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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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What’s Your DEAM Job?

Two central tenants of developing a thriving local economy are inclusiveness and the long-term employment of residents. Ensuring that all individuals have access to meaningful work and can participate in their local economy and in their community are key components in any community economic development work. During October, the Calgary Employment First Network (CEFN) and local human services provider Prospect will be delivering an inspiring example of these initiatives with their Disability Employment Awareness Month activities.

 

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2016 will mark the second year CEFN has celebrated DEAM in Calgary. Alexi Davis from Prospect said this year a “huge strategy was around increasing employer engagement. Disability employment doesn’t happen without employers.” The goal is to create discussion around disability employment; blowing up myths, creating conversation, and highlighting employers in Calgary who are already fostering and supporting an inclusive workforce. Events will include round table discussions, award galas, employer profiling, and film festivals, plus great ways for individuals and organizations to engage their own networks.

Even if you are not an employer, Davis encourages everyone to get involved in this month and in the conversation. “Consumers are more and more community-minded, ” which in turn creates a larger demand for inclusiveness and diversity from businesses.

So, how can you participate in the discussion during Disability Employment Awareness Month? This year, CEFN has partnered with some amazing local organization to provide public events to support, encourage, and foster conversation. Davis said “this year, it’s about awareness. So anyone who connects to the idea of disability and employment for whatever reason, we want them to be part of the conversation.”

DEAM Proclamation 2016

The official launch of DEAM 2016 will be held at City Hall and includes Mayor Nenshi’s proclamation. Join CEFN, community members, and the media as DEAM 2016 kicks off!

When: October 4 from 3:00pm to 3:30pm

Where: City Hall Atrium, 800 Macleod Trail SE

DEAM Film Fest

Bow Valley College and Picture This Film Festival have partnered to present a one-day film festival. Featuring a broad selection of local and international offerings, this event will provide a variety of perspectives on disability and employment.

When: October 19 from 10:00am to 3:00pm

Where: Bow Valley College, North Campus Main Floor, Room N124

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New Conversations

CEFN has partnered with MRU’s Institute for Community Prosperity to highlight the Inclusive Community: Visible and Invisible Disabilites. This cocktail reception at Caffe Artigiano will feature Pecha-Kucha style story-telling with guided table discussions. With eight rapid-fire presentations, participants will be offered different lenses on employment and disability from a variety of perspectives.

When: October 20, 5:00pm – 7:00pm

Where: Caffe Artigiano, 5010 Richard Road SW

#DEAMJob Employers

In order to highlight the benefits of disability employment, CEFN and their partners will be celebrating employers already providing #DEAMJobs in Calgary. Davis noted that “when a workforce is inclusive and diverse, it becomes more competitive and that is more representative of your customer base and your stakeholder base” which is why they’re encouraging local consumers to highlight companies and employers who are #LivingTheDEAM. Up until October 16th, individuals can nominate employers that are already championing diversity on a local level. In return, these employers will be profiled throughout the month of October and will have the opportunity to receive formal awards at the Employer Recognition Gala being held in the last week of October. You can check out the DEAM Nominated Employers and create your own submission today.


Take Action!

To stay up-to-date with DEAM activitys, follow Calgary Employment First Network on Twitter and on Facebook

Excited to attend events? Visit the DEAM Calgary website for listings and how to participate.

Want to engage with your organization? Download the DEAM Employer Toolkit

Make sure you attend the Film Fest at Bow Valley College

Learn more about Prospect’s work in the Calgary Community

Want to know more? Read about DEAM activities in Manitoba  or the history of NDEAM in the United States

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Sustainability for Breakfast: Cooperatives and Sustainability

Are you curious about cooperatives? More specifically, how do they grow from the grassroots, contribute to the well-being of their community and become financially viable? There’s more to it than you think!

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Join Thrive this Friday, June 24 for an in-depth look into cooperatives and learn how they embed sustainability into their business models. Four local leaders in the cooperative movement will join a panel discussion to look at sustainability using a broader lens, considering environmental, social, and economic sustainability.

The panel, moderated by Sarah Arthurs, founder of NewScoop, will include:

I spoke to Sarah Arthurs about the event and asked why she thinks cooperatives and sustainability are so closely linked.  “The fact they have a dual focus helps them be sustainable. They have a social focus, they came into existence from a social need. They’re not just beholden to a profit agenda,” she explained, “they’re not beholden to stakeholders and shareholders from somewhere else. Their vested interest is built into the community they exist in.”

If you’d like to learn more from Sarah Arthurs and the panel, access great resources, and meet others Calgarians interested in creating sustainable communities, join us on June 24th!

Sustainability for Breakfast is a monthly networking event hosted by REAP, aimed at connecting local change makers and fostering passion for sustainability in Calgary.

Directions and Information

June 24, 2016 from 7:30  – 8:00am

  • Networking and Breakfast 7:30 – 8:00am
  • Panel Discussion 8:00am – 9:00am

Momentum is located at 16, 2936 Radcliffe Drive SE (map).

  • By transit – Take the Blue Line to the Franklin LRT station. Momentum is located 2 blocks from the C-Train line.
  • By bike – Momentums is just off the Bow River Pathway. There are bike racks available in the front of the building.

 

Take Action

Get your tickets now! Entry is $10/person. Calgary Dollars are accepted.*

Check out other great REAP events and happenings

Learn more about cooperatives in Calgary and Alberta and find fantastic resources at the Alberta Community & Cooperative Association website.

*Limited number of spaces held for individuals paying by Calgary Dollars

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Bridgeland Riverside Farmers Market Kicks Off June 23rd

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With summer right around the corner, many seasonal Farmer’s Markets in Calgary are gearing up for a great year, and The Bridgeland Riverside Farmer’s Market (BRFM) is certainly no exception. Run by 10 resident volunteers, this local initiative will be making it’s 2016 debut on June 23rd at the Bridgeland-Riverside Hall (917 Centre Ave NE). This year BRFM has introduced extended hours – testament to the success of the 2015 season – and will now be running every Thursday from 3:30 – 7:30 until October 6th.

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The 2015 season was the first year the BRFM had dedicated special events. These included a Launch Market in June, a County Market in August, a Fall Harvest to wrap up their season and a Holiday Event in November that ran for two days. They saw unbelievable success with all these events, especially with the Holiday Market which sold out of vendor spots entirely. This success has allowed them to continue with these fantastic community events, with the Launch Market, Bridgeland Bike Fest, and Fall Harvest all slated for 2016.

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Being a community initiative, BRFM is dedicated to gathering feedback from clients in order to meet the needs of the community it serves and continually improve each year. Learning that the special events of 2015 were hugely popular and provided value to both vendors and market-goers, their plan is to not only continue them this season, but expand on them. One such improvement based on feedback is to have more free activities for children, after they were well received in 2015.  They also plan to build upon the inclusion of buskers and bands at every market, so local artists can share their music with the community.

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With an underlying commitment to supporting local farmers, producers, and artisans, last year BRFM decided to tackle potential financial barriers that some community members faced, especially  newer business and youths. To address the issue of accessibility, BRFM launched a unique program that was aimed at ensuring the Market is a true community space. The program gives participants access to a table and tent, waiving the fee that vendors would normally pay to have access to a space in the market. Aspiring entrepreneurs and/or youths with small businesses can apply to have one of the “community tables” for one week, giving them valuable exposure and an immediate economic benefit that can help them grow their business. This year the Aspiring Entrepreneur Community Table initiative is being sponsored by Luke’s Drug Mart, Bridgeland Market, and has a partnership with Momentum.

With this continuous dedication to improvement, community-building, and growth, the summer of 2016 is sure to be a fantastic year for The Bridgeland Riverside Farmer’s Market. Join them any Thursday between June 23rd and October 6th from 3:30 – 7:30 for your fill of fresh produce, local music & art, and community connection in our beautiful city.

 


Take Action

– Mark your calendars for the June 23rd Launch Market (and for the Bridgeland Bike Fest August 11 & Fall Harvest on October 6th!)

– Have a small business? Sign up to be a vendor! Love making music? Sign up to be a busker!

– Check out BRFM on Facebook and learn about all the fantastic vendors lined up for the 2016 season.

– Follow BRFM on Twitter and Instagram for delicious updates.

 

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2015 Community Economy Leader Award – Muttley Crüe

Muttley Crüe Organics Grooming and Daycare

Each year Thrive takes part in REAP’s Be Local Awards by sponsoring the Community Economy Leader Award. This year we received a number of fantastic submissions, but were truly impressed by Muttley Crüe and their initiatives. Open to all REAP Members, the Community Economy Leader Award recognizes members that are adopting practices to build a resilient community and local economy. They are rooted in Calgary and it shows in how they invest in people and places, are committed to purchasing fellow local businesses, and provide valuable social benefit. Muttley Crüe truly exemplifies all of this and more.

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In her video submission for the Community Economy Leader Award, owner Annie Cole said “we try to be as part of our community as possible. One of the biggest things starting Muttley Crüe six years ago was that I didn’t want to be just another building on the block. We want to be part of our community. Our community and this city is what keeps this business and other small business thriving.”

After six years of hard work, Cole and her Crüe have achieved what they set out to do. With a focus on creating partnerships with other local organizations in Calgary, Cole emphasizes that Muttley Crüe relies on “as many local businesses as we possibly can when it comes to products that we use, even what we sell in our retail.” The shampoos and diffusers come from All Things Jill, the cleaners are supplied by Small Planet, and the personalized Muttley Crüe biscuits are made by Bark YYC. Their retail area itself consists of over 60% locally made products.

It isn’t just about their partners in business, though. Muttley Crüe also ensures they are giving back to their community. Partnered with AARCS, the Spay Neuter Task Force, Stardale Women’s Group, and the Veteran’s Food Bank, Cole explained “we have a donation in lieu of a fee for our trial day of boarding.” By allowing new clients to make a minimum $5 donation instead of paying the normal $35 fee, Muttley Crüe is able to support valuable resources and organizations in Calgary and Southern Alberta. Cole is quick to point out that no one has ever left just $5, which led to $2,000 being raised for their chosen charities in just three months.

Muttley Crüe isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. In 2016, they plan to begin an apprenticeship program for First Nations women. Muttley Crüe pays for the cost of the six month grooming course, while paying a living wage to the apprentice so that they’re actually making a living to support themselves and their families while learning a trade.

We’d like to offer a big congratulations to Muttley Crüe and Annie Cole for being Thrive’s Community Economy Leader in 2015. They may be a small business, but they have a mighty impact in their community and city. Through their partnerships, local supply chain, outreach to non-profits, and focus on the environment, Muttley Crüe is paving the way to a sustainable future in Calgary.

Take Action:

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Neighbourhood Revitilization

RiverWalk in East Village

Calgary’s East Village is being transformed. What was once a neglected inner-city neighbourhood is becoming a hub for creativity, recreation and community. RiverWalk officially opened on the August long weekend, is central to the revitalized look of the East Village and means a better quality of life for all Calgarians.

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Meaningful Employment

Green Collar Job Initiative

A meaningful job that pays a living wage, helps the environment and strengthens the economy? That’s a green collar job. Thrive and its partners launched the Green Collar Jobs initiative with the release of the report Green Collar Jobs: New Workforce Development Opportunities for Alberta. The report provides a strong foundation from which to stimulate a green economy in our city.

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Innovative Social Finance

Community Capital Networks

Passionate about supporting a sustainable local economy, REAP and its partners host a monthly webinar series called Community Capital Networks. If you are interested in unleashing the flow of capital to support a greener local economy, join the conversation to learn about promising practices across North America and to discuss how to bring them to Calgary.

 Learn More
Local Business Development

Enterprising Non-Profits Alberta

With the launch of Enterprising Non-Profits Alberta, Calgarians can expect to shop from more and more socially conscious businesses. ENP-AB is providing grants and technical assistance to non-profit organizations engaged in social enterprise, the kind that brings both financial and social returns.

 Learn More