Northern Voice 2013 Press Release


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Some of the top bloggers and social-media practitioners in Vancouver and Canada will be speaking at Northern Voice on June 14 and 15 at the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre and Museum of Vancouver. Canada’s first, and still largest, grassroots social-media conference is in its ninth year of helping local bloggers connect and learn from each other. Northern Voice has helped build a thriving community of social-media practitioners in British Columbia. This year’s speakers include Dave Olsen, a co-founder of Hootsuite, and pioneering podcasters Mark Blevis and Bob Goyetche. Some 20 other sessions and a Friday-night party round out the weekend. For more information and advance tickets, visit

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Northern Voice 2013 Press Release

  1. 1. 1MEDIA ADVISORY FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE May 31, 2013NORTHERN VOICE CONTACT:Duncan McHugh, presidentEmail: duncanmm@gmail.comPhone: 604-376-1139Twitter: @duncanmmNorthern Voice already creating #engagedcityBlogger’s conference trains people to build community online and reduce feelingsof isolation being studied by mayor’s task forceVancouver can already boast a head-start in building community and reducingisolation—its many bloggers—say the organizers of Vancouver-based Northern Voice,the country’s first, and still largest, grassroots blogging and social-media conference.They congratulate Mayor Gregor Robertson for his Engaged City Task Force, whose firstreport outlined the importance of reducing the feelings of isolation that recent studiesidentified as a problem in Vancouver.Local bloggers like Miss 604 and Vancouver Is Awesome are already helping peopleconnect and find community, says Duncan McHugh, president of Northern Voice, which is holdingits annual conference June 14 and 15. “People who blog or use social-media help build the sortsof communities that fit the wired world we’re all now living in. The meaning of community haschanged since the 1950s—it’s even changed since the 1990s—and many people now seekothers online who share their interests and ideas.”A strategy to build community and reduce people’s sense of isolation needs to includesincere efforts to further encourage online communities and social media, says McHugh. “This isthe ninth year that our conference has taught and encouraged people to share their stories withan authentic voice and build communities around their interests. We’re proud to help build theleaders and participants of an #engagedcity. And Vancouver has become a centre of bothpersonal and business participation in social-media.”
  2. 2. 2NEW LOCATION & SPEAKERSThis year’s Northern Voice conference is moving to the futuristic H.R. MacMillan SpaceCentre and Museum of Vancouver.“The space centre is a perfect venue for a conference celebrating the advances incommunication and community building brought about by the web and new media,” saysMcHugh. “We think the space centre will inspire people to try new things and make new friends atthe conference. And we’re inviting everyone at the conference to join us for a photo-walk orpodcast-walk in beautiful Vanier Park around the space centre and museum.”THIS YEAR’S LINEUPOther social-media conferences focus on corporate communication. Northern Voice hasbuilt its reputation on helping average bloggers and social-media users explore the personal sideof online expression. “We’re not about how to make money with a blog but rather how to shareideas and create community,” says Treasurer Allyson McGrane (contact: 604-873-6373 year’s lineup includes some of the leading bloggers and social media experts in B.C.and Canada exploring online storytelling and digital publishing. Mike Vardy (@mikevardy), theface behind renowned blog Productivityist will discuss how blogging changed his life journey fromretail middle management to full-time online writer and published author. Technologist DarrenBarefoot (@dbarefoot) explores quantification of modern life—why we track our lives throughcompulsively counting calories, pennies, hours of sleep and nearly every facet of our dailyexistence.Two politicians—Kamloops city councillor Arjun Singh (@arjunsingh) and Seattle’s BradMeacham (@bradmeacham)—will share how they use digital media to reach supporters andconstituents. Meacham ran for city council in 2011 using a digital strategy.Keynote speakers this year are internationally known Mark Blevis and Bob Goyetche(@markblevis & @bobgoyetche). The Ottawa duo were among Canada’s first podcasters and thefounders of Podcasters Across Borders. Dave Olson (@daveohoots), one of the minds behindVancouver’s very successful tech start-up Hootsuite, will also give a keynote.
  3. 3. 3For more information from Northern Voice, please contact:Duncan McHugh, presidentEmail: duncanmm@gmail.comPhone: 604-376-1139Twitter: @duncanmmBen Abel, marketing and communicationsEmail: info@vancouvergadgets.caPhone: 778-223-8555Photos available through BenFOR INFORMATION ON #engagedcity ON NORTHERN VOICEFounded in 2005, Northern Voice was Canadas first web blogging and social mediaconference, and it remains the largest grassroots conference of its kind in WesternCanada. As web blogging has evolved, Northern Voice has kept up with an increasingemphasis on microblogging (Twitter) and other social media developments. Last year,conference sessions included explorations of Pinterest and self-publishing e-books. Butwhatever the communication channel, Northern Voice’s focus is been about aficionadossharing their knowledge with other blogging and social-media practitioners. Key tosuccess for Northern Voice has been an ongoing series of talks helping bloggers findtheir authentic voice and build a community through sharing experiences.Organizers keep the cost accessible to average people through sponsorshipsand a volunteer structure. The annual event is inexpensive, informal, and accessible totechies and newbies alike. Each conference brings together a diverse group of newbloggers, social media experts and those who are curious about online personalexpression.In 2012, session topics ranged from free speech to copyright, from crowd-sourcing to building online communities, from lean publishing to the bloggers brain, andfrom WordPress to Pinterest. Keynote speakers spoke of their work creating Twitter,keeping the Internet free of censorship, and finding their personal voice.Northern Voice is Western Canadas grassroots social-media camp, with goodcontent, good fun—and is less than half the cost of others.
  4. 4. 4BACKGROUND ON 2013 KEYNOTE SPEAKERSBOB GOYETCHEhttp://bobgoyetche.comOne of the pioneers of Canadian podcasting back in 2004, Bob’s been credited withhelping create and develop the Canadian podcast community. The Bob and AJ show aswell as theCatFishShow are still preferred content for listeners worldwide. As well ashosting and producing several shows, Bob founded ROGIC (, one ofCanada’s first podcast networks, and co-founded Canada’s premier podcastingconference, Podcasters Across Borders ( whichdrew podcasters and podcasters-to-be from all over North America during its seven-yearrun.The creation of the weekly podcast Canadian Podcast Buffet( in 2005 gave Bob and co-host Mark Blevis anopportunity to share information with Canadian podcasters and listeners, as well as keeplisteners up-to-date on all aspects of podcasting and social media in Canada rangingfrom legal issues to tips and techniques. This podcast has been referred to as a “must-listen” for anyone wanting to be involved in the Canadian podcast space. In 2006 Bobtook over (, the leading directory ofCanadian-produced podcasts. Thousands of visitors each month use this website to notonly promote their efforts but to find the uniquely Canadian podcasting voices on theinternet. His presence and actions in the space have led to several print and radiointerviews, and Bob is a regular speaker at podcasting and social-media conferencesand meet-ups.MARK BLEVIShttp://markblevis.comMark was finally able to unleash his inner radio-host when he learned about podcastingin the spring of 2005. He launched his first podcast, Electric Sky ( a fewweeks later, joining a growing field of Canadian podcasters. In June 2005, Mark saw anopportunity to build a Canadian podcast community, helping to put a train on the tracksTod Maffin was laying during his Canadian travels. That train would be driven togetherwith pioneering podcaster Bob Goyetche. The two produced the weekly CanadianPodcast Buffet and co-curated the annual Podcasters Across Borders conference forseven years.At his more prolific, Mark produced five weekly podcasts. Of those, the Just One MoreBook ( children’s book podcast which he co-produced with hiswife Andrea was the most popular, serving more than two million downloads during itsthree-year run. He has viewed each of his podcasting efforts as an opportunity toinform, entertain and connect like-minded individuals into a community. This isevidenced in other podcasting efforts, including We Can Rebuild Her(, a podcast which Andrea and Mark co-produced to documentAndrea’s cancer treatment and return to good health. Mark harnessed his experiencewith online communication and community-building to build Full Duplex (, a
  5. 5. 5public affairs consultancy which specializes in digital communication and onlinereputation management. In addition to consulting work, Full Duplex conducts ongoingresearch on the role of digital in politics, public engagement, advocacy and activism.DAVE OLSON Olson is a mixed media storymaker who explore topics around culture, history,technology and creativity. He frequently presents at events – including SXSW andNorthern Voice – and shares his opinions on social and traditional media channels.A graduate of Evergreen College (BA Interdisciplinary Studies, 2004), Daves work ispublished in magazines and journals and in his own documentary podcasts.After traveling to 30+ far-flung countries, working dozens of jobs from mushroom farmerin Japan to submarine tour guide in Guam to grape picker in Germany, Dave now enjoyslistening to old vinyl albums on the back porch whilst gazing at North Vancouver’smountains and trees.Dave is also the VP Community for HootSuite.
  6. 6. 6NORTHERN VOICE CONFERENCE MOVES TOH.R. MACMILLAN SPACE CENTRE JUN 14-15Conference known for educating people how to blogand participate in social mediaSome of the top bloggers and social-media practitioners in Vancouver and Canada willbe speaking at Northern Voice on June 14 and 15 at the H.R. MacMillan Space Centreand Museum of Vancouver. Canada’s first, and still largest, grassroots social-mediaconference is in its ninth year of helping local bloggers connect and learn from eachother. Northern Voice has helped build a thriving community of social-mediapractitioners in British Columbia. This year’s speakers include Dave Olsen, a co-founderof Hootsuite, and pioneering podcasters Mark Blevis and Bob Goyetche. Some 20 othersessions and a Friday-night party round out the weekend. For more information andadvance tickets, visit .Media Contact:Duncan McHugh, presidentEmail: duncanmm@gmail.comPhone: 604-376-1139Twitter: @duncanmm