Innovation Untold

Student video and storytelling contest

Congratulations to the winners of the Innovation Untold 2020 contest!

Grand Prize

When Lupines Bloom | Hesamaddin Rezaei

Second Place

Medventions YYC | Alejandro Gutierrez

Third Place

Neuraura - Unlocking the Brain | Stephen Ng

Honourable mentions

Innovation in Communication

People's Choice

Thank you to everyone who submitted to the Innovation Untold 2020 contest.

Calling all UCalgary students!

Want to win cash awards and be a part of building the incredible story of our future?

The Innovation Untold contest invites undergraduate and graduate students to capture the story of a UCalgary innovator in a compelling three-minute video, podcast, or other creative format.

Prizes Include:

  • Grand Prize: $5000
  • Second Place: $2500
  • Third Place: $2000
  • Innovation in Communication: $2500
  • Honourable mention (3): $1000
  • People's Choice: $1000

Get Started! 

An innovator is anyone who is creating change in the world in a new way. Innovators solve problems, meet needs, or satisfy desires with their innovation. They are artists, inventors, volunteers, activists, public servants, educators, researchers, entrepreneurs, and more. Innovators are in every corner of our campus, but often their stories go untold. Their work shapes our future. We want to hear about it!

Important Dates:

  • Submissions are accepted from January 30, 2020 - March 25, 2020.
  • Winners will be informed by April 15, 2020.

For this competition, UCalgary innovators are students, faculty, staff, members of campus organizations, and those with current close affiliation with UCalgary.

This event is supported by the Research Support Fund and Incremental Project Grant.

Next Steps

Find an Innovator

Start by finding and individual or group engaged in innovation on campus.

Capture their story

Once you’ve teamed up with an innovator, learn their story and capture it in a video, podcast, or other storytelling format.


Get help creating your work

Register to attend a storybuilding, sound capture, camera hacks or video editing workshop to boost your technical skills and improve your final product. One-on-one tech help is also available.


Win prizes

Cash prizes are awarded to the content creator and the innovator. Submissions are now closed.

Contest Rules and Regulations

The Innovation Untold contest (the Contest) is open to those who at the time of entry: are students (undergraduate or graduate) registered at The University of Calgary (the Contestants or Contestant).

Teams of students may work to create one Submission. However, the Submission must be submitted by ONE eligible (student) Contestant who is a majority contributor to its creation. Other contributors must be acknowledged when submitting. Any prize winnings will be awarded in entirety to the submitting Contestant. Distribution among team members of any prize awarded is the responsibility of the Contestant.

  1. Find your own UCalgary innovator (someone with obvious current UCalgary affiliation) OR ask to be matched with an innovator. An innovator is someone who is solving a problem or meeting a need in a new way.
  2. Meet with the innovator to discuss the project, receive their consent, and learn their story. The process will likely involve more than one meeting/communication.
  3. Create an original media work, no more than three (3) minutes long. We invite:
  • Video
  • Audio
  • Social Media Campaign (experience must be captured in video)
  • Video Game (experience must be captured in video)
  • Other creative storytelling formats (experience must be captured in video)

Each submission should:

  • Show the story of the UCalgary innovator(s)
  • Show the innovation
  • Show how it’s a new approach
  • Show how it solves a problem, meets a need or satisfies a desire
  1. Share your final work with the innovator and provide a high quality copy of your submission to them. Ask them to sign the consent for you to enter the work in the contest. Grant the innovator unlimited license to your work.
  2. Electronically submit, via the Innovation Untold website, by 11:59pm MST on March 25:
    • video or audio file. Acceptable File Types:
      • Video: avi, mov, mp4, ogg, wav, webm
      • Audio: mp3, ogg, wav
    • Title (up to 70 characters) and description (up to 1000 characters) of your submission
    • Innovator Release From
    • Your consent to the contest rules, including granting unlimited license of your submission to the University of Calgary

It is the responsibility of the Contestant to ensure all required documents and files are received by the Sponsor by the Closing Date.

  1. All videos and audio files will be posted publicly to the University of Calgary YouTube channel on March 27, 2020.
  2. Public voting for the People’s Choice Award opens Friday, March 27, 2020 at 8:00am MST and closes Monday, March 30, 2020 at 7:59pm MST. Each “Thumbs Up/Like” on the official contest YouTube playlist will equal one (1) vote cast. Contestants are strongly encouraged to promote their work through their own social media channels and contacts.
  3. All other prizes will be judged by a panel. See judging criteria below.
  4. Finalists will be notified in early April. Final prize winners will be announced at a public showcase festival in early April.

Submissions, must be respectful and courteous, and be in English, French, or indigenous language. For languages other than English, please include English subtitles. Only one entry per person is permitted.

The Submission must be an original work created by the Contestant, and the Contestant must have all necessary rights in and to the Submission. If created by a team, team members must be acknowledged when submitting.

The Submission must not infringe upon or violate any laws or any third party rights, including, but not limited to, copyright, patent, trademark, trade secret or other proprietary rights and must not constitute material that would be considered libeling, defamatory, a privacy violation, tortious or a contract breach.

Please be aware that there are legal restrictions on filming some locations in the city of Calgary. if you have questions, please contact one of our techs.

In the event the Submission contains any reference to or likeness of any identifiable third parties, the Contestant must obtain, and make available to the Sponsor upon the Sponsor’s request, consent from all such individuals and their parent/guardian if they are under the age of majority in their jurisdiction of residence.

Contestants must grant the Sponsor, irrevocably and in perpetuity, the right to use the Submission, in whole or in part, in any way, including without limitation, to reproduce, make derivatives, edit, modify, translate, distribute, transmit, publish and broadcast the Submission worldwide (by any means) and to authorize others to carry out such acts as listed above in this section without compensation.

Contestants, to protect their own privacy and the privacy of others, must not include personal information including, but not limited to, phone numbers, social insurance numbers, banking information, resumes or email addresses in their Submissions. Any Submissions that appear to contain such personal information may be deemed ineligible.

The Sponsor will not accept Submissions that are offensive to an individual or an organization, rude in tone or abusive. The Sponsor reserves the right to refuse, edit or remove any of the following:

  • racist, hateful, sexist, homophobic, slanderous, insulting, or life-threatening content
  • serious, unproven, unsupported, or inaccurate accusations against individuals or organizations;
  • abusive, aggressive, coarse, explicit, vulgar, violent, obscene or pornographic content;
  • content that encourages or suggests illegal activity;
  • announcements, solicitations, advertisements, or endorsements of any organizations or corporations;
  • attempts to defame or defraud any individual, group or agency; or
  • unintelligible or irrelevant content.

Contestants are eligible to win one general cash prize. For each prize tier winner, the media creator contestant will be awarded a prize. The innovator(s) will also be awarded a prize.




Grand Prize (1) 



Second Place (1) 



Third (1) 



Innovation in Communication (1) 



Honourable mention (3) 





The People’s Choice Award may be awarded as a bonus to a different category prize winner or as a standalone prize.

All video and audio submissions will be posted publicly to the University of Calgary YouTube channel on March 27, 2020.

Public voting for the People’s Choice Award opens Friday, March 27, 2020 at 8:00am MST and closes Monday, March 30, 2020 at 7:59pm MST. Each “Thumbs Up/Like” on the official contest YouTube playlist will equal one (1) vote cast. Contestants are strongly encouraged to promote their work through their own social media channels and contacts.





People’s Choice (1) 



Submissions will be judged by a panel of judges chosen by the Sponsor. The decisions of the judges and the Sponsor on all matters are final and not open to appeal.

At the time of adjudication, any judges deemed by the Sponsor to have a real or perceived conflict of interest with a Submission under consideration will be recused from discussions of that Submission. A judge will be considered to be in a conflict of interest if the Submission involves:

  1. a friend;
  2. an immediate family member;
  3. an institutional colleague; or
  4. a person with whom the judge is involved in a dispute.

If the Sponsor, in its sole discretion, deems that an insufficient quantity or quality of Submissions has been received, the Sponsors reserve the right not to award any prizes and terminate the Contest.

Submissions that meet all eligibility requirements will be judged as follows:

General awards (Grand Prize, Second Place, Third Place):

  • 30% Engaging
  • 20% Captures the human story of the innovator(s)
  • 20% Showcases the innovation
  • 15% Innovative approach (a new way of using media or storytelling)
  • 15% Well executed technically

Media Innovation Award:

  • 35% Innovative approach (a new way of using media or storytelling)
  • 20% Engaging
  • 15% Captures the human story of the innovator(s)
  • 15% Showcases the innovation
  • 15% Well executed technically

People’s Choice Award:

  • 60% Media engagement (as measured by YouTube “likes” on the official University of Calgary Innovation Untold YouTube playlist)
  • 20% Captures the human story of the innovator(s)
  • 20% Showcases the innovation

Winners will be informed by April 15, 2020.


Names of Finalists and Final Winners will be made public by mid-April 2020 on the Innovation Untold website. 

The Sponsor reserves the right to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the Contest for any reason. Should the contest be cancelled, notification will be posted on the Innovation Untold website.

The Sponsor reserves the right to change Contest rules and regulations without reason, including, if necessary, to comply with any applicable law. Any notification of such action may be posted online on Innovation Untold website.

By entering this Contest, Contestants agree to abide by these Contest rules, and acknowledge that the Sponsor shall not be responsible for any damages, costs, demands, claims or losses of any kind incurred by any Contestant as a result of participation in this Contest.

All video, audio files, photographs and related text entered in the Contest shall remain the property of the respective entrants.  In consideration of the opportunity to enter the Contest, each entrant, by entering the Contest, grants the Releasees a paid-up, perpetual, irrevocable, non-exclusive, worldwide license to use his or her entries (including but not limited to photographs, video, audio, and text) entered into the Contest in marketing and promotion related to the University of Calgary; and each entrant, by entering the Contest, confirms that he or she holds the exclusive rights to all intellectual property in his or her entries, other than the right of the Releasees to use such property by the Releasees as set forth above, and that all moral rights in the intellectual property in his or her entries have been waived.  The Contest Sponsor reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to disqualify any individual (and all of his or her entries) who tampers with the entry process.

This paragraph shall apply to the extent that any social media services are used in connection with the Contest.  The Contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Hootsuite, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or other social media companies (“Social Media Companies”).  Each entrant in the Contest agrees to completely release the Social Media Companies of all liability in relation to the Contest.  Any questions, comments or complaints regarding the Contest must be directed to the Sponsor and not to the Social Media Companies.  Entrants must comply with the terms of use of any applicable Social Media Company.

This Contest shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of Alberta and any applicable federal laws. These rules and regulations govern all aspects of the Contest and are binding on all Contestants.

This is a skills-based contest and is void where prohibited by law.

The Sponsor is not responsible for entries that are delayed, lost, misdirected, incomplete, damaged or destroyed. Any entry that is tampered with, unreadable, unintelligible or mutilated will be ineligible. The Sponsor is not responsible for telephone, computer or network malfunction or error (whether technical or human in nature), communication disruption or other forces beyond the reasonable control of the Sponsor.

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Past events:

Storytelling Workshop: Do photos and videos have voices?

Join guest speaker Victoria Bouvier and explore exploring how we view and interact with photos and videos, positioned within an Indigenous oral system.
Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020 at 3:30 p.m, Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning.


Storytelling Workshop: The Naked Story

Join guest speaker Salima Stanley-Bhanji and explore more about the impact stories have on our lives.
Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2020 at 3:30 p.m, Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning.


Technical Workshop: Capturing Great Video & Sound

Learn how to use video tools and equipment in this three-hour video and sound workshop.
Friday, February 14, 2020 at 12:30 p.m, Hunter Hub for Entrepreneurial Thinking.


Editing Workshop: Post-production Basics

Learn how to take basic footage and edit content in this three-hour workshop about post-production basics.
Friday, February 28, 2020 at 4:00 p.m, Hunter Hub for Entrepreneurial Thinking.

Featured events