As I write I’m readying myself for our final supper. A dressy affair to thank the people who facilitated our trip Natalie Branosky, the wonderful Natalie Branosky indeed, of InclusionUS and Jim Galloway of CEC chief amongst those. But also SDI, Interactive Ontario, Miller Dickinson Blais, Authenticity, The City of Ontario and Martin Prosperity Institute. Each one a valuable contributor to a fabulous trip that has inspired us all.
Highlights of the trip have been Randy McLean’s talk at City of Ontario’s Economic development Team, Donald Henderson’s outstanding talk at Interactive Ontario and the most enjoyable networking event that we hosted on Tuesday Evening, The brilliant Chelsea of Pinewood Toronto Studios and John Young, MD of TV production company Temple Street Productions who demonstrated through his incredible Recipe to Riches Ad Funded Programme with Loblaws supermarkets just what is possible when you bring TV and digital together and think outside the box. For me this session was the single most inspiring meeting. But everyone we met made a great contribution to our learning and what adds up to a genuinely creative city.
We have much to do on our return to Edinburgh but we leave with a sense that little old Edinburgh has got a lot right. The naysayers love to argue the opposite and our city may sometimes exude complacency about its creative reputation because of the massive success of our festivals strategy. But we need positivity and a belief that if we put people together with the same fundamental objective random collisions will happen and great things will emerge.
To Jim and Natalie we owe a great deal of thanks. If nothing else I leave Toronto with ten great new friends and a feeling that anything is possible.
I also leave with a couple of pounds extra weight after a week of overconsumption and a fondness for Steam Whistle Pilsner Lager. Don’t look for it unless you’re reading this in Canada because it isn’t exported – more’s the pity.
The last act before the final supper was to visit Niagara Falls after a great tour of the NGen incubator unit hosted by Steve Boese, in nearby St Catherines. Niagara is billed as one of the seven natural wonders of the world. This is no idle boast. It’s an outstanding sight even if Niagarans have done their best to undo the awe with the surrounding buildings.
Well worth a visit.