The Short List

19 Feb

The sweet sixteen. From over 250!

What gets funded this month should not be taken as an indicator of what gets funded the next. We plan to support as wide a variety of ideas as possible.

If you’re not on the list, you’re still in the running for next month!

The Party: Announcement party is this Thursday, the 24th, at 8pm at the Drake Hotel. Doors open at 7. Get on the guest list to be assured a space. All are welcome!

Musical Subway Palindromes: Original musical pieces composed to sound the same backwards and forwards. Timed to last the same duration as travel between subway stations. Presented through live performance on the trains.

Singing in the Rain: A massive karaoke party at Yonge & Dundas Square with the lyrics on all the video billboards.

Snapshots of Toronto: Distributing 100s of disposal cameras to random Torontonians to have them document their personal versions of the city. Then showcasing the results online.

Blue Box Transportation Device: Developing and selling a frame with wheels and runners to make it easier for seniors and others to haul their recycling to the curb. With the proceeds going to local charity.

The Jesus Machine: A giant vat full of cornstarch and water. A non-Newtonian liquid that lets everyone walk across the surface.

Rob Ford Bat Signal: Send a text whenever you are in need of our valiant and personally responsive Mayor! Projects a giant gravy train bat signal into the night sky.

Massey Centre for Women: Start-up funding for a group of teenage women in a post-natal program to design and launch a line of handmade jewelry and other fashion accessories.

Baggage Dumping Ground: 500 pieces of vintage luggage, sourced from local stores, into which passersby can drop personal notes leaving behind their emotional baggage.

Herd Perception: 1.) Place web cams on cows. 2.) Drop new things into the field that gets the cows’ attention. 3.) Stream it all to the web.

Take Off Your Clothes: A giant clothing swap meet. Unclaimed items get donated to charity.

Cupcakes for All!: Exactly what it sounds like.

Project Zoo: Taking the hair shaved from animals at the zoo, turning it into yarn, making stuff, then selling it at the zoo to raise funds.

Toronto Sparkles: World’s largest sparkler parade led by a clown along Yonge Street.

Cardboard Fort Night!: Come and make giant forts out of cardboard and duct tape.

Connect the T-dots: Painting large dots and numbers on the roofs of buildings to turn aerial and satellite views of Toronto into a giant connect-the-dots puzzle.

Spontaneous Singing Using Buildings: Choral music performed in unusual places with amazing acoustics.

48 Responses to “The Short List”

  1. Forbes February 19, 2011 at 9:24 am #

    Isn’t the walking on water idea copied from Mythbuster?

    • Joe Catman February 19, 2011 at 10:15 am #

      Yes, Mythbusters did a small version which you can see here:

      A lot of these ideas are copied, it seems, from other things that have happened. I am personally disappointed that my own Awesome Idea did not make the shortlist. I am confident that a bowling ball drop from the CN Tower can not only be done safely, but simply. I remain undeterred, however, and will submit my bowling ball drop idea again next month.

      In the fullness of time I am hopeful the Awesome Foundation Committee will see the genius of My Idea and award me the grant. I hope they don’t take too long, though, or the Awesome Foundation should be renamed the Unenlightened Philistines Foundation. Or rather, LOSTation.

      • Jamie February 22, 2011 at 9:52 am #

        agreed Joe.

        “A lot of these ideas are copied, it seems, from other things that have happened.”

  2. ChickeryChick February 19, 2011 at 12:53 pm #

    I LOVE the Baggage Dumping Ground idea! Everyone has baggage to get rid of!

  3. Crickers February 19, 2011 at 12:58 pm #

    Love, love, love the idea of Baggage Dumping Ground. Who doesn’t need a way to unload baggage off their minds!

  4. Katrin kilarska February 19, 2011 at 1:12 pm #

    Baggage Dumping Ground, I like this concept. There is something alluring about leaving personal thoughts, venting or even expressing personal thoughts and ideas to the unknown…strangers. I’ve countlessly found myself venting an issue to someone that I just met, it’s refreshing to hear an honest new opinion – as it is to leave personal thoughts and ideas on a note for the public to read. It would be interesting to walk by and read other peoples messages and relate.

  5. Elizabeth February 19, 2011 at 1:23 pm #

    I love the Baggage Dumping Ground.I think this is something everyone wants to do.

  6. Joe Catman February 19, 2011 at 1:32 pm #

    WTF? Where are all these votes for baggage coming from? I am going to post this list on Facebook and try to get all my friends to vote for Cupcakes for All! Boo to Baggage! Baggage is sad. Cupcakes are light, frothy and delicious! Cupcakes are more awesome than baggage. That is plain for anyone to see.

  7. Jaz February 19, 2011 at 1:41 pm #

    Rob Ford Bat Signal: WHAT?

    Take Off Your Clothes: isn’t public nudity against the law?

    Massey Centre For Women: do you just want 1,000 bucks?

    Blue Box Transportation Device: do your recycling bins NOT have wheels? and if they’re really that hard to move around, shouldn’t you be donating them to older folks who need them?

    not so awesome, guys

  8. Jaclyn M. Casto February 19, 2011 at 1:43 pm #

    All of these are great ideas! I personally favor the Snapshots of Toronto, Blue Box Transportation Device, Baggage Dumping Ground, and Connect the T-dots. Really unique and interesting ideas.

    • Rick February 23, 2011 at 8:48 am #

      “Really unique and interesting ideas.”

      Seriously? I hope the judges did some due diligence here. Many of these ideas are not “unique” at all. The one that sticks out the most is the “Blue Box Transportation Device”. Hardly unique since there are many websites out there selling this product already. I’ve had a “blue box transportation device” for a couple years now that I bought from Home Hardware.

      ….and the list goes on…..

  9. Cyndi February 19, 2011 at 1:49 pm #

    I like Baggage Dumping Ground. The kind of world we’re living in today, you need to get rid of your emotional baggage any way you can. If dropping a lil note in a piece of luggage will do that then I’m all for it. We all need a lil something to put us on the road to happiness, it’s the only way to move forward.

  10. Jen February 19, 2011 at 1:53 pm #

    i like the baggage dumping ground idea. it’d be nice to have somewhere to tell your story without the uncomfortable, piercing stares of over-concerned therapists. O.o

  11. Desiree Manahan February 19, 2011 at 2:04 pm #

    I would go for the Baggage Dumping Ground idea, it sounds awsome!

  12. Richard February 19, 2011 at 2:12 pm #

    I vote for the Baggage Dumping Ground…we all have baggage that we carry around all our lives that burdens us. It would be such a relief to unload our baggage into that Dumping Ground, Great concept, write all those notes everyone

  13. Graham Inman February 19, 2011 at 2:18 pm #

    Baggage Dumping Ground, sounds cool!

  14. chellebellz February 19, 2011 at 2:30 pm #


  15. Dorcas Szabo February 19, 2011 at 2:33 pm #

    That Baggage dumping idea sounds amazing! It’d be very useful!!!

  16. Joe Scime February 19, 2011 at 3:07 pm #

    I like the Baggage Dumping Ground concept. It was well thought and innovative. Well Done..well done

  17. Bryn February 19, 2011 at 3:37 pm #

    BAGGAGE DUMPING GROUND!! it’s undeniably brilliaaaant

  18. Emily February 19, 2011 at 3:39 pm #

    I like the baggage dumping ground idea!

  19. Magali February 19, 2011 at 4:28 pm #

    Baggage dumping ground is an awesome idea. I think it’s important to let go of the past and the things that hurt us in life and just writing it down on a note and leaving it there can help; it’s a symbolic gesture but I really think it would help people by pushing them to move on.

  20. Tina February 19, 2011 at 6:50 pm #

    Baggage Dumping Ground is an amazing idea! Definitely has my vote.

  21. Adorably Dead February 19, 2011 at 7:02 pm #

    Baggage Dumping Ground FTW!!!

  22. Lacey D February 19, 2011 at 11:19 pm #

    Don’t we all have emotional baggage that we need to get off our minds. I support Baggage Dumping Ground.

  23. Shannon Stacey February 20, 2011 at 3:58 am #

    I think Baggage Dumping Ground is a great idea.

  24. Angie February 20, 2011 at 10:41 am #

    Love the Baggage dumping ground concept… got my vote

  25. Jeremy February 20, 2011 at 12:50 pm #

    Baggage sounds like a fun idea – but isn’t it just essentially Post Secret? And what’s being done with the stuff after?
    I like the more sustainable ideas like Snapshots of Toronto, although I think that the build-a-fort idea is pretty badass as well.

    • Joe Catman February 20, 2011 at 1:47 pm #

      Jeremy, you’re right in that it sounds a lot like Post Secret. It also sounds like this other cool event I heard about where people take an object, maybe something leftover from an ex, or something like that, and they bring it to this warehouse space, and you get to sledgehammer the fuck out of it, until it’s in pieces, and then they take the scattered remains of whatever it was and immerse it in a clear cube of epoxy resin. Once it’s hardened, after a few days, they mail it to you. In my opinion, THAT is truly awesome. Baggage event is awesome in its own way, but certainly not to the degree all these comments would seem to suggest. My worry is how they’re going to find space for 500 bags, and have them be there long enough for people to visit and leave their thoughts. Another concern is that it’s very much like that Yoko Ono piece, The Wish Tree, where people write down a wish and hang it on a tree. But then, I am not sure that the Awesome Foundation is so much concerned with whether something is derivative, or High Art, or Done Before in the Art World, as much as whether it’s awesome and would make life more awesome, and whether the members of the governing board would want to take part in it. Ultimately, it seems to me that the Awesome Foundation was founded on the principal of funding the change you want to see in the world. What kind of city do I want to live in? And how, by holding this monthly grant, can I encourage the kinds of loveliness that I would like to participate in myself? I am personally biased in this conversation because I am one of the contenders, but there were only 3 out of the 16 that made me go, “Holy fuck. That would be really awesome.” Most of the ideas seemed to me that they were done successfully in other cities, and so were suggested again. You only have to youtube most of the ideas and you’ll find they’ve been done before. But again, I am not sure the purpose of this foundation should necessarily always be trying to do something groundbreaking. The Awesome Foundation itself is something that is a copy of a seed from another city. But it seems to me that the purpose of it shouldn’t always be to replicate the awesome things that other cities have done, but to mine specifically the gold veins of Toronto’s creative earth. It will be very interesting to me to see which Awesome Idea this inaugural grant supports.

      • Jeremy February 20, 2011 at 7:02 pm #

        Good points all around. I must admit that I am also one of the contenders 🙂

  26. Geoffrey February 20, 2011 at 1:56 pm #

    Thrilled to see the level of commentary!

    I’m guessing that the people behind the Baggage Dumping Ground have a very active and loyal circle of friends. =)

    We are hoping to do something original for our first grant, but that’s not a requirement. Since publishing the list we’ve learned that a few of the ideas have been done before. But as stated the Toronto Awesome Foundation is also a replication of what’s been done before in other cities.

    We’ll find a balance and mix it up as we go. This is just the February round. Lots more to come.

  27. Antee Loo February 20, 2011 at 5:46 pm #

    I love Baggage Dumping Ground. I can fill up a whole suitcase myself!!

  28. Joe Catman February 20, 2011 at 6:27 pm #

    The Baggage Dumping Ground idea is sooo hot. Both of its parents are good looking, so maybe that’s why. That idea just fell down from heaven. Its voice is good and its hair is sexy. I am in love with this idea and I have like, 65 posters of it in my room. I don’t love it because of its body or its music, I love it because of its personality. The idea is just so sweet and funny. I look for an idea that melts me when I stare into its eyes. An idea that will hold me when my world has gone all dark and cold, an idea that is sweet and funny and loves me for ME. This idea surely fits that description. Its so sexy with its gorgeous hair and beautiful skin. Baggage Dumping Ground would make a hot vampire! LOL. It’s a perfect little package and its eyes are like little chocolates. I’m blushing because I know I shouldn’t be saying this because I had a Confession the other day about it and I hope Baggage Dumping Ground doesn’t see this! I love this idea because that’s how God made it! It is the hottest thing alive right now! It is 2 hot 2 b true! The idea is hot because it takes care of itself! I’ve heard that it’s been working out a lot! The idea is just cursed with its hotness. I hope the idea doesn’t have a girlfriend or anything because like, I would totally be its girlfriend. We could even like, have full sex. Part of me doesn’t want Baggage Dumping Ground to see this, but another part of me (down there) secretly does. BDG I love you!

    • ChickeryChick February 20, 2011 at 6:36 pm #

      Joe, did you take your meds today?

      • Joe Catman February 20, 2011 at 6:50 pm #

        Ha! You’re just jealous because BDG loves me more. It’s cuz I’m pretty, and you’re not. Don’t take it personally. Look, in this world there are pretty people and non-pretty people. It’s just the way it IS. BDG is a pretty idea. Makes sense that it would go for pretty people, like me. Look, all you could say about BDG was “I LOVE the Baggage Dumping Ground idea! Everyone has baggage to get rid of!” That is an EXACT QUOTE. You said it on Feb. 19th at 12:53 PM. Really? Do you really think that’s going to get BDG’s attention? You’ll need to do better than that, girlfriend. Even your snarky remark to me: “Joe, did you take your meds today?” You think that’s funny? That’s like a line from Rudy on The Cosby Show. If you ever HOPE to get into BDG’s pants, you’ve got show it you’re worthy of getting in there. Try to be a little more creative, sistah. If you need some more pointers, I’d totally be able to help you out! Just PM me.

    • Geoffrey February 20, 2011 at 6:58 pm #

      This is very funny. But let’s see if we can fly in the face of all Internet comment threads everywhere and keep it from degrading past this, shall we?


      The Dean

      (Emphasized title added for emphasis 😉 )

      • Joe Catman February 20, 2011 at 7:14 pm #

        Sorry sir. Won’t happen again.

  29. Louise Edwards February 21, 2011 at 6:12 pm #

    I love the T Dot idea! What could be a more appropriate launch to showing off Toronto (our own T-Dot)’s awesomeness than that?

  30. uniqideas February 22, 2011 at 9:26 am #

    May the awesomest idea win 🙂 … ‘Museum of Interactive Coin Art’ will be back next month 😀

  31. Jamie February 22, 2011 at 9:49 am #

    These ideas chosen were pretty sad, for a group of astute entrepreneurs. Loving the spam on the baggage idea though. Keep it up guys! I think monkey’s with lasers was the best bet. Way to showcase Toronto’s talent?

  32. Lisa February 22, 2011 at 12:17 pm #

    I would like to point out our business website, and say that we are not affiliated with whoever is making this proposal.

  33. Julie February 23, 2011 at 4:11 pm #

    BDG FTW!

    The city actually has a program for seniors where the garbage collectors will come collect the bins off their porches.

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  1. Awesome Foundation Toronto releases its short list of Toronto awesomeness. We cut it from 16 to five | Creative Types | - February 22, 2011

    […] newly minted Awesome Foundation Toronto (AFT) released its short list of all things awesome, whittling down a list of 250 submissions to an exclusive club of 16 items […]

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