Author Archives: Michelle Sklar

Cooking for good, have you heard about DinnerPartyYVR?

Sign up to be a hobby chef for #DPYVR 2016

Sign up to be a hobby chef for #DPYVR 2016

DinnerPartyYVR is a great opportunity for those of you who love to cook, host dinner parties and have a favourite cause you would like to support. Hobby Chef registration is open until Saturday, January 31 and the dinner parties take place Saturday, April 9.

Net2Van committee member Michelle Sklar caught up with DinnerPartyYVR organizers Crystal Henrickson and Annika Reinhardt for a chat about coming into year three of this awesome fundraising event.

Tell us a little about DinnerPartyYVR and what the inspiration was for you to launch this? DinnerPartyYVR is Vancouver’s largest simultaneous dinner party event supporting charitable causes. On one night, homes across Vancouver will cook and host dinner parties for old and new friends. 100% of the ticket sales will benefit chosen charities.

I remember Annika (my co-producer) and myself having a lively brainstorm while eating burgers at the Jericho Beach Club a number of summers ago. The topic? How to create more opportunities for Vancouverites to connect. We both love hosting and attending dinner parties — it’s actually how we met — at one of Annika’s progressive dinner events. By the end, we’d decided to produce a simultaneous dinner party event, where anyone could attend and be almost guaranteed to meet a new friend!

Do I need some mad cooking skills to be a Hobby Chef?
You don’t need to be a professional chef to be a Hobby Chef. You just need to be up for hosting people in your home and serving a meal that you feel confident cooking. And no one should cook alone… we insist you pair up with a “sous chef”… a friend, a family member, a spouse. And along the way we’ll support you too: you’ll be invited to events at Whole Foods Market to help sharpen (haha pun!) your kitchen skills, past Hobby Chefs will share their “hacks” on our Facebook group, and you’ll even get a bag full of goodies including a gift card from Whole Foods Market, beer from Howe Sound Brewing, wine from Serendipity Winery and soda from DRY Sparkling to help complement your dinner party.

How can I get my favorite charity involved?
We think it’s special to see the variety of our hobby chefs, from the food they cook to the charities they support. With over 50 homes cooks, we might end up with just as many supported charities. No matter what the charity — provided you choose a registered charitable organization — 100% of the ticket sales from your meal will be donated to them.

We encourage our hobby chefs to reach out the charities they are supporting and we personally invite all of the supported charities to the after party that follows so they can participate!

Do I need to sell my own tickets?
Spreading the word is a joint effort, because sharing is caring! We’ll be working hard to sell out like we have for the past 4 years. All of the meals will be displayed on where diners will get to select their top choice for a meal. After the event, we donate 100% of the ticket sales to the designated charities.

Do you have a favorite story from a past DinnerPartyYVR you would like to share?
You know, it’s been a pretty remarkable year of connections made because of past DinnerPartyYVR’s: we’ve heard of relationships starting at the DinnerPartyYVR after party, hobby chefs going on to cook professionally, and diners being inspired by charities who attend or host the dinner parties that they began volunteering with the organizations.

I heard the after-party last year was a blast, what surprises do you have in store for us this year?
We do like to throw a good party! We promise there will be a bar, delicious bites for desserts, great music, and the opportunity to toast to all of the dinner parties. The rest… you’ll just have to attend to find out!

Calling all Community Managers: This course is a must!

Our objective at Net2Van is to provide opportunities for the nonprofit community in Vancouver to have access to education, networking and the tools to help your organization thrive in the quickly changing world of technology. We understand that the lifeblood of any organization wouldn’t be possible without the support of donors – individuals and businesses. Building an engaging community strategy is key to forging new opportunities, raising awareness, recruiting volunteers and retaining those vital, hard-won relationships.

The UBC Continuing Education Studies department is offering a course on community management The Evolution of the Community Manager from January 25 – February 22, 2016. Net2Van committee member, Michelle Sklar, caught up with the program facilitator, Crystal Henrickson, to learn more about the course (that you don’t need to be a UBC student to attend).

Check out their interview below:

Tell us about the Community Management course you are teaching at UBC?
This is the foundational course in the Community Management Award of Achievement program offered at UBC’s downtown campus. In this 4 week course, that starts on January 25th, you’ll learn what the community manager landscape looks like — what skills and experiences are required, the types of roles and responsibilities of a community manager, how community managers differ and are complementary to other roles in the marketing/communications departments. We’ll also dig into the stages of communities that help community managers decide on where to focus their efforts.

What’s great is you don’t need to be a registered UBC student, or a university graduate to attend, as The Community Management program is part of Continuing Studies.

What topics will you be focusing on?
The focus of this course starts with properly defining a community manager’s role within an organization, and assigning roles and responsibilities to this role. We then move on to understand the DNA of different types of communities and how they act at various levels of maturity.

Can you tell us a little about the program format?
What’s great about the Community Management program at UBC is that the class sizes are small, meaning there is a lot of peer to instructor time and deeper discussions amongst peers. Our case studies and industry experts are curated from a number of industries: technology companies, non profits, online social networks and lifestyle brands. We take a lot of care to simulate real world community scenarios and use modern communication tools like Slack to give students a very practical approach to Community Management.

Who is the ideal participant for this course?
Industry professionals who are working in communications and marketing roles and want to increase engagement levels amongst their audiences, career transitioners who want to deepen their skills in community management, hiring managers and executives who want to understand emerging community roles.

Can you share with us some of the fun things you have in store for your students?
You’ll get to experience hosting your own AMA’s with community builders, “hangouts” online and offline with local industry experts, and unlimited access via Slack to program instructors (myself and Destin Jones: Change Heroes, formerly of Hootsuite, Latergramme).

Register for this course here.

Follow Crystal on Twitter: @marketing_girl

Follow Michelle on Twitter: @michelle_sklar