Our second judge is often seen bustling behind the scenes of every cool event you are at or wish you were at.
Colin Smith is a third generation Albertan with a passion for building community and
working to solve environmental challenges.
Before 2013, Smith was a journeyman electrician who volunteered at events like Sled
Island and Market Collective in his spare time. When he broke his arm in a
snowboarding accident and couldn’t continue working in his trade, he took on an event
planning position for Village Brewery in Calgary. The experience brought home for Smith
something that had concerned him about his other favourite events. “There was just so
much waste. I loved being part of them, but I hated seeing heaping trash cans at the end
of the day.”
Smith decided to step up. In 2012, he launched Green Event Services, offering recycling
and waste management and diversion services for events. By 2015, Green Event
Services had participated in over 150 events, diverted 90 tons of waste from the landfill,
employed over 100 people, and served over one million event attendees by providing
waste reducing options.
The company’s good work hasn’t gone unnoticed. In 2015, Green Event Services
received the Calgary Chamber Small Business Award for Environmental Stewardship. But
it’s the less tangible successes that really make Smith smile. “Last summer, I employed
more than 80 people and paid them a living wage to do meaningful environmental
work. I feel proud about that.”