Archive for August, 2009

April Smith of AHA MEDIA was very pleased and honored to work with mentor Mo Simpson – award-winning freelance director, cinematographer and editor !

August 30, 2009 1 comment

April Smith of AHA MEDIA  had the great exclusive opportunity to work  as a sound recordist with mentor Mo Simpson on her documentary on Design Nerds  at W2 Community Media Art Gallery Space at 175 West Hastings in Vancouver Downtown Eastside

Mo filming Design Nerds

Below is a photo of Mo Simpson holding a Sennheiser Microphone unit

Mo showing microphone

Recently, Sennheiser Sound Team toured W2 Community Media Arts Centre. Below is a closeup of Mo Simpson’s Sennheiser Microphone Unit

Sennheiser Microphone


Mo with shades

Moira Simpson’s work as an award-winning freelance director, cinematographer and editor spans 30 years and encompasses many National Film Board, independent and television documentaries. Simpson has often combined filmmaking with teaching, giving workshops throughout BC as well as the Western Arctic, Newfoundland and Alberta. She has also taught at the University of British Columbia and the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design. In 1995 Simpson was honoured for receiving one of the best student evaluations that year at the Institute. She currently gives workshops regularly and has mentored a number of developing filmmakers.

The subjects of Simpson’s documentaries range from Canada’s Political Economy, youth and drug addiction, the creation of a national women’s monument remembering the 14 women murdered in the Montreal Massacre, an international peacebuilding mission on the frontlines of war-ravaged Kosovo, to the complexities of offering aid to Africa.

Last fall Simpson returned from giving a joint NFB-UN Habitat workshop in Nairobi, Kenya with young media activists from Slum TV, Hot Sun and The Ghetto Club, three grassroots video groups in Nairobi’s vast slums that have become models of self-empowerment in a society besieged by political disillusionment. Called the “free media”, their work is being shown online and informally throughout communities, involving the Kenyan people in a debate over the future of their country and giving them nonviolent avenues of expression

Mo was recently DOP and location sound recordist on the National Film Board’s Finding Dawn on the epidemic of missing and murdered Indigenous women across Canada. As filmmaker in residence with Fearless City Mobile and W2, she has been exploring the use of mobile phone video technology, including livestreaming, with residents of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.

This spring Simpson was honoured with the Kodak Image Award of Excellence from Women in Film and Television. Over the next year she will be directing, shooting and editing stories for the National Film Board’s GDP, an interactive webdocumentary that will measure the human side of the Canadian economic crisis. Filmmakers and photo essayists across the country will give a voice to the men and women who through resilience and ingenuity have become “change makers” in their communities.

April Smith of AHA MEDIA together with Lianne Payne of W2 Community Media Arts are interviewed and filmed by Kaleidoscope

August 30, 2009 Leave a comment

Recently, April Smith of AHA MEDIA with Lianne Payne of W2 Community Media Arts were filmed by Kaleidscope Video Production team on their thoughts of arts, culture and people’s perception of  the Vancouver Downtown Eastside


Project Activities

Digital video production skills

All the basics, including concepts, tools and techniques essential to get started in video production without prior knowledge or experience.

  • Develop leadership and workplace essential skills
    The essential skills employers are looking for regardless of your position on the corporate ladder
  • Develop a greater understanding of community and your place in it
    Produce a video around issues or community services of interest to your small team 
  • Get valuable work experience
    Work placement with a local employer is added to your experience on the Kaleidoscope production team





Below is a photo of Producer Randy Keats and Kaleidoscope Video Production team getting set up at W2 Community Media Arts Gallery Space at 175 W. Hastings in Vancouver Downtown Eastside

Kaleidoscope Filming 3

Below is a photo of the team getting ready to film

Kaleidoscope Filming 7

Below is a photo of Lianne Payne of W2 Community Media Arts

Kaleidoscope Filming 8

Below are photos are the new W2 Community Media Arts Centre beng built at the corner of Hastings and Abbott in Vancouver Downtown Eastside

Kaleidoscope Filming 12

Kaleidoscope Filming 13


AHA MEDIA visits Quest Food Exchange Store on Hastings Street in Vancouver Downtown Eastside (DTES)

August 27, 2009 2 comments


AHA MEDIA visits Quest Food Exchange Store on East Hastings Street by Gore in Vancouver Downtown Eastside (DTES). It is a  very affordable place to buy groceries.  For example, a bag of buns is only 10 cents! One must have a Quest membership  card to be able to shop at Quest and most shoppers are referred by Welfare or other social service agencies.

Quest 1

The Quest Food Exchange is operated by the Quest Outreach Society, a registered not-for-profit organization founded in 1990. The mandate of Quest Food Exchange is to pick up non-marketable food from every sector of the food industry and redistribute it to those in need, benefiting individuals, communities and the environment. In its 2007/2008 fiscal year, Quest collected $7.12 million worth of food from 343 food suppliers. This rescued food was diverted to Lower Mainland social service agency partners for distribution. Quest now serves more than 244 social service agencies feeding 40,000 people each month.


Individuals: We provide food to kitchens serving homeless and street people in Vancouver’s downtown eastside; we prepare hot meals in our own kitchens that are distributed through various outreach programs; and we distribute low-cost, high-quality food to individuals referred by social service agencies.

Communities: We supply food to hundreds of outreach programs ranging from neighbourhood houses, women’s shelters, halfway houses, recovery centres, street youth, and school lunch programs, and more. This not only helps feed the people they serve, but it also enables these organizations to focus on their unique mission to serve the community.

The environment: By diverting food from the landfill, Quest prevented the release of 3,290 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents last year. We also recycle food packaging, and help turn food waste into animal feed and compost.


Quest’s service area in B.C. currently extends throughout the Lower Mainland, including Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster, North Vancouver, Richmond, Surrey, the Tri-cities and Maple Ridge.

Quest 2


Below are happy testimonials from area residents:

Quest 3

Quest 4

Below is Peter Davies of AHA MEDIA  enjoying his time at Quest Food Exchange Store

Quest 5

Quest 6

AHA MEDIA is very proud to have one of their photos of Oppenheimer Park selected for inclusion in newly released eighth editon of Schmap Vancouver Guide !

August 25, 2009 Leave a comment


Emma J. Williams Emma Williams


Schmap Vancouver Eighth Edition: Photo Inclusion

  Hi AHA Media,I am delighted to let you know that your submitted photo has been selected for inclusion in the newly released eighth edition of our Schmap Vancouver Guide:


Oppenheimer Park

If you use an iPhone or iPod touch, then this same link will take you directly to your photo in the iPhone version of our guide. On a desktop computer, you can still see exactly how your photo is displayed and credited in the iPhone version of our guide at:

Oppenheimer Park

Finally, if you have a blog, you might also like to check out the customizable widgetized version of our Schmap Vancouver Guide, complete with your published photo:

Thanks so much for letting us include your photo – please enjoy the guide!

Best regards,

Emma Williams,
Managing Editor, Schmap Guides

P.S. We’re now tweeting Vancouver restaurant and bar picks at
If you’ve a favorite you’d like us to tweet, please visit

AHA MEDIA on Public Bus, where Bus driver calls 911 to report on Bike Theft in progress!

August 25, 2009 Leave a comment

AHA MEDIA was riding on the Cambie #15 Bus back downtown to the East Side.

Bus Driver phones on bike thief 2

During a 10 minute break near the Vancouver Public Library, the bus driver calls 9-11 to report on a bike theft in progress.

Bus Driver phones on bike thief 1

The thieves had cut through the bike lock and chain with bolt cutters. Notice the man on the left hand side wearing a white sweatshirt still holding the bolt cutter.

Bus Driver phones on bike thief 3

Almost immediately, Vancouver Police showed up and caught the bike thieves in the act.

Bus Driver phones on bike thief 4

According to Stephen Hui, Technology and On-line Editor of the Georgia Straight …

Vancouver police are warning the public about a recent “spike” in bicycle thefts.

According to police, 257 bikes were reported stolen between July 31 and August 21. That’s up from the 167 bikes reported stolen during the same period last year.

This year, 1,417 bikes have been stolen so far. In 2008, 1,596 bikes were stolen.

Police say both residential and commercial areas are being targeted.

              Please see Stephen Hui’s article at

Bus Driver phones on bike thief 5