May 28, 2022

Conestoga students paid it forward this week at the Creative Day for Social Change, where they donated their time and talent to improve Canadian non-profit groups.

For years, and under different names, Capacity Canada, a local charity, has teamed up with various sponsors to help non-profit organizations improve their branding, image and online presence, among other things.

This year, the event hosted five teams at Him & Her, a design and development studio located at 305 King St. W, Kitchener, and the remaining 16 teams at Alchemy Systems, located at 546 Governors Rd. in Guelph.

Students from Conestoga’s graphic design and public relations programs partnered with writers, art directors, account managers and other creative professionals to increase the impact the 21 non-profit groups have in their respective communities.  They split into 21 teams across Kitchener and Guelph, and brainstormed to create print material, branding, even web design and video.

Two of the five groups working away at Him & Her at 305 King St. W., Kitchener Ont., on Oct. 18. Photo by Darick Charbonneau/Spoke News

The day’s focus was on helping groups that don’t have budgets to produce professional videos, print material and branding. They had from 8:30 a.m. on Thursday morning to noon to develop and finish their ideas for the non-profits, with the finished products being showcased Oct. 19 at Alchemy Systems, starting at 8:30 a.m.

“For us, it’s more about the writing aspect,” said Paige Goodall, a third-year public relations student. “The shelter we are working on, we’re doing brochure writing… This semester we do specialized writing courses — it is writing for charities. Our whole course is designed on how to write for charities [with] less of the funky fun language [and] more of the, like, simple, because you’re going to such a large audience.”

Paige Goodall, second on the right, collaborates with her team for the Cochrane Women’s Emergency Shelter Society at the Creative Day for Social Change, hosted at 305 King St. W, Kitchener, Ont., on Oct. 18. Photo by Darick Charbonneau/Spoke News

“I think this is super cool. It’s neat that we get to partake in this. I also think that it opens up doors to other things that we aren’t introduced to in our program,” Goodall added.

In 2017, the event worked on 18 non-profits that were selected from 50 applications and delivered over $100,000 worth of free services. This year, more than 100 groups applied for the available spots.

Isabelle Kirkup is a second-year graphic design student who is working on Food for Life, a local non-profit group that helps donate fresh food to local communities.

Isabelle Kirkup contributed her skills and time to a non-profit that assists with the donation of fresh food to local communities. Photo by Darick Charbonneau/Spoke News

“Everyone has different things that they have to do.  For example, I have to make a flyer, a set of postcards and a website homepage that is connected to the flyer.  Other people have radio ads and posters and such,” she said.

“We’re here for professional practices — to practice how we talk to other people, how we send emails, how we work in the work environment.  For me, this is my first time out here, working for a client outside of school. This is basically what we will be doing when we’re done [school],” Kirkup said.

“I like the idea of this free designing. It gets our work out there and it gets us experience.”

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