Recap: GalaGuru 2010

Last night was the 2nd Annual GalaGuru, “an event that celebrates the co-mingling of the creative arts and technology.” Hosted by Guru Digital Arts College at the fantastic Latitude 53, the party was very well-attended and was lots of fun! The style was “Mad Men / Stray Cats rockabilly” and while there was some discussion as to what that meant, some people just looked amazing.

The festivities got underway at 6pm, with most people arriving closer to the start of the “program” at 7pm. Guru’s Owen Brierley shared some news on Guru Digital Arts College and congratulated the school’s most recent grads. In 2008, they had 14 students. Last year, they had 28. And this year, they are aiming for 56! It’s great to see them growing here in Edmonton.

GalaGuru 2010GalaGuru 2010

The Be Arthurs, Edmonton’s official ukulele cover band, rocked out for most of the evening. Hip hop artist Steb Sly was also on hand to keep the party lively. There were computers setup around the space (which many people used to check Twitter) and in the “viewing room” attendees were treated to ZoomJer’s creepy basement videos as well as screenings of some the Guru students’ most recent work. Of course, there was also good food and local drinks!

The Be Arthurs

I was really happy that Guru decided to support Twestival this year, meaning we could have one bigger event rather than two smaller ones. The money raised last night will go to Concern Worldwide, an organization that provides education for the world’s poorest children. In addition to whatever online donations were made, we managed to raise $293 last night. Thanks everyone!

GalaGuru 2010@bingofuel

In his opening remarks, Owen did a good job of highlighting Edmonton’s various creative communities and how they are increasingly getting connected. Last night was proof of that – lots of people told me they had never been to Latitude 53 before, and that they didn’t know too much about Guru. It’s always a good thing when local people meet one another!

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Thanks to Guru for hosting such a great event – can’t wait until the next one! You can see a few more photos here.

GalaGuru 2010 & Edmonton Twestival

Guru Digital Arts College, a digital media school located in downtown Edmonton, is hosting an event on March 25 at Latitude 53 called GalaGuru to celebrate the co-mingling of the creative arts and technology. This is the second year they’ve held the event, which features local food, interactive exhibits, and Edmonton’s own The Be Arthurs!

Also on March 25, is Twestival Global 2010. Hundreds of cities around the world, including Edmonton, will be hosting local events to create awareness for the important cause of education. All funds raised will go to Concern Worldwide, an organization that provides education for the world’s poorest children. Founded in 1968, Concern’s current education programs reach over 700,000 people in 25 countries. Twestival is also a fun way to meet other local Twitter users face-to-face!

So we’ve got a local educational institution hosting a big party on the same day that Twitter users are rallying around education. Sounds like a great match! That’s why were joining forces:

WHO: You and all your friends!
WHAT: GalaGuru 2010 & Edmonton Twestival (on ShareEdmonton)
WHEN: March 25, 2010 at 6 PM
WHERE: Latitude 53 – 10248 106 Street
WHY: To celebrate creative arts, technology, and education!

If you’re planning to attend, please RSVP and if you’re on Twitter, add your name to the wiki. You can donate to Concern online (use the widget on the right here), or bring your donation with you to the event. Hope to see you there!

Recap: Twestival Local 2009 in Edmonton

Tonight we held Twestival Local in Edmonton, a tweetup to raise money for the Youth Emergency Shelter Society. It was great to see a mix of new and familiar faces come out! In all I think we had about 30 people attend, a little less than our last Twestival but still pretty good!

As you probably know, the local community decided in an online vote that YESS would be our cause for this Twestival (each city got to pick a local cause to support). While we didn’t decide specifically what the money raised would go toward, YESS is about to launch a new facility called the Armoury Youth Centre, and that kind of thing doesn’t happen for free! I’m happy to report that we raised $565 tonight for YESS – well done everyone!

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You can see the rest of my photos from the evening here. Shout out to @GregWalker, @thalegion, and @JonProject for taking most of them!

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We’re thinking our next tweetup might be in October, so stay tuned! Thanks to everyone who came out tonight to support YESS.

Twestival Local 2009 – September 10th in Edmonton

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, we’re holding Twestival Local here in Edmonton next week (get your tickets here). After an online vote, it was decided that the local cause we’ll be supporting is the Youth Emergency Shelter Society. I’m very excited about this, and they are too! Here’s a brief into to YESS:

In 1978, a group of concerned individuals discovered a gap in our social services system. Essentially, there were no programs in place to assist homeless children between the ages of 16 and 18. In response to this lack of service, the group activated  the Youth Emergency Shelter Society (Y.E.S.S.) in September 1981, offering services in a reclaimed fire hall building on Whyte Avenue.

In 2004, based on extensive research into the challenges and issues faced by homeless youth in our community, Y.E.S.S. conducted a major  restructuring  of  all  programs. We  are  now  serving  youth  at risk more efficiently and effectively than ever!

And a little on why they need our help:

YESS relies on fundraising for more than 50% of our budget each year. We face the ongoing challenge of raising more money to provide services to Edmonton’s growing population of troubled teens. You are a critical part of our ability to continue to develop our programs.

For more, check out their Summer 2009 “Eye on Youth” newsletter in PDF.

Very soon, YESS is opening a new facility called the Armoury Youth Centre. They responded to the City’s RFP for the Connaught Armoury space just north of Whyte Avenue and were chosen as the organization whose proposed program would have the greatest positive impact on the community.

A couple weeks after Twestival, you can check out the new Armoury Youth Centre for yourself! Here are the details:

September 26 & 27

Pancake Breakfast from 8am to 10:30am
Tours from 9am to 4:30pm
Afternoon BBQ!

10310 85 Avenue
Edmonton, AB

You can download the grand opening invite in PDF here.

Twestival Local takes place on Thursday. Here are the details:

WHAT: Twestival Local 2009
WHEN: Thursday, September 10, 2009 at 6:00pm
WHERE: Original Joe’s Varsity Row, 8404 109 Street, Edmonton, AB (map)
WHY: To support the Youth Emergency Shelter Society

We’re asking for a minimum donation of $20, but feel free to donate more! You can get tickets online here. Please spread the word!

See you there!

Twestival Local 2009 in Edmonton

Back in February, the Edmonton Twitter community participated in the first ever Twestival – a tweetup for charity. We raised over $1000 for charity:water, and we had a great time doing so! As a great a cause as that was, I would have preferred to support something local. That’s why I am excited about Twestival Local:

Twestival was born out of the idea that if cities are able to collaborate on an international scale, but work from a local level, it would result in a spectacular impact. While Twestival Global put the spotlight around one cause, Twestival Local is encouraging cities around the world to host events in support of a local cause.

The goal is to give people a chance to feel they are contributing to a larger social initiative, but bring the cause a little closer to home.

So basically Twestival is back, and we’re supporting a local cause this time! Which one? We don’t know – we need your help to decide! You can vote online here.

We’re going to hold our Twestival on September 10, 2009. We haven’t yet decided on a venue, so please add your suggestions for that and anything else to the wiki. Watch @edmontontweetup and the Twestival Edmonton blog for updates.

Recap: Edmonton Twestival 2009

Wow, what a fantastic evening! Thanks to everyone who came out tonight, and to everyone who supported Twestival. I think it’s really cool that the Edmonton community was able to participate and help make a difference for those in the world who don’t have access to safe, clean drinking water.

Our hope was to have around 50 people attend this evening, and we came very close – the final tally was 45. Everyone donated $20, which means we raised at least $900 from ticket sales. I know at least another $100 was donated online via tipjoy, so that brings us to $1000 raised for charity: water. Well done everyone!


Photos by momentsindigital (site)

Thanks once again to everyone who donated the door prizes: @sassycakes, @transcendcoffee, @bruceclarke, @NAIT, @thechadj, @Out_Inc, @cmscritic, and @tonyratcliffe. Thanks also to @sharonyeo for doing a ton of work to make tonight happen!

I’ve posted a few photos and a video here, @bruceclarke posted some much better ones here, and @tonyratcliffe posted his photos here. If you know of any others, please let me know! If you’re feeling adventurous, you can read some of tonight’s chatter at Twitter Search.

I can’t wait to hear how Twestival went in other cities – there should be lots of exciting news over the next few days. Keep an eye on @twestival for updates.

Our next Twitter event here in Edmonton will be EdmontonTweetup4. See you there!

UPDATE: We raised at least $1000 but because of the online donations and other ways to help out, our total raised may end up being higher than that. I’ll update again when I know the official numbers.

Two days until Edmonton Twestival 2009

In less than 48 hours, Edmonton Twestival 2009 will be underway! I’m really looking forward to the event and I hope you are too.

One of the things we wanted to do with Twestival was showcase local organizations on Twitter. Fortunately, quite a few have stepped up to contribute door prizes! Thanks to:

Want a shot at winning one of these fantastic prizes? You must register online! If you’re not comfortable entering your credit card online, register for the free ticket and bring your donation to the event.

I also wanted to thank the Calgary Twestival crew for getting an Alberta Twestival logo created:

Very cool! Here are a couple of other things created for Twestival recently:

  • Donation Water Cloud – Donate and get your name on the cloud! The most generous donors will appear on the official Twestival t-shirt.
  • Official T-Shirt – You can order the shirt until Monday, February 16th. I love the design!
  • Twestival.fm – What’s a festival without music? Donate and tweet your favorite tunes.

I’ll be posting updates on both @mastermaq and @edmontontweetup as we get closer to show time. You can also check out the #twestival hashtag on Twitter Search.

Hope to see you on Thursday evening!

UPDATE: We made the front page of the Edmonton Journal today! You can read the article online here.

Twestival Edmonton – February 12th, 2009

I’m excited to announce the latest Twitter event taking place in Edmonton: Twestival 2009! More than 100 cities around the world are hosting Twestivals on February 12th to raise money and awareness for charity: water. When I heard about the idea, I knew that Edmonton had to participate. After all, we’re known for our support of community and charitable causes, and the Twitter community here is second-to-none! It’s going to be an evening of great fun for a great cause!

Here are the details:

WHO: You and your friends!
WHAT: Edmonton Twestival 2009
WHEN: Thursday, February 12th at 6:30pm
WHERE: Vintage Lounge, 10124 124th Street – map
WHY: To have some fun while supporting a great cause!
COST: We’re asking for a $20 donation which will go entirely to charity: water.

Click here to register for the event. If at all possible, please use the donate online option when you book your ticket as that’ll simplify things for us.

Here’s a bit more information on Twestival:

The Twestival is organized 100% by volunteers in cities around the world and 100% of the money raised from these events will go directly to support charity: water projects. Unsafe water and lack of basic sanitation cause 80% of all sickness and disease, and kill more people every year than all forms of violence, including war. By rallying together globally, under short timescales, for a single aim on the same day, the Twestival hopes to bring awareness to this global crisis.

Needless to say, I think it’s a cause worth supporting. The cost of funding a well project in a developing country starts at $4,000 USD. Together with our friends in Calgary, I think Alberta can definitely raise enough to fund an entire well!

Some cities have organized elaborate programs for their Twestival, which is cool. Here in Edmonton, we thought it would be better to keep things simple. Here’s what we’ve got planned:

  • Come anytime after 6:30pm to Vintage Lounge. If you’ve registered online, we’ll have a special nametag waiting for you. Meet people who are new to you, and reconnect with people you already know. Put faces and real names to Twitter usernames!
  • Also if you’ve registered online, you’ll have a shot at winning one of our door prizes! We wanted to highlight local organizations on Twitter, so have asked a few for donations. Our first supporter is SassyCakes! Let me know if you’d like to donate something.
  • Connect to the free wireless provided by Vintage Lounge and chat with Twestival-goers in other cities. We’ll have a screen setup thanking our supporters, and showing real-time Twestival chat from around the world!
  • Feel free to bring friends who are currently missing out on Twitter – we’ll get them registered on the spot!

Beyond that, let’s just have a good time and raise some money for charity: water!

If you’re interested in sponsoring the event, or donating a door prize, or otherwise helping out, please let me know. Stay tuned to the wiki and the @edmontontweetup account for news and updates.

Major thanks to Sharon (@sharonyeo) for helping me get this off the ground, and to everyone else who has provided input and support so far (@dibegin, @Roger, @amanda etc.)

See you there!

UPDATE: Here is charity: water’s official Twestival page.