Chris Daviau left Listowel, Ont. as soon as he could. Landing in Kelowna, B.C., he found himself in paradise.
But in between the beaches, mountains, wineries and golf courses, Daviau found himself missing home, specifically his family and friends. So after a couple of years of fun he moved back to Waterloo Region.
He settled back into Listowel, and a job that he liked. However, it wasn’t until he met the Vidyard team that he realized he had made the right decision to move back to Ontario.
“I fell in love with the team,” Daviau said. “It’s what sold me to move into the tech industry.” The new Vidyard office manager swiftly moved to downtown Kitchener’s Eaton building and now considers the city his home.
Now six months in the job, Daviau spends his days taking care of the 50-person Vidyard team. He’s overseeing an office expansion that will allow the company to grow past 100 people. He seeks out and helps plan things to do in the city so that his team lives, plays and stays in the region.
“I want everyone to work hard but then go play,” Daviau says of his focus on building a strong culture at Vidyard.
Daviau knows it’s easy to have a team that works all week at the office but doesn’t bond to create a family. Those teams tend to be fragmented, in his opinion. He doesn’t want his co-workers to feel like they have to head to a “big” city to find entertainment.
From team lunches to after-work gatherings, Daviau keeps his team busy. He also wants to involve the larger Waterloo Region community and invite them into the fun Vidyard space. He began this past June when Vidyard hosted a party during the Summer Lights festival.
This weekend, Daviau and the Vidyard team are once again opening their doors as they host “Rooftop Rock Band @ Vidyard” as part of Night/Shift 2014. Nerd Nite KW is providing the equipment, and the team will be serving warm drinks to keep participants warm all through the night.
“We want to share our home,” Daviau said. “It’s important the we have a vibrant and alive city.”
The chance to try out new, and sometimes wacky, events and ideas has energized Daviau. While he may have given up beaches and mountains, he has no regrets.
“This is an amazing industry,” he said. “You can try everything. The people here are so open to change and are always ready to try something new. We need to remember to appreciate the freedom.”
“I don’t plan on leaving Kitchener anytime soon. I’m planting real roots here, which is something I never thought I’d say.”
Clocks go back an hour this weekend. Take advantage of that extra time and explore the region. I see and hear…. Tri-City Stopgap is hosting a free pop-up art exhibit in an old candy factory at 151 Weber St. S., Waterloo. The exhibition shows from 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. until Oct. 31. A reception on Nov. 1 at 7 p.m. wraps up the show… After you’ve handed out treats to all of the Elsas in the city on Halloween, head to the Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery at the corner of Caroline and Erb streets for The Animal Ball, a funky dance party/taxidermy exhibit. No costumes are required and animal masks are provided. Tickets are $13 and the fun starts at 8 p.m. … Night/Shift 2014 starts at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 1. The indoor/outdoor art and cultural experience takes over downtown Kitchener. The walkable event has more than 37 attractions that spread out from Duke Street between Frederick and Queen streets. The event is open to all ages – you just need to dress warmly…. The Grand River Film Festival runs Nov. 3-8. Films are screened at the Landmark Cinemas at 135 Gateway Park Dr. in Kitchener. The opening gala kicks things off on Nov. 3 at 7:30 p.m. with a screening of Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me.