Archive for November, 2008

Ryan’s Well

Posted in Man Month with tags , , , , , , on November 29, 2008 by zoepawlak

Man Month Continues with Ryan’s Well

Ryan's Well


From Ryan’s Story:

In 1998, when Ryan was in grade one he learned from his teacher, Mrs Prest that people were dying because they didn’t have clean water to drink. He decided that raising money for people who didn’t have clean water would be a good thing. He worked for four months in order to earn his first $70. Ryan’s first well was built in 1999 when Ryan was seven years-old at a school in a Ugandan village. The well continues to serve thousands of people.

Ryan’s determination grew from the $70 collected by doing simple household chores to a Foundation that today has contributed a total of 461 wells in 16 countries bringing clean water and sanitation services to over 599,081 people. The Foundation has raised millions of is to help provide clean water and related health services to people in African countries and in other developing nations through cooperative partnerships with indigenous organizations. Along with providing clean water, it is essential to ensure that adequate sanitation is available and that families and communities are made aware of the importance of proper sanitation and hygiene practices in storage, transport and use of clean water on a daily basis.

Loaded Bow:  How has your determination grown from the $70 you collected by doing simple household chores in 1988 to become a Foundation that today has contributed a total of 461 wells in 16 countries bringing clean water and sanitation services to over 599,081 people?

Ryan H:  Although the scope of our work has grown from a six year old boy doing some chores to an established registered charity which works with people around the world, the same basic dream remains-getting clean, safe water for people without access.  The only difference is that it has grown from one well to hundreds and from one person interested in helping to thousands from across the planet.

LB:  I see you have developed Youth in Action.  The Youth in Action program educates students about the importance of clean water and encourages students to become active, responsible citizens of the world.  How have you seen youth impacted by the education and experience they have received about developing countries’ need for clean, accessible water?

RH:  I have seen many youth who have been impacted by the education and experience they have received.  We currently have a seven year old in Edmonton, Alberta named Finn, who has raised thousands of dollars for clean water projects as a result of his commitment to making the world a better place.

And now we have our first group of youth ambassadors as a result of a conference we held this past summer who have already developed a number of initiatives to support the foundation.  These are change agents who are already making the world more equal.  And of course we have already decided to expand the Youth in Action Program as a result of the success we have had so far.

There’s some pretty good evidence that kids can be leaders today, right now.

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Okay with Love – A Love Story by Erin Schopfer

Posted in Man Month with tags , , , , on November 29, 2008 by zoepawlak

In honour of all things male.

I didn’t choose the town I’ve decided to live in. The man I love choose the town and this, for a long time, didn’t seem fair.


Bear River, Nova Scotia

My partner Jon grew up in Nova Scotia but left as soon as his driver’s license allowed him. He came west and enjoyed a transitory twenties. Eventually he decided he better put his hard earned cash towards a solid investment like a house and that a mortage in Nova Scotia would be a lot more manageable than a mortage in BC. (Smart guy.)


The only place he could imagine living in that familiar province was in a village at the western end of the Annapolis Valley that had captured his architectural and artistic sensibilities as a child. On family road trips to visit his grandmother, his parents often wound through the province on secondary highways and a few lead through a valley into a town called by the same name as the tidal river that follows through it, Bear River. There are the usual brightly coloured houses and those that line the river are built on stilts. Twice a day they float and always, despite a distance from the ocean, there is drift foam and a faint smell of seaweed and mud crabs.

Jon bought his classic georgian style home (not on stilts) from a retired doctor who had used it only as a summer place for fifty years, for the century and a bit prior to th Doctors era it had been an uninsulated year-round house for a family complete with servants. (The servats stairs are still the fastest way to get from the kitchen to the second floor.) Converting an old unwinterized house into a modern winterized one was the first of many major renos that # 40 Pleasant Street has undergone in the last six years. The renos have been a labour of love, as renos always are, but they have not been in vain; it is a charming house.

The town has long been a haven for artists and though there are only about a 1000 people who call Bear River home, there are three galleries showcasing mostly local work and the old school and Rebecca lodge have been converted into artist spaces. There is an established film maker, our neighbor Pat is a potter and I am loyal to her dishes only; there are weavers and painters and an appreciated mix of bluecollar tradespeople. Most of the young people left at least a decade ago but there is a resurgence of those willing to take a different approach to the nostalgic zeitgeist of the seventies and I suppose to some Jon and I to fit into that category. We share an interest in bee-keeping and I’m a complete convert of home-made beer.

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You’re So Sensitive… to Ads

Posted in Bended Bow with tags , , , , on November 29, 2008 by genennis

Man Month Continues:  Ad guru, Seth Gaffney, took a time out to support Loaded Bow during Movember.  Here he ponders sensitivity in adveritising… Thanks, Seth!

Recently a bunch of mommy bloggers successfully compelled Motrin to remove a video advertisement  it made from across the web, and to apologize on its website. The way this group united against the ad and company has now been well documented online, so if you hadn’t previously heard about Motrin Moms or Motrin’s Headache you can find it easily.  

Most of what you’ll find are posts about moms banding together and spreading their message by utilizing tools like Twitter and YouTube. Lots are about the importance of the always-on nature of the Internet and people’s control and expectations for speed-in this case, speed in responding to a “crisis.” 

Yet, I think there’s a different story and lesson to be learned. It’s about knowing your audience and knowing yourself (your company). If you don’t truly understand the people you want to talk with/engage/sell to, how are you going to say the right thing? And if you haven’t defined your voice as a company, how are you going to use the right tone? 

Motrin got the message, and the tone with which they communicated it wrong. It caused moms to react with, “That’s simply not true…and worse, it’s actually disrespectful.” 

But Motrin isn’t the first and it won’t be the last to offend its current or future customers. If you think title of this post is referring to moms or women, think again. When it comes to advertising, men have been (as of late, at least) much more vocal victims. In fact, we even have an organization, Fathers and Husbands, which was set up to fight the negative stereotypes of men in mass media. 

They have spoken out against, for example, this Kohler commercial, where a guy attempts to clog his toilet in order to warrant a visit from an attractive female plumber. To be honest, I’m cool with this showcasing of his one-track-mindedness and stupidity. It’s sometimes worth it to me to have more interesting and creative work. I’m cool with it until the final scene, which resolves to show his girlfriend or wife catching him in the act. Now, that’s where it crosses the line-that as a man I’d be so hung up on one thing that I’d disrespect my significant other. Wrong. 

This ad has not been pulled likely because Kohler has not received the pressure or media attention that Motrin did. This goes to show that informal groups can sometimes have more of an impact, more quickly than formal organizations. Fathers & Husbands most publicly brought its cause to the attention of Volvo while the car company was conducting a review to find a new ad agency. It cautioned Volvo not to pick Arnold because of the advertising it had done for Fidelity Investments, which mocked fathers.  

And can you guess what happened? Volvo went ahead and picked Arnold. They said, we understand your concern given one campaign from this agency but it was a different time and a different client. The past isn’t always an accurate predictor of what’s next, and we like the direction and ideas Arnold has shown us. As my friend, Noah, recently wrote, sometimes it makes sense to “respectfully ignore the feedback.” That’s what they did.  

There are lots sensitive people out there. But being easily hurt or otherwise affected is only one definition of sensitivity. Being aware, concerned, receptive, and responsive to people and culture is another. This is the type of sensitivity you need whether you’re a big company with history or small start-up or anything in between.  

Being confident that you know your audience and you’re being true to yourself makes it heck of a lot easier to communicate effectively.  

Oh, and by the way, you may be interested in advertising we (at W+K NY) recently did with ESPN and the AdCouncil to raise awareness about the importance of preventive health care for men. Take a look here. Happy Movember.


Seth Gaffney-or El Gaffney as he is known across the Internet-is a Brand Strategist at Adweek’s 2008 Global Advertising Agency of the Year, Wieden+Kennedy, where his primary client is ESPN. Previously he worked at Deutsch, Fallon Minneapolis and DiMassimo on companies ranging from Starwood Hotels to Olympus cameras, Travelers insurance to Nestlé Purina dog foods, Joseph Abboud fashion to Duvel beer. He even got to help position and create communications for The Islands Of The Bahamas’ Ministry of Tourism. Not too shabby for his five-years in the industry, considering he actually won his first job (yes, won) by working and sleeping at the office during a competition called Account Executive Survivor-picture The Apprentice with no budget.

Seth graduated cum laude from Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business in 2003, where he played varsity tennis, club soccer, and interned at consultancy, Kotler Marketing Group. He has been a guest lecturer on advertising for MBAs at his alma mater and is also an Alumni Admissions Interviewer there, with which comes no actual power except to scare the living daylights out of prospective students who are smarter than he. Seth enjoys writing, public speaking and traveling (and is proficient in Spanish), is a pop culture (and reality TV) junkie and runner. As a native New Yorker, he is looking forward to running the NYC Marathon this November for Run MS.

To Give or not to Give?

Posted in Loaded Bow: Following Our Story with tags , , , , , , , on November 29, 2008 by zoepawlak

A week ago was the night of the long awaited Art for Life which is a fancy way to get some amazing art and see and be seen by the best in the Vancouver scene.  Art for Life benefits the Vancouver Friends For Life Society which works with individuals living with life-threatening illnesses, helping them to take an active role in their holistic wellness journey in order to move through pain, anxiety, vulnerability, fear, and social isolation. At Friends For Life, we recognize that with compassion, support and knowledge, the experience of illness can be a catalyst for positive personal transformation.



Egg Head by Emily Cooper




This year I sadly donated a small piece, but had had high hopes of giving away something notable and fabulous.  I tried to give something larger and more valuable this year, but they had already photographed everything for their catalogue.  I was too late, but was still very happy to be a part of such an awesome night!


Early Path by Zoe Pawlak 

Often when artists are asked to donate pieces to charity they give away something that has not sold or they perceive will not sell in the near future.  It is hard for artists to give away pieces that are of value to them since the gamble of even being able to sell one of our very best works is just that…a gamble.  I have long been an advocate of fine artists and their ongoing commitments to making a living from their work.  It is so sad to me that so few do and that others who are even better painters than me are slaving away for 40 hours per week working for someone else with all their energies tied to outcomes other than their work.  Painters do not have an easy go when the market is not hot and even those of us who are well supported by a spouse and really well set up with our galleries and online, can feel the crunch when the economy is slow.  If people are not able to make their mortgage payments and fear loosing their homes, it is unlikely that they will be splurging to fill their walls with art no matter how determined we remain. 

The ask for donations is especially high during the Christmas season and this is true for us artists as well.  In any given Christmas season I will be asked about 5 times for a painting to contribute to a silent auction.  Giving this way is one of my favorite things to do because I rarely have excess money to give and so I can make a contribution that truly costs little, gives lots and gives of my heart and my time.  There are many things I have used as determining factors when faced with the ‘to-give’ or ‘not-to-give’ question and these are loose criteria I have come up with for myself and our family:

  1. Is it a charity event and one I ethically support?  Would I otherwise contribute anyways?  I always like to know where my money is going and our family gives to certain groups, so I always run the decision by my husband because I am giving away something that could otherwise contribute to our family income.
  2. Is there a minimum bid?  I once donated a beautiful piece to an event and then met the buyer later to find that something valued at $600 had gone for $80 dollars.  This in not only a waste of my piece to not earn it’s full potential for  the charity, but a poor decision on my part since I could have sold it for much more and then just given the charity say $100 dollars from that were I so inclined to support them.  Always ask if there will be a minimum bid or how the work will be sold.
  3. Do I get a tax receipt?  All charities should be able to provide the artist with a tax receipt for the full amount of the VALUE of the piece regardless of how much it sells for.  This helps so much at tax time!
  4. Do I get free tickets to the event?  These events have often been free dates for my husband and I. Attending these (usually fancy) events helps to network, make a presence, distribute your card, drink delicious wine and see how your work is being displayed.  For example, I went to Art for Life last year and decided it was REALLY something I wanted to donate to this year since it is so high profile and well organized.
  5. What piece is suitable for the audience that will be in attendance?  Always pick something that will be appealing to the type of people you think will go to the event.  There is no point in donating something too crappy or that you know will be to edgy or unappealing to a an audience that is looking to buy a cheap piece of art to match their sofa.
  6. Have I given priority to my galleries and my clients?  Always make sure you have given you gallery or your client list a chance to look over the work prior to sending it to the silent auction table.  You gallery deserves your best and treating them well can be the difference between getting a part time job at Starbucks or not!

You will almost always let the piece go for less than it’s worth, but remember, it is the giving that is so important.  We have so much and giving year round is an important practice for everyone, including artists!


Do you have a Prostate?

Posted in Man Month with tags , , , , on November 25, 2008 by zoepawlak

Sharon is the Manager of Marketing and Communications for the Prostate Cancer Research Foundation of Canada and also a proud Mo Sista.

She has been a Mo Sista twice. She supports all Canadian Mo Bros but has a soft spot for lame-mos and no mos (follically-challenged Mo Bros who get more points for effort than achievement).

Loaded Bow: What does it mean to you to be a MoSista?

Sharon Bala: So many guys tell me that the women in their lives hate their mos. Some guys even complain that their ladies won’t let them grow a mo. It really bugs me to hear such negativity! Ladies – take it from me: there are worse things in life than a man who sports a lip sweater for a month. Mullets, back hair, back-ne (acne on the back) to name a few. Not to mention prostate cancer. With 1 in 7 men being diagnosed in their lifetimes, chances are good that we all know – or will know – someone close to us with the disease. Sacrificing your man’s upper lip for 30 days out of 365 to raise money and awareness for such an important cause is a sacrifice worth making!

To me, being a Mo Sista is all about supporting the men in my life who are growing mos and spreading the word among friends and family. If you’re walking around this month and see a moustached man, don’t be afraid to give him a little smile and a wink. There’s nothing sexier than a man who takes control of his own health!

LB: How have you been influenced by being a part of Movember?

SB: It’s funny – I never gave facial hair much thought before I was introduced to the campaign. Now I see moustaches everywhere I took – even outside November. I’ve become quite the moustache connoisseur. I think my favourite style this year is the trucker. This season, it’s the perfect accessory for a pin stripe suit.

LB: How do you raise the funds?

SB: Guys register on, grow their mos and ask their family and friends to donate to their mo throughout the month. Most people donate online but some people also collect cash and cheques and send them to us. We ask people to make cheques payable to the Prostate Cancer Research Foundation of Canada and send their money to us at:

Prostate Cancer Research Foundation of Canada

ATTN: Movember

145 Front Street East   Suite 306Toronto,  ON M5A 1E3

Girls are also encouraged to register and fundraise. Often Mo Sistas take the lead organizing teams and championing the cause among their co-workers.

In addition though many people host Mo Town partés, Mo Office partés and other local fundraisers. Movember is very much a grass roots campaign and people are encouraged to make the campaign their own. A group of comedians in Toronto held a fundraising moustache comedy night. A bar in Calgary held a Movember Rain 80s rock band competition. One Mo Bro we came across had a blog where he gave his donors the option of voting for the style of mo he would sport during the month. Now that’s creative!

There’s also no reason to restrict fundraising efforts to the month of Movember. Some people start fundraising as early as September and the donations continue to come in well into December.

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Our very own contribution to Man Month!

Posted in Loaded Bow: Following Our Story with tags , , , on November 25, 2008 by genennis

Ok, I use the word “our” very loosely.  Zoe really did most of the work.  Ok, she did all of it.

Last week on Wednesday, November 19th, Zoe and Seamus gave birth to a beautiful baby boy.  Cael Isaac Dixon waited for Kevin and I to return from our honeymoon (much to Zoe’s dismay).

We planned this specifically for Man Month.  It would have been kind of awkward if Cael had been a girl.  But, fortunately, he is this incredibly gorgeous little man.

Congratulations Zoe, Seamus and Cienna!  We are so happy for you all.


Remember the it’s Movember!

Posted in Man Month with tags , , on November 22, 2008 by zoepawlak

Remember that this month we are all about Movember?

Men lack awareness about the very real health issue they face. Many feel they have to be tough – “a real man” – and are reluctant to see a doctor about an illness or to go for regular medical check ups.

The aim of Movember is to change this attitude. Make men’s health fun by putting the moustache back on the face of Canadian men and raising some serious funds for prostate cancer.

Every year around 24,700 Canadian men are diagnosed with prostate cancer and about 4,300 die of the disease, making it the number one cancer threat to Canadian men.

Movember is very proud to be partnering with the Prostate Cancer Research Foundation of Canada.

All donations made will go directly to the Prostate Cancer Research Foundation of Canada who will use the funds to create awareness and fund research for prostate cancer.

The Prostate Cancer Research Foundation of Canada’s charitable number is: BN89127 0944 RR0001. All donations are tax deductible to the extent permitted by law.

We challenge you to change the face of men’s health.

(Text taken from