Why I’m a happy Canadian designer

By April 29, 2013Blog, Design, GDC


This past weekend, I got to attend the National AGM for the Society of Graphic Designers of Canada (GDC) as an observer from the Manitoba Chapter. This is my second time attending and once again, it proved to be an incredibly rewarding, albeit tiring, few days.

The AGM structure is pretty standard. Friday night is the kick-off, with chapter and committee presentations from across the country. Saturday is the meeting proper and Sunday is saved for group discussion, brainstorming and planning. In between, on breaks and in the evening hours, there is loads of time to visit with designers from across the country.

On Sunday night when I was driving home, I had a grin from ear to ear. There is just something so invigorating about getting to spend the weekend with smart, interesting and passionate people; to be reminded why the GDC is important and to affirm my personal reasons for being a member. Although my day job doesn’t include working as a graphic designer (I’m a Client Relations Coordinator in the University of Manitoba’s Marketing Communications Office), I still very much identify as a designer and want to do my part to support the profession. It means a lot to me to be able to add to Canada’s design dialogue and to stay linked to my roots.

As a CGD Certified Member of the GDC, I believe that it’s important to put time and effort into my profession… to attend workshops and conferences where I can, to find opportunities to mentor younger designers and to put in the volunteer time that I do. I am always humbled to be around other GDC members who do that ten-fold — I can’t even imagine the collective hours of volunteer time that have supported the GDC since 1956.

To all of the lovely designer folk that I met and chatted with this weekend, thank you for your company. It’s great to have made friends from all over Canada.

The 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. There are a total of 10 chapters — Alberta North, Alberta South, Arctic, Atlantic, BC Mainland, BC Vancouver Island, Manitoba, Saskatchewan North, Saskatchewan South and Members at Large.


  • Nicely put, Karenia.

    The GDC really is like a coast-to-coast-to-coast family.

  • Adrian J. K. Shum says:

    Sweet. Succinct. Awesome.

    Couldn’t agree more! Thank you Karen!


  • Doug C says:

    For the past 30+ years I have worked as an illustrator or designer full time or freelance. I can honestly say over those years I did not feel the sense of community with my profession as I have over the past few as a GDC member.

    Well written Karen!

  • Lynn says:

    Hey Karen!

    Great to see some of your work! Keep it up with the photo project, its tough I know. I have to say I miss talking with you for the same reason you enjoyed the GDC conference. =)


    • Karenia says:

      Hi Lynn!
      We must be on the same wavelength… you’ve been on my mind a few times in the last month or so. I’ve been missing our chats!
      One of us is going to have to visit the other’s province sometime soon.

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