Howdy Cowtown!

We made our way to Alberta with our first stop in Calgary. Scroll on down for a taste of Calgary, plus stories from from campaigners Help an Artist Keep his Eyesight (Health) by artist Andrew Tarrant, Humanity Unscripted (Web/Video) by a team of young journalists, and Help Donate iPads to Deserving Schools – Classroom Champions by Olympic Gold Medalist Steve Mesler.

Hey, Calgary!
Hey, Calgary!
Fall is budding at Prince's Island Park
Fall is budding at Prince’s Island Park!
A little taste of Canada's old wild west
A little taste of Canada’s old wild west
Caffeine re-fuel at Calgary's beloved Higher Ground in Kensington!
Caffeine re-fuel at Calgary’s beloved Higher Ground in Kensington!


Diagnosed with Keratoconus, a degenerative eye disease, established Calgary artist Andrew Tarrant was at risk of losing his eyesight. Andrew turned to his community and fans for support, offering great art for a great cause through his Indiegogo campaign. We met Andrew (and took a spin on the potter’s wheel) at his home studio in Calgary’s Ramsay artist district.

Where were you at before the campaign?
I had been a working artist for the last 20+ years. About 5 years ago, I was diagnosed with Keratoconus, a degenerative eye disease that rendered my left eye pretty much useless. My right eye was next. As my sight degraded, my work suffered. I couldn’t produce what I used to, and certainly not in the detail and numbers I wanted. The only option was surgery, which wasn’t covered by health care.

Where are you now?
The surgery is complete, and I have my sight back. I’m back at the potter’s wheel, finishing up the perks, and teaching at the Alberta College of Art + Design.

Most popular perk?
The All-Seeing Steampunk Eye pendant, a brand new design also made just for this fundraiser. Available in red, white or dark brown clay, 1-1/8 inches (29 mm) tall. Plus the Caramel Corn recipe too. 🙂

Best thing your Indiegogo campaign made happen?



It all started over sushi – an idea to travel the world telling stories. Three years and one Indiegogo campaign later, friends and journalism school grads Kelsey Chadwick, James Paton, Katie Turner and Kelsey Hipkin are off to India, Nepal, and Southeast Asia, telling the untold stories of the people they meet along the way. We caught up with the crew (and their Indiegogo-powered gear!) at Prince’s Island Park in Calgary.

Why is this important for your community?
The reason we wanted to take on this project was because we believe as people, we share more commonalities than differences. No matter where in the world you come from, you still have dreams and goals, you want the best for for family and you want love in your life. It’s important for us to show Calgary, Canada and the rest of the world that we really are more alike than we are different.

What do you love about Calgary?
Calgary has a definite wild wild west mentality, which is fantastic because Calgarians in turn have a can-do attitude. Not only is the city beautiful and the people are amazing, it feels like the possibilities are endless here.

Best thing your Indiegogo campaign made happen?



How many elementary school kids get to learn from Olympic athletes? Thanks to Classroom Champions, thousands! The Classroom Champions Indiegogo campaign is putting iPads into kids’ hands to enable their year long connection with their school’s Olympian or Paralympian Athlete Mentor, all across Canada and the U.S. We went with Classroom Champions founder and Olympic Gold Medalist Steve Mesler to Pineview elementary to see them unwrap their new iPad, which will be connecting them to their mentor, hockey player and Olympic Gold Medalist Hayley Wickenheiser.

Why is Classroom Champions important?
With iPads in their hands, students and teachers can better connect with their Athlete Mentor throughout the course of their school year. Enabling this connection allows the athlete to truly become a role model for their students and their communities – and we know that more role models in a community equals lower drop out rates, better reaching of goals, and stronger youth-adult relationships.

Why did you crowdfund with Indiegogo?
Indiegogo makes the most sense to us. Much of the process is geared towards helping non-profits achieve their fundraising goals. It really wasn’t much of a contest who we were going to use.

How has your community supported you?
We service classrooms all over Canada – and we have had dozens of people and teachers not only spreading the word, but donating to the cause to make sure Canadian students are better connected to their country’s Olympians on their way to Sochi!

Best thing your Indiegogo campaign made happen?



Fuelled with energy from the kids (and that Gold medal!), we headed to our YYC meetup at co-working space Assembly. We saw the Calgary generosity in full force as campaigners past and present shared success tips and feedback with each other. It was a great night, even if we didn’t get a drop-in from Nenshi… we’re burning with Nenvy, so looks like we’ll have to come back to Calgary 🙂

Get involved and follow the journey @IndiegogoCA and #gogoCA


To Edmonton we go... and no Highway 2 road trip is complete without a stop at the Donut Mill :)
To Edmonton we go… and no Highway 2 road trip is complete without a stop at the Donut Mill 🙂