April’s Awesome Ottawa award goes to Ariane Bédard, Isabelle Poirier, Firdous Nizar, and the Ottawa Design Club to help create a strong community of local creative people.
“We founded the Ottawa Design Club in January 2020 with a clear vision: Create a strong community of creatives in our city through monthly speaker events. Our first event was scheduled for March 18 and was almost sold out when we had to cancel due to the pandemic,” explains Ariane.
“Facing this challenge early in the club’s lifetime was quite unsettling, but instead of giving up, we did what so many people had to do: we pivoted. We felt an even greater need for community in this time of isolation, which motivated us to pursue a virtual model.”
“Since March 2020, we have virtually hosted six workshops, two panel discussions, and two speaker events. We also featured members of our community through Instagram takeovers and our blog. Additionally, we featured over 80 artists through the three editions of our printed zine, an artistic publication we are incredibly proud of,” Ariane says.
“Being forced away from the traditional event model pushed us to think outside the box. It let us grow the club’s audience and radius and has helped us create an even stronger foundation for going back to in-person events. Although we have amazing online events and workshops planned, we truly hope 2022 will be the year we can meet our community in person.”
Find out about events, workshops, the zine, and more at ottdesign.club.
Ariane is a graphic design manager at Canada Post, Isabelle is the founder and lead designer of a studio focused on brand identity, and Firdous is a Ph.D. student in architecture and design journalism.
Awesome Ottawa is part of a global movement of self-organizing chapters forwarding the interest of awesome in the universe, $1,000 at a time. At each chapter, ten or so “trustees” each contribute $100 every month and review short applications received online to decide on the recipient of the pooled funds — usually a local project, but occasionally a particularly awesome one far away from home. Globally, close to $6 million has already been awarded – $150,000 of that by Awesome Ottawa. For more information, visit awesomeottawa.ca.