May's global CreativeMornings theme was 'Backwards' and Vancouver was fortunate to host former West Van Mayor Pamela Goldsmith-Jones as our presenter. As usual, this event could not have been possible without our presenting sponsor R&M Trade Laminating and the support of our ongoing support partners The Province of BC, GDC/BC, Dodson Conference Centre, Ethical Bean Coffee, and Fusion Cine.

Pam is not a creative professional per se, but is highly regarded as an effective, creative person. As the former Mayor of West Vancouver she stuck with multiple changes needed to transform West Van from safe to a sense of enterprise and engagement. She’s an innovator when it comes to community participation (new working groups instead of advisory committees) and corporate governance (creating a non-profit to manage the award winning community centre/arm’s length management and fundraising for the 2010 Olympics, Venue City). She protested the destruction of Eagle Ridge Bluffs in 2005 (nude calendar girl), banned the use of cosmetic pesticides in WV a decade ago, supported significant restorative work on the foreshore/intertidal zone (UN Global Green City Award). She took on tough jobs as Vice Chair of Translink, pitching the 2 cents/litre increase in gas taxes, as Vice Chair of Metro’s Waste Committee, promoting less solid waste, and as West Van Police Board Chair through a massive multi-year corporate culture change. Pam homeschooled her 3 children for 6 years, has a Masters degree in local government, and is now doing her MBA at SFU, majoring in Aboriginal Business and Leadership. She has her own consulting company helping business work with public policy. Douglas Coupland says “She’s incredibly down to earth and wildly generous with her time and spirit…” (Vancouver Magazine, June 2011).

A few notable comments (paraphrased) by Pamela:
"I define creativity by saying things out loud. There’s something powerful about putting ideas into words. It helps me to focus my thinking before acting, and to reach out for help."
"I find creative inspiration by reading, other people’s logic and body language, and I share."
"One creative advice or tip you wish you’d known as a young person is don’t think of it as worrying, think of it as hatching a new idea."
"I love to see young aboriginal leaders in the arts, media, business, politics speak at CMVan."
"My biggest Aha! moments come by realizing I can only succeed if others are too. Smiling, jokes at your own expense, delegating really good jobs, sharing contacts, reaching out to opponents – these all work. Don’t sell anyone out – this does not work. Keep space open."
"The best surprise in life was taking the kids out of school for 6 weeks, that turned into 6 years."
"Whatever you think, think the opposite!"
"In politics, we are not our best selves behind closed doors."
"Why do we feel like we don't want to connect when it's our every impulse."
"A true test of leadership is what continues after you leave office."
"Politicians, share your authority. If you think the power of your office is all for you, you're destined to fail."
"Being yourself is balance."
"Replace the fear of the known with curiosity."
"Be yourself, and don't make assumptions."
"The system conditions people. Be willing to break rank. You get the most interesting results when you break rank."

CMVan's June 7th, 2013 event theme will be “Food” featuring the founders and directors of Fresh Roots Urban Farm Society, Ilana Labow and Marc Schutzbank, with the support of our presenting sponsor Vancity. Ticket registration will begin at 11am on Monday, April 29th at

The Vancouver chapter of CreativeMornings is run by Mark Busse (@MarkBusse) and his dedicated team of volunteers. Thanks to Matthew Shettler(@Shettler), Josh Nychuk (@JoshNychuk), Mahyar Saeedi (@MahyarSaeedi), and Jake Hermiston for video production.
CreativeMornings is a monthly breakfast lecture series for creative types. Each event is free of charge, and includes a 20 minute talk, plus coffee! (


NOTE: If you would like to make a donation to support the production of CreativeMornings/Vancouver, which is entirely produced by unpaid volunteers, please visit this link:

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