Vancouver Island

Community & Evolution

A letter from Emrys Damon Miller, new Vancouver Island President (June 2015).

dear GDC Vancouver Island community,

I look forward to serving the local graphic design community as the new President of GDC Vancouver Island.

To introduce myself, I founded (in 1999) and run Rocketday Arts, a small boutique communications studio in Victoria, which focusses on projects for social and environmental health. Since 2003, I've been a Professional Member (CGD) of the Graphic Designers of Canada. I've also loved being a part of the international graphic design community, having participated in ICOGRADA World Congresses (Nagoya & Havana) and Design Weeks (Seattle & Vancouver), Design Thinkers (Toronto), Mexico Poster Biennial (Morelia), and the 99U conferences (NYC). I live by the ocean with my wife (another communications professional), twin 12-year-old daughters, a dog and a cat.

My primary interests at the GDC are (1) camaraderie and (2) what good we can achieve as a community. By "camaraderie", I mean events and activities that bring members of the graphic design community together, for the sharing of knowledge, for potential collaborations, and for friendship. By "what good", I mean "what good" we can do specifically for the graphic design industry, as together we can promote excellence and ethics in our craft, we can excite the business community in graphic design's strategic value, and we can excite the public in graphic design's cultural value. But I also mean "what good" we can do for society in general, as we are the most prolific image makers in today's culture, co-creating the websites, posters, signs, magazines and other media that make up the environment of everyone's day-to-day life. We have a part of play in shaping culture, and should do so with intention and inspiration.

I hope to work not only with the GDC Vancouver Island members, but in collaboration with the expanded graphic design communities locally, such as Renegades, State + Story, Nanaimo Design Nerds, Pecha Kucha and Thinklandia, as well as our local design schools.

For providing the foundation we inherit today, I want to particularly thank Aaron Heppell, the most recent Past President; the many, many local graphic designers who have served on our Board in the past; and Carrie-Anne, Jesse, Leah, Patrice and Simon for their support on the Board today.

The GDC Vancouver Island has a strong base of professional members, we have generous sponsors, and many volunteers. 

We had an excellent year last year, with the national launch of the new GDC brand, and with several local activities and events (such as hosting Robert L Peters for a presentation, the Creative Blender multi-community mixer, and the Girlhood poster design jam at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria). 

In the upcoming seasons, we are working to host a 99U LOCAL event in September, an extension of the respected 99U conference in NYC, which aims to help creative people (designers, artists and entrepreneurs) execute their ideas. We are also hoping to host Robert Bringhurst, author of the authoritative Elements of Typographic Style, for an event in November. We have many other items on our wish list (such as another session of the local graphic design "Rock Awards"), which we'll explore as capacity permits.

The GDC Vancouver Island is evolving. We are, in essence, a registered non-profit organization devoted to Vancouver Island's graphic design community. If you're a part of local graphic design, we are YOUR organization — and you can help us evolve and bring relevant activities of real value.

Please consider joining the GDC membership (if you're not already a member), joining our GDC Vancouver Island Board, or volunteering within our various activities and events. We'd love to have your help, your involvement and support in making this a richer and more active community. Reach me at

best regards,

Emrys Damon Miller
Graphic Designers of Canada, Vancouver Island Chapter