.

I started out at the Tricity Stopgap Pop Up art show. I had a couple pieces in the show and I needed to be there to document some of the night. There were 64 artists that took part, mostly from around town, but there were a few from beyond our region. My pieces for this show were two black and white photos that I’ve always wanted to get blown up so I figured this was as good a time as any to do it. I was nervous about how they might show since I just scanned them with a cheap flatbed and blew them up to two feet wide, but I was quite happy with how they looked in the end.

Downtown had a ton to see and spread from the Centre in the Square (where I finally got to see the Lynn Cohen exhibit) all the way down to City Hall. I hiked around to a number of venues downtown, including Jennifer Gough’s exhibit at the cenotaph, nik harron’s set up in Hall’s Lane, as well as a bunch that were held in and around City Hall.

The event ran until 2:00 am. I didn’t last that long—might’ve been the late-night burrito from Holy Guacamole—but am happy I made it out to see how much artistic talent this region has.

Berlin, Berlin

The Kitchener Public Library just got a major overhaul. They renovated pretty much the entire building and also got an entire re-brand from my friends at Intent. Included in the physical renovation of the building was the addition of a gallery that will host rotating shows of local artists. This is where I come in.

Back in August I applied to have my work displayed there and submitted it almost at the last minute. After almost forgetting about applying, yesterday I got word that my proposal was accepted. Next October I’ll have a selection of photos I took in Berlin up at the gallery for the month. Kitchener used to share the name Berlin with, well, Berlin so there is a bit of a connection between the two. Having the show in October will also coincide with Oktoberfest so there’s a big Germany theme going on here. I’m not sure if bratwurst and sauerkraut will be served at the reception. Probably not.

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