Theme: Co-ops and Social Enterprises

Members of the Co-ops and Social Enterprises theme group:

Mahogany Lucas (Business is Jammin’)
Amanda Hachey (Co-operative Enterprise Council)
Jessica Reese (Musquodoboit Harbour Ratepayers’ & Residents’ Association)
Clayton Drake (Myths and Mirrors Community Arts)
Amanda Pollicino (Network of Inner City Community Services)
Alieka Beckett (Saskatchewan Co-op Association)
Jason Blackman (Tradeworks Training Society)

5 responses to “Theme: Co-ops and Social Enterprises

  1. mythsandmirrors

    So I was talking to Steve Gravel (CreateAction Intern for iNord here in Sudbury) last night at my organization’s Annual General Meeting, and he has a cool idea to create a magazine to show design students the opportunities that are available in Northern Ontario. I’m looking forward to discussing this idea with him further.

    Another opportunity for CED education also came up. There’s a local music message board that I post on:

    http://punksudbury.proboards.com/index.cgi

    It seems there’s some interest among Sudbury’s youth in becoming more involved in our music scene through regular organized meetings, which would help to make sure that information about events and bands is disseminated more effectively among the youth around here. So, I was thinking this would be a really good opportunity to combine CED principles and Community Arts principles.

    My idea is to organize a benefit concert of some kind, with an added goal of raising awareness about a social issue. All the details of the concert would be decided by the group through brainstorming on the message board and through decision-making in the meetings.

    I’m open to suggestions on how I can incorporate CED principles into this concert idea.

    Apart from that, we just had our yearly Annual General Meeting last night. It was extremely well attended (we didn’t have enough seats for everyone!) and it ran very smoothly. We lost a few board members, but we also gained a few. It also appears that our organization is in an extremely strong financial position for the coming year!

  2. And the food was terrific! See you in 45 minutes clayton.
    The magazine Clayton is talking about will be up in the next month. It is called “D-Zine North”. I will post the link of the first issue when everything is finalized.

  3. I’m heading down to Southern Ontario next Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday to check out some other Community Arts Organizations, to meet with our major funder, the Ontario Arts Council, and to hopefully also check out some other social enterprises and co-ops in Southern Ontario.

    The further I get into this feasibility study, the more I think that, in terms of generating revenue, the best course for Myths and Mirrors to do would likely be to start a bunch of small ventures, and to start doing more fundraising (we don’t do much of that right now).

    The fact that our organization does not have charitable status means that we cannot issue receipts. As a result, requesting donations is more or less out of the question for now. So, I’m thinking organizing events would be our best course of action for fundraising.

    I’m looking forward to meeting with the Ontario Arts Council because I had come up with an idea to create a visual art/theatre and music festival in the park where our space is. The idea is to create it as a celebration of our 15th anniversary as an organization, and also as a fundraising activity, with the ticket sales going to Myths. It is my hope that this meeting with the OAC will give me a clear idea of which specific grants I should apply for for this festival.

    To help give me more insight into festivals and social enterprises, I have volunteered to sit on the board for the Northern Lights Festival (http://www.nlfbsudbury.com/), which is Canada’s oldest folk festival, as well as River and Sky (http://www.riverandsky.ca/), a brand-new camping and music festival entering it’s third year. I also started volunteering at the Eat Local Co-op, which is the only social enterprise I could identify here in Sudbury: http://www.eatlocalsudbury.com/.

    I am also trying to arrange meetings with representatives from the City of Greater Sudbury to see if they can tell me what kind of regulatory hoops I’d have to jump through in organizing this thing.

    This week, I am meeting with a bunch of people who have been involved with Myths and Mirrors since the beginning. So far, it’s been very helpful in helping me to generate ideas for potential ventures and also for identifying potential areas of improvement for our organization.

    I am also working on putting together a presentation on CED, social enterprises and my role in Myths and Mirrors for our new board, elected at the AGM last week. The reason for this is so that they have an idea of where I’m coming from when I conduct a brainstorming session with them at the meeting after that.

    Apart from that, I have set up a swap/yard sale at our space on Dec. 27th as an informal precursor to the more formal meetings I have planned beginning in January, when we will begin meeting officially with anyone interested in becoming more involved with the Sudbury music scene. We are using the message board I had mentioned previously (http://punksudbury.proboards.com/index.cgi) to help determine what kind of activities will be offered at the swap. I hope to have the details ironed out by next week, when I will post a facebook event.

    I’d love to hear about what you guys are up to!

  4. I completed my peer-learning project on Friday, January 21st. As I had mentioned previously, I had arranged a meeting for stakeholders in the Sudbury music scene. We called it the Greater Sudbury Music Scene Summit.

    Initially, I expected it to be a gathering of 20 or so teenagers. We ended up with around 40 attendees of ages ranging from 16 to 60. It’s a good thing that the 75 confirmed guests on the facebook event didn’t show up; we wouldn’t have had room for them!

    We had the Arts and Culture representative from the City of Sudbury, bookers and promoters from all over the city, concert-goers, musicians, entrepreneurs, and people who were just interested to see what would come out of it!

    We started the evening off with a short introduction, and outlined what we hoped to accomplish, which was to elect an interim executive committee and to conduct a brainstorming session regarding what the attendees felt was most needed in the Sudbury music scene.

    The idea for holding this meeting came about on the local message board punksudbury.proboards.com, where there was a thread started where people just posted their ideas about what they’d like to see in the scene. Judging by the thread, I determined that there was a lot of energy in the music scene, and a lot of fantastic ideas. We needed to get those ideas off the Internet and into the real world though!

    Thanks to my placement with Myths and Mirrors, I have access to a building that doesn’t get much use in the winter time, so it was really easy to just decide on a date and get the meeting going. We now have the makings of a fledgling organization, and we hope to be incorporated within the year.

    A lot of great ideas came out of that meeting, and some opportunities have come up since then. One younger guy from the metal scene, who is currently unemployed, and who participated actively in all the discussion, mentioned that he would like to see a winter carnival in Sudbury. It was like he was just waiting for someone to give him permission to organize it. Next Sunday, Feb. 27th will be our winter carnival. There are 115 confirmed guests on the facebook event, 12 teams registered for the 4 on 4 tournament, an all-ages concert scheduled post-carnival, I have secured tickets from 3 local music festivals for raffle prizes, as well as prizes from 10 local businesses and non-profits for our penny table.

    This event is shaping up to be a huge success (weather permitting), and most of the organizing was done by the young guy from the metal scene. All I’ve done is to offer him support and guidance based on my past experience organizing events, and to secure the prizing. Since he’s begun to organize this thing, he seems to be on fire with energy and confidence. He’s already got a paid skills-training placement lined up with the YMCA.

    The other major opportunity that came out of the meeting was a that one of the attendees is the manager for the Jubilee Centre here in town, where a lot of the larger all-ages show happen. He met with myself and our organization’s newly appointed secretary to talk about the possibility of turning the Jubilee Centre into a permanent all-ages venue (a lot of the talk at the Summit centered around lack of venues in our city). His proposal was that, in a partnership between Myths and Mirrors, the Jubilee Centre (operated by the Ukrainian Society), and our music scene committee, we apply for a grant to upgrade the PA, lighting, and space at the Jubilee to make it a premier venue. We would also apply for subsidies to allow people to rent the space for a minimal fee.

    Anyone wanting to promote shows at the Jubilee would become a member of our music scene board, and would be partnered with an established promoter to mentor them. This would help ensure the success of their event, and would also show them how to promote shows in a safe and ethical manner.

    Our next meeting is scheduled for Monday, Feb. 21st, where we will appoint representatives of different scenes, high schools, the university, and the colleges. We will set up subcommittees, begin creating bylaws, and we will decide on a name for our organization,

    I am very excited about how this organization will help to transform the Sudbury Music Scene in the future!

  5. Hey Clayton – this sounds amazing! Great work! It sounds like there is some amazing energy galvanizing around this. I’d be interested to hear what new developments came out of the meeting last Monday and how the carnival went yesterday!

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