Damien Bouchard Embracing the Spirit of Community in Life and Learning
Story by Roxann Shapwaykeesic, Photos by Crow Creations
Damien Bouchard is a man of many talents. His passion for media arts began in high school, but he also had doubts about his prospects of working in Thunder Bay.
“I wanted to do something that I was passionate about. But growing up in northern Ontario, you don’t really think there’s a career [in Thunder Bay],” Bouchard says. “It’s not as mainstream as the bigger cities.” Today, the 35-year-old Aroland First Nation member has a full-time job, plus is listed as the editor, photographer, videographer, and graphic designer for his own company, Crow Creations, based in Thunder Bay.
Bouchard started the business to work in media with local organizations. He is quick to thank his mentors such as Theymedia, a local TV and film production company, who helped him get his foot in the door with film projects, and his boss at Wasaya Airways, where he learned marketing and design. When the pandemic hit, he really started focusing on photography.
“I’ve been doing a lot of research and learning about professional colour grading techniques, gear, and lenses, and trying to apply that to my new skills and come up with new ideas to create projects,” Bouchard says. Although photography started out as a hobby, people really enjoyed his images and asked about hiring him on his Facebook page. “Sometimes it’s good to just get out in nature and share perspective, and people like that,” he says. Bouchard works with gear he reacquired after $10,000 worth of equipment was stolen from his truck in Toronto three years ago. “I had hard drives taken with the past eight years of my life. I said I’m not doing photography, videography anymore,” Bouchard says, adding that he recovered after saving and rebuilding over the years.
He also loves any opportunity to work with local businesses. “I’m a big supporter of local businesses in the city,” he says. “I love Heartbeat Hot Sauce and Beefcake Burgers. […] If it’s local, I try to support it.” Bouchard describes mutual “liking” and “sharing” on Facebook between local businesses and Crow Creations as “pretty awesome.”
His goals are numerous, with one of them being film—something he’s passionate about.
Bouchard graduated from the television broadcasting program at Confederation College and Indigenous independent filmmaking at Capilano University in Vancouver, where he was placed on the set of the American sci-fi series Eureka. “I got to go through every department of the production company. That was probably one of the most amazing work experiences I’ve ever had,” Bouchard says. “My goal is try to land contracts doing promo videos […] and of course, to make a short film,” he adds.
Bouchard also continues to explore new crafts. “I’ve been dabbling in script writing. I really would like to flesh that out. That would be another step to collaborate with people in the city,” he says. “I get inspired by a lot of things […] and I’m always trying to build the Crow Creations name.”
Bouchard has an affiliation with the crow, which is why he chose it for his business name. “It’s an animal I love. It’s a bird that’s always been in my life, I feel like it’s my grandfather talking to me.”