Saturday, August 20, 2011

Awesomness in Calgary

Speaking as a Trustee today, I have to admit: Sometimes it's tough being a Trustee here at AF Calgary.

With how the Awesome Foundation is set up, at least 10 Trustees (here in Calgary, we have 13) pitch in $100 out of their own pockets each month to provide the monthly $1,000 prize. As such, the way things stand right now, we can only afford to fund one awesome idea each month.

Since there's so much awesomeness in Calgary, we want to highlight as much as we can, which is why we're currently the only AF chapter right now that chooses a Top4 each month from all the monthly submissions, in addition to Honourable Mentions. The intent is that even though only one idea can get the funding, we can at least hope to expose some of the other ideas to the public in case others would like to help them out. So Top4 choices, Honourable Mentions, and the Idea Incubator of the website is our attempt to address some of that.

But even then, sometimes it's heartbreaking, because there's just so many awesome ideas to spotlight, that to spotlight them all would be unfeasible.

That said, just because a person or a group doesn't win the monthly prize, it doesn't have to prevent them from going forward with their awesome idea.

Case in point, in June 2011, we received many great submissions and had four super strong pitches that night. In the end, it was really close (Trustee deliberations went through four rounds, which never happened before), but ultimately, the Calgary Circus Studio won out, and they hope to build and debut their public circus apparatus in the coming months.

However, that hasn't stopped some of the other finalists from going forward with their plans anyways.

Last week, Nicky Dundas, one of our Top4 for June 2011, who gave a passionate and heartfelt pitch that really gave the Trustees for the night a lot to debate and discuss, rolled out one of the many ideas she had for spreading happiness in the city of Calgary (she calls it "Happy Sprinkles"), with 100 Roses, which was sprinkle #24. If you missed out, check out this video:

Another one of the finalists in June, the People's Poetry Festival, who had an innovative, anti-PowerPoint presentation which involved haikus, chart paper and awesome drawings, are going forward with their festival right now. It's happening all weekend long throughout and all over Kensington, so if you have a chance, drop by and take part in one of the many events and activities.

Speaking personally, sometimes this job is hard for me to take because we can only fund one idea a month and many times, I'd love it if we could fund more than one, but whenever a person or a group goes forward with their ideas anyways, it makes me feel inspired and proud to be a born-and-raised Calgarian.

So thanks to Nicky and her group, the organizing committee at the People's Poetry Festival, and to everyone who has ever, or is thinking of, submitting an idea for consideration here to AF Calgary. It's always exciting and inspiring to see what fellow Calgarians come up with, and makes me want to do better myself!

Hope to see you out at some of these events,

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