is a festival of imagination. Thinkers, entrepreneurs, speakers, makers, artists and creators engage, share, enlighten, inspire and prosper. It’s about ideas big and small, how to make something work, and how to help others.
We want to hear your idea, and we want others to hear it too. Submit an idea for a talk, workshop, invention – anything and everything.
Alain is a founder and teacher at the Colour Gang Comics School, a volunteer-run, low-tuition school entering its second year. He is also the creator of the Colour Gang Grant for Canadian Cartoonists, set to debut this year.
Andrew Wilkinson is the founder of Victoria-based MetaLab and Pixel Union. After a short stint at Ryerson University’s journalism school, he moved back home to Victoria, taught himself how to build websites and talked his way into a job. In 2006 he founded Metalab and has since grown his solo web design firm into a 55 person agency.
Ben is a Victoria City Councillor has developed a reputation as a respected and outspoken advocate for open government, for strong and cost-effective public services, and for expansion of greenways and parks in the city and CRD.
If you live in Victoria, you've seen Caleb's work. His gorgeous illustration and design makes Hoyne beers gorgeous inside and out, his branding, interior design and woodwork makes Habit Coffee and Big Wheel Burger to cozy places they are, his product design makes Ulla glows, and his web design is at work of dozens of staple brands.
Dane is an organizer and founder of Victoria’s Annual Ska Festival, the largest and longest running festival of its kind in in North America. He is also the host of Pepper Pot, a weekly Dancehall radio program on CFUV.
David Lennam is a Victoria-based writer and broadcaster. His portfolio includes print, television, and radio -- investigative pieces, business stories, hard news, features, profiles, and entertainment.
Dean's top priorities include addressing the severe shortage of affordable housing in the city, the complex issue of homelessness, sustainable growth, supporting a vibrant downtown, and advancing a transportation strategy that meets the needs of the growing region.
Denver basically comprises DJAXX Studio. “DJAXX” was his msn messenger username and has stuck with him. He films, animates, draws and does a whatever he needs to to tell a story.
Doug Jarvis is an artist and curator living in Victoria, BC. Jarvis is the current President of the Pacific Association of Artist Run Centres and a board member of the Ministry of Casual Living. He holds an MFA in studio art from the University of Guelph, ON, and is currently Guest Curator at Open Space Arts Society Victoria, BC.
Dylan Willows is the host of the Morning Zone on The Zone 91.3, the founder of V.I.C. Fest and the Victoria Street Food Festival. He brings music lovers and multi-faceted artists together, having taken part in VicFest, the Victoria Street Food Fest, Tour de Rock, Rock Band tournaments and silent auctions.
Ed is the president of the GVCC, a volunteer organization in Victoria, BC, Canada dedicated to getting more people cycling more places, more often. They focus on advocacy, promotion, participation and education.
Franc leads a 15-person studio serving public and private sector clients in the design of a wide range of project types and scales. Under his direction the firm is prime consultant as well as collaborator in multi-disciplinary design teams.
Gareth is a cartoonist from Victoria BC who is well known for the Magic Teeth Dailies as well as the creation of loveable comic character the Perogy Cat. He is also co-owner of the award winning Legends Comics and Books.
Born with a pencil in his hand (after four unsuccessful attempts doctors managed to transplant it to just above his right ear), award-winning illustrator Glen Mullaly draws neato pictures for kids of all ages from the swanky west coast studio that he shares with his awesomely-understanding wife and their spectacularly indifferent cat.
Iain is the co-owner and operator of the men's wear line Eng-lish, as well as Is this Menswear?, a new store front opening up September 2014 in Victoria BC. Eng-lish is founded on a love for the creative process.
If you look around you on any given late summer evening, you are likely to see thousands of people interacting with hundreds of performers throughout dozens of venues in the whirlwind of performing arts that is the Victoria Fringe Festival. Intrepid Theatre's Janet Munsil has bee responsible for this mass interaction for over 12 years as Artistic Director.
Jason Found is the brain and drive behind Victoria's new productivity and progress hub, the Dock. Based in Victoria B.C., Jason is an independent sustainability consultant with a broad background that allows him to bridge policy development with hands-on application.
Jason’s primary music project is the Sunset Room, a downtown Victoria arts & music venue which on weekends becomes Victoria’s only dry all-night dance venue. Operating since 2007, this intimate waterfront space has become a mainstay in Victoria’s arts & dance community and a hub for DJs and dancers alike. With 5 years music involvement and over a decade in event production & business development experience, Jason’s artistic commitment & creative prowess are likely to keep Sunset Labs growing for some time.
Jenny Ambrose is the owner and founder of The Makehouse providing a space for the community to get creative and use their hands. The Makehouse offers workshops on a variety of topics from dressmaking to upholstery. Jenny is also a seasoned seamstress with over 15 years experience working in the fashion industry.
Jeremy is a software engineer with a diverse background spanning information technology, marketing and communications, and resource and environmental management. He is currently an interim board member for the Victoria Car Share as well as an associate faculty member at Royal Roads University.
Joe is the author of Craft Beer Revolution the insider's guide to BC breweries, a thirst-quenching guide to BC’s craft brewers and their beers. He writes a column for on Vancouver's craft beer scene, has appeared on TV and radio and is generally the go to guy for all things craft beer in the Vancouver area.
Programs Thinklandia, Artlandia, and Makelandia, finds great people to do great things, invents words ending in landia.
John is a local activist with an interest in preserving a healthy and vibrant community and preparing our city to adapt to a bright if challenging future. He is the executive director for Capital Bike and Walk, providing advice on infrastructure, programs and strategies to support the choice for cycling and walking in Victoria. CBWS also hosts workshops on walking and cycling, and conducts audits and analysis of the walking and cycling environment in the Capital Region.
After working at both Cafe Fantastico and Habit, the self taught Ken Gordon opened Street Level Espresso in 2008. His love of whiskey bridged the gap from coffee to cocktail culture and now you can find him most nights walking you through the whiskey list at the Argyle Attic.
Ken is the general manager of the Downtown Victoria Business Association, promoting Victoria's downtown business community and encouraging sustainable economic vitality through direct action and advocacy.
Ken is an illustrator who has written and illustrated the exploits of practically every popular character you could name, including Astro Boy, Harry Potter, Batman, Ultraman, Spider-man and The X-Men. He was inducted into the Joe Shuster Awards Hall of Fame in 2009, a lifetime achievement award honouring Canadian comic book creators for their contributions to the industry.
Kristen Taylor Wright is an illustrator and designer from Washington State. She currently resides in Victoria, BC and is busy illustrating, pursuing a tattoo apprenticeship, and creating comics and fully-illustrated websites.
Kyla Bidgood is the owner and principal designer at Kyla Bidgood Interior Design. Her broad portfolio of award winning commercial and residential projects include the Parsonage Cafe and Semperviva Yoga.
Luke Ramsey co-founded the Islands Fold residency, exhibits internationally and works as a freelance illustrator for clients such as The New York Times. His practice includes collaboration, design, public art projects, and detailed freehand drawing.
Marc Stoiber is a creative director, entrepreneur, green brand specialist and writer. He works with clients to build resilient brands. Marc's leadership positions have included VP of Green Innovation at Maddock Douglas, President and Founder of Change Advertising, National Creative Director of Grey Canada and Creative Director of DDB Toronto.
Michael Warren is half of the incredible whirlwind of taste that is Madrona Gallery. Together with partner Theresa McFarland, the pair have made Madrona Gallery one of Victoria's most vibrant galleries, and an institution in west coast contemporary art. As a curator and dealer, Michael's enthusiasm for and knowledge of Canadian art are second to none, with a strong footing is the history of Canadian art, and a keen eye for artist creating its future.
Missie Peters is the artistic director of Not Your Grandma's Poetry Productions and the Victoria Spoken Word Festival. She is an M-Award winning spoken word artist and an improviser with Paper Street Theatre. She has written two solo spoken word shows and performed in festivals across Canada and Europe.
Based in Victoria BC, Nick Blasko is one half of Nick Blasko & Piers Henwood Artist Management. In addition to sharing management duties on principle clients, Tegan and Sara and Buck 65, and helping develop newcomers Flash Lightnin’ and Vince Vaccaro, Nick has spent the last decade promoting concerts via his boutique Island based firm, Atomique Productions Ltd.
Nicole has worked in the local economy movement as a researcher, community entrepreneur, organizer and educator. She is currently the Program Director for Simon Fraser University Certificate Program for Community Economic Development (CED) Professionals and is active in the cooperative community, advocating and supporting solutions that come from communities themselves.
Rande has worked with many great mentors such as John Livingston for his mastery in wood sculpting, Robert Davidson in metal work, Calvin Hunt for his amazing craftsmanship in wood and most recently Repousee and Chasing master Valentin Yotkov. Rande now resides in Victoria where he continues to push himself in his creativity by finding many new inspirations in new mediums.
Robert Jawl is a developer with Jawl Properties, an integrated developer, owner and manager of premium office, retail and light industrial space in Victoria, BC. They are behind the LEED Gold Certified Atrium Building at Blanshard.
Sarah completed her PhD in the Department of Geography at Simon Fraser University. Her doctoral research, for which she received a Governor Generals Gold Medal, investigated the relationship between law and violence in ongoing neocolonial relations in BC, asking how violence gains visibility through Indigenous and Canadian socio-legal discourse and action.
Sarah’s vegan empire began as a simple idea; in 1998 she was low on cash, so she (and her co-author at the time Tanya Barnard) photocopied, hand-bound, and gave out a homemade indie-style zine full of recipes for friends and family one holiday season. How punk rock! They received an overwhelmingly positive response, which spurred the realization that her aims to change the world could become a reality in the most fun way: writing cookbooks! Sarah’s cookbooks and other projects have grown to become a staple in vegan or vegan-curious households across the globe, as they’re easy to follow and are full of personality.
Sarah Webb has been leading sustainability initiatives in greater Victoria for more than a decade. Currently on maternity leave from her role at the CRD, Sarah is an avid volunteer with the SPOKES Bicycle Program, the Victoria Foundation and Theatre SKAM.
Steven Chmilar's oil paintings are celebrated for their incredible whim, their vivid and detailed depictions of surreal human scenarios, and his distinct Flemish style. After the success of his first exhibition "Art of the Delightfully Absurd – a collection of surrealist works" at the Art Gallery of Great Victoria, his status was cemented in Canadian art as an artist to watch.
Wendy Welch is a Victoria-based artist and Executive Director of the Vancouver Island School of Art (VISA), a private post-secondary accredited art school that she founded in 2004. She has a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Victoria and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Concordia University in Montreal. Wendy also completed a year of graduate work at California State University, Los Angeles.
As Executive Director at The Dogwood Initiative, Will oversees the implementation of all of their programs. Prior to being called to the B.C. Bar in 1995, Will worked extensively as a community and labour organizer around the world. He also serves on the board of numerous international, national and provincial non-profits. His passion is helping local people solve local problems.
September, 2nd | Rifflandia HQ | 7:00 pm — 10:00 pm
A check-up on Victoria’s vitals. In a stressed economy, dwindling tourist market, and rapidly shifting creative climate, are Victoria’s prospects sound? Is this a feasible place for creative people to live and work? This panel will explore thoughts on our health as a city.
September, 4th | Rifflandia HQ | 7:00 pm — 10:00 pm
Victoria is a town of festivals. From chalk art to spot prawns, ska to slam poetry, we are known for both our zeal for mounting these gatherings and our questionable support of them. Six festival producers will discuss engaging - and relying on - large audiences as they develop Victoria's festival culture.
September, 5th | Secret Location | 7:00 pm — 10:00 pm
In uncertain times, arts funding is often embattled. Amidst rapidly shifting social and financial landscapes, what is the future of independent arts? What is the real cost of "sustainability"? Do arts groups continue chasing fleeting funding sources , engage more actively in tenuous corporate support, or does our relationship with the arts need to fundamentally change?
September, 6th | Wheelies Motorcycles | 7:00 pm — 10:00 pm
Victoria is very much a Do-It-Yourself culture - it is in our DNA. But does this mean more support for self-starters, or more competition for limited support and resources? What is the special sauce that decides what succeeds and what fails? And why do we keep doing it?
September, 7th | Wheelies | 7:00 pm — 10:00 pm
Beneath the veneer of a town celebrated for its quaint scenery and floral abundance lies a community hungry for challenging art, progressive design, and modern relevance. We will hear from artists and designers whose craft and taste make things around you look, work, and feel good.
September, 8th | Rifflandia HQ | 7:00 pm — 10:00 pm
In an age where technology allows many mediums the benefit of many visual dimensions, how do graphic artists and illustrators tell a rich and engrossing story in 2D? Career artists & illustrators will talk about the power of the medium, and its place in a world of fast paced, flashy, and disposable media.
September, 9th | Victoria Public Market at the Hudson | 7:00 pm — 10:00 pm
Victoria is experiencing a renaissance of bicycle culture, commuting, and interest. Who is helping shape this renewed interest, what are municipalities doing to promote it, and what does our current cycling infrastructure say about our town? We’ll hear from die-hard supporters, concerned commuters, municipal rabble rousers, and adrenaline junkies.
September, 10th | Victoria Public Market at the Hudson | 7:00 pm — 10:00 pm
25 new breweries have opened in the past two years, with many more still coming. Who are they? Can this expansion be sustained? How do craft breweries market themselves in this competitive environment? What are the magical elixirs? Can I have some? Please? A sampling of BC breweries will satiate our thirst for knowledge, and for beer. Expect robust insights, deeply toned discourse, and a smooth, satisfying finish.
September, 11th | Fort Street. Commons | 7:00 pm — 10:00 pm
Past & present Polaris Prize panelists wax poetic about the most coveted prize in independent music. What is the prize, who qualifies, and who benefits? We’ll talk past winners, the future of the prize, and what it means to independent Canadian music.