Announcing our FINAL set of Top4 Finalists & Honourable Mentions for 2013!

Don’t you hate it when you run the numbers through three times and get three different results?

Regardless, the people have spoken and here are our final Top4 Finalists and Honourable Mentions of 2013, in alphabetical order according to YOU the voters:

Top4 Finalists

  1. Girls Gone Wilde by Urban Curvs:  “Girls Gone Wilde Late Night Cabaret is a tongue in cheek evening of performances created by female artists or with a strong female perspective.”
  2. Kmitt by Sunrise Community Link Resource Centre:  “To raise awareness about poverty in Calgary through the sale of locally knitted mittens by folks who have experienced poverty firsthand themselves.”
  3. The Potluck Pageant by Mark Jeffery:  “An event to disarm then overwhelm around eating healthy while creating community. Local business prepares and shares healthy food – you will eat well and leave inspired!”
  4. YYCShows by Cheryl Johnson:  “Comprehensive Calgary concert listings at Links to bands & ticket sales, a show calendar, and information on music venues, blogs and promoters.”


Honourable Mentions

  • Dinosaur Dance Party by Brendan McGuigan:  “A youth-friendly, all-ages outdoor dance party featuring young electronica artists…and dinosaurs.”

Once again, a BIG THANK YOU to everyone above for volunteering to participate in our first-ever Audience Participation selection process. It’s not something we’ll do every month, but variety is the spice of life, as they say. Did you enjoy it? Should we do more things like it? And if so, what or how? Let us know in the comments or hit us up on Facebook or Twitter. We might just incorporate some of them when we re-launch sometime in 2014.

Our final Pitch Night of 2013 will be on Wednesday, December 18 at 6:30 p.m. at the Endeavor Arts & Events Space.


So please join us in supporting our four great ideas this month (especially if you voted for one of them!) before we break until the new year.

Our final $1,000 micro-grant of 2013: YOU be the Trustee!

We’re nearing the end of our year here at Awesome Calgary, but before we break for the holidays, we still have one final $1,000 micro-grant to give away before it’s all said and done.

This time around, we’re doing something different. We’re giving YOU the opportunity to be a Trustee, and we’re letting YOU pick which four ideas from our submission pool will be invited to pitch their ideas in front of our Trustees of Awesome and the general public at our Pitch Night in December.

On Monday, November 18, we’ll start posting the submissions from our pool of submissions who have agreed to participate in this, each in separate blog posts, all at once. You’ll be able to read through all of the submissions the same way we do and get a taste of what we as Trustees have to do every month when we have to decide upon our Top4 Finalist and Honourable Mention short lists.

You’ll then have to decide on which are YOUR Top4 ideas out of that submission pool, or in other words, the four submissions you’d like to see at our final Pitch Night of 2013. You’ll be ranking them from 1 to 4, with 1 being your most favourite, and 4 being your “still my favourite, but I’ve got three others that I favour more” selection. Once done, you’ll submit your selections to us through an online ballot form that will be posted at the end of each submission for your convenience (Note: One vote per person participating, please).

The deadline to get your votes in will be midnight on Saturday, November 30 (which is just under two weeks for you to review the submissions). We’ll tabulate the results the next day, and then we’ll announce our final set of Top4 Finalists on the morning of Monday, December 2, along with our final Pitch Night and venue for the year.

So to sum up:

  1. We’ll post this round’s submission pool here at on the morning of Monday, November 18 for your perusal.
  2. You’ll read through all of the submissions and pick (and most importantly, rank) your Top4 favourites, or in other words, the four submissions you’d like to see be invited to pitch at our final Pitch Night of 2013.
  3. You’ll submit your ranked Top4 picks to us no later than midnight on Saturday, November 30 through an online ballot form to be released alongside the idea submissions on Nov 18.
  4. We’ll tally up the results and announce the final set of Top4 Finalists for 2013 here on the blog along with our Pitch Night date and venue on the morning of Monday, December 2.

Simple, right? Everything’s now live, so get cracking!

If you have any questions about any of this, feel free to reach us at [email protected] We’d love to hear from you.

F.A.Q. (Will be updated frequently)

Q: What happens if I have more than four favourites?

A: Congratulations! You’re experiencing just one of the many dilemmas we go through as Awesome Foundation Trustees each and every month! You’re just going to have to whittle your short list down to four of them, using whatever method you feel it’ll take. Some AF-Calgary Trustee favourites:

  • Subjective points system (ex. Points for creativity, Awesome Impact, community involvement, bang-for-the-buck, uniqueness, probability of successful execution, broad appeal, is it a realistic idea, etc; basically, rank ideas based on whatever criteria is important to you).
  • Strenuous discussion and debate on the merits of each and every idea amongst your friends and peers (usually over food and beverages).
  • Reach out to the various submitters for more information on their projects.
  • Random number generator (method most favoured by AF nerds and geeks alike).
  • Weighing the probability of bribes and the effect of one’s biases on your personal selection process.
  • The ‘Dart Board’ method.

Q: But what happens if I have less than four favourites?

A: That’s not a problem! You don’t need to feel obligated to have to submit four choices. Just list your top 1 or 2 (or 3) choices, and for whatever is left over, choose ‘No Selection’ on the ballot form. Our super-secret scoring algorithm is smart enough to weigh your choices appropriately (which is why it’s important for you to also rank your choices when you submit them to us), knowing that if push came to shove and there was only one slot left to fill, you would prefer that your Number 1 choice made it in over your Number 2 choice, etc.

Q: Wait, you guys have a super-secret scoring algorithm?! How does that work??

A: Duh, it’s a secret! But if you really want to know, track down our Dean of Awesome at one of our events, and he’ll be happy to tell you in explicit detail about how it all works. Because he’s a nerd.

Q: Alright, sounds like fun. Where can I read the submissions?

A: All eligible submissions for this initiative can be found here and here. Read carefully through all of them before choosing your Top4 picks!

Q: OK, I’ve chosen my Top4. Where do I go to submit them to you guys?

A: Fill out our handy-dandy web ballot. The deadline to get your submissions in is midnight on Saturday, November 30, 2013. (Note: One vote per person, please; any suspicious looking entries will be discarded).

The final results will be announced on our website on the morning of Monday, December 2 as well as our end-of-year venue announcement.

Q: Wow, that was fun! I like what you guys do. What more can I do to help?

A: Glad you asked! We’re always on the look out for new Volunteers to help us at our events or with the day-to-day operations of keeping our chapter running in between micro-grants, and of course, we’re ALWAYS on the look out for new Trustees who wish to help fund more Awesomeness in the city. The more Trustees we have, the more grants we can give away and the more often that we can do it!

If you’d like to learn more about some of the wonderful opportunities that our Awesome Foundation chapter has to offer, there’s a checkbox at the end of the ballot form where you can indicate your interest. Otherwise, send us a message through our volunteer contact form at any time, and one of our Ninjas of Awesome will get back to you.

We’re looking at trying some different things in 2014 operationally and in the public just to keep things fresh, and we could definitely use some more help to try and pull it off. So if you feel that you have a skill or something else to contribute, w
e’d love to hear from you, whatever it is!

Q: How can I stay updated with what you guys are up to?

A: You can find us on Twitter at @awesome_calgary, on Facebook at, on Google+ at, on Storify at and right here on our blog at You can also sign up for our newsletter, which we’ll be using to announce our public-facing events and activities, news on what’s happening in the International AF world as well as follow up stories with previous Awesome Calgary micro-grant fellows, Top4 Finalists and Honourable Mentions on all of their awesome journeys.

Our chapter will be relaunching sometime in early 2014 with a new granting schedule, so make sure to follow us on our various social media channels above or subscribe to our newsletter to be the first to know!

Announcing our Top4 Finalists and Honourable Mentions for August 2013


Summer’s winding down (already?!) but things are heating up here over at Awesome Calgary, as we prepare to award yet another $1,000 micro-grant to someone to help make their Awesome Idea become a reality.

So, without further ado, here are our Top4 Finalists and Honourable Mentions for August 2013, in no particular order:

Top4 Finalists

  1. Crowdsourced Sculpture by Tom Bielecki:  “Engineering+Art: World’s first crowdsourced 3D printed sculpture.”
  2. Buck E. Deeds by Cory Chapdelaine:  “Random good deeds all over Calgary for the entire month of September.”
  3. Waterways – A Commemorative Flood Sculpture by Alia Shahab:  “A kinetic water sculpture constructed using salvaged flood materials, through a community collaboration, to explore the power and mystery of water and highlight the resilience and spirit of Calgary’s community.”
  4. Bridgeland Community Kids Basketball Camp by Paul Lau:  “Free fun Basketball Camp for Kids.”

Honourable Mentions

  • Crazy EL-Wire Guerrilla Art by Kyle Cappis:  “Public lit-up EL-Wire art installations.”
  • Pterodactyl HD by Jason Bedard:  “The idea is to make a model pterodactyl with embedded HD video camera fly continuously back and forth overhead of a busy public event, wirelessly broadcasting all that it sees with its fearsome dino-birdie eyes.”
  • Meaningful Meals by Anneke Scholten:  “Bringing people back together around the dining table!”
  • Funding the Vanguard by Daniel Rodriguez:  “Bringing forward the newspaper that Calgary deserves.”
  • Vital Signs Machines!!! by Shauna Brady:  “We (the nurses) want to buy fancy vital signs machines to better serve our patients on U43!”

This month, our Awesome Calgary Pitch Night will take place on a special day of Tuesday, August 27 at 6 p.m. at our usual haunt, the Endeavor Arts and Design Space. That’s this TUESDAY!

 Hope you can make it out!

Back on Schedule: This month’s Top4 Finalists and Honourable Mentions!

Flood Madness threw us off our usual schedule for a few weeks, but we’re back just in time to celebrate the fourth anniversary of The Awesome Foundation, complete with our very first dinosaur-themed submission to crack Top4!

So without further ado, here are our Top4 Finalists and Honourable Mentions for this month, in no particular order:

Top4 Finalists

  1. Pterodactyl HD by Jason Bedard:  “The idea is to make a model pterodactyl with embedded HD video camera fly continuously back and forth overhead of a busy public event, wirelessly broadcasting all that it sees with its fearsome dino-birdie eyes.”
  2. Zine Machine by Jeffery Wood:  “Zine Machine is a vending machine that dispenses ‘zines’ (small magazines).”
  3. Song of Life by Daniel Okpala:  “Music for a cause. Write a song that would be used to raise awareness and money for a cause or issue affecting Calgarians.”
  4. Bikes for Needy Kids by Richard Link:  “I have the opportunity to supply quality mountain bikes to needy kids during 2013 Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day.”

Honourable Mentions

  • Starting the Telegraph by Daniel Leon Rodriguez:  “Funding help starting The Calgarian Telegraph, a new publication that will work as an open publication for all members of the community where anyone can contribute.”
  • The Party Bike by Bob (Nowak) Michalewich:  “A mobile audio/visual experience, putting smiles on faces at events and group rides.”
  • Meaningful Meals by Anneke Scholten:  “Create awareness about the importance of eating together by organizing events such as the Week of Eating Together.”
  • Silk Road of Peace by Jorg Ostrowski:  “Using Calgary experience of the last 36 years, we plan to ecological retrofit a few caravanserai along the old Silk Road to resurrect and regenerate, revitalize and repopulate this model of peaceful coexistence and international exchange.”

This month’s Awesome Calgary Pitch Night takes place on the special date of Tuesday, July 23. So for all of those out there who were concerned about scheduling conflicts with Calgary Folk Fest in the past, we’ve accommodated! It’ll take place at our usual haunt: The Endeavor Arts & Events Space.

Hope you can make it out!

Something Awesome: Nerf’ing your friends

Picture this:  You’re walking down the street at night after a long day at work. You missed dinner. Your boss made you stay extra late and all you want to do is kick back and relax on the couch. Maybe have a cup of cocoa. Maybe watch some TV. Just a normal, quiet evening before bed.

The street is deserted. You’re about halfway home. You’re still feeling a bit peckish. There’s a convenience store about four blocks to your right. Takes you out of the way, but the hunger. Oh, the hunger.

You decide to take the detour. That’s what convenience stores are for, right? The convenience. As you round the corner, you feel…something. Something that’s not quite right.

You look around. No one there. You shrug it off. You’re exhausted. Maybe a little paranoid. It’s getting late, right? The moon is out. Must be a trick of the lighting.

You keep walking, in anticipation of the hot dogs and giant cup of soda you’re about to get.

Then, all of a sudden, three guys jump out of a car in front of you. Two more people approach you from behind. You didn’t notice them at first, but your senses knew. You just never trust your gut.

The light is dim. You can barely make them out, but they begin walking ominously towards you. They start to reach into their coats for something. This is bad. Five on one. Crap odds no matter how you look at it.

“This is Calgary,” you mutter to yourself. “This kind of stuff isn’t supposed to happen here.”

As they aim their weapons at you, you choose to stand your ground. You’re not giving up without a fight. Besides, you’re tired, you’re still hungry and that convenience store is just within sight.

As the incoming projectiles come upon you, you whip out your Lightsaber and use your Padawan training to deflect everything. Then, as the aggressors try to reload, in an homage to The Matrix that would make Neo proud, you quickly sheath your Lightsaber, whip out your twin Nerf guns from under your coat and start showing these guys who’s boss.

That, in a nutshell, is Dartwars.

  • What:  Dartwars Calgary 2013
  • Where:  The entire City of Calgary
  • When:  June 1 – 30, 2013

If you’ve ever wanted to play at secret agent, then Dartwars Calgary is for you. An alternate-reality game, Dartwars is a month-long Nerf dart gun fight that takes place all over the city. Participants each get three lives and try to get points by eliminating other players. If a player scores a hit, they get a point and the other guy loses a life. At the end of the game, the player with the most points wins.

Lightsabers are used in the event of melee combat, to settle disputes, or to block incoming Nerf projectiles.

There are safe zones. Places of employment, public transit and C-Train platforms, schools and your home are off-limits. Everything else in the city is fair game.

There are a bunch of other rules to ensure that this remains a fun and safe game for all. For the full list, check out the Dartwars Calgary website.

Dartwars Calgary 2013 was an Awesome Calgary Top4 Finalist in April 2013, and there’s still plenty of room available for people who’d like to sign up to play.

If you’re interested in signing up or learning more, the organizers are holding a Meet-and-Greet and Q&A on the final day of signups, Sunday, May 26. They’ll answer any questions you have, and you can meet some of the potential participants that’ll be playing all month long.

  • What:  Dartwars Calgary Meet-and-Greet, Q&A and the Final chance to Sign Up!
  • Where: Dickens Pub (1000 – 9 Avenue SW)
  • When: Sunday, May 26 at 7 p.m.
  • RSVP:  Facebook

To learn more, check out or follow them on Facebook or Twitter at @DartWarsCalgary.

May’s Top4 Finalists, Honourable Mentions and Venue

As we say goodbye to year two and start on the road to year three here at AF-Calgary, this month we’ll be awarding our 25th $1,000 micro-grant on a special date: Wednesday, May 22.

With that in mind, here are this month’s Top4 Finalists and Honourable Mentions, in no particular order:

Top4 Finalists

  1. BuckTeeth: Oral Hygiene with a Social Conscience by Kyle MacQuarrie:  “Receive a new toothbrush to your door every three months while making a philanthropic donation of four toothbrushes to a chosen charitable organization.”
  2. Pavo Concertus by Ravi Mani:  “Junk Yard Wars + Pickup Truck + Peacocks + Pianos = Peacock art truck with an array of lights and sound.”
  3. Largest Potluck Challenge by Anneke Scholten:  “To promote the importance of Eating Together, we will attempt to break the Guinness World Record for Largest Potluck!”
  4. 2013 People’s Poetry Festival by Shannon McClennan:  “A free, three-day celebration of poetry in Calgary for young and old, amateur and beyond!”

Honourable Mentions

View Larger Map

Again, please note that this month’s Awesome Calgary Pitch Night takes place on a special date:  Wednesday, May 22 at the Endeavor Arts and Events Space.

Finally, we’re accepting submissions for our June grant, and the deadline for that is Monday, June 10. Apply here.

In June, we’ll be returning to our regular fourth-Thursday-of-the-month schedule and it’ll be a special month for us as the Canadian chapters of The Awesome Foundation have declared Thursday, June 27 as Awesome Day in Canada! It’ll be a fun one for sure. Stay tuned for more details.

Hope to see you out on Wednesday!

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!)

Our Top4 Finalists and Honourable Mentions for March 2013

The Ides of March have long since past and yep, we’re still kicking, so that means there’s no excuse to not keep moving forward with our goal of forwarding the interest of awesomeness in the universe and decreasing the amount of world suck.

So without further ado, here are our Top4 Finalists and Honourable Mentions for the month of March, in no particular order:

Top4 Finalists

  1. Papergirl Calgary 2013 by Sunshine Frere:  “An artistic exhibition and gifting process for the Calgary community completed via bicycle.”
  2. Bare Bottoms Diaper Drive by Kristina Prins:  “Diaper drive to support the Food Bank and families in need.”
  3. The Zine Machine by Jeffrey Wood:  “Two travelling vending machines that dispense literary and visual art in the form of ‘zines.'”
  4. Chic Geek by Kylie Toh:  “Increasing diversity in Calgary’s startup community by educating, engaging and empowering more women.”

Honourable Mentions

  • Japanese Music Concerts by Marco Lienhard:  “Soulful concerts of Japanese music performed not he shakuhachi.”

A reminder that this month’s AF-Calgary Thousand Dollar Thursday will be held at the National Music Centre on Thursday, March 28.  Doors open at 6 p.m.

Thank you to everyone who submitted an idea this month.  It’s always a tough decision to narrow down the short lists and we definitely encourage people to resubmit their ideas for future months.  In fact, we’ve had ideas who didn’t make a monthly short list come back and win it all later on, so you never know what’ll happen.  It’s all relative.

Speaking of which, we’re now accepting submissions for our April 2013 micro-grant, which also has the distinction of being our second anniversary grant and will help us kickstart Year Three here at Awesome Calgary.  As always, if you have an Awesome Idea that you’d like to submit for consideration, fill out this handy-dandy web form.

Finally, speaking of Year Three, many of our Founding Trustees are wrapping up their initial two year terms and are choosing to pass the torch onto others who would like to have the opportunity to make Calgary more Awesome.  Thus, we’re on the lookout for new Trustees (and Volunteers!) to help us make 2013 and beyond more awesome.  If you’re interested in joining up or learning more, we’ve made that even easier.

Hope to see you out on Thursday!

The Top4 Finalists and Honourable Mentions for February 2013

Only a few more days until this month’s Awesome Calgary Thousand Dollar Thursday and without further ado, here’s this month’s AF-Calgary Top4 Finalists and Honourable Mentions, in no particular order:

Top4 Finalists

  1. The Big Green Puppet Bus by Sean Fraser:  “A travelling Puppet Theatre teaching environmental conservation to families and school kids.”
  2. Take a Kid Mountain Biking Day 2013 by Richard Link:  “Mountain bikes, little kids and a party.  What could be better?”
  3. Play It Forward Projects by Darlene Fedyna:  “Free Sport Spectacular Summer Camp.”
  4. The Neighbourhood Project: An Epilogue for 809 Gallery by Caitlind Brown:  “A community-based experiment re-imagining domestic spaces, eight curators and 30 artists are transforming 11 houses scheduled for demolition into temporary art, installation, and performance spaces at the end of April 2013.”

Honourable Mentions

  • Hip Hop Innovation by Rebecca Dawn:  “Indie rock meets Hip Hop: multi-element, multi-media event for all ages.”
  • YYC Burger Week by Sabahat Naureen:  “A week-long friendly competition between YYC’s best burgers!”
  • Gotwood Field Invitational by Tony Grimes:  “Five hand-made, laser cut Settlers of Catan game boards, each given as gifts or tournament prizes to local gamer groups.”


A reminder that this month’s Thousand Dollar Thursday is presented in partnership with the Calgary Public Library and the Calgary Public Library Foundation, and will be at the Memorial Park Library, second floor on Thursday, February 28.  Come see the Top4 Finalists for this month pitch their ideas for a chance to win a $1,000 no-strings-attached micro-grant to make their idea a reality!  Doors open at 6 p.m. and we hope to see you there.

Also, we’re officially recruiting again for 2013!  If you’re interested in joining the team or simply want to learn more about becoming an AF-Calgary Trustee or Volunteer, send a message to [email protected].  We’d love to hear from you!

Finally, we’re now taking submissions for our March 2013 prize.  If you have an Awesome Idea that you’d like to submit for consideration, fill out this handy-dandy web form.

Our FINAL set of Top4 Finalists and Honourable Mentions for 2012!

This is it!  It’s time for the FINAL Awesome Calgary Thousand Dollar Thursday of 2012.

First off, here are Awesome Foundation – Calgary’s Top4 Finalists and Honourable Mentions for November 2012, in no particular order:

Top4 Finalists

  1. Locked into Calgary by Sarah Hbeichi:  “Love padlocks adorned to public art that declares ‘I Love Calgary.'”
  2. Make Fashion by Shannon Hoover:  “Make Fashion – Showcasing wearable technology by local designers.”
  3. End of the World Music Festival by Kenna Burima:  “The question posed to all Calgary musicians: If you had one last show, what would you do?”
  4. The Dybbuk-A Modern Day Dance by Jenna Shummoogum:  “Incorporating interactive media projection, contemporary dance fused with the technical grace of ballet, and opera in an immensely theatrical presentation, La Caravan’s newest awesome creation, set to premiere in January 2013, “The Dybbuk” is a hypnotic journey of love, obsession and surrender, that illustrates the importance of transcending our belief systems and revealing what is left beyond the body and beyond our thoughts.”

Honourable Mentions

  • Battle City YYC by John Nguyen:  “The first ever city-wide battle of the quadrants, i.e. the Stanley Cup of Calgary breaking (breakdancing)!”
  • LUNCH’OUR’ LAUGHTER by Noelle Rees:  “Host massive lunch hour laughter yoga sessions for lots of downtown corporate stressed out folk in a convenient central space.”
  • UAS White Dwarf Gallery by Sally Raab:  “United Art Society launches a brand new exhibition space featuring community-oriented programming.”

BIG Congratulations to all of our Top4 Finalists and Honourable Mentions for November, and thank you so much to everyone who submitted an idea for this month!  (Tip:  Did you know that you can still submit your ideas for future months as well?  Just resubmit the form!)

November’s AF-Calgary Pitch Night is held in partnership with the Calgary Public Library’s One Book, One Calgary program and as part of their Centennial celebrations.  The book this year:  The Book of Awesome.

  • What:  The FINAL Awesome Calgary Thousand Dollar Thursday of 2012, held in partnership with the Calgary Public Library’s One Book, One Calgary program!
  • Where:  Calgary Public Library, Central Branch (616 Macleod Trail SE), Main Floor – South Open Area
  • When:  Thursday, November 22.  Doors open at 6 p.m., pitches at 6:30 p.m. and AF-Calgary Awesome Hours/Meet & Mingle reception afterwards.
  • RSVP:  Eventbrite, Facebook or Yelp

Everyone is invited to come and watch the pitches and stay afterwards for a Meet & Mingle reception.  Some refreshments prior to the event will be provided courtesy of the Calgary Public Library, and some of our previous Top4 Finalists will be in attendance to showcase some of their AWESOME SUCCESS, whether they won the $1,000 grant or not.

The Central CPL also has a Community Art Wall where people can submit art pieces for inclusion.  The wall will be on display for the entire month of November, and for this event, the library will have a table set up with various art supplies that people can use to create some AWESOME art either before or after the event.  So make sure to add your mark to this awesome art exhibit!

AF-Calgary Trustees will also be around before and after the event holding an informal Awesome Hours session where you can pick our brains about all things Awesome Foundation.  If you’ve ever had a burning question about how the whole Awesome movement works, or need some inspiration about what projects or ideas are eligible for funding through our chapter or have been funded around the world (To date:  59 chapters, 12 countries on 6 continents!), feel free to ask us or to speak with previous Top4 Finalists and AF-Calgary Fellows for advice at our event!

So read up on The Book of Awesome, tell the library you did so, and help us end 2012 here at AF-Calgary with an Awesome BANG!

Finally, we’re accepting submissions for our January 2013 micro-grant.  If you have an Awesome Idea that you’d like to submit for consideration for the new year, fill out this handy-dandy web form!

Hope to see you out tomorrow!

Plaid, Rocks, Saxophones and Affirmations

October 2012’s Awesome Calgary Thousand Dollar Thursday returned to its normal schedule of the fourth Thursday of the month, and we headed back to class as we held it at the Bissett School of Business at Mount Royal University.

The emcee for the night was Brian Singh, a Founding Trustee of AF-Calgary.  He had the privilege of hosting four super-awesome ideas, all attempting to convince the Trustees and audience why their idea deserved AF-Calgary’s November $1,000 no-strings-attached micro-grant.

Pitch 1:  Gratitude Rocks!

First up was Gratitude Rocks! by Susanne Alexander-Heaton.

Susanne’s idea was to get artists at the Calgary Drop-In Centre (who are also residents) to paint one of 26 different powerful words (Examples:  Harmony, balance, love) on approximately 450 rocks.  A pay-it-forward process, these rocks would then be given away to people who they feel most needs the words on the rock.  The person must then share their story when they give the rock away.  This way, the artists at the Drop-In Centre can see the impact they have on people with their creations.

The $1,000 would go towards paying the artists at the Drop-In Centre directly for their time in painting the rocks as well as for materials and supplies to pull off the project.

Pitch 2:  I am. We are. We will.

Second was I am. We are. We will. by Kaitilin Roth.

An enthusiastic Calgarian herself, Kaitlin’s idea is to create a wall of affirmations from fellow Calgarians highlighting who they are as a person, who they are as a group of Calgarians, and what they will do as a city to continue in their Awesomeness.

Three large canvases would be decoupaged with written affirmations, as well as with various photos taken around the city of Calgarians in action, serving their fellow Calgarians through various AWESOME acts of humanity.  Finally, a mirror would be placed in the middle of each canvas so that no matter what you look at, your awesome self will be reflected as you contemplate on how you have and can serve Calgary better.

The majority of the $1,000 would be used to pay for the materials needed to pull of the project.  Any leftover money would go towards light refreshments and other goodies to be given away at the official Hanging Ceremony where the completed project will be displayed.

Kaitlin would love for the project to be ultimately displayed at City Hall or one of the universities, and would aim to have the project completed by July 2013.

Pitch 3:   A Song for Westwinds

Third was A Song for Westwinds by the Westwinds Music Society, accompanied by a lovely performance from one of their saxophonists.

This year is the society’s 25th anniversary, and they hoped to commission pianist Matt Harris to write a piece of music to commemorate the special occasion.  The piece would be premiered with a Big Band Dinner Dance at the end of the year that would be open to the public to enjoy.  The piece of music would be kept in the society’s music library, and possibly made available to school and community bands everywhere.

The $1,000 would go solely towards the commissioning of the piece.

Pitch 4:  The 2nd Annual Log Driver’s Waltz Gala – A Plaid Party!

Last was The 2nd Annual Log Driver’s Waltz Gala:  A Plaid Party! by Karilynn Thompson on behalf of the GIRAF Animation Festival.

A Plaid Party! is a wholesome plaid-themed party hearkening to the days of National Film Board animations on CBC television in the 1960s and on.  The Log Driver’s Waltz Gala is a family-friendly event featuring GIANT retro-animations projected onto the five-storey tall side of the Southern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium, along with fire-pits, lots of free hot chocolate, animation workshops, DJs, food trucks and more.

The name of the gala was inspired by the famous piece of Canadiana, Log Driver’s Waltz, an animated short by the NFB created in 1979.

The $1,000 would be used towards helping to pay for the projection equipment needed to run the event.  That way, Karilynn would be able to ensure that the event could be kept at low-cost to no cost for the public to attend.

And the Winner is…

AF-Calgary’s October 2012 no-strings-attached $1,000 micro-grant went to Karilynn Thompson and her Plaid Party.  Congratulations, Karilynn!

This month, each of our AF-Calgary Top4 Finalists received an Awesome Foundation – Calgary T-shirt as well as a $250 gift certificate from Gilmour Ph
that the finalists can use towards highlighting or showcasing all of their awesomeness, in whatever form it takes.

Thank you to Mount Royal University for allowing us to host our event on campus.

Also, a BIG Thank You and heartfelt thanks and appreciation to ING Direct for sponsoring our latest batch of AF-Calgary T-shirts.  The only way you can get one is if you’re a Top4 Finalist or a Trustee/Volunteer with Awesome Calgary, so they’re super-extra limited edition.

If you’d like to relive the night’s events as they happened, check out our recap on Storify.

And with that, we look forward to our FINAL Awesome Calgary Thousand Dollar Thursday event of 2012, being held in partnership with the Calgary Public Library and their One Book, One Calgary program on Thursday, November 22.  For more details, see here, and if you’re coming, make sure to RSVP on Eventbrite, Facebook or Yelp!

Photo Copyrights:  Brett Gilmour / Eleni Tsaprailis