This Handshake is not-so-secret
Winnipeggers get their creativity on at Secret Handshake
Creative Winnipeg minds looking to get an in into the industry now have their shot. Secret Handshake is a monthly meet-up for creative people in Winnipeg. There is no admission fee – just shake some hands.
Leanne Schmidt, co-founder of Secret Handshake and founder and interactive copywriter at Four Letter Word, said Secret Handshake is “more than just a networking event.”
“It’s a springboard. A supportive community of people I’m grateful to know. The people I’ve met have helped me succeed in my career, expand my way of thinking, and help me find what I’m looking for in life and in friends, too.”
Secret Handshake was founded in February 2010 by Schmidt and Christopher Lobay. Lobay is a designer at ecommerce company Shopify.
“We launched Secret Handshake because we love connecting with people and sharing ideas with like minds.” said Schmidt.
In two years, Secret Handshake has welcomed more than 600 members to 33 meet-ups. They’ve even teamed up with New Media Manitoba, a non-profit organization of industry professionals that provides support and economic opportunities to new media businesses and individuals in Manitoba.
“The most significant milestone for us was when New Media Manitoba came on board as a collaborator of the event in early 2011. They support the event financially, and are always helping us to grow and giving great opportunities to our members,” said Schmidt.
Troy Giesbrecht is a new media designer at Handcraft Creative and a graduate of Red River College’s Digital Media Design program. He’s been a member of Secret Handshake since April 2011.
“No matter how amazing your portfolio of work may be, it won’t get you far if you don’t know the right people. It just so happens that a lot of those people, the people you really need to know, meet up once a month at Secret Handshake,” said Giesbrecht.
Secret Handshake is also excited to announce their partnership with United Way to introduce a new event called Goodwork.
“Goodwork is a one day event where members of the Secret Handshake community will get the opportunity to devote a day of creative work to a local non-profit,” said Schmidt, adding that there are 16 of United Way’s partner agencies participating, and volunteers will be completing 32 different projects.
“Secret Handshake is an awesome place to make like-minded friends in the creative industry, and good friends make great contacts,” said Giesbrecht. “We’re insanely fortunate to have something like this in Winnipeg: a place where ideas are traded, drinks are on tap, and contacts are made.”
You can find Secret Handshake on Twitter at @SHWPG and on their website, secrethandshake.ca.