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April Smith of AHA MEDIA is very honored to be a Keynote Speaker at Northern Voice conference 11 at UBC

May 13, 2011 Leave a comment

April Smith and AHA MEDIA will be presenting  a Keynote Speech at Northern Voice Conference on Friday May 13, 2011

April Smith, Hendrik Beune and Peter Davies make the letters AHA with their fingers while at  Woodwards Housing in Vancouver Downtown Eastside (DTES)

April is a citizen journalist and co-founder of AHA MEDIA.

“I’m a citizen journalist and co-founder of AHA MEDIA. I have also been involved with W2’s Fearless City Mobile Project – which has presented here at Northern Voice in previous years – and I facilitate social media literacy classes at LifeSkills Centre and Oppenheimer Park.  In my teaching work, I encourage and promote peer training to support education in technology.

I believe, if my neighbors in the Downtown Eastside are able to access communication and technology – as people do in other neighborhoods – I feel it will help create positive change. I know this because it’s helped me create a better life for myself.

I work with W2, which is active in this area of breaking the digital divide and believes access to technology and communication is a human right. For those who have been following, W2 is finally opening a 10,000 square foot community media centre at the Woodward’s Atrium. From this fabulous new space, W2 will help people with their digital storytelling, with a crossmedia lab that broadcasts on CJSF and Coop Radieo, and Novus and Shaw Cable, and the internet.

Programs like Fearless City Mobile and this new media centre put technology in the hands of people and will help more people overcome marginalization by connecting people with society and supporting their self-representation. I know this work is important for transforming people’s lives because it’s where I began. This is my story.

I am cheerleader for positive community building and outreach. Through art, music, and community promotion, I am a self-taught advocate for social justice and positive neighborhood unity. This is really important given that the voices of our marginalized groups are usually mediated by others, rarely do we represent ourselves. Out of W2’s Fearless project was born our social enterprise ” AHA MEDIA.”

AHA MEDIA is a small business that supports social justice by creating spaces for people to represent themselves.

My interests are documentation of daily life in the Downtown Eastside, highlighting the positive, while bringing to light the injustices that occur in the neighborhood.

I have filmed observations, both subversive and situational, over the last 3 years.

Using social media, new media, mobile technology, photos, videos and blogs,  I concentrate on sharing the stories and voices of the otherwise-silenced inner city community. Through our website AHAMedia.ca we reach our neighbors, reach Vancouverites from other neighborhoods, plus a global audience

April Smith, Hendrik Beune and Richard Czaban make the letters AHA with their fingers while at Woodwards Housing in Vancouver Downtown Eastside (DTES)

I hope to inspire everyone at Northern Voice!


AHA MEDIA is very proud to be part of W2 Community Media Arts in Vancouver Downtown Eastside (DTES)

March 30, 2011 Leave a comment

AHA MEDIA excitedly looks forward to the grand opening of W2 Community Media Arts centre  which has been in development since 2004 in Vancouver Downtown Eastside (DTES)

Below is Peter Davies, Richard Czaban of AHA MEDIA with Miraj Khaled

W2 Community Media Art Society is an artist-run centre in Vancouver’s inner-city that works for cross-cultural dialogue, social inclusion, and breaking the digital divide. W2 provides marginalized communities with access to gear, training, multi-platform production and distribution. W2 is committed to community cultural and economic development in the Downtown Eastside – without displacement of low-income residents.

W2 operates W2 Storyeum as a festival, conference and exhibition venue for the benefit of the citizens of Vancouver. The 31,000 sq ft complex features a large exhibition space, Community Media Lab, W2 Cafe catering, Sound Lab, Woodward’s Heritage Letterpress, W2 and community offices, and W2 storage. W2 Storyeum, 151 West Cordova, Vancouver, BC, V6B 1E1

W2 is opening a community media centre in March 2011 – which has been in development since 2004. With construction nearing completion in the Woodward’s heritage building, we are preparing to occupy 8,800 sq ft of space for W2 Cafe, a community radio and TV station, community meeting rooms, Open Web Lab, Fearless City Mobile, Creative Technology Incubator, Woodward’s Heritage Letterpress Studio, and a community lounge.

Our W2 administration is located in the Woodward’s Atrium at 250 – 111 W Hastings, Vancouver BC V6B 1H4. Phone 604-689-9896

AHA MEDIA and Fearless City Mobile was pleased to be at W2 Lights NYE 2011 in W2 Storyeum – Vancouver Downtown Eastside (DTES)

January 3, 2011 Leave a comment

AHA MEDIA and Fearless City Mobile was pleased to celebrate the New year at W2 Lights NYE 2011 in W2 Storyeum – Vancouver Downtown Eastside (DTES)

Below is a photo and video of Irwin Oostindie, Executive Director of W2 Community Media Arts welcoming all of us to W2 Lights NYE

Irwin Oostindie, Executive Director of W2 and his welcome to W2 Lights NYE:

“So we are here at W2 Storyeum, for a very major event with W2 Lights NYE.. It’s interesting, W2 and all of our volunteers and crew have created a major event for New Year Eve 2011 and I guess our goal is to kick butt on the “No Fun City” thing…

You know this is an amazing experience where 10 different community groups, cultural crews who routinely produce their own events especially around live audio visual productions and electronic music..

It’s a particular part of the cultural scene in Vancouver and they’ve all come together under one roof in a city owned building at W2 Storyeum and it’s exciting to be able to host that much talent, creativity with communities all working together and say we want to do something together,

We want to celebrate Vancouver, celebrate culture and do it together to have a beautiful large facility with the City of Vancouver, residents can gather, is very exciting for W2, it’s an honor for us to be able to host”


W2 LIGHTS NYE – an unprecedented collaboration between Vancouver’s underground music communities in one large public space at W2 Storyeum, bringing back the light, and welcoming the new year. Five rooms filled with music, video, interactive media art installations, and performance. Plus participants will enjoy complimentary hors d’ouevres from W2 Cafe, a silent auction of cool gifts and artworks, a secure coat check, fresh air conditioners, and special refreshments, with their new and old friends! Conveniently located near Vancouver’s transportation hub (Seabus, Skytrains, numerous bus routes), car parking upstairs for designated drivers, all in the heART of the city.

This event is a special fundraising initiative to help W2 build an inner-city media centre for Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside – across the street – within the Woodward’s heritage building scheduled. Take a moment and see what we’re working on:
http://www.creativetechnology.org/

Below are 29 livestream videos through a Nokia N97 mini smart camerphone  from 7 PM Dec 31, 2010 to 3AM Jan 1, 2011

Below are 127 photos from 7 PM Dec 31, 2010 to 3AM Jan 1, 2011

AHA MEDIA and Fearless City Mobile thanks everyone who came out to celebrate W2 Lights NYE 2011!


“With Glowing Hearts” DVD preorders open today/Give the gift of producing‏

December 14, 2010 Leave a comment

Give your loved one the credit they deserve, make them a Producer!

When this project started there were only two people involved, Andrew and I, but now two years later, our family of producers has swelled to around 200 and we’ve got great news for everyone.  Having just submitted our most recent cut of the film to SXSW in Austin TX, we’re very happy to announce that we’re opening presales for the film on the site, with the official launch having been set for February 12, 2011.  We’ll mark the occasion with a special screening of the film in Vancouver where you’ll be able to come pick up your copy on DVD or USB key, with traditional shipping options available to those who can’t make it.   We’re also very excited about our exclusive WGH Producer’s Package which we think is a thoughtful alternative that some people on your list will definitely appreciate receiving this holiday season.

This handsome package includes:

  • An official Producer’s certificate and name in the film’s credits
  • A certificate confirming your $5 contribution to the construction of a wireless mesh network in the Downtown Eastside
  • A ticket to the February 12th, 2011 screening and afterparty at W2
  • One copy of the completed film on DVD or USB

To show our appreciation for the support you’ve already provided, we’re giving all existing producers a 10% discount off any purchases you make on the site, so don’t miss this limited time opportunity to share your involvement with this project with your friends and family.

Thanks for everything,

Jon Ornoy
Producer

AHA MEDIA and Fearless City Mobile of W2 congratulates Mobile Voices/Voces Móvile in Los Angeles, California for winning the U.N. mobile technology award!

November 20, 2010 Leave a comment

AHA MEDIA and Fearless City Mobile Project of W2  Community Media Arts in Vancouver Downtown Eastside (DTES)  warmly congratulates Mobile technology project Mobile Voices/Voces Móvile in Los Angeles, California for winning the U.N. mobile technology award!

Below is a photo of April, Amanda Garces, Mark Burdett and Honey Mae in Vancouver

Mobile Voices/Voces Móviles microreporting site wins U.N. mobile technology award

Mobile Voices/Voces Móviles, the microblogging project designed in collaboration with USC Annenberg and the Institute of Popular Education of Southern California, or IDEPSCA, has won a United Nations-sponsored World Summit Award for innovative mobile applications. The collaborative project is one of five winners in the “m-Inclusion & Empowerment” category, targeted to those apps that “support integration within the global information society.”

Mobile Voices is an open-source platform that lets mobile phone users post text, photo and video content to a publicly available website. Day laborers and household workers across Los Angeles, as well as members of the Los Angeles Community Action Network (LACAN), have used the interface to report news, distribute information and share stories about their work, lives, and their points of view.

IDEPSCA’s Popular Communication team, which is made up of the day laborers and household workers who developed the Mobile Voices system, prepared the following statement:

“This is an effort of more than 2 years, where IDEPSCA’s day laborers and household workers, in collaboration with USC, worked collectively in a participatory method. Today, we fulfill our goal of consolidating Mobile Voices as a window to the universe where the voices of those who for centuries have been excluded from the word can be heard. Silence has been broken and our voice was heard in a far away place in the Middle East. There is no work done in vain.”

“This effort has been transformative and inspiring,” said Amanda Garces, Mobile Voices project manager at IDEPSCA. “Winning this award truly reflects the essence of the Mobile Voices project. IDEPSCA’s popular education methodology has created the path for the workers to become subjects of their own reality. The workers truly live IDEPSCA’s motto of reading reality to write their own history. Their commitment is invaluable.”

“One of the unique strengths of VozMob is that it was designed from the start in close collaboration with the immigrant workers it serves,” said communication professor François Bar, one of the USC Annenberg scholars on the project team. “This United Nations award brings global recognition to the value of our participatory design approach.”

“The award is a great honor for everyone who has worked hard to make VozMob a success — IDEPSCA and LACAN workers, community organizers, Annenberg students and open-source programmers,” Bar said.

The awards are given by the United Nations in recognition of online and mobile content that promotes global digital access and inclusion in the communication revolution, especially in developing countries and underserved communities. More than 420 products from nearly 100 countries were considered for awards.

Other winners in Mobile Voices’ award category included a German application providing resources for handicapped people and an SMS-integrated program linking remote communities in Guatemala.

The winning project teams will receive their awards in December at the World Summit Award Mobile Winners’ Gala, Conference and Expo in Abu Dhabi. In addition to an awards ceremony, the three-day conference brings together global leaders in mobile application development for networking and knowledge exchange.

About IDEPSCA
The roots of the Instituto de Educacion Popular del Sur de California (IDEPSCA) trace back to 1984, when a group of students and parents met in Central Park in the City of Pasadena to confront racism, educational inequalities and the lack of affordable housing. Stories of joy, struggle and hope became mirrors for educational and organizing processes. This experience, and systematic practice that evolved from it, has given IDEPSCA the tools and methods to successfully work with low-income workers and others groups committed to solving problems in their own communities.

About the USC Annenberg School for Communication
Located in Los Angeles at the University of Southern California, the Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism is a national leader in education and scholarship in the fields of communication, journalism, public diplomacy and public relations. With an enrollment of more than 2,200 students, USC Annenberg offers doctoral, graduate and undergraduate degree programs, as well as continuing development programs for working professionals, across a broad scope of academic inquiry. The school’s comprehensive curriculum emphasizes the core skills of leadership, innovation, service and entrepreneurship and draws upon the resources of a networked university located in the media capital of the world.

About the World Summit Award-Mobile
Organized by the International Center for New Media in Salzburg, the World Summit Award-Mobile is a global initiative within the framework of, and in cooperation with, the United Nations World Summit on the Information Society, in collaboration with UNESCO, UNIDO and the United National Global Alliance for ICT and Development. The WSA-mobile is the only ICT event worldwide that reaches the mobile community in over 160 countries and is able to promote the best mobile content and innovative applications out of this huge selection.

AHA MEDIA is very proud to celebrate its Second Birthday and Second Year Anniversary online on Thursdayday November 11, 2010

November 11, 2010 Leave a comment

Dear friends, family and fans of AHA MEDIA

We are very happy to share with you that AHA MEDIA online has turned 2 years! This joyous occasion is to be celebrated with some cake and champagne, so please enjoy with us!

We’ve had a full and very enriching year learning, growing, working, collaborating and being part of something greater in Vancouver and Downtown Eastside!

When AHA MEDIA works as  Fearless City Mobile project participants from W2 Community Media Arts Centre, we peer train others in our Downtown Eastside (DTES) neighbourhood on media literacy and help bridge the digital divide in the Vancouver Downtown Eastside, most recently through our DTES CAMP

AHA MEDIA is very proud and honored to be in the documentary film With Glowing Hearts

We are  proud to continue to grow everyday and help document/report  from social justice issues , community festivals and  social media events!

AHA MEDIA enjoys providing an independent and alternative perspective to general main stream media views. Through our new media devices and cameraphones, we hope to be a news resource for everyone who is interested in us.

We appreciate everyone and all the times we were able to help in providing our services!

We look forward to another great year with you!

Thanks very much! :)

Some of AHA MEDIA’s memorable photo moments of the year

W2 MEDIA MAKERS’ WORKSHOP at W2 Woodward’s Meeting Room for 7th Annual Downtown Eastside Heart of the City Festival in Vancouver on Wednesday Nov 3, 2010

November 3, 2010 Leave a comment

Workshop
W2 MEDIA MAKERS’ WORKSHOP
Wednesday November 3, 7pm-9pm
W2 Woodward’s Meeting Room
250–111 W. Hastings

Come visit the first part of the new W2 community media centre opening at Woodward’s and learn about media production opportunities. From 7pm to 8pm Sid Tan and Irwin Oostindie will introduce community television production opportunities and W2’s new community TV studio in the basement of Woodward’s. Then from 8pm to 9pm learn about W2’s new radio program that mixes up the voices of W2 members, current affairs and artist perspectives on inner-city life and the world around us, www.creativetechnology.org. Free

AHA MEDIA is very proud to help provide social media coverage of the 7th Annual Downtown Eastside Heart of the City Festival in Vancouver from Pre festival events starting Wed Oct 20, 2010 through to the Main Festival during Wed Oct 27 – Sun Nov 7, 2010

http://www.heartofthecityfestival.com

AHA MEDIA is about exploring mobile media production through New Media cameras. For a better quality version of  video or for additional footage, please DM April Smith @AprilFilms on Twitter or Facebook.com/AprilFilms

Please follow AHA MEDIA on Twitter , Facebook, Youtube and Qik
http://www.twitter.com/AHAMEDIA
http://www.facebook.com/AHAMEDIA

http://www.youtube.com/AHAFILM

http://www.qik.com/AHAMEDIA

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