Featured Vancouverite: Mélanie Kimmett

Melanie Kimmett

Hometown: Toronto, Ontario

How long have you been a Vancouverite?
Vancouver has been home for over seven years now. My husband Kevin, our cat Charlie (who has recently passed) and I moved here from Toronto in 2006 when I was offered a lead designer role with the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Since wrapping up my three and a half year contract with the Games in February 2010, I’ve been working as a freelance/contract designer and illustrator here in the city, while also running and designing my own successful stationery line, Pretty Paper Please.

Since losing our cat Charlie, my husband and I have recently started volunteering with VOKRA (Vancouver Orphan Kitten Rescue Association). While it’s not an occupation per se, becoming a foster parent to a range of kitties who so desperately need a loving space to call home has become a true full-time passion!

Favourite neighbourhood in Vancouver:
Oooh, tough to pick just one. You’ll usually find me shopping and wandering the length of Main St. (Mount Pleasant/Riley Park) most days for its great mix of eclectic and modern sensibility – that’s usually how I like to describe my own unique style too. Nineteen Ten Home Boutique is a great new spot for everything beautiful (and just my style), while Bob Likes Thai FoodZipang Sushi or Marché St. George keeps me from going hungry.

Best way to break into the local creative scene:
Vancouver is a growing city with a healthy creative underbelly. It seems like new creative spaces, galleries and craft fairs are springing up all the time. Pecha Kucha has been an incredible resource for the calibre of talent that lives here while also introducing me to new ideas and groups I might like to explore. Creative Mornings is another great option for networking and feeling a part of the creative community. The popular weekend-long Eastside Culture Crawl, which brings you into hundreds of artists’ studios, is always inspiring!

Whether you’ve submitted artwork or not, the one-night Hot One Inch Action button art show is a hilarious evening of trading limited edition buttons while also engaging in conversation with a rowdy crowd of creatives and art supporters. Getting out there to support local art, artists and other creative entrepreneurs at indie craft fairs like Got Craft? or Vancouver’s Mini Maker Faire is something that I would encourage everyone to do. It’s the local guys who are the real heart to any city.

Favourite day trip from Vancouver: 
Lighthouse Park in West Vancouver is a favourite hiking spot for my husband and I. If you get there early enough (before 10am), it can sometimes feel like you’ve got the entire park to yourself. Just you and the soaring eagles above. It’s a nice feeling to perch yourself atop a rock and stare back at your busy city life from across the ocean water. Those quiet moments in Vancouver – where it’s just you and nature – those are the moments I dream of.

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