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06.18.2024

WCD Becomes the ‘Official Print Partner’ of Calgary Surge Pro Basketball

Bringing an Exceptional Fan Experience to Life Through Print this Basketball Season A cornerstone of Calgary’s local business community since 1972, WCD is proud to announce our selection as the Official Print Partner to the Calgary Surge, Calgary’s beloved professional basketball team. This partnership highlights our commitment to supporting our local sports community by enhancing fan experiences through high-quality printed materials. A Partnership that Celebrates Calgary’s Community Spirit As the Calgary Surge embark on another exciting basketball season, WCD is set to bring the energy of the game to life through vibrant, engaging print solutions. From eye-catching arena signage and court decals to stickers and flyers, our collaboration aims to connect fans and players together in a visually impactful way. "We are thrilled to join forces with the Calgary Surge as their Official Print Partner,” says WCD’s Vice President of Partnerships and Client Engagement, Robert Steed. “At WCD, we believe in the power of print to transform spaces and create memorable experiences. Through this collaboration, we are excited to support the team in bringing every game to life in a way that resonates with their fans and players alike, while enhancing the overall atmosphere of attending a basketball game here in Calgary." WCD’s Role in Enhancing Game Day Excitement Throughout the 2024 season, fans visiting WinSport Event Centre will experience the results of this collaboration firsthand. Look out for dynamic WCD-produced decals and promotional materials that capture the spirit of the games and community events. These elements are designed not only to inform but also to enhance the overall fan experience, making each game truly unforgettable. Calgary Surge: A New Era of Excitement in Calgary The Calgary Surge, entering its second year with a strong following after a remarkable debut season, continues to make waves in the Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL). After securing the top spot in the Western Conference and reaching the CEBL Championship Weekend Finals last year, the Surge is geared up for an even more thrilling season in 2024. "We were completely blown away by Calgary’s open embrace, and our early success on and off the court would not have been possible without the enthusiastic support from our fans," says Surge’s Vice-Chairman and President, Jason Ribeiro. “Looking ahead to the 2024 season, we are eager to expand our influence by partnering with organizations like WCD that share our love for sport, vision to create a positive community impact, and desire to create a fantastic game day experience.” Get your tickets today! We invite all fans to experience the magic of Calgary Surge basketball and the enhanced visual experience brought to you by WCD. Don’t miss out on any of the action—check out the full 2024 game schedule and secure your tickets to be part of the excitement. See you courtside! About Surge The Calgary Surge, established in Calgary in May 2023 and formerly known as the Guelph Nighthawks, is a proud member of the Canadian Elite Basketball League (CEBL). Following a spectacular debut season finishing first in the Western Conference and reaching the CEBL Championship Weekend Finals, the team is geared up for an even more thrilling 2024 season.

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06.10.2024

Why Aren’t Your Direct Mail Campaigns Successful? Common Pitfalls to Avoid

Whether you’re a seasoned marketer or a small business owner, crafting a direct mail marketing campaign can be daunting—especially if past attempts haven't yielded the results you expected. Many businesses dip their toes into direct mail with a single postcard campaign and are quick to write it off when the returns don’t immediately materialize. If this sounds familiar, fret not. This article will equip you with the strategic insights needed to create a successful direct mail campaign, moving beyond the basics and diving into the key components that can make or break your marketing efforts. We’ll explore: What is direct mail marketing?The three ingredients for a successful direct mail campaignWhat to look for in a direct mail services provider How to get started with your first direct mail campaign What is Direct Mail Marketing? Direct mail marketing, often referred to as Smartmail Marketing by Canada Post, involves sending physical marketing materials directly to the homes or offices of targeted consumers. Although digital channels have dominated over the past decade, this more traditional form of marketing remains highly relevant, engaging potential customers in a direct and personal way. In fact, over 60% of Canadians feel a strengthened relationship with businesses that reach out via direct mail, proving its potential impact. 3 Ingredients for Successful Direct Mail Marketing 1) Solid Campaign Strategy As with any marketing campaign, direct mail requires a comprehensive strategy that addresses the goals, objectives, key messaging, and other essential elements needed to effectively reach your target audience. If your outreach is focused on acquiring new customers, a single mail drop may not be sufficient to see the results you’re hoping for. Over time, a successful direct mail strategy will create brand familiarity with multiple touchpoints. Consider planning a series of mail drops throughout the year, such as quarterly mailings, to maintain engagement and brand recall with your audience. This approach ensures your message is reinforced over time, allowing you to adjust your strategy based on your audience’s response and market trends. 2) Digital Component to Campaigns Did you know that blending digital marketing with direct mail is proven to enhance the effectiveness of both? Statistics show that direct mail campaigns integrated with digital efforts lead to a 40% higher brand recall and significantly more engagement. By coordinating your direct mail with online campaigns, you can create a cohesive marketing strategy that leverages the strengths of both mediums. Here’s an example of what that might look like in your campaign strategy. Consider you're launching a new product line. You start with an attention-grabbing direct mail piece—perhaps a beautifully designed postcard or a small sample package. This mailer not only announces the product but also includes a unique QR code that directs recipients to a special landing page on your website. The page might offer more detailed information about the product, an introductory discount, or even an invitation to sign up for an exclusive webinar. At the same time, you launch targeted digital ads that echo the design and message of the direct mail piece. These ads would appear on social media platforms and Google, reinforcing the message seen in your audience’s mailbox. As recipients of the direct mail visit the landing page, your digital ads can also employ retargeting techniques to keep your brand and message top of mind, increasing the likelihood of engagement. By integrating these digital and traditional channels, you’ve now created multiple touchpoints with your audience, enhancing their journey from initial curiosity to final purchase. 3) Big-Picture Budget Effective direct mail campaigns are not about one-off attempts but a sustained effort that integrates seamlessly with your overall marketing strategy. Budgeting at minimum $12,000-$15,000 annually for localized direct mail marketing campaigns can provide the necessary funds to craft impactful, creative content and maintain a consistent mailing schedule that will genuinely resonate with your audience. For larger companies with larger audiences, this number can vary widely. This may leave you wondering: how do we track the ROI of our direct mail campaigns? Like most marketing initiatives, there’s no perfect science. However, there are some tried and true methods for tracking the effectiveness of your direct mail campaigns that we dive into in this article, including: Using trackable coupons or promo codesLeveraging customized URLs on your mailersDedicated phone numbers and emails to track replies Using QR codes to track scans and form completions If you’re looking for a more low-budget, one-and-done marketing tactic, a digital initiative such as paid advertising may be a better option for your business. What to Look for in a Direct Mail Services Provider When choosing a partner for your direct mail campaigns, look for a provider with a comprehensive suite of services that go beyond just printing and mailing. Partnering with a Canada Post Smartmail Marketing™ Expert like WCD ensures you're working with a team skilled in strategic planning and creative design. These partners can help optimize your campaigns for maximum impact and efficiency. As a Smartmail Marketing™ Expert Partner, we’ll work with your team to create direct mail advertising that uses highly effective messaging and thoughtful creative to build brand awareness, produce quality leads, and attract new customers. Need help with campaign design? Our in-house design agency crafts integrated direct mail campaigns that get results. Jumpstart Your Direct Mail Marketing Ready to switch up your marketing approach? When executed with a thoughtful strategy, direct mail marketing can significantly elevate your brand's visibility and engagement. Download our FREE 6-Step Guide to Direct Mail Marketing to begin crafting campaigns that not only reach but resonate with your audience.

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03.12.2024

A Beginner's Guide to On-Demand Book Printing in Canada

Thinking of self-publishing your book? From autobiographies to photographic memoirs, the trend towards book printing on-demand is reshaping how authors and publishers approach the creation and distribution of books. With a vibrant literary culture and advanced printing technologies, Canadian writers and publishers have first-class access to an ecosystem that empowers self-publishing like never before. This guide delves into the essentials of on-demand book printing in Canada, offering valuable insights for anyone looking to navigate this new approach to publishing. We’ll get into: What is On-Demand Book Printing?Why Authors Choose to Self PublishThe Benefits of On-Demand PrintingHow to Approach Book Printing in Canada Key Considerations for Choosing a Canadian Book Printing Company You’ll learn the basics of this evolving industry, and key steps you can take to print your very own book on demand. Let’s get into it! What is On-Demand Book Printing? On-demand book printing is a printing process that empowers you to print books in specific quantities as needed, ranging from a single copy to a few hundred thanks to the nimble technology behind digital printing. This model is a departure from traditional bulk printing, offering a flexible and cost-effective solution for authors and publishers. Why Authors Choose to Self-Publish A primary motivator for self-publishing may be a desire for creative control over your book's content, design, and marketing. Self-publishing allows authors to retain full rights to their work, making decisions about the cover art, format, pricing, and distribution channels—all according to their vision and goals. Self-publishing can also lead to higher royalty rates compared to traditional publishing routes, offering authors a potentially better return on investment. Access to self-publishing platforms has lowered the barrier to entry, empowering authors to reach their audience directly without the need for approval from a publisher. For example, many authors now leverage their online audiences to market their books and sell them directly through their own website, using a print-on-demand method to order only as demand requires. This direct access empowers authors to share their unique voices and stories, catering to niche markets or specialized topics that might not attract mainstream readers. It’s the artists and small businesses that love to storytell—like photographers, business advisors, life coaches, poets, and more—that are greatly benefiting from this new approach to publishing. The Benefits of On-Demand Printing Book printing on-demand has many benefits when compared to traditional methods. Let’s take a look at a few. 1) Lower Costs Traditional printing methods often require large initial print runs, leading to high upfront costs and the need for storage space. On-demand printing eliminates these concerns by allowing authors and publishers to print books only as orders come in, dramatically reducing storage needs and minimizing the financial risk. This is particularly handy for independent authors and small publishers who may have limited budgets. 2) Eco-Friendly Option By producing books only when there is demand, you can cut down on the overproduction of unsold copies, meaning less paper consumption and waste. This sustainable approach aligns with growing consumer and industry interest in environmentally friendly solutions. 3) Flexibility to Update Content Because on-demand printing produces books in short runs, authors have the luxury of updating the content of their books between each run with ease. This is particularly handy if your book requires frequent updates to remain relevant, or if that first pass at editing didn’t quite make the cut. It also opens up opportunities for authors to customize books for specific audiences or to test different versions of their work. If these benefits sound worth the investment, read on for insights on how you can get started with book printing in Canada. How to Approach Book Printing in Canada Congratulations! You’ve decided to print your book. While there’s no one way to tackle the production of your piece, here are some general steps to follow before you can hit ‘print’. 1) Research Printers — When you’re looking for a company to print your book, search for printers that specifically offer on-demand printing services and who specialize in book printing in particular. See the section below for some key factors to take into consideration when choosing a service provider. 2) Prepare Your Manuscript — If you’re self-publishing, you’ll need to ensure your manuscript is entirely edited, formatted, designed, and ready for printing. It’s important to remember that your printer will not edit your manuscript for you, so however you deliver it to them is how it will turn out in production. Some printers will have an in-house creative services team that can help you with format and design. 3) Choose Your Book's Specifications — Decide on your book's size, the paper type, and binding. This includes decisions like whether your book will be hardcover or paperback and what style and aesthetic you want it to have. This is where budgets can drastically vary, so it’s good to come prepared with an understanding of your price range. 4) Request Quotes — Contact several providers to compare quotes. Prices can vary based on the book's specifications and the quantity ordered. Keep in mind that you get what you pay for when it comes to book printing, and sometimes investing a bit more to guarantee a quality product can save you headaches down the road. 5) Consider Distribution — Some on-demand printers offer distribution services, including direct shipping to customers and listings on major retail sites. If you choose to ship your product yourself, you may want to select a printer that’s within Canada to avoid hefty cross-border shipping fees. Get a free book printing quote online > Key Considerations for Choosing a Canadian Book Printing Company Here’s what we suggest you look for when selecting a Canadian book printing company. 1) Quality The quality of your book reflects on you as an author or publisher, so prioritizing printers that use high-quality materials is important. Look for companies that are transparent and request samples of their work to get a tangible sense of the final product's quality. 2) Turnaround Time While the appeal of on-demand printing includes not having to stockpile books, it's important to remember that on-demand means production times can vary. Ask about expected turnaround times to make sure they align with your publishing timeline, especially if you have specific launch dates in mind or are coordinating marketing efforts. 3) Customer Service If you're navigating the process for the first time, you’ll want a print partner that’s on your side! A responsive and helpful printing company can offer guidance, address your concerns, and provide updates throughout the printing process. Look for companies with positive reviews to get a sense of their reliability. 4) Creative Services Many book printing companies offer design assistance, which can be invaluable for creating a professional-looking book cover and interior layout. Opting for a printer that provides these services can save you time and effort, making the journey from manuscript to final piece feel like a breeze. Begin Your Book Printing Journey By leveraging the flexibility, cost-efficiency, and eco-friendly aspects of on-demand book printing, you can navigate the publishing landscape more effectively and bring your literary creations to eager readers with ease. Curious what it takes to launch your creation?

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02.13.2024

WCD Announces Launch of Partnership with PrintReleaf

Advancing Sustainability in the Print Industry by Reforesting the Planet In an effort to further its commitment to environmental sustainability, WCD, a Canadian leader in on-demand print and information solutions, has proudly announced a partnership with PrintReleaf. This collaboration marks a significant step towards a greener future for the print industry, empowering WCD's customers to actively participate in replenishing forests globally and close to home. Through this partnership, WCD can now offer customers a unique opportunity to offset their paper footprint. PrintReleaf's advanced technology measures the paper consumption of each print job run through WCD and translates this data into an equivalent number of trees. These trees are then planted in reforestation sites chosen by the customer, making every print job a step towards environmental restoration. PrintReleaf stands out as the world's first platform to seamlessly convert paper footprints into actual trees. This innovative approach not only contributes to reforestation efforts but also aligns with WCD's mission to embrace eco-friendly practices across its operations. "At WCD, we believe that sustainable business practices are key to a brighter future," says Karen Brookman, President and CEO at WCD. "Our partnership with PrintReleaf represents a significant stride towards advancing environmental responsibility in our industry. This initiative will not only reduce our ecological footprint as an organization, but will empower our customers to join us in making a tangible difference for our planet." PrintReleaf’s technology not only tracks paper consumption, but also ensures the success of each planted tree, with full third-party audits by SGS International. While reforestation efforts span the globe, the company is currently working with planting partners as close as Cariboo, British Columbia to revitalize the land that was impacted by the devastating 2017 wildfires. "We are pleased to provide environmental offsets to WCD and their customers, which will be integral to their sustainability strategy," says Jordan Darragh, PrintReleaf Founder and CEO. WCD’s commitment to sustainable solutions highlights our shared values and goal of working toward a more sustainable business landscape and planet. This partnership creates exciting opportunities as we expand our network of PrintReleaf users within and beyond the Dscoop community and together work towards new environmental offsetting goals.” Together, WCD and PrintReleaf aim to empower Canadian businesses to meet their printing needs while also reducing their environmental impact and contributing to a more sustainable planet. WCD invites customers to join them on this exciting journey and learn more by clicking here. About PrintReleaf PrintReleaf offers a unique solution for companies to offset their paper and packaging consumption, contributing to reforestation and carbon offsetting. Their technology ensures a measurable and impactful contribution to global forest restoration. Visit www.printreleaf.com to learn more.

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01.30.2024

The Ultimate Valentine's Day Gift Guide: Personalised Gifts That Win Hearts

Ahhh, Valentine's Day—a tradition rooted in ancient history that has since evolved into a global celebration of love and affection. How endearing! For centuries, people have celebrated Valentine’s Day in honour of Saint Valentine, who symbolised love and devotion. Today, it’s a special time to show the people we cherish just how much we care. However, choosing the right gift – one that feels meaningful and heartfelt – can be a tricky endeavour. In an era of commercialised giving, there’s no better way to win your sweetheart over than creating a personalised gift made uniquely for them. Here’s why. Why Personalised Gifts Are Perfect For Valentine’s Day They're incredibly thoughtful — Personalised gifts require more thought and effort than off-the-shelf options. They show you've taken the time to think about what makes your relationship special.Unique and one-of-a-kind — Unlike store-bought gifts, personalised items are entirely unique. They’re tailored to your loved one's taste and personality, ensuring they’ll covet your gift for a lifetime.They carry emotional value — A personalised gift carries innate emotional value that just can’t be achieved through store-bought goods. It’s more than a gift—it's a memory and a piece of your shared story. Valentine's Day Personalised Gift Guide Whether you’re buying a Valentine’s Day gift for your significant other or want to show a friend how much you care, these gifting options are sure to elicit heartwarming smiles, all around. 1) Confetti photo frames Nothing says ‘I love you’ quite like a photo of a magical memory. Celebrate those moments with a sprinkle of fun using Curavate's confetti photo frames. With options including heart-filled confetti (perfect for the occasion) to rose gold glitter and a snowy setting, these creations have a unique snow-globe effect that will wow your loved ones.

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11.23.2023

3 Ways to Integrate Digital and Direct Mail In Your Next Marketing Campaign

If you’re a marketer, you know firsthand how quickly the marketing landscape shifts. But as algorithms update and trends come and go, there’s one tried and true traditional marketing tactic that has stood the test of time—and that’s direct mail marketing. In a marketplace driven by digital experiences, direct mail alone may not give you the results you’re looking for. However, research shows that integrating direct mail with more modern digital marketing and data-driven strategies can create powerful campaigns. In fact, people pay 39% more attention to integrated direct mail and digital campaigns than they do to single-media digital campaigns. Just imagine the impact that could have on your campaign results and ROI! TL;DR — Integrating digital marketing and data-informed strategies with direct mail can enhance the effectiveness of both. To get your creative marketing gears turning, here are three innovative ways to merge digital and physical for maximum impact, including: Personalized URLs and QR codes Leveraging data for targeted mailing Syncing email marketing with direct mail 1) Personalized URLs and QR Codes One of the most effective ways to integrate digital marketing into direct mail is by using Personalized URLs (PURLs) or QR codes. These tools create a seamless transition from a physical mail piece to a digital platform. Here’s how it works: PURLs: These are unique, personalized web addresses included in your direct mail piece. When a recipient types this URL into their browser, they're taken to a highly personalized landing page that might greet them by name and offer tailored content or special deals based on their preferences or past interactions with your brand. QR Codes: These are scannable codes printed on your mail piece. While QR codes have been overused in some aspects of marketing, print materials are where they really shine. When scanned with a smartphone, they direct the recipient to a specific web page. This could be a promotional video, a sign-up form, or a special offer. Using PURLs or QR codes allows you to track engagement levels and gather data on your audience’s preferences, which couldn’t be achieved without the digital aspects of the campaign. These methods provide real-time insights on landing page visitors and conversions, so you can more accurately measure the ROI of your integrated marketing campaign. That’s a major win! Using QR Codes on Neighbourhood Mail Neighbourhood Mail™ is one of three categories of direct mail marketing offered by Canada Post. Because it targets generalized neighbourhoods or regions, it’s ideal for mass awareness campaigns if you’re looking to acquire new customers. If you live in Canada, you likely receive Neighbourhood Mail™ often because it is the least targeted and most economical option of the three. Whether it’s your local pizza shop or home hardware store, small businesses often send postcards or pamphlets via Neighbourhood Mail™. To streamline the customer experience, they’ll add a QR code to lead the customer back online without having to type in a URL manually. Next time you check the mail, see if you can find a piece of direct mail with a QR code on it and let us know—do you think this tactic is effective? 2) Leveraging Customer Data for Targeting From your social media accounts to past order addresses—your marketing team is sitting on a goldmine of customer data and insights. Leveraging these insights, you can create highly targeted direct mail campaign lists to significantly increase the relevance and impact of your mailer. Here's how: Analyze your audience Dive into your audience insights to better understand their preferences, interests, and buying habits. This could include demographic data including household income, locations, age and marital status. But depending on the nature of your business, you could also go deeper into things like the type of car they own, whether they like to take winter vacations, or whether they live in an older home. How is all this relevant? Well, you’ll have to read on to find out. Find similar customers Say you own a roofing business and you want to send marketing messages only to areas where people live in older homes that may need new roofing. Or perhaps you’re an auto dealer looking to sell more inventory of pre-owned cars. By segmenting your data to give you a list of customers that have previously purchased these things from you, you can use Canada Post’s Postal Code Targeting services to find similar customers. How does it work? Because you likely have your customer’s addresses on file from past order details, you can use Postal Code Targeting to send direct mail campaigns to postal codes that have similar audience attributes to your existing lists. This method of targeting is based on the old adage, “birds of the same feather flock together.” Meaning, people generally live in the same area as similar people. Imagine if you saw a neighbour getting their roof updated, and days later, you received a direct mail piece that says, “Your neighbour just got their roof done. Now it’s your turn!” with a 10% off promo. Could that level of personalization urge you to take action? 3) Synchronizing Email and Direct Mail Combining email marketing with direct mail creates a multi-touchpoint campaign that reinforces your message. Here’s a simple strategy to integrate the two: Begin with an email announcing a special offer or a piece of valuable content.Follow up with a direct mail piece that delivers on the promise made in the email. This could be a detailed brochure, a sample product, or a personalized discount code.Use a subsequent email to follow up on the direct mail piece, perhaps asking for feedback or offering additional related online content. In this type of campaign, Personalized Mail is your go-to method. Personalized Mail is a one-to-one approach that mails a specific recipient and is personally addressed with their name. This works best for marketing to existing customers or to a list of previously engaged prospects who might already be familiar with your brand. Personalized Mail is often used for scenarios like inviting people to events, soliciting donations, reporting financial performance to stakeholders, or supporting loyalty card programs. Can you think of a time a company sent you a marketing message and followed up with a piece of direct mail? Many leading brands use this integrated method to nurture their audience. Sephora uses this method to market their Beauty Insider program and exclusive discounts, while Questrade uses it to send financial statements to their account holders. This synchronized approach ensures that your brand stays top-of-mind, as recipients encounter your message across multiple channels. The opportunities are truly endless! Curious About Creating a Direct Mail Campaign? Integrating digital marketing with direct mail creates a holistic approach that leverages the strengths of both. The key is to ensure that each element of the campaign complements and reinforces the others, creating a unified, multi-channel marketing strategy. With these tactics, your business can enhance engagement, improve response rates, and drive a higher ROI on your marketing campaigns. To dive deeper into the world of direct mail and learn how to build out your very own campaign, access our FREE 6-Step Guide to Direct Mail Marketing. Or if you’d rather not go it alone, learn how WCD can help you create your direct mail campaign—from strategy to design, printing, mailing and beyond.

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11.21.2023

From Your Hands to Their Hearts: Corporate Holiday Gifts & Decor for 2023

The holiday season is fast approaching—which means now is the perfect time to think about how you can make a lasting impression on your customers, employees, and partners. Lucky for you, our latest offerings are designed to add a touch of personalization and holiday spice to your upcoming gift-giving and event festivities, making this year's holiday experience that much more special (and simple)! Let’s dive into our favourite ways to make your holiday season both memorable and impactful this year, including: Local goods gift boxesBranded holiday cardsPersonalized holiday party invitations Custom corporate calendars, and more! Give the Gift of Curated Goods Meaningfully Made by Local Makers Creating heartwarming gifts for your customers just got a whole lot easier. Collaborating with Alberta creators, we've curated custom gift boxes full of premium products—all sustainably sourced from local makers you'll love. What's inside? Option 1 includes two stunning glasses from MTNPAK Glassware, gin from Burwood Distillery, tasty treats from The Shortbread Company and hand-crafted coasters from Kingwood Decor. Option 2 includes mouthwatering maple syrup from Wabanaki Maple, a custom-made tree ornament and wooden calendar stand from Rocky Mountain Creators, and a brand-designed calendar to go with it! The best part? We top both options off with personalized, custom-designed cards and address labels that add a tasteful touch of branding to every gift. Plus, we fully manage the kitting, packaging and mailing—making it a hands-off experience through and through! Send us a note to inquire about pricing and availability. Personalized Holiday Cards For An Extra Thoughtful Touch Sending out holiday cards is a time-honoured tradition, and working with us, you can elevate yours. Say goodbye to generic, store-bought creative and tap into designs that effortlessly align with your brand. With a personalized holiday card, you can send warm wishes to your customers and partners in a way that says "we care." Personalized Invitations & Décor For Memorable Holiday Parties Planning a holiday party? Imagine custom-designed invitations that capture the essence of your event, setting the tone for a memorable celebration. And when you arrive, every little detail — from the party favours to the table settings — is flawlessy thought out. Our in-house Creative Services design group specializes in bringing your vision to life, ensuring that every detail of your event's branding effortlessly reflects your unique theme.

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08.28.2023

Celebrating Pride at WCD with Jonathan Tieh, Graphic Designer

Celebrating Pride at WCD with Jonathan Tieh, Graphic Designer Our team truly believes in the power of diversity and inclusion to strengthen our communities and create a world that leads with kindness and acceptance. As we gear up to celebrate Calgary Pride, we sat down with one of our 2SLGBTQ+ staff members, Jonathan Tieh [he/him], to delve into his personal experiences, reflections, and insights about what Pride means to him. Q: What does Pride mean to you? A: "Pride means allowing yourself to be your true self—unapologetically you. It represents my ability and freedom to be who I am and openly love the people I choose, without stigma and shame. The dictionary defines pride as 'a feeling that you respect yourself and deserve to be respected by other people.' That's what it's all about, respecting each other—but most importantly, yourself. In whatever you do and whoever you love." Q: How do you celebrate Pride? A: "As a first-generation Asian-born Canadian growing up Queer in a Christian, conservative household, I did not know many 2SLGBTQ+ community members and I felt that I could not relate to many people. I wanted to hide from myself and blend in. I wanted to be 'normal'. But truth be told, we are all unique individuals, and I want to celebrate coming together to share our differences. Our characteristics make us who we are, no matter our religion, ethnicity or race." "I celebrate Pride by being with my closest friends who have uplifted me through years of turmoil and judging myself for being part of the 2SLGBTQ+ community. Ever since moving to Calgary three years ago, I've felt so much pride and love from the community, especially WCD, that I now call home. I celebrate Pride every day by surrounding myself with loved ones and positive vibes. Other ways I celebrate our community include going to the Pride parade, and supporting other queer artists at drag shows and art shows in the city." Q: How do you show support for diversity and inclusion in the workplace year-round? A: "I show support by showing up to 2SLGBTQ+ events that WCD supports and sponsors. It's important to be around like-minded people, and I love that WCD does the same by being inclusive and fostering a culture that is welcome to every age, gender, race, religion, or sexual orientation. Treating people in a way they wish to be treated rather than the way you wish to be treated is another way I try to make people feel included." Q: What is your advice to businesses who want to be better allies to the LGBTQ+ community? A: "To always be inclusive and make a space welcoming for people of all sexual orientations. Advocate and educate people and spend some time learning about the history of Pride, a movement preceded by the 1969 Stonewall Riots in New York. Businesses should be asking if there is something they can do to make their 2SLGBTQ+ coworkers feel like they are welcome and valued. For example, is there a benefit that excludes 2SLGBTQ+ employees? Start a dialogue and make resources available to try and create a workplace where all employees will feel valued and accepted." Show Your Pride As we approach Pride month, let us all remember that the journey to inclusivity and acceptance is ongoing. Let's stand together as allies, celebrating our differences and embracing our true selves. Calgary Pride Week takes place August 26 - September 4, 2023. Learn more about the week's festivities and what you can do to get involved by visiting www.calgarypride.ca. Thank you to Jonathan for sharing his insights and experiences with us—and Happy Pride! 🌈

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08.08.2023

Back to School in Style: A Classroom Checklist for Teachers

As summer break winds down, teachers everywhere are gearing up for another exciting chapter. While lesson planning and curriculum development take centre stage, it's equally important to create an environment that fosters creativity, organization, and inspiration. That’s where we have you covered. As the exclusive printing partner to several of Canada’s largest school boards, we're your go-to for creating a personalized classroom experience. So, we've put together a comprehensive checklist to help teachers elevate their space and head back to school in style. Here’s your step-by-step checklist to a killer September kick-off: Print your classroom course materialsCreate a personalized notebookDecorate your classroom Fuel your day with a personalized mugOrder a custom calendarCreate a custom teacher's tote1) Print Your Classroom Course Materials A successful school year begins with well-organized and engaging course materials. Instead of relying solely on generic handouts, consider the impact of personalized course materials – from custom worksheets to study guides – that reflect your unique approach to teaching. Plus, if you order your classroom materials from WCD before August 15, not only will you receive them by September 1—you'll also get a FREE personalized notebook. And on that note... 2) Create a Personalized Notebook Jot down lesson ideas, doodles, and reflections in a notebook that's as unique as your teaching approach. A teacher's desk is the heart of the classroom, where lesson plans come to life and creative ideas take shape. With a notebook made specially for you, you can make this space truly your own in a fun and functional way. Use our custom template made just for teachers, or create your own design that mirrors your personality and teaching philosophy! 3) Decorate the Classroom with Vibrant Posters Engage your students visually and foster a stimulating environment that encourages exploration and curiosity. A well-decorated classroom is a canvas for creativity and learning—and you can transform those beige walls into a vibrant educational masterpiece with just a few posters and prints. Whether it's motivational quotes, historical timelines, or scientific diagrams, you can bring life to any subject in creative ways. 4) Fuel Up with a Personalized Mug Energizing your day of teaching begins with a steaming hot cup of coffee or tea—and what better way to enjoy your favourite beverage than with a mug made just for you? Showcase your name, motivational quotes, or even subject-specific graphics as a fun way to sip and savour while creating conversation with students and fellow teachers. It’s a way to self-express, reminding you of your dedication to your students and your craft. 5) Manage Your Time with Customized Calendars Balancing lesson planning, grading, meetings, and personal life can be a juggling act. Stay organized and in control with a customized calendar made just for you. Tailor your calendar to include professional development days, to-do lists, and other special notes meaningful to your day. Whether it’s a miniature standing desk calendar or an oversized wall calendar, you'll navigate the school year with confidence and ease, ensuring that no important task slips through the cracks. 6) Get a Personalized Tote Bag for Teaching Essentials From textbooks and lesson materials to personal items, a teacher's tote bag is a lifeline throughout the day. Choose a design that resonates with you and add your name or a motivational slogan. Not only will you have a functional bag for all your essentials, but you'll also make a statement among students. Claim Your FREE Personalized Notebook! Teachers across Canada—we’ll send you a FREE personalized notebook for ordering course materials through WCD prior to August 15, 2023. To claim yours, simply submit your order online. For support, email clientservices@wcdconnect.com.

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