Friday, September 23, 2011
...and, That's a Wrap!
You know, we've only been at it for about six months or so, but the submissions and pitches seem to get stronger and stronger, and the decisions tougher and tougher every month.
This month was no different as we had four strong ideas to choose from, and with only 90 seconds to 'wow' the Trustees and the audience, it made for an interesting night.
This time, taking place in the beautiful showroom of Smart Home Systems, a local Calgary company dedicated to home automation solutions (and if you're ever in the area, you should check out their sexy home theatres and nifty golf simulator!), finalists, spectators and Trustees were treated to some wonderful food fare from two of Calgary's hottest food trucks, Los Compadres and Fiasco Gelato.
Hosted this month by our very own Trustee of Awesome Brian Singh, he started off with something new: a 90 second pitch of his own, talking about himself and why he joined AF-Calgary. We'll be doing this every month from now on (because we really should be eating our own dog food ;-) ), and over the period of a year or so, you'll be able to meet and get to know all of the Trustees (and all of our dirty secrets).
Pitch 1: Gumsphere 300
First up was John Frosst speaking on behalf of Gumsphere 300. Inspired by Gumball 3000, an endurance checkpoint rally for the world's richest drivers with the most expensive cars, and described as "Cannonball Run meets Fringe Fest," John gave us a glimpse of his vision what a travelling road-show should be, which should be done with nothing but artists driving Ford Fiestas rather than expensive cars.
One thing you should know is that John arrived really early for the evening and even volunteered to help us set up the venue. His passion for the night and his project really shined through, and everyone was able to see that. Thanks John!
Pitch 2: Junior Jokers
Next up was local funnyman and self-professed fool Derek Wilken talking about taking his Junior Jokers program to the next level by creating comic books to teach children aged 6-16 basic comedic training.
With characters based on five elements of stand-up comedy and taking place in a land called "Laugh-a-lot," educational comic books would be created and given away to children to teach them the skills they need to make other people laugh.
The interesting thing about Derek's pitch was that the audience (Trustees included) was so entranced in his presentation that when the 90 second alarm had sounded, the audience let out a perceptible "aww" as they wanted to hear more. While it's true that a lot can be said in 90 seconds, keep in mind that 90 seconds isn't much time either!
Pitch 3: Green Bikes Initiative
Third up was Victorio Tacio with his Green Bikes Initiative where he would organize groups of temporary foreign workers and newcomers to Canada based in Calgary and Airdrie and repair and recycle bicycles and give them out to communities for free.
While there may be some other programs in town that do similar things already, Victorio's project would teach potential new Canadians useful skills that could help them later on when they gain their citizenship and make them more productive members of society. From watching his presentation, you could see that he was passionate about the idea and thought it through well, mentioning that he's already consulted with RCMP and the University of Calgary in regards to logistics and legal issues.
Pitch 4: Reel World Documentaries (a.k.a. Vids for Kids)
The final pitch of the night went to Chris Hsuing and Kate McKenzie with their Reel World Youth Documentaries idea (a.k.a. Vids for Kids) where they proposed teaching school children documentary film making in order for them to learn analytical, investigative, and team building skills, and to help expose them to issues facing the community by allowing them to work on interesting local documentary projects. They would use the money to build video/audio kits that could be loaned out to students to assist them with their projects, add a bit of pro panache to the children's films, and intend to screen all the films created this year some time in December 2011.
In what could be considered as a down-right dirty move by some, and an absolutely brilliant move by others, Chris and Kate had one of their Grade 8 students speak on how the project could impact them and what they hoped to gain from it if it were to go forward. The amazing thing was that they were able to squeeze in three speakers in 90 seconds. It was a fast-paced yet well prepared pitch that captured people's attention.
In the end, it was another deliberation that went through multiple rounds of voting and debate, and while everyone will agree wholeheartedly that all the ideas were worthy, as they say, there can be only one (mainly because we ain't rich).
And with that, the winner of the AF-Calgary September 2011 $1,000 grant went to Reel World Documentaries by Chris and Kate. They intend to start right away this semester in getting the school kids to create their films, and want to screen them by the end of the year. Congratulations, and we look forward to seeing what gets created!
Thanks to everyone who submitted an idea for consideration this month, as well as to this month's Top4 Finalists and Honourable Mentions. If you'd like to learn more about those projects and ideas, hit up the Idea Incubator of our site. And if you'd like to submit an idea for consideration for the October 2011 prize, simply fill out this handy-dandy web form! The deadline for submissions is October 10 at 11:59 p.m.
Thanks again to Smart Home Systems for hosting our event this month. If you ever get a chance, drop by their venue and check it out; the funky things you can do with an iPad in controlling your home will blow your mind. And as we're always looking for awesome places in Calgary to highlight, if you're interested in hosting one of our awards nights in the future, give Lisa or myself (Reg!) a shout!
Also, a BIG Thank You to the YYC Food Trucks, specifically Los Compadres and Fiasco Gelato for sending their food trucks our way. The audience definitely appreciated it (and we really appreciated that you guys took the time to come down). You guys are another quintessential example of what makes Calgary awesome!
Finally, thanks to everyone who took time out of their busy day to make the trek down. We hope to see you again next month, and stay tuned for the announcement of our October venue!
Posted by Reginald Tiangha - AF-Calgary Dean of Awesome at 10:36 AM