The Top4 Finalists and Honourable Mentions for our Second Anniversary!

Only a few days away now until we celebrate our Second Anniversary, so without further ado, here are our Top4 Finalists and Honourable Mentions for April 2013, in no particular order:

Top4 Finalists

  1. Pavo Concertus by Isabel Chan:  “Transform a pickup truck into a peacock pipe organ with pitch-synchronized LEDs.”
  2. Dartwars by Ryan McEathron:  “A one-month long non-stop Nerf fight.”
  3. Give A Mile by Kevin Crowe:  “Give a Mile is a Not-For-Profit looking to enable people to visit terminally ill friends and family through micro-donations of travel points.”
  4. 24 Hour Clarkson by Seth Leon:  “One Band (Jeremy Clarkson, Ben and Seth Leon), 24 consecutive performances in 24 different locations in 24 hours.”

Honourable Mentions

  • Sprout by Stu Mason:  “We educate and enable Calgarians to make greener everyday purchases!  We’re striving to make Calgary a future sustainability leader!”
  • Sharing Stories by River Wearmouth:  “Sharing personal stories and creating a connected community.”
  • Fair Trade Calgary by Janalee Morris-Wales:  “Fair Trade Calgary will host a fair trade film screening and fair trade market to promote World Fair Trade Day.”
  • Roller Ball or Pedal Ball by Kevan Leycraft:  “A seven-foot globe a person a person gets inside, sits down and pedals!”
  • Yarn Wristband Machine by Jason Bedard:  “I want to build a machine that makes event entry wristbands from yarn and then automatically ties this fibre creation to a person’s wrist.”
  • THE REGENERATOR by Michael Kho:  “A generator that requires no gas!”

Please join us as we celebrate two whole years of awesomeness in our city.  We’ll have a few of our past winners helping us with the festivities, live entertainment, and of course, what kind of a birthday party would this be if we didn’t have a little cake?

A reminder that we’re now accepting submissions for the month of May.  If you’d like to submit an idea to Awesome Calgary for consideration, fill out this handy-dandy web form!  The May submission deadline is Friday, May 10, 2013 at 11:59 p.m.

And finally, there’s still time to be a Guest Trustee for our Second Anniversary!  A Guest Trustee gets all of the voting rights that our normal full-time Trustees get, but only for one month and we still have a couple of slots available for this occasion.  If you’re interested in participating in this very special role at this month’s event, let us know! (PS: We’re also on the look out for full-time Trustees too, plus a bunch of volunteers to help us dominate year three!)

Help us kick off Year Three with a BANG! Come Join Us!

Our chapter of The Awesome Foundation wouldn’t be where we are today without the support we’ve had from the community.

Of course, we wouldn’t be anywhere if people didn’t submit their awesome ideas for consideration each and every month.  So to anyone and everyone who’s ever done so in the past, or will do in the future, we thank you.

Every person who attends our Pitch Nights helps us further the cause of awesomeness in the universe as well, as we’re able to help promote and expose some of the great ideas that pass through our doors every month.  Connections have been made, and many projects have gotten one step closer to completion, even if they didn’t win our monthly prize.

We also wouldn’t be anywhere without all of our wonderful volunteers.  Our volunteers help to run our monthly events or help keep things going behind-the-scenes so that we can continue to spread awesome in Calgary.

None of us get paid for what we do.  In fact, our AF-Calgary Trustees pay out of their own pockets to help fund our monthly gift.  We’re entirely self-funded, and we wouldn’t have been able to fund $23,000 in awesome projects during the last couple of years without the support of those who are willing to take the ultimate step and donate financially to our monthly micro-grants.

No, we do it because we love what we do, we love Calgary, and we all have a sincere desire to try to help others make the city as awesome as it can be, in whatever way they choose to do so.

As we say farewell to year two and greet year three here at Awesome Calgary, a number of our full-time Trustees have or will be finishing up their terms in the next little while, so we’re looking for people who might be interested in helping us to continue to fund awesomeness in the city as full-time Trustees of Awesome.  In fact, we would love it if we had enough Trustees to start funding more than one prize a month.

We’re also debuting something new at this month’s Second Anniversary event.  Starting next week, every month we’ll have a limited number of Guest Trustee slots available.  Guest Trustees have the same voting rights as full-time Trustees (i.e. they get to help narrow down the monthly short lists, and get to vote on the winner at Pitch Night), but without the full time financial commitment.  It’s designed to give those who are thinking about becoming full-time Trustees an opportunity to try it out, or for those who’ve indicated in the past that they wish to make a one-time financial contribution to help keep things going.

Finally, we’re always on the lookout for good volunteers too in a variety of areas and skill sets.  Social Media, logistics, communications, you name it.  In fact, some of the best positions are the ones we’ve never thought of, so if you’re the type of person who feels like they have something to contribute to our awesome movement, then we want to hear from you.

In other words, if you have a passion for helping others achieve their potential, then you’re the type of person we’re looking for!  So help us kick off Year Three here at Awesome Calgary with a BANG and join our team as a Trustee or Volunteer.

If you’re interested in learning more about our Trustee or Volunteer opportunities, or wish to be a Guest Trustee at our Second Anniversary event, fill out this super simple application form and one of our Ninjas of Awesome will get back to you.

And in the meantime, feel free to check out our Second Anniversary Bash happening next Thursday, April 25 at the Endeavor Arts & Events Space.  Doors open at 6 p.m. and the program starts at 6:30 p.m. and everyone’s invited.

Thanks Calgary for two really awesome years, and here’s looking to Year Three!

Announcing our Second Anniversary $1,000 Thursday Venue!

Citizens of Awesome, has it been two years already?  It doesn’t seem so.  But it’s true.  We’ve given away $23,000 to help enable Awesomeness of all kinds in our city.  We’ve funded everything from cool art projects, wicked documentaries, farewell bashes for long standing Calgary landmarks and nerdy robots.

Without your support, we couldn’t have made it this far.  Every idea that you submit to The Awesome Foundation for consideration, every minute of time you donate to our organization to help us keep things running, every person or organization that’s offered space for us to host our events, every person that volunteers to be a Trustee and throws in their own money out of their own pockets each month to help enable awesomeness in the city, and every tweet, share or good word you say to friends, family and strangers to help us spread the word has allowed us to showcase as much awesomeness as we can and has helped the people who come through our doors make connections to help make their ideas a reality, despite, perhaps, not winning our monthly $1,000 micro-grant.  All of it has allowed us to grow leaps and bounds in such a short time.

So for that, Citizens of Awesome, we here at AF-Calgary proudly tip our hats to all of you and thank you from the bottoms of our hearts for all your support over these last two years.

And with that, we would like to cordially invite you to come celebrate two whole years of Awesome in the city with us as we award Awesome Calgary grant #24 at our Second Anniversary $1,000 Thursday event on Thursday, April 25.

View Larger Map

Yep, we’re returning to where it all began for us two years ago, the Endeavor Arts & Event Space.  Shannon and Maria Hoover, the owners of the gallery, have been such great supporters of the Awesome Movement in Calgary, and we can honestly say that if they didn’t volunteer to provide us a space to host our very first event back in April 2011, we probably wouldn’t be where we are today.

So please, come join us as we say farewell to Year Two and greet Year Three here at AF-Calgary with as much awesomeness as we can muster, and see four great ideas on how to forward the interests of awesome in Calgary (and the universe!) get highlighted.

And if you have an Awesome Idea that you’d like to submit for consideration, please fill out our handy-dandy web form.  There’s one more day to get your application in for our second anniversary event, as the deadline for submissions is tomorrow, Wednesday, April 10 at 11:59 p.m.

Finally, we’re looking for some great Volunteers and new Trustees to help us move forward in Year Three.  If you’re interested in signing up in whatever capacity, or just want to learn more about what kinds of opportunities are available, come down to our Second Anniversary event this month and meet the team, catch us at one of our Awesome Hours events (they’re like Office Hours, but more Awesome) around town (keep an eye here and on TwitterFacebook and Google+ to see when and where we’ll be holding them), or fill out our super-simple application form and one of our Ninjas of Awesome will get back to you.

In fact, we’ll have a few Guest Trustee slots available for our Second Anniversary event.  If you’ve ever wanted to try being an AF-Calgary Trustee but weren’t sure about the time commitment, taking on a Guest Trustee role for a month might be a great way to dip your toe in the water, and help us fund as much awesomeness in the city as we can.  If you’re interested, make sure to select the Guest Trustee option on the application form.

Hope to see you out this month at Endeavor, and Stay Awesome!

Something Awesome: WRECK CITY

Our February 2013 winning project WRECK CITY: An Epilogue for 809 is slated to start on Friday, April 19, and things are slowly ramping up.

Entirely self-initiated and self-funded, the project involves over 100 local artists, musicians, performers and curators, and an initiative this massive could always use a bit more help.

If you’d like to help out, there are a couple of ways you can do so.

First, the WRECK CITY team needs volunteers of all sorts to help pull the event off.  They’re looking for enthusiastic and reliable people to assist with everything from gallery-sitting, tour hosts to guide audiences safely through the project, assistants to help the artists complete their work and support with cleaning up the spaces for hazard-free public interaction.  Volunteer dates range from April 13 to 27, with the majority of volunteers needed between April 19 to 27.

If you’re interested in helping out as a WRECK CITY volunteer, e-mail your expression of interest and your contact information (including e-mail address and phone number) to [email protected] by Friday, April 12 and make sure to put “RE: Volunteer for Wreck City” in the subject heading to make sure your message doesn’t get missed.

Second, if you can’t afford to volunteer your time, but can afford to throw a few dollars their way (especially in return for some really cool rewards!), check out WRECK CITY’s project page on Calgary’s culture crowd funding platform InvestYYC.  Every little bit will help make the event even more awesome, and InvestYYC will also provide matching funds for any donations totalling $100 or more.  You can also use the site to pledge time to the project as a volunteer as well.

WRECK CITY runs from April 19 to 27.  For more information, make sure to check out their website at and give them a follow on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Something Awesome: Speed Gaming!

Who needs golf when you have board games?

I have to admit, I’m a bit of a board game nerd myself.  So when I found out that Awesome Foundation – Ottawa had funded a group back in January who wanted to throw Speed Gaming events in their city, not only did I think “Wow, that’s Awesome!” but I also figured that it was such a super-simple idea, that Calgary should have some of these events as well.

I searched on Google, but couldn’t find anything resembling the like in Calgary.  Mind you, I’m also a bit lazy so I didn’t search too hard, but all the same, I figured that it wouldn’t be too hard to pull off a version of it here (sans $1,000 micro-grant).  Thankfully, two of my fellow Awesome Calgary Trustees (and self-professed board game nerds themselves), Elizabeth Buchanan and Vanessa Mactavish, agreed with me and decided to help me host one.

So with that in mind, we’d like to cordially invite you to our take on a Speed Gaming event this Sunday, April 7 at Gamer Sunday at Dickens Pub (and it’s completely FREE!).

View Larger Map

If you didn’t know, every Sunday, the entirety of Dickens is open to gaming of all kinds.  Video, tabletop, board, card, you name it.  Bring your own or there are house games behind the bar that you can borrow to play.  They even have a set of Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots.  Seriously, it’s an awesome way to spend your Sundays.

How it’ll work:  There’ll be three 30 minute gaming sessions scheduled throughout the afternoon.  The schedule is as follows:

  • 1:30 – Registration. Grab a drink, get comfortable.
  • 2:00 – First Session begins with intros/icebreaker/rules.
  • 2:15 – Start your game!
  • 2:45 – End game. Break/grab a drink/chat.
  • 3:00 – Second Session begins with intros/icebreaker/rules.
  • 3:15 – Start your game!
  • 3:45 – End game. Break/grab a drink/chat.
  • 4:00 – Last Session begins with intros/icebreaker/rules.
  • 4:15 – Start your game!
  • 4:45 – End game.
  • 5:00 – Wrap Up. Feel free to hang out and play more games with some friends new and old.

Everyone will be randomly assigned to a table.  After an icebreaker and a brief introduction of the game at hand, people will have 30 minutes to play. Once done, the cycle repeats.

The list of games we’ll be playing is as follows (but sadly, no Baywatch):

All of the games above were selected because they force people to interact with each other, often in hilarious ways.  And what better way to meet new people than everyone making fools of themselves?  Trust me, it works.  By the end of the ordeal, everyone can be considered comrades in arms.

Liz, Vanessa and myself will also be holding informal Awesome Hours during our event (they’re like Office Hours, but more Awesome) where you can talk to us and learn more about The Awesome Foundation, what we’re all about, and about the various Volunteer and Trustee opportunities that we have available.

We’re also looking to recruit a batch of new Trustees and Volunteers to help us kick off Year Three here at AF-Calgary, so if you’re interested in joining up or learning more, then please do come chat with us (and play with us!).  And if you can’t make it down, feel free to fill out our handy-dandy application form and one of our Ninjas of Awesome will get back to you.

After our event, feel free to stick around and continue playing with all the cool people you’ll have met.  The pub is open to gaming until closing (in fact, a group of friends and I have closed out the bar a couple of times).

Hope to see you out this Sunday, and GAME ON!

AF-Calgary’s March 2013 grant to help bring awareness to the plight of families in need


One in five Canadian moms struggle to provide clean diapers for their children. Kristina Prins has organized a city-wide diaper drive to address the need and bring awareness to the issue, and she has won Awesome Foundation – Calgary’s $1,000 no-strings-attached micro-grant for March 2013.

For families who struggle financially to make ends meet, providing clean diapers for their newborns is just one more thing to worry about. Some families have to sacrifice necessities in order to afford new diapers, and some babies are kept in soiled diapers for extended periods of time in order to cope, increasing the baby’s risk of infections. The average baby will use 2,800 diapers in their first year alone, costing an average of $850. Furthermore, daycare facilities often will not accept children without a full day’s supply of disposable diapers, which further increases the pressure on families in need.

The Calgary Food Bank provided 15,000 one-week emergency hampers with seven diapers per hamper (less than one day’s worth) to families in need in 2012. However, the Food Bank relies solely on diaper donations from the public because it isn’t currently in their mandate to use their funding towards that purpose (any money they receive primarily must go towards food). In order to provide a week’s supply of diapers in each hamper, the Food Bank would need $10,000 in diapers per year.

In order to raise awareness of the issue that some families face in Calgary and to help address the need in the city, Kristina has organized a city-wide diaper drive to assist the Food Bank in gathering these critical materials and to help those families who are in difficult circumstances.

The Bare Bottoms Diaper Drive is entirely self-funded from Kristina’s own pockets. The Awesome Foundation’s $1,000 will help Kristina promote the initiative in the hopes that Calgarians will rally and contribute towards the cause, either by donating to her diaper drive, or by encouraging others to start their own diaper collections. The funding would be used on the creation of promotional materials and posters to help get the word out, and on other materials needed to run the diaper drive. Any left over funds would go towards purchasing fresh diapers for the Food Bank.

Diaper Drive

If you’re in the Calgary area and want to contribute, you can donate diapers or dollars at the Calgary Zoo (donation bins will be set up near the Penguin Plunge exhibit on the North end of the Zoo) during Mother’s Day weekend (May 11 and 12, 2013) from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and you’ll receive a 2 for 1 admission for a future visit to the Zoo for doing so. All sizes of disposable diapers are needed, particularly sizes 5 and 6, and new or opened packages will be accepted.

Donations will also be accepted year-round at the Calgary Food Bank, Food Bank donation stations, and at all Community Health Centres (Shaganappi, South and North West Community Centres have year round collections).

Finally, if you’d like to volunteer to help with Kristina’s diaper drive, learn more about the program, or learn more about how to start your own diaper collection, contact Kristina on Facebook, Twitter or by email.

Source: The Awesome Foundation