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167: Canada's Home for Graphic Designers with RGD's Hilary Ashworth and Nicola Hamilton



The final stop on our journey hearing from those in industry who make space for others through community-building, we have the Association of Registered Graphic Designers. I'm closely connected to this organization, having volunteered on the Education Committee since early 2021. And it's with immense gratitude that I sit on RGD's Board of Directors as VP Education, a volunteer position I've held since April 2023. With me today is Executive Director, Hilary Ashworth, and RGD's President, Nicola Hamilton.


In this episode, you’ll hear about the RGD: what it is and why to get involved. You'll learn about different membership levels, different professional opportunities and more about the amazing community of design folks from coast-to-coast who make the organization such a valuable one to be part of. Finally, you'll hear some exciting new initiatives for 2024 and beyond!


Let's listen in...




About Our Guests:


Hilary Ashworth has been Executive Director of the Association of Registered Graphic Designers (RGD) since 2009. In her role, she oversees all RGD operations, including strategy, finances, staffing, membership, public relations, advocacy, communications, sponsorship, programs and events. As RGD’s Communications Coordinator over 19 years ago, Hilary organized the inaugural DesignThinkers Conference (now with over 2,300 annual participants), edited the first edition of The Business of Graphic Design: A Professional’s Handbook (now with over 25,000 copies distributed in 3 editions), and coordinated Canada’s first national salary survey for graphic designers (now in its 14th edition). Starting with the RGD as its first full-time employee, Hilary has seen it grow to a full-time staff of 8, an active volunteer roster of over 200, and Membership of over 4,000. Hilary speaks regularly to graphic design students and educators about the RGD. She has served as Treasurer on the Board of the Design Industry Advisory Committee (DIAC), a not-for-profit, cross-disciplinary design think tank and research group, and has taught at Centennial College. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in history from the University of Toronto. 



Nicola Hamilton RGD (she/her) is an award-winning editorial designer. For over a decade now she’s been art directing and designing magazines. She’s worked on publications like The Grid, Chatelaine, Air Canada’s enRoute, The University of Toronto Magazine, Best Health and Precedent Magazine, to name a few. In July 2022, Nicola took her love of magazines to a whole new level, by opening Issues Magazine Shop. A bricks-and-mortar clubhouse, and magazine retailer, celebrating the people and projects keeping print alive. Nicola has been an active Member of the Association of Registered Graphic Designers for much of her career. In April 2020, she stepped into the role of President where she advocates for the value of design and the power of community across the country.


Nicola's photo by: Shlomi Amiga



Music: Oopsie Doodle Master by John Bartmann, Licensed Under CC0 1.0 Universal


Talk Paper Scissors Theme Music: Retro Quirky Upbeat Funk by Lewis Sound Production via Audio Jungle


Boat Origami Photo: Boat Origami Photo by Alex on Unsplash

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