I’m continuing my ‘Inspired By’ series with a shout out to the Society of Graphic Designers of Canada (GDC), and most especially all of the dedicated folks currently serving on the Manitoba Chapter executive — I’m really honoured to volunteer alongside all of them.
I first became a member of the GDC back when I was in first-year college (for you history buff’s out there, that would have been 95/96), and I’ve been a member ever since. Why?
I think the reasons have changed over the years. When I first joined as a student, it was a pretty great way to gain access to the design community in Winnipeg. By attending the various professional development and mixer events, I got to meet potential employers. I also got the benefits of being part of a professional body. In a way, it was an extension of the education that I was receiving at Red River College.
After graduation, as I grew up as a designer (from Junior, to Intermediate, to Senior and within the GDC, from Student member, to Graduate, to LGDC and finally to MGDC – now known as CGD or Certified Graphic Designer), I continued to maintain that connection with the design community… attending our Blue Sky Design Conferences, going out to events, taking advantage of the professional development lunchtalks whenever they interested me, etc. I’ll be honest, there were some years where I didn’t participate much… but I always felt it worthwhile to stay a member.
Now, 13 years out of college, and working as a Creative Director & Account Manager, I consider myself a leader within our design community. Now I don’t mean that I’m the best designer out there, or that I own my own studio, or that I’ve won amazing amounts of awards and had my work published… but what I do mean is that I really value the chance to be a mentor and to share the knowledge that I’ve gained to date. It’s important to me to do my little part to help push the design profession forward in Canada, and to maintain the ethics of the GDC while doing so. It’s an amazing opportunity to link up with design professionals across the country, and with other design organizations like AIGA and Icograda.
I guess the last thing I want to say is that you get out of an organization what you put into it.
Now that I’m volunteering on the board, I’m seeing so much more benefit in it. There’s something to be said for hearing firsthand what our Chapters across the country are dealing with – their successes, their challenges, etc. Am I drinking the Koolaid? Maybe so. But it sure tastes good.
The Society of Graphic Designers of Canada (GDC) is a member-based organization of design professionals, educators, administrators, students and associates in communications, marketing, media and design related fields.
Since 1956, the GDC has been an advocate, voice and resource for Canada’s graphic design profession. We are a national certified body of graphic designers promoting high standards of visual design and ethical business practices for the benefit of Canadian industry, commerce, public service and education. Through the media, publications, seminars, events, conferences and exhibits, the GDC builds awareness of graphic design and its essential role in business and society.
The GDC has more than 1,300 members in 9 chapters across Canada and members at large nationally and internationally. In addition to our professional members, we are also lucky to have several hundred student members.