ONE Prize

The ONE Prize is becoming synonymous with some pretty cool projects in New Westminster. And with five days left until the deadline, I thought I would chat with some past ONE prize winners to see about getting some inspiration on producing the next cool ‘thing’ in New West.

ONE Prize is a community fund seeded by Donald’s Market and River Market. They invest 1% of ONE members’ shopping dollars at Donald’s Market into this fund. 2016 marks the fifth year that the ONE prize has been offered.

This year, ONE members have collectively raised $4500 for the ONE fund and River Market and Donald’s will be awarding three $1,500 prizes.

The great thing about this prize is that it allows individuals, non profits, groups, schools…really…just about anyone…to apply, giving the community of New West the chance to discover that their neighbours are up to some pretty nifty things.

And the winners were…

Melinda Michael

Melinda and her husband Neal have been responsible for some pretty awesome happenings around our city. From Pecha Kucha to Stop and Stare New West and their ONE Prize winning PopLuck, which ran for two summers (and hopefully will return…hint hint) with pop up Potlucks around the city.

Danison Buan

Danison is one of the partners behind Refood, another ONE prize winning project. Refood is a Canadian social enterprise which converts excess or defected produce of local vendors into healthy lunches for homeless people and elementary school students, and since winning the ONE prize, they now produce about 2000 meals a week.

Taryn Cheremkora

Taryn and her sister Tegan are the masterminds between And So Are We Creative, a creative creations organization. The two of them have won ONE prizes to have an art showcase titled The Night Is Young, produce an adult craft night and create a New Westminster Night Market. Due to logistics challenges, the Night Market project was unable to be completed in the 2015 calendar year, but the River Market has agreed to fund the project in 2016 and is working with the duo on its completion.

Stephen O’Shea

Stephen is the Executive Director of the Arts Council of New Westminster. The Arts Council started their Music By the River program thanks to a ONE Prize, and because of that prize they have been able to not only continue the program, but have been able to receive funding from other granting bodies based on the ONE prize seed money.

Top Five Tips from ONE Prize Winners

So you want to go for a ONE Prize grant? Here are some words of wisdom for you…

  1. Set realistic expectations on what you can accomplish. Any event takes a lot of time and planning, so make sure you have the time to invest in what you want to do so you can make it as good as it can possibly be.
  2. Get the vote out! No matter how awesome your idea is, if no one knows about it, not one will vote. Get on social media and tell everyone about it.  The more your idea is talked about, the more likely you are to receive the support you’re seeking.
  3. Go for it! You have nothing to lose in applying for a ONE prize. Even if your goal is huge, it has to start somewhere.
  4. Do your legwork. If you have an event that requires city buy in, regulator approval or venue specific, check out in advance to see if it will even be possible.
  5. Don’t be afraid to ask for help! There are a lot of great people in New West who will help you with a great idea, and they’ll probably be able to make it even better!

You’ve got five days New West…what’s your idea?