Kids Up Front could benefit from local media competition

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Local entertainment blogger Mike Morrison has a unique spin on entertainment that sets him apart from so many others: no celebrity gossip and a focus on Canadian entertainment in a positive light, from highlighting rising Canadian stars to his pattern of punctuating every entry title with an exclamation mark.

Mike Morrison

Local blogger Mike Morrison hopes he can get enough people to spot the CORE Mini Cooper that he can donate his $5,000 prize to the Kids Up Front charity.

Photo courtesy of: Mike Morrison/Mike’s Bloggity BlogIt comes as no surprise then that, when the CORE Shopping Centre (including TD Square and Holt Renfrew) and Mini Cooper teamed up for a promotional event involving four different types of media, they asked Morrison to represent the online component.

“They were looking for four different types of media to compete and asked me to join because of my presence online,” said Morrison.

The social media-based competition requires Calgarians to upload a photo and mention on Twitter or Facebook when and where they spot the CORE’s Mini Cooper around town this month.

The media outlet representative who gathers the most mentions during their week will win $5,000 toward the charity of their choice.

Participation by the public is not for nothing — every person who enters stands a chance to win $5,000 of their own towards a shopping spree at the CORE, and a one-year parking pass in the CORE parking garage.

At least one enthusiastic shopper agrees that this is a good incentive, “as long as it’s accessible to everyone and not just downtown at the CORE,” said Natalie Stephenson, 25.

But Morrison is aware that the competition is tough.

“I’m going up against some very big names, like CTV, the Calgary Herald and AMP Radio. Those are all multi-million dollar companies. And the blog is just this thing I do a lot by myself.”

Morrison is happy he finally gets to rally his troops of network connections and is appreciative of all the support from everyone willing to help him win the donation for Kids Up Front, a charity he has been involved with for the last four years.

“I’ve always loved Kids Up Front because I think in the media we always get really spoiled with getting free tickets to shows and concerts, and we kind of take it for granted,” he said.

John Dalziel, a local businessman, started Kids Up Front in Calgary 10 years ago.

He was given tickets to an event but when he noticed how many empty seats were in the auditorium he decided this would be a great opportunity to give kids and low-income families a great experience that they could otherwise never have, said Kids Up Front executive director Kari Scarlett.

“So when people have extra tickets, say to a hockey game or to the theatre or to an attraction, they can give them to us. And then through our partnerships we give them to kids that can’t afford to go,” she explained.

With this mission statement in mind, Kids Up Front has managed to raise over $20 million worth of tickets over the last four years in Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver and Toronto.

Morrison acknowledges that giving kids tickets may not necessarily change a child’s life in the extreme, but it can certainly “make them really happy for one night.”

“And then maybe they go to school the next day feeling a little happier and it just grows and grows from there,” he said. “That’s something pretty cool you can do with just a pair of tickets.”

To automatically be entered in the contest, simply upload a photo with the tag #coremini on Facebook or Twitter, and specify where you spotted the car.

The contest closes at midnight on Oct. 2 and the winner will be announced Oct. 4.

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