Archive for the ‘Andrew Lavigne’ Category

DTES Camp at W2 Storyeum for 7th Annual Downtown Eastside Heart of the City Festival in Vancouver on Sunday Nov 7 2010

November 7, 2010 1 comment

Sunday November 7, 11am-3pm
W2 Storyeum, 151 W. Cordova

A mini-unconference and social media workshop that provides multi-sector learning and collaborative solutions for our DTES neighbourhood. An unconference is a facilitated, participant-driven conference centred on open themes that emerge from the participants. Today’s event will feature film screenings, speakers and open space for DTES residents, activists, business owners, artists, and urban planners. Get inspired and work face-to-face on local cultural, housing, environment, economic and justice solutions. Follows this weekend’s Media Democracy Day program at VPL and W2. Presented by W2 and Heart of the City Festival, includes lunch (by donation). Info: 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

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

Please follow AHA MEDIA on Twitter , Facebook, Youtube and Qik

W2 presents: The With Glowing Hearts UnFestival 2010

September 23, 2010 Leave a comment

Attention World!! You are invited to join us at the With Glowing Hearts Unfestival 2010 presented by W2 Storyeum!

What’s an Unfestival? Well, we’re giving you a chance to see a “work-in-progress” cut of the film, as well as getting involved in some fundraising to help us complete it.  We’ll have an exciting variety of silent auction items for you to bid on, as well as an opportunity to become a  ‘producer’ on the film and have input into the final version!

With Glowing Hearts, is a feature length documentary which  focuses on the way activists and artists in Vancouver used social media during the Olympics to affect social change and bring down barriers.

April Smith, with mobile media reporters Hendrik Beune (left), Ken Glofcheskie and Peter Davies Photograph by: Bill Keay, PNG

We are in our final stage of post production and need to prepare for broadcast and distribution.  We have managed to get to this point with many contributions from numerous people but still have a few hurdles like insurance, music rights, publicty and people’s wages which are hard cash costs that can’t be avoided.

Unfestival Schedule:

  • 4 pm free community screening, all are welcome
  • An evening fundraising screening starting at 7pm, which includes silent auction and the opportunity to become a ‘producer’.  The price of your admission will also get you listed the film’s credits as a producer, but the more you contribute the larger your name will appear.
  • Silent auction and door prizes
  • There will be a producer/director Q & A after the screening,  which will give you  the chance to ask questions of the filmmakers, and provide feedback as we move forward to the film’s final cut!
  • Cash bar will be available, as well as delicious snacks
  • Music from DJs Kid Knowledge and Haze, and more!

Got a great prize you’d love to donate to the auction? Email us.

Help Desk:

Jon Ornoy – 778 322 2482

It’ll be awesome fun. See you there!

AHA MEDIA is so proud of Jon Ornoy and Andrew Lavigne on their article in The Georgia Straight newspaper “Activist documentary filmmakers get interactive”

May 15, 2010 Leave a comment

AHA MEDIA is so proud of Jon Ornoy and Andrew Lavigne on their article in The Georgia Straight newspaper “Activist documentary filmmakers get interactive”

Many thanks to Jon Ornoy and Andrew Lavigne of Animal Mother Films for the upcoming film “With Glowing Hearts” for all their hard work and REAL care and concern for all the people they interviewed and cultivating a life long working relationship especially for us at AHA MEDIA.

Below is a photo of Andrew Lavigne and Jon Ornoy from their Georgia Straight article written by Shana Myara

Jon and Andrew were the only filmmakers we’ve seen who were dedicated in telling the REAL stories of our lives and other community members in the Vancouver Downtown Eastside.  We  are immensely grateful for their time, patience and care in working with us at AHA MEDIA over the year for their documentary film.

We at AHA MEDIA are very proud to count Jon Ornoy and Andrew Lavigne as mentors, advisors and most importantly friends of AHA MEDIA.

So many people are always interested in what, where and why we do our citizen journalism and social media documentation with cameraphones of events, functions and daily life activities in our community the Vancouver Downtown Eastside.   One thing we were most impressed and touched by Jon and Andrew was that they geniunely wanted to KNOW us and be there with us through the good and bad times.

In the Vancouver Downtown Eastside, so much goes on in our community and it’s rapidly changing everyday. We deal with many issues including gentrification, poverty, lack of social housing  and during the film process of With Glowing Hearts,  we all learned more about ourselves and how we could change things together!!

Thanks to Jon and Andrew for being there for us and helping us tell our story to an international audience. Thank you for encouraging us and supporting our endeavors to tell the stories of the most marginalized people in our City of Vancouver.

Please see Jon Ornoy and Andrew Lavigne of With Glowing Hearts article in this week’s Georgia Straight newspaper

AHA MEDIA is very proud to attend Fearless City Mobile Project Meeting on Wednesday Jan 13, 2010

January 20, 2010 Leave a comment

AHA MEDIA is very proud to attend Fearless City Mobile Project Meeting on Wednesday Jan 13, 2010

W2’s Fearless City Mobile is recruiting Vancouver DTES residents and artists for an exciting mobile video streaming showcase of ideas and views from our neighbourhood.

VJs (video jockeys) will remix live videos created by participants and project a mashup on giant screens from the large window facade of the new W2 Cafe site inside the Woodward’s Atrium. (The W2 Cafe will not open in the Woodward’s Atrium until late April). The mobile video mix will also be viewed on a screen at the W2 Culture + Media House – our space at 112 W Hastings.

Fearless City Mobile has a successful track record of empowering local residents with access to technology, and helped launch other projects in the neighbourhood like AHA Media. Funding for this February program is from CODE Live (Cultural Olympiad Digital Edition) and the City of Vancouver’s Bright Lights. For project background, check out these samples of previous test events: showing Fearless participants learning about mobile video and VJing are Vision Division; with mobile streaming from DTES locations and our shopping cart screen; mixing it up with VJs and DJs at Tech Forms; in Ottawa for BC Scene with VJs remixing streaming connections from seven galleries and layered social media together.

Meeting: every Wednesday 1-3 PM W2 Perel Gallery 112 West Hastings @Abbott. Weekly Fearless City Mobile training and peer support sessions (lunch included) every Wednesday. We will be providing an honorarium for Fearless City Mobile Project participants and we especially encourage our original 2008 Fearless City crew to come and work and create again

I encourage everyone to sign up as a member on W2 Community Media Arts site on and come join us!

Please also join Fearless City Mobile on W2 after you sign up.

If you use Twitter add: @W2Woodwards and @FearlessCity

See you soon! 🙂

April Smith of AHA MEDIA is a featured storyline in ” With Glowing Hearts” – WGH the Movie

December 22, 2009 6 comments

Vodpod videos no longer available.

This storyline is from the Documentary ‘With Glowing Hearts‘. It follows April Smith on her journey building AHA Media as the preeminent news source for Vancouver’s DTES using social media for social justice. Along the way April faces many challenges including homelessness

” April Smith is an incredible young woman facing a boat load of challenges.  She has graciously allowed us to follow her for the last 8 months and gather the footage we used to compile this story thread. Hers is a story full of both despair and inspiration. ”

A Social Media revolution has been brewing for the past five years on websites from FaceBook, to Wikipedia, to Flickr, and as it spreads throughout the Internet and into popular culture through an increasing number of portals, it is creating a new sense of community and empowerment amongst those who have embraced it.

History has shown that poor and marginalized communities stand to gain the most from leaps forward in the democratization of information, so the excitement in areas like Vancouver’s maligned Downtown Eastside about the possibilities of Web 2.0 and beyond is palpable.

With the Winter Olympics less than a year away, billions have been spent in preparations and many poverty advocates are concerned about how the city’s several thousand homeless and working poor will fit into the equation as Vancouver puts on its best face for the world.

Against this background the film examines Social Media in action as a group named Fearless City embarks on a campaign to empower and protect its neighbours with cellphones, video-streaming, and the World Wide Web.

With great thanks to Director Andrew Lavigne and Producer Jon Ornoy !

You may contact April Smith via Twitter or Facebook

April Smith of AHA MEDIA is very honored to be featured by Gillian Shaw – Digital Life Writer for The Vancouver Sun Newspaper on Christmas Eve 2009

December 22, 2009 Leave a comment



As it comes time to wrap up 2009, I wanted to share the story of a journalist who has inspired me this year.

A citizen journalist – April Smith, who is making an impact not only for her work chronicling the news and stories of Vancouver’s inner city but also for giving back to her community by mentoring others.

April didn’t graduate from any journalism program. Hers was truly the school of hard knocks and her background one of hardship.

I first met April at WordCamp Whistler last January. She was a grad of the Downtown Eastside’s Fearless City Mobile project, which helped residents and artists of the neighborhood learn to tell stories through mobile media.

At the time April said the experience had been ‘life-changing.’

“I have moved from one side of the tracks to the other,” she told me.

The other side of the tracks was pretty ugly. It was a life of homelessness and struggling to survive on the streets.

April shares her story with eloquence and honesty that is all the more compelling because it is free of self-pity. Her optimism for the future is what comes through loud and clear.

You can listen to Vancouver’s CBC radio did with April. And you see her at work in an episode of With Glowing Hearts the Movie. She is @AprilFilms on Twitter. -April Smith storyline from Andrew Lavigne on Vimeo.

The mentoring April received is being returned to the community many times over with the creation of AHA Media, a fledgling new media company started by April along with Hendrik Beune and Al Tkatch – AHA coming from the first letters of their names.

April is teaching and mentoring others in the Downtown Eastside, sharing her skills and enthusiasm in the hope of offering alternatives that will help improve lives.

April lives in a single room in the DTES and carries out her work and volunteering on a shoestring budget – no shoestring might be too generous to describe it. When I talk to April on the phone, I know that it’s using up precious minutes that she must buy to recharge her cell phone. I recently found out that the Nokia video phone that April was using in her work was borrowed and had to be returned. So I asked her what she needs to carry on.

While it has been a tough year for media organizations, not many list food and warm clothing on their wish list, but those are among the items AHA Media, which does volunteer peer training at the LifeSkills Centre near Oppenheimer Park, is seeking for its DTES neighbors.

The organization also needs: FIDO Pay as You Go Phone Cards for cell phones, digital cameras, SD memory cards, laptop and desktop computers, video cameras and audio equipment.

If you have any of these things kicking around, consider sharing them with others who will pay it forward many times over.

AHA MEDIA ‘s First “Holiday Themed” Film in Vancouver Downtown Eastside with LifeSkills Centre members

December 15, 2009 1 comment

AHA MEDIA began producing their first “Holiday Themed” Film  in Vancouver Downtown Eastside with  members of LifeSkills Centre – a drop in centre run by PHS


AHA MEDIA is thankful for the opportunity to make a film through great support from our Artistic Mentor Christoph Runne, staff at LifeSkills Centre and PHS who provides us space,  high end cameras and gear as well as ongoing training in Art, Media and Filmmaking! 🙂

Producing Short Satirical/Parody films is one of the reasons why AHA MEDIA came together in the first place! 🙂 – To do positive community engagement while educating others on the social justice issues of our Downtown Eastside neighborhood

Lights, Cameras, ACTION! 🙂


In this photo is Andrew Lavigne with Hendrik Beune. Andrew is one of AHA MEDIA’s mentors

Andrew Lavigne is  also Directing a movie  which has AHA MEDIA as one of the story lines and includes great insights into social media, social justice, Vancouver Downtown Eastside and the Olympics!


In this photo, Hendrik Beune takes “roll call” with LifeSkills Centre members interested in acting


In this video are members from LifeSkills Centre getting ready for AHA MEDIA First “Holiday Themed” Film Shoot in Vancouver Downtown Eastside

This was filmed by April Smith of AHA MEDIA on a New Media camera – Panasonic DMC-ZS3. AHA MEDIA is about exploring mobile media production through New Media cameras. For a better quality version of this video, please DM April Smith @AprilFilms on Twitter or


In this following photo is April and Hendrik  – in a serious moment before the camera! 🙂


In this photo, the cast reads their lines while April stands by 🙂


In this photo, Hendrik and Clyde of AHA MEDIA stand with Andrew Lavigne after being out in the cold weather to film our scenes!