Demo day at The Mayfair Hotel

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Serendipity caught me walking out of Kitchener City Hall after a meeting just as the demolition of the Mayfair Hotel was kicking off with a tremendous crash and a small crowd. Pasteur said “Fortune favours the prepared mind” and that works equally as well for photogs who habitually lug their gear as it does for scientists.

And while we’re quoting quotes, kick-ass photog Jay Maisel observes in his new book: “never go back.” You have to shoot it now. So I did. Click through for a semi-reasonable number of pics.

From King and Gaukel, this is Kitchener.

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Mid-town music and porches–June 14!

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From the don’t-miss-this department, The Grand Porch Party 2015 is less than four weeks away. Sunday, June 14, 2015 2pm-5pm in Waterloo mid-town west. This map link to the corner of Alexandra and Avondale will get you in the general vicinity. It’s free-no-pay, but your support is massively appreciated when you buy the music and merch. Get this in yer calendar right now: Sunday, June 14, 2015, 2pm.

If you’re new here (and that’s cool ‘cause we love new people), the GPP is an afternoon of eclectic music performed on porches in one of the most delightfully walkable neighbourhoods in WR. You can check out my coverage of the event from the past few years, and before you do please allow me to highlight that GPP is hipster-friendly, dog-friendly, kid-friendly, wheel-chair friendly, bike-friendly, 40-something-parent-friendly, and friend-friendly. If I may, I’ll ask two services of you:

1. Commit to going to this event: pack away all your we’ll-see’s and try-our-best’s and lock in on this one. It’s a month away, you can do it. History, they say, is made by those who show up.

2. Tell 2 friends: in this, our web-of-trust for cool events, I’m confidently endorsing GPP and you can, too. Please tweet itlike it, share ittext it (or text from an iPhone),   email it, phone somebody, or lean over the back fence and tell your neighbour the old fashioned way.

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What do these people…

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have in common with these people…

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and these people?

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They showed up. I hope you will, too.

DW

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404 on King Street–a photo survey in DTK

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I think it started with the news that one of my fave DTK watering holes, Imbibe, was shuttering over some misalignment with THEMUSEUM. Then I heard from Ian Pilon that IoT Waterloo gigs would have to shift due to Ren @41 closing. I watched the trucks emptying out the remains of Carbon Computing and most recently saw the sign pulled down from Artisan Zone and the store vacant. The ION light rail construction is primarily fouling up Charles Street and *not* the main drag, so what pray tell, dear reader, is going on with King Street?

404 is an error code indicating a missing resource in the hyper text transfer protocol. Keen to avoid confirmation bias and reality distortion by woeful scuttlebutt, I set out last Thursday morning with Brohemus to simply photograph every storefront on King Street between Victoria and Cedar around 10am. I wanted to really look for myself in a methodical way at the state of the street. What’s open for business? What’s vacant? 404. This is not Photography, but rather a quick and quasi-objective visual record of the streetscape. You can start scrolling King Street below.

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SCROLL RIGHT for a wrap-around tour of this section of King Street.

I thought I might later count doors and bucket them into [occupied | vacant | undetermined]. Seems like a good way to start an argument over my classification and counting abilities. I’ve got about 183 photos, some show multiple doors of a single business, some show parking lots, some show multiple businesses. Arriving at numbers of open versus closed businesses on King Street would distract us from more important conversation. Getting less data-oriented, I’ll ask you “What’s the feel of the street?” It’s only 1340m of a street. That’s human-scale. Walkable. The City is working hard on DTK as is the Downtown Kitchener BIA and its members. What role do you and I play? Click through for a few observations…

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1shot #228-boots on the ground

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Yes, again. I was heading out from the Hub on Friday afternoon and spotted these work boots lined up on the curb near the corner of Victoria and Michael St.

No, I don’t have a foot fetish, nor even a footwear fetish. I just suffer from an irrepressible curiosity that is applied evenly across the broader enigmas and mundane mysteries. No owner in sight. No obvious signs of a struggle. Quite the opposite: only half the people in my house line up shoes in the front hallway this neatly.

Current working theory: this is some selfless social-good side-channel mechanism of equipping those in need. Like you might leave a lawnmower on a lawn or a snow shovel in a snow bank. You leave footwear where people walk. Buddy’s making the long haul home across Victoria and, lo… size 12’s! Sweet.

This is Kitchener.

DW

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1shot #227-the art district gallery tonight

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I hear that some of my favourite artists are hanging and hanging out tonight for the opening of the art district gallery. James Nye, Greg Kirch, Amy Ferrari will be in the house with a whack of others. 5pm to 10pm to the right of the front door to the Kitchener Market (map) on King Street. The room was empty yesterday morning when Brohemus and I peeked in, but all the hangers were on the wall and I’m sure it will be jammed tonight.

Also on tonight and tomorrow is the Globe Studio spring show/sale only five blocks from the Market at Whitney and Cedar (map) so it’s pretty easy for you to hit both of these shows. 4pm to 9pm is the Globe thing and they’re also open on Saturday.

I’m going early to both shows. Hopefully see you there, dear reader.

From King and Cedar, this is DTK.

DW

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kwartzlab Tuesday Open Night—right now!

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kwartzlab Tuesday Open Night is on tonight 7-10pm. If you’ve never been, why not come out tonight and check it out.

Here’s maker Tennessee Carmel-Veilleux and his drawbot rig. The two servo-driven disks are hooked to linkage which has a pen mounted to it. It was a month ago that I shot this photo so I hope he’s at the lab tonight so I can check in on this project. Something I love about Open Night and this project is that Tennessee is figuring it out and those of us that show up get to see the work in progress.

Best to come to the lab from Courtland along Kent to Charles. Oh, construction!

From one of the coolest damned makerspaces anywhere, this is Kitchener.

A few more pics to entice you from the sofa… tonight…

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Monday is for shameless self-promotion

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I asked people with whom I have worked if they would write a few sentences on the value of makebright. Massive thanks to them for these thoughtful observations.

Sometimes I feel like I’m pitching a solution to a problem my potential clients don’t know they have. I’ve become reasonably articulate about the way ground-level stories work internally within an organization to define a sense of belonging and commitment, and how they work externally to genuinely engage customers/partners/investors/potential hires. Asking myself “Would I believe me?” led to this offering of other perspectives that I’ll continue to collect under Recognition on the main menu.

Happy Monday,
DW

Anthony Reinhart

Anthony Reinhart – Director, Editorial Strategy, Communitech:

“Darin White brings the eye of an artist, the mind of a maker and the curiosity of a journalist to everything he does for makebright. The result is a novel combination of rich visuals, interesting technical detail and insightful observation about the people and places that populate his stories. Whether he’s profiling an artist, a company, a musician or a fellow maker, Darin brings all these things together in entertaining, engaging and informative way. I always leave makebright feeling a bit smarter than when I entered, and a little envious of Darin for the time he gets to spend exploring his community.”

makebright’s work for Anthony includes this shoot/story of UW’s Hack The North event (Oct 2014)

Ian Pilon

Ian Pilon – Founder, Internet of Things Waterloo:

”The average attention span is five minutes. How do you compete with this limited factor of today’s distracted audience? The short answer: rapid fire creative storytelling. Darin White has a passion for authentic storytelling and a killer photography style and can unleash this creativity faster than anyone I have ever known. I have been fortunate enough to have Darin as an integral part of increasing my brand’s membership rate which skyrocketed from 80 members to over 450 in less than one year. I strongly attribute this success to Darin’s breaking news coverage of our community’s first “Internet of Things” Waterloo event. I have known Darin for many years as a fellow tech enthusiast and share a common interest in the maker movement culture. In today’s over-saturated barrage of media news, it’s refreshing how Darin doesn’t fool around when communicating the main message. It cuts through the noise fast and comes across as refreshingly raw and REAL. Hands down, Darin is the best story teller I know, not only bringing readers into the visual tapestry of his craft but also connecting the story that links out to the community in new ways. Darin’s passion as a proactive community builder in arts and culture is a gift to the Kitchener Waterloo area – If you want an authentic story told for your brand, then Darin’s your guy.”

makebright’s work for Ian includes this shoot/story of IoT Waterloo’s inaugural event (Apr 2014)

Tenille Bonoguore

Tenille Bonoguore – Founder, Grand Porch Party:

“Darin White is not only a compelling photographer, he is a dedicated supporter of the arts scene and community. He works tirelessly to support events like the Grand Porch Party, for which he is our official volunteer photographer, and to raise awareness of arts endeavours right across the region. For three years, Darin has helped the Grand Porch Party build event awareness and connect artists to audiences. He then spends hours shooting on the day, and works through the night to have a timely, thorough and thoughtful account of the event on makebright.com the next day. In his words and pictures, Darin taps into the beauty of a moment, and then shares it in time for those in attendance to relive it, and those who missed out to discover it. This kind of connection goes above and beyond “just” photography: It is an essential part of how grass-roots groups like the Grand Porch Party grow and build community. He has directly impacted our reach, and our audience engagement, and for that we are hugely grateful.”

makebright’s work for Tenille includes shoot/story/promotion on the Grand Porch Party (2014, 2013, 2012)

Cathy Farwell

Cathy Farwell – General Organizer, BOX Art Show & Sale:

“makebright, as a unique transformational form of promotion, played a fundamental role in the successful branding and growth of the BOX Art Show & Sale events. Darin’s blogging style covered not only the salient and obvious enticements to attend but expanded on information and ideas to enable diverse viewers to recognize potential personal relevance and arrive at BOX in an anticipatory state; feeling informed, comfortable, ready to enjoy. makebright intuitively informs, connects, invites, excites, and mobilizes! Darin and makebright have had a remarkable impact on the creative sector in this region, developing an impeccable reputation as an insightful trusted source of experiences not to be missed.”

makebright’s work for Cathy includes shoot/story/promotion of the BOX Art Show (2013, 2011, 2010)

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1shot #226-Sonday

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The thing about kids is that they can look right through you. My main man, Calder White.

DW

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TH&B United art show–Hamilton delivers again

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Hit the TH&B United group art show in The Hammer on Saturday. I liked a lot of the work. I liked the scale. I liked the venue. And what I really like is that Hamilton shows up!

This show at 270 Sherman Ave N was primarily composed of large-scale installations (yeah baby!) and some performance pieces. Sixteen projects from 22 artists. TH&B is the adopted name of the arts collective including Simon Frank, Dave Hind, Ivan Jurakic, and Tor Lukasik-Foss. If you’re kicking yourself for missing this show, you can still get a look during Doors Open Hamilton, May 2/3 10am-6pm or hit the closing gig on May 16 8pm-11pm.

This piece above is by Laura Marotta and is well executed with swinging components and doors and compartments. Shows really well here.

Click through for a completely unreasonable number of photos.

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Talking architecture with André Arsenault and Arden

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Big thanks to André Arsenault (right) for taking time out of his Saturday morning to talk with my daughter Arden about a career in architecture. We got connected through André’s wife Daisy via a recent blog post I did on the Douglas Cardinal talk at KPL.

André, a board member with Grand Valley Society of Architects, noted it was a timely chat given that the Ontario Association of Architects Spring 2015 publication Perspectives (PDF) was focused directly on our exploration and was themed “Dear Aspiring Architect…” Adding fuel to our journey are the words of editor Gordon S. Grice: “Exercising curiosity doesn’t just smarten you up, it gives you the courage to meet challenges.” And with that curiosity, we peppered André with questions and he shared the story of his path to the profession, covering everything from the personal characteristics the study demands, to the phases of design, to the nuts and bolts of exams and certification. It was extremely valuable to us and we appreciate his generosity.

It is, I believe, indicative of the good will of Waterloo Region, that a stranger would go out of their way to reach out and help us. That’s in our DNA here.

From King and Dupont, this is Waterloo.

DW

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