Thursday, June 23, 2011

Wow, WHAT an evening!

The awesomeness of Calgary just keeps on growing!

Our Top4 really proved to us tonight why they were the Top4 - their pitches were truly awesome!

The evening started with Elke Goebel talking to us about her idea - West LRT Walkabout -  to help us feel like we are part of the West LRT.  egardless of how we feel about it - we should embrace it as part of our city's awesome infrastructure & urban architecture. Elke's idea is to organize a community walk across the massive, bridge-like structure before the tracks are laid.  This would give people a view of the city scape at their leisure from atop this massive structure. 

Next up was Stephanie Norn from Calgary Circus Studio (pitch hitting for Cary Lam, director of the school) pitching for the $1000 grant to invest in a portable apparatus that would allow them to take their school outside and to enable the school to put on demos, shows and workshops almost anywhere.  They would also be able to rent out (or loan) the equipment - and their team - out to non-profit organizations in the city to help in fund-raising events.   All I can say is "who knew there was a cool circus school in Calgary?!"

Our 3rd presenter was Neshali Weera of People's Poetry Festival Neshali and her trusty team of non-Microsoft PowerPointers got the crowd thoroughly engaged in the possibility of back-alley, interactive poetry in Kensington in August.  Bonus points for fitting Haiku into a 90 second pitch! 

Our final pitch of the evening came from the eternally bubbly Nicky Dundas.  Nicky has been distributing random acts of kindness in the city since she moved here - everything from plugging parking meters anonymously, to handing out a coffee card to a stranger, to leaving packets of seeds for people to find with a note asking them to just plant them and see what happens.  Nicky calls these acts "Happy Sprinkles - Just a girl in Calgary looking to sprinkle happiness around town!" Nicky left everyone in the room feeling like they'd just had a big, warm hug. :)

The team went off to choose the winner and I have to say that this was, by far, the toughest deliberation we've had.  Any one of these ideas could have been the winner on any award night.  We had to resort to our hand-dandy, awesome voting machine to determine the winner ...

And the winner is -Stephanie and Calgary Circus Studio!


Congratulations to all the entrants and to our Top4 finalists - together we are making Calgary just a little bit more awesome every day!

Don't forget - next submission deadline is July 10th. Get your awesome idea in for a 90 second chance to win $1000!  

Added bonus next month - we've invited Stephanie and the amazing students at Calgary Circus to come and give us a demo at the July 28th Thousand Dollar Thursday.  Now THAT's awesome!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

More on June's Top4

As June's Pitch 'n Party night (a.k.a. Thousand Dollar Thursday) is rapidly approaching (Thursday, June 23, 6 p.m. at Melrose Bar & Grill), I figured it'd be a good idea to give a little more detail on what June's Top4 will be presenting on:
  • Street Aerials: Bringing creative and unique display of physical movement by performing and teaching aerial arts in the streets. (Cary Lam, Calgary Circus School)
  • People's Poetry Festival: A festival to show that poetry can be awesome. (Neshali Weera)
  • West LRT Walk About: Let's have a walkabout on the elevated part of the West LRT - an event for the people to connect with this awesome structure that will benefit us all. (Elke Goebel)
  • The Happy Sprinkle: Just a girl in Calgary looking to Sprinkle happiness around the city! Random acts of kindness = Paying it forward= A Happier City= A better place to live (Nicky Dundas)
Four different ideas, all equally awesome.

So drop by Melrose and come check it out!

And if you have an awesome idea of your own (or think your idea is even more awesome), the deadline for submissions for the July prize is Sunday, July 10. To apply, fill out this handy-dandy web form!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

June Top4 Finalists Announced!

We are pleased to announce our line up for Thousand Dollar Thursday - June 23rd at Melrose Cafe on 17th Ave at 6pm.  Come out and watch the finalists duke it out for $1000 cash!  Cheer them on and ask questions during the Q&A session.  Be involved. Be awesome!

It was another great month with a wide array of ideas for us to wrestle over, be inspired by and to choose from.  After much consideration and appreciation for the effort that goes into the submissions, we're excited to announce our finalists for this month. 

Top4 Finalists 
  • Street Aerials - Cary Lam, Calgary Circus School
  • People's Poetry Festival - Neshali Weera
  • West LRT Walk About - Elke Goebel
  • The Happy Sprinkle - Nicky Dundas
Honourable Mentions 
  • Music Culture Progress - Brock Mitchell, Shot at the Dark
  • Search for Awesome in Leadership - Constance Scarlett, Alberta Museums Association

Don't delay - get your idea in the running for the next $1000 cash grant.  Deadline July 10th.  Apply here. 

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Deadline for June Submissions - June 10th

May winner - Kiran Somanchi
It's fast approaching -  just 3.5 rainy days away. And what a perfect way to spend a rainy day ...  applying for an $1000 free Awesome Foundation grant to help spread and share awesomeness! (oops, did the sun just peek out?  How awesome is that??!)

It's easy.  Just fill out the simple form on our "Apply" page, tell us about your idea, how it benefits people and how you will spend the $1000 ... then get ready to rapid pitch to us on Thousand Dollar Thursday (June 23rd) at Melrose Cafe to duke it out with other finalists for the dough. 

April winner - Paisley Sim
June 10th midnight - submission deadline.  Don't miss out!  Because it's the most awesome thing to hit Calgary since Ginger Beef and Bloody Caesars.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Thousand Dollar Thursdays

We're always looking for awesome Calgary venues to hold our Pitch n'Party events, too.  If you have a fun, accessible venue that has space to hold over 100 awesome people and room for finalists to pitch their ideas - please contact Lisa to get in our venue queue.   Thousand Dollar Thursdays! 

Thanks to Endeavor Arts and Higher Ground Cafe for hosting us recently. 

Next Pitch n'Party night (June Thousand Dollar Thursday) will be June 23rd at Melrose at 6pm.  

Volunteers Needed! 
We are still in need of fantastic volunteers to spread the word of Awesome Calgary to all the creative, innovative and ingenious nooks and crannies of this awesome city.  Our goal is to raise all the great ideas in this city up to street level and celebrate them with their creators.  We have an immediate need for a volunteer coordinator.  Contact us if you want to help!   

Be a part of Awesome - submit your amazing idea by June 10th to be in the running for the next $1000 cash grant!  

The world breathes ... and Awesome expands.

When Tim Hwang, Kara Brickman and the other founders of Awesome Foundation crafted the vision for the organization
"The Awesome Foundation for the Arts and Sciences is an ever-growing, worldwide network of people devoted to forwarding the interest of awesomeness in the universe."
 I don't think they had any idea how accurately - and fast! - their vision would come to fruition.  There are now 19 official AF Chapters with at least a dozen more in their infancy.   AF Calgary is proud to be part of the AF New Chapter Mentor Program and we are currently helping Edmonton, Lethbridge, Kingston ON and Turin Italy get their Awesome Chapter up and running.  

In addition to giving $1000 cash grants to awesome ideas, the part I love most about Awesome Foundation is the global, all-inclusive promotion of great people and the belief in their awesome ideas.  This is the most rewarding thing I've done in my life!