A Vision and Mission Statement: A Life Roadmap

A few weeks ago I articulated my Vision Statement of A Happy and Kind World. Give it a whirl if you have a chance. My definition of a vision statement is a proclamation of a future state that every decision in our lives is designed to support. So what is a mission statement? The mission statement is the tangible steps that are required to realize the vision…it's a roadmap. I came up with the vision of a Happy and Kind World for Hemmings House because it also is my personal vision (thanks Dave Veale). Everything I do, every decision I make, and every ounce of energy I spend needs to be in line with that vision.

So what's my mission? How am I going to get to see a Happy and Kind World? Well, I'm glad you asked! (I forced that on your didn't I?)

People kill each other, steal from each other, and hate each other when they do not understand each other. We are tribal beings. We protect our own. Those enlightened earthlings who realize that 'our own' isn't limited just to our family,our team, our friends, our country, our race…'our own' to me is every living and non living thing. Our own is also our oneness, so why the shnikies aren't we seeing peace on this planet? Again…it's because we don't understand each other, and we live in the lie that we are not of the same royal bloodline, we all were birthed from the same source.

So how do I live my life to help contribute to a more understanding world? I use storytelling to connect people. When we hear each other's stories, when we are able to find a connection and commonality because of those stories, then we can empathize. Empathy (according to the amazing TheBabbleout.com editor-in-chief Zoey Miller!!!) is the capacity to recognize emotions that are being experienced by another sentiment or fictional being. We recognize emotions when we are connected, when we relate. Storytelling helps us connect, it helps us relate. 

Here are my personal commitments (my Mission Road Map) to help see my vision of a Happy and Kind World come to fruition. 

FILM & CREATIVE MEDIA – I own a production company that produces commercial films, documentaries, TV shows, web content, audio, photography, animation…digital media in the form of audio and video. This company allows our clients and us to connect to the globe, to other humans, partners and customers. 

PUBLIC SPEAKING - This is new for me… kinda. I find myself speaking in front of audiences often. In fact I recently achieved a life goal of presenting at a TEDx earlier this year! I am now being asked to speak to different audiences about storytelling, filmmaking, entrepreneurship and adventure. It's rad.

WRITING – A have written a travel and adventure article in the Telegraph Journal for the last 5 years. I have been blogging for almost a decade (with a new commitment to 'regularity'), and I am scheming up a book. Hey, I like to write. Tom Wolfe, Hunter Thompson and Jack Kerouac helped me realize that it's ok to translate your random stream of conscious thoughts into words! Hey if you haven't read Wolfe's Electirc Coolaid Acid Tests, Thompson's Another Roadside Attraction, or Kerouac's On The Road, then consider it your next three classic books to pick up.

MUSIC - For me music is the great connector. I am a musician, I am a drummer first, banjo, guitar, bass, piano…I love creating music with anything, and even more than creating, I consume and experience music almost every waking hour of my life…literaly. There is no other connector medium that is more effective on an emotional level than music for me. Go see Sigur Ros and you will know exactly where I am coming from! I am playing drums in a band called Fox Farm, we have been playing for a couple years and only two weeks ago got a name…for one show we called ourselves 'Holland Oats"…I kinda loved that name, we had about a hundred others! I am now creating music with Ableton Live's Push. Techno dance music is a great connector, a great way to get a few thousand people vibrating to the same sub frequencies…a great empathizer. 

I have really challenged myself to be active in all four of my mission road maps on a weekly basis, and that's why I am sharing it with you right now! So hey, thanks for letting me explain my purpose, maybe this blog helps you understand a bit more of who I am at the source. PLEASE share your vision and mission statement to people, its the first step to attracting kick ass people into your life. Jah Love.




It Took Two Years To Create A Band Name!


Two years ago two friends of mine and I started a dad band. What's a dad band you ask? Well it's the result of many years of bitchin' and complainin' that we don't play music anymore, the way we did in high school. Like those days when we would play shows and girls would pay attention to us, back in the day when playing on Breakfast TV was EPIC, and back in the days when our whole life identity was attached to 'playin' in the band'. 

Ray Seaward, Jake Swan and I were the dads in question. For years we would see each other and say "Hey, we should jam sometime…". It took a few years of us grumbling that we don't have time, what with work, wives and kids and any other excuse not to get together, drink a couple barley sandwiches and rock out. Two summers ago Jake had guy come install fiber op internet at his house. The tech saw a guitar in Jake's basement and he asked Jake if Jake played in a band (he didn't). Jake said … "Yeah I sure do, why do ask?", "Well we are having a big outdoor concert fund raiser thing and we are looking for bands to play." Jake immediately picked up the phone and told Ray and I that we have a reason to exist…so we started playing… all acoustic. I played banjo, Ray and Jake guitar. We called ourselves… wait for it… FATHER TIME!!! Yes probably one of the best eye brow raising name we could think of…but it was official, for the fund raising gig, we were Father Time. We agreed that it would only be a temporary name, but it got us through. We did some covers, played some Ween, Marley, Simon and Garfunkle…it was a fun little gig. Then we stopped jamming for almost a year, until we got the call again from the organizer. "Guys, can Father Time play again this year?". "Of course! But theres a difference this year, we pulled a Dylan and have gone electric, and we have 30 people in the band, we are bigger than Arcade Fire!" we told him. "Our new name for the band is "The Biggest Band in the World". Well none of this was true either, but we had another goal, and I tell ya, we were determined to be the biggest band in the world, we wanted to be bigger than Broken Social Scene, Godspeed You! Black Emperor , and any other band with more than 10 people on stage! So every week we jammed we invited more musicians to join the band. We probably had 30 players come and go over the few months of practice. Then the show happened, most of our band didn't show up, but we had about ten of us on stage, and we had a ball. 

After the gig we decided not to wait another year to do this again, lets actually start a real band, write some originals and connect with people through music. We have been playing regularly since with almost a full album's worth of original tunes. We are heavy, we are loud, we are danceable and pensive…and we have fun, lots of it. Steve Foster from Hemmings House is on bass, Jake Swan is guitar and vocals, same with Ray Seaward and Nick Leblanc is lead guitar / synth and e-bow noise maker! But as of 2 weeks ago we still didn't have a name. Then last week we were given GREAT NEWS from our good friend Jonas Colter of the Evolve Music Festival that we have a gig in the yurt stage at 6pm on the Friday of Evolve this year! KILLER! "So boys, we need a name… we have literally came up with over a hundred great name ideas, most of them slightly un politically correct, others just hilarious, but nothing that sticks". I think it was Ray who suggested Fox Farm. We drive past the Renforth Exit all the time off the McKay Highway when we head to Jakes place to jam, which is also Fox Farm Road. Done… easy, two words, sounds good…we have a band, we have originals, we have a gig and now, we have a name! Stay tuned, we will record soon.

We are forever to be known as Fox Farm, connected. 


I Write My Blogs in my Hot Tub

I had a bummer of a surf day today. Five of us got out today to Mispec, the waves were huge (well huge for the Bay of Fundy). They we ranging from five to 10 feet. But the wind was heavy and the period very short today with waves coming in every direction. I gassed out after trying to grab my third or forth wave. When I paddle out past the breaks and work against those waves with a strong offshore wind to boot, it for sure tests strength of mind body and spirit. So after about a half hour I bailed and headed towards shore to call it a day. But the crazy thing was that the undercurrent was so strong forcing the water back to sea that it was almost impossible for me to walk myself and my board in, despite it only being waist deep. I finally got to shore a defeated man (I chuckle as I write that statement pampering myself with a soak in my 105 degree Fahrenheit hot tub… Hoping to not drop my iPhone!)

I watched the other guys from the parking lot as I packed up… They stayed out another hour at least and caught some epic waves. As it turned out the wind died down a bit and they had a great session. Earlier on my way to the beach I was pumped , inspired and ready to tackle what ever the Bay had to offer. As I drove back I felt like I gave up to quick.

I always say “life is too short to drink bad red wine”, well I also say that about surfing in Saint John, New Brunswick… “Life is too short – and big waves too few in the Bay of Fundy – to give up so quick. If I’m in the water flat or huge, short or long, it’s a blessing to be able to ride nature this way and maybe I am too hard on myself. At least I got in!

I Went to Prison Today

I drove with two good friends of mine to Dorchester Penn today. I was meeting with the warden and some of his staff who, as I learned today, are continually looking at social development and education programs for their inmates. One thing I picked up on quickly was the passionate care that these staffers had for creating a true life transformation experience for the offenders. In fact the woman who gave us a tour of the facility called the prisoners 'clients'. I was impressed. The Canadian corrections system certainly has not been warmly spoken about in the media these days, and from the outside when we only hear about the bad news it is easy for us to make judgments. But this particular institution authentically displayed a culture of respect. In a Happy and Kind World, I see even the most marginalized, abandoned, discarded people treated with dignity, respect and care…even if by the laws of the land deem them not deserving.

If a culture of respect is developed within an institution, organization, business, then it flows outward. I met a number of the inmates as they lined up for lunch, or chatted in the foyer. I held a door open for a prisoner who was being pushed by another inmate in a wheel chair. He looked at me and sincerely said "Hey, thanks alot man"…I replied with a "Cheers brother".

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CODE KIDS Press Release

For Immediate Release

Monday February 24, 2014


Code Kids Website Releases Video Interviews to Support Computer Coding in Schools Initiatives and CBC Documentary






SAINT JOHN – A group of Atlantic Canadian’s traveled to Finland and Estonia to learn about teaching computer coding in the classroom, an essential skill in the emerging IT economy. Along the way, they captured lots of TV footage for an educational documentary called Code Kids, produced by Saint John-based Hemmings House Pictures.


You can catch an advanced peak at some of that footage on a web site launched today in support of the Code Kids movement. The website,www.codekids.ca, hosts blogs and videos that support the initiative that is encouraging students, educators, parents and policy makers to include computer programming and technology from the early grades in the education curriculum in Atlantic Canada. 


Jevon MacDonald of Volta is excited for the next generation of coders and technologists in our region if teachers are supported to integrate coding and technology into the curriculum, “We will create a social fabric which understands and is excited about tech – a place where creative and intelligent people want to build their business in any part of Atlantic Canada, from our small towns to our cities.” 


In the winter of 2013, the small delegation visited Estonia and Finland on a fact finding mission exploring how other countries are successfully integrating technology into curriculum. These two countries are celebrated for their progressive education systems and booming IT economies. 


René Boudreau, Executive Director at the New Brunswick Council on Research and Innovation, David Alston, Chief Innovation Officer at Introhive, and a film crew from Hemmings House Pictures documented many hours of information-filled conversations with different leaders in the ICT, Education and Government sectors. Many of these conversations have been edited down to less than 10 minutes to be shared on the CodeKids.ca website. More videos and blog content will be added to the site over the next few months as the emerging Code Kids movement is documented in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.


Greg Hemmings, Founder and CEO at Hemmings House Pictures says that the release of a website that hosts unpolished video content and blogs during the evolution of the story is critical in engaging the community. His desire is that the final CBC documentary will be released after the Code Kids movement has gained significant momentum and that its purpose will be to celebrate a success story.


“As a filmmaker,” he says, “it has been very interesting to capture such relevant conversations on film to share in a very raw form in real time with the citizens of Atlantic Canada as we gather enough content to deliver our more polished documentary to CBC this spring.”


David Alston who has been a primary supporter of the coding in schools movement says that the website will be a place for people to see a lot of raw and relevant materials that may or may not make it into the CBC documentary, but is a critical resource that should be available for everyone to have access to. 


“We have been capturing so many interesting resources for educators, governments, parents, students and even entrepreneurs during the production of this film,” he says. “We plan to release all of the relevant raw footage so our community can learn best practices from other countries and share ideas from other though leaders from Atlantic Canada and beyond.”


About the CBC documentary


Code Kids is a documentary following the journey towards seeing kids being taught coding in schools once again in Canada's Maritime provinces. With the happy ending already set as a goal, will support for the movement gain the necessary steam to make this a reality? Will the current coding pilots in schools show how kids can uncover new problem solving skills and be engaged at levels not often seen in other subjects? Will the amazing results seen in Estonia and Finland inspire those back home and will Canada's eastern-most provinces decide to take the lead in a global race to fill the millions of tech jobs that, at current rates, will not be filled in years to come without more kids choosing coding and tech as a career? Meet the supporters and volunteers behind this grassroots movement that's sweeping the globe and follow individual kids and how their lives have been changed by pursuing their dreams."  


Shawna Waterall





Talons of Venice Press Release

CCI Entertainment Inc., Hemmings Films Ltd. and Talons of Venice Entertainment Inc. ink deal to develop lifestyle programming

February 20, 2014

Saint John, N.B. – CCI Entertainment Inc.Hemmings Films Ltd. and Talons of Venice Entertainment Inc. today announced they have entered into a partnership to develop lifestyle-programming content. Within this partnership there are four productions in development with interest from Canadian Broadcasters.

This agreement brings together three companies who have a wealth of experience in the film, production and marketing communications industries, from creative concept development, film production and editing, to distribution, financing and sales. Under the terms of the agreement, the primary role of Talons of Venice Entertainment Inc. and Hemmings Films Ltd. will be to develop creative concepts and produce all episodes of these lifestyle programs, and CCI Entertainment Inc. will pursue and coordinate all Canadian and international sales and provide finance planning.

Arnie Zipursky, President and CEO of CCI noted, "we are always on the hunt for strong, creative ideas for the world television market and we look forward to working with both Talons and Hemmings, two talented companies coming from Canada’s East Coast."

Greg Hemmings, Executive Producer at Hemmings Films Ltd. said, “we have a solid history working with CCI and a great relationship with the principals at Talons. We’ve collaborated successfully in the past and look forward to working with them on these new projects.”

Derek Riedle, Executive Producer with Talons of Venice Entertainment Inc. stated, “we’re really impressed with the track record and work done by Hemmings Films and CCI. They get us and understand where we want to go. We’re excited to see what we can accomplish together.”

CCI Entertainment Ltd. (Cambium Catalyst International) has over 30 years of experience in television production and international distribution in all genres including kids, lifestyle, drama and factual programming. During this time the company has set new standards for excellence, service and integrity in the International entertainment arena with over 2,000 hours of award-winning content for productions like, Iron Road, Extreme Babysitting, Niuls the Sandman and many more. The exceptional in-house talent, combined with the expertise of a global network of production partners has contributed to CCI’s strong track record as a trustworthy, innovative and successful force in the entertainment industry.

Hemmings Films Ltd. is an award-winning content producer that focuses on documentaries and factual television series with a vision to inspire and engage audiences around the world. Hemmings Films has earned a reputation as the production company that injects 'real' back into reality television through their work with productions like Cubicle to the Cage. Leaning heavily on a decade of documentary passion and experience, Hemmings Films and its sister company Hemmings House Pictures produces authentic stories that accelerate change.

From New Brunswick, Canada in the East and California, USA in the West, Talons of Venice Entertainment is the content arm of Revolution Strategy. We invent and unearth good content and leverage it through great creative, storytelling, positioning and digital strategy.

For additional information please contact:

Ann Conrod
Marketing Communications Specialist
Revolution Strategy 

#lovesaintjohn Instagram Photo Festival



Mark Hemmings of Hemmings House Pictures loves Saint John! And he wants to showcase our city via an Instagram Photo Festival on March 27th. This is open to everyone, regardless of skill level. Show off Saint John in a unique and dynamic way. Here are the rules:


1. The images you submit need to have been taken only by a mobile device such as a smartphone or tablet that has the Instagram app available.

2. The images that you submit can only be edited within the device, using device apps or Instagram's own filters. For example, the photos can't be edited with Photoshop on a computer, but the photos CAN be edited in any manner via any type of mobile photo editing app.

3. As this is a celebration of Saint John, the photos need to have at least one recognizable "Saint John" element. This could be a streetscape, public area, people on Saint John streets, in recognizable Saint John establishments, public events, etc.

All are welcome to join us at the Saint John Ale House March 27th at 8:30pm for a fun photo social. We will have three local artists playing throughout the night: Blake Ferris, Sadie Donahue and Jerry-Faye Flatt. Feel free to drop in, take in a few songs and look at the gallery we will be projecting on the walls. There is no cost to enter or to attend this event. 

We are very excited for this event and hope to see you and your instagrams there!


How to submit your Saint John Instagrams:

Simply add this hashtag to all of your old, current, and future Saint John-related Instagrams – #lovesaintjohn. Tip: an easy way for you to tag all of your older photos is via www.ink361.com

For more information please contact Mark's assistant, Rachel: rachel@hemmingshousepictures.com

Happy hashtagging!


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On thursday December 19th, come for a free headshot portrait, a free video greeting, or a free audio recording with your donation of any amount to the Harbour Lights Campaign! Hemmings House Pictures is on the 3rd floor of the Creative Soup Building, 86 Prince William Street, above Java Moose. 

We are only offering these goodies from 9am to 12pm, so come on down for a fun time and for a good cause! Drop-in, no appointments necessary, edible treats will be there as well.





It’s Halloween! Anyone want a Toonie?

Often I tell people that Hemmings House doesn’t sell videos and photography, we sell STORYTELLING! That’s the fun part about what we do, we help people tell their stories in fun, creative and engaging ways. Of course our specialty is film, but over the past couple of years we have been digging deep into animation, and it’s been a ball! One of our animators is a brilliant artist named JEEP. One day JEEP and I were hanging out in the kitchen of my cottage on the Kennebecassis River And we came up with a fun little animated story to help me explain what Hemmings House is doing to help tell stories….with CARTOONS! 

Check it here! And if you had a chuckle, pass it along to your friends! T’is the season for Vampires and home cookin’ you know! Have a great week!

-Greg Hemmings


Featured Animation

Stark from Hemmings House on Vimeo.

We recently finished a very cool animation for our friends at Stark Oil.

STARK is an industry leader in providing oil services for transformers, hydraulic and lubrication oils.  Their process of monitoring and conditioning oil reduces the need for costly shutdowns and time consuming in-house filtration methods. 

Stark’s Vice President, Business Development & Marketing John Mee wrote us a fantastic letter of recommendation. I asked if we could share it, so here it is!

I was impressed with how quickly the team at Hemmings House “got it”. They really understood our story and they knew how to tell it in an economical but yet fully complete short video. They boiled a complex topic down to its essence and presented in an engaging way. The reaction from our customers tells us this was the right way to go.
Importantly, they are easy people to work with – professional, creative and the whole process happened without any real burden on us. Getting this done didn’t take us away from running our business. ~ John Mee


Animation Reels

If you want to see more animation, check out our “Cartoon Page”!



Events Calendar

Our pals at Informative Computer Solutions (ICS) have treated us so well with the evolution of our website! As it turns out we have a lot on the go in the community, so the boys at ICS built us a Hemmings House events calendar. Please check it often! http://hemmingshouse.com/events/

Coming up we have a couple interesting events that we want to feature:

Instagram Workshops with Mark Hemmings






Welcome to the instagram workshop blog page! Join Mark and other creative fun people at our studio on Prince William Street to learn some cool techniques to take your instagrams to a higher level. Don't rely on Instagram filters! Use your own imagination and various apps to create unique images that your friends can't duplicate. And if you love photographing your pets or what you are currently eating, well . . . those images will look better too.

The price is only $30, as this is not meant to be a money maker. Mark just loves teaching and loves mobile photography! 

For Android users please purchase the following apps (check to see if they work on your phone):





For iPhone users please purchase the following apps:






SPACE IS LIMITED, CONTACT MARK TO RESERVE YOUR SPOT: mark@hemmingshouse.com  or 506-721-8284


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