We had the chance to hear from Re/Form Conference founders Shannon Lorenz and Rachel Boguski as they gear up for the second annual Re/Form creative conference, March 21 – 22, 2019, where local entrepreneurs and creatives gather for inspiration, learning and connection.
Located at the award-winning Cheakamus Centre, the two-day conference features a thoughtfully curated program of keynotes, panels, workshops and wellness breaks, led by an inspiring and accomplished roster of more than 25 speakers and facilitators.
There’s a special promo code for Arts Whistler readers – $60 off the price of registration! Read on to find out more.
Briefly introduce yourselves:
We’re Shannon Lorenz and Rachel Boguski, co-founders of Refresh Market and Re/Form Conference.
Re/Form is not your typical conference. What should we expect at “a conference for creative people”
Re/Form is unique in that it balances learning, connection and wellness – something you don’t come across in a typical conference environment. More than ever, entrepreneurs and creatives are craving physical connection – one that is more meaningful than an exchange of business cards, emails and follows. Re/Form offers personal and professional development through keynotes, workshops and breakout sessions on topics that are relevant now, such as diversity and inclusion, workplace trends, entrepreneur self-care and resiliency.
There are so many glowing reviews from last year’s inaugural Re/Form conference, what are the general things that stood out in the feedback?
That’s kind of you to say, thank you. Neither of us went into Re/Form expecting the kind of response we received. What stood out in particular for many was the immediate sense of purpose and belonging they felt when we began the program. We began the conference with facilitator-led groups which really broke down any sense of intimidation or ego.
This year’s lineup of speakers looks amazing! How to do you go about selecting the speakers?
We work with an incredible advisory team who have welcomed us into their communities of inspiring locals doing great work. As we narrow down our choices, we consider a range of factors from background, age, gender and experience, and start to piece together topics and formats, ensuring we’re balancing people and subject matter that will appeal to the broader audience.
Any speakers or discussion topics that you’re particularly excited about?
There has been so much discussion around diversity, equity, inclusion and mental health. There are so many learnings in stories of struggle, failure and rediscovery and it’s often the root or turning point of success. On the other hand, we’ll hear entrepreneurial journeys, for example how one’s trail-building father inspired him to build a cabin-based retreat on Galiano Island, or how another walked away from being a top ‘having-it-all’ CEO because she couldn’t ignore her own feelings of emptiness. It’s this kind of authentic storytelling that builds community at Re/Form. We’re excited to get to know our lineup in that way.
Many in the Sea to Sky have probably been to your Refresh Markets which have such a gorgeous atmosphere, will conference attendees see a similar approach to the conference venue and offerings?
The intention behind Refresh was to build a local community of artists, makers, creatives and small business owners. Our markets support independent artists and shops, and the value of buying quality handmade and locally sourced goods – but we knew we wanted to connect more deeply than that, and Re/Form was the answer. Re/Form allows us to support our community in a more meaningful way through learning, dialogue, connection and wellness – something that we can only scratch the surface of through our markets.
The schedule is a mix of sessions, different choices or workshops, wellness breaks, free time catered lunch and an optional dinner. What were you trying to achieve by adding in some more holistic elements?
By taking a holistic approach to our programming, we’re supporting the development of holistic leaders. We’re all arriving with different stories, goals and purpose, and by offering a balanced, customizable conference experience we’re able to touch on all aspects of entrepreneurship from visioning and financial literacy to resiliency, guidance and self-care. We also recognize the value of gathering over shared conversation and meals, and our programming really promotes that deeper level of connection.
DISCOVER THE CONFERENCE:
Your ticket includes a combined two-day program of keynotes, panels business and creative workshops, wellness breaks and opportunity to connect with and learn from like-minded creative professionals.
All conference participants will receive, morning coffee, lunch on both days and light snacks.
Use promo code: ArtsWhistler