The largest Twitter Festival in the world returns to Canada – and the world – on Thursday, March 24th. The causes that will benefit from the twelve Canadian twestival events are wide and varied – but all share a commonality in that each organization strives to make a difference in someone’s life. None of these events would be possible without the generous support of the volunteers, locations and 100’s of corporations who have donated time, services, products and talent to make this night of fundraising a huge success. Please take a moment to thank them if you’re able to attend – or tweet one to them if you’re not.
More than 600 digital enthusiasts will connect at The Fifth Social Club in downtown Toronto to meet in-person, network and raise money for The Remix Project, a local charity utilizing mentorship, instruction and the power of the arts to inspire disadvantaged youth and help them achieve their dreams.
Through ticket sales and corporate sponsorships, including Creative Niche Inc., Rogers Canada, and Hill & Knowlton, TwestivalTO (@TwestivalTO) is already in the top three cities leading Twestival global fundraising totals.
“With 12 Canadian cities and over 150 locations across the world hosting locally organized Twestivals, we’re excited to raise the bar for fundraising through Twitter and Facebook,” said Shawn Griffiths, co-lead of Twestival Toronto’s organizing committee. “Through recent global events we’re realizing the true power of social media. TwestivalTO is the latest example of people connecting, sharing information and organizing for social good.”
TwestivalTO promises an interactive experience showcasing the best Toronto’s digital community has to offer. Highlights include red carpet Twitpics, a QR Code Treasure Hunt, the debut of ‘Canadian Twidol’ – where audience tweets decide the winner – and musical performances from The Remix Project. The evening performances will be featured during a 24-hour live stream connecting Twestivals around the world and raising money for Save the Children’s Japan Fund. TwestivalTO will also participate in an attempt to set a world record for the ‘most international charities participating in a live stream.’
“We’re very excited to partner with this year’s TwestivalTO,” said Gavin Sheppard, co-founder and executive director of The Remix Project and 2010 TED fellow, who will co-host with MuchMusic Host, Lauren Toyota. “All money raised will help creative, young people in Toronto realize and fulfill their dreams. It’s going to be truly spectacular.”
“All my mentors have been simply amazing,” said Ruthie Titus, a Remix Project graduate now working as a professional photographer. “I don’t know where I’d be right now without Remix. It’s changed my life in so many ways.”
Twestival Québec 2011 (@TwestivalQuebec) will be held at Café Babylone and the group is supporting Fondation Gilles Kegle. Café Babylon will be offering two menu options: $5.00 appetizer or $12 for a meal. DJ Andrei Herran and other artists will be entertaining attendees throughout the evening.
Twestival Vancouver’s (@yvrtwestival) will be held at The Vancouver Lookout – Atop Harbour Centre, and will be raising funds for the Beauty Night Society, an award-winning volunteer-run, registered Canadian charity that builds self esteem and changes lives of women and youth living in poverty through three streams of programs: wellness, life skills development and makeovers. The Society helps women of all ages and from all walks of life. Homelessness, hunger, mental ill health and debilitating illnesses are some of the reasons Beauty Night’s participants connect with the Society. One in three women have experienced sexual violence before the age of 18 years old, but we have found that number to be much higher amongst our participants.
Society Founder Carolne MacGillivary shares some background about the Beauty Night Society: “If people do not believe change is possible, change will not happen. We welcome our participants as they are. They come in, make friends, access services, and many become leaders in their community. When we ask women living in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside what assistance they want, they tell us they want to be treated with dignity and respect. Beauty Night because dignity is beautiful. The makeover is a great opportunity to reintroduce healthy touch in a non-threatening way and build relationships based on trust with the participants. Through the makeover program and life skill development we are able to connect our participants with resources to help them move forward in their life.”
The Edmonton Twestival (@yegtwestival) will be supporting the Edmonton Public School Foundation, whose primary purpose is to help children get ready for life through public education. But what does that really mean? Before they even start Kindergarten, children begin learning. Research tells us that 75 per cent of brain growth occurs before age six. When children live in vulnerable circumstances without opportunities for healthy growth, their future success becomes threatened. The Edmonton event will be held at the Red Star Pub.
The Victoria Twestival (@yyjtwestival) will be supporting The Cool Aid Society, a group which traces its origins to the Cool Aid Hostel, established over 40 years ago on June 10th 1968, to provide short-term, emergency shelter to transient youth travelling the country. Today, Cool Aid operates a diverse range of social and health services for those in the Victoria community who are most vulnerable. A large portion of the funds raised at the Victoria Twestival comes from the Silent Auction – and after looking at the list of goods and services, I can see why. Head over to the Victoria Twestival page and take a look for yourself. While you’re there, scroll down and check out the awesome artists who will be entertaining those of you meeting up in the Bengal Lounge at the Fairmont Empress Hotel. Caroline Spence, Adam Basterfield and Mike Ross from Spaceport Union will be performing, along with You, me and Jose as well as acoustic duo Megan Johns & Hayden Cyr and rising star Ashleigh Eymann.
Montreal’s Twestival event (@TwestivalMTL) will be supporting The Dans La Rue team, who works tirelessly to put Father Johns’ philosophy of help without judgment into action by providing street kids with food, shelter and support through their outreach programs.
Montreal’s Cabaret du Mile End is happy to host the Montreal Twestival, and set in the heart of the Mile End district at 5240 Parc Avenue for close to 30 years, Le Cabaret has seen thousands of local artists perform and contribute to make this venue a landmark of this neighborhood limitrophe to the Plateau and Outremont.
UpVenue is also supporting the Montreal Twestival, and the super talented Inuk singer, composer and filmmaker Elisapie Isaac will be showcasing “There will be Stars” which is her first solo recording. There Will Be Stars is the much anticipated follow up to the internationally acclaimed, award winning duo Taima which she co-founded with guitarist / composer Alain Auger in 2001.
Kelowna’s Twestival (@YLWtwestival) will be held at The Kelowna Art Gallery and will working to raise funds for the purchase of five new computers for The Women’s Resource Centre. These new computers will become a part of the Women’s Resource Centre’s educational programs.
The Lethbridge Twestival (@LethTwestival) will be held at Average Joe’s and has chosen the Family Centre Society of Southern Alberta as its cause. The Society provides services to children and their families as a Family Resource Centre. It is a community-based organization, working with children, families and caregivers to enhance identified strengths, to build capacities and to promote healthy development. They also provide a comprehensive range of prevention and early intervention services to children, youth and families as well as offering early learning through play programs.
Meanwhile the Calgary Twestival committee (@YYCtwestival) is thrilled to announce Mandie Crawford, President of Roaring Women, as the emcee for this year’s fundraising event to support Making Changes. Crawford was honoured as Business in Calgary’s 2010 Woman of the Year, and has a passion for encouraging women.
“All great leaders in history have used their passion as the driving force in making a difference in other people’s lives. Mandie is a great example of someone in our community who decided to step up and make a difference,” says Jay Cloutier, Calgary Twestival committee member. “Her life’s work is to empower women to strive for the best and be confident in their abilities, which is a perfect fit for this year’s theme. We are extremely excited that she accepted our offer to emcee this event.”
The event is on March 24th at Firewater (222 – 7th Street S.W.), and tickets can be purchased online for $15, and also sponsorship is available for as low as $100. The theme of the night spurred from one of Making Changes programs called Walk in Closet whose mandate is “To empower women by providing them with knowledge and a selection of work attire for their transition into the workplace.” At the event, there will be a paparazzi-filled red carpet, a photo booth, and models. People will have the chance to buy Espy clothes off models backs for chances to win bigger prizes.
1. Exciting performances by Sound Refuge, Greg Neufeld, The Latency and March Hare band!
2. Delicious food provided by Mizuna Culinary, Mozart Bakery and a fresh oyster bar from 1 Fish 2 Fish
3. Mesmerizing contortion acts by Westcoast Contortion
4. Free wine and beer tastings from Vista D’oro Winery, Township 7 Winery and Dead Frog Brewery
5. Big screen xBox games from Digital Smart Homes
6. Hilarious photo booth fun with Jennifer Kirk Photography
7. Airbrush tattoos from Tattoos For Now
8. Chance to win some amazing raffle prizes and silent auction items.
9. Your ticket includes one drink ticket (cash bar available thereafter) and one raffle ticket.
This is going to be such a fun night out! Invite your friends, your colleagues – and see you there, and remember: 100% of funds raised from this event will benefit the new Canuck Place Abbotsford! It’s also 1 year anniversary of the Fraser Valley Social Media Meetup and the 2 year anniversary of FraserValleyPulse.com.
Ottawa Twestival’s (@TwestivalOTT) chosen charity is the Royal Ottawa Foundation for Mental Health, and 100% of Twestival’s ticket and live & silent auction sales (along with all other proceeds) will go to support the Foundation. Your Ottawa Twestival ticket will get you in the door at Daly’s in The Westin Hotel, salty snacks and cupcakes, a photo area to get a professional avatar picture done, lots of mingling opportunities and a Twitter demo area for those who haven’t caught the bug yet.
Whistler’s Twestival (@TwestivalWhis) will be supporting Zero Ceiling, an organization that affords at risk youth and street youth the opportunity to learn and grow through the experience of adventure sport such as skiing and snowboarding. Since the charity’s inception it has helped over 4,000 youth over 13 years.
According to the Whister Twestival page, they will be drawing for a Scandinave Spa Whistler pass from the first 50 tickets sold, and then they’ll draw for an even bigger prize when sales hit 100, and an even bigger prize than that for the 150th. Big Mountain Rhythm will get the party started and with a killer silent auction, raffle and grab bag fundraiser the organizers suggest that attendees bring some cash or cheques if you want to score some cool swag and help raise more money for Zero Ceiling.
DJ Foxy Moron will get on the decks after Big Mountain Rhythm but the Whistler Twestival isn’t all about the music. It will be a feast for the senses with Paintertainment’s Candy Girls in the house, live art stations where you will be able to express yourself on blank skis and snowboards with Whistler-based artists, showings of the top three Deep Winter and Deep Summer slideshows, not to mention tasty nibbles from Pure Bread Whistler and Nester’s. Whistler’s Twestival will be hosted at the Whistler Brewing Company.