Interview with Justin Frenette about the Creative Capital of Canada

In this episode, Jen spoke with Justin Frenette, Co-Founder at Him & Her and one of the brains behind a cool new KW initiative called the Creative Capital of Canada, which we’ve become a big fan of. For so long, we’ve been known as the ‘Silicon Valley of the North’, both saying that we’re second best and also forgetting that we also have a lot more to offer than tech in our region. You can get a taste of what’s happening on the sustainability side of things if you just look at our previous podcast guests and vendors at The Eco Market. There’s a lot going on, not to mention our arts and our craft beer scene. From my perspective, by focusing our community identity on tech, we’re allowing a big part of our region to fall through the cracks, which is palpable from our deficiency of support to non-tech businesses, which also add so much value to our region. This is something we’ve been working on, especially through our pitch night - we want to see green and social businesses thrive in our community, but right now that’s not an easy feat. The Creative Capital idea shifts our community identity to one that’s more inclusive and also pretty damn accurate. We are an exceptionally creative region. We all know that the tech giant Blackberry started in KW, but did you know so did the blue box? An idea that has literally changed the way the world deals with waste, and we haven’t stopped being creative today. We’re home to Diva Cup, a world-wide feminine hygiene company that came up with an idea that seriously cuts down on waste that, prior, we just accepted. We’re home to one of the best jazz performance spaces across Canada, the Jazz Room, to beauty brands like Cocoon Apothecary making waves internationally, and so so much more. From the Creative Capital perspective, the Region of Waterloo’s DNA is a combination of problem solving, collaboration and hard work. We call that “creativity” - the ability to think through a problem in a different way to come up with a better outcome. It’s time for the Region of Waterloo to recognize its achievements and unique creative spirit.When we acknowledge the creativity in one another, we’ll see an explosion of inventiveness, because you attract what you celebrate. And then, we’ll truly become the Creative Capital of Canada. Absolutely love this concept. PS, this initiative will have some community members representing it at The Eco Market this April 27th. Be sure to connect with them to hear about this awesome project.



Justin Frenette - Co-Founder, Partner at Him & Her Incorporated

Justin is a Canadian developer and entrepreneur with a deep passion for learning, hard-work and people. His background is in full-stack development, big data, and ERP/marketing automation with amazing local tech companies. He co-founded Him & Her with Erin Martin, in the Waterloo Region, with her understanding of how great a community we have and its potential for future growth. The Him & Her team work to create meaningful work with forward thinking clients and have a passion for contributing back to the community through various initiatives and engagements.