Urban Stationary – AF-Calgary’s July 2012 Grant

Second time’s the charm for the Calgary Creative City Collaboration (C4) as their Urban Stationary project has won Awesome Foundation – Calgary’s July 2012 $1,000 micro-grant.

C4 seeks to “combine Calgary’s vibrant and growing arts communities with the very urban fabric in which we all live, work and play.”

One of AF-Calgary’s Top4 Finalists in June, C4 did not win the June prize, but the group re-submitted their Urban Stationary project idea for July, made AF-Calgary’s Top4 short list again and was invited to re-pitch their idea to the Calgary Trustees.

Representing C4 this month was Kai Sinclair and Alastair Pollock.  The Urban Stationary project involves the creation of semi-permanent art installations on Calgary Transit stations with the help of local Calgary artists.  The purpose is three-fold:  Beautifying public transit spaces, making arts and culture more accessible to the public, and bringing exposure to local artists.

While the project has already launched and is envisioned to run until the end of August, many of the funds to pull off the initiative have come out-of-pocket from the collective.  The Awesome Foundation’s $1,000 grant will allow the collaboration to extend the program beyond the summer months into the fall and possibly winter by helping to pay for additional art supplies for more art installations around town, promotional materials and possibly small honorariums to the participating artists.

Keep an eye out for various pop-up galleries and other installations appearing throughout the summer and beyond at various Calgary Transit stations and platforms around town thanks to C4.

July’s Awesome Calgary Thousand Dollar Thursday also featured Dinosaurs, Iron Man, She-Hulk, Thor and Cowboy Kitten Voltron (as well as three other amazing ideas).

For more details, check out the recap on our blog.

Source: The Awesome Foundation

Announcing AF-Calgary’s July 2012 Top4 Finalists and Honourable Mentions

The days are getting shorter but the heat is still on here at Awesome Foundation – Calgary as we’re set to announce another round of Top4 Finalists and Honourable Mentions!

So without further ado, here are AF-Calgary’s July 2012 Top 4 Finalists and Honourable Mentions, in no particular order:

Top4 Finalists:

  1. Urban Stationary by Kai Sinclair & Alastair Pollock of C4:  “Local semi-permanent art installations in Calgary Transit stations.”
  2. People’s Poetry Festival by Shannon McClennan:  “A free, 3-day street festival in Kensington, August 17-19, 2012.”
  3. Culinary Treasure Hunt by Anneke Scholten:  “Find Calgary’s hidden culinary treasures during this one day event!”
  4. Call for Help! by Derek Wilken:  “A comic book for young adults to promote the ConnecTeen line at the Distress Centre.”

Honourable Mentions:

  • The Harvest Moon by Kenneth Fung:  “Let’s celebrate the Harvest Moon.”
  • Four+ by Jacqueline Steeves:  “Urban Arts Festival incorporating musicians, dancers and visual artists.”
  • Calgary is FUxING Awesome by Scott Roy:  “A documentary web-series covering those that make this city amazing.”

This month’s Awesome Calgary Thousand Dollar Thursday will take place at DaDe ART & DESIGN LAB in Inglewood on Thursday, July 26.  Doors open at 6 p.m. and we hope to see you there!


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And last but not least, we’re still accepting submissions for the August 2012 prize.  If you have an Awesome Idea that you’d like to submit to AF-Calgary for consideration, fill out this handy-dandy web form! The deadline for submissions for the August AF-Calgary prize is Friday, August 10 at 11:59 p.m.

Hope to see you out this Thursday!

Reggie’s Survival Guide to Stampede Park – Advice from a volunteer

With the Centennial officially kicking off tomorrow, all signs point to this being an epic Calgary Stampede.

Loyal Stampede Blog readers know that in previous years, I’ve tried to point out cool or different things to check out on Park.  This year, with so many interesting things going on, it’d take forever to give them all justice, so I figured what I’d do instead is share five tips and tricks I’ve picked up over my six years (and counting!) as a Stampede Volunteer that help make the time I spend on Park even more pleasurable. 

So here we go!

  1. Plan ahead.  There is so much to see and do on Park (and a lot of it is free with admission!), that in my experience, it takes multiple trips just to see it all.  Intelligence is your friend and knowing what to do in advance can ensure you make the most of your time during your stay.  Luckily, there’s a nifty online planner that has everything you need to know about what’s happening on Park.  There are even mobile versions for iOS, Android and Blackberry so you’ll always have that info on hand.
  2. Bring a water bottle.  It can get pretty hot on Park.  It’s important to stay hydrated, and a water bottle can help with that.
  3. Bring a snack.  If you’re planning to spend long hours on Park, you’re going to get hungry.  When the hunger pangs hit and your favourite food vendor is on the other end of the Park, you may not last the trip it’ll take to get there.  So bring a candy bar, a sandwich or something to snack on.  If you have food sensitivities, this is doubly important.  While it’s true that there’s a lot more choice this year when it comes to gluten-free, low sugar and other health conscious foods, if you want to be completely safe, bring your own.  In fact, did you know that you can bring your own food to all the event venues on Park?  It’s a great way to save some money while enjoying some world class entertainment.
  4. Bring some sunscreen. And an umbrella.  Weather is wacky here in Calgary so you need to be prepared for all extremes.  It could be completely sunny one moment, then raining cats and Superdogs the next.  Be prepared.  No one likes being stuck indoors forced to hide from the elements.
  5. Relax.  Sometimes the lineups, the hustle and bustle of so many people milling around, or other factors can drain away some of the enjoyment to be had on Park.  So make sure you schedule time in your day to rest.  If you like the outdoors, there’s plenty of green space on Park.  My favourite is picnicking in the Indian Village.  There’s lots of grass, plenty of space, it’s near the river and there’s usually something entertaining going on during the day.  If air conditioning is more your thing, check out the Western Oasis in the BMO Centre.  Both of these places are great to enjoy that snack and water bottle you brought earlier too.

So there’s my five and I hope you’ll find them helpful.  I’m sure some of my fellow Stampede Bloggers also have some tips and tricks of their own on how they get the most enjoyment out of their trip to the Stampede, and perhaps you’ll read about them here.

But I’m curious:  What advice have you picked up over the years?  Feel free to share them in the comments.  I’d love to hear them!

October 2011 AF-Calgary Top4 Finalist idea SoJo has officially launched!

Video:  Why SoJo from SoJo on Vimeo.

AF-Calgary Top4 Finalist idea The SoJo, pitched on the behalf of the organization by Trevor Gair at Awesome Calgary’s Thousand Dollar Thursday back in October 2011, has officially launched, complete with an endorsement by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).

Originally named Social Journal, the SoJo’s has evolved over the last year as it moved from beta to release.  In their own words:

SoJo was originally named Social Journal. The initial vision was to become a platform that would better facilitate connections and share information to inspire the next generation of young changemakers to take action and convert the ideas written in their journals into tangible, functioning social projects.

SoJo has since expanded its mandate to support all social innovators in developing and implementing their ideas to solve some of our world’s most pressing challenges. 

 SoJo’s vision:

To be the leading online resource that social innovators reference to turn their ideas for social change into action.

Aiming to “connect socially conscious, engaged social innovators to the resources and tools needed to bring their social innovations to life,” the SoJo exists as a platform for anyone with a social venture or community project idea to help turn those ideas into action with high-quality information, tools and other resources.

While SoJo didn’t ultimately win October 2011’s AF-Calgary no-strings-attached $1,000 micro-grant, we’re always thrilled to see our Top4 Finalists or Honourable Mentions execute on their ideas or projects regardless if they win the $1,000 or not, and we’re happy to shine the spotlight on the awesome ideas and the awesome people behind them that make our short lists every month, as that’s what it’s really all about here at the Awesome Foundation.

So a BIG congratulations to Trevor and the team around the world behind SoJo from all your friends here at Awesome Foundation – Calgary!