After meeting April and Hendrik at our panel discussion on the New Paradigm of Business at SFU Harbour Centre, I was absolutely amazed when I checked out their website the next day to find an excellent multimedia record of our event, including video, photos and text, already up on the front page! It’s easy to tell that they are passionate documenting and reporting on the important discussions and events happening in their community, and equally professional in the way they go about it.
Jordan Bober, Co-founder of Seedstock
April Smith took photos and videos of a Story Power workshop I did with The Only Animal Theatre Company. She not only unerringly and beautifully captured individuals but also the sense of community that was being built. I felt seen and honoured by her work. April goes beyond great technique and also works with great skill in the realm of the heart. I hope we get a chance to work together again.
April and Hendrik engage in community development and collaboration with passion and energy that is hard to come by. In the spring of 2012, it was inspirational to watch April and Hendrik work in consultation with residents of the Bosman Hotel in opening their own in-house community library.
Using their skills in writing, photography, and social media, April and Hendrik quickly but sensitively transformed the seed of the resident’s idea for a library into a reality, all the while working with a budget that was practically nil. April and Hendrik’s ability to reach out and connect with others in the greater community resulted in books being donated in book donations coming from a number of sources, including the Vancouver Public Library, Banyen Books, and published author Michelle Demers.
I look forward to supporting and celebrating other projects which April and Hendrik choose to undertake in the future.
Angelika Sellick, Literacy Outreach Coordinator with the DTES Adult Literacy Roundtable
April, Hendrik and Richard – we’ve enjoyed their professionalism, hospitality and good cheer at numerous events – as presenters, facilitators at our dialogues as well as, of course, photographers, videographers and social media disseminators of info – quickly and brilliantly!
The Lunar New Year parade coverage was absolutely outstanding. Richard wove in and out of our contingent, including the Carnegie Street Band, an eco-arts dragon from umbrellas and a stilt-walker with her mom. Always pleasant, observant and considerate – and taking tons and tons of footage and photos.
Mary Bennett, Administrator, Community Arts Council of Vancouver
Oh April the video is fantastic. It’s perfect as is.
Leo Cooper – Owner, Japantown Studios Ltd.
First rate photo journalism as usual! Nice work April.
Alan Bates – President of Vancouver Street Soccer League
April Smith and her AHA Media team were a pleasure to work with at our recent Temple Toons fundraiser. On the advice of a friend we contacted April about coming to our event and despite short notice she was able to accomodate. Two photographers very much captured the spirit of our event and took some excellent photos and videos throughout the night. We are most pleased to have some photos to work with for future events. It was only after the event that we learned April utilizes residents of the Downtown Eastside and gives them opportunites to build skills through the event documentation services that AHA Media provides. That makes it extra satisfying to work with them. We are so grateful to April and AHA Media!
Jai’ Aquarium – Temple of Transition – Vancouver
Love what you post on Facebook and your leadership in our area!
Patti DeSante – Zen Buddhist Chaplain/Founder at Tenzo Collaborations
It is a great pleasure and privilege to work with AHA media. In my experience they are not only important role models in a digital age due to the kind of citizen journalism and online digital media work they engage in, but in sharing their skills and reporting on the small and the large events and issues in and with communities in DTES they act as a kind of social glue as well as a force for growth/development, change, creativity and sustainability.The community archive they are developing is truly incredible and an excellent example of a knowledge base and organisational memory about the communities and community activities in DTES. Long may they continue to share, report, challenge, motivate and nurture the creative communities they live in and work with.
Dr Maggie O’Neill, Durham University, UK.
You do amazing work April
Mark Townsend, co-director of the Portland Hotel Society
Thanks for the photos. Very inspiring being back in Denmark and seeing the DTES again through your powerful lenses
Ivan Christensen – Copenhagen, Denmark
How magnificent – gee you sure do good work!
What a fun day – and I really, really enjoyed your enthusiasm
Thank you so much for filming this – it was really fun but you just made the whole day wonderful.
Doug Hetherington, Lookout Emergency Aid Society
April – Thank you for all your work for Vancouver in 2010
Thank you so much for your commitment to strengthening community and all your passion to make Vancouver a great city for all.
Councillor Andrea Reimer, City of Vancouver
Thrilled to have AHA Media on board as the Festival’s social media platform! Thanks April, Hendrik et al for the great coverage of this event. Really looking forward to following the festival on your blog
Can’t say enough about the great coverage you are providing AHA Media on the Heart of the City Festival. Quite extraordinary what you are doing. You are not only making the festival accessible to people who are unable to attend, you are also creating an in incredible legacy of the festival and the events, a legacy which which will be available for future generations. Thank you ! Thank you! Thank you!
Terry Hunter, Artistic Producer, DTES Heart of the City Festival
We all love AHA MEDIA. Thanks for everything you do April, for us, and especially for the folks of the Downtown East Side who really need someone with your drive and positive outlook. You are truly remarkable and certainly an inspiration to me.
Alan Ross Terry , Vice President of Teamsters Canada Rail Conference MWED
April Smith from AHA Media stepped up immediately when I was seeking help with video on the night of March 19, 2010. She swung into action right away– perfectly knowledgeable, and very easy for an amateur like me to work with. She was patient and accepting of questions, corrections, and confusion. We worked late into the night on this, eventually having to complete the thing by email in the early hours of Saturday morning.
- Ryder Cooey, Citywide Housing Coalition
Your energy is infectious, your vision is inspiring and your eye with the camera is remarkable.
- William Brehl, President of the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference MWED
AHA Media is a magnificent mobile-multimedia organization that spotlights what’s going on in Vancouver’s downtown eastside, accenting that neighborhood’s charm, solidarity, and positive developments. Its founder, the super-smart April Smith, has been an inspiration to me.
- Bob Basil, Professor of Applied Communications at Kwantlen Polytechnic University and President of Basil Communications Inc.
AHA Media documented our event today and did a great job. They take photos on a digital camera, take films with a Nokia N95– all very non-invasive and unassuming. They are offering and creating a fantastic means of documenting and reporting events and are also improving the spirit and life of Vancouver and the DTES.
- Daniel Schloss, CIC