CAMP Festival explores the art and technology of creative storytelling

Leading innovators, inventors and designers will explore the convergence of art and technology with a special focus on mental health

Mario Toneguzzi is a Troy Media reporter based in CalgaryIndustry leaders and creators are converging in Calgary next week to explore the art and technology of creative storytelling during the sixth annual CAMP Festival.

The festival will focus this year on the mental health of the creative mind.

CAMP (Council of Artists and Multimedia Professionals) is a non-profit focused on the art and technology of creative storytelling, mainly through its annual festival. It includes workshops, panels and roundtables to educate, challenge and inspire people.

“Creative industries are in a constant state of flux and CAMP Festival brings awareness to emerging practices and cutting-edge technologies that many of our attendees might not otherwise have exposure to,” said Bram Timmer, founder of CAMP Festival. “By bringing together some of the world’s brightest creative minds, it is our hope that every attendee will leave inspired to push their own boundaries as they continue to innovate and challenge the status quo on the path to their own industry-shifting discoveries.”

The event takes place Oct. 7 and 8 at the Taylor Centre for the Performing Arts at Mount Royal University.

Timmer said leading innovators, inventors and designers from companies like Google, Amazon Music, ATB Financial, Facebook and MIT will explore the convergence of art and technology with a special focus on the conference’s 2019 theme: mental health.

He said the conference is underscored by creative forces that encourage attendees to find ways to think outside the box and break the mould of their professional practices, all in the name of inspiring further innovation, industry growth and technological advances. This year’s roster of international speakers will provide opportunities for creative professionals from nearly every industry to learn about career-altering processes, techniques, challenges and successes from notable industry giants, he said.

Some of the key speakers this year include:

  • François Audouy, a production designer of major motion pictures and builder of narrative worlds. He has contributed to blockbuster films like Logan, Men in Black, Jurassic World and Avatar;
  • Sands Fish, an artist and researcher at the MIT Media Lab’s Space Exploration Initiative, where he focuses on building an inclusive, sci-fi future and culture in space;
  • Dr. Ryan Todd, CEO/psychiatrist at Headversity, a digital mental health company, where he measures, tracks, and trains resilience in the workplace;
  • Wade Jeffree and Leta Sobierajski, designers and artists at Wade and Leta; together this couple helm a design studio whose client list includes Adobe, Google, Refinery 29, Gucci, Target and The New York Times;
  • PJ Richardson, co-owner/director/executive creative director at Laundry; Richardson will discuss how embracing failure can fuel creative breakthroughs and share learnings from his personal experience as an agency leader;
  • Mike Hill, concept designer at Mike Hill Design, designs worlds for the entertainment industry, creating concepts and designs for film, TV and video games, including Warner Brother’s Blade Runner 2049 and HBO’s Game of Thrones;
  • Curtis Stange, president/CEO at ATB Financial; as the leader of Alberta’s largest financial institution, Stange will weigh in on what he has learned from his 30-plus years of industry experience about the important role people play in the workplace.

“This year we’re themed around mental health for the creative professional. It weaves through a lot of our presentations. We’re just exploring a lot of the common ups and downs that pretty much all creative professionals experience. People in the advertising and marketing world but also the stresses of a career in feature film imposes on you,” said Timmer.

Topics to be explored include work/life balance, anxiety, perfectionism, self-doubt and validation.

“The whole mental health thing really became apparent after having a lot of conversations throughout last year with my peers.”

© Calgary’s Business

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