In Vancouver, TEDxEastVan serves up ideas with a side of whimsy

The East Van Carnival Band leads the parade to lunch during TEDxEastVan (Photo: Angelo Cikes)

The East Van Carnival Band leads the parade to lunch during TEDxEastVan 2016 (Photo: Angelo Cikes)

How do you make a brand new TEDx event stand out? For their very first event, the team at TEDxEastVan in East Vancouver, Canada looked to the unique voices within their city.

Here’s 5 standout moments from TEDxEastVan:

1. A lunchtime parade — with kazoos, egg shakers, and balloons

TThe Carnival Band outside of the Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre before lunch (Photo: Angelo Cikes)

The Carnival Band outside of the Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre before lunch (Photo: Angelo Cikes)

TEDxEastVan was held in two places: the York Theatre and the Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre. To brighten up the walk from the theater to the Friendship Centre for lunch, the TEDxEastVan team invited local marching band slash community orchestra, The Carnival Band, to turn the stroll into a parade.

The TEDxEastVan parade to lunch (Photos: Angelo Cikes)

The TEDxEastVan parade to lunch (Photos: Angelo Cikes)

Says co-organizer Niki Dun: “[The parade] transitioned the audience from listening mode to participating/interacting mode … [and] transformed what might have been a dull five-minute walk into one filled with music, laughter, chatter and fun.”

2. Exhibits and activities at the Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre

Lunchtime activities at the Aboriginal Friendship Centre (Photos: Angelo Cikes)

Lunchtime activities at the Aboriginal Friendship Centre (Photos: Angelo Cikes)

When attendees weren’t listening to talks in the York Theatre, they were eating, drinking and thinking in the Vancouver Aboriginal Friendship Centre down the street. Activities included interacting with a flight simulator, learning about mobility aids and more. But what was really important to the TEDxEastVan team was the mission of the venue: a community center dedicated to helping Aboriginal people thrive and maintain their culture in an urban setting.

“It was important to us to honour the Indigenous past and present of East Vancouver,” says Dun. TEDxEastVan featured a powerful talk on healing after racism and intolerance by Chief Dr. Robert Joseph, Hereditary Chief of the Gwawaenuk First Nation, member of the National Assembly of First Nations Elders Council and Ambassador for Reconciliation Canada and ater hearing Dr. Joseph’s talk, the breaks allowed attendees to get to know the Centre and learn more about¬†First Nations culture in Canada.

At TEDxEastVan,  Chief Dr. Robert Joseph, Hereditary Chief of the Gwawaenuk First Nation and Ambassador for Reconciliation Canada and a member of the National Assembly of First Nations Elders Council speaks on  healing after racism and intolerance (Photo: Angelo Cikes)

At TEDxEastVan, Chief Dr. Robert Joseph, Hereditary Chief of the Gwawaenuk First Nation and Ambassador for Reconciliation Canada and a member of the National Assembly of First Nations Elders Council speaks on healing after racism and intolerance (Photo: Angelo Cikes)

3. Onstage swordplay workshop with a local swordmaster

Speaker Devon Boorman demonstrates swordplay technique with a colleague from the Academie Duello School of Modern Swordplay (Photo: Angelo Cikes)

Speaker Devon Boorman demonstrates swordplay technique with a colleague from the Academie Duello School of Modern Swordplay (Photo: Angelo Cikes)

Director of the Academie Duello School of Modern Swordplay in Vancouver, Devon Boorman didn’t just speak about swordplay at TEDxEastVan; he also taught it. With help from fellow swordfighters and a few brave volunteers, Boorman showed how studying swordplay helped him to make sense of movement.

Snapshots from the swordplay workshop at TEDxEastVan (Photo: Angelo Cikes)

Snapshots from the swordplay workshop at TEDxEastVan (Photo: Angelo Cikes)

4. Vintage schoolbus shuttle for everyone

TEDxEastVan used old school buses as the shuttles to their afterparty venue (Photo: Angelo Cikes)

TEDxEastVan used old school buses as the shuttles to their afterparty venue (Photo: Angelo Cikes)

Once the talks were over, attendees hopped onto retired yellow school buses for a trip to their afterparty — at the home of the Big Rock Urban Brewery in East Vancouver. “Old yellow school buses reflected the community-centered character of East Vancouver in a way that regular chartered buses never would have,” says Dun, “and solved the logistical challenge of having an afterparty location far from the event venue — encouraging attendees to leave their cars at home while increasing afterparty participation.”

5. An outdoor afterparty with craft brews and local tastes

Snapshots of the TEDxEastVan afterparty at Big Rock Urban Brewery (Photos: Angelo Cikes)

Snapshots of the TEDxEastVan afterparty at Big Rock Urban Brewery (Photos: Angelo Cikes)

TEDxEastVan celebrated a successful event with a blow-out at Big Rock Urban Brewery featuring dancers, music, and 13 East Vancouver breweries, which offered samples of locally-brewed beer along with snack pairings. “[The party] supported the huge craft brewery culture that is so much a part of East Vancouver,” Dun says.

Dancers at the afterparty   (Photo: Angelo Cikes)

Dancers at the afterparty (Photo: Angelo Cikes)

A promo image for TEDxEastVan's afterparty (Photo: TEDxEastVan)

A promo image for TEDxEastVan’s afterparty (Photo: TEDxEastVan)

To learn more about TEDxEastVan, visit their website or follow them on Facebook or Twitter.

2 Comments

  1. A great day and pleasure to take part in this event! :)

  2. Those special touches were great!

    Well done organizers.

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