PKN #12: Eureka!

A yogi, kayak builder and robot builder, among many others, interpreted the thrill of Eureka! in the EV-sponsored PechaKucha night at Theatre Junction Grand.

The culturally engaged mingled in TJG’s uber UBU Lounge, sipping on cocktails and feeding on small talk to a funky electronic groove. They marvelled at how quickly the free tickets to the event had been snapped up. “I went on Kijiji,” confessed one woman. A PKN sophomore was still buzzing about February’s PKN. “I couldn't believe how the evening just flew by at the last one!”

Her second PechaKucha Night proved to be every bit as engaging as her first. Using the honoured PKN format of 20 slides per speaker for 20 seconds each, the 10 presenters offered wildly different interpretations of “eureka.” Banjo player Ryan Pilling began the evening with an impassioned discourse on the importance of “stupid little ideas,” prompting one audience member to whisper to her date: “I think creative types are just people who aren't afraid to make fools of themselves.”

“Passion is eureka juice,” declared Tourism Calgary's Stewart McDonough. Science fair judge Maija Graham displayed the potato battery that she’d built in her kitchen the night before, and urged us to “peer around the curve to where a surprise might be hiding.” Chef Cam Dobranski ensured that we would never again look at a red pepper in quite the same way.

Man-about-town Dave Kelly was a familiar figure to anyone who has ever watched television in Calgary. Despite his high profile, Kelly confided that his eureka moment came with finally admitting that he didn't actually know anything.

Springboard Performance/Fluid Festival artistic director Nicole Mion was all about sitting between ephemeral and concrete moments. It could be why she wants to put a gypsy village shipping container art installation at Olympic Plaza for Calgary2012. Magazine editor and pop culture guru Shelley Youngblut, meanwhile, was all about Barbies, but admitted to an obsession with Tudor history.

Perhaps the epitome of eureka, though, was robotocist DJ Sures' whirling and flying robot creations, five of which shared the spotlight with him. Robots have been very high profile around the Cultural Capital lately, even showing up at the East Village spirit hub for the Calgary Marathon, so perhaps it was only a matter of time before they made an appearance at an EV-sponsored PechaKucha Night.

Watch for the next PKN #13 in September, when the King Edward School will host another series of dynamic speakers.