Executive Director’s Report July 2013
Happy summer….what an auspicious time of year.
Talent and intention abounds as we round out the full summer Internship programs with 22 Interns (18 in the Natural Building Internship and 4 in the Community Farm Internship), incredible volunteers visiting from all over the world, staff who are passionate and committed (and beyond amazing!)…..and new residents. We are about 60 strong in the day-to-day living and working dynamic of OUR ECOVILLAGE these days.
We are in full swing to now sell “Landshare Options” for OUR ECOVILLAGE as the highest priority for the season. After having lent the monies to build the “EcoNest” these funds must be recouped and therefore the opportunity for someone to take on the home as an ‘affordable housing project’ is now available. It is great that it can be finished the way the new Landshare Partner(s) would wish and to have this happen with all their own touches able to still be put in place. Landshare Options are the interim step we have chosen until the Coop is able to obtain a mortgage and thus still allows shared and cooperative (small ‘c’) ownership of OUR as a “Community Farm, Sustainable Living Demonstration Site, and Education Centre” as the commons that it continues to work towards always being. Please put out the word that these Landshare Options are available and that they come with housing/or you can choose to build your own.
Another big shift is that at the beginning of this year, after 1.5 years of working on legal and bureaucratic outrageous paperwork, OUR ECOVILLAGE has finally the support of the “Community Trust for Ethical Investment”. This is a syndicated mortgage package that is administered for us through a third party finance manager Concentra (they are the third party option with many of the Canadian Credit Unions). It means that anyone can invest in OUR mortgage to allow for the current financing to finally be moved from the bank and back to being “by community, for community, through community”. Whether it is straight up investment or Registered Retirement Savings Plan funds….folks can now do direct Investment in the mortgage rather than doing mutual funds mortgage pools or stock market etc. And this investment you can come and visit for lunch! We are still in high request of a number of investors to step forward and have this trust fully populated allowing for the transfer to complete. 3% interest is available and paid directly between Concentra and the investors bank/credit union. Please put word out wide and far as we continue OUR urgent request to move this forward to full completion.
More exciting news is that Sohrab and Susan have moved onsite and taken over the Art Studio. His beautiful paintings are hanging in TAJII and those two are cooking up a storm of Persian foods and other tasty delights in OUR Zero Mile Eatery! We have Jan holding the bridge in the kitchen as two new Red Seal chefs move into the team….and Alessio (Eialina Armfelt’s grandson) takes a step forward as the next generation following in his granmothers footsteps to support the creation of community and has thrown his hat in the ring as a prep-cook and much glorified kitchen helper!!! What a team and amazing group of folks who nurture and warm us with the foods/fruits of OUR labours.
We have a new team onsite this summer for OUR Dynamic Governance model and are trying out a “Kids Team”. With 4 new children onsite full time and Sohrab’s 2 teens half time…there is much to be learned and shared. This team is taking over OUR large yurt as a home base with a new netted tent and a filter pool. Totes of crafts, costumes and musical instruments are coming together to manifest a beautiful creative space for their base camp. This will all roll into OUR Children’s Summer Camps:
July 29th – August 2nd “Singing the EarthDance” with Cari Burdett, Amy/Tafazwa, and someone replacing Lynn Weaver for creative dance. The littles, middles and bigs will rotate every morning and afternoons are spent with the Homestead Kids who work on eco-activities with everything from creating recycled paper with flowers and herbs to building cob models and buildings. And August 19th- 23rd “Family Circus Arts Camp” with a range of programming from Acroyoga to clowning this bring our parents and children in a super fun filled and community building camp. This is offered with two options to be residential or day camp only….what ever works for you and yours.
Just a reminder that Starhawk and Charles are back yet again to rock OUR Permaculture cradle to cradle worlds – with an indepth focus on a timely and needed new course titled “Social Permaculture”. Whether you work in a collective, live in a coop, sit on a Non-Profit board, are part of a community coalition, have a neighbourhood association, or come from a family….each of these organizational structures, and many more, have incredible groups dynamics which are hugely needing support these days. With decades of international work on the level of organizing and community process – these two outstanding teachers are bringing in a whole other level of what it takes to live/work together in a supportive, compassionate and efficient way. Based on work within the “Empowerment Manual” Starhawk’s most recent book, there is something for every human in this workshop.
Let us know when you can come for a tour to update yourself, drop in for lunch or come for a Council night or community event….you will be amazed by the changes.