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Norm Coyne

Norm Coyne

Promotions Executive
Office 250 562 2441 ext. 362 |Cell 250 640-6670 | 150 Brunswick Street | Prince George BC V2L 5K9

Website URL:

Digital Media: Where Creativity and Business Intersect

In today’s fast-paced technology driven world, artists, designers and businesses are becoming increasingly dependent on each other. After all, innovation, style and creativity can translate into big money for those willing to take the risk. Businesses that are desperate to distinguish themselves in an increasingly crowded and competitive market know this. That is why they are looking to creative professionals for innovative solutions and approaches. As a result, digital media has become a burgeoning field for creative types and businesses alike. In fact, some of the most interesting things happening in pop culture right now come as a direct result of hard working creative professionals.

Our writer sat down with a few locally-trained creative professionals to find out more about digital media and its opportunities. All of the interviewees were trained in the digital design program [now called the Web and Graphic Design program] at the College of New Caledonia.

Lakeysha O’Neill and Elisha Brown, Digital Umbrella Creative (DUC)

Q. How did you get into digital media and design?

L. I had an elementary school teacher who got us into the old Macromedia [now Adobe] programs like Dreamweaver and Flash. So, when I was trying to figure out what I wanted to go to back to school for, I chose what I liked to do after hours.

E. For me it was a mixture of passion and necessity. I have always been able to take on creative projects in my other jobs, so when I had the opportunity to be laid off - at least I consider it an opportunity - I decided to go back to school for new media and graphic design.

Q. What do you value most about the time you spent in the program?

E. The main thing was the one on one time with instructors. Since there are less students in the program, you can really throw yourself into your work and if you have any questions the instructors are there to help you. Also the work placement was integral for both of us. The internship at the end of the program was a really awesome opportunity.

L. Yeah. It really helps to be forced into those kind of real world applications, rather than just making a mock website and not having to deal with a client. The industry seminar course was fabulous as well. Experts from the industry came in to share their experience. Some of them had gone through the program while some had been in the industry for over 20 years. It was really helpful to see how the career can develop over time.

Q. What kind of doors opened for you after you graduated?

E. Quite a few of us got some really great job opportunities through the job placement. I was placed at Northern Health Communications. I was a bit reluctant at first because I wanted to do graphic design, but my instructor, Sean Siddals, knew that my energy and experience would work well there. I ended up learning a ton and I got some really cool projects and valuable contacts out of it.

L. Yeah, same. I got my first job out of the placement, but beyond that, Lakeysha and I met during the program. So, one of the doors that opened for me was the opportunity to work with a fellow classmate.

E. Definitely. We got to know who we worked well with. Hence, when I thought that I needed to bring someone else on to my business, Lakeysha was the first person that came to mind.

Q. Tell me a little about your involvement with the Northern FanCon logo and website.

E. Well, it started off with both of us being interested in the event. I’m a major movie buff who loves sci-fi and action, while Lakeysha loves comic books and gaming, so we were super excited. Then Lakeysha mentioned the logo contest. We ended up busting each other’s butts to make sure that we entered. Mine was super last minute.

L. We spent a lot of time throwing ideas back and forth.

E. Yeah. It was a really fun thing to do. My entry ended up winning, which was exciting. Once we started talking to organizers Norm Coyne and James Matosevic about how preparations were going, they started asking about websites. I told them I might be able to help them out.

L. The website was a great project to work on. They were absolute dream clients. They were like, this is what we need and we will leave the creative aspects in your hands. It was fantastic.

Q. Do you have any advice for aspiring creative professionals?

L. Efficiency is the biggest part of this job. Being able to do a lot and do it quickly is important. You don’t have time to work long hours late into the night. You need to know the software and your clients’ needs inside and out.

E. We are constantly reinventing ourselves, often for the sake of efficiency. So, make sure you’re streamlining your work in order to get the most out of every hour. You go through a lot of hardships as you start out. You will screw up, but that’s how you learn. And the more you screw up the more it will pay off. It’s all about perspective.

L. Which is why you should take as many opportunities as you can. We try not to say no.

E. If you need to bring someone else on board, do it. You have to figure out how to make it work.

For the stories of Cheryl Turcotte and Nathan Bolton of the CNC Web and Graphic Design program, see the full article on

Woof Stock

A new festival is barking in the distance, calling out to Prince George that an arts and entertainment event is coming.

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Woof Stock plans are coming together northeast of the city, at the Shelley community and Lheidli T’enneh First Nation village.

Organizers plan to build a stage for performing arts and set up display and demonstration areas for visual arts. It will be a cultural free-flow in the general spirit of the legendary Woodstock Festival, and, like that 1960s classic event, is built on good core intentions. Organizer Jordan Corrigal said the main impetus of Woof Stock was to raise money for the SPCA and Humane Society.

“We believe strongly in a society that makes animal treatment a priority and environmental awareness a priority, because that will affect all other aspects of society in a good way,” said Corrigal.

His hope is that Woof Stock also takes on a Shambala Festival feel, with full-spectrum arts expression interconnected with the music of the mainstage. “Workshops and demonstrations are going to be a massive part of Woof Stock,” Corrigal said. “Live painting is in the works - a sea of easels out there, so everyone who wants to can paint, with mentors available. We want to have experiences for pottery, sculpting, clay, carving, chainsaw carving, body art, airbrushing, instruments, but also meditation, spirituality, sustainable living... People who have said ‘oh, I’ve always wanted to try this or had an interest in something, we want to facilitate that growth - break down the barriers to creative expression.”

The music acts and other live entertainers will be disclosed later in the summer as the plans come to fruition.

Woof Stock is scheduled for August 27-31. Vendor space is available ($525 for a 10x10 space or $787.50 for 10x20), and ticket information is available at the Woof Stock website:

Cosplay Contest Masters Class Winner: MEI PHON

Photo Credit: Christos Sagiorgis

Bio: Megan Leppington is the playable Siren class character in the Actual Real Life video game. She is the sixth playable character in the game and was revealed on December 30, 1986, in the Actual Real Life reveal trailer. She was released on May 14th, 2013 on Steam and PlayStation Network for $9.99, or 800 Microsoft Points on Xbox Live.

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Her skill tree includes; illustration, furniture restoration, house renovations, costume creation and fitness training. In 2004 Real Life added a DLC pack that included a Warrior class husband, 4 dogs and a cat that doesn’t like her.

1. What does cosplay mean to you?

Cosplay, to me, is an opportunity to transform myself into someone else for a day. It challenges me creatively in so many different ways, sewing, painting, sanding, 3d pattern making, designing etc. It’s an opportunity at conventions to meet new people, enter competitions and have a ton of fun.

2. What is your dream cosplay?

There are so many! Probably Transformers Prime Starscream, an electronic opening hard suit from Bubblegum Crisis and Transformers MTMTE Chromedome. Lots of robotic things!

3. What do you do when not cosplaying?

My hubby and I renovate and flip houses, lots of renovations when we’re feeling inspired. I really love anything creative I can get my hands on. Makeup, illustration, furniture restoration etc. I adore fitness and hope this year I’ll be looking a bit more she-hulk.

4. What inspired you to cosplay?

Halloween, the internet and a lot of free time at home. I honestly adore the way most characters are dressed in video games, comics, movies and anime. But it’s not exactly feasible to wear armour while grocery shopping. Cosplay at conventions gives me an opportunity to dress like an orc one day and an alien robot the next.

5. How long does the process typically take?

Depends on the costume and how well rested and sustained I plan to be - hahaha. I’ve finished costumes in as little as six days while others took me a year. 6. Comic Books or video games? Both. Both is good. Also, comics based on video games. Giggity.

7. Favourite superhero?

Depends on your definition of a super hero. While I wouldn’t consider him “super” at it, my favourite spandex hero is Deadpool. He’s trying his best :)

8. Favourite movie?

Hard choice. I really like sci fi that bleeds away from the typical tropes you’d expect. Aliens that don’t want to destroy, robots that aren’t going to enslave the human race and monsters that just want to be loved. I’m a big fan of District 9 and Chappie. Chronicle, AVP, Pacific rim, Berserk golden age arc are good.

9. Kirk or Solo?

Sorry no, Commander Shepard. :3

10. What advice do you have for beginner cosplayers?

YouTube tutorials! Throw away the cardboard, duct tape and tin foil and invest in craft foam and EVA foam. A cheap heat gun, dremel and hot glue gun will set you up with sturdy, flexible and durable costumes for years.

11. What was your favourite moment of Northern FanCon 2015

Helping out behind the scenes during the novice competition. Saving expensive lighting equipment that was falling to its death, helping calm nerves and organizing stage performance :D Also, can’t forget hearing I’d won first place! I could hardly contain myself! It’s my very first top prize I’ve won and I was ecstatic!

A little about me

ncoyne3Norm Coyne has been active in local arts, entertainment and promotions for 15 years. He developed the Scene PG to provide local artists and musicians with exposure as well as connect a broader audience to the events and talent Prince George has to offer.


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