Vancouver Twestival 2011: Save the Date

Add a Comment by Rebecca Bollwitt

Vancouver Twestival 2011 will take place March 24th and my organizational team is already on their toes, arranging sponsors, prizes, and securing a venue. For those unfamiliar with Twestival, Vancouver’s largest Twitter-based fundraiser, here’s a bit of background.

Tweet. Meet. Give.

Twestival is a Twitter Festival, the brainchild of a small group of people who got together in 2008 for a Tweetup (meetup of people organized and promoted through Twitter) for a cause. They put their heads together and thought about what kind of impact an event like this could have on a global scale. A daunting task, but by 2009 Amanda Rose and her global Twestival team rallied just over 200 cities who all hosted a Tweetup for the same global cause, on the same night and Twestival was born.

I found out about this event through Twitter (naturally) and in February of 2009 I organized Vancouver’s first Twestival at the Opus Hotel, benefitting Charity:Water. Thanks to Twestivals around the world, Charity:Water received $264,000 to help drill wells and provide clean water for communities in developing nations. Vancouver’s contribution was just over $4,000.

The following September, a new type of Twestival emerged. This time it was Twestival Local, a chance to fundraise for a local cause but hosting events in over 200 cities around the world on the very same day. Twestival “headquarters” supplied blogs, UStream accounts, ticket processing systems, images, and more for cities around the world that wanted to take part. Once again Vancouver raised over $4,000 but this time for our local cause of the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation‘s “Be a Super Hero” campaign.

I also encouraged Janice LaCouvee in Victoria to sign her city up for Twestival and soon BC had two major cities participating in the worldwide event.

With the growing popularity of Twitter we had an overwhelming response by the time the third Twestival came around in March of 2010. This was a Twestival Global once again, with over 200 cities raising funds for Concern Worldwide on the same day. I signed on a stellar group of volunteers to help with the task of organizing this event and Marc, Azita, Kirsten, Kim, Melissa, and Sonia (along with day-of volunteers) helped host our most successful Twestival in Vancouver to date. In one night at the CBC Audience Lounge, we raised over $9,000 for Concern through ticket sales, raffles, and silent auctions. Almost 200 people gathered to Tweet, Twitpic, and meet friends from Twitter — some for the first time.

Twestival 2010 in Liberia from Concern Worldwide.

It’s now been almost a year since the last Twestival Global and we’re heading back to the Twestival Local style. Vancouver is now joined by Victoria, the Fraser Valley, Kelowna, Whistler, and the Comox Valley in hosting Twestival Local events on March 24th.

My organizational team (with the addition of Bob from Vancouver is Awesome) and I are currently accepting nominations for local (Metro Vancouver-based) causes and we will be selecting our cause of choice this week. The non-profit must be based in Metro Vancouver and must be able to describe a specific project that our Twestival funds will go toward. We are also looking for sponsors as 100% of all proceeds from tickets sales and raffles must go toward the cause. We rely fully on sponsor support to make this event happen and we have been very fortunate to work with some generous companies in the past.

Please save the date for Vancouver’s Twestival Local coming up March 24th and should you be able to donate a prize, sponsor dollars, or even your time, please contact our team by emailing twestivalvancouver [at] gmail [dot] com. Tickets will be going on sale mid-February once our non-profit partnership is announced. Follow @YVRTwestival for updates and information.

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