The Sackville Commons is set to open in September 2016, offering a place where entrepreneurs, artists and non-profits in Tantramar can come to work, share ideas, feel motivated, and grow a better community. They need you to help make it happen.
The Sackville Commons was envisioned years ago by local thinkers like Harold Jarche. In a world where growing numbers of people are working alone as entrepreneurs or in e-business there is a lot of flexibility and personal freedom, but also a loneliness that comes from not working in a busy office structure. With a Coworking model, everyone works for themselves so the atmosphere is informal and not competitive. But working among others is inspiring, energizing and offers opportunities to share ideas and resources. The space will have photocopiers, wifi, coffee and other office amenities to share while individuals bring their own laptops, cell phones and projects to their desks.
An original challenge to establishing a Coworking space in Sackville — the need for a great space – was solved when J.N. Lafford Realty purchased the former Sackville police and fire stations. The Laffords expressed interest in having at least part of the structures dedicated to community use, and cheaper space for community groups was one of the conditions of sale.. “We weren’t sure how we would manage renting to the many diverse groups who wanted space in the stations” notes John Lafford, “We were excited when Julia and Rachel came to us with their interest in developing a sustainable place for local businesses and community groups in need!" added Heidi Lafford.
The time is right for Julia Feltham, formerly involved at The Hub in Halifax, Melody Petlock, Executive Director of Daybreak: Tantramar Peer Support Centre whose space was recently lost to a fire, and Rachel Mathis, a rising star in youth leadership and sustainable community development, to co-found and create a new vision for a Coworking space in Sackville. The Sackville Commons will be unique in the huge network of Coworking spaces internationally in its vision to incorporate for-profit business, entrepreneurs, artists and not-for-profit organizations within one operating unit.
“In a time when society is facing serious economic, environmental and social challenges new innovations are needed to create opportunities to improve our community” explains Feltham, “and our vision is a true reflection of the Sackville community “ "There was a need for a place where people can work together, explore individual business interests, and reduce isolation” adds Melody Petlock, “It’s good for both the productivity and the mental health of the members of the Commons.” Rachel Mathis, Co-Founder, is passionate about building strong roots in communities by investing in youth and already has plans in place to support young interns in the Sackville Commons.
The group is thrilled with the support they have received to date from sources like the Pond-Deshpande organization, Renaissance and the Town of Sackville. Local entrepreneurs like Bay of Fungi, Aster Group and many others are keenly interested in renting a desks & space in the big Coworking space in the Fire Hall. Daybreak is setting up operations as a paying tenant in the Police Station. In addition to non-profit office space in the old police station there will be table workspace available for rental on an hourly, weekly or monthly basis with limited long-term file storage also available to Coworking members.
The group is conducting a drive until September 1st for good used items to furnish and decorate the space, sell to raise funds, or donate to local service agencies. “We are looking for things to stock our kitchen like pots and pans, dishes and utensils” suggests Petlock, “ as well as office supplies, arts and crafts material, and self help books or mental health biographies to restock the Daybreak Library. We plan to make the books as well as arts and crafts material available to the public in this new space.” “I am hoping for some really funky things, including coloured bottles and drift wood to help create some art pieces and perhaps a eco-built breezeway between the firehall and police station,” adds Julia.
Anyone interested in helping with or participating in the project should contact the trio at coworkingsackville@gmail.com or see their website www.coworksackville.com to help contribute to the space, become a sponsor or learn how to become a member.