Lack of funding is why a lot of creative endeavours end for many artists. They come up with an amazing idea and are forced to let it die due to the expense needed to make it happen. Luckily for Calgary artists, there’s InvestYYC, a Calgary 2012 initiative that can breathe life into amazing ideas through funding.

InvestYYC is structured much the same as Kickstarter, as donors invest in a specific project and receive perks depending on donation level. Where it’s different is that donations are tax deductible, and if a donation of $100 or greater is made, up to $2,500, it will be matched through a credit to the donors account. This is made possible by Calgary 2012, who has provided InvestYYC with $100,000 of matching funds to use before February, 2013.

Thi Vo, an aspiring documentary film maker is one of the artists using InvestYYC as a way to help fund his project, Made in Vietnam.

Thi was born in Vietnam over 30 years ago. Soon after, Thi and his mother immigrated to Canada. The move separated him, not only from his home country, but also his biological father.

As Thi got older, questions about his father became more of a burning desire to answer. He found out the answers to some, but not the identity of his biological father, the most important answer Thi was searching for.

Thi also developed a passion for film as he got older too. This passion began with trying to get in-front of the camera, which he did successfully by landing a roles in Pseudo, an independent Canadian film, and Gettin’ In, a Canadian comedy released earlier this year.

The combination of Thi’s desire to learn his past, and passion for film became the catalyst for Made in Vietnam, where he’ll step behind the camera to document the journey searching for his biological father in Vietnam.

This project is ambitious in many ways, most notably, trying to find one man in a country with a population of over 91 million people. It’s also ambitious in cost; funding a project like this is expensive and could not be done without the help of InvestYYC. This Calgary 2012 initiative is helping to fund the business of culture, something that provides more return for Calgary than just money. It gives an artist like Thi the ability to express himself and share his story, one that is sure to connect with viewers.

I encourage you to go to InvestYYC and check out all the great cultural projects that need funding. You never know, you could be giving support to the next Spielberg, Baryshnikov or Warhol!

To make a donation to Thi’s InvestYYC project – Made in Vietnam visit:

To stay up-to-date with Thi and his journey visit: