Liz DeMattia

Nanaimo science society vying for social enterprise award

NANAIMO – Event will award more than $50,000 in cash and in-kind support to one of three organizations.

The Nanaimo Science and Sustainability Society is looking to emerge victorious in a Dragon’s Den-style competition Wednesday (May 20).

The society, which aims to inspire children to take an interest in science and sustainability, is one of three social enterprise finalists from Vancouver Island selected to take part in the 2015 Social Enterprise Catalyst Gala. According to Liz DeMattia, society executive director, it stands to win cash and in-kind support totalling $50,000-plus, if successful.

DeMattia said a coach, Jill Doucette, has been provided to assist with working on the pitch. She didn’t want to give away too much information on the presentation and how the money would be spent if the society won, as the two are related.

She said the presentation relates to “stepping stones” to get to the society’s long-term goal of a science centre in Nanaimo. It currently operates a science studio at Departure Bay Elementary School.

“I will discuss where [the society] started from, where we are currently and where we hope to go, with their help,” DeMattia said.

CBC show Dragon’s Den sees entrepreneurs making a proposal to a panel of judges in the hopes of securing money and they can be subject to intense scrutiny. DeMattia is hopeful she will be able stand firm under cross-examination.

“Our pitch coach has been working with us on how to answer questions and be ready for the hard questions of the judges, so hopefully I’m prepared … My understanding is that it will be similar to Dragon’s Den, but they might not be as mean,” said DeMattia.

The society will be up against Skookum Food and Coffee and Tofino Ucluelet Culinary Guild. Michelle Stilwell, B.C. Minister of Social Development and Social Innovation, will be among the adjudicators.

The gala will be held at Nanaimo’s Port Theatre. For information on attending the event, please visit

Just Posted

Taxing Vancouver Island

Big Read: find out which communities are paying the lowest and highest taxes on Vancouver Island

Lawyer fired in Nanaimo courtroom during trial for dangerous driving causing death

Dustin Dennis Zinter was charged following November 2015 accident in Cedar

First regularly scheduled jet airplane service from Nanaimo takes off

Nanaimo Airport celebrates launch of Air Canada’s non-stop seasonal service to and from Toronto

One petition opposes tent city, one petition supports it

Two petitions set up on this week regarding Nanaimo’s Discontent City

WEB POLL: Should tent city be shut down, or allowed to remain where it is?

Two petitions were started this week, one opposing Discontent City, one supporting… Continue reading

B.C. teacher ends Jeopardy! winning streak, taking home US$69,000

Ali Hasan, from New Westminster, has been gaining fans as a “one-man invasion,” says Alex Trebek

Sailing waits expected this weekend at Departure Bay, Horseshoe Bay

B.C. Ferries is advising that repairs to one of the vessels are taking longer than expected

Nanaimo woman graduates high school at age 92

Joan Deebank is the oldest high school graduate ever in B.C., as far as the ministry can confirm

In a matter of hours, women in Saudi Arabia will be allowed to drive

Change was announced as a royal decree in 2017 by Crown Prince Mohammen bin Salman

Feds announce measures to protect endangered whale species

Canada’s Whale Initiative is part of the federal government’s $1.5 billion Ocean Protection Plan

COC session vote approves Calgary as potential host for 2026 Olympics

Scott Hutcheson, chair of Calgary’s Olympic bid corporation — called vote a positive step forward

Mounties seize 1,500 pot plants in ‘extensive Shawnigan raid

Mounties searched a property in the 4800-block of Goldstream Heights Drive on May 30

B.C. man wins job he was denied after saying he had depression

Transport Canada has been order to give Chris Hughes a high-level job and nearly $500,000

B.C. soldier shot down a century ago to be honoured

Norman Stuart Harper, of Kamloops, was killed on a bombing mission over Lahr, Germany, in 1918

Most Read