Celebrating Past, Present, Future – and People
On Sunday night, we brought in the sandwich boards and closed the Digital Echidna door. London's second combined Culture Days/Doors Open event came to a close – at least our small part of it. But what we experienced in those two days was not just an incredible honouring of this building's past, but also a celebration of our present, and a sense of shared hope for a better future for all Londoners.
And it was those Londoners who mattered most this weekend – whether you attended Culture Days/Doors Open for the architecture, the creativity, the food, or the shows, at the heart of it all was people.
That is what stuck with us most over the weekend: the people. Yes, we shared information about our building, our business, our industry, and our goals, but what we shared most of all was time. We were privileged to have some amazing conversations with people from all walks of life.
We had visits from a variety of Londoners, including:
- The great-great-granddaughter and great-great-grandson of the building's first owner, John Burridge, who shared that their grandfather and great-grandfather were born in this very spot, and thanked us for continuing their family's legacy;
- A woman who worked in our office area 20 years ago, when this was little more than a warehouse facility that was falling apart. She spoke of having to avoid pigeons roosting on the stairs. "It looks so much better now."
- A young man with an obvious passion for London's past, who wanted to soak up – and share in reciprocity -- as much information as he could, before rushing to the next historic building;
- Several people who have spent decades, 'walking by' this building and finally took the opportunity to explore what's inside; and
- Some younger people who were not as interested in the physical architecture in which we inhabit, but rather the digital architecture that we create – they showed a passion and interest for graphic and Web design, and digital marketing during our conversations.
But the best representation of who came to the event came in the guise of a woman who brought a young, Spanish-speaking girl, and translated our conversation. As the pair left, we heard the little girl say, in halting, accented English, "I like this place."
That's what it's all about, isn't it? An experience, a pleasant conversation and a willingness to share each other's passions. We enjoyed all of the conversations we had because people were passionate about talking, learning and sharing.
Yes, there's another blog post in there, but the corporate communications lesson will come later this week!
During the course of the weekend, we did meet some people looking to learn more about what we do. And we've made the commitment to stay in touch and help where we can. If you look strictly at the dollars and cents, we know that participating in this event isn't going to be rewarding professionally to us – but, more importantly, it's was rewarding personally.
It reaffirms our decision to stay in the downtown core and commit to our continued revitalization of this amazing building. It shows that our efforts to increase our footprint (remember, we're expanding into the restaurant formerly known as Cello, soon) in this vital King and Talbot crossroads is not just good for business – it's appreciated by generations of Londoners.
While our business continues to grow and expand with clients across Canada and into the U.S., we're proud of our strong roots in the Forest City. We're proud that we're not just established in the heart of downtown London, but that we're expanding our footprint and supporting our friends and neighbours – including the London Arts Council and London Heritage Council.
And while we celebrated our past this weekend, we're even more excited about our future.
Thank you to all who joined us this weekend. We hope we'll see you again soon.