Head, Heart, Hustle — Recap

On November 19th co+Lab tried something new. Something different. We wanted to #GetLoud for mental wellness.

Rather than host another traditional workshop Shane and I wanted to create an evening experience complete with conversation, live music, and speakers sharing their experiences and struggles with mental wellness. Enter: Head, Heart, Hustle – an experience designed in partnership with the Canadian Mental Health Association to empower entrepreneurs and solopreneurs just like you to evict your mind’s unwanted guests like impostor syndrome and self-fulfilling prophecy. The end goal, of course, being total mastery of your own mind and the knowledge that you aren’t alone in your struggle.

After completely reorganizing our west campus space, we knew we were on the right track to creating a great event. When people started filing in the door we knew that we had crafted a hit experience.

The evening kicked off with a brief introduction by co+Lab’s own Shane Austin giving everyone the rundown of what to expect. Immediately afterward, we were treated to the moving personal stories from international speaker and passion igniter Trisha Miltimore, Larry Widmer of Community Futures, Luke Menkes of Fair Realty Kelowna, Dustin Erickson of Float Space, and Jamie Taverner of Urban Rec Okanagan about the intersection of entrepreneurship and mental wellness. Following our several speakers CMHA’s Candace Giesbrecht shared her own extremely emotional journey through life, business, and mental wellness.

Capping off the night was Cory Myraas, of Windmills. Before we reveal anything else, just know that at no point during planning did we or Cory want his performance to be just another set, just another show, or just another crowd. Between each song Cory engaged with the crowd, either taking questions about his journey through entrepreneurship (it’s incredible how similar startup culture is to indie musicianship), his struggles with mental wellness, or sharing his own stories. Let me tell you, I’ve been to a lot of shows (including several of Cory’s) and this was the best interaction I’ve ever seen between an audience and a performer. By the time Cory was done playing he’d gained new fans and made us all tear up a bit.

When we set out to create Head, Heart, Hustle we weren’t certain what the vibe would be. Looking back with everything said and done, we created an environment not unlike your best friend’s basement living room, garage hangout, or corner booth at the bar. On a Saturday evening nearly forty people came together to celebrate entrepreneurship, encourage one another through their challenges, and to #GetLoud for mental wellness.