What we've been up to: Community involvement

What we've been up to: Community involvement
Morning sun on West Hastings
Image © Roma Ilnyckyj
Roma Ilnyckyj   |   23.08.2016   |   Talk Science to Me News

At Talk Science to Me, we encourage our associates to get involved in the community and contribute time to causes they care about. We've been pretty busy on the community involvement front lately and are proud to share what we've been doing.

Strengthening the editing community

Eve, Amy and I (Roma) are all very involved in Editors British Columbia, the local branch of Editors Canada.

On June 10–11, Editors BC hosted the annual Editors Canada conference. Last spring, Amy took on the huge task of co-chairing the conference, a year-long commitment that she carried out while also serving on the Editors BC executive as editor of the branch blog, West Coast Editor. Planning the conference meant finding and managing volunteers, liaising with the conference venue, confirming the speaker schedule and following up on a million little things that are necessary for a conference to be successful. And the conference definitely was a success, with over 300 people attending over 30 sessions, as well as keynote addresses by Mary Norris of the New Yorker and Bill Walsh from the Washington Post. If you're curious about what editors talk about at a conference, check out this Storify.

eveandfranklinFor the past two years, I've been a member of the Editors BC executive. My first role was programs chair, which meant I planned and led our monthly meetings, and this past year I was branch chair. As part of my position as chair, I was in charge of planning this year's pre-conference activities, which took place on the Friday before the conference. We organized four professional development seminars as well as an evening welcome reception, which was sponsored by Talk Science.

One of those professional development sessions was run by Eve and our prepress consultant, Franklin Veaux. They talked about design and prepress basics, sharing tips on how editors can work with designers, maximize efficiency and develop better relationships with designers. Eve and Franklin also shared their publishing experience at an Editors BC professional development seminar in April, where they taught a workshop on working with self-publishing authors and small presses. Eve presented a similar workshop at a convention in San Francisco last year.

Working with youth

Jeff is the director of a local road bicycle racing team, which includes a number of youth (under 19) riders that the team actively coaches and trains to develop into professional, or at least life-long, athletes.

Marilou is a mentor with Vancouver Writers' Exchange, a project of Tides Canada Initiatives. Its mission is improving literacy by making reading and writing fun for students in Vancouver-area public schools. During the 2015–2016 school year, Marilou volunteered in the Exchange's in-school programs, helping students at five area schools with book projects, including a safety guide, travel guide, choose-your-own-adventure book, comic book and school magazine. This summer she will be volunteering with the Exchange's summer programs.

Supporting non-profits

Jeff volunteered for years at 221A, an artist-run gallery in Vancouver. He was a founding member of the centre and served on the board of directors for several years. 221A is now an established leader in the local arts scene, specializing in design and art exhibits and getting building leases to keep space in the hands of artists instead of developers across Vancouver.

Amanda is very involved in her local arts community, providing web content and web management services for the Port Moody Arts Centre. The centre is committed to promoting arts activities in the city by providing classes, showcasing local work in its gallery and hosting arts-related events. Amanda places content within the CMS, wrangles web design and layout issues, liaises with the web manager and helps out with digital marketing. Recently, Amanda also set up and ran the social media accounts for the Blackberry Artist's Society, a local arts cooperative.

Finally, Eve just joined a brand new committee that's set to bring the 2018 Canadian Science Writers' Association conference to Vancouver. This is an exciting opportunity for Talk Science and all our associates, and we'll be sure to provide updates as plans progress.