READ  •  2020

Birds in March and Transition – Seasonal Reflections and an Announcement

I began writing this reflection on my birthday – March 12th – what seems now to have been the tipping point for us here in Canada with respect to the COVID-19 crisis. How things can change in a matter of a week or two. Working for 26 Projects out of Toronto was both a personal and professional shift, and our focus on this transition has been top of mind for our company. Now, we are all faced with a new and immediate transition that we know has reverberated through every industry. We are dealing with separation beyond my removal from the studio environment, but like most, we are drawing closer and becoming more resilient with each day that passes, even with the distance.

What we want everyone to know, is that we are committed to and will continue to work and show our support to our clients, family, friends – our community – for as long as we possibly can. Although we are faced with important decision making for 26 internally, something that we are wanting to do is give back through support by way of communication and design. We are opening up our hearts and our minds to all those in need of COVID-related help through visual and written communication. Whether today, or in the coming days, we encourage you to reach out to us. And, we will do our best to reach out to those in our immediate circle to respond to every unique scenario. We will work to our capacity to create thoughtful and informative messaging for your audience via notifications and updates. Perhaps it is an email that you don’t have the time to assemble, a message on social media that you’d like to send out, or a more dynamic pursuit that you’d like to flesh out with us. We are here to share our ideas and to help execute where we can. The point is, we can do this together.

Lastly, I want to leave you with this. With any journal entry, it’s important not to erase words of reflection. We still stand behind our ambitions and desires through this time of uncertainty. Every word still rings true to us.

A move east in January can be overwhelming, exciting, cold, but someone reassured me, “birds will be singing on your birthday”. This is true. Spring is on the horizon. Earlier than I can ever remember. And, for the first time, it’s comforting to be here in Toronto for an earlier seasonal shift, away from the tumultuous March weather that Winnipeg often sees.

A point of reflection for me, is that transition is dynamic – it can be abrupt, and it can be incremental. The latter has been more affecting and challenging. You can leave, but what’s next? Time passes, days, and there you have it – two plus months have gone by. A short time in the grand scheme. One of the aspects I miss most about being away from the studio is the collaborative spirit, but the idea is to continue that here in some capacity.

When you bring a studio to a brand-new home in Toronto, you realize the ample opportunity for growth before you – from both a creative and business perspective. I knew I would be bringing 26 along with me. And, beyond continuing to support the team in the same way as always, there is the obvious goal of seeking out new connections and opportunity. We frame it as such: 26 is expanding an arm into Toronto.

We are here, exploring and expanding. After six years, we have developed a confidence – as a collective – in our ability to be dynamic, adaptable, and fluid. Perhaps 26 (the collective) is thoughtful in different ways here because of where we started. For one, I have noted a clear distinction in our communication style if I am to compare ourselves to the creative agencies I have been exposed to in Toronto. We are different in that we are less confined to a way of being, less informed and exposed to industry language (just spend a day in a Liberty Village coffee shop and you’ll see). I see this as our strength.

With two months behind us and spring around the corner, beginning anew feels right, right now. As the birds sing. I take it as a sign.

– Kaleigh Lysenko, Content Director at 26 Projects