Victoria: turning into everywhere else? It’s creativity unleashed

by Yule Heibel on February 16, 2008

Perhaps Victoria is “turning into everywhere else,” and that’s a good thing? It is when it means that modern creativity is unleashed, on the streets, and in our coffee houses.

This morning I was cataloging my books on LibraryThing while my husband went out for breakfast to meet Rod O. from Magic Kite at the Cook Street Village Starbucks, which is just one of 4 coffee shops (soon to be 5) in this 2-block area.

As they’re drinking their lattes, they’re surrounded by scads of folks from the neighbourhood, who have come in to check out the people or read books or have business meetings or work wirelessly on their laptops. The crowd includes a man working on a Ruby on Rails application, using the Flock browser. Since the husband and Rod had just been talking about building a little business app on Rails, they chat with the other chap for a while. When the spouse returns home (where I’m still busily cataloging away, trying not to sneeze from all the dust), he tells me about the Flockstar fellow on Rails.

Hmm, I think, Can’t be, can it? The world’s not that small?

Was he quite distinctly hairless as regards the scalp?, I ask. Yes, came the answer. Was his name Rick?, I inquired. Yes, again.

Coincidence? Or an element of localized spikiness? I’ve never met Rick, but it so happened that I used a photo of “Rick on Rails” pulled from Flickr (and uploaded by quaelin on Jan.22/07) next to a photo of a Roland Brener work, “Sculpture” (also posted to Flickr, by striatic), for two talks I presented to local Victoria business / community groups this winter.

The slide I made, which juxtaposed “Sculpture” (above) and “Rick on Rails” (below) includes this bit of text:

The Creative City

“…creativity is revolutionizing the global economy…”

Richard Florida

The juxtaposition was part of my larger point — that creativity needs to be unleashed: it can’t be restricted to areas of fine art, it also has to permeate technology and entrepreneurship. Brener’s Sculpture represented a multi-faceted aspect of “traditional” creativity (and is located where one conventionally expects to find it – in a gallery setting). Rick represents the creativity of technology and entrepreneurship, which you can casually stumble upon at your neighbourhood coffee shop.

(With thanks to “Rick on Rails” for having his picture on Flickr and being a “shining beacon” of technological creativity in Victoria! I hope he doesn’t mind that I’ve reposted this likeness here to make a point!)

And so, let’s hope that Victoria gets spikier and more creative all the time — unleashing creativity is the best way to ensure that it will be “like everywhere else” (that is, one of those places that’s buzzing with goodness & spikiness), while also developing a distinctive, spiky edge of its own. “Becoming like everywhere else” sometimes just means that a place changes for the better and finds its creative groove.

Edit: I’ve added the tags DemoCampVictoria, democampvictoria01, and northernvoice to this entry as it relates directly to DemoCamp Victoria01’s genesis.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Brij February 17, 2008 at 4:07 am

He’s the smartest rails guy I know!..and he can do rails submerged under 100ft of water…

Yule February 17, 2008 at 10:00 am

..and he can do rails submerged under 100ft of waterโ€ฆ

LOL, come now! It hasn’t rained that much this winter!

Thanks for stopping by & commenting, Brij. I see there’s lots to explore on your blog, too!

Mark February 17, 2008 at 11:23 am

He’ll never be able to upgrade his computer now!

Yule February 17, 2008 at 11:50 am

^ Ha! I guess it has what you might call a “heritage” lid, …and everyone knows how difficult it is to change anything heritage-related in Victoria! ๐Ÿ˜‰

PS: What is the sage-like Rick’s last name — and does he work with you at Flock? I see from Facebook that you’re both on FB, as is Chris Campbell (quaelin), who took Rick’s photo and posted it to Flickr.

I sincerely hope Rick doesn’t mind that I put his photo on my blog like this! Together with local artist Brener’s sculpture, the match is a perfect “one picture/ thousand words” kind of thing…

Rick February 17, 2008 at 12:46 pm

I am the Rick in question and no, I don’t mind the picture being posted at all. ๐Ÿ™‚

Yule February 17, 2008 at 1:23 pm

Oh, that’s excellent, Rick — and thanks so much for stopping by to let me know! (And also to Mark — I’m sure he and Brij had something to do with pointing you here!)

I’ll be at Northern Voice 2008 next weekend, but if I’m in Cook Street Village on a Saturday morning anytime soon at breakfast time, I’ll keep my eyes peeled for you!

Mark February 23, 2008 at 8:55 am

I’m also at Northern Voice! I’ll try to seek you out today. ๐Ÿ™‚

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