Vancouver's historic downtown eastside is a treasure trove for the wandering storyteller. It contains a vibrant and close-knit community with unique artists, colorful shopkeepers and committed activists, along with more dangerous characters that come with living in Canada's poorest urban postal code. In this place, a video camera becomes a window into a place naturally filled with high drama that inspires visual creativity and poetic turns of phrase.
April Smith is a storyteller who documents the downtown eastside from an insider's perspective. In her keynote address, she will discuss some of the stories she has gathered in videos and blogs over the years. Through these examples, she will demonstrate how these stories are created and how the observer often becomes a part of the story.
Vancouverites may know April Smith already for her incredible blogging and video work portraying the personal stories of the residents of Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. April also represented this key neighborhood as a trusted community spokesperson during the Olympics. The CBC, Globe and Mail and many other media outlets have often interviewed April for a unique and honest perspective on local issues.