2 Days till Mindcamp!

Thursday to Sunday August 21-24, 2014
Orillia, ON, Canada

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Welcome to Mindcamp

First time here? Mindcamp is an annual creativity conference. If you feel like you’re missing something, check out What is Mindcamp? to find out what the heck this is all about.

Come here often? Add your email to “Read the Blog” (look in the right sidebar) to get an email every time we add a new blog entry, or Like us on Facebook to get updates in your feed.

Weather Update

Thursday 21 Aug24˚C (75˚F)
17˚C (62˚F)
Cloudy with 60 percent chance of showers or thunderstorms
Friday 22 Aug22˚C (72˚F)18˚C (64˚F)
A mix of sun and cloud with 30 percent chance of showers
Saturday 23 Aug22˚C (72˚F)17˚C (62˚F)
A mix of sun and cloud
Sunday 24 Aug24˚C (75˚F)
18˚C (64˚F)
A mix of sun and cloud

Source: Environment Canada

Free your creativity. Free your mind. Free your, uhm, voice?

by Michel Neray

That’s right, karaoke is coming back to the Mindcamp Passeggiata. That’s good news for two reasons. Well, first, it’s good news because after a tough day being creative at Mindcamp, there’s nothing like a microphone in hand to de-stress. Maybe a little Queen will do it for you. Or maybe you’d prefer Perry Como. Or maybe you picture yourself as Rihanna with ’Sticks and stones may break my bones but…’ well you get the idea.

The second reason it’s good news is that science has proven that freeing your voice is one of the most effective things you can do to unleash your creativity. This is based on years of carefully researched research in which men and women were recorded in their cars. Even babies do it. Here’s proof:

So on Saturday night, at the end of the Passegiata, take an extra few steps and step up to the microphone. Or just come to cheer on the other Mindcampers who do.

It’ll be fun. I promise!

Michel NerayMichel Neray is the man who wants to put a microphone in YOUR hand, and he presents Pack the Room! How to write session descriptions that attract truckloads of participants just drooling to hear your content and worship at the altar of your expertise at Mindcamp 2014.

Final Draft Now Uploaded

There have been some changes to the program book. Here’s the final draft of the program…we’re on our way to Staples to print it now!

First Draft Program Available!

program-coverWe’ve drafted our 2014 program, and a darned fine thing it is. Here it is in PDF form, ready to be downloaded onto your computer / smartphone / tablet / cerebral implant or even printed out — your choice.

A limited number of tattered, weighty, smudged, outdated printed copies of this will be available to give you paper cuts, aggravate your bad back, and mislead you with outdated information, should you choose to take one.

If you choose to stick with the shiny, up-to-the-minute, lighter-than-air electronic version instead, you will be healthy, happy, and lucky for 1,000 years… and rich, because we will give you $1!

Three Mindcampy things to do in Toronto prior to pre-Mindcamp!

by Michel Neray

If you’re coming to Mindcamp from out of town, you may be spending a fews days in the city before heading up to Mindcamp. Or, you may already live in in Toronto. Sure, you could go about your usual daily life by checking email, updating your status on Facebook or hacking into government databases…


You could consider doing a few of my favourite things…

Thing 1: Do The Neighbourhood Walk.

multiThe Greater Toronto Area is heralded as one of the most multicultural cities in the world. Over 140 languages and dialects are spoken here, and just over 30 per cent of Toronto residents speak a language other than English or French at home. Fully 50% of Toronto residents were born in another country!

As a result, Toronto is home to more ‘Little YouNameits’ than any other city I know. We have not one but two Little Italy’s, three Chinatown’s, plus Little Portugal, KoreaTown, Greek Town, and Little India… (to name a few).

It’s not just ethnicity that defines Toronto’s neighbourhoods. According to Wikipedia, the city of Toronto is called “the city of neighbourhoods” because there are 140 officially recognized neighbourhoods and upwards of 240 official and un-official neighbourhoods within the city’s boundaries.

How many hoods can you walk? Grab a bicycle or get a day pass for the TTC to get around! And while you’re at it, ponder how we could creatively export our model of coexistence to other parts of the world…

Don’t miss three of my favourites: the Gay Village where no one ever grows up, The Distillery District where everything is old, and Kensington Market which is a big mashup of everything in between.

Plan your day here.

Thing 2: Game of Tongues

Beer-FlightOK so now you know how diverse Toronto is! And after all that touring, you’ll want a place to relax. So here’s a great game to play at the end of your day. Get a group of Pre-Mindcampers together on a nice outdoor patio; one that has a big selection of craft beers on tap.

Every time you hear a language other than Canadian English, write it down on a piece of paper, give yourself a point and finish your pint. The last person to stay sober tallies the score and finishes everyone else’s beer.

My favourites are Bar Volo, Bellwoods Brewery, Mill Street Beer Hall, almost any place on Augusta in Kensington market, and well, pick a spot, any spot:

Thing 3: momondays Toronto August 18!

momondaysmomondays Toronto happens just a couple of days before Mindcamp. And this month, we have three Mindcampers speaking on the momondays stage! (Four if you include me!)

If you have never been to momondays and you don’t know what it is, imagine what you’d get if you combined one part TED Talks, one part comedy, one part storytelling and three parts fun! Here’s how one recent attendee described her experience:

“Think of a Birthday Party filled with all kinds of wonderful surprises… your favourite ice-cream topped with all the fixings… served to you in a decadent chocolate cone… and an extra one on the side to share. Then Imagine all that excitement and fun. People-Talking-Sharing-Dreaming.”

You truly do meet the nicest people at momondays, and we’ll have a special table just for Mindcampers.

Michel NerayMichel Neray presents Pack the Room! How to write session descriptions that attract truckloads of participants just drooling to hear your content and worship at the altar of your expertise at Mindcamp 2014.

The Power of Quiet

The lovely Laila Ghattas suggested this video. She writes: “Just wanted to pass this along for MindCamp blog. It’s amazing! If you want it to tie into my session, we could say, Conscious Communication brings introverts and extroverts into harmony.” Couldn’t say it better than that! Thanks, Laila.

Laila GhattasLaila Ghattas presents Conscious Communication: Say what you mean, mean what you say! at Mindcamp 2014.