Here at FreshGigs.ca we recently had some jobs posted from Kellett Communications up in Whitehorse, Yukon (Sr. Art Director & Team Lead Client Services) and that made us want to learn more about the creative scene and what goes on over there. Check the interview we did below:
Hi William Welcome to the blog, first off introduce yourself to the FreshGigs.ca community
I’m one half of the ownership team at Kellett Communications along with my partner and CD, Allison Camenzuli. Together we run a 20-person shop headquartered in Yellowknife. I moved up after university looking for a place where change was still happening and have loved it ever since. Now married with a couple kids, the community has been a great place to start a family. And our friends are always right around the corner.
The thing about a smaller community though is that it’s more intimate. From our twitter and social media scene to any business-networking event, we get out and say hi any chance we get.
Yellowknife is a place that lots of us from cities like Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary haven’t yet been to and don’t know too much about. Introduce the city to the reader, what makes it interesting?
This is an easy one for me. Working on NWT Tourism the last two years, and living here for the last 15, there’s so much to fall in love with that makes the average Canadian jealous – if they only knew! Yellowknife is a big little city. It’s unassuming in that you don’t expect 20,000 people to enjoy all the amenities we have. It’s really a hub for a whole lot more and that brings the restaurants, entertainment and services you would expect from a larger centre.
And in the summer it all comes alive in an unreal way. 25 degrees combined with 20 hours of sunlight is an awesome combination. In July there’s a killer music festival right on the beach of a lake on the edge of town, annual Aboriginal Day celebrations and even a golf tourney under the midnight sun… just to name a few. Really though, any time of year, if you’re the type of person that likes to get out and do things, it’s an amazing place to live.
What is the scene amongst businesses and creative folks in Yellowknife?
Perhaps we’re a bit biased because we’ve been working with NWT Arts for several years but the creative scene in the north is alive and well. As with most things, it’s still a bit untapped but that’s as much opportunity as anything else. The GDC has an Arctic Chapter that our CD chaired for several years and is still going strong.
The thing about a smaller community though is that it’s more intimate. From our twitter and social media scene to any business-networking event, we get out and say hi any chance we get. It’s not big enough to have dedicated events for creative folk up here but we use the 4 airlines flying into Yellowknife for easy access to Calgary and Vancouver events.
Tell us about Kellett Communications? What are you folks all about and what kind of projects are you focusing on and working on?
Primarily we’re a full-service shop with two offices – Yellowknife and Whitehorse – servicing a mix of government, private sector and NGO clients. It gives our team a wide-range of opportunities. In part, we’ve become full-service to grow, but also because the north is insular by nature. What client doesn’t prefer local and relevant service after all?
Right now though, we’re focusing on integrated marketing campaigns for our flagship clients and digital builds for government clients. It’s a healthy mix but it requires a new-media skill set to succeed with us.
Being that you’re deep in the advertising, branding, and communications fields give us one trend or area that you see as growing over the next few years and any insights or thoughts you have on that.
Staff. So many clients have neglected their best resource. In the North, our customers, stakeholders and audiences are our neighbours and family. So whether it’s a business or a government department, there is so much potential in building the brand through the organization’s staff. Not enough is being done to get them to drink the koolaid.
We’ve been wearing Canada Goose since before it was trendy…
Creative folks tend to always be busy with several projects on the go, you’re leading a successful creative agency give us one productivity tip that works for you that we may be able to apply to our working lives?
The best productivity tip is communication. Whatever tools your shop uses, commit to them. If you’re not communicating, you’re not a team player. Plain and simple.
For a marketing or creative person working or planning to work in Yellowknife what kind of conditions can they expect?
A few years back we built this video to help the government and the law society recruit lawyers to the NWT. It was an easy sell. We told them that the rat race, traffic and long hours could be left behind in the city. And work life balance, career opportunities and accessible recreation were realities they could have.
We don’t hide from things though. Gas is a dime more. It gets dark in winter. A dry cold can still be really cold. It may build character but it’s not enough to deter us from the bigger picture. There are great tax incentives to offset the cost of living premium. The daylight hours are offset by being the sunniest place in Canada over the course of a full year. And we’ve been wearing Canada Goose since before it was trendy in Vancouver and we wear it cause it’s just practical.
To the point of new recruits though, they can expect opportunity. People turn to suppliers they know and trust and that brings a wide variety of projects. It keeps things interesting for sure, but it also means our team doesn’t get pigeon-holed. Bring your sense of adventure and your propensity for multi-tasking and we will challenge you.
Thank you for chatting with us today William, stay in touch!
You too Sam, Thank you.