Well, after a whirlwind trip to Toronto I am back and filled with information from the Etsy Captains' Summit put on by Etsy Canada.
We started it off by waking up at 2 am so we could be at the airport for our very early flight. As a very nervous flyer, I thought this might help because I would be too tired to stress about the flight. Well I was wrong. It was a very long day as we were up for over 24 hours because we went to the Sony Centre to see Puscifer play their hearts out and man, was it ever worth it. Excellent, excellent show, and likely one of the best I have been to. Maynard James Keenan is truly an amazing artist and he and his band entertained us for a full 3 hours. This venue is more of a centre for performing arts and that is just the caliber that we saw. The opening "act" comprised of a luchador wrestling match with 5 wrestlers. Now, even though this was more of a play, they stunts these people did were pretty spectacular and the whole thing was pretty funny.
The stage was set up with Maynard and Carina (both do vocals) in the middle of the wrestling ring with the bassist and lead guitarist one one side and the keyboardist on the other. The drummer was right front and centre. All the members of this band have a very solid history in music and many either come from Tool, Ministry or A Perfect Circle. Flawless performance. I only have the above photo to show for it because the band was very adamant that there was to be no photos or recordings of any kind. If you even brought out your phone to text you got a warning then ejected from the theater. Not only were there signs posted about this everywhere, the event staff were also telling people as they came through the doors and the band played a little movie (it was well done and pretty funny) before their set to remind people once again. I appreciated this because there is nothing worse then trying to enjoy a show and having all the people around you lighting up the place with their phones held up and shining in your eyes. I obeyed the rules and got to enjoy the show :)
We walked back to the hotel in the rain but it was ok. (I actually like the rain) I wondered if it would be safe to walk downtown close to midnight and sure enough it was fine! Big cities don't sleep and there were lots of people out and about carrying on with their own business. I found this kinda cool because in my city, I don't feel safe walking around downtown at midnight, but Regina isn't the 3rd largest city in North America.
We had a busy 2 days with a full agenda with breaks for group work and snacks. We even had Etsy Admin from Berlin, London and the USA attend. I listened to very informative and interesting presentations about design, team building, PR, the art of negotiation, fellowships, partnerships, and more! Canon Canada is one of our sponsors this year and they put us in groups and we got to try out some pretty cool cameras while learning about how to take better pictures.
We got to go inside Etsy's office and have some fun finding goodies and taking fun pictures. This is what is painted on the wall right when you walk in, and that's what this summit was all about. We even enjoyed an awesome meal and wine after the first 8 hour day.
You can check out some pictures from our summit on Instagram using #EtsyCaptainsSummit. Here are some taken during the summit.
We ended the last day with cupcakes of course! It was even a part of the agenda.
On the weekend, we walked to the St Lawrence market and I was amazed at all the merchants had to offer. Meat and cheese galore. Lots of selection and it all looked SO good. It has been running since 1803! I had the BEST hot chocolate I've ever had here.
The Distillery District was really neat, it was like travelling back in time. They used to make Whiskey here from 1857 - 1927 and it was abandoned until 2002 when Mill St Brewery moved in. The streets weren't even paved and they brought in a bunch of bricks from torn down warehouses in Chicago to paved the roads. Mill St Brewery is situated in one of the old Tank Houses. The whole area is filled with unique shops and good restaurants.
We stopped at several coffee shops as we walked along and Aroma was one of my favourites. This is where I had my second best hot chocolate ever. The people in Toronto really take their barista skills seriously! At Aroma, you got a HUGE mug (bowl) of coffee and a chocolate with every order. It also gave me time to write in my travel journal.
It was a great trip with lots of good food/drink, friends and sights. If you would like to hear more about the summit and our plans for Etsy Sk you can tune in tonight (April 14th) to a live Google Hangout on Air that Erin, Elaine and I will be doing. You can find the link here.