I’m very grateful to be living in this country called Canada, now celebrating its 150th birthday.

In my over twelve years of living here, I have found that the country’s kindness and warmth abounds and that, despite the generally freaking cold geographical climate, its friendliness gets expressed in many different and distinct ways. Mostly it’s in the conversations, populated with a lot of sorries, sureness, and substance. This friendliness is also embedded in the visual culture and history of the country, the shapes and symbols that together express the physical and psychic landscape we experience today.

While these lands have been inhabited by numerous peoples over thousands of years, Canada’s 150th makes it a relative baby among the nations of the world. In honour of Canada’s 150th anniversary, I thought I would share some personal and professional reflections on three important visual Canadian milestones.

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aaron draplin and ghost signs winnipeg

With an abundance of conferences on typography, user experience, web design, etc., designers and developers could max out their credit cards in a hurry. But the real work of design happens on the ground: on tables, desktops, coffee shops and in the community.

One of the first things we wanted to do as a new board of GDC MB was to bring to Winnipeg the inimitable Aaron Draplin. In my estimation, Draplin is the most respected designer in North America these days. In no small part it’s because he embodies a real desire among young, (and old), designers to create logos, identities, products, and inventions that have lasting value and that are based upon the tried and true work of the past. Draplin is best known for his insanely beautiful logos that not only have street cred but are commissioned by those, (like the Obama administration), who need something lasting, assured, definitive and credible.

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bubbles, lawn, fence

We have a lot of clients in the United States and overseas. Tomorrow, Manoverboard will be closed for Canada Day, a holiday which should not only be a time for celebration, but a time for reflection.

Canada Day is Momentous

The day recognizes the British North American Act of 1867 which officially combined three Canadian provinces (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and the Province of Canada, which later became Ontario and Quebec) into one country. However, the holiday did not become official until 1982 when the Canadian constitution was formally patriated and some of the vestiges of British power or influence were removed. That means that while the country is almost 150 years old, Canada Day itself is just entering middle age!

The holiday is recognized as a statutory holiday. But not all local governments and communities agree on a set standard for the celebration. In the capital, Ottawa, the day will be filled with live entertainment and family-friendly activities from Parliament Hill to the museums and city parks.

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people planet prosperity certified b corporation

At Manoverboard, We’re Proud to Be a B Corporation

You might think that Manoverboard, a company that puts the planet and people before profits would not be prone to a little boasting or bragging. You would be wrong. Along with the glow we get from creating far-reaching marketing strategies and designs for clients, we also get a thrill when, as a company, we reach a new milestone.

Well, that happened the other day. We were re-certified as a B Corporation.

Manoverboard first joined the ranks of B Corporations in 2013. We were probably in the mid-600s of global businesses that passed certification and were one of the first Canadian design firms to earn this distinction. We were also the first in the province of Manitoba.

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inside of subway car

For the first time since its inception, Earth Day in Canada will now be a year-long event. Starting on April 22nd, 2015, the national launch will encourage all Canadians to reduce their carbon footprint by 20% by 2020. The focus is on commuting and the Earth Day website indicates 25 different “commuting acts” you can take.

Daily transportation contributes about 24% of Canada’s carbon emissions. To reach this environmental goal, Canadians are encouraged to “Clean Your Commute” by using electric vehicles, public transportation, foot power, or by telecommuting where possible.

Earth Day 2015 marks the 45th anniversary of this annual celebration and nearly 6 million adults and children throughout Canada are expected to participate in special events, environmental activities, and educational opportunities.

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