Move Over Great Pumpkin, It’s a Spooky Halloween Spectacular at Strathcom

image of all the halloween costume contest participants

Generally speaking, Mondays are the scariest day of the week. The thought of the upcoming week is bone-chilling, reports and emails and Susan from accounting who won’t stop talking about her cats—I mean, every day working at Strathcom is a dream! (*mutters to self* Yes, that’ll do). But sometimes, the scariest day falls somewhere else in the week. Like when the Christmas party is on a weekday and the boss asks to see you the next morning. Or, when it’s staff pizza day on a Thursday and Taylor in Content ran out of Lactaid®. The most terrifying day of the year though, especially when it falls on a Wednesday, is Halloween. Continue reading “Move Over Great Pumpkin, It’s a Spooky Halloween Spectacular at Strathcom”

Strathcom Does #YEGPride

It was a beautiful sunny weekend in Edmonton, the perfect setting for the 36th Annual Pride Parade. The parade took place down historic Whyte Avenue, kicking off the 10-day festival celebrating the diversity and unity of Edmonton`s LGBTQ community.

Strathcom had a couple of colorful volunteers who marched in the parade as part of the #HeroesforZero of HIV Edmonton. HIV Edmonton had a superhero theme, and featured a couple sweet Mazda MX-5 vehicles that were graciously on loan from local dealership, (and Strathcom client) Weber Mazda.

Carrie Oliva Trish Rowsell Ayla Gagnon Strathcom Media

From Left: Carrie Oliva, Trish Rowsell & Ayla Gagnon

Trish Rowsell Strathcom Media #HeroesforZero

Trish Rowsell getting geared up for the parade

Trish Rowsell Ayla Gagnon Strathcom Media

All smiles at Pride!

#heroesforzero

#HeroesforZero in action !

Laura Keegan HIVEdmonton Heroesforzero

Mazda MX-5 donated by Weber Mazda!

Carrie Oliva Ayla Gagnon Strathcom Media

Carrie Oliva & Ayla Gagnon from the Strathcom team in their colorful outfits

Trish Rowsell heroesforzero HIV Edmonton Strathcom Media

When your whip matches your cape…

Trish Rowsell heroesforzero HIV Edmonton Strathcom Media

 

We had a great time and are already planning outfits for next year! If you’re in the Edmonton area this coming September join Team Strathcom at the AIDS Walk & Superhero Run! (We’re all about any excuse to wear a cape!)

Strathcom Gives Back – Bissell Centre Visit

When asked “What does Christmas mean to you?” many people will likely answer “family gatherings, gifts, good food, and more good food, etc.” Unfortunately, for many people, their reality is very different during the holidays.

Many families simply cannot afford to do these things we take for granted. As an employee at Strathcom Media, I was invited to join my colleagues as a volunteer at the Bissell Centre for one of their special Christmas projects, which gave us the opportunity to gift-wrap and distribute donated gifts to parents who cannot afford to buy gifts for their children this year.

Strathcom Team members wrapping gifts
Strathcom Team members wrapping gifts
image4
The Bissell Centre provides toys & goods for less fortunate families in the Edmonton area

Our various commitments often make it difficult to find the time to give back to our community, so I was very thankful to be given the opportunity to participate in such a meaningful experience at the Bissell Centre.

The experience was very rewarding and it is my hope that the donated gifts, our time and our interactions with Bissell Centre clients will have a real and valuable positive impact on the families benefiting from this initiative. Witnessing the gratitude of the parents, I think I can speak for the whole team of volunteers at Strathcom and say we appreciate the opportunity to get involved with your organization and be reminded of the true meaning of the season.

 

Christmas Elves Alecia & Justin hard at work
Christmas Elves Alecia & Justin hard at work
Strathcom Team members from left: Angelina Cho, Brian Livingstone, Erin Takhar,  Justin Nolette, Sarah Brodie, Rafael Valdez, Alecia Langlois, Cole Smith, Sinead Errity, Carrie Oliva & Ayla Gagnon
Strathcom Team members from left: Angelina Cho, Brian Livingstone, Erin Takhar, Justin Nolette, Sarah Brodie, Rafael Valdez, Alecia Langlois, Cole Smith, Sinead Errity, Carrie Oliva & Ayla Gagnon

Thank you to the Bissell Centre for having us!

Strathcom Celebrates Cinco de Mayo, Fells Piñata

EDMONTON, AB – In an elaborate ruse to root out the company’s most skilled Jedi warrior, Strathcom staff celebrated the Mexican-American holiday, Cinco de Mayo.

The social committee, led by Carrie, Megan Lepp, Adam, Bill, and Leo, helped to set up and organize the event. The food included dos tacos, salad, and pico de gallo, and was supplemented by virgin margaritas and daiquiris. Today’s event also coincided with three new interns joining the Web Design staff. Online Marketing Manager, Daniel Lord, thought it would be a pretty great idea to tell them that this kind of thing happens every day.

While staff sat in a circle to share lunch, Strathcom President, Duncan Cochrane led a crowdsourced discussion to discover the true meaning of the holiday, which Wikipedia describes as “generally mistaken to be Mexico’s Independence Day.” Though no consensus was reached, it was generally agreed upon that today was also the 25th birthday of R&B singer Chris Brown, and that he is persona non grata around the office.

The day’s highlight was yet to come. After plenty of food and social bonding paying homage to Mey-hee-co, the afternoon’s events culminated in the destruction of a festive piñata. Uno por uno, a succession of reluctant volunteers took a turn donning a blindfold and battering the flamboyant cardboard donkey, before it was finally destroyed by Carrie Oliva.

“I saw a job that needed to be done,” said Oliva, “so I rolled up my sleeves, and knocked that donkey’s head off its ass!”

Oliva, though nearly thrown off by the encouraging honks from passing motorists and purposely misleading advice from her coworkers, nonetheless managed to regain composure before beheading the piñata with one fell swoop of her rigid cardboard tube.

However, not all contestants were as accurate as the web designer, who also captained the winning team from last month’s Easter egg hunt. Digital Content Strategist and regular blog contributor, Michael Fisher, was cruelly mocked by two dozen of his coworkers for his wayward attempts, as captured in the following footage.

Fisher, 24, was reached to comment, but declined. NOTE: No staff members were bludgeoned by misdirected swipes at the piñata.

Virgin Margaritas salsa tacosPinata Dana, the intrepid camerawoman, narrowly avoids a deadly bludgeoning.

Pinata Pinata Strathcom Media Staff

Recruiting volunteers proves difficult.

Pinata

Sarah appears to be at a disadvantage, but tags the piñata, nonetheless.

Pinata Candy Dave Lam risks his life pursuing a stray piece of candy.

Hitting PinataDestroyed Pinata

Google Partners Pumpkin Halloween Contest & Costumes

Being a Google Partner has its perks. A week before Halloween, Strathcom received a mysterious brown box all the way from Wisconsin with a return label from Google Partners.

When we opened the box we were surprised with a real live pumpkin, complete with a handy dandy carving knife and an invite card.

 

Google-Partner-Pumpkin

 

We were invited to a Google Partners Pumpkin carving contest. Instructions were to carve our pumpkin and submit it to the Google Partners Pumpkin event on Google+

Google Partner Pumpkin Event

 

Our designers got to work. We wanted to do something Google-y and Halloween-y, so our final design by Dana was an Android (Google’s Operating system mascot robot) Zombie, complete with a moon, bats and a graveyard. Our artistic Administrative Assistant Sarah got to work with Dana’s creative design.

 

Here was the final carved pumpkin!

Zombie Android Pumpkin
Zombie Android

 

Android Zombie
Zombie Android with Moon and Bats

 

Moon & Bats Pumpkin Carving
Bats and Moon on One Side

 

Graveyard pumpkin carving
Graveyard Carving on the Other Side

Well done guys!

We submitted them and received Pluses in hopes of winning some sweet Google swag!

While we wait to see if we won any cool Google paraphernalia, check out some of the awesome Strathcomian Halloween Costumes:

Strathcom Media 2013 Halloween Costumes

Skeleton makeup
Trish as a Deathly Skeleton
Senior Developer Halloween Costume
Ryan as a “Senior” Developer
"cereal" killer costume
Sarah as a “Cereal” Killer
Harry Potter or Cho Chang
Carrie Potter.. Harry Potter? Cho Chang?
Senior Designer Halloween Costume
Ella as a “Senior” Designer
Grumpy Cat Halloween Costume
Erin as Grumpy Cat

 

Happy Halloween from everyone at Strathcom Media!

Show Your True Holiday Spirit – The Ugly Christmas Sweater.

  Truly, nothing says Christmas like a really good (erm…bad) Christmas Sweater. I know, historically it was the gift we all dreaded most (right after fruit cake). We would try to hide our revulsion as we pulled out the acrylic blend monstrosity from the box. A tribute to multi-colored tackiness with bright patterns and Christmas images, you’d politely thank your Grandma, Great Aunt, crafty friend for the gift and before the Turkey hit the table the sweater would disappear in the back of your closet (under the bed, anywhere unseen) forever. But I say bah-humbug to that. Pull out that sweater and don it with pride.

Today is National Ugly Christmas Sweater Day. What better way to show your holiday spirit in all its over-the-top glory. A great holiday sweater gift says you have a sense of humor and shows how much you love the Holidays. Wear it to work, to school, to go shopping and see how it makes the people around you smile. Like dogs in people clothes, it may be tacky, but you can’t help but laugh. In fact, why not get your pet a Christmas sweater too?

And truly, an ugly Christmas sweater has become the hip gift to give. Everyone is buying ugly Christmas sweaters and giving them as gifts. Once relegated to the racks of Goodwill and Thrift stores, Ugly Christmas sweaters can now be found in some of the trendiest shops and there is a flood of them online. Personally I still advocate for the thrift store buy because the proceeds often supports local charities. It just adds to the spirit. Or, if you are the crafty friend, why not make your own?

And speaking of spirit, why not help a local charity by throwing an ugly Christmas sweater party. Ask friends, family and co-workers to wear their tackiest sweater to your party and bring a small donation. Hold a vote for the tackiest sweater and the donations go to the charity of their choice. Between the sweaters and the giving, the spirit will overflow. To all our readers’ customers and friends, we here at Strathcom wish you Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a wonderful New Year. By Adrienne Hill