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"What I Did on Summer Vacation..." and Stump Kitchen on STORYHIVE

Well, time sure flies. (Oops.)

One thing I have learned over the last two years as a full-time freelancer (one of many, many, many things) is that creative personal projects tend to take the back burner - not by choice, but by necessity. A year after shooting The Disappearing Act, I am still working on editing it. Unfortunately, my paid work always has to take priority over it, because, well, I have to pay bills and eat! That being said, the rough cut is coming along, and I'm confident that the film will be ready for festival submissions in early 2018. And truth be told, the space and time away from the project has been beneficial to the editing process - I can approach the footage with a fresh set of eyes.

If you were part of the process - cast, crew, and donors - stay tuned because there will be a VIP screening as soon as the film is complete!

Photo by L Photography

Photo by L Photography

Photo by L Photography

Photo by L Photography

The last time you heard from me, I was pitching a music video to STORYHIVE. Sadly, we didn't win funding over the summer, but I am excited to announce that I am back on the STORYHIVE train with an idea I am absolutely thrilled and honoured to be co-creator on. 

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Alexis Hillyard is rad as f*ck. I've known this for quite some time, and I've been an subscriber to her YouTube channel/show, Stump Kitchen, since it launched. She makes delicious vegan and gluten-free food (which happens to be exactly my food lifestyle), she's funny, and she's totally...herself. Alexis' show promotes self-love, imperfection, diversity, and inclusion - even moreso than I think she sometimes realizes. Watching Stump Kitchen makes me happy. It makes me feel great. And it gives me great recipe ideas.

I recently interviewed Alexis on my podcast, That's So Maven!, and as soon as I left her apartment, I felt a pang of creative "OMG" in my gut. I knew there was a web series edition of STORYHIVE coming up, and I knew immediately that I wanted to collaborate with her. 

One of the things that I found just beautiful during my conversation with Alexis was how cooking really helped her through periods of depression and how much joy Stump Kitchen brings her. That joy is evident when you watch the show, and it's infectious, too. I realized that throughout the course of my life, I've heard many chefs talk about cooking as a healing tool in their lives and instantly became curious about the Edmonton food community. This sparked my first official STORYHIVE meeting with Alexis, which turned into our collaboration to pitch Stump Kitchen: Cooking For the Heart. 

A sort of spin off of her YouTube show, Stump Kitchen: Cooking For the Heart invites professional chefs from the Edmonton area into Alexis' kitchen to talk about how cooking heals and feeds their heart and soul. All while cooking delicious food and learning stump-tastic kitchen techniques. 

We've got some amazing local chefs and restaurants ready to take part and we've got an amazing team ready to make this series - including camera woman Julia Grochowski, composer John McMillan, and ASL interpreter Erin Burrell. We're also working to make the show as diverse, inclusive, and accessible as possible; every episode will have ASL interpretation and captioning.

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This is where you come in. In order for us to make this web series a reality, we need your votes. Voting opens at 1pm Mountain Time on Monday, September 18, and closes at 1pm Mountain Time on Friday, September 22. You get five votes a day, and you can only use one vote per project - so that means that in addition to supporting Stump Kitchen: Cooking For the Heart, we'd love for you to check out the numerous brilliant pitches in this round of STORYHIVE and show four others your love each voting day. And yes, you can vote every day. And we hope you will!

Thank you so much for your support. This project is SO important to me - if you know me at all, you know how absolutely passionate and outspoken I am about women in film, diversity, and inclusivity. This project encompasses all of those things, and I know it's going to be a phenomenal web series. We just need to win some funding first!

I'm off to stretch my voting muscles. I'll see you on the other side of September 22 and let you know how we did.

Until then, 

A.