Archive for the ‘Social Enterprise’ Category

AHA MEDIA was very pleased to attend the 1st Annual Community Christmas Craft Fair at Interurban Gallery in Vancouver Downtown Eastside (DTES) on Saturday Dec 18, 2010 12noon – 8pm

December 20, 2010 Leave a comment

AHA MEDIA was very pleased to attend the 1st Annual Community Christmas Craft Fair at Interurban Gallery in Vancouver Downtown Eastside (DTES) on Saturday Dec 18, 2010 12noon – 8pm

Below are photos and a video of the exciting community event!  Thanks to PHS Community Services Society for sponsoring a warm spirited and successful craft fair in the Downtown Eastside (DTES) that benefited many women to earn money for themselves and their families for Christmas

Warm Thanks to everyone who purchased from the artisans and helped make their Christmas Season bright! 🙂


AHA MEDIA at Wiring the Social Economy at W2 Storyeum in Vancouver

December 4, 2010 Leave a comment

Wiring the Social Economy is an all day event organized to bring diverse professional groups together to create shared understanding of goals and challenges and to discover possibilities for collaborations.

We’re inviting all community economic development practitioners, social enterprise operators and supporters, community organizations, and members of the social media and technology communities to join us Dec 4th in the heart of Vancouver. Each of these professional groups has organizations, events, and conferences to offer support within their communities. The challenge is the low level of social capital between the groups. The goal of Wiring the Social Economy is to cross-pollinate ideas on challenges, solutions, and best practices between these communities of practice.

Wiring the Social Economy is a project initiated by Steve Williams. Steve works with SAP‘s Corporate Social Responsibility team for Global Technology Donations at the intersection of sustainability, CSR, non-profit and social enterprise, and community economic development. The conference intends to build on themes developed during the recent Vancouver ChangeCamp, namely: How can we help government become more open and responsive to citizens? How can we as citizens organize to get better outcomes ourselves?

We believe that by working together within the principles of community economic development – equity, diversity, collaboration, participation – we collectively have the potential to generate, and accelerate, sustainable community development.

Keynote Speakers:

Carol Madsen
Carol is the Program Manager at Pathways Information Centre in the Four Corners Community Economic and Business Development Building in the downtown eastside of Vancouver, and an instructor at the  SFU Centre for Sustainable Community Development. Carol is a passionate speaker and a deep believer in CED principles – she is active on several community boards including the Canadian CED Network, Network of East Vancouver Community Organizations and the Network of Innercity Community Services Society.

Tim Beachy
Tim is the CEO of United Community Services Co-op, a co-operative dedicated to supporting community-based organizations in BC to collaborate where there is public good from their joint action. Tim has over 30 years of experience working with community and non-profit organizations, and believes deeply in co-operative action and preserving the “delicate ecology” of a diverse and thriving community. His hope is that the non-profit sector continues to work in increasingly innovative ways by using technology to enhance face-to-face relationships, and that the non-profit sector recognizes the clout it holds.

Irwin Oostindie
Irwin, the Executive Director of W2, is a Dutch/Canadian artist and administrator doing cultural planning, cultural infrastructure development, and support for a media arts cluster in Vancouver’s inner-city. He is well-versed in social enterprise, having contributed to the building of a coffee house in W2 that trains and employs local residents. Irwin is notable for making great use of technology to connect, encourage, and champion local arts and culture.

AHA MEDIA at My Sister’s Closet Warehouse Sale in Vancouver

November 14, 2010 Leave a comment

AHA MEDIA was at the Warehouse Sale of My Sister’s Closet – A Social Enterprise of Battered Women’s Support Services on Saturday November 13, 2010

Quality Thrift & New Clothing
Featuring local designers and artisans

Two Locations
Commercial Drive – 1029 Commercial Drive in Vancouver – 604-254-7471
Yaletown – 1092 Seymour Street – 604-687-0770

Below are photos of Peter Davies of AHA MEDIA as the only man shopping at the time amongst other women during the Warehouse sale

Below is Peter Davies and Richard Czaban in front of My Sister’s Closet store on Commercial Drive in Vancouver

AHA MEDIA had a great time at the Warehouse Sale which continues till the end of Sunday November 14, 2010


AHA MEDIA is proud to help announce that Building Opportunities with Business (BOB) needs stuff for their display cases in Chinatown, Vancouver

March 15, 2010 Leave a comment

Original post is here

Based in Vancouver B.C., Building Opportunities with Business (BOB) is a non-profit organization that is championing an inclusive revitalization process for the inner-city that values existing businesses and residents. BOB is a connector, a resource and a facilitator working to: strengthen the inner-city’s community capacity; identify and build on untapped business opportunities; improve employment opportunities and retention; and increase investment in Vancouver’s inner-city.

On the main floor of 163 East Pender in Vancouver’s historic Chinatown, we have a large room which is available for rent for meetings and events, it is also available as coworking space Monday to Friday from 9 until late. In addition to desks, chairs, tables, couches, we installed several lockable lighted display cabinets. This floor is retail grade, on Pender right across the street from Vancity. As a service to local residents and businesses, we are displaying wares, art, product, crafts, business cards, and marketing material free in these display cases. As you can see their are several empty shelves. Each shelf is over one cubic foot and can hold about 5kg of stuff.

We need your stuff to display. You can display whatever you want, for as long as you want, any sales or leads you may generate you are free to pursue to the fullness of your ability. BOB charges zero dollars for this and manyother services. Space is available first come, first served, write or contact a staff member.

Display Case 1

AHA MEDIA from Vancouver Downtown Eastside is very proud to be featured in Robert Matas’ article “Clustering In Action” in “The Globe and Mail” National newspaper

December 19, 2009 1 comment

Clustering in action

Robert Matas

Vancouver — From Saturday’s Globe and Mail Published on Friday, Dec. 18, 2009 10:13PM EST

AHA Media is a struggling new company incubated in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside by a government-funded agency that turned to theories of a Harvard University professor more often associated with Silicon Valley and Hollywood than with revitalization of urban slums.

April Smith, one of the company’s founders, drifted into the Downtown Eastside after a serious car accident left her with severe memory loss and other injuries. With no money, she ended up living in temporary shelters and hotels dominated by predator pimps and drug addicts, she said recently in an interview.

Her life changed after she began cartooning to tell the stories of people she met at the hotel and on the street. A local community group inspired her to think about reporting activities in her neighbourhood without going through traditional media. She became part of an apprenticeship program developed by a cluster of local companies. After completing the program, she worked with others to open a new business in the area, AHA Media.

Prof. Michael Porter has written extensively about the advantages of clustering as an approach to economic development. Concentrating interconnected companies, specialized suppliers and associated educational institutions in the same geographic area fosters increased employment, productivity and innovation, he said. The clusters become a catalyst for innovation that feeds economic growth.

Building Opportunities with Business, a government-funded agency, dedicated to revival of the local economy, embraced clustering at the suggestion of an ex-board member who had studied at Harvard.

Ms. Smith was part of a training program developed by a cluster that included Bell Canada, the FireHall Arts Centre, a local digital filmmaking program that works with youth at risk called Intersections Media, a B.C. government employment program called BladeRunners and a non-profit group working in social media called W2: Community Media Arts.

The training program “gave me a big, big start,” she said. “It gave me a sense of direction.”

Ms. Smith is now on Twitter, Facebook, Youtube and Flickr. She describes herself as a mobile new-media videographer and social media content-producer. She shoots camera-phone videos and live-streams events onto the Internet.

To speak with April Smith more personally

To see more of AHA MEDIA:

Clustering pushes local businesses to think how they can work together, BOB’s chief executive officer, Shirley Chan, said. But, unlike Silicon Valley, the Downtown Eastside businesses do not have resources to carry out many of their ideas.

“Many employers here are marginal, they do not have a lot of money. That is why they are here. The rent is cheap,” she said. “ Without finding sources of funding, there is not a lot that can be created.”


AHA MEDIA wishes to thank the following 🙂

Robert Matas, Reporter for Globe and Mail

Shirley Chan of BOB ( Building Opportunities with Business )

Irwin Oostindie of W2 Community Media Arts

Lani Russwurm of DTES CAN ( Downtown Eastside Community Arts Network )

Lorraine Murphy of Raincoaster Media

AHA MEDIA was pleased to attend BOB’s Christmas Open House 2009 at Main and Pender in Vancouver

December 18, 2009 2 comments

AHA MEDIA was pleased to attend BOB’s Christmas Open House at Main and Pender in Vancouver.  Their new location was beautifully decorated and very spacious… located right at Main and Pender in Vancouver

Based in Vancouver B.C., Building Opportunities with Business (BOB) is a non-profit organization that is championing an inclusive revitalization process for the inner-city that values existing businesses and residents. BOB is a connector, a resource and a facilitator working to: strengthen the inner-city’s community capacity; identify and build on untapped business opportunities; improve employment opportunities and retention; and increase investment in Vancouver’s inner-city.


In this photo is Libby Davies – MP for Vancouver East


In this photo – Shirley Chan – CEO of BOB and husband Steve Hopkins


In this photo, AndrewMuskieMcKay – Industry Initiatives Coordinator for BOB


In this photo, Shirley Chan presents a certificate to London Drugs at Woodwards


In this photo, Shirley Chan presents to Nester’s Market at Woodwards


In this photo is Kerry Jang, Vancouver City Councillor and Lorraine Murphy aka Raincoaster


In this photo, AndrewMuskieMcKay,  Peter Davies of AHA MEDIA, Lorraine Murphy aka Raincoaster


In this photo, Irwin Oostindie – Executive Director of W2 Community Media Arts, David Lee, Toby Barrazoul and Peter Davies


In this photo, Peter Davies of AHA MEDIA at BOB’s Christmas Open House

To see all 15 photos of BOB’s Christmas Open House 2009, please see our Flickr


Co-Working Opportunities are available at BOB.
To further our mission we would like to make available to select partners, individuals, and businesses the main floor of 163 East Pender Street. We hope that this open shared work space can contribute to the revitalization of the inner-city by providing a space for creative professionals to flourish, for ideas to percolate, to cross pollinate, for businesses to grow, a place where stuff gets done.

What we’re offering is a work surface, be it a desk, a chair, a table, a couch, or the bay window, wherever you’re most comfortable.

Of course we’ll offer wi-fi and other niceties such as an electronic white board and a projector to facilitate discussion and creative thinking. There’s a fridge for your food, a microwave, filtered water cooler, and secure storage for your bike.

The price is a flat $200 per month and includes keyless access.

We’re looking for creative professionals, progressive thinkers, the socially responsible and ecologically conscious who want to be surrounded by others of like mind.

Folks who want more than a cubicle and a 9 to 5 and dream of bigger things and a better Vancouver to call home.

If this sounds like you, contact Andrew “Muskie” McKay 778-328-7672 or write

AHA MEDIA is very proud to present “With Glowing Hearts” – a documentary on social media and W2 Community Media Arts Centre in the Vancouver Downtown Eastside

December 3, 2009 Leave a comment

Animal Mother Films invites you to join us for a drink and exclusive preview from the film at the official launch party for the website for our documentary project With Glowing Hearts. We continue to capture the pressures facing Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside as the city prepares to host the Winter Olympics next February, and how a remarkable group of individuals is using cutting edge social media technologies to empower their community.

WGH-is a story about a revolution, one of social change and a paradigm shift in media representation. Vancouver sets the stage, against the backdrop of the 2010 Winter Games, for our documentary about a marginalized community embracing social media tools to empower, inspire and breakdown the digital divide.

This is a project that Andrew Lavigne is directing and is being produced by Shot on various capture devices including the Red, the HVX 200, the 5D MkII and the Nokia N77 cellphone. We began shooting Feb/2009 and will continue through March/2010.

Director Andrew Lavigne and Producer Jon Ornoy are now 9 months into production, charting the inspiring story of the creation of the W2 Media Arts Center as part of the Woodward’s redevelopment and the vital steps towards breaking down the digital divide that will take place within its walls.

With the launch of, our Facebook presence and the Games only a few months away, we’re excited to throw the doors wide open and let you have a look inside.