Recap of MEÆT 3.5: The Amphitheatre

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The 7th edition of Meaet, held Monday December 10th 2012 at the Tucker Amphitheatre at the Citadel, was the biggest, and perhaps the most memorable one to date!

The talented Todd Babiak, the self-proclaimed “Director of Everything,” graciously hosted this Meaet event. He started the night by asking our audience, “Why do you live here?” It’s a good question. Edmontonians tend to complain. A lot. If we aren’t complaining about the weather, we are complaining about the potholes. Or the price of those Talus Balls. Or something.

So why do people live here? Over the course of a year, Todd interviewed 112 Edmontonians, to seek some answers. Although he got a lot of different responses, one thing connected them all: Edmonton is a great place to make something out of nothing. We have created micro-funding events like Meaet, pop-up shops, one of a kind festivals and more! Edmontonians love to make things happen!

Perhaps it was Todd’s charming personality or something in the air at the Citadel, but “make something” quickly became the theme of the night. At least six people wanted to make something that night.

Before our presenters each gave their five minute pitch, a group of architectural students inspired us with their community-building project, ComFORT. They won $500 in microfunding to make ComFORT happen. The idea behind ComFORT is that by building furniture forts, they will have a place for people to socialize and connect with others. ComFORT events took place at Churchill Square, Grant MacEwan University and various other places in the downtown area. ComFORT was a major success!

The first presenter of the night was artist Rachel Kent. She wanted to make “Threads,” a documentary that explores the relationship women have with clothes through the eyes of 5 different female storytellers. The funding would go towards script development, travel expenses and venue costs. For more info, please visit Rachel’s blog:

Next was James Fox. He came to the event to fundraise for “Smile Dinner,” an event that aims to show transgendered/sexually exploited individuals that they are special and loved. Along with a dinner, the participants will also get a free makeover. He would use the funds to buy personal hygiene products and other things that aren’t usually donated. Volunteers and donations are still needed for the January 19, 2013 event. You can contact James at

Third was Justin Bertagnolli. He wanted to make a catalyst for change with the Social Impact Bond, a business idea where he would form partnerships with government, investors and other organizations to fund social programs that otherwise wouldn’t be funded. Justin wanted use the funds towards the start-up costs. To learn more about Social Impact bonds, visit:

Fourth was Next Gen’s very own, Alex Draper pitching for Edmonton Trophy Champions. He wanted to start a trophy competition, where Edmontonians can vie for a trophy (and bragging rights!) by winning challenges, which could be anything from arm wrestling to yodeling. The funds would go towards the first competition, a scavenger hunt and a shiny, new trophy!

Fifth pitcher of the night was Ryan Barbazuk of Escape Basic Apocalypse Training. He created a survival training program, which he believes can make the world a better place. By facing our fears and learning new skills, we can create more positivity in the community. He would have used the funds towards scholarships to fund underprivileged individuals to attend his training program. For more info, visit:

Andrew Ritchie from the Common Grounds Arts Society was the final presenter of the night. He made something called the Found Festival, “a site-specific smorgasbord exhibiting explosive and dynamic new works in a variety of unconventional spaces” and wanted to use the funds toward venue expenses. Artists need space to create art. To find out more about the festival, visit:

These were all great ideas, but the philanthropists-in-training chose James of Smile Dinner as the winner and went home with a whopping, record-breaking $1160! Congratulations, James!
Thank you to the presenters and attendees for taking the time to come out to Meaet. Hope you were inspired to make something. Follow the hashtag #makesomethingyeg on Twitter for inspiration.

Special shoutout to the two improv masters from the world-class Rapid Fire Theatre for making us laugh throughout the night with their high energy and hilarious skits and the DJ for all the tunes.

Until Next Time,
Karen Lee for Next Gen


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