Events Committee

Mandate:

  • Provide relevant, meaningful, accessible opportunities for networking, professional development and community building
  • Assist in the development and coordination of local events including Future By Design, Designers + Drinks + Discussions and Documentary Screenings
  • Assist to ensure DesignThinkers is a meaningful, relevant event by proposing and developing new programs and opportunities for engagement by the attendees

 

  • In-House Design Awards

    This program launched in 2016 to recognize the best design work produced by internal creatives in Canada. We invite designers working within companies, associations, government and other organizations across Canada and around the world to submit work to compete against peers and help RGD demonstrate the value and effectiveness of in-house designers. The Program will re-launch in early 2019.

     

    Webinars

    Accessible from anywhere in North America, RGD hosted 40 professional development webinars in 2018, free for RGD Members. These live, weekly, lunch-time sessions continue to cover industry trends, business best practices and insights into the design process. 

     

    Social Good Design Awards

    Every other year, RGD invites submissions of graphic design projects from around the world done under the theme of communication design for social good; work with the power to incite action and make meaningful change in the way we live our lives. We will open this program for entries again in 2020.

     

    Future by Design Webcasted Panels 

    Future By Design is a series of webcast discussions featuring experts sharing their thoughts on a variety of topics. As a virtual event, we invite cities across Canada to host local screening venues where members of the community can gather to watch panelists’ presentations, conduct their own group discussions and participate in the live Q&A.
  • Chair: Greg Dubeau RGD, Halifax

    Greg Dubeau RGD is freelance graphic designer who has lived and worked across Canada from coast to coast. He runs a small design studio in Halifax, Nova Scotia where he collaborates with agencies, organizations and entrepreneurs to make their businesses look and work a little bit better than they did yesterday.

     

    Alan Chan RGD, Toronto

     
    Mary Davis RGD, Thunder Bay

    A self-proclaimed packaging enthusiast with a love for a good dieline, Mary strives to make the world a more colourful place one design at a time.

     

    Nicole Duncan RGD, Kingston

    Nicole is an Art Director and Graphic Designer with 10 years experience in a range of areas in the industry. She collaborates with clients and agencies on original, persuasive and intelligent solutions that connect to consumers. 

     

    Nicole Galatis Provisional RGD, Ottawa
    Nicole Galatis is a Graphic Designer at Simzer Design in Ottawa. Prior to working in Ottawa, she receiving her Bachelor of Design Degree, majoring in Interdisciplinary Design from Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University in Halifax, NS.

     

    Magued Hanna, Toronto

     

    Teo Herman RGD, Oshawa

    Teo is a Designer & Project Coordinator at Entro. His experience combines wayfinding, information design and communications with a strong connection to environmental design and the urban experience. He is currently enrolled in a Masters Program in Digital Media at Ryerson University.

     

    Ceri Higgs Provisional RGD, Kitchener

    Ceri is a recent graduate of the Graphic Design Diploma Program at Conestoga College. Her love of design and bringing people together for social events led her to become part of the RGD Events Committee. Ceri has a background in psychology and research, and brings a unique analytical perspective to design projects. She loves the challenges and ever-changing environment of design, and her favourite part of being a designer is coming across those "A-ha!" moments. She currently works as a designer for a tech company in Kitchener and freelances as a hand letterer.

     

    Kathleen Scott RGD, Kincardine
    Kathleen is an award-winning designer with 15 years experience. For the past decade, she has been Creative Strategy Team Lead at Bruce Power where they deliver all things design, including a complete rebrand for the company in 2019. In 2017, they were honoured to be the design partner for RGD’s In-House Design Awards.

     

    Anjanette Takashima Brooks, Affiliate Member, Toronto
    As a visual story teller and design strategist, I see design as a conduit for change. I feel incredibly fortunate to be able to help shape information in a way that makes it both functional and cinematic. To enable connections, to engage, to inspire and to incite positive action. I see the role of a graphic designer as so much more than a commercial artist. We are also environmental stewards (ensuring our designs are sustainably ideated and produced), social activists (advancing inclusion and accessibility) and ambassadors of the human spirit.

     

  • Presented by Greg Dubeau RGD; VP of Events, Committee Chair at RGD's AGM on April 18, 2020


    The mandate of the Events Committee remains unchanged from the previous year. Our purpose is to provide relevant, meaningful, accessible opportunities for networking, professional development and community building. We assist in the development and coordination of local events including Future by Design, Designers + Drinks + Discussions, and Documentary Screenings. And finally, we assist to ensure DesignThinkers is a meaningful and relevant event by proposing and developing new programs and opportunities for engagement by the attendees.


    2019 was a productive year for the Events Committee. We had excellent all-round participation from coast to coast for a majority of our programs. For many of our programs, we increased the amount of locations provided, as well as the frequency in which they were executed.


    Events such as Designers + Drinks + Discussion, Future by Design, and the Designathons grew in popularity and participation, while events such as Portfolio Review Events and Documentary Screenings remained relatively consistent. This year, the design documentary film we screened was Frontiers of Design by Doberman. It was screened in London and Vancouver.


    The growth of Designers + Drinks + Discussions spurred the Events Committee to invest more thinking into the future of the event—a rebrand was decided. The event’s informal name, “Design Social,” held enough equity that it was officially accepted as the new event name and we will begin collaborating with the Communications Committee to visually brand the program in 2020. To accompany the event rename, a guidelines package has been developed for new event hosts, which was based off of the guidelines developed for the Designathon by the Education Committee.


    The Future by Design webinar series has evolved by splitting its viewings between Eastern and Western provinces. This decision was made to be more inclusive to the audience and webinar presenters who live in the different timezones across North America.


    Future by Design has provided some recent challenges due to presenters' consistency dropping out at the last minute. This puts an incredible amount of strain on RGD staff to either fill the vacant role at short notice, go without a promised third presenter, or unfortunately—postpone or cancel the event. The Events Committee are working towards reformatting the event to accommodate a strictly online audience with pre-recorded presentations and new promotional RGD video content.


    The new promotional RGD video content is an ongoing project the Events Committee is working on to re-purpose video content from recent DesignThinkers Conferences. The goal of the project is to develop curated video content that can be used to promote featured themes within the design community, as well as promote future RGD events and conferences.


    DesignThinkers Vancouver 2019 took place on May 28–29 to rave reviews. The excellent line-up of inspirational speakers at the Vancouver Playhouse was only rivalled by the operational excellence provided by the RGD staff, volunteers, and events partners and sponsors. Attendance for the event was 640 people over the course of the two-day event. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, DesignThinkers Vancouver 2020 has been rescheduled from May 26–27 to November 19–20.


    DesignThinkers Toronto 2019 took place on October 24–25 at Meridian Hall. The 1,900+ attendees were greeted by a calamitous ice breaker activity that was hosted by an equally calamitous host...me. The Events Committee carried over the puzzle-piece themed activity from 2018 conference. The activity had its challenges, but the resourceful and resilient attendees accomplished their goal, won prizes, and primed the audience for fun and excitement before any speaker hit the stage.


    New to this year’s conference was the RGD booth. The lounge-style area provided a place for event goers to rest, pick up swag and learn more about RGD from volunteering Certified RGD members. The extra service had excellent reviews and looks to continue its role for the 2020 conference, which remains scheduled for November 5-6.


    The DesignThinkers TO delegate exit survey provided an excellent array of information that the Event Committee synthesized into a single analytical report. I was not surprised to find out that aside from the high-level quality and diversity of speakers in attendance, the most appreciated part of the conference was the organization, attention to detail, and hospitality provided by the RGD staff and their army of dedicated volunteers.


    The Events Committee continues to work across Committee lines to help each other work towards the same goals. The Membership Committee has provided scripted content for RGD Members and hosts to use pre- and post- event. Sadly, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Events Committee has removed all physical events for the Spring and Summer seasons. Our contingency plan has been to pivot our events to live online through telecom platforms such as Zoom, Google Hangouts, GoToMeeting, Skype, and Microsoft Teams.


    New online programs such as Virtual Communities, Design Social and Creative Directions are in their infancy. Virtual Communities brings designers from similar fields together to chat about industry-specific subjects in detail, while Design Social brings designers together into an inclusive and informal discussion about work, life, and everything in between.


    We’re very excited about the impended launch of the revitalized Creative Directions online conference on April 27, 29, and May 1. Considering grad shows across the country have been cancelled or re-imagined, this event is an incredible opportunity for students and young designers to come together and collectively celebrate their academic achievements with a week of entertaining speakers, enlightened conversation, and activities to help their entry into the workforce.


    Even though so much uncertainty and realignment is happening with the 2020 calendar year, looking back at what we’ve accomplished in 2019 has been wonderful. RGD presented 38 webinars with 61 presenters for an audience of 2,000+ attendees. The first In-House Design Conference took place in Ottawa at the Ottawa Art Gallery on September 21 to an audience of 130 attendees. The In-House Design Awards received 271 submissions with 50 winners, and held an awards ceremony on October 25 in Toronto as a close-out event to the DesignThinkers conference. And most recently, the (So)cial Good Awards have currently received 300 entries and their awards ceremony is scheduled for November 19 to coincide with the DesignThinkers conference in Vancouver.


    None of these events could have succeeded without the hardworking people holding the RGD flag. In particular, I would like to thank Hilary Ashworth, Abdul Omar, and Rebecca Dudgeon for steering our Events Committee during our lunch-hour meetings. We are grateful for your leadership and dedication to us.


    And of course, thank you to the current, former, and recent RGD Events Committee for all your hard work and insight that help bring RGD events to all the different communities across Canada. Without the efforts of these fine people, we would not be making the progress that we’ve seen in recent years.


    Shout out to the squad: Alan Joson Provisional RGD, Amanda DeVries RGD, Anika Sultana Provisional RGD, Ceri Higgs Provisional RGD, Jesse Gibb RGD, Mary Davis RGD, Nicole Duncan RGD, Ross Chandler, Ruth Farrugia RGD, Teo Herman RGD, Anthony Furia RGD, Josh Skinner RGD, Philip Mondor RGD, Melanie de Tullio RGD, Nayla Yehia RGD, Sehba Wakil RGD, Anjanette Takashima Brooks, and Nicole Galatis Provisional RGD.

  • Presented by Alan Joson Provisional RGD on behalf of Jesse Gibb RGD, Committee Chair, at the Annual Meeting April 29, 2019

     

    The biggest news on the Programs Committee front is that we’re changing our name and focus just a bit, choosing to focus more on the events aspect of our current work and share the load with other Committees on items such as webinars - which are more Membership oriented, and the RGD Board and staff to monitor initiatives such as the InHouse and SoGood Awards. So, our new handle is “Events Committee”, and that pretty much sums it up.

     

    Our mandate remains similar, but has be updated to:

    - Provide relevant, meaningful, accessible opportunities for networking, professional development and community building

    - Assist in the development and coordination of local events including Future By Design, Designers + Drinks + Discussions and Documentary Screenings

    - Assist to ensure DesignThinkers is a meaningful, relevant event by proposing and developing new programs and opportunities for engagement by the attendees

     

    Webinars

    We have continued to host professional development webinars for Members, and are continually exploring new topics and revisiting past topics to keep content fresh and engaging. Last spring, we began sending weekly emails to Members on the webinar that week which has resulted in a significant increase in attendance. We now average about 50 participants every week, often with over 100 registering. We also began offering SkillSharing webinars where we invite RGDs to do 15 minute presentations with lessons that would be valuable to the Members. We continue to use the Webinar Program to vet potential DesignThinkers Speakers. And as always, we are open to any suggestions for topics or speakers for webinars, so please don’t hesitate to let Brent know if you are interested or have any ideas.

     

    DesignThinkers Vancouver

    DTV was warmly welcomed and well attended again. Lighting Talks and Roundtable discussions were successful programming efforts and very well received by our Western contingent - successful enough that they replaced our Speed Networking and Mentoring events for DTT, and will continue to be an integral part of both conferences. We welcomed 670 to the event, and all in attendance were eager for more. Our third DTV takes place May 29 & 30 at the Vancouver Playhouse, and registrations are looking strong again. 

     

    DesignThinkers Toronto

    DesignThinkers Toronto was a hit with the design and communications world as usual. With over 2,000 in attendance, and an amazing line up of speakers, DTT continues set the pace for design conferences. The Committee helped orchestrate an Ice Breaker event with an “Assemble the Canadian Logos” theme, where participants were given a random piece from a set of famous Canadian logos which were sliced and diced into puzzle pieces. Participants were challenged to work with others to reassemble their logo as quickly as possible. Brent Long RGD manned the mic and kept the crowd informed, under control and entertained. Ice Breaking achieved. And a huge thanks and kudos to Committee super-star Anthony Furia for his Processing based interactive visual display which engaged conference goers between talks in the main auditorium during the conference. It was very cool, and went well above and beyond the call of duty. Design Thinkers Toronto 2019 is scheduled for October 24&25, and promises to raise the bar once again with a stellar lineup of speakers. The Committee is currently working on helping to fill out that speaker lineup, as well as identifying opportunities to support networking amongst conference attendees. 

     

    Other Events

    Future By Design combined with D+D+D and the Design Docs Series help keep RGD's presence strong in communities outside the GTA. Future By Design lives on thanks to a few hold-out satellite venues, and continues in the new format of 3 speakers/3 topics with discussion periods following each speaker. Our new Design Docs series has been well received. We’ve facilitated screenings of Graphic Means, Design Canada and the Happy Film to date, in venues across the country. We have a growing list of potential documentaries to screen, so keep your eyes peeled for upcoming screening events near you. New this year was the InHouse Design Conference in Ottawa which saw 140 attendees and was enjoyed by all who attended. We’re already working on plans for another such event in 2020!

     

    Other items

    On a personal note, I have decided to step back from my Board and Committee Chair duties for the time being. I struck back out on my own as a solo studio in 2017 and I’m happy to say business is brisk, but as anyone who has had the pleasure of running a business knows, it is an incredible amount of work and requires unfettered focus. Combined with the schedules of two competitive athletes on the home front, I have been feeling just a bit overwhelmed. I have enjoyed my time on the board immensely, and I know I’ll come crawling back one day soon. I will continue to sit on the Events Committee however, and do what I can to help the Southwestern Ontario design community engage in those meaningful and relevant events.

     

    As always, thanks to our amazing Committee Members:

     

    Ross Chandler, Affiliate (Victoria), Melanie di Tullio RGD (Ottawa), Nicole Duncan RGD (Kingston), Ruth Farrugia RGD (Montreal), Anthony Furia RGD (Toronto); Philip Mondor RGD (Kitchener), Nayla Yehia RGD (Toronto), Alan Joson, Provisional (Toronto), Teo Herman RGD (Osh
  • Presented by Jesse Gibb RGD at the AGM on April 25, 2018

     

    I don’t want to start any squabbles with other Committee chairs, but I often say I’m lucky to chair the “fun” committee. It’s a ploy I’ve used to woo new Committee Members and, the good news is, it’s entirely true. Our mandate continues to be to ensure RGD is providing relevant, meaningful, accessible opportunities for networking, professional development and community building across Canada. We do this by assisting with RGD’s In-House and So(cial) Good Design Awards, webinars, Portfolio Review Days, Future By Design series, Designers + Drinks + Discussions, Documentary Screenings and programming within DesignThinkers.

     

    Designer + Drinks + Discussions

    This initiative — originally organized by the now dissolved Provisional Committee— is an informal gathering of RGDs, and anyone else who is interested, to talk shop. The sessions are typically led by 2 RGDs and have been well attended and quite enjoyable by all accounts. Anecdotally, I can say that the event I attended recently in London fit really well with our goal to provide meaningful, accessible opportunities for networking. While we didn’t have a huge turnout, those who did come represented a nice range of backgrounds - students, designers, a marketing professional and a business consultant - which made for a very lively conversation. 

     

    Webinars

    We continue to host free professional development webinars for Members, and are continually exploring new topics and speakers to keep content fresh and engaging. We also continue to use the Webinar Program to vet potential DesignThinkers Speakers. We are always open to suggestions for topics or speakers for webinars, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch with RGD if you are interested or have any ideas.

     

    In-House Design Awards / So(cial) Good Awards

    In 2017, we saw another highly successful In-House Design Awards with 200 entries and 42 winning projects celebrated at an Awards Ceremony held during DesignThinkers in Toronto. For 2018, we have taken a hiatus from the In-House Design Awards, to hold our So(cial) Good Design Awards again. We received 338 entries in total, almost double our number of entries in 2015, the last year we organized it, our judges have selected 49 winners. An exhibition of winning work will be on display at DesignThinkers Vancouver this May also with an Awards ceremony and reception. The In-House Awards will return in 2019 with an entry deadline in early June.

     

    Future By Design

    We have changed up the format of Future by Design, moving from a 3-person panel discussion based on a single topic with a group discussion at the end, to a sequential format where each panelist speaks to the overarching Future By Design topic and discussions happen immediately after each talk. The consensus so far is that the new format is working well.

     

    DesignThinkers Vancouver

    Our first DesignThinkers Conference in Vancouver was a huge success, being very well received by the design community in Western Canada. With over 600 in attendance, the audience were enthusiastic for it to be an annual event and our second Vancouver Conference takes place this May 29 and 30. Registrations are looking strong, and we anticipate another excellent event. The Committee has been working on a Pecha-Kucha style component to the event we’re calling Lightning Talks. We’ve had a number of entries from potential presenters and have selected 7 talks by local presenters that have been incorporated into the program. We are keen to see how this plays out with plans to add it to our Toronto Conference in the fall.

     

    DesignThinkers Toronto

    Despite some last minute rescheduling hurdles, DesignThinkers Toronto was very successful as well. With 1,700 in attendance, and an amazing line-up of speakers, DesignThinkers TO continues set the pace for design conferences around the world. The Committee helped orchestrate an Ice Breaker event with a “scrabble theme”, where participants were given a random set of letters and challenged to work with other participants to form the highest scoring word in a given category. Mayhem ensued, but with our VP of Membership, Brent Long’s help MCing, we made it out alive and our goal of breaking the ice was indeed achieved.

     

    This year’s DesignThinkers Toronto Conference will take place at our usual venue, the Sony Centre in downtown Toronto on October 24 and 25. It promises to raise the bar once again with a stellar line-up of speakers, a variety of additional programming, exhibits, designer marketplace and networking events. The Committee is currently working to help fill out the speaker lineup, as well as identify additional opportunities to support networking amongst Conference attendees.

     

    Other items

    We continue to assist and advise RGD on local funding requests for Members looking to organize events in their communities. One exciting opportunity for local organizers to consider is our Design Documentary Screening program. Our crack team at RGD HQ has worked hard to secure screening rights for an impressive list of design documentaries. One of which is Graphic Means, which will be showing in a number of locations in the coming months.

     

    Thanks to our amazing Committee Members: Tom Browne RGD (Toronto), Ross Chandler, Affiliate (Victoria), Melanie di Tullio RGD (Ottawa), Nicole Duncan RGD (Kingston), Ruth Farrugia RGD (Montreal), Anthony Furia RGD (Toronto); Philip Mondor RGD (Kitchener), Stussy Tschudin (Toronto), Nico Taus RGD (Sudbury), Nayla Yehia RGD (Toronto)


  • Get Involved:

    - Certified RGDs, Provisional RGDs & Affiliate Members are invited to apply to join the Committee (Affiliates can serve on a Committee for up to 1 year, during which time they are required to become Certified if they wish to remain on a Committee.)

    - Those interested in joining the Committee should fill out the online form: Get Involved with RGD.