A Taste of Groundswell - An event that amazed all!

By Groundswell participant Joel Spooner

On Tuesday, November 1st, the 5th cohort of Groundswell put on an amazing fundraising event. The event “A Taste of Groundswell” was a true success and reached more people from a variety of backgrounds than was expected. 

The event was put on to raise awareness of social ventures and to create a space for people to learn, network, inspire and be inspired. With the goal to raise funds to be put back into the growth of Groundswell’s community for example through sponsoring a position in the next 6 month social venture program.

What is Groundswell?

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Groundswell is more than a physical space, it is a young, growing community of people who are looking to make and sustain positive change in this world. Groundswell is supporting the growth of social ventures here in Vancouver, by providing 6 month programs which give social entrepreneurial training, mentorship and community support, with the aim to build a network of committed and caring people who intern support the next generation of social ventures to follow. 

How was this event born?

From a group of strangers to a team of successful event organisers in 7 weeks. Groundswell’s 5th cohort, which I am proud to be part of, were given the task of putting on a fundraising event with the following remit; 

  • No budget
  • 5 week dead line
  • Free access to a cafe/bar space with relevant licences and 2 staff
  • raise funds to support social ventures

Go Go Go get creative…

When you throw something like that into a group of people who have know each other for 2 weeks you can only imagine how that goes! The first event organisation session was, let’s say interesting! A lot of ideas, a few miss understandings, some anxious comments over concerns of failure; “will we be able to make this a success?” Concerns over whether the group will be able to hold it together. After that day there were certainly confidence knocking feelings. 

The second planning session brought a bit more clarity, still some uncomfortable moments and questioning of why are we doing this? for what purpose? if we don’t understand what we are doing how are we meant to convince anyone to get onboard???

Then, a break through! The mass of ideas were coherently brought together, we had formed a concept, “a Taste of Groundswell” we had a rough outline of what it would look like. It would be a showcasing market space and some live music. 

But now an even tighter deadline loomed over us, a lot of questions being asked how, why and what is this about? what is our mission? how are we going to make this work? how are we going to get people on board in a short amount of time? We had to get resourceful, creative and take action. Do Do do and you will succeed….

What happened?

We efficiently had everything setup and ready to go, a little calm before the crowds came flooding in!

As soon as the doors opened at 5:30 the market space was quickly filled!

There were various social ventures present, some from previous Groundswell cohort’s, other local businesses and some from the current cohort. Each vendor was able to sell their wares and connect with the locals. The interaction was perfect, a natural learning space with a real community feel.

From this point on the room continued to buzz with the sound of engaged conversations which ebed and flowed as new people arrived. There were several elements to the evening with the creative corner being a major hit with all.

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We were blessed with some amazing food from Rebel Soup and some delightful Syrian food provide by Al Mona Syrian Food. Our neighbouring local brewery, Postmark provided us with great support and tasty pale ale and as for the raffle, wow! It was a raffle to surpass all raffles; a fruitful array of amazingly generous donations.

All of this followed by local music from soulful jazz to west coast reggae vibes with our own Mike Houg opening the sets.

Concluding Thoughts?

The event was a real success from conception through planning, and execution on the actual day. We really gave the attendees a taste of Groundswell and there have been many positive and interested responses as a result, even requests for more events!

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We are awaiting to hear how much we managed to raise in total but to date we are at $1500.00 so a massive thank you to everyone who attended and to all those who contributed their time and/or donated their products or services. 

7 weeks ago we were a group of strangers who chose to take a step forward in a positive direction. Today we are a team of enthusiastic, skilled and caring people who put together an amazing event. I look forward to the future we create.

Who was involved?

Thank you to all who were involved in putting this together, the donations, collaborations and community effort!

Links to some of the people involved:

 Groundswell cohort 5 

Photos are courtesy of Karen Tompkins and Ismail Esen