1. Doesn’t have any tattoos. (And no, he won’t show you.)
2. Is addicted to popsicles, even in the winter.
3. Was known in his teenage years as “the long streak of misery.”
4. Always wanted to be an architect: his two most favourite buildings are Frank Lloyd Wright’s Falling Water and the Hagia Sophia in Instanbul.
5. Career history: mining–7 years; surveying–7 years; graphics–18 years.
6. Celebrated 15 years with Aasman on June 4, 2011 (Do I smell a cake?)
7. The “one CD on a desert island” would be Glenn Gould’s second recording of Bach’s Goldberg Variations.
8. Still drives the first vehicle he ever bought.
9. Drives a truck and a motorcycle, the combined ages being 67 years old.
10. Has never lost a fight with Heather’s fish.
Leave a comment for "10 things You Probably Don’t Know About Paul"
1. Has been in jail. (My dad threw me in the clink when I was a boy. He's a retired police officer.)
2. Spent his early years in a Mennonite children's home in Red Lake, Ontario.
3. Is a twin. Yes there are two of us. (*grins mischievously)
4. Is fiercely proud of his Ojibway/Norwegian heritage. My great, great, great grandfather sailed across the ocean blue many moons ago.
5. Entered the US without ID.
6. Loves telling tall tales to Douma and Jennifer — they'll believe anything. (This one time in band camp. . .)
7. Has an affinity for bacon and bacon products, like Mr. Bacon's Toothpaste. It "makes your breath Bacon Fresh!"
8. Has two family trees — 'cause one just won't do.
9. Didn't know what an oliebollen was and had to Google it. Thanks Al.
10. Is deathly afraid of those toilets on airplanes. All that noise is quite scary you know.
Leave a comment for "10 Things You Probably Don’t Know About Mark"
iPhone Self-Portrait by Margriet. (She is sooo not this serious-faced at work.)
1. I was born in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia soon after my parents immigrated from Holland. Dad worked for a company that made pearls out of fish scales. I wore one of the necklaces he made on my wedding day.
Leave a comment for "10 Things You Probably Don’t Know About Margriet"
Leave a comment for "10 Things You Probably Don’t Know About Albert"
Did you know that Eleanor. . .
1. is a soprano in the Whitehorse Community Choir and is performing Mozart's Requiem with an orchestra on May 6th and 7th at the Arts Centre?
2. lives in a log house with a wood stove?
3. once sold an art piece made out of recycled coke cans for over $2,000? True story—and will never happen again.
4. shares her birthday with the declaration of war (WWII) on Germany?
5. is half German and lived in Berlin before moving to Whitehorse, but is not a German citizen?
6. voted for Obama.. and is an American citizen?
7. has experienced the Burning Man festival twice?
8. spent two weeks on an Enfield motorcycle in the Himalayan foothills in India?
9. has dined on corn-on-the-cob in the company of a killer elephant?
10. has a four year hair plan? For details please ask… she likes to talk about hair.
Leave a comment for "10 Things You Probably Don’t Know About Eleanor"
10 things about Mr. Sellars . . . .
1. Likes to collect and make wind chimes / mobiles of stone and sticks while escaping to a quiet Yukon lake.
2. Has a few string puppets and marionettes but no audience.
3. Loves cooking breakfast for family and friends; dishes are another matter.
4. Once did court room drawings for the Edmonton Journal when then CBC reporter Adrienne Clarkson was testifying at the public inquiry on the Panarctic 737 crash in the NWT.
5. Lead the two agency team that established the new Yukon government visual identity program through 1978 and 1979.
6. Once, as a wandering art student, tried to jump a freight train near Hope, B.C. Fear prevented serious injury.
7. Sold his first (and only) painting at a public art exhibit in Duncan, B.C. when he was in grade 10.
8. Owned a new 1972 Gold Duster with faux alligator skin vinyl roof and white leather interior with bucket seats. It was hot and went very fast. It crashed about a year later.
9. Used to fish for bullheads at Crossland Falls with worms and a single hook.
10. Once was shooting shotguns at dozens of skeets and bottles and stuff with his son-in-law – and missed every one of them. The son-in-law didn’t.
Leave a comment for "10 Things You Probably Don’t Know About Trevor"
Leave a comment for "10 Things You Probably Don’t Know About Heather"
. . . About Jennifer
1. I spent time in North Korea (only like 10 minutes inside a UN building that straddles the border of North and South, but still.)
2. I hate the term “webinar.”
3. My friend Kim and I occasionally do this thing we like to call “Saskatchewan interpretative dance.” It’s been unofficially banned in Marsh Lake. (Some of our friends just don’t understand real art when they see it.)
4. I’ve been in the sewers of Paris.
5. My favourite movie is The Shining.
6. I have a huge crush on Bill Murray. Huge.
7. When I was five, I told my parents I wanted to attend Harvard Law School. (Uh, never quite got around to it.)
8. I might even be more gullible than Douma.
9. Poison was the first concert I ever attended and BC/DC was the last show I went to (and neither of these bands in any way reflect my current musical tastes.)
10. I have a scar on my arm from a rogue A&W chicken chunk.
Leave a comment for "10 Things You Probably Don’t Know"
Aasmanites are a rare breed. Really. If you spend any amount of time in this office, you'll understand exactly what I mean. To celebrate our "differences" and give you a little more insight into our world, we present The Bounce series: 10 Things You Probably Don't Know About Me.
Each week will feature a different aasman employee. We're getting the ball rolling with the most special of Aasmanites . . .
10 Things You Probably Don't Know About DOUMA
1. I am half Arab, half German. Insert terrorist joke here _____.
2. I HATE brussel sprouts.
3. I am super gullible.
4. I can make one eye move while the other stays put.
5. I have a French culinary degree but I hate cooking.
6. I have been engaged three times. Third time’s a charm!
7. I have seven tattoos. No, you may not see them.
8. I cannot go into water if I can’t see the bottom.
9. My favorite food is peanut butter. With chocolate.
10. I believe that everyone has good in them, save for a few world leaders and dictators.
We encourage you to share your own "10 things" list with us. In fact, we insist! (Or at least leave snarky/clever/rapturous comments about your favourite staff members.)
Leave a comment for "special people"
Hockey Day in Canada heads to Whitehorse. In honour of this momentous day, several aasman-ites donned their favourite jerseys. Whitehorse will host CBC's Hockey Day in Canada tomorrow.
Leave a comment for "aasman loves HOCKEY!!!"
For days and days, the Analog Computer Eco-Thing-a-ma-jig (ACE) whirred, clicked and fizzed away, crunching all the entries in our Name that Fish contest (i.e. Dude-fish: An aasman Love Story). Today at precisely 12:18pm PST it spit out our winning entry.
Say hello to Pantone 485. For legal reasons we have had to shorten our mascot’s name to just 485. Thank you Craig M.–we’ll be contacting you shortly regarding your prize.
A big shout out to all those who submitted their entries via Facebook, Twitter and directly on our blog comments.
Heather and 485 are very happy.
Leave a comment for "Dude-fish Has a Name"
It all began last summer. Heather, aasman’s administrative guru/media purchaser, and essential office do-it-all girl, kept company during the endless summer days with a fish.
It was her first fish-sitting gig. Little did Heather know how important that wall-eyed carassius auratus (that’s smart for goldfish, dummies) was going to be to her.
Alas, as it usually goes with summer love, it wasn’t meant to last. Heather and the fish had to part ways. Lonely for gilled companionship in the dark days of winter, especially in an office of mouth-breathing co-workers, Heather longed for the fish-days of summer.
Being a proactive person, Heather grabbed the aasman credit card and headed for the nearest pet store. She found the perfect friend to keep her company in the front office.
Heather leaned back in her chair, gazed at her fishy friend. . . and drew a complete blank as to his name. Bob? Walter? How embarrassing. . .
Um. So basically aasman now has a fish. We have it on authority (Paul) that this is a dude-fish. Help us name our new aasman mascot and help Heather find a proper way to address her friend during their heart-felt talks at break time. If we choose your name, you'll win a prize!
Leave a comment for "Dude-fish: An aasman Love Story"
Last Thursday the Aasman crew was blessed with a fantastic meal at Eva Stehelin's ranch to celebrate the holiday season. The Aasmanites invaded the kitchen and under Eva's expert direction collectively produced an awesome wild-meat-themed meal.
We made melt-in-your-mouth french onion soup,
stroganoff delicious enough to quiet our babbling tongues, salad and dessert…..mmmmmm, oh and appetizers too!
We kneaded, rolled and flipped tortillas for cheesy little wraps with moose chorizo and fresh salsa.
The only work we did for the moose pate was spreading it on the crackers and trying not to talk with our mouths full.
Some guests joined us for dinner. Trevor had to leave us early, but he was there in spirit!
The atmosphere couldn't have suited us better. A cozy home filled with art and surrounded by the outdoors. Thank you to everyone who made it possible!
Leave a comment for "Aasman Christmas Dinner"
While looking through the photos of my recent holiday in Spain, I was reminded of hours spent in Madrid's museums and galleries. A whole afternoon at the Prado only allows for only a passing glimpse at the remarkable collection, something like leafing through an art history textbook. But while wandering through the galleries, some paintings will stop you in your tracks, like Goya's The Third of May, 1808. In a textbook it will be page-size at the most and possibly only in black and white. You see the elements of the image, such as form or tonality, and the subject matter points to the meaning.
What the artist actually intended is another matter, and is a function of the context of his time, fascinating, but limited by our knowledge of history. And anyway, once a work of art becomes public, it can have as many interpretations as there are viewers. Meaning becomes diluted, or broken into facets, and the artist's meaning is one of many. in a world of relativity, importance or truth becomes, well, relative, and subject to manipulation. Art, by being inherently subjective, is a cause and an antidote to this situation and can bring focus to important themes. And with subjects such as war, it allows us an experience about as close as we want to get to the real thing. What do we believe? That which moves us.
My understanding of The Third of May was abstract until I came face to face with the properly lit canvas, 9 x 11 feet in size, shocking in it's detail and presence. Meaning becomes experience and you imagine a closer understanding of the message in the image. There is no glory of war here.
Another similar example is Picasso's Guernica at the Museo Reina Sofia. Research will tell us about the painting, but is only a map to the thing as it is. Here the message is important, and maybe the canvas really does need to be 11 x 25 feet to get the idea across.
Leave a comment for "The Message and the Thing-as-it-is"
With the onset of -30 temperatures, I've noticed that certain kinds of parkas zip up snug on the neck and under the chin. This is great for keeping out the wind… and for impersonating E.T.
For ideal extraterrestrial impersonation, choose a beige parka and wear large aviators.
Leave a comment for "E.T. wear Parka"
When I am not in front of a computer, I like to be outdoors watching wildlife through the lens of a camera. November is one of the best times of the year to watch two of my favourite animals in the north: bald eagles and Dall sheep.
Leave a comment for "November Wildlife Highlights"
Here’s a brief questionnaire (poached from an old blog post—thanks Rona!) we had our newest employees fill out. Read on to find out the juicy details about Mark and Jen...
Mark Rutledge, Senior Graphic Designer
How long have you been in the Yukon? Since August 31, 2010. Or 83 days or 2 months, 22 days or, 1992 hours or, 119,520 minutes or, 7,171,200 seconds.
First impressions? Inspirational, breath-taking, friendly, leisurely (pace of the town)
Where were you living and working before Whitehorse? Steel town – Hamilton, Ontario. I worked for 4 years at a boutique design firm in Burlington, Ontario: Maximum 60 Design Communications. Before then, I lived and worked in Ottawa, Ontario and worked for over 10 years for Hangar 13 Art & Design.
What's the best trait you bring to your work here at Aasman? Enthusiasm
And now for the really important questions:
Favourite sandwich? Anything with gobs of mustard on it. I’d even contemplate a liver and onion sandwich provided there’s room for that delicious yellow stuff on top.
Best tunes to work by? Anything Celtic.
Most exotic travel experience? Clearwater, Florida.
Snowboard or Skis? Definitely skis.
Beverage you can't live without? Mustard juice and coffee!!!
Any final thoughts you'd like to share with us at this time? I’m happily married, have 3 wonderful children and am fiercely proud of my Ojibway roots.
Jennifer Solomon, Creative Writer
How long have you been in the Yukon? I moved here in 2003, left for about 3 years in 2006, and returned to stay at the end of March 2010. So about 4 and a half years in total? That’s about right, I think...
First impressions? Holy sh*t!
Where were you living and working before Whitehorse? I came here from the flatlands of Saskatchewan the first time around. Before returning in March, I was in South Korea teaching impossibly cute kids how to swear in English.
What's the best trait you bring to your work here at Aasman? My "sharp" wit and willingness to make coffee. Oh, and hopefully some decent creative writing skills...
And now for the really important questions:
Favourite sandwich? Cake
Best tunes to work by? I like complete silence, or Justin Bieber if I need inspiration.
Most exotic travel experience? Japan was pretty amazing.
Snowboard or Skis? Um...neither. I like roller skates.
Beverage you can't live without? Coffee and vodka-- not mixed together though (unless it's an emergency).
Any final thoughts you'd like to share with us at this time? Nothing really, except that I'm very happy to be here.
Leave a comment for "Employee Interrogation"
Aasman graphic designer Eleanor Rosenberg designed and illustrated posters for Dan Mangan's latest Vancouver concerts at the Vogue Theatre. The limited edition screen prints were only available at the recent shows, but you can see them being made at Pinhole Printing. Scroll down for the in-progress photo.
Posters will also be available on Arts&Crafts online store shortly.
Leave a comment for "Dan Mangan Posters"
Pumkins by Aasmanites
Eleanor and Joanne, cat and viking women.
Leave a comment for "Happy Halloween!"
Along with her parents, Zeke and Rona, we watched and waited nine months for Micah Jane Aasman. She just bounced along with Mom and Dad every day to work. It took awhile to notice her presence and for months she was barely there. Slowly, she came around and then you couldn’t miss her. Mom couldn’t sit very comfortably, and often in the afternoons, they were resting on the red couch in the ZOO. And then she was gone... from the office that is. Micah was born October the 11th, Thanksgiving Day. She has come into this world with a beautiful presence that takes your breath away.
Leave a comment for "Welcome to the tiniest aasman"
Graphic designer Eleanor Rosenberg has just been accepted in the Hot One Inch Action show on October 23 at Gallery Gachet in Vancouver. It's an exhibit of 50 artists' one-inch buttons. Opening night is a fantastically frenzied event where you can buy little baggies of buttons and trade away until you get the ones you really want.
Eleanor: "This year I've decided to get gruesomely historical will a little Marie Antoinette piece. Mary Antoinette had a seamstress/modiste named Rose Bertin who was responsible for stealing a blue diamond necklace. The diamond necklace was terribly expensive and the cherry on top of the debt accumulated during Marie's reign which enraged the populous and egged on the revolution!
So in honour of Rose, I present the beheaded queen in a style reminiscent of ornate floral fabric. A perfect accessory for formal wear."
For more details on Hot One Inch Action visit www.hotoneinchaction.com.
Leave a comment for "Tiny Art in the Big City"
Sporting speedy red shorts and wind-blown capes, super aasman ran the Klondike Road Relay with grace, strength, and determination. Starting at sea level, Heather Lang (an aasmanite) started the team off in Skagway on leg 1 for 14km. She met up with Eleanor Rosenberg (another aasmanite) at the US Customs. From there, Eleanor ran a good pace up the steep incline for 9km through the White Pass to meet with the anxiously waiting Amanda Janssens. At leg 3 and for the next 12.5km, Amanda galloped her way through the rain and finished her leg at the Canadian Customs. Ben Lewis took the reigns and powered his way through leg 4 down the 21.5km stretch. Leg 5 was dispatched by Justin Mullan with a quiet ease for the next 22km. He was tagged off by his wife, Catherine O'Donovan who ran her gruelling 26km run on leg 6 at 4 am. Rick McCharles, a visiting gymnastics coach, saved the day by joining the team last minutes due to a teammate injuring himself mere days before the race. Rick was a very strong runner who completed the 14km, leg 7, and then continued on the rest of his day by hiking some Yukon mountain range. Leg 8 belonged to Lawrence Ignace. He had a strong run for the next 19.8km. Andrea Burgoyne ran her leg 9, 17.6 km from Annie Lake road to Carcross cut-off with great determination. Jessica Read finished the race for the team on leg 10, 19.3 km. It seemed effortless considering she went right to work just a few hours after the race.
The race was a great success with some minor bumps in the road. We wouldn't want to submit this review without mentioning the crisis that occurred at the Summit. We locked the car keys in the trunk of the supporting vehicle. Luckily! the crisis was diverted by the team working together, thinking quickly, and sweet talking a team from Juneau to hitch a ride and the customs officers into lending their phone.
All in all, there were nervous jitters, strong runs, toe nails lost, and an overall sense of accomplishment. Considering that the majority of the team members only ran at most 5 to 10 km before the race, I would like to do a shoutout to the team for their heart and spirit throughout the entire race.
Last but not least, I would also like to send a great big THANK YOU to aasman for sponsoring and supporting team super aasman. It is greatly appreciated by all the team members. Keep your eye out for super red shorts running the streets of Whitehorse before snow puts an end to the running season.
Leave a comment for "Super aasman completed their mission!"
Last Saturday the alarm sounded at 4:30 am, "Hey you, wake up! Today is one of the last summer weekends, get outside!" Time for the Yukon Mini-Adventure Challenge: over twelve hours of constant outdoor activity. Of the eleven teams competing, "Look Ma…No Hands", consisting of graphic designer Eleanor Rosenberg and partner Nathan Millar, came in fifth place. Considering a few teams didn't even finish, we're rather proud of ourselves! We made an appearance in the Whitehorse Star on Monday.
Leave a comment for "Yukon Adventure Challenge, starring Look Ma… No Hands"
Last week marked the sad and celebratory departure of one of our creative team. After almost five years of great ideas and designs, art director Valerie Theoret is once again paddling the rivers of education toward a new career in teaching.
Her creative mind is sure to be appreciated in a classroom and her energy will certainly be missed in the studio at aasman. We wish her all the best in her studies, and not too much homework!
Leave a comment for "a new paddle for Val"
So, it’s the beginning of week four of my summer internship already...and following a rainy bike ride (which is my new routine) and a warm cup of tea, the day starts again.
There are several main differences between school and actually working. Things that didn’t tend to occur to me were busy clients, government logo regulations, and clocking my time. However, while school never seems to release me from its grasp during the semester, work magically stays at work so I have time to bike home to relax. Therefore: design school=0 real life=1
School at ACAD has a relaxed studio feel that encourages conversation and brainstorming, which is one of my favorite parts and something that I am excited to find at Aasman. Discovering a solution you wouldn’t normally have found on your own is a very satisfying feeling. The other thing that has been new but a very rewarding consequence is the possibility of seeing things I have designed out in the real world. (A secondary consequence of this is also a possible coronary). But health-related side effects aside, it is very exciting.
I have also learned that having a teacher who has six full hours to answer questions like “Is this good enough yet?” does not transfer to the real world. Especially when the office resembles a beehive Monday to Friday. However I feel very lucky to have so many people willing to help me at any moment they can, because I am constantly soaking up new information.
So the weeks are flying by, I am enjoying it all and look forward to returning to school with a whole lot more under my belt.
Leave a comment for "rookie update"
Adjusting back into a forty-hour work week after a very comfortable camping/hippy lifestyle out of the back of a 4Runner can be difficult. But making it easier is everyone at Aasman, who have been wonderful in accepting me as their summer intern.
I just finished my third year of school at the Alberta College of Art and Design in Calgary with a major in graphic design, soon to enter my fourth and final year. Exhausted and ready for adventure at the end of the semester, my boyfriend and I packed up his 4Runner and decided we were heading north. After an extended and beautiful drive, we set up camp (literally) in Whitehorse and were looking for work.
Portfolio in hand I did a bit of researching on the design scene in town and approached Aasman with sweaty palms and crossed fingers. So, now, a week under my belt and I’m ready for more. The energy in the studio is inspiring and with many friendly people to point me in the right direction I think I will make it.
With the weeks passing here doing something I really love and my weekends spent in the mountains or a canoe, I just may never leave (cause no one’s ever said that before).
Leave a comment for "Into the Wild"
It began with lillarogers.com where I discovered grainedit.com through Matt Stephen’s bio. Grainedit was featuring the art of Kevin Dart, and it was on his website that I found the link to the Totoro Forest Project (TFP) and his contribution to it. Having seen the movie My Neighbour Totoro, I was curious. I loved the gallery featured on this website, which is the inspiration behind this post. I loved the contributing artists’ work and their own unique interpretations of the same subject, Totoro. This naturally inspired me to take part, although the TFP was no longer accepting submissions.
First, a brief summary of what the TFP is about:
WHAT IT IS/PROJECT OVERVIEW: A fundraising exhibition/auction to support the national trust Totoro Forest Foundation that Oscar winning film maker Hayao Miyazaki has been helping over the years, featuring...more than 200 pieces of original art especially created by internationally acclaimed artists in the fields of animation, comic books, illustration, and fine arts.
THE ASSIGNMENT: Totoro is a mysterious character, a spirit, monster or creature that is visible only to kids. We asked artists to pause and give some thought to the film. How did it inspire them? How did they feel after it? What does the Totoro from their own personal life look like? We wanted artwork that could convey that childhood’s sense of wonder and spiritual beauty of nature that the movie conveyed.
In answer to the question “What does the Totoro from their own personal life look like?”, here is my own interpretation:
I have my own Totoro whose resemblance to the original Totoro is not hard to see
Leave a comment for "My Own Totoro"
Nicolas Dory is an aasman web developer by day, and a nature photographer by…well, by any other time he can grab. He currently has an exhibit at Baked Café, running April 9–May 6. I sat down with Nicolas to talk photography, passions and mating calls.
When–and how–did your love of photography begin? I started with architectural photography, actually, but then began bird watching. It sparked a passion in me.
What is it about nature photography that attracts you? I love taking the time, whether it’s watching animals or landscapes…I love the process of waiting for those perfect moments to appear in the lens. I love watching animals in their natural surroundings just “doing” life.
What has been your most memorable photography experience? I am from France and, in Europe, the Shetland Islands is one of the most important seabird colonies. I spent an entire month in this archipelago, between Scotland and Norway, just living in and photographing the nature that surrounded me. It was definitely a memorable experience.
Can you share one of your all-time favourite photos with us? I took a photo series of deer roaring that I love. Deer in Europe are smaller in size than their Yukon elk counterparts, but come mating season their “roar” blows away the competition. It’s really something to hear.
Leave a comment for "Coming into Focus"
"Whitehorse is an incubator for the arts," a friend told me a few months ago before moving south to pursue the next stage of his career. I've repeated the metaphor a dozen times since and feel it's appropriate to do so here as well.
I (Eleanor Rosenberg, graphic designer in the aasman creative studio) have recently been invited to exhibit my illustration work at a gallery in North Vancouver. The exhibit is a group show of 20 artists who participated in the Artists for Kids program, which is celebrating its 20th year of existence. I spent three weeks over three summers in a place called "Paradise Valley" near Brackendale, BC. Like the Yukon, it's surrounded by natural beauty and an accompanying sense of calm that invites inspiration and creative thought. It's where I first met Ted Harrison and a host of other Canadian artists that encouraged me to follow a career in the arts. Years later, working in a creative studio in an artistic town, I'd like to salute the natural world for its contribution to my artist incubation.
If you're in Vancouver come to the show, April 12 - May 8, at the Artists for Kids Gallery (810 West 21st St at the Leo Marshall Centre) or better yet, come to the opening, Thursday April 15th at 7:30 pm.
The other exhibiting artists include:
Leave a comment for "A Natural Incubator on Exhibit"
It was back in 1998 (when I was a young person) that I first tried my hand at arctic sports. It was very rewarding and I excelled in the sport at the 1998 Arctic Winter Games. That was the first and last time I competed until I received a phone call this past January.
It was now12 years later, and I was being asked to perform and demonstrate arctic sports at the 2010 Paralympics in Vancouver, along with other participants from the Yukon and Northwest Territories. It was an amazing opportunity to showcase the North and a sport that I really enjoy.
Very few people know what the arctic sports are and where they originate. We demonstrated this northern sport for one week in the very popular Canada’s Northern House in downtown Vancouver to visitors from around the world.
The arctic sports are quite intriguing and compelling and they capture an audience’s attention. There are a variety of different events and games that were created to demonstrate one’s strength, agility, flexibility, endurance, and pain threshold while hunting and surviving out in the very cold and northern arctic. The events and games have been passed down from generation to generation and are still played to this day.
Here are just a few of the events that were demonstrated at the 2010 Vancouver Paralympics:
ONE-FOOT HIGH KICK
THE SWING KICK
THE ALASKAN KICK
THE TOE HANG
hahaha….that’s me testing my pain threshold at the Toe Hang!
Leave a comment for "My Paralympic Experience"
One of the conditions of working Aasman is mandatory participation in one full day of enjoyment. This year's event happened on Mount Sima. The aasman ski bums geared up while the chairlift-operators were still rubbing the sleep out their eyes.
We rode up and slid down
and up and down and up and down
until the only lift running on the hill was the lift of the tap in the lounge. Those that were not balancing on two sticks hurtling down a slippery slope made an appearance at noon for a hearty and delicious chili brought to the table by Chef LeBlanc-Alwarid. Individual servings and all the fixings we desired fuelled us for the rest of the afternoon.
Never to be caught off the job, aasman employees reviewed their recently produced Sima tower signs advertising a sexual health website for youth.
It was decided that future client presentations should be held on the chairlift and decisions should be made at the bottom of the hill after skiing down. If you are reading this as a client, please consider booking your next aasman meeting at Mount Sima.
Leave a comment for "Ski Day 2010"
3 kids under 5 years old
1 Grandpa, armed with Visa card
1 Grandma and 1 mother, there to keep it all together!
My family recently went to Vancouver to take in a day of the “Olympic experience”. Our fabulous local airline offered a day trip that was too good to not take advantage of, so off we flew...
Want to see branding in action? Here’s a sampling of what the right branding can do:
The Bay building, downtown Vancouver. Those massive banners were to advertise the Bay’s exclusive Olympic products. People waited in line for hours to buy a branded hoodie or sweater!
The Bay building again, different side. WOW.
Even Visa was in on the Olympic branding action…
Those red jerseys were everywhere! You couldn’t help but feel the pride that was in the air.
My little boy, Kai, branded from head to toe!
Leave a comment for "An Olympic Experience"
Ode to inspiring weekends
My design teachers told me that it’s good to diversify my sources of inspiration and be in contact with all kinds of art… Following their wise advice, I like to extend my contact to all kinds of people, activities & rhythms, in all kinds of weather, headspaces & revisited environments.
I spent most of my weekend in the at-first-unploughed Log Cabin parking lot at the Pass, which could sound at first like a relatively lame (a.k.a. “safe”) plan. But add to the story a massive snow dump forecast, an actual metre of fresh snow, a cooperative snowplougher ready to make a little detour in trade for a brownie, a road temporarily blocked by an avalanche, a bunch of highly motivated and creative people ready to overcome any obstacle for a friend's birthday party, frantic shovels, an oversized party tent, courageous dogs, a mysterious backcountry ice cream recipe, colourful wigs, lovely ski turns, an efficient first aid rescue scenario and a Log Roll for the Hawaiien birthday girl and…(breath)…it all suddenly turns into a giant breath of fresh inspiration for the week ahead.
That said, I am definitely saving first prize for creativity to the weather, always surprising us with such different backgrounds and ambiances for every single day we spend out there, winter after winter. It makes our beloved “safe” skiing destination a fun place to "discover again" every time we go.
photo credits: Bridget McClarty and Valerie
Leave a comment for "Off the Ploughed Track"
The only thing worse than having to fill in for our vacationing Media Buyer is having to fill in for our vacationing Media Buyer slash Office Maven – “maven” meaning Doer Of All Things that keep the office in smooth running order and keep all aasmanites smiling, happy and, most importantly, sugar-fed. Yowza.
We knew real quick that one person was not going to fill little Heather’s large shoes.
We got Val and Douma on the inner complexities of media booking
Corey on fun-tastic coffee duty
Trevor (aka Grandpa T) on general office merriment provider
Nicolas on cheery customer service supplier
Douma on candy fix dispenser (and ingester)
and Al on mail sorter (sorry Al, but someone’s gotta do it)
And together, as a big round whole, for all our efforts, all we wound up feeling was a big round hole in the middle of our exhausted, barely still beating hearts.
Heather is back tomorrow and is hereby denied any and all future vacation requests. Enjoy your tan while you’ve got it, Heather!
Plum worn out,
The Being Heather Team
Leave a comment for "Being Heather"
‘Tis the season for ruckus and comical Christmas staff parties but at Aasman, celebration is taken seriously. A Christmas Committee was established in November to ensure the evening’s success. Behind closed doors, the Committee schemed ways to create embarrassing moments that would entertain the office throughout the coming year. Once solidified, the Plan revealed a competitive nature to the 2009 event. Below is an account the festive rivalry involving rocks that curl, cheese that swirls, and music that won’t make you twirl, it’ll make you STOMP!
The festive celebrations kicked off–or rather slipped off–with an afternoon at the curling rink. Under the expert direction of Mr. Trevor Sellars, four aasman teams threw rocks, yelled at each other, pushed brooms, lunged, slid, and occasionally fell down.
But these folks are not quitters, especially with the main event ahead. Having mastered the art of keeping the sheet clean and working hard to keep the rock true, the four teams left the arena in high spirits. Each went home to secretly ice bruised knees, stretch twisted ligaments, and cultivate confidence for the next activity – a dance off.
Back at Mt Mac, the aasman crew brought reinforcements and divided into two teams. Team Flamenco was lead by Annie Pellicano who taught them how to clack their heels with one foot, kick the air with the other, hop forward and clap all at the same time, just like true Andalusian gypsies. Team Gumboot learned from Sophia Marnik how to stomp and slap their rubber boots to create rhythm, just like miners of apartheid South Africa used to do.
The moment of truth arrived when each group performed for one another in a dance-off. Everyone participated, which meant no one could judge who won. But it was agreed that everyone deserved a crown and, having worked up an appetite, a very special meal.
The table was beautifully garnished for the likes of royalty, and after the Christmas crackers were popped, the guests proceeded to feast like royalty. Cheese fondue swirled in pots on the table and fixings for Raclette filled the spaces in between before filling the bellies of the assembled curling dancers, and one dog. No celebration is complete without a homemade trifle by Emily Bradbury, and so the evening ended on a sweet note.
In a measurement survey done the following Monday, participants in the 2009 aasman Christmas event agreed that the evening was a success, seriously.
Leave a comment for "a serious celebration"
Our own Eleanor Rosenberg has illustrated the recently published The Midnight-Blue Marble, a mystery novel for young adults. We think it’s simply fantastic, and I kicked things off by telling her so.
R: First off, congratulations on a beautiful piece of work. It’s simply fantastic.
E: Thank you Rona!
R: Is this your first published title?
E: No, this is my third with Gumboot Books. They're a publisher in Vancouver. I also self published a Choose-Your-Own Short Story adventure in 2006. That was my first book.
R: Give us a quick synopsis of the story, for those who haven't read the novel yet.
E: Sure. The story is about a missing diamond that led to the beheading of Marie Antoinette and the French Revolution. The diamond is lost in Vancouver– present day– and the main character, Ailie, and her friends are trying to track it down during a weekend music festival before someone else does, and without compromising their lives.
R: Do you share the author Melanie Jackson's passion for all things historical?
E: In a way, yes. I was never very good at remembering dates, but I love the nuances and details of the more personal side of a story. I loved researching the French revolution for costumes and antiques that I could use as reference.
R: What is the process for illustrating a book like this? Do you read the entire book and then begin the illustrations, or is it a collaborative process?
E: Yup. I start by reading a draft of the novel and marking imagery that excites me. I map out who is who and details I need to remember like who has freckles, what colour their hair is, the types of clothes they wear and all that physical description. At the same time I start covering a wall with references, in this case from France circa 1790. Did you know that the roman numeral "4" in the 1700s is four lines, instead of a "V-I"? I find all sorts of random information when researching. What are mutton-sleeves? What does King Louis wear? What were the alleys of London like at the beginning of the 19th century? Anyway, then I sketch out thumbnails in pencil and propose them to the publisher. They give me feedback and off I go! The rest is a secret.
R: What was your biggest challenge illustrating The Midnight-Blue Marble?
E: Waiting to see the printed book! Living in Whitehorse is great because I feel I can focus on my creative projects, but when the book launched in Vancouver and I hadn't even seen it in physical form, ... that was hard. I was having nightmares about it nightly, but it turned out great and now I have copies all over the place so it was worth the wait!
R: Many of the illustrations contain a hint (or more) of gore. Would you say you have a penchant for the macabre, or was it purely the source material that took you in that direction?
E: Ha ha ha! Um, the author does have a soft spot for beheadings, but I also revel in it. I think spooky illustrations strengthen the mystery-genre, so I watched some Hitchcock films to get in the mood.
R: Favourite illustration and why?
E: That's a hard question. I loved doing the detailed swirls of fabric and jewelry on Marie Antoinette. I really like the chapter 1 illustration though. It introduces Ailie who has a skeptical look on her face, funky style and a row of weird clues in front of her. In particular I enjoy the drip of ketchup on the bag of chips...just a touch of sinister foreshadowing, and the clues have more meaning as the story continues.
R: Are there any book signings in your future?
E: Not really. I was invited to one this weekend at Mac's but I'll be away in Dawson City. BUT, there is an exhibit of the original illustrations at Baked Cafe. We're talking about having some kind of event but I haven't planned it yet. The show goes up Wednesday night!
R: And we can all rush out and buy copies for Christmas presents...where?
E: Good question Rona! There are lots of places you can buy it. It's in the new arrivals section at Mac's Fireweed, It will be at Baked Cafe starting Thursday morning and you can buy it on Amazon.com, and book stores in Vancouver. You can also buy them directly from me. Just email me to arrange an exchange. They're $10 - $12.99 depending on where you get it.
R: Thanks for chatting, E. Always a pleasure to sit down with greatness.
Leave a comment for "Interview with an Illustrator"
Aasman's Art Director, Valérie Théorêt, currently has work featured in Through a Feminine Lens, a photography exhibit at L'Association franco-yukonnaise.
The loose theme, of women photographers featuring women, presents a range of related topics and styles.
Théorêt's piece "Nord et Blanc," challenges the stereotype of the rugged northern woman in nine images that collage photographic portraits, illustration and hand-rendered text. Her process involved a personal and affectionate exploration into the lives of nine Francophone women living in Whitehorse.
Upon arriving in the Territory in 2006, Théorêt's own perceptions of the courageous northerner were confronted by a community of creative and sensitive women. Three years later, an invitation to participate in Through a Feminine Lens provided an opportunity to examine her discovery more closely. Each of Théorêt's subjects were interviewed about their relationship with the North, with Yukon being the personified character. The result is an intimate and colourful arrangement of portraits. Théorêt frames the gentle Yukon woman in her work and unveils the layers of their fluctuating love stories with the North.
The other participating photographers are all based in Quebec. The work of Pilar Marcias photocollages the life story of her models exploring aging, Nadine Boulianne fragments the natural feminine form, and Marie-Espérance Cerda investigates the lives of real women in Mali.
This is the exhibit's second installment. It first showed in Rivière-du-Loup on International Women's Day in March.
Through a Feminine Lens runs at L'Association franco-yukonnaise (302, Strickland) until November 13th, 2009.
Check out Yukon News' article @ yukon-news.com/arts/14480/
Leave a comment for "Through Val’s Eyes"
I went into our studio one day, and somehow the topic of lifedrawing came up. Anyone who has been in an arts program in a school setting can relate to sessions in drawing from the nude. It is the perfect form to challenge and train all artistic sensibilities. There was a collective wish to have a series of our own, and that day we had six people from staff committed. Five, two-hour sessions followed here in our office, with Eleanor, Valerie, Douma, Joanne, Margriet, Paul, and the occasional visiting friend.
At the end of a workday when a lifedrawing session was planned, a few of us eagerly went to the ZOO to move aside chairs and tables to make room for easels and squeeze in a spot for a model. Once started, you could feel the energy and hear the drawing tools moving quickly over smooth paper surfaces. You had to be on the ball because the poses were 30 seconds long. By the end of the two hours we were working on 20 minute poses. Although we were exhausted by then, you couldn’t help but feel exhilarated about the pile of drawings that you were able to produce, and eagerly look at them again to see what you had accomplished.
We were all curious to see each other’s work, but never indulged since by the end of a session we were all eager to get home. So we decided to have a small ‘showing’ of our work for each other and the rest of the staff. Heather helped with curating the exhibit, and buying the wine and goodies to do it properly. There were quite the variety of styles and interpretations of the same person, our very own super model, Christine.
Valerie: Using bold, playful, shapes and lines, there is a humourous, exaggerated quality that exemplifies not just what Valerie sees, but what is going on with the figure.
Eleanor: There is a strong, sculptural feel to Eleanor’s work, and the simple, dynamic 3-dimensional shapes beg to become larger, Henry Moore-like drawings and, yes, sculptures.
Douma: Douma’s simple, ephemeral marks appear hesitant, but gently illustrate what the model is doing. Very few lines give reference to the surrounding space. Douma, go for it!
Margriet: Margriet obviously loves lines, anatomy and big volume. Now that is down pat, she needs bigger space, paper, and colour... and an idea.
Leave a comment for "Lifedrawing Exhibit"
Thirty years seems like a long time—for most things.
For a small seedling, that’s time enough to grow into an actual tree. Even in the Yukon.
For some people, that’s time enough to put in an entire career. Then they retire from YG.
But, if you’re fishing, 30 years feels like you’re really just getting into it—ask Trevor Sellars.
Trevor’s annual, mid-April, spring fishing love affair with the Dolly Varden of the Chilkat River (at “secret” locations between Mile 21 and 25 north of Haines Alaska), just celebrated its 30th anniversary.
What’s changed in 30 years? Well, for one thing, he abandoned tents about 25 years ago for the comforts of the Captain’s Choice Motel. For another, he brought along his business partner Al almost 15 years ago and generously and patiently taught him how to catch Dolly. (Al has since returned the favour, showing Trevor how to catch lots of Dolly.)
Every year presents a different cast of characters, as Trevor casts a wide net of invitations to family, friends, co-workers, acquaintances and people he vaguely remembers from 25 years ago. Old-timers will fondly re-tell the good old stories...
“Remember the year “X” brought the pig’s head?”
“Remember our chunks of Yukon firewood rolling downhill past us at the border?”
“Remember that mink in ‘96 who stole our fish right off the riverbank?”
“Remember “X” in ‘02? He doesn’t remember either.”
“Remember Steve’s (not his real name) special catch and release technique with cutthroat trout?”
Ah yes, memories…beautiful memories.
But the best things don’t change. Like the annual 4-course shore dinner that Trevor prepares over an open fire, featuring the catch of the day.
Like trying to encourage somebody—anybody—to be first to hike through the crotch-deep snow in that little stand of cottonwoods to get to the riffles and that great pool beyond the point.
Like trying to remember whether it was the first stump or the second stump that marks the thin water where you can cross (just make sure you follow someone tall…)
Like the hearty breakfasts every morning at the Bamboo Restaurant.
Like the annual pool tournament that maybe Trevor will lose one year.
Like the tag team of Trevor and brother Dave filleting all the fish, every day, because “...man you guys are just so good at it. I’ll never be that good...”
Like the easy camaraderie that we’ve always experienced while standing in moving water, waving fishing rods over our heads with the warm spring sun on our faces, the fish packed in melting ice on the riverbanks and the flash of another dolly 15 feet away.
We’re good for another 30 years, aren’t we Trevor?
Leave a comment for "Thirty Year affair with Dolly…"
Nicolas Dory has joined the ranks of our Interactive Department. [Zeke can’t stop grinning] Naturally, now that Nicolas is working among us, he must face the tough NKOTAB questions.
How long have you been in the Yukon? 7 months (since last October)
First impressions? I experienced a wonderful winter: photography, backcountry skiing, dog sledding, ice fishing…and people are very open minded unlike in big cities in France, I like it!
Where were you living and working before Whitehorse? I was living in Lyon (France) and I was working in Clever Age (a French and Polish consulting company specializing in Web architecture)
What's the best trait you bring to your work here at Aasman? My motivation and desire to share my knowledge
And now for the really important questions:
Favourite sandwich? “Le parisien” -– french baguette, white ham, salad, salted butter
Best tunes to work by? Heavy and metal songs
Most exotic travel experience? My life in the Yukon…otherwise 2 months with seabirds in Shetlands islands for a photo report about the wildlife of Scotland
Snowboard or Skis? Nordic backcountry skiing
Beverage you can't live without? >>> coffee-addict
Leave a comment for "Nicolas among us"
Do you ever get pins and needles from sitting at the computer too long? In french, we say "avoir des fourmis dans les jambes" which translates "having ants in your legs.” Well, when the twitching comes upon the aasman limbs, our compassionate bosses know the time has come for our annual Get-Rid-Of-The-Ants-Aasman-Ski-Day. Courageously signing our usual life and limb waiver, we all hit the slopes on Friday the 13th, our superstitious fears no match for the call of the hill.
Celebrating our Yukon adaptability, the weather offered a wide array of options to test our outdoor skills. The day began warm and sunny, with a sweet spring-like breakfast as we eagerly awaited our 10am start. The chairlift then introduced our ski-day rookies to the beauties of Mount Sima's spectacular views, dropping only subtle hints – a cloud here, a breeze there – as to what was to come that afternoon. And when it came, we cheerfully rode the storm that chilled our afternoon, chasing wind and plunging through powder on our last adventurous rides of the day. Paul even traded his jeans for ski pants and a hat.
Our happiness lasted the day, thanks in part to a wonderful midday boost from Douma and her amazing chili. And in the end there were no injuries to report, except the death of a million ants – which we don't regret for a single minute. Sorry ant lovers.
Revived and refreshed, we now embrace the year-end frenzy that is upon us.
Leave a comment for "Antsy for a Ski"
...that would be the New Kids on the Aasman Block. In the past three months, we've said a teary farewell to Sandy, and a cheery hello to three new Aasman team members.
What's up new guys? Give us the lowdown on all things YOU.
Corey Bradbury, Production Coordinator
How long have you been in the Yukon? Approximately 4 months.
First impressions? "Where did summer go?" followed by "What happened to fall?"
Where were you living and working before Whitehorse? Halifax, Nova Scotia, NS Provincial Government, Democracy 250 Campaign
What's the best trait you bring to your work here at Aasman? My height, there are some really short people working here, I help to balance the scales.
and now for the really important questions:
Favourite sandwich? The Turkey Pesto sandwich from the Tall & Small Cafe in Antigonish, Nova Scotia. It's a perfect sandwich. It's on focaccia bread, with free range turkey breast, pesto, mayo, feta cheese, sprouts and cucumbers.
Best tunes to work by? It all depends on my mood. I can go from listening to Wintersleep to Django Reinhardt, but when it's crunch time nothing beats LCD Soundsystem or some Hot Chip to keep me focussed.
Most exotic travel experience? Definitely Whitehorse, seriously...
Snowboard or Skis? Snowboard, but a beginner.
Beverage you can't live without? Coffee or Guiness, tough call.
Any final thoughts you'd like to share with us at this time? This question feels too much like a goodbye. I just got here!
Douma Alwarid, Production Coordinator
How long have you been in the Yukon? Since 1985
First impressions? The most beautiful place on earth!
Where were you living and working before Whitehorse? We lived in, argh, Yellowknife...
What's the best trait you bring to your work here at Aasman? A never-ending supply of energy (and sugar)
and now for the really important questions:
Favourite sandwich? Shakir's feta, tomato and onion sandwich
Best tunes to work by? Gangsta rap, classical music
Most exotic travel experience? Hiking in Nepal
Snowboard or Skis? Snowboard
Beverage you can't live without? Diet Pepsi, I know, I know...
Any final thoughts you'd like to share with us at this time? I can't believe that they actually hired me! Especially after all of the stalker complaints that they filed against me. Suckers...
Eleanor Rosenberg, Designer
How long have you been in the Yukon? Two weeks and four days.
First impressions? This is a magical place. Every night when I come home to my cozy apartment and hang out in my long johns, I feel like I'm on a family ski trip. My family isn't here, but people's warm smiles and helpful advice make up for that. My world here feels small and that's great.
Where were you living and working before Whitehorse? Last year I was designing for a multinational tour provider in Berlin, Germany. It's sure a change being here! Luckily, I had a few months of transition in Vancouver to visit with family and friends and get used to Canada-speak, confusing politics and the great outdoors.
What's the best trait you bring to your work here at Aasman? I've got an ear for understanding what people's needs are. "I hear ya." And I have an over-active imagination that will interpret those needs into visual magic. Remember how I said the Yukon is magical? Well I reckon me being here is a good match.
and now for the really important questions:
Favourite sandwich? hmmm... BLT. Crisp refreshing iceburg lettuce and tomatoes, not too crispy juicy bacon and mayo on toasted brown bread. I'm getting hungry.
Best tunes to work by? Oh, that's hard to say. Depending on the work and my mood, I can thrive with fat dub beats. Other times I'm keen to sing along to some melodic folk songs.
Most exotic travel experience? I'm not even sure where to begin here. Last year, my brother and I bought a canoe in the most northern province of Loas and drifted/paddled for ten days down the Nam Ou River. Every day was incredible adventure. Sinking boats, sleeping on the beach, saving a baby goat, breakfasts with villagers, the jungle...wow. Seriously, don't even get me started. Actually, it's pretty exotic being here. It's like nothing I've ever experienced.
Snowboard or Skis? A crazy carpet! I used to be a downhill skiier but haven't done much in ages. I'm ready to take on cross country.
Beverage you can't live without? Water. Really. Love the stuff. Rum and egg nogs are pretty good with a pinch of nutmeg.
Any final thoughts you'd like to share with us at this time? My toes are froze. Because it's only -27 today (warmer than usual), I thought I could get away with my lesser boots...not the case. I miss you Rona, you're so far on the other side of the building.
Oh, and Merry Christmas!
Leave a comment for "Meet the NKOTAB"
It's said being in a strange environment is conducive to creativity.
That sounds about right to Eleanor, our new designer and first-time Yukoner. A native Vancouverite, her thoughts are normally as saturated with creativity as the city is with rain. Now, suddenly surrounded by a sparkling winter wonderland, she expects her artwork and ideas to reflect the magic and inspiration of her new-found northern home.
"Let if flow. Let it flow. Let it flow."
Leave a comment for "Eleanor has arrived"
People came. They ate dots. They saw red. And in the end, a ball was had by one and all.
Thanks to all our friends and clients who came by on a cold November evening to join in the Aasman festivities.
Congratulations to Roberta Hartman, winner of the Best Guess Ball Game. Roberta’s guess: 5,686. The correct answer: 5,825. For an impressively small difference of 139!
As winner of the best-guess contest, Roberta was delighted to receive her mystery prize the following day, hand-delivered to her in the privacy of her Health Canada office. Nothing says Job Well Done like a giant balloon bouquet, that’s what we always say.
Leave a comment for "A Ball was had by one and all"