Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Ministry of Education.

Hello Friends,

I just quickly wanted to post this awesome resource for students! It was created by the Ministry of Education, and it provides a big list of different projects happening in schools across Ontario for Youth!

If you are looking to get involved, or want to get some of your creative juices flowing - check it out HERE!!

-- Becky :)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


It has been absolutely crazy over here at Creative Paths. Our symposium is coming along pretty nicely, it is almost a month away!!! Unbelievable.

We are going to have some really exciting things happening at the CreativeSHIFT symposium.
You should probably be there.


Read about it. Share it. Enjoy it.

-- Becky :)

Friday, September 3, 2010


Hello September!

I cannot believe I just wrote that. Honestly, where has the summer gone?

It has been a fun one here at Creative Paths. We have had a lot going on, and we will have even more to do in the upcoming months. It is going to be a veryveryvery busy time for all of us.

If you haven't already heard (I feel that is impossible?), we are planning CreativeSHIFT, which is taking place on October 29th, 2010. Please check out our event website here: www.creativeshiftmuskoka.org...
and JOIN US!

In other news, I came across this incredible resource that dreamnow.org posted on their twitter yesterday (FACT: Dev Aujla, our keynote speaker for CreativeSHIFT is the founder of dreamnow....!!!) -- it is a guidebook for involving youth in social change and it is fantastic.

Take the time to read it. Enjoy it. Love it. Share it. Use it.

Have a wonderful long weekend!
-- Becky :)

Friday, August 27, 2010

Muskoka Tweets.

Muskoka Bear Wear posted a link to an article on twitter this morning that discusses some businesses in Muskoka using twitter! 

Mike Laba, the owner of the Muskoka Brewery (delicious) said "dedicating time to social marketing can translate into real opportunity and revenue"... smart man!

Take a look at the article HERE!

Have a happy, happy weekend!

-- Becky :)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Are you ready for a CreativeSHIFT in Muskoka?

Check out our conference website - http://www.creativeshiftmuskoka.org/ - we are looking for sponsors, community organizations, volunteers, and everything else under the sun!

Want to get involved?
Drop me a line at becky@creativepathsmuskoka.org ...

Looking forward to it!

Happy Wednesday,

-- Becky :)

Friday, August 20, 2010


It is Friday....that calls for a QUOTE!

"Once we rid ourselves of traditional thinking we can get on with creating the future."-- James Bertrand

I believe in that, so much.
Do you?

This weekend, Creative Paths is sharing a booth with the Hunstville Arts Society at the Hunstville Sidewalk Days! Make us a visit and learn more about CP, and the SHIFT Conference.
10 a.m. - 3 p.m.

It's going to be a real fun day!
Be there, or be square?

Have a great weekend!
-- Becky :)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

New Brunswick in the 21st Century

New Brunswick is a province that doesn't cross my mind too often. I have driven past it on various occasions and this time last year, I stopped in to check out their famous tourist stop "Magnetic Hill". I also applied for a job there once.

I am positive there is nothing wrong with New Brunswick. It is a beautiful place. It just has never been at the top of my list.

Today, my feelings have changed.

As you can imagine, I believe that properly preparing students for the future is highly important. Times have changed and the education system has to change with it. Unfortunately, the system is changing a littttle bit slower than I would like to see.

So, what does NB have to do with this?
A video was posted on Twitter today by ArtsSmarts, documenting how the New Brunswick education system is putting their focus into 21st Century skills. It is an exciting video to watch, and I hope every other Province and Territory get on board soon..

Check it out HERE.

High five New Brunswick!

-- Becky :)

Friday, August 13, 2010


So, we have been talking a lot about how important social media is around here...but, have you ever considered it to be a potential life saver?

I just read an article about the awful mudslides taking place in China right now - 1500 people are dead and various others are missing. Sad.

The article suggested that social media is now a reliable source for responding to emergency requests...makes sense to me! Afterall, the very first thing I did after I felt my house in Oakville shake last month (remember that little earthquake?) was go on twitter. I found various friends, and people that I follow, tweeting and re-tweeting information, questions etc. It amazes me how fast information can travel.

Now, did you know that the Chinese government have banned the use of Google (what!?!), Facebook and Twitter?

As mentioned in the article, here are some examples of when social media saved the day...
"•In Australia, two girls were trapped in a storm drain. They updated their Facebook statuses, and a classmate saw the news and contacted help.

•In Atlanta, a man tweeted about a woman needing medical assistance. He entered the exact intersection, and emergency services responded.

•In Canada, a woman was trapped under rubble from an earthquake. She texted for help, thereby alerting authorities."
Social media is truly an amazing tool, and it can save lives.

China, what are you doing?!?!?!

Happy Friday!
-- Becky :)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Creativity Workshop at Huntsville Public Library

Ruth Cassie's enthusiasm to share her talent, humour, and creativity is infectious. She demonstrated to young people just how much fun it can be to communicate your ideas though music. Performing songs from her debut album - Ivan Blackbird's Story - she also discussed her influences, her creative process, and also provided insights to various aspects of the music industry.  It was a treat for all in attendance. Ruth is a true creative inspiration to us all!


It has been quite a busy week here at Creative Paths Headquarters!

As I have mentioned previously, we have been planning the SHIFT Conference which is taking place on October 29th 2010 at the Rene Caisse Theatre in Bracebridge.

We are really excited that we have secured a name, a speaker and some great community partners! It is time for a creativity SHIFT in Muskoka...don't ya think? Oh boy!

If you have any interest in getting involved with the SHIFT Conference, send me an e-mail at becky@creativepathsmuskoka.org...

Details to come (soon)! Cheers!

-- Becky :)

Friday, August 6, 2010


Just a little inspiration for you on this lovely Friday afternoon!

Happy weekend! Enjoy the sunshine.

-- Becky :)

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Are you?

Check out this great article HERE answering the question "Are You Part of the Creative Class?"... what do you think?

"There are many paths to join the creative class. Membership is open."

Speaking of creativity, we have some exciting updates to share soon in regards to our conference happening in the fall... isn't it lovely when things start coming together?

Oh boy, I can't wait to spill the beans!

-- Becky :)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Innovative Youth!

I saw this headline '15-Year-Old Turns 1972 VW Beetle Into Electric Car' this morning and was quite intrigued.

Now here we have a teenager from Oregon who really knows how to be creative, innovative and is an 'outside of the box' thinker!

I really wish he could make a whole bunch of these and get it on the market. I would be first in line to make the purchase (...if I could afford it).

Check out the whole story HERE!

-- Becky :)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Revitalizing Downtown!

I am currently sitting in the hustling & bustling Huntsville library. We are running a creativity workshop here today with Ruth Cassie from 12 - 1 p.m. for TEENS.

I don't have too much time for blogging, but I came across THIS article in the Globe and Mail this morning.

Interesting stuff.

Hope your weekend was long and fabulous!

-- Becky :)

Friday, July 30, 2010

Creativity World Forum

Oklahoma is hosting the Creativity World Forum in November. I have been reading up on it, and it looks like it is going to be quite an amazing event with some incredible speakers!

Today on twitter, Sir Ken Robinson (who is speaking at the event) tweeted a video 'trailer' for the forum.

It filled me with some extra energy and inspiration, which is always a nice thing on a Friday afternoon.

Check it out HERE!

I am very excited about our own symposium/conference/forum...(we still need a name)....and think it is going to be so good for Muskoka!!

Have a beautiful long weekend.
-- Becky :)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


The CBC recently reported on a story about the need for a post-secondary arts school in Prince Edward Island.
"Like many industries on the Island, the arts suffer from young talent moving away to work in other places. Peggy Reddin of Dance Umbrella has been teaching dance for 25 years, and she told CBC News Tuesday that too often she has to watch her students leave the Island if they want to study beyond high school."
Muskoka is in the very same boat, I think.

As Greg Doran, the Chair of the Arts Council of P.E.I said - "If you provide a cultured area, you will draw people to work here."

Read the rest of the story HERE!!

-- Becky :)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Creativity workshop!


A creativity workshop with local singer/songwriter Ruth Cassie for TEENS!!

Tuesday, August 3rd
12 - 1:00 p.m.
Huntsville Public Library
Library Solarium

Register: Call 705-789-5232 or go to the Circulation Desk in the library


Do not miss out on this exciting opportunity to spend some time with the AMAZINGLY talented Ruth Cassie!

Spread the word!

Friday, July 23, 2010


Creativity is a lot like looking at the world through a kaleidoscope. You look at a set of elements, the same ones that everyone else see, but then you reassemble those floating bits and pieces into an enticing new possibility." -- Rosabeth Moss Kanter

Happy Friday!

-- Becky :)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Skills Map for the Arts..

Found this article about the '21st Century Skills Map for the Arts' - according to the article, the map demonstrates how the three Rs and four Cs (critical thinking and problem solving, communication, collaboration and creativity and innovation) can be fused within arts curriculum.

They state that "A nationwide poll of registered voters reveals that Americans are deeply concerned that the United States is not preparing young people with the skills they need to compete in the global economy…”

How many Canadians are concerned that Canada is not preparing young people to compete in the global economy?

I am.

See the full article HERE!

-- Becky :)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


We were talking about Social Media in the office yesterday morning, discussing how some people are still not yet comfortable with it, or trusting of it, and are avoiding the use of it. The conversation reminded me of this video I had discovered while studying the importance of Social Media during my post-graduate studies.

It has some pretty interesting facts that should not be missed. Check it out HERE!

-- Becky :)

Friday, July 16, 2010

Most Important...

1,500 of America's top CEO's recently cited CREATIVITY as the most important leadership quality for success in business.

Yes! Thank you.

You can find details HERE.

- Becky :)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Creative Farmers?

I didn't really think much about the "farmers" until 2 or 3 years ago. I knew they existed, locally and internationally. I knew they grew fruit, vegetables, grains, and provided meat and dairy for my meals. I knew they probably worked really hard, and struggled to survive, but that didn't mean much to me until my best friend spoke up. She got involved with a group while she was studying at the University of Guelph, which eventually led her to spending a year in Nova Scotia working on an organic farm. My appreciation and understanding of the importance of farmers has changed immensely since then.

So, what does farming have to do with this blog? Well, have you ever considered that farmers have a role in the creative economy? They do.

Are people in the agricultural industry creative? Absolutely.
Are they entrepreneurial? Do they think on their toes? Are they dynamic? Is it necessary for them to look outside of the box, to be successful? Are they innovative? I think so.

There is a very common misconception that the Creative Economy relates only to ‘creative’ types - artisans, musicians, actors, dancers etc. Although those occupations also play a vital role in the Creative Economy, they aren't "it". Farmers, scientists, architects, doctors, educators - the list goes on and on.

Check out THIS article from the CBC discussing agriculture as a CREATIVE, profitable pursuit...and don't forget to support your local farmers!

-- Becky :)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Creativity Crisis..

I found a really interesting (and long) article on the 'Creativity Crisis' in America today ...

If you find the time, you should give it a read HERE on NewsWeek!

I think the last paragraph sums up the point of the article quite well -

'Creativity has always been prized in American society, but it’s never really
been understood. While our creativity scores decline unchecked, the current
national strategy for creativity consists of little more than praying for a
Greek muse to drop by our houses. The problems we face now, and in
the future, simply demand that we do more than just hope for inspiration to strike.

- Becky :)

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Social Media.

How many times have you heard the words 'Social Media' in the last year? Month? Week? Day? The phrase has become a part of 'our' dialogue and it plays a highly important role in the arts, and to organizations (of all kinds).

This article, 'Geeks, Tweets, and Bums on Seats', discusses the role that social media is playing on Australia's arts community, and the positive effect it is playing on its growth and development. Please note: I saw this article on our Creative Paths Twitter. How fitting.

Now, please do not dismiss this article because it is focused on Australia (granted, Australia is on the other end of the world) but I think you would be surprised to see the similarities between the arts community in Oz and the arts community in Muskoka!

Give it a read HERE - let me know what you think...

-- Becky :)

Monday, July 12, 2010

Summer Company

Last Thursday, Dana and I were asked to attend the student entrepreneur night for 'Summer Company', put on by the Muskoka Small Business Centre at the Rotary Centre in Bracebridge.

Summer Company is a government iniative that creates exciting opportunities for enterprising students, 15 to 29 years old, by aiding them in starting and running their own summer busineses. The students are provided with hands-on mentoring from local community business leaders, as well as financial support to start up their business of choice.

I was not really sure what to expect from the evening, but when we arrived to the room in the Rotary Centre, I was blown away. There must have been at least 10 different booths set up that were displaying various creative businesses, run by young students who (mostly) had a look of pride on their faces.

We walked around to each booth and talked to the business owners about their process, and their vision. Muskoka Popcorn, The Lawn Ranger, Pizza of the Earth, Troy Glover Photography, Playin` Hookey Productions - the list goes on and on.

It was really refreshing to be in a room, surrounded by `youth`, who were passionate enough about their idea to take a chance and attempt to make some money.

The whole process of the Summer Company program really ties in well with the idea of the creative economy. You have to be willing to step outside of the box, use your mind, and create your own opportunities. It was truly awesome to see!

If you get the chance, I suggest you check out some of the students who are selling their products at the surrounding farmers markets, grab a slice at Pizza of the Earth (Dorset), or catch a performance put on by the fantastic actors of Playin` Hookey Productions (Port Carling Memorial Community Theatre - Wed & Thurs, Rosseau Memorial Community Hall - Tueedays).

-- Becky :)

Monday, July 5, 2010

First Day

It is my official first day here in the charming Bracebridge office as the Creative Paths Intern. I spent the morning brainstorming about the future of the project, receiving helpul hints about where to go in Muskoka (I am a brand new "import" from Oakville), getting up to speed on the current state of the project, and going over my own tasks. I am feeling excited, inspired and ready to get down to business with a slightly overloaded brain.

Due to the fact that I have been an official resident of Bracebridge as of this past Saturday, I realize I have a lot of learning to do about the people, the arts community, local organizations, and the region of Muskoka as a whole, but I am SO ready for the challenge.

I am very passionate about the arts, and as a person who has been positively affected by arts education, I am so thrilled to be taking a small part in the development of the creative economy in Muskoka. It is going to be quite the year!

-- Becky Conlon :)

Friday, July 2, 2010

Intern Post

As the newly appointed Creative Paths Intern, I thought I would introduce you to our project!
Creative Paths is a youth initiative helping “to expose Muskoka Secondary School students to creative career opportunities, engage them in the creative process, and increase their preparedness for integration into Muskoka's Innovative and Creative Economy”. The idea is that students get to explore other, non traditional, avenues for their futures. I, myself, was lucky enough to have been taught by some incredible local artists including Amy Bridle, Robin Clipsham, and Steve Carapiet. Their guidance helped fuel my passion for the arts, shape my “creative” mind, and, ultimately, my (very creative) route through university and college.
One of the most exciting initiatives Creative Paths has introduced is a Mentorship Program. Students are paired up with local artists in whatever artistic/innovative field that interests them, and spend a few hours a week learning from them. To date, there has been one fantastic match made, but this year we are shooting for at least 10! If you or someone you knows is interested in participating in the mentorship program, please have them contact their school’s guidance councilor or email info@creativepathsmuskoka.org for more information.
I’m currently sitting in my office, (which is located in the clock tower in downtown Bracebridge), and as I look out onto the street I can see the creative/innovative community in full swing! Unique clothing stores, boutiques, coffee shops, specialty stores, restaurants, galleries etc. line the downtown core. All of these businesses were thought up by someone who saw an opportunity, took a gamble on it, and has succeeded. Welcome to the era of Creativity!!

-- Dana Clark

Monday, June 28, 2010

G8 Come and Gone

After much planning and anticipation - and trepidation - the G8 leaders have come and gone to Muskoka without incident. The heavy security presence in my hometown of Huntsville, created a ghost town-like atmosphere for the most part. With no transportation operating for schools during the week leading up to the G8 Summit, many families took the opportunity to send their children for an out-of-town visit to Grandma and Granddad or simply end the school year early.

Eerie was the best way to describe the vibe in Huntsville the week leading to the meeting of world leaders. Fear of the unknown, and of unpredictable events that go along with hosting such high profile global meetings, seemed to have residents a bit on edge.

On the eve of the Summit talks, the Girl 8 event in Rivermill Park changed all of that for me. The concert in support of advocating water as a human right - cut through the sounds of military fly-by's and helicopters delivering internationally protected persons to the summit - with beautiful harmonies, gentle songs of freedom and protest, beautiful vocals from the Huntsville youth choir, and spoken words celebrating the strength of women.

I'd like to shout out a big THANK YOU to the talented organizers of the Huntsville Water Festival and Girl 8 for providing a venue for Muskoka residents to raise their messages loud and clear to the G8 leaders through , song, film and art - passionately and peacefully. You made me laugh, you made me cry, you made me sing, but most importantly you made me proud to be a part of this wonderful community full of creative, artistic, passionate souls.