What better way to connect with neighbourhours than supporting start-up enterprises? Vancouver SOUP differs from online crowdfunding in that it is in person. People come together, share an evening of food and fun, while supporting projects happening in their community. The audience, who are the ‘investors’, hear four project pitches and the ‘winner’ leaves with the door proceeds. This is building community and CCEC is proud to partner with Groundswell as a sponsor on their new project.
To volunteer, make SOUP, donate bread email firstname.lastname@example.org
Vancouver SOUP is based on the successful Detroit SOUP. The organizers see this project as a unique opportunity for Vancouverites to connect with each other in an easy, fun, delicious way. Vancouver is known as an unfriendly city where people feel disconnected from their neighbours and their community. The Vancouver SOUP Team feel that the problem that part of the problem can be solved by getting together with people over meaningful conversation or projects like weeding a shared garden, serving on a committee, or even deciding which community-building project to support. Vancouver SOUP can be that project. Kerrie says, “I have lived in many apartment buildings where people barely make eye contact crossing paths in the hallway. Conversations are mere pleasantries.” By attending a Vancouver SOUP event, people are launched into meaningful conversation about projects that could affect their lives. They are all in it together .
The first Vancouver SOUP held in September was sold out with over 70 people who donated almost $800.00. Kerrie O’Donnell, Project Di
rector says, “While online crowdfunding might raise more money, it doesn’t bring the community and investors together. We, you and I, are the investors.”
The winner at the first event was Magpie’s Nest Community Art Space with their Community Art Nights where they offer free space and materials for the public to come together over art. The audience of ‘investors’ also heard pitches about launching a Zero Waste Club, starting community dialog events centered around the ‘Talking Chairs’, and harm reduction for nightlife and music festival communities.
At the second Vancouver SOUP, held on November 19th, 55 people donated $550 and voted The Binners’ Project the winner. The Binners’ Project creates jobs for people collecting redeemable containers and reduces waste being sent to landfills. At the event, Director Anna Godefroy explained that the money will go toward a new initiative called the Binners’ Box - where a dedicated box will be set up in laneways of buildings and housing complexes, allowing residents or businesses to place recyclable products with a deposit in the Binner Box, for a local binner to pick up. Keep an eye out for the testing phase of this project in the Downtown East Side soon!
Vancouver SOUP is a crowdfunding event, where the ‘crowd’ is the audience who contribute at the door. Vancouver SOUP is different from online crowdfunding is that it is in person. Kerries says, “We envision Vancouver as a friendly city where people feel connected to their neighbours. We see a community where people support each other in finding solutions and neighbours help each other and participate in projects that better their community. Vancouver SOUP is a place where Vancouverites can come together and leave feeling more connected to their community and perhaps they even leave with new friends.”
Vancouver SOUP is currently held in the Downtown East Side at Groundswell Café as a ‘city-wide SOUP’. The organizers see the SOUP appeal growing and aim to draw projects and ‘investors’ from all over the city as a larger crowd will raise more money for the winning project. At the same time, they recognize that each neighbourhood has its own character, and they are open to helping other neighbourhoods setup their own SOUP events.
Kerries says, “Each Vancouver SOUP event is a little different, mostly because the people pitching their ideas aiming to win the crowd’s money are different. There are new ideas to make our fine city a better place each at each event.”
Thank you Vancouver, for showing us SOUP love!
For more information, to get involved or to host a Vancouver SOUP event contact:
Kerrie O'Donnell, Project Director, Vancouver SOUP