Current Campaign – Awaken Holistic Health & Wellness

When Brian Lalonde, founder of Awaken Holistic Health & Wellness, got sick eight years ago, dozens of visits to the doctor’s office left him feeling like something was missing from his diagnosis.

“A friend turned me on to the world of complimentary and alternative medicine, and that’s when I started seeing a difference being made. Then a lightbulb went off. I thought, what else is out there?”

Lalonde spent more than 20 years in the restaurant business before deciding to switch industries, after his own experience with various types of health care and wellness options. He saw a gap in the wellness industry that he knew he could fill.

The idea behind Awaken Holistic is to give health and wellness practitioners the support they need on the business side, so they can focus on providing great service to their clients. The business will eventually house many different wellness professionals, from physiotherapists to yoga instructors and lots in between, under one big roof.

“I’ve seen hundreds of different professionals in the industry. You never know what that thing is that’s going to make the difference for you, people connect with difference things,” Lalonde said.

“I noticed these professionals were always dealing with stuff. Maybe they didn’t have enough money, were working with more clientele than they could handle, working lots of jobs to do what they love to do.”

The business model is different because it focuses on helping wellness professionals of all kinds be successful at running their own businesses and practices. So the clients at Awaken Holistic are actually the wellness practitioners, rather than the users of the future facility and services that will be available.

“My thought is, if you take care of the professionals, their ability to deliver premium service to their clients will be there. It’s the same thing on a plane: put your own mask on before anyone else’s,” Lalonde said.

The other big goal for Lalonde is to offer Calgarians many different wellness options under one roof.

“If you met someone on the street and said, are you healthy, the majority of people would say, yeah, I eat right and I exercise. When people think of health, that’s what they think of,” Lalonde said.

“But that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to health, If you’re dealing with stresses in your life with work or family or health conditions, mental health is something that doesn’t get addressed very often in either western medicine or in the holistic health and wellness world. So we’re a centre that wants to support the whole body.”

Lalonde said that he’s constantly looking for different types of professionals he hasn’t engaged with yet to be part of the centre. Right now, he’s looking to engage a financial advisor, explaining that often someone’s health might be affected by money troubles.

So far, Awaken Holistic will have a music therapist, an intimacy and tantric coach, yoga and fitness classes, a kitchen with food and chefs, products in their retail space, massage therapy, reiki, bio energy, various types of energy healing, a sauna, a float pod room, and salt therapy, among other wellness professionals and experiences.

Lalonde is running a crowdfunding campaign on Alberta Boostr, hoping to raise capital to help them open the physical space for Awaken Holistic. Right now, they’re operating as an online community to get started. Contributions can be made through

Awaken Holistic is also hosting a gala on December 8 to raise money. More information can be found on their Facebook page or at


Launching Your Alberta BoostR Campaign to the World

Launching your Crowdfunding Campaign

If you live in Alberta it’s likely you’ve heard the phrase, ‘the Alberta Advantage’. Living in this vibrant prairie province in Western Canada has its advantages, especially if you are an entrepreneur or small business owner.

If you have decided to use crowdfunding to seed your business, you have made a strategic decision to trust and empower yourself. Awesome!

There are a lot of ideas you can gain from those who have already succeeded. Study the campaigns that have been ‘boosted’. Email or call a few of these business owners to ask for their advice or suggestions. Create a descriptive, authentic story about you and your business, and get help if you need it.

Firstly, your rewards must be enticing and desirable to someone who is interested or intrigued by what you plan to do. Ask friends if they would be motivated by them. Establish a plan for connecting and building a community and following it throughout your campaign. And most of all, decide to have fun with this. Crowdfunding is a unique opportunity to share yourself and announce your ideas to the world. Let your confidence shine!

Regardless of whether your business is strictly local or it has a global reach, your ability to share your vision, excitement and your ideas from the get-go will have a direct effect on your campaign’s success.

So, where do you start? The easy ‘go to’ is family, friends and customers. Ask them to support you first. Then ask them to help you spread the word and share your campaign with their networks and contacts. It is then up to you to provide them with shareable content. Here are some ideas to help you get creative.

  1. Pre-plan daily social media mini-messages about interesting angles and ways that your product/service could add value to others – (you probably have a ton of market research to draw from).
  2. Develop new rewards mid campaign that build even more excitement and anticipation – ask questions and listen to what others say would inspire or motivate them to support you and your business idea.
  3. Ask your network to help you stay current with local news, community events, or media personnel for relevant opportunities to be a part of the community goings on. Show up!

Running a successful campaign will keep you busy and your mind alert. Even though you can’t control the outcome – you have a lot of control over how actively you put your time, passion, and energy into helping people want to invest in you. Being consistent and persistent could make all the difference in the world. You can do this!!

Other ideas for launching your campaign with a bang:

  • Host a campaign launch event, inviting your immediate network and best customers to share your campaign, ideas and the great rewards
  • Make rewards exclusive or time sensitive to build urgency
  • Create a campaign video to get your message across
  • Have a marketing plan in place to help things run like a well-oiled machine

Ready to get started? Learn how to start a crowdfunding campaign with Alberta BoostR or browse other campaigns to see what’s going on.

Olympic Sized Crowdfunding

Dreams are universal when it comes to crowdfunding


With the Olympic Winter Games underway in Sochi, Russia, we couldn’t help but explore the relationship between crowdfunding and an athlete’s journey to getting to the podium.

But first – we want to wish all Canadians and Athletes around the world the best of luck at this year’s Games! We at Alberta BoostR are huge fans of the Winter Olympics and wish everyone a happy and healthy Winter Games this year. Go Canada Go!

Even with sport-level funding and sponsorships, travelling to international competitions in order to qualify for the Olympics places huge strain on athlete’s wallets. This is where crowdfunding comes in.

Crowdsourcing and crowdfunding has been a round for a while now and with both Deloitte and Accenture naming crowdsourcing as “a key trend in 2014” it’s no wonder many Canadian athletes hoping to make it to Sochi jumped on the crowdfunding wagon to support their goals in 2013 and 2014.

Which brings to the forefront an Alberta BoostR campaign – the YEG Fitness Podium Project – which aims to develop a better crowdfunding network devoted to helping Canadian athletes obtain the funds they need to train, compete and achieve their dreams. What a great idea!

The Podium Project is looking to raise $3,000 to develop a slick platform that is super simple to use and attracts a crowd. They’re also hoping to use the money to seek out athletes across Canada who could utilize this in their fund raising efforts.

And check out Podium Project Perks. Everything from shout-outs on their social media channels, to fitness programs and a personalized training app, to a meet and greet event with an athlete.

Follow YEG Fitness and the Podium Project on Twitter and Facebook and follow in their journey towards helping our future athletes achieve their dreams.

Podium Project Homepage

William Dutton for Sochi