Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Spacing's Map Contest

The current cover of Spacing
A few months ago, Sarah discovered that there was a contest being run by Spacing Magazine, a publication out of Toronto that focuses on urban design and public space usage; a contest which was right up her alley. They were soliciting entries to their "Creative Mapping Contest" and, even though it was very close to the deadline, Sarah bore down and worked furiously to be sure she submitted a design for their consideration. It was fantastic and she did get it in on time, but I didn't hear any more about it whatsoever.

Until last week, that is.

"Entertainment District" indeed!
Last week a copy of Spacing was pushed through our mailslot, much to my surprise. It was addressed to Sarah as if she had a subscription to the publication, which I thought was a bit odd but put down to some connections through her work. A little while later I started to think about it a bit more and looked at the cover of the recent issue. At the very bottom, I read this: "FOR THE LOVE OF MAPS: 15 winning entries from Spacing's Creative Mapping Contest". And the plot thickened. Because the issue was sealed, however, I was unable to see inside the pages of the magazine. So I called Sarah at work and asked her about it. She was fairly gushing with pride as she told me that she had been notified that she had been chosen as one of the winners but was asked to "tell nobody until the magazine is released". Her entry, which I've posted here, entitled "Portrait of Toronto as a woman", appears on page 46 of the brand-new national issue. I'd post a link to the issue itself (or at least a .pdf) but it hasn't been uploaded to their site as of this writing. However, if you go to Spacing's site itself, it may appear there by the time you are reading this.

The talented winners from Toronto
All the winners were emailed an invitation to the release party, which took place last night at the Centre for Social Innovation, which is a great building in the Annex in Toronto in which Spacing rents office space. Six of the winners of the contest (there were fifteen in all) were from Toronto and they all showed up at the event; four of them are pictured here (l to r: Sarah, Mary, Paul and Chris) and two more (husband and wife winners Andrew and Audrey) showed up later, as Sarah and I were preparing to go home. Each of the winners received a goodie bag (a reusable Spacing bag) full of cool stuff such as books, buttons, notepads and two copies of the magazine. They were also recognized by Matt Blackett, publisher, director and co-founder of the magazine, as he addressed the entire gathering midway through the proceedings. Adams Vaughan and Giambrone attended the event along with other notables too numerous to list here. And the room was packed. All in all, quite a heady experience for our intrepid Graphic Design guru.

Oasis Skateboard Factory table

At the event we met some bright, enthusiastic and engaging young lads from the Oasis Skateboard Factory (OSF). This is a cool, innovative program which last year won the Ken Spencer Award for Innovation in Teaching & Learning, given out by the Canadian Education Association each year.

From the OSF brochure:
OSF is the first school site in the [TDSB] fully dedicated to offering all subjects with a focus on skateboard design and street art. This is an innovative reengagement program that helps students experience success and develop transferable creative and entrepreneurial skills, while helping them to graduate from high school.
This sounds to me like a terrific initiative and, if the representatives we met last night are any indication, it is doing some great work.

How did we ever think we could eat all that??!
On our way home, Sarah decided she was famished so we stopped at the Smoke's Poutinerie location on Bloor near Bathurst. I had been in there once before, a few weeks ago, and found that the "small" portion (I had a simple bacon and poutine mix) was almost overwhelming for me. So, naturally, we decided to get the "large" portion to share...and ended up taken about a third of it home. We ordered the "Double Pork Poutine" (chipotle pulled pork, double-smoked bacon, peppercorn gravy and, of course, cheese curds and fries) and a couple of Pop Factory soft drinks (black cherry for me, orange for Sarah). It flew in the face of all of the dietary concerns Sarah and I have -- because we ate so much greasy food so late -- but we didn't care. It seemed like a perfect way to end such a grand evening.

Congratulations to my bright, talented, inspirational and lovely partner on a job well done.


  1. Congratulations to my wonderful, talented daughter. It is really nice to be able to see the map she designed. Cool! Thanks for the great post (although I admit I am a bit biased about what constitutes a great post - i.e., if its about Sarah, it has to be great!)

  2. Congratulations Sarah! Excellent job - what a wonderful idea and expertly executed. Fabulous.


I've kept my comments open and moderation-free for many years, but I've been forced to now review them before they post due to the actions of one member of my family. I apologize for having to take this stance, but that's the way the world is headed, sad to say. Thank you for your understanding.

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