Creating Photographers, Not Consumers: Canon's Creator Lab and Student Advantage Program

Creating Photographers, Not Consumers: Canon's Creator Lab and Student Advantage Program

Canon Canada just launched Canon Creator Lab as part of what I'm calling its new community-building mandate. A lot of corporations these days talk about building community, about creating a space to encourage growth. Most of it seems to be lip service at best. Here, however, we're seeing Canon Canada invest time and money into a free hub designed to help photographers get better while actually connecting with each other. Being a Canadian, I'm proud that Canon's Canadian operation is looking to lead the global photography community into this space. 

Canon Canada's Creator Lab is focused around a few key areas.

Canon Canada's Sail Into Summer.

Creator Lab will offer exclusive event access. For example, photographers can register for live in-person workshops like this past week's Sail into Summer: Toronto. The workshop onboard Kajama, a 165-foot tall ship, was designed to connect members of the Toronto creative community out on the water at sunset. Canon Canada arranged private access to the ship for the duration of the sunset cruise, where participants got a chance to engage with other creators, access a variety of gear, and have the option to work with styled talent on board.

Subscribers to Creator Lab will get early-bird access to new camera and lens test-drives.

Canon Canada, Frame Lab

Creator Lab is also an access point for Canon Canada's new Frame Lab (more to come), a high-end, but fairly priced printing and framing shop.

Canon Canada's Student Advantage Program

Creator Lab will also be the place to find Canon's Pro Services and a revised Student Advantage program for secondary and post-secondary students. The Student Advantage program is now free and includes:

  • Discounts on select cameras, lenses and printers
  • 20% discount on service and repairs
  • Expedited service and repair
  • Subsidized shipping for out-of-warranty repairs
  • Free membership

Creator Lab is also sharing two dozen short-form workshops led Canon Ambassadors and other luminaries of the photography world, like:

There is also a behind the lens series sharing the stories of Canon Canada's Ambassadors, like Natasha Gershon, and some of their tips for finding success. 

What do you think? From my seat, it looks like Canon Canada is leading the pack in offering a way to connect with its product in a way that will create better photographers, not just better consumers.

All images by Canon Canada Ambassadors and attributed to their creators or provided by Canon Canada. 

Mark Dunsmuir's picture

Mark is a Toronto based commercial photographer and world traveller who gave up the glamorous life of big law to take pictures for a living.

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Great idea by Canon and I wish them all the luck in the world. Hopefully, it will be around for the long run. When I visited Stockholm I remember that they had turned an old warehouse into a photographic exhibit museum, with a wonderful cafe and classroom spaces. It was all about photography and visual creativity, affording a place for budding photographers to take classes, interact, and see the world of other photographers. Great idea, and one that we need more of outside of the large cities, so I'm glad to see Canon's initiative and only wish it will spread to other places.

Re Stockholm, what a great idea! Do you know off hand if it is still in operation?