Other Communities We're In:

SVP International

And the 2018 Fast Pitch winner is…

Posted by calgary

November 2, 2018 – Victoria Plouffe of Beads of Courage delivered a compelling three-minute pitch to win over both the audience and judges at the sixth annual Social Venture Partners Fast Pitch final, held at Telus Spark on Thursday evening.

“Victoria’s story of how healing children starts with a simple bead got right to the heart,” said judge Joelle Foster, Executive Director, Hunter Hub for Entrepreneurial Thinking at the University of Calgary. “I loved how she highlighted the outcomes: courage is honoured, suffering is reduced and caring is reinforced; and clearly articulated her ask to expand the program to help 4,000 more children and their families in our city.”

Beads of Courage transforms the treatment experience of children coping with serious illness, their families and medical professionals by allowing them to record, own and tell their stories of courage through beads. They took home $10,000 for the First Place Judge’s Choice Award, as well as another $5,000 for the Audience Choice Award.

All of the eight nonprofit finalists presented their three-minute “Dragon’s Den”-style pitch to the panel of celebrity judges and 400 audience members.

“All the teams worked tremendously hard to get to this stage,” commented SVP’s Executive Director, Lindsay Read. “The event was a showcase of some amazing non-profits here in Calgary giving it everything they’ve got.”

The Judge’s Choice First Runner-Up Award went to Katelyn Lucas of the Elizabeth Fry Society of Calgary with a cash prize of $5,000.

“Katelyn presented powerful facts about cultural healing and reconciliation, and through the use of concrete examples, did a great job of connecting her ask to the impact the Elizabeth Fry Society is having in Calgary,” said judge Brad Zumwalt, co-founder of SVP Calgary.

Jean-Claude Munyezamu of Soccer without Boundaries was the winner of the Coaches Choice Award sponsored by Keyera, which comes with $5,000 for his organization. The 35 volunteer Fast Pitch coaches voted based on commitment to and growth throughout the program. Though he did not advance through to the finals, he showed incredible dedication and a well-developed pitch. The award was presented by Riaz Khalil, Engineering Manager at Keyera, and a coach in this year’s Fast Pitch program.

None of the finalists went home empty handed. For the sixth year in a row, Imperial was the Presenting Sponsor of the Fast Pitch program. In addition to their generous sponsorship, Kim Fox, Vice President, Public & Government Affair at Imperial, presented each finalist with a cheque for $1,000 for their organization.

The lineup of local celebrity judges includes Brad Zumwalt; a 30-year veteran of the technology industry and co-founder of SVP Calgary; Joelle Foster, Executive Director, Hunter Hub for Entrepreneurial Thinking at the University of Calgary, and a recognized leader in business counselling and entrepreneurship; and Kim O’Brien, President and CEO of United Active Living communities in Calgary.

The evening closed with a total of $33,000 in cash prizes given away, for the biggest prize amount to date. Thank you to our presenting partner, Imperial; and our generous sponsors, the Calgary Foundation, KPMG, Keyera, Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC) and the Read Family Foundation, for making these prizes possible.


And a very special thank you to the SVP Calgary organizing committee: Teagon Murray, Angie Oicle, Josephine Tsang, Renu Chandarana and Lindsay Read.


Social Venture Partners Calgary recognizes that this program would not be possible without the non-profit participants who put their heart, time and energy into crafting and perfecting their pitches.  SVPC wishes to thank each of the participating organizations.


Beads of Courage (Victoria Plouffe)
Brown Bagging for Calgary’s Kids (Wendy Treschel)
Canadian Liver Foundation (Tyler Wiebe)
Elizabeth Fry Society (Katelyn Lucas)
Hillhurst Sunnyside Community Association (HSCA) (Karen Gallagher-Bert)
Inside Out Theatre (Col Cseke)
Junior League of Calgary (Whitney Punchak)
Silvera for Seniors (Sarah Price)


The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (Ashley Tedham)
Empowering Minds (Vince Aliberti)
Green Fools Theatre Society (Dean Bareham)
HomeSpace Society (Bernadette Majdell)
Plastic Free YYC (Isabelle Coutoure)
Soccer without Boundaries (Jean-Claude Munyezamu)
THIRD ACTion Film Festival Limited (Mitzi Murray)