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PechaKucha inspires in 6 minutes and 40 seconds

By Lee Pepper on April 9, 2014

For anyone looking to get inspired to take on new projects now that it’s finally time to come out of hibernation, an upcoming event will bring together a wide array of local artists, organizers, and entrepreneurs to tell us about their work.

PechaKucha (“chit-chat” in Japanese) nights were created in Tokyo in 2003 as a way for young creative professionals to meet and share ideas.  Each speaker shows 20 slides for 20 seconds each, and speaks over them, keeping their presentations to an MTV-generation-friendly six minutes and forty seconds each.  The format has since caught on, and PechaKucha events now take place in over 700 cities worldwide.

While PechaKucha’s format of short, punchy talks is often compared to TED talks, PechaKucha is intended to be more “bottom up” than TED, in the sense that it welcomes and encourages amateurs to share their stories and their passions.  PechaKucha nights are also intended to specifically showcase the talents of those in the communities in which they take place.

This edition of PechaKucha Ottawa features nine bright young accomplished people with laundry lists of awards and honours to their names, who will make you feel old and lazy regardless of your age or achievements:

  • Ryan Anderson, whose website Northern Army Preservation Society of Canada is a tribute to Canadian logo designs past and present.
  • Alëna Louguina, from Ecotonos Design, which makes sustainable and compostable jewelery and guitar picks.
  • Chris Bailey, whose website A Year of  Productivity documents “productivity experiments” like drinking only water for a month or watching 70 hours of TED talks over seven days.
  • Jeremy Dias, whose organization Jer’s Vision runs programs in schools to counteract bullying, homophobia, transphobia, and other forms of discrimination.
  • Emily Je?ers, who draws comics “inspired by life, loss, love, friendship, and hilarity” at The Goo Inside.
  • Jason King,  Director of Operations and Business Planning for New Canadian Media, a news website by and about immigrants in Canada
  • Jamie Koebel, a visual artist, dancer, and Métis advocate, who conducts Indigenous Walking Tours to educate Ottawans on our city’s Indigenous history and culture.
  • Amy Schissel, a studio arts teacher at Algonquin College whose vivid, colourful abstract paintings have been exhibited worldwide.
  • Local artist and designer Colin White, who is known for his comics and Ottawa street scenes


The next Ottawa PechaKucha night, which marks the organization’s 10th edition, will take place April 11th, 2014, from 7-10 PM at Club SAW.  Tickets are free, but Eventbrite registration is required.  Please note, as of the time of publication, this event is now sold out, but keep an eye on the PechaKucha Ottawa website for future editions of this event.