30 Sep Launch Learnings
It all started with a coffee. This past spring, I was delighted to reconnect with an acquaintance I hadn’t seen in six years. Over an Americano at a neighbourhood café, I shared the inspiration and early business plan for what would soon become Troubadour Creative. Not only was my friend incredibly supportive of my newly chosen path but she actually had a project she thought I could support her on. And with that vote of confidence, Troubadour had its first project: to help brand and launch Clubhouse 36.
Clubhouse 36 is an out-of-school program supporting kids and families in Surrey’s inner-city communities. Following an initial sponsorship commitment from the Sedin Family Foundation, Surrey Schools was able to attract other sponsors and develop a program to provide a safe, structured and fun environment for at-risk and vulnerable kids during summer and spring breaks, as well as two days a week during the school year. It is offered at no cost to participating students and their families.
As we filmed the video this past summer, I witnessed first hand the joy the kids experienced and how proud they were to tell us about all the great things they had participated in during their time at Clubhouse 36. Make no mistake: with high percentages of new Canadians struggling to survive and other families stuck in a generational poverty cycle, these kids would not have had access to this level of programming otherwise. It just wouldn’t be in reach.
Beyond a wonderful social program, it was a fabulous opportunity to help develop what Clubhouse 36 would look like and to ensure the program had high-quality communications tools to aid awareness and ongoing support. It gave me the chance to test my collaborative model, allowing Troubadour to engage highly-qualified creative professionals that I know and respect, and they (of course) did an outstanding job. There was a flurry of activity to define the positioning and brand identity, video, media relations and other materials necessary to support the public launch event held on September 14 at Holly Elementary in Surrey. With Vancouver celebrities like the Sedin families involved, it was sure to gain media attention—and it did. Have a look and listen to some of the coverage the story enjoyed.
CBC Early Edition interview with Rick Cluff
All in all, it was an amazing first project and now that the dust has settled, I’ve had time to reflect on just how fortunate I was to have this initial opportunity that perfectly showcased the best of the Troubadour offer (strategic creativity + philanthropy). The lesson learned for me was the power of connections. The coffee that kicked this off was with someone I hadn’t seen in six years, and someone that I actually hadn’t worked with previously. But we liked and respected each other and had kept in contact throughout the years. What providence then to meet at a point when my hopes and dreams perfectly collided with her trust and requirement? I still smile just thinking about it. In many ways it is the ultimate hope of any person starting their own business—to work with people they like, doing great work that they’re proud of. And, as a start for my fledgling company, I really couldn’t ask for more than that.
So, who wants to have coffee next?
And mothers of the country, take two flags and make a sail.*
*Northern Wish, Melville, Rheostatics, 1991 Green Sprouts