StoryToGo first came to fruition in 2013, when media makers and educators – Lori Yearwood, Kevin Ribble and Erica Hargreave – were brainstorming ways to connect current and past students in our media courses with the broader community of storytellers, technologists, artists and marketers, around conversations of contemporary storytelling and media in this digital age. At the beginning, the community was very focused around the Part Time Studies Media and Communication community at BCIT, but has broadened over the years to include other storytellers, technologists and educators, and to be more inclusive of global community in which we work.
Below you will find just a few of the people that have been working to build and expand StoryToGo, and foster and engage community.
Erica Hargreave, the Founder and Creative Head of Ahimsa Media and Roamancing, specializes in creating cross-platform media and immersive storyworlds. In fact, she’s been doing this before there were terms for this form of storytelling, which led her to create of one of the earlier digital / transmedia storytelling companies.
Over the years, Erica has written for TV, magazines, books, the web, and the education sector. She’s worked as a creative producer for TV and theatre, directed, and starred in her own TV Show. Ultimately the adventures she’s had telling stories and speaking around the world, lead her to create the digital travel and culture magazine, Roamancing. Her goal with Roamancing is to uncover the beauty around this world of ours, and increase cultural understanding. In this bent, Erica and her team are currently developing cross platform storytelling campaigns and award-winning documentaries and web series to do just that.
Erica also loves helping others to craft their storyworlds, and build and engage niche communities around their stories. This is something she teaches in her online courses at BCIT, has taught and built courses around at other post-secondary and grade schools across Canada, speaks on around the world, and is building courses around here on StoryToGo.
Kevin Ribble passionately coaches others to expose authenticity in voice, in work, in life. He has been on this mission as a faculty member at BCIT’s Broadcast and Media department since 1991. Kevin toils with unanswerable questions more frequently than he’d ever admit. To fertilize potential answers, he studied adult education at the University of Alberta, then complicated matters with graduate studies at Simon Fraser University in the Communication department. This pursuit of academic life followed a dozen years in the media, including personality performance at LG73 Vancouver (in the embarrassing 80’s). He also dabbled on the journalism front, the music side of the business, as well as management and consulting; Kevin is still not clear what he wants to do when he grows up. His ability to ‘chameleon’ between critical-thinking academic circles and the hands-on experiential world of media performance informs his diverse approach to business and culture. At heart, Kevin is a storyteller who recognizes the nourishing power of truly connecting with others.
Kevin loves the art of teaching. He finds it somewhat contradictory – engaging, intimidating, rewarding, sleep-reducing, inspiring, challenging – but never dull. He joined BCIT as a professional with a particular expertise but zero knowledge of educational practice. After stumbling through those initial years, he recognized the value of learning about learning. After much education and practice, he feels like he is beginning to acquire a reasonable balance between field experience, hands-on teaching, and educational pedagogy. One of his goals with StoryToGo is to share that hard-earned balance with others heading down a similar path.
Hailing from Toronto, LA, Vancouver, and now Phoenix, Lori Yearwood is an exemplary teacher of academics, dance and yoga, as well as a talented character writer for various media platforms. Lori is as comfortable in the classroom as within the busy rustle of the broadcast world. She is a diversely talented lady who holds a teaching certificate, has choreographed for the big stage, helped build concepts for TV and transmedia, and has been involved in published children’s books. She brings an eclectic background with her for StoryToGo and you will see all of her passions come through in what she offers within this space.
On the Education Side of things, both parents of past students and the students themselves rave about Lori as a teacher. She is the kind of teacher that students think fondly back on later in life, as one of those teachers that has had a positive impact on who they’ve become. Having created Ministry Approved Curriculum, Lori aids Ahimsa Media in creating Educational Packages for films and TV Shows that are creative, fun, and classroom friendly. Lori is also instrumental in the development of Ahimsa Media’s College and University Digital Media Courses for delivery in an online classroom. One of her latest endeavours has been obtaining a yoga teacher certification, which now has her teaching health and wellness within the workplace as well.
On the Storytelling side of things, Lori grew up in a creative world, and has long acted as a creative consultant and pitch writer for various theatrical arts productions, both live and media related. She brings that creativity and understanding of story to her role as one of Ahimsa Media’s character writers, and can’t help but make her co-workers smirk at her uncanny ability to be a chameleon in her writing of voice.
Creatively Building With Us
Bjorn Yearwood has recently received a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology with a minor in art education from the University of Victoria. While art has always been an interest of his, he has just recently started to take it seriously. He is now studying at the Vancouver Art Therapy Institute where he hopes to take his art practice to new heights and heal others along the way. Becoming a registered art therapist is just one of Bjorn’s many future goals as he also aims to pursue a master’s degree in counselling psychology.
The knack for storytelling must run in the family, because now there are two Yearwoods on the team! Bjorn has experience both in front and behind the camera. He has also written for the UVic student blog, sat on panels discussing university life, and collaborated on programming to welcome and educate new students. As one of the newest members of the team, he is excited to bolster creativity, advocate for mental health, and see where this new journey takes him.
Raised on the flat plains of Wisconsin, USA, Erika grew up under the impression that in order to have fun, you’d have to get creative. Writing stories, stapling together homemade books of bad jokes, leaving notes on rocks for backyard animals to read… these are just a few ways that Erika spent her childhood and became the writer/teacher/naturalist/hobby-artist that she is today. Growing up in the early 2000s meant that she was exposed to a wide array of digital technology in a rapid and enthusiastic way. Like many-a-late millennial, Erika is a native of two worlds: one before the internet and one after. This puts her in a unique position to write well for a wide range of audiences and purposes.
Erika graduated from Reed College in Portland, Oregon where she studied literature and wrote her thesis on the effect that Zen Buddhism had on mid-century poets. When she’s not busy herding children around school yards or parks, she enjoys chatting about philosophy, tea, walking in the woods, and gardening.
She currently works as a school programmer at the Richmond Nature Park in BC’s lower mainland where she is in charge of updating old lesson plans for the modern park explorer, creating engaging video content, and gaming opportunities (think: virtual scavenger hunts!) As a new member of Ahimsa Media / StoryToGo, Erika is excited to bring her passion for storytelling, educating, and content creating to the team.
Manami, a librarian and teacher, has been working with Erica and Kelly Conlin to experiment creatively around cultural storytelling with traditional and emerging media, including podcasting, web series, documentary filmmaking, and augmented reality. The initial stories that Manami is working on come from her grandmother and her family’s experiences in World War II.
Manami is fourth generation Japanese Canadian, born and raised in the Greater Vancouver area. After studying Japanese language and history at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver, Manami moved to Kobe City in Japan to teach English for three years. She earned a Bachelor’s of Education and a Master’s of Library Studies degree from UBC.
Manami considers herself very fortunate to be able to hear first hand accounts, from family members and friends, of the hardships faced by Japanese Canadians during WWII. She would like to pass on these stories to her 12 year old daughter Maya, who lives in the multicultural city of Burnaby and can’t imagine such hard times. She enjoys volunteering at Nikkei National Museum and Cultural Centre, where Maya attends Japanese school
Anne Webster has been a pianist, music specialist, and elementary school teacher her entire career. She holds a B.Ed. Degree with a double major in music from the University of British Columbia, and she has an ARCT Piano Performer’s Degree from the Royal Conservatory of Toronto. With her extensive music background she has taught music in schools, classrooms, studios, as well as in-home private piano lessons, working with students ranging from age 5 to seniors. She has enjoyed playing and teaching a wide variety of musical styles from classical to popular, and she considers herself very adaptable to the varying interests of her piano students and performance settings, including in movies and television series. When not playing, teaching, or taking on whatever new creative technology challenge that Erica throws at her, Anne’s interests include long walks, bike rides, pickleball, reading, and travelling.
Jennifer Garcia is an actress, teacher and director known for her commitment, energy and unique style of engagement both on screen and in the classroom. After graduating from the University of Winnipeg and earning her Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Education, Jennifer has been utilizing her skills in her teaching career. Known for her joyful and bubbly nature, Jennifer is able to find success working with all ages of students. From toddlers to late teens, she is able to foster and develop each students’ potential and confidence in the creative arts – particularly around drama and musical theatre, while having fun in the process. As flexible as she is in the classroom, she is as a working actress in Vancouver. Jennifer has worked in the Film / TV / Theatre Industry since 2015, working between New York, Winnipeg and Vancouver, actively auditioning for many shows, films and national tours based throughout North America. Jennifer is so excited to be on board with StoryToGo, spreading her passion of acting, performance and the visual arts!