Woman of the Week

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Woman of the Month Before – Katherine St. Denis

Sunday, May 1st, 2011

Presenting May’s Woman of the Month”

Katherine St. Denis

Here’s a little bit about her:
Katherine moved to Vancouver from her native Melbourne, Australia in 2009. A trained photographer, Katherine’s career – plus a recession – forced a path other than initially intended and she has worked in local and state governments for many years specializing in corporate reporting and strategic planning.

Never forgetting her artistic roots, Katherine actively seeks opportunities to let her creative side express itself – in both her personal and professional life. Being a visual learner, Katherine utilizes her ability to take complex wordy documents and turn them into simple diagrams – after all, a picture tells a 1000 words! (This also helps her deal with the language barrier between Australian and Canadian – and don’t think there isn’t one!! LOL) Her photographs have also graced the publications of organizations for which she has worked.

In her personal life, amongst other things Katherine loves to cook – especially for friends. Spending the day puttering around the kitchen creating a feast for friends is how she likes to relax. She likes to experiment with dishes – rarely following a recipe – and is often on the lookout for test subjects.
Her love of art, music and in particular, photography is never far from her thoughts and although it may have stagnated over the past few years, reviving her photography is an increasing priority.

Community minded and a strong supporter of the ‘act local, think global’ concept Katherine enjoys working for organizations or causes that contribute to the betterment of our communities.

Flinders Pier

And here’s how she answered my 6 questions about creativity:

What does it mean to you to be creative?
For me, creativity is about having the courage to expand your horizons, challenge the social norm and to think outside the square – it can be through art, music, writing, cooking, the way you decorate your house, what you wear, your work or just your attitude towards life. Everybody has the ability to be creative and to express it, unfortunately not all do. Granted we can’t all produce a ‘Mona Lisa’ – unless its paint-by-numbers! – and while it may be considered the epitome of fine art, we arguably owe more to people such as Picasso and Dali who challenged what was considered ‘normal’ and expanded our minds to embrace the unusual and stretch our perception of what defines ‘creativity’.

What triggers your creativity?
Hard to pin that down – it could be anything! From the magnificence of nature that surrounds us, to the more personal inspirations such as friends, stories, events, artists and music. My career path has taken me away from an artistic career, but no matter what role I take on, I always find a way to incorporate some creativity – and that is, thankfully, something appreciated by those around me!

...from Bowen

What hinders your creativity?
Close mindedness, ignorance, negativity, prejudice and anything else along those lines.

What’s the wildest journey your venturesome spirit has taken you on?
I believe the journey I am on now is without doubt the ‘wildest’ of them all. I have embarked on an inner journey – challenging what I ‘know’ about myself, learning more about my ‘blind spots’. What brings me joy, what makes me happy and who do I want to be when I grow up!! Learning to be more kind and forgiving to myself, accepting my shortcomings and celebrating my strengths!

What does being bold and provocative mean to you?
Challenging the norm, speaking your mind (in a respectful manner of course – sometimes tricky for me!), not being complacent and encouraging and influencing people around you to challenge the way they think about life, the universe and everything.

Vanier Sunset

What’s next for you?
Continuing to learn Canadian…it’s a challenge to put ‘eh’ on the end of every sentence!! Learning French – my apologies to all French speaking people – getting off my butt and taking some photos. Continue with my quest to be a better human, bring love and kindness to those around me and keep myself open to opportunities that come along. Having said that, since moving here I do need to spend some time familiarizing myself with the region, so am considering a ‘bucket list’ of things to do in the Pacific Northwest in 2011 – so any suggestions are welcome!

And some of the things that inspires Katherine’s creativity:

Clichéd I know, but I draw inspiration from everywhere and everything – nature, people, places, art, music, cultures, films, books, causes that improve our life and the planet we live on – it’s really hard to pin down!

A few random examples are: Ansel Adams, Robert Mapplethorpe, Annie Leibovitz, The Impressionists (Artists and Photographers), Cubists and Surrealists and I LOVE Jeff Koons’ s giant balloon dog sculpture – it makes me smile from head to toe!

“Dear to my Heart” Causes: Kiva, Al Gore, David Suzuki

Merci Katherine, we Canadians welcome you, eh!

To hear about the next Woman of the Month, follow DollyFaye on Twitter!

Woman of the Month Before – Kendahl Cardinal

Friday, April 1st, 2011

Presenting April’s Woman of the Month:

Kendahl Cardinal

Here’s a little bit about her:

Kendahl is an actor and event coordinator in Vancouver, B.C. She thrives on creating experiences that bring people joy and believes that a positive outlook can take you anywhere. Whether on a community, corporate or personal project she finds focusing on the process has been the key to her successes.

She uses this same approach to life and spent the past year saying YES to every opportunity that came her way creating many “firsts” including being a part of the creative team for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies for the 2010 Games, filming her first commercial and multiple short films, studying film with Ben Ratner and Barbara Deutsch, performing in The Suzanne Somers Experience stage show, designing and sewing laptop bags, recording a vocal demo, snowshoeing at Cypress and most recently joining the Living Social Adventures team in the role of Vancouver City Manager.

And here’s how she answered my 6 questions about creativity:

What does it mean to you to be creative?
I think you have to look at life as an offering. When you are able to see the beauty and opportunities around you, you let possibility in and I think creativity is inspired through this acknowledgment.

What triggers your creativity?
Human Kindness, acceptance, passion, the ability to self-express.

What hinders your creativity?
Lack of self compassion, focusing on the end result rather than the process.

We are gathered here today...

What’s the wildest journey your venturesome spirit has taken you on?
Love. Which may be a strange answer to the question – but love is a wild and crazy journey!!! It isn’t easy or simple to give yourself over to love, and no matter how much love you give to others, it always seems that the love you give to yourself makes all the difference. Love inspired a road trip to California a few years ago with my now husband and two of our closest friends. California law permits a person to become ordained for one day and we were determined to have our friend legally marry us. We took a few days camping along the stunning Oregon Coast taking our time to explore and in the end we had an amazing adventure and were successful in getting our friend ordained!!

What does being bold and provocative mean to you?
Going after what you want and not apologizing for who you are. I’ve spent my entire life believing that it was best to avoid my fears thinking they were there to protect me, but once I started exploring them I became honest with myself and in turn became much more BOLD!!

What’s next for you?
Pursing acting for TV and film. I have been acting for years, but only recently (once I faced my fear of being an “actor”) was I able to commit both to the art and the business of it. I am also really excited to be working with Living Social Adventures – planning FUN events for FUN people in Vancouver and the lower mainland area.

Be sure to check out more about Kendahl on her website.

And here’s a few things Kendahl’s gets inspired:

am inspired by traveling, exploring new places or re-visiting old places. With family and friends all over the world, I have been able to visit places like the U.K., Italy, France, Germany, Spain, Japan, Thailand, South Korea, Vietnam and Hong Kong. Living on the West Coast has also allowed me to become familiar with some amazing places nearby like Tofino, Whistler, Pacific City in Oregon, Mt. Baker, The Sunshine Coast and Las Vegas. Whether it’s exploring countries around the world, or a city nearby, I am constantly inspired by meeting new people and trying new adventures.

Thank you for letting in the possibilities Kendahl

To hear about the next Woman of the Month, follow DollyFaye on Twitter!