Describe the CreativeMornings experience.
8:30 AM: you enter the doors to whatever particular venue we are hosting at that month. The first thing you see are the smiling faces of our beloved volunteers, “we’re happy you’re here.” From there we hope to involve you with an exciting new experience brought to you by our trailblazers – maybe this month it’s a letterpress, perhaps it’s a colourful bracelet from our guest speaker – whatever it is, we hope you enjoy. Make your way to breakfast and most importantly coffee. Take some time to connect with fellow attendees. Take your seat. Then the main event, get ready to be inspired, motivated, maybe even think in a new way with our monthly speaker.
We HOPE your CreativeMornings Toronto experience is welcoming and inclusive where creatives living in Toronto can come together to learn, feel inspired, and connect with others in the community.
What were CreativeMornings TO’s early beginnings? When did the vision become a reality?
That’s a good question! None of the current organizers were part of the beginnings of CreativeMornings Toronto. It was started 4 years ago by Behrouz Hariri, and then Kyle Baptista was the organizer for 2 ½ years until January 2015. Toronto was the 16th chapter globally, so CreativeMornings as a whole was still pretty young (there are now 120 chapters worldwide). While none of the current organizers can really answer this question, Behrouz is our September speaker, so it might be a good Q&A for him!
What kind of crowd does CreativeMornings draw?
We’ve got a pretty young crowd of creatives in the Toronto chapter. I would say most of our attendees are between the ages of 25-35 (though everyone is welcome and encouraged to join us). They are people who are working in what would be considered “creative” fields, or those who just want to inject creativity and inspiration into their mornings through a really awesome free event. It’s a group of really friendly, intelligent, curious people who want to work towards making Toronto better, and seeing the beauty in this city.
Where do you find inspiration for your events?
Everywhere! The organizing committee members are all pretty curious, adventurous women, who are constantly exploring the city, and trying to find new ways to help CMTO attendees connect with spaces/people/experiences that they have never connected with before. We love reading, and scouring the Internet, and going to events, and trying new things.
Any advice for someone looking to start something in their community?
If you’re starting something as a passion project, let that passion show through – it’s magnetic. Listen to your gut and be yourself. Your community will find it easier to connect with what you’re trying to do if they feel like you’re being real with them. Make sure if you want to start something, especially if it impacts your community, you do it all the way through. Also, don’t be afraid to evolve if something isn’t working, and let people help you when they offer. If you’re running events, be on time.
How can people get involved?
Come up and talk to one of the organizers at an event, or give us a shout via email [email protected]. Let us know how you’d like to get involved. We usually start people off on our event day volunteer list and go from there. Please keep mind though, that we all have day jobs outside of CMTO, so it might take us a little while to get back to you; it doesn’t mean we don’t want your help!
Best memory from working at Creative Mornings?
There are too many! We love seeing the connections made between attendees, or when an attendee comes up and tells us that the speaker has made them think of the world, or themselves, differently.
Where do you see CM in 10 years?
On the city level, continuing to build community and inspire creativity. At the global level, you’d have to ask Tina! But she definitely has big plans. CreativeMornings recently launched a “Skills” segment on the website, where members of the community can upload a short video to teach other CreativeMornings folks a new skill.
What’s the CM’s go-to Toronto restaurant?
We usually gather at one of our houses over ciders and nachos or pizza. Unsurprisingly, we’re also big on breakfast meetings.
What’s next for Creative Mornings Toronto?
Over the next year, we’re hoping to expand our reach to different audiences and neighbourhoods around the city. We’ve been experimenting with different ways to help attendees connect with each other beyond events, and that’s going to continue to be a big priority. All of the CMTO organizers are also very socially minded, so we’re working to harness some of CMTO’s momentum to support or bring attention to different causes in Toronto. There’s so much creativity and beauty here, and we want to continue to help our community to discover that through our events, and once they’ve left and gone back out into their lives.