Derek Featherstone and I have chatted about the events within the Ottawa region and how there didn't really seem to be anything directly targetted to us. BarCamp comes the closest but it doesn't happen very often.
To fill that void, we've decided to initiate Refresh Ottawa. In the words of the Refreshing Cities web site:
Refresh is a community of designers and developers working to refresh the creative, technical, and professional culture of New Media endeavors in their areas. Promoting design, technology, usability, and standards.
And that's exactly what we aim to do with it. Our goal is to really foster a great community and promote quality design and development within the nation's capital.
It is my intention that this will be accomplished at three levels:
Much like the meetups that currently run within the city, we'd like to have regular gatherings to simply share horror and success stories over a drink or two. This gives us all a chance to chat about the things we enjoy doing every day and meet those within Ottawa (and elsewhere, if you feel like making the trip) who are passionate about the same things.
I'd consider this the core component of what Refresh Ottawa is all about: regular events where a couple people present on a particular topic. It's like a mini-conference. These should be a lot of fun and Derek and I will be working on securing a decent venue.
How practical this will be only time will tell but long term I'd really like to see a conference here in Ottawa and having it under the Refresh umbrella — as it was for Refresh06 — would be cool to see.
What's up first?
That's a very good question! Right now, we just wanted to get the site up before we both head out to SXSW as Derek will be presenting at Refresh "World", for which I hope to attend as well.
If you're interested in participating in or attending a Refresh Ottawa event, head on over to the site and sign up. We'll be sending out an email in a couple weeks with some more definite plans.
Great news - well done for setting it up. :)
I found that forging links with local educational institutions (whether that be universities or colleges, or schools teaching some aspect of web design) was very beneficial.
It means the Refresh community can contribute to the education of the next generation of designers (and promote the right way of doing things), and can also mean that you can blag the use of lecture halls and computer labs to put on presentations.
See you tomorrow!
Great news! I'm all over this idea. I have been following the success of Refresh events in other cities. I am really excited to participate in such an event in Ottawa. I will sign up right away and make myself available to help in in way to get this off the ground. I will also start to spread the word to my fellow design cohorts...
I think we need to get one of these for calgary too!
Well, you know I'm in -- thanks for setting this up! I have some contacts at Carleton University, so I may be able to help out if you go the route that Matthew suggested.
Welcome aboard - Refreshing Cities
@Matthew: thanks for the suggestion. That'll definitely come in handy!
@jay/Stephen: it's great to see the support. We hope to have something sent out a week or so after we get back from SXSW.
I've got to agree with Ryan. This would be great to have in Calgary as well!
I wonder if you'd accept a Montrealer ;-)
I find that Ottawa gets lost between cities like Toronto and Montreal, it'll be great to have something like this so close to home.
I'll be there!
Awesome. Thanks for taking the initiative, I'm looking forward to the first event. If you need help or gear let me know. Cheers!