Ottawa has a festival for everyone. In fact, we have more than 180 events and festivals annually (that’s about one event, every second day of the year!). From the House of PainT community art mural, to the Great Glebe Garage Sale – there’s an outlet for every interest in our nation’s capital. For Graham Cowen, it’s Ottawa’s Comiccon and the Geek Market.
Graham is the Director of Support & Knowledge Services at You.i TV, a company which powers brand experiences for TV and media companies across all devices. You’ve probably used platforms and apps powered by them before, such as Crackle, The Cartoon Network, Treehouse Go and even CFL Mobile.
Originally born in Scotland, Graham now considers himself an official Ottawan (it takes 10 years to become one, right?) Graham shared with me his thoughts on why he loves working and living in the capital:
Explain to me, what is it that you do at You.i TV?
I have had the incredible good fortune to head You.i TV’s Client Support and Knowledge Services teams, delivering an amazing support and learning experience to each and every client. What’s particularly fun is that I get to work with some of the largest and most well-known entertainment and media companies in the world, ensuring they deliver great products to their customers. Whether we are helping them learn how to extract the maximum value from You.i Engine or make sure their TV Apps deliver an optimal experience to their customers, my team is there to help clients succeed every step of the way.
I also get to work on a wide variety of mission-critical projects that contribute to You.i TV’s overall success while work with some of the smartest and most capable people I’ve ever had the pleasure to meet. All in all, I think my job is pretty cool!
I had the pleasure of checking out your office for Startup Open House in November – You.i TV went all out for it: photo booth, red carpet, champagne, and special performances by the You.i TV band. It was incredible! So, besides having amazing work culture, what else attracted you to work for them?
There is great leadership, a great product suite and a great vision! It was an easy choice coming to work for You.i TV and, very importantly, it was a company where I felt I could also make a positive impact.
When you close your laptop and head home, what do you look forward to doing?
My wife and I love grabbing a beer and a bite with friends, discussing the news of the day, or just shooting the breeze. There are so many great community pubs within walking distance of our house! You’ll also often find me in the Comic Book Shoppe on Bank Street, getting my geek on!
Do you know of any hidden Ottawa Gems?
I know too many! Ottawa has an amazing design and maker culture, which you can experience at places like Maker House or Makerspace North; if you like puzzles then you can try out one of our tricky escape rooms, such as Escape Manor’s Apocalypse experience; or pick up some cool vintage geek gear at our Geek Market or Ottawa Comiccon. If you see me there, say “Hi!”
What has surprised you about living and working in Ottawa?
I’ve seen a lot of change in the city in the ten years I’ve been here and there’s even more to come (See LRT or Lebreton Flats). More importantly, though, is the amazing community of people I get to live and work with. Ottawa’s a really welcoming city and a great place to put down roots here in Canada.
I agree! So what would you say to someone who’s thinking about moving to Ottawa?
Do it! I came across from the UK back in 2007 and haven’t looked back since. Ottawa is an amazing place to live and work. It combines a kind of “small town” community feel; an amazingly cosmopolitan range of restaurants and shops; and an incredible gamut of year-round activities to keep you busy, whatever the weather!
Thanks for the chat Graham!