Monthly Archives: November 2016

Harvesting inspiration, collaboration and action from Thrive’s Community Huddle

“Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody.”        

                                                        ~Jane Jacobs

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Inspired by Jane Jacobs, an urbanist who believed firmly in economies being created by and for the people, Thrive brought together neighbourhood champions, entrepreneurs and local economy leaders at a Community Huddle on October 27. The purpose of the event was to engage and inform the community about Thrive’s new approach in advancing a thriving, resilient and inclusive economy for all in Calgary.

At the event we heard that the community looks to Thrive to:

  • “Raise the profile of inspiring economic activity that can benefit all Calgarians”
  • “Activate resources and leaders who champion economic equity for all”
  • “Build networks of champions to empower communities to solve their own problems”

VALUES

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Through a participatory art project that had attendees envisioning their dreams for community we learned that Thrive’s values resonate with our community. You care about:

  • inclusion – a healthy economy is one where no one is left behind
  • ownership – connecting local knowledge and talent to solve local challenges
  • relationships – recognizing that economies are social constructs that emerge from meaningful collaboration between local leaders and community resources
  • prosperity – spreading sustainable solutions to create resilient economies

 

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OUR APPROACH

You will see these values expressed in the way Thrive engages with the community and through the learning and resources we offer. Moving forward, Thrive’s emphasis is to support communities and businesses to build and sustain the local economy from the ground up. We use a community economic development approach that invests in people and places to build community well-being, fosters local ownership and provides valuable social benefits. You can connect with Thrive to:

  • Grow your leadership in building the local economy
  • Launch a social impact venture in your community
  • Accelerate a socially-minded business
  • Access resources to move your idea forward
  • Be inspired by what’s working in other communities

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We asked the community, what skills they needed to create sustainable social and economic change:

  • “How to be effective challenging existing economic models”
  • “Business management to improve my business’ efficiency and ability to grow”
  • “Skills in hosting meaningful and participatory conversations in the face of challenging topics”
  • “More insight into the lived experience of folks who struggle to build strong communities”
  • “How to leverage resources to build citizen capacity in order to create local economies with social impact”

We were also reminded of the important role Thrive plays in demonstrating how we as individuals are key influencers on the local economy through our purchasing and investing choices. We will continue to exemplify and demonstrate how the smallest of actions can create significant changes in creating a resilient economy.

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We asked the community, what individuals or groups could increase their impact with Thrive.

It was affirming to see the growing number of individuals and groups working on projects that have social impact in Calgary. Since the Community Huddle, we’ve been reconnecting with old friends and making new ones as we reach out to the individuals and groups identified. We are also curious about how to connect with others in Calgary, wanting and looking to create an impact in the local economy, who weren’t at the Community Huddle and don’t know about Thrive.

It has left us thinking critically about how Thrive can broaden its reach to identify individuals working on emerging projects that are seeking to create social change in our city. As we move into 2017, we are spending time developing a communications strategy to meaningfully engage with a growing number of individuals interested in activating sustainability in Calgary – from those with lived experience, to business and community leaders.

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RELATIONSHIPS MATTER

Thrive was humbled by the feedback we received that the Community Huddle was the ‘folk fest for community economic development.’ This was a refreshing reminder that coming together matters in deepening our relationships with one other. We learned that people are seeking intentional purposeful engagement that moves us towards action. In the new year, you will be invited to join conversations hosted by Thrive as we pilot programs to activate change.

As one of our core values, we know that relationships matter. We value our relationship with you and are grateful for the many contributions you offered at the Community Huddle. To stay in touch with us, connect with:

  • Philip if you are a neighbourhood champion or entrepreneur seeking to create social impact in your community

philipl@momentum.org | 403-204-2681

  • Barb if you are curious about learning initiatives offered through Thrive or are working on a collaborative project to advance a local economy for all

barbd@momentum.org | 403-204-2668

  • Chas  if you are an entrepreneur looking for business training to integrate sustainability into your day to day operations

chasy@momentum.org | 403-204-2670

Thrive takes great pride in our strong network of partnerships to reach real people, create real opportunities and champion real change. We look forward to connecting with you again as we collectively build a thriving, resilient and inclusive economy for all Calgarians.

 

Village Brewery is this year’s Community Economy Leader

Thrive is happy to announce this year’s winner of the Be Local Community Economy Leader Award is Village Brewery! Village submitted an unbeatable application and wowed Thrive’s selection committee with a passion for community building, supporting their competitors, and engaging their fellow Calgarians in the craft beer industry. They’ve certainly showed economic success over the past five years, but their mission seems to be more geared towards gathering people than anything else. After all, it takes a village to create a craft beer movement!

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What really stood out to Thrive’s selection committee was Village’s dedication to supporting their competitors and helping to grow the industry rather than just their own business. In 2016 they teamed up with The Dandy Brewing Company, a local nano-brewery to produce Village Friend: Dandy Baltic Porter. The proceeds from this one-brew batch were donated to Dandy to help them buy equipment to continue to expand their own capacity. Rather than focusing on their own financial bottom line, Village is assisting new breweries to tackle the challenges of being a small business in a big market. So if you’re into great, unique beer that’s building a local economy, keep an eye out for the 2017 Village Friend in February. If you want a sneak peek at who they’ll be collaborating with, Village just put out a teaser video!

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Village also showed us that they don’t just partner with other breweries. They partner with other Calgarians as well, including Fiasco Gelato, Big T’s and…you. One of their community engagement activities is the Village Gardener: Community Involved Ale. In 2016, Village partnered with twelve community gardens and dozens of independent backyard growers to produce a fruity, floral, fun brew grown as local as you can possibly get. They expect even more local support and involvement in 2017 and encourage anyone with backyard hops or crops, or anyone involved in community gardens to reach out. Plus, Village provides kegs from this small batch brew to each community garden hoping to get them to know each other a little better or perhaps even fundraise for a local cause. You grow the crops, and Village will help you brew community out of what you harvest.

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Village is also using their brewery as a community space and uses it as a catalyst for community growth. Non-profits and community initiatives can use their tasting room at no cost, they host local musicians at events, and they provide weekly tours that bring their fans and customers together. 10% of their bottom line goes to support arts, community, and culture in Calgary. It’s more than just a financial boost they give to Calgarian creators, too – their tasting room operates as a rotating gallery featuring art that patrons can both enjoy and purchase, a service they provide at no cost. 100% of the sale goes to the artist. Obviously, Village believes in paying people for their work – which is why after only five years in the craft brew industry, they have 20 full time employees and 30 part time employees all earning more than a Living Wage.

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There’s a reason the first line under “Our Story” on Village’s website is “Let us gather for mutual benefit. And beer.” They want to create community around craft beer that supports the industry as a whole, their neighbours, aspiring home brewers, their city, artists and musicians, and anyone else who wants to be involved. Village invites people into their space to congregate, they invite competitors to collaborate, and they invite all Calgarians to participate. They’re truly showing that doing business and doing good are one in the same.

Village Brewery – congratulations on being Calgary’s 2016 Community Economy Leader. Well deserved, well earned, well brewed.

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Take Action

  • Follow Village on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
  • Want to learn more about Village’s unique brews? Subscribe to their YouTube channel.
  • Find a Brew New You using Village’s interactive map.
  • Enjoy a tour and a pint (or flight!) every Thursday – Saturday at their 5000 12A St SE location.
  • Have hops growing in your backyard every summer? Part of a community garden? Reach out at info@villagebrewery.com to have your crops be part of the Village Gardener: Community Involved Ale in 2017.

 

 

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Hop Compost

With less than two years operating in Calgary under their belt, Hop Compost has already revolutionized how we produce compost in our city. Hop’s employee base may be small, but they are certainly mighty – they’re supporting local restaurants to create zero waste models, keeping tonnes of food waste out of Calgary’s landfills, and providing local growers with nutrient-dense, organic compost. Hop invited Thrive and Momentum to come learn more about how they’re developing a local, sustainable, and closed-loop composting method.

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Their system begins with local restaurants, grocery stores, and hotels. Some big names have been fans for a while – Community Natural Foods just announced that they’ve diverted over 200,000 lbs of waste from landfills since they began using Hop’s services.  They provide their commercial clients (including The Nash, Village Ice Cream, and Market 17) with standard green compost bins, which are used to collect food scraps, spoiled produce, and other compostable items. The bins are picked up on customized schedules, clients are given a freshly cleaned bin, and the waste is taken back to Hop’s facility in Manchester Industrial Park.

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This is where the real magic begins. Hop Compost has the exclusive Canadian rights to HotRot composting technology. These giant compost machines are completely enclosed – meaning no odor and no pests – just pure organic compost. It gets better though! Normal compost can take months to produce and is incredibly labour intensive to manage. Food waste going into the HotRot machines comes through in only 11 days. The entire process happens inside the machines and can be completely managed using the external computer interface. When you factor in the 30-day outdoor curing process, Hop is producing local, organic compost in around 41 days. So the coffee grounds from the espresso you ordered from Cafe Beano at the beginning of May? They could be fertilizing local crops as early as June.

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Almost unbelievable, given the technology involved, this process gives a completely natural composting experience for food scraps. There’s no water, no heat, no microbes – HotRot provides a small ecosystem that allows for a natural process to take place and produces amazing, nutrient-dense compost. The waste is broken down so finely that all traces of pesticides are eliminated – meaning organic compost is created from non-organic waste. Hop ensures these standards are met with third party testing each quarter.

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Showing no signs of slowing down, Hop is continually expanding their pick up network – they’ve just signed all the the Earl’s locations in both Calgary and Vancouver. Hop has been able to grow their capacity due to their triple revenue stream business model that has resulted in a thriving business capable of paying employees a living wage. They’ve even expanded their small employee base by providing employment to cleaners hired from the Drop-In Centre. Beyond pick-up services and their compost sales to both businesses and individuals, Hop is also able to sell carbon credits because of how much waste they divert from landfills each year.

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Through their closed loop system, using technology to tackle our growing waste problem, and innovative thinking, Hop is truly creating the best compost in Canada. Hop has a 100 mile selling radius, so if you’re in Calgary area and in the market for nutrient-dense, naturally-processed, organic, and locally sourced compost – check out Hop Compost online store.

 

Take Action

Learn more about Hop Compost and their services by visiting their website.

Check out this short video about Hop Compost in action: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0lvU4ei7O-w

Need compost for a home or community garden? Order Hop’s nutrient dense compost online!

Stay connected by following Hop on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Support some of the amazing local businesses taking part in Hop’s compost revolution.

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