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:
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.”
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.