share • inspire • create

A Creative Collective in Vancouver


Magic in the making

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I wanted to take some time to reflect on our last Sparkfly event on November 22, 2012.  After having had the opportunity to ruminate on the goodness that arose from the special evening, I felt ready to put my feelings into words.

Cherish and I began the evening with an introduction of ourselves, our work and how we came to create Sparkfly and what it means to us.  For us, this is a community of women who share their work, inspiration and process of their creative journeys. Each Sparkfly evening has a theme and the last event was centred around “Culture and Identity”.

Our first guest, Chantey Dayal, is a painter living in the Cowichan Valley. I have known Chantey since I moved to Vancouver about 9 years ago. I invited her to come and share her creative journey with us. She brought originals of her fabulous work with her and told us how her upbringing with East Indian and Armenian influences shaped the person she is today and inspires her work. Chantey’s paintings are colourful, beautiful and deep. She embodies her work and uses 5Rhythms dance to connect deeper with her art. Chantey also spoke about the validation of being an artist and the importantce of saying “I am a painter, and artist” without hesitation.

Chantey followed her talk with a short workshop where everyone was given the chance to draw, play and connect.

After a short break, Rachel Sawatzky from Cocoa Nymph talked about how she came about being a business owner and a chocolatier. There was so much magic for me in Rachel’s talk. She recounted how she had planned to be a doctor all along and never flirted with the idea of becoming a business owner. However, the most magical thing that Rachel recounted was that her aim in her business is not necessarily making chocolates and being creative, it is more about creating a healthy and supportive work environment. Her goal is to have her employees go home with the energy to do more and be creative in their own lives. The other thing she emphasized was that Cocoa Nymph’s aim is to also welcome customers in such a way that they will leave the store happier than when they came in.

Rachel also provided us with a tasting of a couple of her chocolate creations, one of them is named “Ila” after the mother of her ex boyfriend!  I can close my eyes and still taste that bit of Ila heaven. Yum!

Our last guest was Mariella Bertelli, a storyteller and an all around beautiful woman. Mariella is the mother of our friend Paolo and I had seen her tell a story first at Paolo and Natasha’s wedding a few years ago. Mariella was born in Egypt and moved to Italy with her family and then on to Canada. She spoke of the difficulty of fitting in with the Canadian way of life after growing up in Italy. Her compelling story revealed her struggle and ‘identity crisis’ that was brought upon by the union of her Italian and Canadian lives. Mariella has kept strong ties with Italy and travels there at least once a year to collaborate with international storytellers and puppeteers.

Mariella did a short workshop with everyone and she finished off our beautiful evening with a moving story about her grandmother whose grave now says, “the resident of four continents”. The minute she uttered those words and as I write them now, I have goosebumps all over.

Thank you all for coming and for making the evening so magical.  We are looking forward to our next event on February 21, 2013 at Little Nest.  Stay tuned for more details!

You can stay connected with the Sparkfly community on our Facebook page and through twitter!

~ Tamar Haytayan

Written by Cherish

January 17th, 2013 at 1:04 pm

“The Five Senses” at Little Nest – September 20 2012

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If you ask me what I took away the most from our Sparkfly evening at Little Nest on September 20, it would definitely be the generosity and willingness to share by the women there. The theme of our evening was “The Five Senses” and oh boy were they ever there in full force!

First we had Julie and Sarolta of Kitchen Culinaire share their story as well as some promised nibbles for the evening.

Now, if you have ever had the pleasure of dining at the Kitchen Culinaire headquarters, you will know that these women are very meticulous and extremely generous in the preparation of their food. So having known this, I shouldn’t have been surprised by what they prepared for us that evening – a plate of wonderful cheeses, some beautiful appetizers and to clinch it all, a tasting of six types of olive oil.

They even prepared a menu for the evening!

Kitchen Culinaire run classes all year round, here is their schedule! I would really recommend it.

As you can imagine, with all the lovely tastings, the evening progressed joyfully.

Yolanda Liman of Drawing It Out facilitated a fun session which incorporated “The Five Senses” theme.

The visual part of “The Five Senses” theme was shared by Holly Truchan, one half of Union Photographers. Holly shared her interesting life story of how she evolved from a career as a respiratory therapist to being a full-time photographer and business owner with her husband Roger. They really love what they do and it certainly comes across in their work.

Then one of my favourite ladies in Vancouver, Mary Jo Fetterly, graced us with her presence and wisdom. It was definitely one of the highlights of the evening. In true Mary Jo style, she gave the field to everyone else which left her not enough time to speak about herself and I know that many of the women there wanted to hear more from her. Next time, Mary Jo!

Our evening ended on a wonderful note, with words and songs by Jill Barber. I had not heard Jill sing live before and I can tell you it is wonderful listening to her. Her voice has so many layers to it. Some of us loved listening to her so much that we have now bought tickets to see her at the Electric Owl on November 25. Jill is performing with Steve Dawson and The Black Hen House Band for an acoustic evening of music. If you would like to join us, tickets can be purchased here!

A BIG THANK YOU to all the presenters, participants. We love that a community of creativity is opening up and we look forward to seeing you at our next evening at Little Nest again on November 22. (Little Nest is such a perfect space for our evenings! Thank you Mary.)

~Tamar Haytayan

Written by Tamar

October 11th, 2012 at 3:58 pm

Our Next Event – “Culture and Identity” – November 22, 2012

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We are excited to announce details about our next upcoming Sparkfly event on November 22nd.  Join us for an evening of exploring women’s identity and culture as our speakers discuss and share how their creative talents were born from their own unique cultural experiences.

We are happy to present our speakers, Chantey Dayal, a very talented visual artist who weaves themes of identity, motherhood and nature into her works.  Mariella Bertelli also joins Sparkfly as a accomplished storyteller with extensive background in puppetry and theatre. A children’s librarian who integrates storytelling into her library programming, Mariella has over twenty years experience telling stories and will be joining us to share her own stories about self-identity and cultural awareness.

Since a bunch of you mentioned that you would like more time to interact with each other during the event, we’ve allotted more time for this by having each speaker provide an interactive portion of their presentation. Our goal at Sparkfly is to encourage community, collective creativity and stimulate collaboration.  Let’s get together and have some fun, dream, share and give ourselves the space and permission to explore.  Each event has been sold out and tickets are limited, so secure yours now.

Source: via Cherish on Pinterest

Written by Cherish

October 11th, 2012 at 3:28 pm

Posted in Events

“The Five Senses” at Little Nest – September 20, 2012

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Come join us for an evening of sharing and inspiration! Indulge your five senses as we explore music, photography, food and more! Our speakers include Jill Barber, Kitchen Culinaire, Union Photographers and Mary-Jo Fetterly. Listen as each of them describe and share their own personal creative journeys. Limited tickets are available here

Five Senses at Little Nest – September 20, 2012

Yolanda Liman of Drawing It Out will be facilitating the introduction to the evening

Guest Speakers

Jill Barber

Kitchen Culinaire

Mary Jo Fetterly

Holly Truchan

Secure your ticket now! 

Written by Tamar

September 5th, 2012 at 8:22 pm

Posted in Announcements,Events