Monday, April 25, 2011

How DO we pick?? Top 4 Finalists

It's an exciting line up for the inaugural $1000 Awesome Calgary grant!  Join us at the fabulous Endeavour Arts Gallery on April 28th at 6pm to watch our Top4 pitch for $1000 to get their idea going.    Special guest performer Melissa D'Souza will get the crowd inspired and rev'd up for the pitches.  It's going to be awesome!

Introducing our Top4 Finalists
Fire Tornado - An innovative device that marries gas fireplace and dust devil. ~ Dean Balkenstein

100 Year Old Houses - Commemorating Calgary homes that have reached their centennial year. ~ Art Matsui

Yes! - Look up to the sky for an inspiring, encouraging, positive message to Calgarians. ~Paisley V. Sim

Meganopoly - A take on the classic boardgame; you can't pick the top hat, but you could wear one! ~ J Snider

With 26 Awesome submissions for our first month, it was very difficult to narrow down to our Top4 finalists and we would be remiss if we didn't send kudos out to a number of other ideas that we found to be intriguing and downright worthy of not only mention, but of your attention, too. Check 'em out!

Honourable Mentions

The Planet Tour is a "next-generation web-video show" by Daryl Makk, a stand-up comic, motorcycle enthusiast, and traveler. Daryl asked us to fund a tour across Canada sharing his message of sharing the road. He received honourable mention in large-part because of the overall quality of his presentation. He not only provided us with a one-page proposal regarding his project, he also produced a high-quality introduction video that let us get to know more about him and his project. He was also extremely clear about how he intended to use the funds. While he didn't make the final-four, we were very impressed with his submission, and wish him the greatest luck with The Planet Tour. You can read more about Daryl's idea at

Calgary Community Book Project came from Carolyn McPherson. We, at Awesome Foundation Calgary, fancy ourselves to be highly literate, and Carolyn's idea for releasing one book per week over one year "into the wild" caught our eye. With the modern era, many people find their eyes glued to cell phones or plugged into mp3 players. The idea of leaving books in public places like festival, cafes, and on transit for others to pick up and share was inspiring to us. We think that supporting good ol' fashioned reading is a great idea, and definitely worthy of honourable mention.

Test Drive A Sport is an initiative from Linda Craig of Women Rock Productions. It gives women the opportunity to try out twelve different sports--from netball to tackle football, and ultimate Frisbee to ball hockey, to name a handfull--to inspire activity. It offers women the opportunity to "test drive" these sports to help them find something that they find fun and engaging. AFter all, if one enjoys an activity, aren't they more likely to stick with it? We love the idea of people being active, testing their abilities, and just being healther. We're also huge fans of fun! You can Test Drive A Sport for FREE at their booth at the Calgary Woman's Show on April 30 and May 1 at BMO Centre at Stampede Park.

Where Are We Supposed to Go? is a documentary about the all-ages punk rock scene in Calgary from the '80s to present day. The project "will shine a light on an era in Calgary that produced international stars such as Feist, Tegan and Sara, and Braids, as well as many lesser-known artists. The punk rock doc will culminate with a reunion all-ages show in the fall of 2012. In our discussions on arriving at our shortlist, most trustees expressed great admiration for this project, with one even talking about having heard about the scene all the way out in Ontario. Though the timeline-to-completion on the project is too long at present for Awesome Foundation Calgary to consider, we can't wait to hear more about the project and love what MT Flask Productions are doing. Check out a cool teaser video from MT Flask at (Warren Kinsella, keep an eye on this!)

Bow To Bluff is an idea from Tarama Lee, lover of awesome public spaces like Portland's Pioneer Square and Barcelona's La Rambla (both truly wonderful parts of their respective cityscapes). Tamara asked for our help in supporting their push to reclaim an under-utilized public space to make it great. The corridor which runs alongside the Sunnyside LRT station, from Memorial Drive ot McHugh Bluff, is a nice little passage that, we agree, could become so much more. We're strong boosters of attractive and memorable public space, and Bow to Bluff has our moral support for their action to create just that on the western boundary of Sunnyside. Find out how you can help by contacting

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