Stocked Up: Pitching for Change at Vancouver Soup

My story about the Vancouver Soup is out in the Spring issue Edible Vancouver and Wine Country!

What do you get when Vancouverites mix community activism with democratic capitalism, add a pinch of soul food, and stir? You get Vancouver Soup, a delicious new way to crowdfund community projects on a full stomach.

Here’s how a “Soup” works: Attendees pay a nominal fee for admission, they hear a number of 4-minute pitches from community groups with projects to fund, they eat a soup dinner while discussing the merits of each project, and they vote for their choice. After the votes are counted the winner takes home all the money raised from attendance. And a good time is had by all.

Kerrie O’Donnell, the organizer of Vancouver Soup and a new mom, got the idea after watching a documentary called “Funded,” which featured the Detroit Soup, the progenitor of all Soups. “In the depths of my sleep-deprivation I got really excited about it.” What inspired her about Detroit Soup, and the problem in Vancouver she felt a Soup would solve, is people’s difficulty in creating connections.

“One great way to connect with people is over food. With the Vancouver Soup, you’re nourished by food at a very low threshold, you get to hear about the positive solutions people are putting together and celebrate that, and then you can exercise the vote – something on my mind after the recent US elections,” she tells me.

To get Vancouver Soup cooking, O’Connell networked with people to partner with, including fellow employees at Ecotrust Canada who introduced her to the folks at Groundswell Cafe.

Pick up a free copy of Edible Vancouver and Wine Country at these fine BC markets and wineries.

Read more of my story about Vancouver Soup in the image below.

Mari Kane

Mari is a writer, blogger and WordPress consultant, living in Vancouver, BC, the most wine-soaked town north of the 49th Parallel. She also blogs about WordPress web design at Blogsite Studio.com. Follow her on Twitter or Google Plus.