Why You Should Go to Pecha Kucha Night

PechaKuchaPinkTonight I attended Vancouver’s 28th Pecha Kucha Night. I’ve been going to Pecha Kucha for nearly two years now, and it’s become my favourite cultural event. If you haven’t yet been to a Pecha Kucha Night, do yourself a favour and go. No matter where you are in the world, there’s probably a Pecha Kucha near you.

Think of Pecha Kucha as a local, informal, affordable version of Ted Talks. Ten presenters show 20 slides each for 20 seconds per slide. I learn things about my own city I never imagined and get inspired by the amazing, creative, transformative things people are doing.

Pecha Kucha was started in Tokyo in 2003 by a couple of architects, Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham, who wanted a way for people to share their creative work with each other. Pecha Kucha has since spread to well over 500 cities worldwide. It takes place in bars, restaurants, churches, beaches and prisons. Pecha Kucha Vancouver is one of the biggest, selling out the Vogue Theatre every couple of months or so. Tickets are a bargain at $15.

If you’re curious or can’t attend in person, you can watch online. But this can’t possibly match the electric buzz and human connection of the live events.

PechaKuchaNameSlideTonight I learned that:

  • Elephants grieve, flirt and make jokes
  • Vancouver has one of only two jewellers in North America that uses fair trade gold
  • A talk at Pecha Kucha #5 grew into a documentary film and photo-history project on Liberia
  • Vancouver is considered the most Asian city in the world outside of Asia
  • Lives are being changed and saved around the world by soccer camps, a simple water filtration system and a funding model that feeds photo royalties to development projects

If you get a chance, check out your local Pecha Kucha Night. Or, if there isn’t one near you, get in touch with the PK organizers and start one yourself.