On Thursday, May 4, Descriptive Video Works celebrated its 20th anniversary at the Granville Island Hotel, with a special evening of cocktails, memories, mingling and fun. This milestone event was attended by current and former employees, clients, partners, advisory council members, and accessibility advocates from around the world! 

10 people of various ages and ethnicities stand in front of a large, light-colored helium balloon display with a 2 and 0 shaped balloons.

L-R Joel Beacon, Brent Craven, Miranda Mackleworth, Laura Davies, Shana Selwyn, Kent Stephany, Diane Johnson, Sarah Mennell, Dianne Newman, and Liz Chartrand.

Elodie Powers, Director at Keywords Studios (DVW’s parent company) started the evening off with a toast to the success of the company, and then expressed how proud she is to have Descriptive Video Works as part of the Keywords Studios family. 

Two smiling women stand in front of a light-colored helium balloon display with a gold balloons that read, 20.

L-R: Lei Zhu and Elodie Powers

DVW Founder and Senior Advisor, Diane Johnson reflected on the past twenty years, and said that two words came to mind: belief and gratitude. In 2003, Diane was looking for a new career in broadcasting that would make a difference. When she heard that the CRTC (Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission) had mandated Audio Description in Canada, she thought it would be a great avenue to explore, but it was also a daunting undertaking. One morning Diane woke up and saw a picture on the wall that said, “Belief” and she knew that was her sign. Diane expressed her profound gratitude to everyone who was there at the beginning of this journey, including the writers, narrators, recordists, and the advisory council. Diane then thanked the employees who had been with Descriptive Video Works for more than a decade with gift baskets.

In front of a helium balloon display that reads 20, stands a woman handing a large gift basket to a man. They are both smiling.

L-R: Kent Stephany and Diane Johnson.

In front of a large hellium balloon display, two women smile to the camera, embracing each other and holding a large gift basket between them.

L-R: Diane Johnson and Sarah Mennell

Descriptive Video Works’ Studio Head Rhys Lloyd began his speech by saying that he is very proud of the history of DVW, and the company’s mission to center the experience of the audience it serves. Rhys told the group that he’s excited about the future of the company, as DVW continues to diversify its talent pool and make Audio Description more representative of the community and culture. Rhys said that there is so much more to come, as DVW continues to expand its services around the world, increasing access awareness in all media, promoting accessibility in video games, and making more live events accessible with Audio Description. Rhys said that DVW would continue prioritizing a collaborative process with sighted, blind and low vision people all working together to #DescribeEverything. 

Four people stand side-by side, smiling at the camera.

L-R: Eric Wickstrom, Rhys Lloyd, Liz Gutman, Anna Capezzera

Descriptive Video Works 20th anniversary party was a wonderful time to reflect on the past, show appreciation for the people that helped get us here, and look toward the future! 

Three people stand side by side, each holding wine glasses. Two people are holding white canes.

L-R: Scott Blanks, Nefertiti Matos Olivares, and Dianne Newman

If you would like more information about Audio Description (Described Video), please email DVW at [email protected]  

Pin It on Pinterest