Techapolooza 2015: breaking down nerdy stereotypes

What started as a casual brainstorming session five years ago, Techapalooza is a now particularly unique fundraising event in which the Manitoba IT sector comes together to raise money for CancerCare Manitoba. The event, which raised more than $40,000 in its first year, has continued to see impressive growth year-after-year.

In a traditional “battle of the bands” type of competition, five bands comprised of individuals all working within the industry get dressed in their best leather, lace, wigs, beards (whatever!) and show the world that they are far more than the introverted, perhaps even “nerdy” stereotype that they may often be pegged with.

Aside from the fact that this (one night only) event is on target to raise approximately $70,000 for CancerCare Manitoba in 2015, the sheer talents of the performers themselves are newsworthy. While many of us my find ourselves surprised at this, why should we be? Why wouldn’t those same talented, dedicated and extremely intelligent individuals put forth the same effort and talent on stage as they do daily in their professional lives? Each and every member of all five bands left the crowd impressed, and more importantly, the dance floor packed.

The Techapalooza 2014 event raised $60,000 for CancerCareManitoba Foundation
The Techapalooza 2014 event raised $60,000 for CancerCareManitoba Foundation

Techapalooza brings together performers, sponsors, and guests to raise money for a cause that is close to the hearts of everyone.

“We would be at ground zero without events like this,” said Kate Gameiro, events manager for CancerCare Manitoba.

“This particular event is truly one of a kind. What a fun way to raise money for a cause, while watching an entire industry come together. The night is always full of laughs and usually a few surprises,” Gameiro said.

Attracting more than 600 individuals this year, one of the particularly amazing things about this event, is that it is filled with a room of individuals who would be normally be considered as direct competition, yet the atmosphere is overwhelmingly friendly.

“Everyone is in this together, and we all forget for the evening who our competitors are. We become united in achieving the same goal. We are friends, not enemies,” says Rod Giesbrecht, CEO of Imaginet, one of the many event sponsors.

“Having lost a brother to Cancer, it means the world to me to be able to be a part of this, and to have the support from vendors and competitors alike. Everyone has lost someone to Cancer, and the fact that we can all do this together says a lot about our industry, and the nature of the people who work in it. I will definitely continue to support this event in the future.”

It looks like perhaps the days of the typical IT professional stereotypes may be fast fading, because these the performers who took the stage tonight sure knew how to good time and impress a crowd…. Nothing about their personalities or their performances was introverted.

In 2014 the Techapalooza Fan Choice Award Winners were Super Geek.
In 2014 the Techapalooza Fan Choice Award Winners were Super Geek.

“You can tell that everyone on that stage just has an immense amount of fun,” said Tom McGouran of the Tom and Larry Show, and emcee for the evening. “I host a lot of events within the city but this is one of my all-time favorites. These people know how to rock.”

In the end, it looks like the real winner is CancerCare Manitoba, along with everyone who participated in the event as a performer, sponsor, or guest in Techapalooza 2015. Hopefully this unique event continues to gain traction and support within Manitoba for years to come!

Laura Wittig of Clear Concepts of Winnipeg became the first ever winner of the Rising Star award at the CDN Women of the Channel Recognition luncheon. Clear Concepts in 2013 won the CDN Channel Elite Award for Solution Provider of the Year.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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