I used to work in the public service, where I met people who defied the stereotype of the lazy, paper pushing bureaucrat. Outside of work they were doing extraordinary hobbies, like cosplaying, drawing comics, beer brewing and acting in feature films.
As a filmmaker, I knew this story had to be shared. It’s such a refreshing departure from the same old story we always hear about public servants.
I’m now creating a documentary web series profiling nine different public servants and their amazing secret lives. Meet the cast:
More info: indiegogo.com
Richard Wong (aka Mystery Style Cosplay), The Cosplayer
By day he leads protection services at the National Gallery of Canada, ensuring public safety and security. By night, Richard transforms into a superhero, er, cosplayer. The first character he portrayed was Captain America in May 2012 at the inaugural Ottawa ComicCon. In addition to designing and handmaking his own costumes, he also subjects himself to a rigorous regimen of diet and exercise to attain a true superhero physique. Richard is also part the League of Superheroes, a charity organization in Ottawa that participates in local children’s event and charities.
Photo by Corey Graham
Dominique Baker (aka Style Domination), The Lifestyle Blogger
By day, she’s a project officer for Health Canada. By night she transforms into lifestyle blogger, YouTuber and Instagrammer, Style Domination. Every week, Dominique offers her national and international followers beauty, fashion and lifestyle tips and reviews. She’s been featured in CTV Morning Live, Flare Magazine, and acted as guest contributor to the Ottawa Citizen’s Beauty Buzz column. Since 2015, she has gained exclusive insider access to review the launch of store openings and fashion shows, including Ted Baker London and Toronto Fashion Week.
Photo by @oladimeg
Andrew Al-Khouri, The Chef
He’s a tax officer for Public Works and Government Services Canada by day and a private chef by night. Andrew’s passion has always been cooking, but it was only after becoming a top finalist on MasterChef Canada in 2015 that he even considered it as a profession. Now he owns and operates Zatar Catering, where he provides clients with home dining experiences inspired by his Syrian roots.
Marc Adornato, The Renegade Artist
By day, he works as a multimedia distributor technician for the Broadcasting Department of the House of Commons in Ottawa, Canada. By night, he burns, shreds, and smashes stuff to pieces and exhibits it in museums and galleries across the National Capital. He’s best known for his gas masks and antler sculptures and can be seen cycling the city in a suit and gas mask.
Heather Hanna (aka Constance Payne), The Creative Anachronist
She’s a Divisional Recruitment Officer at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency by day and a member of the international Society for Creative Anachronism by night. The Society recreates the life and practices of pre-17th century Europe through tournaments, feasts, royal courts and more.
Janet Hetherington, The Comic Book Artist
She’s a Senior Communications Advisor and Speechwriter at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency by day and a comic book artist by night, creating the Eternal Romance Series and contributing to other projects like Elvira: Mistress of the Dark. Janet’s work has been featured in the book, The Great Women Cartoonists, by Trina Robbins.
Kevin Daoust, The Musician
By day, Kevin works as an administrative assistant to senior executives at Health Canada. By night, Kevin is the guitarist and vocalist for two Franco-Ontarian groups (Hey, Wow and Règlement 17), as well as a hired-gun guitarist and film music composer. He has performed all over Canada, France and has worked on nearly a dozen short films. His groups also have several albums and singles to their credit.
Photo by Joël Ducharme
Candice Lidstone, The Actor
She’s an HR Advisor at Health Canada by day and a dramatic actress/filmmaker by night. She travels (sometimes to and back in the same day) to Toronto a few times per month for auditions or actings gigs and juggles acting camera groups, classes and workshops in the evenings and weekends. For the last two years she’s been producing her first feature documentary.
Photo by Randy Smith.
Sasha Dunfield, Beer Aficionado
She’s an HR Advisor Specialist at the Department of National Defence by day and a craft beer aficionado by night. She’s the co-founder of the Ottawa chapter of Barley’s Angels, a women’s beer education group, a judge in home-brew competitions and the owner of Ottawa Beer Events, a company that offers guided beer tastings.